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SERBIA & MONTENEGRO


 

 

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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 19,176 15,555 10,900 70
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,910 1,400 930 112
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Serbia & Montenegro

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
102,350

Population 
10,825,900

Capital 
Belgrade 

Currency 
New Dinar

President 
Boris Tadic

Private sector 
% of GDP 
40% 



Update No: 107 - (28/04/06)

A severed state in the offing
There is no more important question for a country than its territorial integrity. The federal state of Serbia and Montenegro looks like being no more.
Serbia, with problems enough about the future status of Kosovo, is having to face the imminent loss of Montenegro, a land of only 660,000 people. It has the all-important advantage of access to the sea, which the land-locked Serbs otherwise lack. Moreover, there are believed to be unquantified oil riches offshore in the Adriatic.
Weeks before the referendum on independence in Montenegro, scheduled for 21st May, the leaders of the tiny republic and their counterparts in Serbia are playing political games in an effort to attract votes for their cause and to outsmart the other side.

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The government of Montenegro, prime minister Milo Djukanovic, who advocates independence and dissolution of the present state union with Serbia, on April 13th adopted a declaration saying that nothing would change if Montenegro voters opted for independence and that it would grant Serbian citizens the same rights in Montenegro that they have at present.
He is an unusual figure, the head of a tiny fledgling nation, but potentially the tallest head of state in the world, at over seven feet two. He stands out in other ways too. 
"The state of Montenegro guarantees to citizens of Serbia all the existing human and civil rights and freedoms, except the right to vote," the declaration stated. Explaining his stance, Djukanovic said that he favoured "open borders with Serbia," to facilitate "the free movement of people, goods, services, capital and information." 
In addition, Djukanovic said that students from Serbia would be able to continue their studies under the present conditions, and that Serbian citizens would enjoy full pension and health insurance rights in both republics.
Serbian commentators have described Djukanovic's offer as "pure demagoguery and a political trick." The problem with his proposal is "that there are hardly any Serbs studying and working in Montenegro, while on the other hand, there are over 200,000 Montenegrins living in Serbia", said political analyst Slavko Zivanov. 
"What Djukanovic is trying to do is to enhance his democratic image and show generosity in front of the international community, while trying to secure the same rights for Montenegrins living in Serbia," said Zivanov.
Predrag Bubalo, economy minister in Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica's government, was quick to reply that "Montenegro regime propaganda" was "preparing a roasting spit while rabbit was still in the woods', using an old proverb.
Belgrade opposes the separation of the two republics, and has turned its back on Djukanovic's proposals to form a union of independent states, saying, reasonable enough, that there was "no point in remarrying after divorce." Bubalo said the government of Serbia "will patiently await" the results of the 21st May referendum in Montenegro, "and then decide on mutual relations."
"However, we have to shatter any illusions that everything would remain the same in the event of separation, and that the lives of citizens in two separate states would remain the same as they would if they lived in a common state," Bubalo concluded.

Serbia supports Romania-Italy oil pipeline
As some compensation, an important development is imminent in the Serbian economy. Deputy Serbian Premier Miroljub Labus has said that the government supports private-public investment in a Romania-to-Italy oil pipeline, that would pass through Serbia.
The pipeline would carry 40 million tons of oil a year from the oil-rich Caspian Sea area through Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta via Serbia's Pancevo oil processing complex at Belgrade, Croatia's Omisalj on the northern Adriatic island of Krk, and end at Italy's northern Adriatic port of Trieste, independent B92 Belgrade radio said. The pipeline could go into operation in 2011 or 2012.
Balkan countries are also considering two other oil pipelines, one from Bulgaria to Greece and the other from Bulgaria to Albania.
Experts say the three pipelines would not be in competition because they would serve different oil markets.

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The following report is self-explanatory of a natural disaster, one which may yet, however, have political repercussions. It could revive the idea among the Montenegrins that Serbia is a benighted country to escape from:-

State of emergency in Serbia after floods 
Serbia was forced to declare a state of emergency in several regions after the Danube and its tributaries reached their highest level for a century, causing major flooding across the Balkans over the weekend of April 15-16th, which was only Easter in the Western churches, not the Orthodox ones. 
Emergency crews and volunteers struggled to keep embankments from giving way in the north of the country. Extensive sandbagging operations continued along the banks of the Danube, Sava, Tisa and Tamis rivers.
Swollen by the spring snow melt and heavy rains, the Danube - Europe's second longest river - reached record highs in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, flooding towns, villages and farmland.
The capital, Belgrade, lying on the confluence of the Sava River and the Danube, has suffered its worst flooding in decades. Several major boulevards that run along the two rivers are closed, making city transportation almost impossible.
More than 100 people have been evacuated from the large island of Ada Ciganlija, straddling the Sava in Belgrade, the favourite resort of residents. The city's mayor, Nenad Bogdanovic, said he expected the waters would now have peaked after surpassing their record highs. 
"We have reinforced barriers which will resist the wave but the question is how long the water level will remain so high. That's what's worrying," said Srdjan Jovanovic, head of the Belgrade flood defence team. He appealed to citizens to avoid a popular recreation spot on the Sava, saying some young women had pierced sandbags with their high heels, increasing the danger of collapse. "The danger is big, and water can break the top of the dikes. The whole recreation area would be flooded in seconds," he said.
Serbia's agriculture minister Ivana Dulic Markovic said on April 16th: "All that is left now is to trust in God that all will end well."
Hundreds of people have been evacuated to safety in the town of Smederevo, 40km east of Belgrade. Tent cities are being erected for continued evacuation in coming days." This is so sad, many of us will spend Easter in tents," local resident Stojan Savic said. Orthodox Easter was on April 23rd.
In the town of Golubac at the border with Romania, the city centre is under water, including local train and bus stations, hotels and schools. The flow of the Danube reaches some 16,000 cubic metres per second, which is twice the normal level in April. In some areas in Serbia, the river is four kilometres wide - double its normal width.
Cultivation of arable land is impossible now for 200,000 hectares along the Danube River, particularly in the northern province of Vojvodina where its tributaries Tisa and Tamis have risen to historic peaks.
Experts say that both the unusually persistent rains and melting of the mountain snow in the broader region of central and Eastern Europe have caused the disaster. In neighbouring Romania, officials say the Danube has reached its highest level since 1895. 

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BANKING

Eurobank acquires 100% of Nacionalna Stedionica Bank 


Serbian Minister of Finance, Mladjan Dinkic, and Director General of Eurobank EFG Group, Nicholas Nanopoulos, signed an agreement on the sale of the state's minority block of shares of 37.7 per cent in Nacionalna Stedionica national savings bank to the Greek EFG Eurobank, New Europe reported. 
The Serbian government sold the state's minority block of shares in the national savings bank to Eurobank at a price 7.5 times higher than that which the Republic of Serbia invested in the bank's capital. On the same occasion, EFG Eurobank's Director General in Belgrade Stavros Ioannou and Director General of the Clinical Centre Vojko Djukic signed an agreement for a donation and soft loan to the Clinical Centre of Serbia for the construction of a PET Centre (a nuclear scanner for early detection of diseases).

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ENERGY

EAR, EPS sign 5m Euro power station donation deal 

The European Agency for Reconstruction and Development (EAR) and the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) have signed a five million Euro donation deal to modernise electric filters in "block two" at the electric power station Kostolac-A, ANSAmed reported.
According to EPS Director General, Vladimir Djordjevic, the company has entered a second stage of technical improvement of production capacities that involves a realisation of technological projects.

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