Montenegro Overview

(Crna Gora). State of Balkan Europe (13,812 km²). Capital: Podgorica. Administrative division: municipality (21). Population: 627,000 (2008 estimate). Language: Serbo-Croatian (official), Albanian. Religion: Orthodox (70%), Muslims (21%), Catholics (4%), others (5%). Monetary unit: euro (100 cents). Borders: Serbia (NE), Kosovo (SE), Albania (S, SE), Adriatic Sea (SW), Bosnia and Herzegovina (NW). Member of: Council of Europe, UN and OSCE.


Already part of Yugoslavia, therefore already a member since 1992, with Serbia, of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (transformed in 2003 into the Confederation of Serbia and Montenegro), this region reached full sovereignty only in June 2006 following a referendum that it has permanently separated it from Serbia. The territory of the country is made up of two historical regions which are very dissimilar from both a morphological and economic point of view: to the west, Montenegro itself; to E la Brda, rich in woods and pastures. It overlooks the Adriatic Sea with a rocky coast, which is divided into the Boka Kotorska.


According to andyeducation, Montenegro is a parliamentary republic. After the split from Serbia, which took place in June 2006, a new constitution is being studied. The parliament consists of 75 members. The death penalty is not in effect. Illiteracy affects 2.3% of the population.


The area of ​​Montenegro itself is a limestone area affected by conspicuous karst phenomena and with scarce vegetation; to the E, beyond the course of the Zeta river, lies the Brda, a region of alteterre (Mount Durmitor, 2522 m) rich in woods and pastures. Montenegro is therefore essentially mountainous, except in the southern section, occupied by the lower valley of the Morača river, a tributary of Lake Scutari; other important rivers are the Piva, the Tara, the Čeotina and the Lim, which flow towards the NW, cutting deep valleys. The climate is mild on the coasts and in the immediate hinterland, due to the influence of the Adriatic Sea; in the interior it assumes continental characteristics with hot summers and cold winters, with an accentuated rigidity in the mountain valleys and on the hills, where snowfalls are abundant in winter. The average population density is 45 inhab. per km². The population of Montenegro tends to thicken on the coasts which, offering greater employment opportunities thanks to tourism, have seen, together with the capital Podgorica, a clear demographic growth since the 1990s. The major national components registered with the 2003 census are the Montenegrin one (43.2%), majority in the “heart” of the republic between Nikšić, the old capital Cetinje and Podgorica, the Serbian one (32%) prevalent above all in the mountain municipalities of the North, the Bosnian-Muslim one (7.8%) particularly widespread in the eastern internal region, the Albanian one (5%) concentrated in the extreme south of republic, near the city of Ulcinj (Ulcinj). The remaining coastal centers (Herceg Novi, Kotor, Tivat, Budva, Bar) mostly have a population equally divided between the Serbian and Montenegrin nations, which often in this republic are difficult to distinguish from each other except for the declarations of the residents themselves, being both characterized by the same language, religion and culture. The demographic picture of Montenegro is completed with the mention of about 30,000 refugees from the other republics of the former Yugoslavia, who, having not yet been able (or not intending) to return to their original offices, maintain an uncertain legal status as regards their citizenship and residence. For the environment see the item Serbia and Montenegro.


Montenegro with its coasts, Lake Scutari on the border with Albania and the mountains in the interior furrowed by deep river valleys, is a country of great naturalistic interest. AW prevails a poor vegetation of woods, with scrubs and oaks, while to E the vegetation cover is dense and mostly made up of tall trees. Along the coast there is a luxuriant vegetation characterized by a flora typical of the Mediterranean scrub: oranges, olive trees, lemons, cypresses and figs. The animals that populate this territory are: bears, wolves and wild boars; while in the mountainous areas there are many birds of prey such as hawks, eagles and vultures. The country has four national parks (5.9% protected areas), including the Durmitor declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.


The new reconfiguration of the federal state that took place between 2002 and 2003, had accentuated the economic dispute between the two constitutive republics, which in that period maintained two different central banks and different currencies. There was no agreement even on customs tariffs: Montenegro, in fact, an importing republic par excellence of consumer goods, did not adopt the protective tariffs that Serbia used to protect its fragile production from the threat of international competition. Economic resources of the population are agriculture (cereals, sugar beet, vine, olive tree), livestock breeding (sheep, cattle), fishing, forestry and subsoil exploitation (bauxite in Podgorica and Nikšić); the industries (food, metalworking, wood) are located in the capital and in the cities of Nikšić, Pljevlja and Cetinje. Extraction of brine in Ulcinj. Numerous hydroelectric and thermoelectric plants. Montenegro’s economic situation had seriously deteriorated in the 1990s, as a result of the UN embargo against the federation, with severe effects on the country’s already weak structure (over half of the assets in 1994 were unemployed). In the presence of catastrophic inflation, it was almost exclusively agricultural resources and the black market that enabled the population to survive. The suspension of international economic sanctions (November 22, 1995) gave new breath to the republic’s economy, which took steps to re-establish trade relations with its Balkan neighbors (Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia) and with most of the Central European countries and oriental.



Montenegro has ancient musical traditions which are, as scholars of the subject have pointed out, impossible to transcribe, despite the efforts made by MA Vasiljević who collected 568 popular melodies. § Epic chant prevails accompanied by the gusla, a bowed instrument of Arab-Persian origin, widespread especially among the southern Slavs, which has become a symbol, almost a cult. § Also for Montenegro the Turkish occupation did not allow the flourishing of a cultured musical tradition, which only with the liberation and the reign of Danilo I and his nephew Nicola I was able to establish itself thanks to the foundation of an orchestra and schools in Cettigne. The musical production, at first entrusted mostly to amateur musicians, saw the emergence in the second half of the century. XIX musicians such as J. Ivanisević (1860-1889), A. Ivanović (1880-1940), J. Milošević (1895-1959). § For Dance and Ballet, Entertainment, Cinema (before independence), see Yugoslavia (former European State).

Montenegro Overview