Macedonia Country Profile Travel Guide Business Information

Macedonia Country Profile Travel Guide Business Information

Macedonia population Macedonia religion Macedonia history Macedonia economy Macedonia currency Macedonia road travel and other national Macedonian information

Related pages  Contact the Macedonian Consulate / Skopje Visitors Guide

Macedonia History

Following WW1 the terroritry of Macedonia was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats & Slovenes. In 1929 it was renamed Yugoslavia. In 1945 it was taken over by a pro communist Marshall Tito who remained in power until he died 35 years later. Throughout his time in power he cleverly and pragmatically balanced Yugoslavia’s political and military position between the main players in the cold war whilst maintaining peace in a country with very diverse ethnic groups. After his death a power vacum ensued which slowly facilitated the distintergration of the State of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Balkan Conflicts in the early 1990s.

In Septemnber 1991 Macedonian voted for independence from Yugoslavia and on 20th November 1991 it declared itself an independent state. The following March the Yugoslavian army peacefully withdrew from Macedonian territory. In Febuary 2001 fighing broke near the Kosovo border between a group representing unresloved concerns of Albanian minority -The National Liberation Army and the Macedonian Authorities. In the following four months several thousand Albanians fled to Kosovo and Serbia & Montenegro.

A ceasefire brokered by NATO in June led to a peace agreement in August 2001 which recognised the concerns of the Albanians and committed the NLA to a peaceful resolution of issues. Since the political and military situation has stabilised.

Macedonia Country Profile

Macedonia Population The Capital of Macedonia, Skopje, is home to a population of 445,000 people out of a national population of 2.1m. The indigenious people are 64% Macedonian, 25% Albanian, 4% Turkish, 3% Roma & 2% Serbian. Macedonia Religion 67% of the population are orthodox and 30% are Muslim.

Macedonia Language The main languages spoken are Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish & Serbian

Macedonia Currency The official unit of currency is the Macedonian Denar. On arrival in Macedonia you must declare any foreign currency that you are carrying. If you do make such a declaration or it is inaccurate you may be relieved of any foreign currency you are carryng when you leave. You may also be arrested for currency offences. Currency Exchange Exchange bureaus and banks are not as common in Macedonia as in other countries. It is relatively easy to exchange euros and American Diollars and less easy to exchangw Sterling

ATM Machines

These are fairly plentiful in Skopje only. In other towns especially in rural areas as there as is no guarantee that you will find one you should carry local currency .

Credit Cards In Macedonia

Credit Cards are not universally accepted in Macedonia even in Skopje. Before using a service you should check whether the service can be payed for by credit card. Some petrol stations do not accept them. Credit Card Faud In Macedonia Credit card fraud has become a serious problem in Macedonia. You are strongly advised not to loose sight of your card when making a transaction.

Macedonia Economy

The economy in Macedonia has suffered severely by the breakdown of trade with Serbia & Montenegro who, as former Yugoslavia, were their main trading partner. The economy had began to recover from this but the troubles in 2001 have left the economy stagnant and the annual rate of growth currently equates with a shrinkage of 4.5%. Unemployment is around 35%.

The main industries in Macedonia are the manufacture of clothes, textiles, office goods and vechiles. 57% of Macedonia’s exports are to the European Union with Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia & Montenegro, Russia, Ukraine and the US being their other main trading partners.

Macedonia Tourism

The unstable political and military situation in Macedonia and The Balkans over the last fifteen years has resulted in there being no measureable tourism to Macedonia. Though the overall situation has stabilised there is no prospect of this increasing significantly in the short term. Unexploded landmines are a threat in some areas if you stray off cleared pathways and roads. Please see also the euromost travel warnings page

Earthquakes In Macedonia

Macedonia and Skopje are in seismically area where earthquakes occur In July 2005 an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale occurred at Veles to the south of Skopje. The last serious quake was iIn July 1963 75% of the buildings in Skopje were destroyed during an eathquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. Small earth tremors are not uncommon.

Ethnic Unrest

In northern and western Macedonia there isa degree of ethic unrest some times involving armed militia or criminals. In Skopje similiar incidents may occur and n the last two years several small bomb explosions have occured. These attacks have been aimed at specific individuials and have been concentrated on the Bit Pazar and Cair areas. Please see also the euromost travel warnings page which iincludes links for the latest United Kingdom Government Travel Advice for this region.

Crime In Macedonia

Though Macedonia has its own ethnic issues attacks targetted on visitors are very rare. It is however advisable to stay well away of political demonstrations which can sometimes degenerate into violence.

Pick-pocketing and bag snatching in tourist areas can be a problem especially in the evenings and at night. These activities are often carried out by adults working with children or small gangs of children.

Emergency Medical Treatment In Macedonia

Macedonia has with the UK and some other EU countries a reciprocl agreement for emergency medical care. This emergency care is provided on payment of an adminstration fee which seemst to range from 50 to 120 Euros.

Taking Photographs !

Anyone taking photographs of Government buildings or military establishments without permission risks being arrested for spying. Euromost also suggests that visitors excercise similiar caution when taking photograpghs at or around airports

Travel Information Macedonia

Road Travel In Macedonia

You can drive in Macedonia with either a UK EU or International Driving Licence.  Driving in Macedonia is not advisable for the faint hearted and being a pedestrian is not much more fun.

Major roads are generlly well maintained but many minor and rural roads are in poor condition. Street lighting is poor and in some areas hardly noticeable. Local drivers can be aggressive and often oblivious to traffic regulations such as red traffic lights and speed limits. It is not uncommon to see driver in the right hand lane make a left turn or overtake by driving in oncoming traffic lanes.

In rural areas especially horse-drawn carts, livestock, and occasionally dead animals are common hazzards. In mountaineous areas roads may narrow very quickly, lack road markings and safety barriers. They can be dangerous at any time especially after dusk and in winter. Drivers throughout Macedonia are required to drive with side light and dipped headlights during the day.

Speed limits are generally in built up areas 50 KPH, outside built up areas and including dual carriage ways either 80 KPH or 100 KPH and on motorways 120 KPH

The drink-driving limit in Macedonia is 0.05 mg usually less than a glass of wine.

Road Travel In The Ukraine In The Winter

During the winter Macedonia suffers from severe weather conditions heavy snow and extremely cold temperatures – see the Skopje City Guide These conditions can occur between November and March. Motorists travelling in Estonia during the winter are advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out. They are also advised to carry mobile phones for use in an emergency along with emergency supplies of food and warm drinks especially if they are going on a long journey. Winter tyres / snow chains should be fitted to vehicles.

Road Travel From Macedonia To Kosovo

Occasionally the border post in this area are closed without any warning. At other times long delays in crosing the border can occur and vehicles may be thoroughly searched.

Road Travel From Macedonia To Serbia

The area between these two countrys is a military zone. Drivers must obtain ask the Macedonian Police for authority to enter it.

Advice For Pedestrians

Pedestrians throughout Macedonia even in towns and cities should be aware that crossing roads can be extremely dangerous as not all drivers stop at junctions (with or without lights) and can be oblivious to pedestrians crossing the roads at pedestrian crossing points.

Rail Travel In Macedonia

International train services operate between Skopje and Llubljana – Slovenia, Belgrade – Serbia and Thessaloniki – Greece. A new line from east to west railway is inder construction which connect Macedonia and Bulgaria. For information on rail services in Macedonia see the euromost international rail page.

Air Travel In Macedonia see the Skopje Airport Guide

 

 

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