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Montenegro factfile

14 October 2012
by eub2 -- last modified 14 October 2012

Basic facts about Montenegro which holds parliamentary elections Sunday to choose a government to lead the tiny Balkans nation during European Union entry talks amid an economic crisis.


GEOGRAPHY: Montenegro shares borders with Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Albania and has an Adriatic coastline less than 300 kilometres long.

LAND MASS: 13,812 square kilometres (5,333 square miles)

POPULATION: About 625,000, some 45 percent Montenegrins, 29 percent Serbs, 9 percent Bosnian Muslims and 5 percent Albanians.

CAPITAL: Podgorica

LANGUAGE: Montenegrin.

RELIGION: Mainly Orthodox Christian (72 percent) with 16 percent Muslims.

HISTORY AND POLITICAL SITUATION: After centuries of Byzantine and Ottoman domination, the principality of Montenegro is recognised as independent at the Berlin congress of 1878. After World War I, Montenegro is occupied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and thereafter becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to be renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

After World War II Montenegro becomes one of the constituent states of Josip Broz Tito's Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The six-republic federation survives until the bloody Balkan wars of the early 1990s, during which old Yugoslavia disintegrates. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) is formed, uniting Serbia and Montenegro.

Montenegro's then-president Milo Djukanovic breaks ranks with the regime of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in 1997 and begins advocating independence. After first forming a new loose union of Serbia and Montenegro, Montenegrins vote for independence in a referendum in May 2006. Parliament declares independence on June 3 that same year.

POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS: Montenegro is a parliamentary democracy. President Filip Vujanovic is the head of state while Prime Mister Igor Luksic heads the government. The Democratic Party of Socialists headed by Milo Djukanovic is the main force in the centre-left coalition government.

ECONOMY: GDP in 2011 was 3.234 billion euros according to the central bureau for statistics. GDP per capita was an estimated 5.211 euros.

Montenegro's main resources are tourism and agriculture. Foreign debt was 1.063 billion or 32.5 percent of GDP. Between January and September 2012 exports came to 245.3 million euros.

CURRENCY: The euro, since January 2003, although Montenegro is not counted officially as part of the eurozone.

ARMED FORCES: Montenegro has a professional army with 3,127 troops.


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