Serbia

Infobox Country
native_name = Република Србија "Republika Srbija"
conventional_long_name = Republic of Serbia
common_name = Serbia|

p1 = Yugoslavia
flag_p1 = Flag_of_Serbia_and_Montenegro.pngs1 =
flag_s1 =|
demonym = Serbian








map_caption = map caption |region=Europe |


national_anthem = "Боже правде / Bože pravde" "Lord of Justice"
official_languages = Serbian
regional_languages = Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian,
Rusyn smallsup|1 Albanian smallsup|2
capital = Belgrade
latd=44 |latm=48 |latNS=N |longd=20 |longm=28 |longEW=E
largest_city = capital
government_type = Parliamentary republic
leader_title1 = President
leader_title2 = Prime Minister
leader_title3 = President of Parliament
leader_title4 = Supreme Court President
leader_name1 = Boris Tadić
leader_name2 = Mirko Cvetković
leader_name3 = Slavica Đukić Dejanović
leader_name4 = Vida Petrović-Škero
legislature = National Assembly
area_rank = 113th
area_magnitude = 1 E10
area_km2 = 88 361
area_sq_mi = 34 116
percent_water = 0.13
population_reconstruction = 10,159,046
population_estimate_year = 2008
population_census = 7,498,000smallsup|6
population_census_year = 2002
population_density_km2 = 115
population_density_sq_mi = 297
population_density_rank = 94th
GDP_PPP_year = 2007
GDP_PPP = $74.504 billioncite web|url=http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2008/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2004&ey=2008&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=942&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=53&pr.y=5|title=Report for Selected Countries and Subjects ] (IMF)
GDP_PPP_rank =
GDP_PPP_per_capita = $10,071 (excluding Kosovo)
GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank =
GDP_nominal_year = 2007
GDP_nominal = $39.854 billion (IMF)
GDP_Nominal_rank = 73rd
GDP_nominal_per_capita = $5,387 (excluding Kosovo)
GDP_Nominal_per_capita_rank = 76th
Gini = .24
Gini_year = 2007
Gini_category = low
sovereignty_type = Establishment
established_event1 = First state
established_event2 = First Kingdom
established_event3 = Serbian Empire
established_event4 = Independence lost
established_event5 = Serbian revolution
established_event6 = "De facto" independence
established_event7 = "De jure" independence
established_event8 = Unification
established_date1 = 7th century
established_date2 = 1077smallsup|3
established_date3 = 1345
established_date4 = 1540smallsup|4 [tributary state of Hungary] [ [http://www.zvrk.co.yu/Mskola/Istorija/srpskaistorija/srpskadespotovina/03.htm 03 ] ] [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=ANdbpi1WAIQC&pg=PA391&lpg=PA391&dq=serbian+despotate+in+hungary&source=web&ots=tPM9rVBZAL&sig=oM5DGxSEYhBSeuh3pcF2q0pJiWE&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result#PPA400,M1 East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500 By Jean W. Sedlar] ]
established_date5 = 15 February 1804smallsup|5
established_date6 = 25 March 1867
established_date7 = 13 July 1878
established_date8 = 25 November 1918
currency = Serbian dinarsmallsup|7
currency_code = RSD
country_code = RS
time_zone = CET
utc_offset = +1
time_zone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
cctld = .rs (.yu)smallsup|8
calling_code = 381
ISO_3166-1_alpha2 = RS
ISO_3166-1_alpha3 = SRB
ISO_3166-1_num = 688
alt_sport_code = SRB
vehicle_code = SRB
footnotes = 1 All spoken in Vojvodina.
2 Spoken in Kosovo and Metohija.
3 Succeeded by the "Kingdom of Raška" (1217)
4 Last Serb duchies, Hungarian vasaals, annexed to Ottoman Empire
5 Statehood Day
6 Excluding Kosovo and Metohija
7 The Euro is used in KiM alongside the Dinar.
8 .rs became active in September 2007. Suffix .yu
will exist until September 2009.

Serbia Audio-IPA|en-us-Serbia.ogg| [ˈsɝbiə] ( _sr. Србија, "Srbija"), officially the Republic of Serbia ( _sr. Република Србија, "Republika Srbija"), is a landlocked country in Central and Southeastern Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central part of the Balkans. Serbia is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia and Albaniahttp://www.unmikonline.org/press/reports/N9917289.pdf] to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the west. The capital is Belgrade.

For centuries, located at, and shaped by, the cultural boundaries between the East and the West, a powerful medieval kingdom – later renamed the Serbian Empire [not to be confused with the shortlasting Serbian Empire of Jovan Nenad] – occupied much of the Balkans. The Serbian state disappeared by the mid-16th century, torn by domestic feuds, Ottoman-, Venetian-, Hungarian- and later, Austrian occupations. The success of the Serbian revolution in 1817 marked the birth of modern Serbia, centered in the Šumadija region. Within a century it reacquired Kosovo and Metohija, Raška region and Vardar Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire. Likewise, in 1918 the former autonomous Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina proclaimed its secession from Austria-Hungary to unite with the Serbia, preceded by the Syrmia region.

The current borders of the country were established after World War II, when Serbia became a federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Serbia became an independent state again in 2006, after Montenegro left the Serbia and Montenegro union which had been the last fragment of the former Yugoslavia remaining in the 21st century following the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

In February 2008, the parliament of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. Serbia's government, as well as the UN Security Council, have not recognized Kosovo's independence. The response from the international community has been mixed. Presently, Kosovo is recognised by Kosovorecognition UN states, opposed by 144 UN states which do not. On October 8th 2008, the majority of the UN states backed Serbia in its judicial move on Kosovo, aimed at determining whether the secession was legal. [http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE49780C20081008]

Serbia is a member of the United Nations [http://www.un.org/members/notes/fry.htm] [http://www.un.org/members/list.shtml#s] member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Council of Europe. It is also a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and a militarily neutral country. [http://www.becei.org/evropski%20forumi%20u%20pdf-u/Evropski_forum_No._4,_2008.pdf]

Geography

Serbia is at the crossroads between Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, between the Balkan peninsula and the Pannonian plain. The country is intersected by several major navigable rivers: the Danube (2850km), Sava (945 km), Tisa (1358km), joined by the Timiş River (350 km) and Begej (254 km), all of which connect Serbia with "Northern" and "Western Europe" (through the Rhine-Main-Danube CanalNorth Sea route), to "Eastern Europe" (via the Tisa–, Timiş–, Begej – and Danube – Black sea routes) and to "Southern Europe" (via the Sava river). Two largest Serbian cities- Belgrade [Belgrade has a harbour on Sava as well] and Novi Sad- are major regional Danubian harbours. The northern third of the country is located entirely within the Central European Pannonian plain. The easternmost tip of Serbia extends into the Wallachian Plain. The north eastern border of the country is determined by the Carpathian Mountain range, [ [http://www.carpathians.pl/carpathians01.html ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS - Carpathian Heritage Society ] ] which runs through the whole of Central Europe. The Southern Carpathians meet the Balkan Mountains, following the course of the Velika Morava, a 500 km long (partially navigable) river. The Midžor peak is the highest point in eastern Serbia at 2156 m. In the southeast, the Balkan Mountains meet the Rhodope Mountains, connecting the country with Greece. The Šar Mountains of Kosovo form the border with Albania, with one of the highest peaks in the region, Djeravica (2656 m). Dinaric Alps of Serbia follow the flow of the Drina river (at 350 km navigable for smaller vessels only) overlooking the Dinaric peaks on the opposite shore in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Over a quarter of Serbia's overall landmass (27%) is covered by forest. [cite web |url=http://www.ptica.org/engl/birds/serbia.htm |title=Finding birds in Serbia |accessdate= |year=2005 |publisher=League for the Ornithological Action of Serbia ]

