Serbia

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): (excluding Kosovo) 7,489,001 ; (including Kosovo) about 1,900,000
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 52.20%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: -3.5% ; including Kosovo 0.26
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (kmē) : excluding Kosovo : 77,474 kmē ; including Kosovo : 88,361


Population origin

Excluding Kosovo : Serbs 82.9%, Hungarians 3.9%, Bosniaks 1.8%, Roma 1.4%, Others 10% (Croats, Montenegrins, Albanians, Vlachs, Romanians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Muslims, Rusyns, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Gorani, Germans, Russians, Czechs)



Main Cities Population
Belgrade 1 120 092
Novi Sad 191 405
Nis 173 724
Kragujevac 146 373
Subotica 99 981
Zrenjanin 79 773



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Belgrade (GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer ).
Summer Time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.



Languages
Official languages : Serbian. Serbian is officially written in the Cyrillic alphabet, but the Latin script is also used. Serbian is very close to Croat, which officially uses the Latin script. In some regions other languages are officially recognized : Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak, Ukrainian and Croat in Vojvodina and Albanian in Kosovo. Business languages : mainly Serbian and English.

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Religion
Religious practises : Orthodox (Serbian Church) 85%, Catholics 5.5%, Muslims 3%, Protestants 1%, Others 5.5%


Political context

Serbia is a Republic, based on a one-chamber parliamentary democracy.
Executive power is held by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. The President is elected for a 5 year term by direct universal suffrage, and can be elected twice. He has exceptional powers in case of a state of emergency and can dissolve the National Assembly. The government and its members, on the other hand, are accountable to the National Assembly.
Legislative power is held by the National Assembly, which consists of 250 Members elected for a 4 year term by direct universal suffrage.
Judicial power is independent, the highest authority being the Constitutional Court. Following Montenegro's declaration of independence on June 3rd 2006 a new constitution was drawn up; it was put to referendum and ratified on October 28th and 29th 2006. The previous constitution dated from 27th April 1992.
In spite of extensive reforms over the last five years, the application of contracts could still be improved. The judicial system is still largely favorable to debtors and its ability to deal with cases is relatively poor. The administrative costs which weigh on the creation and the administration of companies are an obstacle to their development and encourage corruption.


Major political parties

DS, Democratic Party (Boris TADIC)
DSS, Serbian Democratic Party (Vojislav KOSTUNICA)
G17 Plus (Mladjan DINKIC)
NS, New Serbia (Velimir ILIC)
SPO, Movement for Serbian Revival (Vuk DRASKOVIC)
SPS, Serbian Socialist Party (Ivica DACIC)
SRS, Serbian Radical Party (Tomislav NIKOLIC)


Major political leaders

President of the Republic: Boris TADIC (Democratic Party, DS), elected on June 2004, re-elected in February 2008.
Prime Minister: Vojislav KOSTUNICA (Serbian Democratic Party, DSS), since March 2004.


Next political election dates

Presidential: February 8, 2008
Parliamentary: Year 2011




Climate

 

 

The climate is continental in the North : cold winters, hot and humid summers with regular rainfall. In the rest of the country the climate is continental/Mediterranean : hot and dry summers and autumns and very cold winters with heavy falls of snow. Average temperatures vary from -2°C to 10°C in winter and from 15°C to 30°C in summer.

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Serbia 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 580 .. ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
The capital, Belgrade, is a very lively city, located on the banks of the Danube and the Sava. In the center of Serbia, the Orthodox monasteries of Studenica, Sopocani and Zica are worth visiting. The first two are Unesco World Heritage sites. Zlatibor, a low altitude mountain resort, and Vrnjacka Banja, a spa situated at the foot of Mount Goc, are also interesting tourist destinations. In winter, go skiing at Kopaonik (1,700 meters), the most popular ski resort. The town of Stari Ras and the medieval monuments of Kosovo are Unesco World Heritage sites, and are worth going to see.



Food


Traditional dishes
Serbian cuisine brings together the influences of Central Europe, the Mediterranean and Turkey. Restaurants and Inns are very good value for money, and the welcome and service are often very good. Most restaurants offer traditional dishes such as pljeskavia and cevapcici, ground beef prepared with onions and spices, or veal escalopes karadjorjeva, breaded and filled with kajmak (cream). These dishes are often served with grilled, marinaded sweet peppers (paprika). For a quick meal you can also find excellent filo pastry tarts filled with cheese or meat such as gibanica or burek. Sweet dishes are Austrian-influenced (strudel), or Turkish-influenced (baklava). Walnuts are also widely used in desserts. Serbia produces some red wines (Zupa, Krajina, Vencac-Oplenak) and some whites(Smerderevo, Fruska Gora).


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