Macedonia - geography
Macedonia's landscape is characterized by mountains and plateaus; the Šar
Planina mountain range lies to the north, the German and Osogovska mountains as
well as Plačkovica to the east, and furthest to the southeast Ogražden. The
country's highest mountain, Korab (2764 m), is located on the border with
Albania. A little further south on the border with Albania and Greece you will
find the large Lake Ohrid (at 695 m altitude) and Lake Prespa (at 853 m). The
mountain country is divided by the fertile valley of the river Vardar, which is
an ancient connecting line between Central Europe and the Aegean Sea. Macedonia
is located in a seismically active area and is often hit by earthquakes; for
example, approximately 1200 people killed and most of the capital, Skopje, destroyed
by an earthquake in 1963.
Macedonia has a predominantly dry, continental temperate climate, which is
milder in parts of the Vardar Valley, where the most important agricultural
areas are located. Skopje has average temperatures of 0 °C in January and 23 °
C in July as well as an annual rainfall of approximately 500 mm.
Agriculture is the country's main occupation. Sheep and cattle farming is
widespread; in addition, wheat, corn, tobacco, cotton, citrus fruits, sugar
beets and wine are grown. The industry uses the country's own agricultural
products and metals (lead, zinc, copper, iron, chromium and nickel), as well as
imported raw materials for the textile industry and the chemical industry. Other
industries are the machinery, food and leather goods industries. Skopje is a
traffic hub and the country's most important industrial city with iron and
steel works. After years of stagnation, swimming tourism on Lake Ohrid and
winter sports tourism in the mountains are on the rise.
The country has a very mixed population. 67 percent are Macedonians (1994),
while an Albanian minority officially makes up approximately 23 percent. In addition,
approximately 130,000 Albanian refugees from Kosovo. 4 percent are Turks, 2 percent
Roma; in addition, there are aromas (Macedonian-Romanians), Serbs and
Do you know how many people there are in Macedonia? Check this site to see
population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Macedonia - language
The official language of Macedonia is Macedonian, which gained ground as a
written language at the end of World War II following the recognition of an
independent Macedonian nationality within the framework of what was then
Yugoslavia. Albanian is estimated to be spoken by 20-25%. Furthermore,
minorities speak Turkish, Romani, Serbian and Aromanian.
Macedonia - religion
The vast majority of the Slavic-Macedonian population traditionally belong to
Orthodox Christianity. Since the break with the Serbian church in 1967, the
independent (autocephalous) Macedonian church has been in an unresolved
situation under ecclesiastical law. A significant Islamic minority is made up of
the majority of the Albanian population as well as smaller groups of Turkish-
and Slavic-speaking Muslims.
Macedonia - Constitution
The Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia dates from 1991. Legislative
power lies with the 120 members of Parliament, who are elected for four years by
universal suffrage. Parliament may decide to hold referendums on matters within
its area of competence, and a committee has been set up for the relationship
between the various nationalities. The committee consists of the president and
two representatives of resp. Macedonians, Albanians, Turks and Roma as well as
two for other nationalities. Parliament also appoints the judges of the
Constitutional Court, who are elected for an eight-year term without the
possibility of re-election. The president is elected by direct election for a
five-year term. He appoints the Prime Minister, heads the National Security
Council and may refuse to countersign bills; however, they become lawful if
there is 2 /3 majority for them in parliament. Ministers
are elected by majority vote in parliament.
Macedonia - military
The strength is (2006) at 10,890, which includes conscripts with six months
of service. The army is at 9760 and the air force is at 1130. As Macedonia is an
inland state, it has no navy. The reserve includes trained personnel, and must
enable the formation of eight brigades by mobilization. The army is divided
into two cadre-manned corps headquarters and contains two brigades. The
army has only a few heavy equipment, but is relatively well equipped
with armor and mortars. The Air Force has four modern Sukhoj Su-25 fighter
bombers, a dozen Mil Mi-24 combat helicopters and a handful of other
helicopters. The gendarmerie includes 7600.
Macedonia wants to join NATO, but Greece is vetoing it as long as Macedonia
does not change its name.