Climate

The Serbian climate varies between a continental climate in the north, with cold winters, and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall patterns, and a more Adriatic climate in the south with hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy inland snowfall. Differences in elevation, proximity to the Adriatic sea and large river basins, as well as exposure to the winds account for climate differences. [cite web |url=http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-92892/Serbia |title=Serbia :: Climate |accessdate= |year=2007 |publisher=Encyclopedia Britannica Online |pages=p.5 of 71 ]
Vojvodina possesses typical continental climate, with air masses from Northern and Western Europe which shape its climatic profile. South and South-west Serbia is subject to Mediterranean influences. However the Dinaric Alps and other mountain ranges contribute to the cooling down of most of the warm air masses. Winters are quite harsh in Sandžak because of the mountains which encircle the plateau. [Radovanović, M and Dučić, V, 2002, [http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002EGSGA..27.2283R Variability of Climate in Serbia in the Second Half of the 20th century] , EGS XXVII General Assembly, Nice, 21 April to 26 April 2002, abstract #2283, 27:2283–, provided by the Smithsonian / NASA Astrophysics Data System]

The verage annual air temperature for the period 1961–90 for the area with an altitude of up to 300m is 10.9 °C. The areas with an altitude of 300m to 500m have an average annual temperature of around 10.0 °C, and over 1000 m of altitude around 6.0 °C.cite web |url=http://www.hidmet.sr.gov.yu/eng/meteorologija/klimatologija_srbije.php |title=Basic Climate Characteristics for the Territory of Serbia |accessdate= |publisher=Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia ]

National parks

Serbia has 5 national parks:
*Fruška Gora (250 km²)
*Kopaonik (120 km²)
*Tara (220 km²)
*Đerdap (640 km²)
*Šar Mountains (390 km²)

History

Early history

Serbia's strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by many peoples. Greeks have colonized its south in 4th century B.C.; the northernmost point of the empire of Alexander the Great beeing the town of Kale. [ [http://www.blic.co.yu/kultura.php?id=53049 Blic Online | Kultura | Najseverniji grad Aleksandrovog carstva] ] Prehistoric capital of Europe, [ [http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-30447520071112?pageNumber=1 Prehistoric women had passion for fashion | World | Reuters] ] Belgrade alone is believed to have been torn by 140 wars since Roman times. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/holiday_type/music_and_travel/article4385812.ece Serbia shines for the EXIT festival ] ] The northern Serbian city of Sirmium ("Sremska Mitrovica") was among the top 4 cities of the late Roman Empire, serving as its capital during the Tetrarchy. [ [http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=14662 Hrčak - Scrinia Slavonica, Vol.2 No.1 Listopad 2002] ] Contemporary Serbia comprises the classical regions of Moesia, Pannonia, parts of Dalmatia, Dacia and Macedonia. [Macedonia (region)] Around the 6th century, Slavs appeared on Byzantine borders in great numbers. [ [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/mango.html Cyril Mango. Byzantium: The Empire of New Rome. Scribner's, 1980.] ] Under nominal Serbian rule since the 7th century (having been allowed to settle in Byzantium by its emperor Heraclius after their victory over the Avars), [cite web |url=http://www.rastko.org.yu/rastko-bl/istorija/corovic/istorija/1_3_l.html |title=Istorija srpskog naroda: Sloveni naseljavaju Balkan |accessdate= |author=Vladimir Corovic |publisher=Projekat Rastko: Biblioteka srpske kulture |language=Serbian] through early history various parts of the territory of modern Serbia have been colonized, claimed or ruled by: the Greeks and Romans (conquered the indigenous Celts and Illyrians); the Western- and the Eastern Roman Empires (challenged by the incursions of the Huns, the Ostrogoths, the Sarmatians, the Avars, the Serbs, the Frankish Kingdom, the Great Moravia, the Bulgarians and finally, the Hungarians). No less than 17 Roman Emperors were born in the land that is now Serbia. [cite web |url=http://brendovisrbije.com/vesti/ave-srbijo.html |title=Ave, Srbijo! |accessdate= |author=Aleksandra Krsmanović |publisher=Brendovi Srbije |language=Serbian]

Medieval Serb kingdoms and the Serbian Empire

Following their settlement in the Balkans around 630 A.D. Serbs were ruled by the descendants of the Unknown Archont; its three related medieval dynasties follow a continuous bloodline all the way to the 1400s A.D.

At first heavily dependent on the Byzantine Empire as its vassal, under the Višeslav-Vlastimirović dynasty- Raška ("Rascia")- gained independence by expulsion of the Byzantine troops and heavy defeat of the Bulgarian army (847-850). Official adoption of Christianity soon followed (under Prince Mutimir Vlastimirović). [ [http://www.srpsko-nasledje.co.yu/sr-l/1998/03/article-06.html Srpsko Nasledje] ] First dynasty died out in 960 A.D. with the death of Prince Časlav, who managed to unify all the Serb populated lands, centered between contemporary South Serbia and Montenegro, almost all of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the coastal south of Croatia. [http://www.snaga.org.yu/Ilustrovana_istorija_srba/tekst/engleski/01/01-06-doseljavanje-slovena.html] The wars of succession for the Serb throne led to incorporation into the Byzantine Empire (971).

An uprising in Duklja around 1040 overthrew Byzantine rule and assumed domination over the Serbian lands between 11-12th centuries under the 2nd dynasty of Vojislavljević (descendants of the 1st dynasty). In 1077 A.D. Duklja became the first Serb Kingdom (under Michael I- "ruler of Tribals and Serbs"), [ [http://www.njegos.org/medieval/mihailo.htm Fresco of King Mihailo] ] following the establishment of the catholic Bisphoric of Bar. With the recuperation and rise of Raška from late 12th century onwards, however, the centre of the Serb world (Raska, Duklja, Travunia, Zahumlje, Pagania and Bosnia) has again moved northwards, further from the Adriatic coast. Although fully converted to Christianity as early as 865 AD, [cite web |url=http://www.njegos.org/medieval/zeta.htm |title=Serb Medieval State of Zeta |accessdate= |author=Encyclopaedia Britannica |date= |publisher=Serb Land of Montenegro ] [cite web |url=http://www.snaga.org.yu/ilustrovana_istorija_srba/tekst/engleski/01/01-06-doseljavanje-slovena.html |title=The Arrival of Slavs, the Adoption of Christianity and the Serbian State of Stefan Nemanja |accessdate= |year=1999 |publisher=Snaga ] this relocation to the north and east also meant a shift towards the Eastern Orthodox rather than the Catholic faith (initially predominant in the south following the East-West Schism). By the beginning of the 14th century Serbs lived in four distinctly independent kingdoms- Dioclea, Rascia, Bosnia and Syrmia. [cite web |url=http://www.njegos.org/medieval/mihailo.htm |title=Fresco of King Mihailo |accessdate= |publisher=Serb Land of Montenegro ] [cite web |url=http://www.serbianunity.net/culture/history/Serb_History/nemanjici.html |title=Serbian Medieval History |accessdate= |year=2006 |publisher=Serbian Unity Congress ] [cite web |url=http://www.rastko.org.yu/rastko-bo/istorija/srednjivek/nserovic-tvrtko_l.html |title=Stefan Tvrtko I Kotromanić |accessdate= |author=Nenad Šerović |publisher=Projekat Rastko: Biblioteka srpske kulture |language=Serbian]

The House of Nemanjić, descendants of the kings of Duklja, have moved from Duklja to Raška, signaling this shift towards continental Serbia in the late 12th century. Direct result of this was the establishment of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1217, which rivalled the Catholic Bisphoric of Bar. The Serbian apogee in economy, law, military matters, and religion ensued; the Serbian Kingdom of Raška was proclaimed in 1219, joined later by the Kingdom of Syrmia, Banovina of Mačva and Bosnia; finally, the Serbian Empire under Stefan Dušan was formed in 1346. Under Dušan's rule, Serbia reached its territorial peak, becoming one of the larger states in Europe, portraying itself as the heir of the run-down Byzantine Empire. The renowned Dušan's Code, a universal system of laws, was enforced. The Serbian identity has been profoundly shaped by the rule of this dynasty and its accomplishments, with Serbian Orthodox Church assuming the role of the national spiritual guardian.

