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The Republic of Montenegro, which together with
Serbia formed the Confederation of Serbia and Montenegro
until 2006 , is located in southeastern Europe on the
Balkan Peninsula and borders on Serbia ,
Bosnia-Herzegovina , Croatia and Albania. The Adriatic
Sea forms a natural border in the southwest of the
country. With an area of 13.812 km², Montenegro is one
of the small countries in Europe.
Montenegro is a mountainous country in the
southeastern Dinarides. In the south and west are the
karstified coastal mountains that border the Adriatic.
The north and east of the country are at high mountain
levels. Bobotov Kuk is located in the Durmitor high
massif and is the highest mountain in Montenegro at a
height of 2 522 m. The Montenegrin coast stretches for
260 km along the Adriatic Sea. The longest river is the
Tara with a length of 150 km. In the border area with
Albania lies one of the largest inland lakes in the
Balkans, Lake Skadar (391 km²).
There are three climatic zones in Montenegro. The
narrow coastline is fully Mediterranean with dry summers
(average temperature in July: 24.5ºC) and mild, short
winters. In the mountains that border the coast and
extend up to 50 km inland, there is a sub-Mediterranean
climate with warmer summers and colder winters. Most of
Montenegro is in the temperate zone with an average of
25ºC in July and long winters.
Montenegro has the highest rainfall in Europe. The
rainiest place is Crkvice in the Orjen with 5 000 mm.
Flora and fauna
In the coastal region there are predominantly
Mediterranean vegetation forms, while sub-Mediterranean
forms are possible due to the proximity of the mountains
and coast to the valley areas of the high Dinarides. The
hard foliage vegetation, which reaches up to 600 m high,
is replaced by sub-Mediterranean forms (up to 1,000 m
high). Beech and armored pine are found in the higher
elevations. The vegetation is particularly diverse in
some protected areas.
The forests of Montenegro provide a suitable habitat
for numerous animals that have become rare: brown bears,
wild cats, wolves and lynxes still live here. Foxes,
wild boars, martens, badgers and red deer are
represented in large numbers. Chamois and mountain goats
can be found in the higher mountains. Bird life includes
golden eagles, scops owl, black grouse and capercaillie,
soon and griffon vultures.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 600,000 people live in Montenegro; 43% of them
are Montenegrins. Almost a third of the population is
made up of ethnic serbs. Minorities form Bosniaks (13%),
Albanians (7%) and numerous other ethnic groups,
including Roma and Sinti (0.4% of the total population).
Population growth is slightly negative.
The majority of the population belongs to the
Orthodox denomination. The Orthodox Church is divided
into the Serbian Orthodox Church and the internationally
unrecognized autocephalous Church of Montenegro, which
was founded in 1993. There is also a Muslim minority,
which is home to almost 12% of the population, and few
Catholics and Protestants.
With around 140,000 residents, the capital Podgorica
is the largest city in the sparsely populated country,
with an average of 47 residents per km².
On June 3, 2006, Montenegro became an independent
republic after 55.5% of the population voted for
independence from Serbia in a referendum, with which it
had existed in a confederation since 2003. The turnout
was 86.3%. The 55% majority required for independence
was only just exceeded. Montenegro is now recognized
worldwide under international law and has been included
in numerous international organizations. A political
milestone was the adoption of a constitution in October
The head of state is the President (Filip Vujanovic
since June 2006); The head of government is the Prime
Minister (Milo Djukanovic since February 2008). The
president is directly elected for five years; he
proposes the Prime Minister, who is then selected by the
People's Assembly. The one-chamber parliament in
Podgorica has 81 seats; the election period is four
Montenegro is divided into 21 municipalities
(Opstini); The official language is (since the
constitution of 2006) Montenegrin. Both the Latin and
Cyrillic alphabets are in use.
The Montenegrin economy has not yet completely
overcome the transition phase between the socialist
economy and the social market economy. The unemployment
rate was 19.6% in 2012, salaries and wages per person
are only EUR 5 760 per year (as of 2014). The gap
between rich and poor is very large. Montenegro joined
the World Bank and World Monetary Fund in 2007 and is
aiming for EU membership.
In agriculture, in which only 6% of the population is
still active, vegetables, cereals, potatoes, tobacco,
wine, citrus fruits, olives and figs are grown.
The large industry, especially the metal industry,
mining and shipyards, has been privatized. Important
mineral resources are bauxite, iron ore and lignite.
Tourism is one of the most important sources of
income in the country. It became the focal point of
further economic development, since after a period of
political instability in the 1990s, the number of
visitors increased again. In 2012, almost 1.5 million
tourists visited the country.
The currency of Montenegro is the euro introduced as
a foreign currency.