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SERBIA & MONTENEGRO


 

 
Key Economic Data 
 
  2002 2001 2000 Ranking(2002)
GDP
Millions of US $ 15,555 10,900 8,100 75
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,400 930 122
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Serbia & Montenegro

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
102,350

Population 
10,655,774

Capital 
Belgrade 

Currency 
New Dinar

President 
Boris Tadic

Private sector 
% of GDP 
40% 

  

Background:
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941 was resisted by various partisan bands that fought themselves as well as the invaders. The group headed by Marshal TITO took full control upon German expulsion in 1945. Although communist in name, his new government successfully steered its own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In the early 1990s, post-TITO Yugoslavia began to unravel along ethnic lines: Slovenia, Croatia, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia all declared their independence in 1991; Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" in 1992 and, under President Slobodan MILOSEVIC, Serbia led various military intervention efforts to unite Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." All of these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. In 1999, massive expulsions by Serbs of ethnic Albanians living in the autonomous republic of Kosovo provoked an international response, including the NATO bombing of Serbia and the stationing of NATO and Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo. Blatant attempts to manipulate presidential balloting in October of 2000 were followed by massive nationwide demonstrations and strikes that saw the election winner, Vojislav KOSTUNICA, replace MILOSEVIC. 

Update No: 085 - (01/06/04)

New outrage
The sister of the slain premier, Zoran Djindlic, was intimidated in early May by rogue security forces responsible for his assassination in March of last year. Theirs was a desperate act. For it is not she, but the new government that is pursuing them.

Nationalist government
The government is a strongly nationalist one for all that under Premier Vojislav Kostunica, the prime mover in removing Milosevic, their former potentate, in October 2000. The Serbs have opted for nationalism once again, although it has scarcely done them any good in the past. 
The Radicals of firebrand Vojislav Seselj, in jail at the U.N. war crimes tribunal, came a clear first in December 28th's general election, and even fellow-indicted Slobodan Milosevic's Socialists did well. Still you cannot run Serbia from a Hague cell 
Kostunica has brought the G17 Plus and the Serbian Renewal Movement into a coalition with his own Democratic Party of Serbia, which might appear all right since he himself and the G 17 Plus were responsible for ousting Milosevic in October 2000. But the government will depend for its survival on the support of the latter's Socialists in parliament. 
The partners in the alliance, plus the Socialists, control 131 of the 250 seats, just enough to conduct business. The extremist Radicals, the largest in the chamber on 82 seats, and the outgoing premier Zoran Zivkovic's Democratic Party on 37 seats make up the opposition. 
The Serbs are one of the very few people who relish their defeats. The Battle of Kosovo in 1389 was a spectacular defeat at then hands of the Turks, leading to centuries of subjection. In the 1990s Milosevic led his country to three defeats in a row, the last time in 1999 to the international community as a whole. The last thing Serbia needed was a nationalist saviour, one might have supposed. But not the Serb electorate. They have inflicted another defeat upon themselves.

No cooperation with the Hague
Soon after taking office, the new government faced a March 31 deadline from the U.S. Congress to show it was cooperating with the war crimes tribunal in the Hague at the risk of losing financial aid of $100m.It refused. The change of government in Serbia has brought about a new coalition, in which every party believes handing over more war criminals to the Hague is a mistaken course. 
The West has made clear that Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army commander charged with genocide, should be in custody if Belgrade wants to join NATO's Partnership for Peace cooperation program at the alliance's Istanbul summit in June But Kostunica will hold most power in the cabinet and he has a history of hostility towards the court. He once said it made his stomach turn.
Trouble continues in Kosovo, which has been de facto independent since the 1999 war. But Kostunica is a stubborn man and keen to show his gritty nationalism to his people. Montenegro is likewise independent in all but name. The goal of a Greater Serbia which Milosevic offered the Serbs in the early 1990s is in tatters.

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AGRICULTURE

3.7 billion dinars for farm loans in 2004


Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, Miroljub Labus, said that 3.7 billion dinars will be set aside from the budget this year for farming loans, srbija.sr.gov website reported.
"We will offer so-called cash loans to farmers, which they will be allowed to draw immediately, as well as long-term loans to purchase machinery, with repayment periods of five years," Labus explained at the opening of the 71st International Agriculture Fair.
Labus said that agricultural output in 2004 will be "at least eight percent higher" than last year.

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ENERGY

Montenegro mulls over steam power plant construction

The Montenegrin government will seriously take into consideration the idea of a foreign counsellor for privatisation of Aluminium Combine Podgorica (KAP) to have a steam power plant built on the grounds of the company, in order to solve KAPs problem with power supply, New Europe reported.
The construction of a steam power plant is one of the very important preconditions for privatisation of KAP. British consulting company, Crew International, suggested that the steam power plant should be built on the grounds of the company, so that the problem of KAP with power supply has a long-term solution. They prefer construction of a steam power plant in the grounds of KAP, since there is already a power plant that produces steam for the needs of the combine.
Crude oil, of which about 100,000 tonnes KAP consumes per year, can be replaced with coal, as power fuel, whereas missing energy can be produced in the grounds of KAP, at favourable prices. However, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Podgorica and member of "Group for Changes" Gojko Joksimovic, pointed to negative aspects of that project.
"Installed power of such a steam power plant would be 250 MW," said Joksimovic and added that such a plant daily consumes large quantities of imported coal, which would present a problem with transportation, but he pointed out that the special problem would be cooling water, which is necessary for a steam power plant.
"The Moraca river is next to KAP, but it does not have sufficient quantities for cooling water during the whole year," said Joksimovic. In his opinion, the best location for that steam power plant would be Bar, because coal could be delivered directly by sea. He said that there were steam power plants at the seaside in the surrounding countries and gave 'Tovin' in Croatia, which was built in Tovin's Gulf, as an example.

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FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Miroljub Labus visits Croatia

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, Miroljub Labus, will visit Croatia with the aim of improving economic relations with neighbouring countries, srbija.sr.gov website reported.
Labus will meet with Croatian Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, Minister of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, Branko Vukelic, and President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Nadan Vidosevic. Also, Labus is scheduled to meet with the Minister for European Integrations, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, representatives of the Independent Democratic Serbian Party in the Croatian parliament and media representatives. During the talks with Croatian officials, Labus will present Serbian government reforms and Serbia's interest in improving bilateral cooperation and strengthening stability in the region, as well as in creating conditions for faster integration into European structures. The talks will also focus on the processes of European partnership and the accession of the Western Balkans into Europe.

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