As a result of internal struggle between rival noble families, and heavy losses inflicted by the Ottomans in the epic Battle of Kosovo, the Serbian Empire had dissolved into many statelets by the beginning of the 15th century. Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, constant struggles took place between various Serbian kingdoms on the one hand, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. The turning point was the fall of Constantinople and its last emperor (of Serbo-Greek ethnicity) [http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/List-of-Serbs] Constantine XI, to the Turks. The Serbian Despotate fell in 1459 following the siege of the "temporary" capital Smederevo, followed by Bosnia a few years later, and Herzegovina in 1482. Montenegro was overrun by 1499. Belgrade was the last major Balkan city to endure Ottoman onslaughts, when it joined the Catholic Kingdom of Hungary. Serbs, Hungarians and European crusaders heavily defeated the Turkish in the Siege of Belgrade of 1456. Several Serbian despots ruled in parts of Vojvodina as vassals of the Hungarian kings with the title of Hungarian barons.After repelling Ottoman attacks for over 70 years, Belgrade finally fell in 1521, along with the greater part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Forceful conversion to Islam became imminent, especially in the southwest (Raška, Kosovo and Bosnia). Republic of Venice grew stronger in importance, gradually taking over the coastal areas.

Ottoman and Austrian rule

The Early modern period saw the loss of Serbia's independence to the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, interrupted briefly by the revolutionary state of the Emperor Jovan Nenad in the 16th century. Modern times witnessed the rise of the Habsburg Monarchy (known as the Austrian Empire, later Austria-Hungary), which fought many wars against the Ottoman Turks for supremacy over Serbia. Three Austrian invasions and numerous rebellions (such as the Banat Uprising) constantly challenged Ottoman rule. Vojvodina endured a century long Ottoman occupation before being ceded to the Habsburg Empire in the 17th-18th centuries under the terms of the Treaty of Karlowitz ("Sremski Karlovci"). As the Great Serb Migrations depopulated most of Kosovo and Serbia proper, the Serbs sought refuge in more prosperous (and Christian) North and West were granted imperial rights by the Austrian crown (under measures such as the "Statuta Wallachorum" in 1630). The Ottoman persecutions ofChristians culminated in the abolition and plunder of the Patriarchate of Peć in 1766. [ [http://www.rastko.org.yu/kosovo/crucified/cr_heritage.html Crucified Kosovo: Ljubisa Folic: Crucified Heritage ] ] As Ottoman rule in the South grew ever more brutal, the
Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I formally granted the Serbs the right to their autonomous crown land, speeding up their migrations into Austria.

The Serbian Revolution and independence (Principality of Serbia)

The quest for independence of Serbia began during the Serbian national revolution (1804-1817), and it lasted for several decades. During the First Serbian Uprising led by Karađorđe Petrović, Serbia was independent for almost a decade before the Ottoman army was able to reoccupy the country. Shortly after this, the Second Serbian Uprising began. Led by Miloš Obrenović, it ended in 1815 with a compromise between the Serbian revolutionary army and the Ottoman authorities. The famous German historian Leopold von Ranke published his book "The Serbian revolution" (1829). [ English translation: Leopold Ranke, A History of Servia and the Servian Revolution. Translated from the German by Mrs Alexander Kerr (London: John Murray, 1847)] They were the easternmost bourgeois revolutions in the 19th-century world. [ [http://www.royalfamily.org/ustanak/USTANAK_ENG.htm 200 godina ustanka ] ] Likewise, Principality of Serbia abolished feudalism- second in Europe after France. [cite web |url=http://www.nbs.bg.ac.yu/view_file.php?file_id=57 |title=Bibliotekarstvo i menadžment: Moguća paralela |accessdate= |author=Gordana Stokić |month=January | year=2003 |format=PDF |publisher=Narodna biblioteka Srbije |language=Serbian] The Convention of Ackerman (1828), the Treaty of Adrianople (1829) and finally, the Hatt-i Sharif of 1830, recognised the suzerainty of Serbia with Miloš Obrenović I as its hereditary Prince. [ [http://www.rastko.org.yu/rastko-bl/istorija/corovic/istorija/7_8.html Vladimir Corovic: Istorija srpskog naroda ] ] [L. S. Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453 (London: Hurst and Co., 2000), p. 248-250.] The struggle for liberty, a more modern society and a nation-state in Serbia won a victory under first constitution in the Balkans on 15 February 1835. It was replaced by a more conservative Constitution in 1838.

In the two following decades (temporarily ruled by the Karadjordjevic dynasty) the Principality actively supported the neighbouring Habsburg Serbs, especially during the 1848 revolutions. Interior minister Ilija Garašanin published "The Draft" (for South Slavic unification), which became the standpoint of Serbian foreign policy from the mid-19th century onwards. The government thus developed close ties with the Illyrian movement in Croatia-Slavonia (Austria-Hungary).

Following the clashes between the Ottoman army and civilians in Belgrade in 1862, and under pressure from the Great Powers, by 1867 the last Turkish soldiers left the Principality. By enacting a new constitution without consulting the Porte, Serbian diplomats confirmed the "de facto independence" of the country. In 1876, Montenegro and Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, proclaiming their unification with Bosnia. The formal independence of the country was internationally recognized at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, which formally ended the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78; this treaty, however, prohibited Serbia from uniting with Principality of Montenegro, and placed Bosnia and Raška region under Austro-Hungarian occupation to prevent unification. [cite web |url=http://www.royalfamily.org/ustanak/USTANAK_ENG.htm |title=The First Serbian Uprising |accessdate= |author=Čedomir Antić |year=1998 |publisher=The Royal Family of Serbia ]

Kingdom of Serbia

From 1815 to 1903, Serbia was ruled by the House of Obrenović (except from 1842 to 1858, when it was led by Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević). In 1882, Serbia, ruled by King Milan, was proclaimed a Kingdom. In 1903, the House of Karađorđević, (descendants of the revolutionary leader Đorđe Petrović) assumed power. Serbia was the only country in the region that was allowed by the Great Powers to be ruled its own domestic dynasty. During the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), the Kingdom of Serbia tripled its territory by acquiring part of Macedonia, [ [http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/PartitionedMacedonia/BalkanWars.html The Balkan Wars and the Partition of Macedonia ] ] Kosovo, and parts of Serbia proper.

As for Vojvodina, during the 1848 revolution in Austria, Serbs of Vojvodina with the help of Croatia-Slavonia established an autonomous region known as Serbian Vojvodina. As of 1849, the region was transformed into a new Austrian crown land known as the Serbian Voivodship and Tamiš Banat. Although abolished in 1860, Habsburg emperors claimed the title Großwoiwode der Woiwodschaft Serbien until the end of the monarchy and the creation of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918.

World War I and the birth of Yugoslavia

On 28 June 1914 the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina by Gavrilo Princip (a Yugoslav unionist member of Young Bosnia) and an Austrian citizen, led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Kingdom of Serbia. In defense of its ally Serbia, Russia started to mobilize its troops , which resulted in Austria-Hungary's ally Germany declaring war on Russia. The retaliation by Austria-Hungary against Serbia activated a series of military alliances that set off a chain reaction of war declarations across the continent, leading to the outbreak of World War I within a month.

