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Yugoslavia Disappears
Officially Changes Name to Serbia and Montenegro
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by Matt Rosenberg
February 5, 2003

On Tuesday, February 4, 2003, the parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia voted to disband itself, officially dissolving the country that was created in 1918 as the The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Seventy-four years ago, in 1929, the Kingdom changed its name to Yugoslavia, a name which will now live in history.

The new country taking its place is called Serbia and Montenegro. The name Serbia and Montenegro is not new - it was used by countries such as the United States during the time of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic's rule, refusing to recognize Yugoslavia as an independent country. With the ouster of Milosevic, Serbia and Montenegro became recognized internationally as an independent country and rejoined the United Nations on November 1, 2000 with the official long form name Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The new country will have dual capitals - Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, will serve as the primary capital while Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro will administer that republic. Some federal institutions will be headquartered in Podgorica. The two republics will create a new joint administration, including a parliament with 126 members and a president.

Kosovo remains part of the union and within the territory of Serbia. Kosovo remains administered by NATO and the United Nations.

Map of Serbia and Montenegro

Serbia and Montenegro could break apart as independent countries through referendum as early as 2006, through a European Union-brokered accorded approved by the Yugoslav parliament before its dissolution on Tuesday.

Citizens tend to be unhappy with the move and call the new country "Solania" after EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia all declared independence in 1991 or 1992 and broke away from the 1929 federation. The name Yugoslavia means "land of the southern Slavs."

After the move, the Croatian newspaper Novi List referred to the tumultuous situation, "Since 1918, this is the seventh name change of a state which has continuously existed since Yugoslavia was first proclaimed."

Serbia has a population of 10 million (2 million of which live in Kosovo) and Montenegro has a population of 650,000.

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