Northern Macedonia (until 2019 Macedonia). A political crisis arose in January when the Social Democrat-led opposition left Parliament in protest of what was perceived as politically motivated persecution of the media. Several media organizations had been raided and several media representatives arrested suspected tax offenses.
According to Countryaah official site, the government was forced to announce new elections held in June. The result was a major advance for the Social Democrats at the same time as the ruling middle-right alliance lost its majority. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, leader of the largest party VMRO-DPMNE, could still form a new government together with the largest Albanian party BDI. The government agreed to accept a proposal by a UN mediator to rename the country to the “Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)”, subject to its approval in a referendum. The dispute has prompted Greece to exclude Macedonia from EU and NATO membership.
The conflict gained new fuel when Macedonia erected a huge bronze sculpture by Alexander the Great in Skopje during the summer. The warrior king of antiquity has also been given the name of the capital’s airport and a highway. The Greeks question the right of Macedonians to claim Alexander as “their” and to call their country Macedonia, which is also the name of a Greek region.
Skopje, the capital of Northern Macedonia; 500 400 residents (2015). Skopje, which is located on the river Vardar, is the country’s political, cultural, scientific and industrial center. The leading industrial branches are chemical and electrical industries, as well as the building, glass and textile industries. In the outskirts of the city there are also iron and steel plants as well as the automotive and pharmaceutical industries. During the 2000s, several international large companies were established in the city. Skopje has a rail connection to Central Europe and Greece as well as an international airport.
The city’s old Turkish bazaar blocks and large modern office and business houses (created after the 1963 earthquake) constitute residential contrasts. In 2010, a project, called Skopje 2014, started with new buildings, renovations and monuments in a pastel-style architectural style that is said to reflect the history of Northern Macedonia. Examples are the rebuilt national theater and several new government buildings in the classic style.
Skopje has a university (founded 1949).
Just west of the present Skopje, during ancient times, was the probably Illyrian settlement of Skupoi, incorporated in the Roman Empire during the first century AD. Under the name Scupi, the first regional capital of Moesia was superior, after Diocletian’s provincial reform provincial capital of Dacia Mediterranea. After a 518 earthquake, the city was moved to its present location.
From the 7th century inhabited by slaves it was under the name Skoplje 1346–55 capital of the Serbian czar Stefan Dušan’s kingdom and as Üsküp incorporated in the Ottoman Empire from 1392 to 1912. After the Balkan War, Skopje invaded Serbia in 1913 and became the capital of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1945. An earthquake devastated about 85% of the city in 1963, which was rebuilt after an international relief operation. Skopje became the capital of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991.