The Serbian Army won several major victories against Austria-Hungary at the beginning of World War I, such as the "Battle of Cer" and "Battle of Kolubara" - marking the first Allied victories against the Central Powers in WWI. [cite web |url=http://www.mfa.gov.yu/Bilteni/Engleski/b230804_e.html |title=Daily Survey |accessdate= |date=23 August 2004 |publisher=The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia ] Despite initial success it was eventually overpowered by the joint forces of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria in 1915. Most of its army and some people went into exile to Greece and Corfu where they recovered, regrouped and returned to Macedonian front (World War I) to lead a final breakthrough through enemy lines on 15 September 1918, freeing Serbia again and defeating Austro-Hungarian Empire and Bulgaria. [cite web |url=http://www.archives.org.yu/ |title=Arhiv Srbije - osnovan 1900. godine |accessdate= |language=Serbian] Serbia (with its major campaign) was a major Balkan Entente Power [ [http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/bulgariaatwar_radoslavov.htm First World War.com - Primary Documents - Vasil Radoslavov on Bulgaria's Entry into the War, 11 October 1915 ] ] which contributed significantly to the Allied victory in the Balkans in November 1918, especially by enforcing Bulgarias capitulation with the aid of France. [ [http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Tema-nedelje/Najvecha-srpska-pobeda/Front-koji-za-saveznike-nije-bio-bitan.sr.html ТоПа нодољо : Đ?Đ°Ń˜Đ˛ĐľŃ›Đ° Ń Ń€ĐżŃ ĐşĐ° пОйода : ФрОнт ĐşĐžŃ˜Đ¸ Са Ń Đ°Đ˛ĐľĐˇĐ˝Đ¸ĐşĐľ Đ˝Đ¸Ń˜Đľ йиО йитан : Đ&#x;ĐžĐ›Đ˜Đ˘Đ˜ĐšĐ?] ] The country was militarilly classified as a "minor Entente power". [ [http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/minorpowers_serbia.htm The Minor Powers During World War One - Serbia] ] Serbia was also among the main contributors to the capitulation of Austria-Hungary in Central Europe.

Casualties

Prior to the war, the Kingdom of Serbia had 4.5 million inhabitants. [ [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWinSerbia.htm Serbia in 1914] ] According to the New York Times, in 1915 alone 150,000 people are estimated to have died during the worst typhus epidemics in world history. With the aid of the American Red Cross and 44 foreign governments, the outbreak was brought under control by the end of the year. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C07E5DA1239E333A2575AC2A9669D946496D6CF Tells of typhus in Serbia] ] The number of civilian deaths is estimated by some sources at 650,000, primarily due to the typhus outbreak and famine, but also direct clashes with the occupiers. [ [http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/minorpowers_serbia.htm The Minor Powers During World War One - Serbia] ] Serbia's casualties accounted for 8% of the "total" Entente military deaths or 58% of the regular Serbian Army (420,000 strong) has perished during the conflict. [ [http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-1/serbia/organization/1914/ Serbian army, August 1914] ] The total number of casualties is placed around 1,000,000 [ [http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Tema-nedelje/Najvecha-srpska-pobeda/Sudnji-rat.lt.html Tema nedelje : Najveća srpska pobeda : Sudnji rat : POLITIKA] ] -> 25% of Serbia's prewar size, and an absolute majority (57%) of its overall male population. [ [http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Tema-nedelje/Najvecha-srpska-pobeda/Svi-srpski-trijumfi.sr.html ТоПа нодољо : Đ?Đ°Ń˜Đ˛ĐľŃ›Đ° Ń Ń€ĐżŃ ĐşĐ° пОйода : Хви Ń Ń€ĐżŃ ĐşĐ¸ Ń‚Ń€Đ¸Ń˜ŃƒĐźŃ„Đ¸ : Đ&#x;ĐžĐ›Đ˜Đ˘Đ˜ĐšĐ?] ] "L.A.Times" and "N.Y.Times" also cited over 1,000,000 victims in their respective articles. [ [http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/337249982.html?dids=337249982:337249982&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&date=Jun+30%2C+1918&author=PIERRE+LOTI.+Special+Contributor+to+%22The+Times.%22&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&desc=FOURTH+OF+SERBIA'S+POPULATION+DEAD.&pqatl=google Fourth of Serbia's population dead.] ] [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9A06E5D81E3FE433A25756C0A9629C946996D6CF Asserts Serbians face extinction] ]

The extent of the Serbian demographic disaster can be illustrated by the statement of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Vasil Radoslavov: "Serbia ceased to exist" ("New York Times", summer 1917). [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=990CEFDC113BEE3ABC4D53DFB7678383609EDE&oref=slogin Serbia restored] ] In July 1918 the US Secretary of State Robert Lansing urged the Americans of all religions to pray for Serbia in their respective churches. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9F02E7D7143EE433A2575BC2A9619C946996D6CF&oref=slogin] dead link|date=September 2008] [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9406E4D8143EE433A25754C2A9619C946996D6CF]

Kingdom of Yugoslavia ("First Yugoslavia")

*Syrmia region was the first among former Habsburg lands to declare union with the Kingdom of Serbia on 24 November 1918.
*Banat, Bačka and Baranja- ("Vojvodina")- joined the Kingdom on the next day.
**On 26 November 1918, the Podgorica Assembly deposes the House of Petrovic-Njegos of the Kingdom of Montenegro, opting for the Karadjordjevic dynasty (the ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Serbia), "de facto" unifying the two states.
***Bosnia and Herzegovina declares its unification with Belgrade
****On 1 December 1918, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbia joined the unitary Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Kingdom of Yugoslavia). King Peter I of Serbia became King Peter I of Yugoslavia.

World War II

Invasion of Yugoslavia

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was in a precarious position in World War II. Fearing an invasion by Nazi Germany, the Yugoslav Regent, Prince Paul, signed the Tripartite Pact with the Axis powers on 25 March 1941, triggering massive demonstrations in Belgrade. On 27 March, Prince Paul was overthrown by a military coup d'état (with British support) and replaced by the 17-year-old King Peter II. General Dušan Simović became Peter's Prime Minister and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia withdrew its support for the Axis.

In response to this Adolf Hitler launched an invasion of Yugoslavia on 6 April. By 17 April, unconditional surrender was signed in Belgrade. After the invasion, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was dissolved and, with Yugoslavia partitioned, the remaining portion of Serbia became part of the Military Administration of Serbia, under a joint German-Serb government, with military power controlled by the German armed forces, while a Serb civil government led by Milan Nedić was permitted to try to draw Serbs away from their opposition to the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia.

Not all of what is present-day Serbia was included as part of the military administration. Some of the contemporary Republic of Serbia was occupied by the Independent State of Croatia, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, the Fascist Italy's Balkan protectorates, the Albanian Kingdom and the Kingdom of Montenegro. In addition to being occupied by the ("Wehrmacht"), from 1941 to 1945, Serbia was the scene of a civil war between Royalist Chetniks commanded by Draža Mihailović and Communist Partisans commanded by Josip Broz Tito. Against these forces were arrayed Nedić's units of the Serbian Volunteer Corps and Serbian State Guard.

Genocide of Serbs by the Ustaše regime in Croatia

Serbia's society was profoundly affected by the events that took place during World War II, especially in the neighboring Independent State of Croatia ("Nezavisna Država Hrvatska", NDH), an Axis puppet state which controlled what is modern-day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and parts of modern-day Serbia. The regime selected to led the puppet state was the Croatian ultranationalist and fascist "Ustaše" movement. The Ustase promised to purge the state of Serbs, Jews, and Roma who were subject to large-scale persecution and genocide, most notoriously at the Jasenovac concentration camp. [ [http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005449 Jasenovac] USHMM Holocaust Encyclopedia. Accessed 2008-08-10.] The Jewish Virtual Library estimates that between formatnum:45000 and formatnum:52000 Serbs were killed at Jasenovac and between formatnum:330000 and formatnum:390000 Serbs were victims of the entire genocide campaign. [ [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Jasenovac.html Jasenovac] Jewish Virtual Library. Accessed 2008-08-10.] The estimated number of Serbian children who died is between 35,000 and 50,000. The Yad Vashem center reports that over formatnum:600000 Serbs were killed overall in the NDH, [http://www1.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%205930.pdf] with some formatnum:500000 people of many nationalities and ethnicities murdered in one camp Jasenovac. [http://www1.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%206358.pdf] After the war, official Yugoslav sources estimated over formatnum:700000 victims, mostly Serbs. Misha Glenny suggests that the numbers of Serbs killed in the genocide was more than 400,000. [Glenny, Misha. Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-1999. New York, USA: Penguin Books, 2001. Pp. 431USTASHE. "With the financial assistance of Italian government, Pavelic set about the construction of two main training camps, one in Hungary, one in Italy..." ]

