Macedonia

Macedonia is country of Europe located in east Europe.

Details

Official Name:Republic of Macedonia
Capital:Skopje
Total area:25 713 km2
GDP per capita:$10,718
Native Language:Macedonian
Government:Parliamentary republic
Population:2,058,539
Major Religion:Orthodox Christianity
Monetary Unit:Macedonian denar (MKD)

Macedonia, officially the Republic of Macedonia, is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. It became a member of the United Nations in 1993 but, as a result of a dispute with Greece over its name, it was admitted under the provisional reference of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, sometimes abbreviated as FYROM.

Economy

Ranked as the fourth 'best reformatory state' out of 178 countries ranked by the World Bank in 2009, Macedonia has undergone considerable economic reform since independence. The country has developed an open economy with trade accounting for more than 90% of GDP in recent years. Since 1996, Macedonia has witnessed steady, though slow, economic growth with GDP growing by 3.1% in 2005. This figure was projected to rise to an average of 5.2% in the 2006–2010 period. The government has proven successful in its efforts to combat inflation, with an inflation rate of only 3% in 2006 and 2% in 2007, and has implemented policies focused on attracting foreign investment and promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The current government introduced a flat tax system with the intention of making the country more attractive to foreign investment. The flat tax rate was 12% in 2007 and was further lowered to 10% in 2008.

Despite these reforms, as of 2005 Macedonia's unemployment rate was 37.2% and as of 2006 its poverty rate was 22%. Macedonia has one of the highest shares of people struggling financially, with 72% of its citizens stating that they could only manage on their household’s income ‘with difficulty’ or ‘with great difficulty', though Macedonia, along with Croatia, was the only country in the Western Balkans to not report an increase in this statistic. Corruption and a relatively ineffective legal system also act as significant restraints on successful economic development. Macedonia still has one of the lowest per capita GDPs in Europe. Furthermore, the country's grey market is estimated at close to 20% of GDP.