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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 4,705 3,712 3,400 118
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,980 1,700 1,690 111
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Macedonia


Area ( 




Branko Crvenkovski

Private sector 
% of GDP 

Update No: 097 (26/05/05)

Macedonia hopes to start talks with EU in 2006 
Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva was in Vienna for talks with Austrian counterpart Ursula Plassnik in mid-May. She told reporters that she hopes Skopje will start accession talks with the EU in the first half of 2006.
That would be an acknowledgment of the reforms Skopje has implemented in recent years, Mitreva said.
Plassnik, meanwhile, said the name dispute between Skopje and Athens was unrelated to Macedonia's EU integration agenda. She added, however, that it is in the interest of both countries to resolve the issue as soon as possible. It is now getting a little hoary with age.
But, she is not necessarily right here.

60 years on from the war
Henry Ford, the propagator of the motor industry and the modern world, made the characteristic comment: "History is bunk." He was a citizen of the New World. But, if there is one place where history does still count, it is the Balkans!
Can one imagine anywhere else in the world where two nations would be wrangling over a matter of nomenclature dating back millennia? 
The 60th anniversary of the end of World War II was marked in former Yugoslavia on or around 9th May with the customary laying of wreaths and holding of speeches, most of which centered on the role of the "antifascist" Partisan movement led by Josip Broz Tito, who was a Croat. But he played a very important role in the history of Macedonia.
Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski chose to draw attention to the role of Tito himself, not only "in the fight against fascism...[but also as] a historic personality who made an extraordinary, positive contribution to the Macedonian national question [by recognizing the Macedonians as a distinct people] and through the creation of Macedonian statehood" by setting up a Macedonian republic within the Yugoslav federation. Accordingly, Crvenkovski continued, "I launch a project to build a memorial dedicated to Josip Broz Tito in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia." 

The past versus the present
Here is the rub. The Greeks refuse to recognise Macedonia as that, 'the Republic of Macedonia,' the name of their northern province and birthplace of Alexander the Great no less. What's in a name? 
Everything, as it so happens for the Macedonians, because Athens could veto their entry into the EU. Only at the most formal levels are they still called "FYR Macedonia," or worse, the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia." The rest of the world, impatient with Greek intransigence on this less than vital matter, of course omits the initials. Listen to any newscast other than a Greek one.
The wisest course for them to pursue is to drop the matter until they are inside; then after a few years to make the name change discreetly! The Greeks could stop them coming in, but hardly eject them out.



Investbanka ups profit by 16.4%

Macedonian commercial bank, Investbanka, recently announced a preliminary net profit of 56m dinars (US$12m or 920,000 Euro) in 2004, up 16.4%, the Reporter has said.
In 2003 net profit was 48.1m dinars. Investbanka AD Skopje is the only Macedonian bank servicing financial transactions between the country and Serbia's southern UN controlled province of Kosovo. Investbanka and Austrian Raiffeisen Bank have subsidiaries in Kosovo. Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo agreed in 2004 on direct payments between companies and individuals in the two entities.



Skopje, Ankara seal deal on economic cooperation

Macedonia Deputy Prime Minister, Minco Jordanov and Turkish State Minister, Guldal Aksit, signed an agreement in Skopje on April 27th to promote economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries, Southeast Times reported.
The protocol covers a wide range of activities, including banking, standardisation, energy, tourism, health and environmental protection. Jordanov said he hopes the accord would boost bilateral economic relations and result in large Turkish investments in Macedonia.



MobiMak to focus on mobile voice

Macedonia's leading mobile operator MobiMak has a name in the market so it will now focus only on voice services and not on data, The Reporter said recently, citing a company statement. CMO Svetlana Petrovska of MobiMak said that the rate of unemployment in Macedonia is still 30% and GDP is just US$2,450 per capita so the focus should be on affordable services. She said, "Mobile operators have to follow the specifics of the country they operate in. With the difficult economic situation and the low GDP we have to try harder than other operators to develop affordable tariff levels in accordance to customers' needs and their ability to pay but at the same time satisfying shareholders." She added, "We will add extra services only if they pay off. There is still more space for voice services than for data." Petrovska also remarked that MobiMak's parent company MakTel is a part of the Deutsche Telecom group and can afford data services. Fixed operators can offer these data services according to her.




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