The atrocities that took place in Croatia against Serbs has led to a deep sense of antagonism by Serbs towards Croats, whose relations between each other had already been historically tense, but the war deeply aggravated this division. A number of governments have attempted to lessen. Reconciliation between the two peoples was attempted under Joseph Broz Tito's policy of Brotherhood and Unity. To a degree this succeeded, as during the Tito-era, intermarriages between Serbs and Croats increased, but this effort was destroyed with the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s as rival Croat and Serb nationalism promoted xenophobia towards each other. The most recent attempt was made at the commemoration to the Serb casualties of the Jasenovic concentration camp in April 2003, when the Croatian president Stjepan Mesić apologized on behalf of Croatia to the victims of Jasenovac. [ [http://www.religioustolerance.org/genocide2.htm/ Mass crimes against humanity and genocides: A list of atrocities from 1450 CE until the end of World War II] ] In 2006, on the same occasion, he added that to every visitor to Jasenovac it must be clear that the "Holocaust, genocide and war crimes" took place there. [ [http://vijesti.hrt.hr/ShowArticles.aspx?ArticleId=9465 Commemoration held for victims of Jasenovac death camp] ]

ocialist Yugoslavia ("Second Yugoslavia")

On 29 November 1945, the constitutional assembly established by the Yugoslav Communist party proclaimed the abolition of the Serbian-led monarchy of Yugoslavia [ [http://www.danas.co.yu/20031209/dijalog1.html Danas ] ] - and the royal family was banned from returning to the country. [ [http://www.beograd.org.yu/cms/view.php?id=1239 Grad Beograd - Važne godine u istoriji grada ] ] [ [http://www.politika.co.yu/rubrike/Tema-nedelje/Srbija-u-ustavima/t8829.lt.html Tema nedelje : Srbija u ustavima : Kardeljeve norme : POLITIKA ] ] A communist regime was established under a dictatorship led by Yugoslavia's Communist Party leader Joseph Broz Tito. Tito, who was of Croat- Slovene [ [http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/kbank/profiles/tito/ CNN Cold War - Profile: Josip Broz Tito] ] descent personally sought inter-ethnic unity in the aftermath of the violent division of the country in World War II through a policy called Brotherhood and Unity which sponsored cooperation between the peoples and promoted a united Yugoslav identity over existing ethnic or religious identities, repressed nationalists of any nationality, and forced the different peoples to work with each other to solve their differences. This would become highly controversial in Serbia in the latter years of Tito's rule. Serbia was one of 6 federal units of the state, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ("Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija", or SFRJ). Over time Serbia's influence began to wane as reforms demanded by the other republics demanded decentralization of power to allow them to have an equal sayFact|date=September 2008 as they claimed that the centralized system had allowed Serb hegemonyFact|date=September 2008. This began with the creation of the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina which initially held modest powers. However reforms in 1974 made drastic changes, giving the autonomous provinces nearly equal powers to the republics, in which the Serbian parliament held no control over the political affairs of the two provinces, and technically only held power over Central Serbia. Many Serbs, including those in the Yugoslav Communist party, resented the powers held by the autonomous provinces. At the same time, a number of Kosovo ethnic Albanians in the 1980s began to demand that Kosovo be granted the right to be a republic within Yugoslavia, thus giving it the right to separate, a right which it did not have as an autonomous province. The ethnic tensions between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo would eventually have a major influence in the collapse of the SFRY.

Milošević era, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the Kosovo War


Slobodan Milošević rose to power in Serbia in 1989 in the League of Communists of Serbia through a serious of coups against incumbent governing members. Milošević promised reduction of powers for the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. This ignited tensions with the communist leadership of the other republics that eventually resulted in the secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, and Slovenia from Yugoslavia.

Multiparty democracy was introduced in Serbia in 1990, officially dismantling the former one-party communist system. Critics of the Milošević government claimed that the Serbian government continued to be authoritarian despite constitutional changes as Milošević maintained strong personal influence over Serbia's state media. [http://hague.bard.edu/reports/de_la_brosse_pt1.pdf] [ "Wide Angle, Milosevic and the Media." "Part 3: Dictatorship on the Airwaves." PBS. [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/media-by-milosevic/video-full-episode/852/] Quotation from film: "...the things that happened at state TV, warmongering, things we can admit to now: false information, biased reporting. That went directly from Milošević to the head of TV".] Milošević issued media blackouts of independent media stations' coverage of protests against his government and restricted freedom of speech through reforms to the Serbian Penal Code which issued criminal sentences on anyone who "ridiculed" the government and its leaders, resulting in many people being arrested who opposed Milošević and his government. ["Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina". "International Centre Against Censorship." Article 19, May 1994. Avon, United Kingdom: The Bath Press. Pp. 59]

The period of political turmoil and conflict marked a rise in ethnic tensions and xenophobia between Serbs and other ethnicities of the former Communist Yugoslavia as territorial claims of the different ethnic factions often crossed into each others' claimed territories. [Baumgartl, Bernd; Favell, Adam. 1995. New Xenophobia in Europe. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Pp. 52] Serbs who had criticized the nationalist atmosphere, the Serbian government, or the Serb political entities in Bosnia and Croatia were reported to be harassed, threatened, or killed by nationalist Serbs. [Gagnon, Valère Philip. 2004. "The Myth of Ethnic War: Serbia and Croatia in the 1990s." Cornell University Press. Pp. 5]

In 1992, the governments of Serbia and Montenegro agreed to the creation of a new Yugoslav federation called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which abandoned the predacessor SFRY's official endorsement of communism, but instead endorsed democracy.

In response to accusations that the Yugoslav government was financially and militarily supporting the Serb military forces in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia, sanctions were imposed by the United Nations, during the 1990s, which led to political isolation, economic decline and hardship, and serious hyperinflation of currency in Yugoslavia.

Milošević represented the Bosnian Serbs at the Dayton peace agreement in 1995, signing the agreement which ended the Bosnian War that internally partitioned Bosnia & Herzegovina largely along ethnic lines into a Serb republic and a Bosniak-Croat federation.

When the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia refused to accept municipal election results in 1997 which resulted in defeat in municipal municipalties, Serbians engaged in large protests against the Serbian government, government forces held back the protesters.

Reports and accusations of war crimes being committed by Yugoslav and Serbian security forces led to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launching "Operation Allied Force", bombing Yugoslavia for 78 days in order to stop Yugoslav military operations in Kosovo. The bombing ends with the agreement which upheld Yugoslav (and later Serbian) sovereignty over Kosovo but replaced Serbian government of the province with a UN administration, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). [cite web |url=http://www.commondreams.org/views/031400-107.htm |title=Another Way For Kosovo? |accessdate= |author=Noam Chomsky |date=14 March 2000 |publisher=Le Monde diplomatique ]

Fall of Milošević and post-Milošević political transition

In September 2000, opposition parties claimed that Milošević committed fraud in routine federal elections. Street protests and rallies throughout Serbia eventually forced Milošević to concede and hand over power to the recently formed Democratic Opposition of Serbia ("Demokratska opozicija Srbije", or DOS). The DOS was a broad coalition of anti-Milošević parties. On 5 October, the fall of Milošević led to end of the international isolation Serbia suffered during the Milošević years. Milošević was sent to the International Criminal Court on accusations of sponsoring war crimes and crimes against humanity during the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo which he was held on trial to until his death in 2006. With the fall of Milošević, Serbia's new leaders announced that Serbia would seek to join the European Union (EU). In October 2005, the EU opened negotiations with Serbia for a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), a preliminary step towards joining the EU.

Serbia's political climate since the fall of Milošević has remained tense. In 2003, Zoran Đinđić was assasinated by a Serb ultranationalist. Nationalist and EU-oriented political forces in Serbia have remained sharply divided on the political course of Serbia in regards to its relations with the European Union and the west.

