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Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

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The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a Balkan state that existed from 1945 to 1992.

It was formed in 1945 from remains of the pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia under the name Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, in 1946 it changed its name to Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia and again in 1963 to Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The SFRY bordered Italy and Austria to the northwest, Hungary and Romania to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece and Albania to the south, and the Adriatic Sea to the west.

Throughout the Cold War, Yugoslavia was an important member of the Non-Aligned Movement. In the article on the Economy of SFRY you can read more on the organization of that country.

Социјалистичка федеративна република Југославија
Socijalistička federativna republika Jugoslavija
Socialistična federativna republika Jugoslavija
Flag of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia SFRY coat of arms
(In detail) (In detail)
Official languages: Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene
Capital: Belgrade
Area (1991): 255,804 km²
Population (1971): 20,522,972
Currency: dinar (YUD) = 100 paras
Time zone: UTC +1
National anthem: Hej, Sloveni/Slaveni/Slovani
ISO 3166-1: YU (obsolete)
Calling code: 38 (obsolete)

Socialist Republics and Autonomous Provinces

Internally, the state was divided into six socialist republics, and two socialist autonomous provinces that were part of SR Serbia. The federal capital was Belgrade. Republics and provinces were:

Numbered map of Yugoslav republics and provinces
Numbered map of Yugoslav republics and provinces
  1. Socialist republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with capital in Sarajevo,
  2. Socialist republic of Croatia, with capital in Zagreb,
  3. Socialist republic of Macedonia, with capital in Skopje,
  4. Socialist republic of Montenegro, with capital in Titograd,
  5. Socialist republic of Serbia, with capital in Belgrade, which also contained:
    5a. Socialist autonomous province of Kosovo, with capital in Priština
    5b. Socialist autonomous province of Vojvodina, with capital in Novi Sad
  6. Socialist republic of Slovenia, with capital in Ljubljana.


Main article: History of Yugoslavia

Democratic Federative Yugoslavia was reconstituted at the AVNOJ conference in Jajce (November 29 - December 4 1943) while negotiations with the royal government in exile continued. On November 29 1945 the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia was established as a socialist state (also by AVNOJ in Jajce). On January 31, 1946, the new constitution of FPR Yugoslavia established the six constituent republics.

The first president was Ivan Ribar and prime minister Josip Broz Tito. In 1953, Tito was elected as president and later in 1963 named "President for life".

Yugoslavia, unlike other Eastern and Central European communist countries, chose a course independent of the Soviet Union (see Informbiro), and was not a member of the Warsaw pact nor NATO, but rather than that initiated a Non-Aligned Movement in 1956.

The most significant change to the borders of the SFRY occurred in 1954, when the adjacent Free Territory of Trieste was dissolved by the Treaty of Osimo. The Yugoslavian Zone B, which covered 515.5 km2, became part of the SFRY. Zone B was already occupied by the Yugoslav National Army.

After Tito's death in 1980, tensions between the various peoples grew, and in 1991 its constituent republics Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina started breaking away. After the initial Yugoslav wars, the process ended in 1992 when the remainder of Yugoslavia, now having only two republics, Serbia and Montenegro, formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which in 2002 was reformed and renamed to Serbia and Montenegro.


Main article: Demographics_of_SFRY

SFRY consisted of six republics with ethnicities living here and there in peace until it was a major factor for the dissolution of the federation. Nationalism had sprung up after the death of Tito and fuelled by the then leaders of the federation for their own goals. Nationalism during Tito's rule was cracked down upon wherever it sprung up. Tito's successors chose a different way towards the nationalists, instead promoting their ideas and taking their side on some issues, claiming they will defend them and fight, even war, for their cause. Nationalists from other nationalities responded with arguments such as "During your [Tito's] rule, our culture had been cracked down upon, our people oppressed ... but now you won't anymore" and so forth, initiating hatred towards the different nationalities.

The process towards war in order for the leaders to create "ethnically clean" nations had begun, with state-owned media propagating nationalistic ideas, this later led to nationalism seen previously in WW2, the dissolution of the federation and the war that followed.

Economy of SFRY

Main article: Economy of SFRY

Despite common origins, the economy of socialist Yugoslavia was much different from economies of the Soviet Union and other Eastern European socialist countries, especially after the Yugoslav-Soviet break-up of 1948. The occupation and liberation struggle in World War II left Yugoslavia's infrastructure devastated. Even the most developed parts of the country were largely rural and the little industry the country had was largely damaged or destroyed.

With the exception of a recession in mid-1960s, the country's economy prospered formidably. Unemployment was low and the education level of the working force steadily increased. Due to Yugoslavia's neutrality and a leading role in the Non-aligned Movement, Yugoslav companies exported to both Western and Eastern markets. Yugoslav companies carried out construction of numerous major infrastructural and industrial projects in Africa, Europe and Asia.

In 1970s, the economy was reorganized according to Edvard Kardelj's theory of associated labour , in which the right to decision making and a share in profits of socially owned companies is based on the investment of labour. All companies were transformed into organizations of associated labour. The smallest, basic organizations of associated labour, roughly corresponded to a small company or a department in a large company. These were organized into enterprises which in turn associated into composite organizations of associated labour, which could be large companies or even whole industry branches in a certain area. Most executive decision making was based in enterprises, so that these continued to compete to an extent even when they were part of a same composite organization. The appointment of managers and strategic policy of composite organizations were, depending on their size and importance, in practice often subject to political and personal influence-paddling.

In order to give all employees the same access to decision making, the basic organisations of associated labour were also introduced into public services, including health and education. The basic organizations were usually made up of just dozens of people and had their own workers councils, whose assent was needed for strategic decisions and appointment of managers in enterprises or public institutions.

See also: Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Economy of Croatia, Economy of the Republic of Macedonia, Economy of Serbia and Montenegro.

The Yugoslav wars, consequent loss of market, as well as mismanagement and/or non-transparent privatization brought further economic trouble for all former republics of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Only Slovenia's economy grew steadily after the initial shock and slump. Croatia reached its 1990 GDP in 2003, a feat yet to be accomplished by other former Yugoslav republics.

See also

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