The Socialist Republic of Macedonia did not hesitate to follow the steps of Slovenia and Croatia and, two months after its rich neighbours from the north, Skopje proclaimed independence. The Macedonians, poorer than other republics, did not suffer from reprisals by the Yugoslav federal army. The secession process was observed with certain apathy by the national minorities present in Macedonia, above all the most important, the Albanians, almost a quarter of the total population.
How the Albanian population fits in is still one of the issues present on the Macedonian political agenda. During the Kosovo war there were even armed confrontations between Albanian militias and the Macedonian army. Albanian is now recognized as an official language in the territories where it is spoken, although decentralization is still a pending issue.
Macedonia’s other major problem on the international scene is the republic’s name. Greece’s refusal to accept that the new state is called like one of its provinces and uses symbols of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, which does not have anything to do with the current Slav republic, has delayed or prevented its membership of international organizations such as the European Union. All in all, the Macedonian society, economy and politics can still be considered to be in a phase of consolidation.
Tapineria, 10, 3r | 08002 Barcelona | Tel. +34 93 887 63 70
© 2017 Centre d'Estudis de Temes Contemporanis