From 2003 to 2006, Serbia has been part of the "State Union of Serbia and Montenegro." This union was the successor to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ). On 21 May 2006, Montenegro held a referendum to determine whether or not to end its union with Serbia. The next day, state-certified results showed 55.4% of voters in favor of independence. This was just above the 55% required by the referendum. [cite web |url=http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/05/22/montenegro.independence/ |title= Montenegro chooses independence |accessdate= |date=22 May 2006 |publisher=CNN International ]

Republic of Serbia

On 5 June 2006, following the referendum in Montenegro, the National Assembly of Serbia declared the "Republic of Serbia" to be the legal successor to the "State Union of Serbia and Montenegro." [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5083690.stm |title=Montenegro gets Serb recognition |accessdate= |date=15 June 2006 |publisher=BBC News ] Serbia and Montenegro became separate nations. However, the possibility of a dual citizenship for the Serbs of Montenegro is a matter of the ongoing negotiations between the two governments.In April 2008 Serbia was invited to join the intensified dialogue programme with NATO despite the diplomatic rift with the Alliance over Kosovo. [ [http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2008&mm=04&dd=03&nav_id=49084 B92 - News - Politics - NATO offers "intensified dialogue" to Serbia ] ]

Government and politics

On 4 February 2003 the parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia agreed to a weaker form of cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro within a confederal state called Serbia and Montenegro. The Union ceased to exist following Montenegrin and Serbian declarations of independence in June 2006.

After the ousting of Slobodan Milošević on 5 October 2000, the country was governed by the Democratic Opposition of Serbia. Tensions gradually increased within the coalition until the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) left the government, leaving the Democratic Party (DS) in overall control.

Serbia held a two-day referendum on 28 October and 29 October 2006, that ratified a new constitution to replace the Milošević-era constitution.The current President of Serbia is Boris Tadić, leader of the center-left Democratic Party (DS). He was reelected with 50.5% of the vote in the second round of the Serbian presidential election held on 4 February 2008.

Serbia held parliamentary elections on 21 May 2008. The coalition For a European Serbia led by DS claimed victory, but significantly short of an absolute majority. Following the negotiations with the leftist coalition centered around Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and parties of national minorities (those of Hungarians, Bosniaks and Albanians) an agreement was reached to make-up a new government, headed by Mirko Cvetković.

Present-day Serbian politics are fractious and extremely divided between liberal and European Union advocating parties, and anti-EU nationalist parties, the most controversial of which are ultranationalists who demand a national agenda to reintegrate all Serbs in neighbouring territorries and restore historically Serbian territories into one "Greater Serbia". Ultranationalist sentiment has become strong in Serbia since the Yugoslav wars. Other political issues include proposals to restore the Serbian monarchy whose family members have stated that they are interested in forming a constitutional monarchy in Serbia.

Administrative subdivisions

Serbia is divided into 24 districts plus the City of Belgrade. The districts and the City of Belgrade are further divided into municipalities. Serbia has 2 autonomous provinces: Vojvodina with (7 districts, 46 municipalities) and Kosovo and Metohija. Kosovo has declared independence but is still presently under the administration of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo; international negotiations began in 2006 to determine its final status ("See Kosovo status process"); Kosovo declared its independence on 17 February 2008, which Belgrade opposes.

The part of Serbia that is neither in Kosovo nor in Vojvodina is called Central Serbia. Central Serbia is not an administrative division, unlike the two autonomous provinces, and it has no regional government of its own. In English this region is often called "Serbia proper" to denote "the part of the Republic of Serbia not including the provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo", as the Library of Congress puts it. [cite web |url=http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/yugoslavia/yu_glos.html |title=Glossary -- Yugoslavia |accessdate= |author=Library of Congress |authorlink=Library of Congress ] This usage was also employed in Serbo-Croatian during the Yugoslav era (in the form of "uža Srbija", literally: "narrow Serbia"). Its use in English is purely geographical, without any particular political meaning being implied.

Demographics

*Serbia (Census 2002, excluding Kosovo): 7,498,001 [ [http://webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu/axd/Zip/VJN3.pdf Microsoft Word - Delovi_knjiga_III.doc ] ]
**Central Serbia: 5,466,009
**Vojvodina: 2,031,922

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Serbia is populated mostly by Serbs. Significant minorities include Hungarians, Bosniaks, Roma, Croats, Czechs and Slovaks, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Romanians, etc. The northern province of Vojvodina is ethnically and religiously diverse.

According to the last official censuscite web |url=http://www.statserb.sr.gov.yu/ |title=Statistical office of the Republic of Serbia |accessdate= |language=Serbian] data collected in 2002, ethnic composition of Serbia is:

*Total: 7,498,001
**Serbs: 6,212,000 (82.86%)
**Hungarians: 293,172 (3.91%)
**Bosniaks: 136,464 (1.82%)
**Roma: 107,971 (1.44%)
**Yugoslavs: 80,978 (1.08%)
**Croats: 70,602 (0.94%)
**Slovaks: 57,900 (0.89%)
**Others (each less than 1%): 474,323 (6.33%)

The census was not conducted in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo, which is under administration by the United Nations. According to the EU estimates however, the overall population is estimated at 1,350,000 inhabitants, of whom 90% are Albanians, 8% Serbs and others 2%.There are also around 200,000 Serbian and other refugees,who are expelled from Kosovo. Refugees and IDPs in Serbia form between 7% and 7.5% of its population – about half a million refugees sought refuge in the country following the series of Yugoslav wars (from Croatia mainly, to an extent Bosnia and Herzegovina too and the IDPs from Kosovo, which are the most numerous at over 200,000) [cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rb.html |title=Serbia |accessdate= |author=The World Factbook |authorlink=The World Factbook |publisher=Central Intelligence Agency ] Serbia has the largest refugee population in Europe. [cite web |url=http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2007&mm=10&dd=22&nav_id=44785 |title=Serbia's refugee population largest in Europe |accessdate= |accessmonthday= |author=Tanjug |authorlink=Tanjug |date=22 October 2007 |publisher=B92 ] On the other hand, it is estimated that 500,000 people have left Serbia during the '90s alone. [http://www.emportal.co.yu/en/news/serbia/61642.html] Significant amount of these people were college graduates.In January 2006 official estimates of Serbia´s population were placed at 7,395,000- a decline of 1,5% comparing to the previous Census (2002). [http://www.yusurvey.co.yu/products/ys/showSummaryArticle.php?prodId=2580&groupId=8279] This heavy depopulation trend leaves Serbia with the fourth oldest overall population on the planet, [http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/11763/] mostly due to heavy migration and low level of fertility, which is expected to continue in long terms.; Cities:

Officially recognized cities (over 100,000 on municipal level) — 2002 census data (2005/2006 data for Novi Sad/Belgrade). [cite web |url=http://www.zis.bg.gov.yu/upload/BeogradUBrojkama%202006%20S.pdf |title=Beograd u brojkama |accessdate= |year=2006 |format=PDF |publisher=City of Belgrade Institute for Informatics and Statistics |language= Serbian]

* Large cities in the contested province of Kosovo and Metohija like Priština, Prizren, Peć and Kosovska Mitrovica were not subjected to the 2002 Census.

Religion

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For centuries straddling the religious boundary between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, joined up later by the penetration of Islam, Serbia remains one of the most diverse countries on the continent. Centuries on, different regions of Serbia remain heavily cosmopolitan: Kosovo province houses a 90% Muslim community, Vojvodina province is 25% Catholic or Protestant, while Central Serbia and Belgrade regions are over 90% Orthodox Christian.Among the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Serbian Orthodox Church is the westernmost. According to the 2002 Census, 82% of the population of Serbia (excluding Kosovo) or 6,2 million people declared their nationality as Serbian, who are overwhelmingly adherents of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Other Orthodox Christian communities in Serbia include Montenegrins, Romanians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Vlachs etc. Together they comprise about 84% of the entire population.

Catholicism is mostly present in Vojvodina (mainly in its northern part), where almost 20% of the regional population (minority ethnic groups such as the Hungarians, Slovaks, Croats, Bunjevci, Czechs etc. belong to this Christian denomination. There are an estimated 433,000 baptized Catholics in Serbia, roughly 6,2% of the population, mostly in the northern province.

