“The lavish weddings celebrated in Macedonian villages … are a striking example of the population’s zest for life. You will see banknotes poking out of cleavages, bracelets glittering on gesticulating arms, eye shadow glistening – the Ottoman legacy is visible everywhere. And the people dance, of course – despite everything.”

Adelheid Wölfl, editor of Der Standard on Macedonia in the documentary ‘Balkan Express’

Macedonia (FYROM) was the only country to secede from the Yugoslav federation without wreaking havoc and violence.

Macedonia’s national anthem refers to the sun of freedom, the struggle for rights and the heroes of Ilinden.

A quarter of the 2 Mio residents actually live in the country’s capital Skopje. In Macedonia more than 60 percent of the population is urban!

Public TV in Macedonia has three national channels that face stiff competition from private networks.



"I feel as a citizen of Skopje, my born city, but I belong to the world", Mother Teresa answered at her last visit to Skopje in 1980, when asked if she was Albanian, Macedonian, Vlach, Serb or some other nationality.

Macedonia Members of the ERSTE Foundation Community in Macedonia: Jasmina Dimiškovska and Gjurgjica Gjorgjevska - Open Gate, winner of the ERSTE Foundation Award for Social Integration 2009

Since post-1991, Greece has opposed the country’s constitutional name, fearing territorial claims and referring to the ancient Greek region of ‘Makedonía’. While the dispute in this matter continues, Macedonia can be named as an example of how the EU is perfectly capable of achieving success in foreign affairs: In 2001, it managed to bring the conflicting parties to sit down at the negotiating table. This resulted in the ‘Ohrid Agreement’ between the two biggest Slav and Albanian parties in Macedonia. It guaranteed more rights for Albanians and improved the status of the Albanian language.

Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Vlach and Roma are the common languages spoken in the country.


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