In 1918, Yugoslavia emerged as a new nation, patched together at the end of World War I from the defeated Austrian-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires plus the kingdoms of Montenegro and Serbia. For some years Yugoslavia was an independent kingdom. After World War II it became a republic. Now the official name is the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Throughout its history turbulence has often been the rule and not the exception. Yugoslavia controls important land routes from central and western Europe to the Aegean Sea and
Turkish Straits. Since the Middle Ages and the times of the Byzantine Empire, the area has served as a natural bridge between East and West, thus being a vulnerable prize in geopolitical conflicts.
Today, the economic problems of Yugoslavia are similar to those of many countries. It is encountering a high rate of inflation and substantial unemployment and is weathering balance of payment and