Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Kostas G. Messas | Go to book overview
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7
The Balkan Crisis and the Republic of Macedonia

Vasil Tupurkovski

In one way or another, the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation caught most of its component republics largely unprepared for what was to follow, none more so than the Socialist Republic of Macedonia (SRM). When the republic became an independent state in 1991, it faced the predicament shared by all the republics comprising former Yugoslavia, which, in turn, shared in the overall fate of Eastern Europe. The post World War II configuration which brought together the former Eastern European countries into a bloc failed to prepare them for what might have seemed unthinkable, namely the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and Yugoslavia. With the old institutions and practices no longer in place, Yugoslav successor states were challenged to deal with the impact of forces believed to have been eliminated, among them excessive nationalism.

Unlike other Yugoslav successor states, the entity that emerged in the space occupied by SRM faced additional difficulties. With no prior history of statehood and with neighbors ( Greece, rump Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Albania) questioning its very essence or reason to exist as an independent nation state under the desired name of Republic of Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav 1Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as the new country is temporarily but officially known, is striving to cope with a myriad of economic, ethnic, social, as well as foreign policy problems and to find a place in the whirlwind of Balkan politics.

In order to understand the Republic of Macedonia's predicament and the domestic as well as foreign and security problems the new state faces, we will

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