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Key Economic Data
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 106
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)


Update No: 152 - (25/01/10)

The Athens-Belgrade axis
The Serbians and Greeks are historic allies, who are proud of their Orthodox Christianity and common heritage in the centuries under Ottoman rule. This was ended by the Greek War of Independence of 1821-31 and the looming Serb War of Independence that culminated in victory in 1878.

Serbian President Boris Tadic and Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou renewed these ties in the New Year. They had talks in Belgrade on the acceleration of the European integration of Serbia, the improvement of the cooperation between their two countries and the situation in Kosmet (Kosovo) and wider regions.

While pointing that Serbia and Greece have been partners and friends throughout history, Tadic thanked the authorities in Athens for their resolute support in the process of European integration. He emphasized that it was Papandreou who started the initiative for all the former republics of Yugoslavia, and Albania to become full members of the EU by 2014.

While stressing that there are no issues on which the two states have opposing stances, Tadic pointed that Greece has always been and will be a close partner of Serbia. The Athens-Belgrade axis is firm.

Into the EU
There is no doubt that Athens is a vital ally for Belgrade in its push to join the EU. Papandreou has assessed that in 2009 Serbia achieved a big success on its course towards the EU and supports Serbia’s submission of candidacy for membership of the European Union.

The Head of Greek Diplomacy also pointed that Greece will continue supporting Serbia. "We believe that by 2014 we can make the European perspective be a reality for Serbia and the West Balkans," said Papandreou.

What's in a name?
There is a matter in which Belgrade can do Athens a favour - to persuade Skopje to moderate its stance on calling its country 'Macedonia.' The use of this name deeply offends Greek susceptibilities.

The Greeks are very proud of Alexander the Great, the son of Philip of Macedon, unifier of Greece and founder of the Hellenism that spread Greek civilisation across the known world. He hailed from their northern province of Macedonia, which abuts on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

If the Macedonians just bide their time and get into the EU as FYROM, with Greek sufferance of the same, their country is going to become called Macedonia quite spontaneously by other members and the wider world, instead of the gobbledygook of 'FYROM.' Time is on their side.

Serbia divided into seven statistical regions
A new regional structure for Serbia became effective on January 1st, separating it into seven statistical regions. The new map was approved without any comments by the government of Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and got a green light from the EU's statistical office, Eurostat.

Under the new structure, the country will be divided into seven statistical units -- Belgrade, Eastern, Western, Central, Southern and the regions Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohija.

This redrawing of boundaries makes sense geographically and geopolitically. It could not have been undertaken in Yugoslav times when any suggestion of shifting frontiers was anathema to the fragile, composite state. It makes sense for its rump, Serbia, today.

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