Protestantism accounts for about 1.5 % of the country's population.

Islam has a strong historic following in the southern regions of Serbia - Raska and several municipalities in the south-east. Bosniaks are the largest Muslim community in Serbia at about 140,000 (2%), followed by Albanians (1%), Turks, Arabs etc.

With the exile of Jews from Spain during the infamous Inquisition era, thousands of escaping families and individuals made their way through Europe to the Balkans. A goodly number settled in Serbia and became part of the general population. They were well accepted and during the ensuing generations the majority assimilated or became traditional or secular, rather than remain orthodox Jews as had been the original immigrants. Later on the wars that ravaged the region resulted in a great part of the Serbian Jewish population either being killed or escaping to YugoslaviaClarifyme|date=September 2008 and Austria-Hungary.

Economy

With a GDP for 2008 estimated at $80.717 billion ($10,911 per capita PPP), Republic of Serbia is considered an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. [cite web |url=http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/DATASTATISTICS/0,,contentMDK:20421402~pagePK:64133150~piPK:64133175~theSitePK:239419,00.html#Upper_middle_income |title=Upper-middle-income economies |accessdate= |publisher=The World Bank ] FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in 2006 was $5.85 billion or 4.5 billion. FDI for 2007 reached $4.2 Billion while real GDP per capita figures are estimated to have reached $7 100 (October 2008). [cite web |url= [http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2008/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=59&pr.y=17&sy=1997&ey=2013&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=942&s=NGDP_RPCH%2CNGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CPCPIPCH%2CLP&grp=0&a=] / |title=IMF World economic outlook |accessdate= |date= October 2008 |publisher=IMF] The GDP growth rate showed increase by 6.3% (2005), [ [http://webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu/axd/en/drugastrana.php?Sifra=0001&izbor=odel&tab=30 Gross Domestic Product of the Republic of Serbia 1997–2005] , Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia] 5.8% (2006), [ [http://webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu/axd/en/index1.php?SifraV=157&Link= Economic Trends in the Republic of Serbia 2006] , Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia] reaching 7.5% in 2007 as the fastest growing economy in the region. [http://webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu/axd/index1.php?SifraVesti=233&Link= REPUBLICKI ZAVOD ZA STATISTIKU - Republike Srbije ] ]

At the beginning of the process of economic transition (1989), its favorable economic outlook in the region was hampered by politics, its economy being gravely impacted by the UN economic sanctions of 1992–95, as well as the sizable infrastructure and industry damage, suffered during the Kosovo war. Its problems were only augmented by losing the ex-Yugoslavia and Comecon markets. After the ousting of former Federal Yugoslav President Milošević in October 2000, the country experienced faster economic growth, and has been preparing for membership in the European Union, its most important trading partner.

The recovery of the economy still faces many problems, among which unemployment (18.1%) high export/import trade deficit and considerable national debt are most prominent. The country expects some major economic impulses and high growth rates in the next years. Serbia has been occasionally called a "Balkan tiger" because of its recent high economic growth rates, which averaged 6.6 % (in the past three years), with FDI at its record levels.

Serbia grows about one-third of the world's raspberries and is the leading frozen fruit exporter. [cite web |url=http://www.invest-in-serbia.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=66 |title=Rebranding Serbia: A Hobby Shortly to Become a Full-Time Job?! |accessdate= |author=Borka Tomic |date=2006-04-13 |publisher=Invest-in-Serbia ]

Infrastructure

Communications

89% of households in Serbia have fixed telephone lines, and the number of cell-phone users surpasses the number of population of Serbia itself by 23%, accounting to 9,21 million users (7,5 million citizens). (Telekom Srbija – 5,6 million, Telenor has 3,1 million users and Vip mobile has the rest). [http://www.novosti.rs/code/navigate.php?Id=5&status=jedna&vest=127091&datum=2008-08-24] 42% of households have computers, 33% use the internet, and 42% have cable TV, which puts the country ahead of the certain member states of the EU. [cite web |url=http://www.novosti.co.yu/code/navigate.php?Id=5&status=jedna&vest=103744&datum=2007-05-15 |title=U Srbiji baš zvoni |accessdate= |date=2007-05-15 |publisher=Večernje novosti |language=Serbian] [cite web |url=http://webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu/axd/drugastrana.php?Sifra=0005&izbor=odel&tab=47 |title=Telekomunikacije |accessdate= |year=2007 |publisher=Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia |language=Serbian] [cite web |url=http://www.poslovnimagazin.biz/magazin/u-srbiji-27-odsto-gradjana-koristi-internet-33-279 |title=U Srbiji 27 odsto gradjana koristi Internet |accessdate= |date=10. Maj 2007 |publisher=Poslovni Magazin |language=Serbian] [http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Drustvo/U-Srbiji-sve-vishe-rachunara.sr.html]

Transportation

Serbia is proud of the fact that it owns one of the world's oldest airline carriers, the Jat Airways, founded in 1927. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/14/business/EU-FIN-ECO-Serbia-JAT-Airways.php JAT Airways hopes to regain market dominance in Eastern Europe, CEO says - International Herald Tribune ] ] There are 3 international airports in Serbia: Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Niš Constantine the Great Airport and the Vršac international airport.

The country, especially the valley of the Morava, is often described as "the crossroads between East and West", which is one of the primary reasons for its turbulent history. The Morava valley route, which avoids mountainous regions, is by far the easiest way of traveling overland from continental Europe to Greece and Asia Minor. Modern Serbia was the first among its neighbours to acquire railroads- in 1869 the first train arrived to Subotica, then Austria-Hungary [cite web |url=http://www.subotica.org.yu/new/yu/o_gradu/index.php |title= Geografski položaj |accessdate= |year=2006 |publisher=City of Subotica |language=Serbian] (by 1882 route to Belgrade and Nis was completed). The railway system is operated by Serbian Railways.

European routes E65, E70, E75 and E80, as well as the E662, E761, E762, E763, E771, and E851 pass through the country. The E70 westwards from Belgrade and most of the E75 are modern highways of motorway / autobahn standard or close to that. As of 2005, Serbia has 1,481,498 registered cars, 16,042 motorcycles, 9,626 buses, 116,440 trucks, 28,222 special transport vehicles, 126,816 tractors, and 101,465 trailers. [cite web |url=http://webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu/axd/drugastrana.php?Sifra=0005&izbor=odel&tab=46 |title=Registrovana drumska motorna i priključna vozila |accessdate= |year=2007 |publisher=Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia |language=Serbian]

The Danube River, central Europe's connection to the Black Sea, flows through Serbia. Through Danube-Rhine-Mein canal the North Sea is also accessible. Tisza river offers a connection with Eastern Europe while the Sava river connects her to western former yugoslav republics near the Adriatic Sea.

