Republic of Macedonia

1993 Encyclopedia Britannica Annual (c)

Macedonia


A landlocked republic of the central Balkans, Macedonia borders Yugoslavia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. Area: 25,713 sq km. Pop. (1992 est.): 2,050,000. Cap.: Skopje. Monetary unit: denar (transitional quasi currency introduced April 1992), with (Oct. 5, 1992) a par value of 360 denars = DM 1 (508 denars = U.S. $1 and 863 denars = 1 sterling). President in 1992, Kiro Gligorov; Prime minister from August 17, Branko Crvenkovski.


Unlike the other Yugoslav Republics of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia, Macedonia(Republic) remained unrecognized throughout 1992 by the European Communities (EC) and the United States (though it was recognized by Bulgaria, Russia, and Turkey). The main reason was Greece's objection that the name of the new state was the same as that of its own northern province of Macedonia and thus - in Greece's view - a potential vehicle of Slav Macedonian expansionism. By the end of January Macedonia(Republic) complained that it was being subjected to an economic blockade both by Greece and by Serbia and appealed to the EC for help. At a meeting in April, however, EC members appeared to accept Greece's objections and instituted a search for a compromise name. Greece refused to accept any mention - even as an adjective - of the word 'Macedonia' in the republic's name and also refused to take as sufficient reassurance a special clause in the preamble to the Macedonian(Republic) constitution disclaiming any territorial ambitions.

Clashes between members of the Albanian minority in Skopje and Macedonian(Republic) police on November 6 led to the death of one Albanian and the wounding of four. Fears of a deteriorating internal situation that might lead to an international conflict prompted EC governments to offer economic aid to Macedonia(Republic) in November and caused the UN Security Council to send UN monitors to Macedonia(Republic).

-- K.F. CVIIC


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