Tourism

Tourism in Serbia is mostly focused on the villages and mountains of the country. The most famous mountain resorts are Zlatibor, Kopaonik, and the Tara. There are also many spas in Serbia, one the biggest of which is Vrnjačka Banja. Other spas include Soko Banja and Niška Banja. There is a significant amount of tourism in the largest cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, but also in the rural parts of Serbia like the volcanic wonder of Đavolja varoš, [cite web |url=http://www.new7wonders.com/nature/en/nominees/europe/c/DavoljaVarosRockFormation/ |title=Davolja Varos, Rock Formation |accessdate= |date=7 July 2007 |publisher=New7Wonders ] Christian pilgrimage across the country [cite web |url=http://www.infohub.com/vacation_packages/6508.html |title=Pilgrimage of Saint Sava |accessdate= |publisher=Info Hub ] and the cruises along the Danube, Sava or Tisza. There are several popular festivals held in Serbia, such as the EXIT Festival (proclaimed the best European festival by UK Festival Awards 2007 and Yourope, the European Association of the 40 largest festivals in Europe) and the Guča trumpet festival. 2,2 million tourists visited Serbia in 2007, a 15% increase compared to 2006. [cite web |url=http://www.serbia-tourism.org/srpski/vesti2/v3_vest.php?&id=080109220053 |title=Turistički promet u Republici Srbiji u periodu januar-novembar 2007. godine |accessdate= |year=2007 |publisher=National Tourism Organisation of Serbia |language=Serbian]

Culture

For centuries straddling the boundaries between East and Westm, Serbia had been divided among: the Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire; between Kingdom of Hungary, Bulgarian Empire, Frankish Kingdom and Byzantium; and between the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire (later Austria-Hungary), as well as Venice in the south. The result of these overlapping influences are distinct characters and sharp contrasts between various Serbian regions, its north beeing more tied to Western Europe and south leaning towards the Balkans and the Mediterranean sea. Despite these confronting influences Serbian identity is quite solid, beeing described as the "most westernized of the "Eastern Orthodox peoples, both socially and culturally" by the Encyclopedia of World History (2001). [ [http://www.bartleby.com/67/494.html f. Serbia. 2001. The Encyclopedia of World History] ]

The Byzantine Empire's influence on Serbia was profound, through introduction of Greek Orthodoxy from 7th century onwards (today- Serbian Orthodox Church). Different influences were also present- chiefly the Ottoman, Hungarian, Austrian and also Venetian (coastal Serbs). Serbs use both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. The monasteries of Serbia, built largely in the Middle Ages, are one of the most valuable and visible traces of medieval Serbia's association with the Byzantium and the Orthodox World, but also with the Romanic (Western) Europe that Serbia had close ties with back in Middle Ages. Most of Serbia's queens still remembered today in Serbian history were of foreign origin, including Hélène d'Anjou (a cousin of Charles I of Sicily), Anna Dondolo (daughter of the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo), Catherine of Hungary, and Symonide of Byzantium.

Serbia has eight cultural sites marked on the UNESCO World Heritage list: Stari Ras and Sopoćani monasteries (included in 1979), Studenica Monastery (1986), the Medieval Serbian Monastic Complex in Kosovo, comprising: Dečani Monastery, Our Lady of Ljeviš, Gračanica and Patriarchate of Pec- (2004, put on the endangered list in 2006), and Gamzigrad - Romuliana, Palace of Galerius, added in 2007. Likewise, there are 2 literary memorials added on the UNESCO's list as a part of the Memory of the World Programme: Miroslav Gospels, handwriting from the 12th century (added in 2005), and Nikola Tesla's archive (2003).

The most prominent museum in Serbia is the National Museum, founded in 1844 ; it houses a collection of more than 400,000 exhibits,(over 5600 paintings and 8400 drawings and prints) including many foreign masterpiece collections and the famous Miroslavljevo Jevanđelje.Currently museum is under reconstruction.The museum is situated in Belgrade.

Education

Education in Serbia is regulated by the Ministry of Education. Education starts in either pre-schools or elementary schools. Children enroll in elementary schools ( _sr. "Osnovna škola" / Основна школа) at the age of seven, and remain there for eight years.

The roots of the Serbian education system date back to the 11th and 12th centuries when the first Catholic colleges were founded in Vojvodina (Titel, Bač). Medieval Serbian education, however, was mostly conducted through the Serbian Orthodox monasteries (Sopocani, Studenica, Patriarchate of Pec) starting from the rise of Raska in 12th century, when Serbs overwhelmingly embraced Orthodoxy rather than Catholicism.

The first university in Serbia was founded in revolutionary Belgrade in 1808 as the Great School, the precursor of the contemporary University of Belgrade. For example, the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law is today a regional leader in legal education. The oldest college (faculty) within current borders of Serbia dates back to 1778; founded in the city of Sombor, then Habsburg Empire, it was known under the name "Norma" and was the oldest Slavic Teacher's college in Southern Europe. [cite web |url=http://www.soinfo.org/so_istorija.php?mode=datumi&language=english |title=Sombor: History by dates |accessdate= |publisher=SOinfo.org ]

Holidays

All holidays in Serbia are regulated by the Law of national and other holidays in Republic of Serbia ("Zakon o državnim i drugim praznicima u Republici Srbiji"). The following holidays are observed state-wide: [cite web|url=http://savetnik.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=49|title=Zakon o državnim i drugim praznicima u Republici Srbiji|language=Serbian|date=2007-11-06|accessdate=2008-03-13]

Also, members of other religions have the right not to work on days of their holidays.

Sport

The Sport in Serbia revolves mostly around team sports: football, basketball, water polo, volleyball, handball, and, more recently, tennis. The two main football clubs in Serbia are Red Star Belgrade and FK Partizan, both from capital Belgrade. Red Star is the only Serbian and former Yugoslav club that has won a UEFA competition, winning the 1991 European Cup in Bari, Italy. The same year in Tokyo, Japan the club won the Intercontinental Cup. Partizan is the first club from Serbia to take part in the UEFA Champions League group stages subsequent to the breakup of the Former Yugoslavia. The matches between two rival clubs are known as "Eternal Derby" (Serbian: Вечити дерби, Večiti derbi).

Serbia was host of EuroBasket 2005. FIBA considers Serbia national basketball team the direct descendant of the famous Yugoslavia national basketball team. KK Partizan was the European champion in 1992 with curiosity of winning the title, although playing all but one of the games (crucial quarter-final game vs. Knorr) on foreign grounds; FIBA decided not to allow teams from Former Yugoslavia play their home games at their home venues, because of open hostilities in the region. KK Partizan was not allowed to defend the title in the 1992-1993 season, because of UN sanction. Players from Serbia made deep footprint in history of basketball, having success both in the top leagues of Europe and in the NBA. Serbia is one of the traditional powerhouses of world basketball, winning various FIBA World Championships, multiple Eurobaskets and Olympic medals (albeit as FR Yugoslavia).

Serbian capital Belgrade hosted the 2006 Men's European Water Polo Championship. The Serbia national water polo team represents Serbia in international water polo competitions. It was previously known as the Yugoslavia national water polo team. After becoming independent, Serbia have won 2006 European championship, finished as runner-up in 2008 and won bronze medal at 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. VK Partizan won 6 titles of European champion and it is the second best European team in history of water polo.

Serbia and Italy were host nations at 2005 Men's European Volleyball Championship. The Serbia men's national volleyball team is the direct descendant of Yugoslavia men's national volleyball team. After becoming independent, Serbia won bronze medal at 2007 Men's European Volleyball Championship held in Moscow.

Serbian tennis players Novak Đoković, Ana Ivanović, Jelena Janković, Nenad Zimonjić and Janko Tipsarević are very successful and led to a popularisation of tennis in Serbia. Serbia Davis Cup team qualified for the 2008 Davis Cup World Group. Monica Seles was born in Novi Sad and competed under Yugoslav flag in 1988 - 1993 period.

Milorad Čavić in swimming, Olivera Jevtić, Dragutin Topić in athletics, Aleksandar Karakašević in table tennis, Jasna Šekarić in shooting are also very popular athletes in Serbia.

Gallery



ee also

*Timeline of Serbian history
*Military history of Serbia
*List of Serbian monarchs
*Serbian revolution
*Serbian Campaign (World War I)
*Military of Serbia
*List of Serbs
*National Museum of Serbia

References

*loc
*factbook

External links

* [http://www.srbija.gov.rs/?change_lang=en Serbian Government]
* [http://www.euprava.gov.yu/language/en/ e-Government Portal of Serbia]
* [http://www.predsednik.rs/default.asp?lng=eng President of Serbia]
* [http://www.parlament.sr.gov.yu/content/eng/index.asp National Assembly of Serbia]
* [http://www.mfa.gov.yu/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia]
* [http://www.serbia.travel/ National Tourist Organization of Serbia]
* [http://www.nbs.rs/export/internet/english/ National Bank of Serbia]
* [http://www.siepa.sr.gov.yu/site/en/home/ Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency]
* [http://webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu/axd/en/index.php Statistical Office of Serbia]
* [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rb.html Serbia: CIA World FactBook 2008]

Political divisions of Serbia

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