Europe :: Slovakia

Introduction ::Slovakia

    Slovakia's roots can be traced to the 9th century state of Great Moravia. Subsequently, the Slovaks became part of the Hungarian Kingdom, where they remained for the next 1,000 years. Following the formation of the dual Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1867, language and education policies favoring the use of Hungarian (Magyarization) resulted in a strengthening of Slovak nationalism and a cultivation of cultural ties with the closely related Czechs, who were under Austrian rule. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I, the Slovaks joined the Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar period, Slovak nationalist leaders pushed for autonomy within Czechoslovakia, and in 1939 Slovakia became an independent state allied with Nazi Germany. Following World War II, Czechoslovakia was reconstituted and came under communist rule within Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize communist rule and create "socialism with a human face," ushering in a period of repression known as "normalization." The peaceful "Velvet Revolution" swept the Communist Party from power at the end of 1989 and inaugurated a return to democratic rule and a market economy. On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a nonviolent "velvet divorce" into its two national components, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Slovakia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004 and the euro zone on 1 January 2009.

Geography ::Slovakia

People and Society ::Slovakia

Government ::Slovakia

    conventional long form: Slovak Republic
    conventional short form: Slovakia
    local long form: Slovenska republika
    local short form: Slovensko
    parliamentary democracy
    name: Bratislava
    geographic coordinates: 48 09 N, 17 07 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    8 regions (kraje, singular - kraj); Banskobystricky, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky, Zilinsky
    1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
    Constitution Day, 1 September (1992)
    ratified 1 September 1992, effective 1 January 1993; changed September 1998; amended February 2001
    note: the change in September 1998 allowed direct election of the president; the amendment of February 2001 allowed Slovakia to apply for NATO and EU membership
    civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; note - legal code modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal system
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Ivan GASPAROVIC (since 15 June 2004)
    head of government: Prime Minister Robert FICO (since 4 April 2012); Deputy Prime Ministers Robert KALINAK, Peter KAZIMIR, Miroslav LAJCAK (since 4 April 2012), Lubomir VAZNY (since 26 November 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 March and 4 April 2009 (next to be held no later than April 2014); following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president
    election results: Ivan GASPAROVIC reelected president in runoff; percent of vote - Ivan GASPAROVIC 55.5%, Iveta RADICOVA 44.5%
    unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic or Narodna Rada Slovenskej Republiky (150 seats; members elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 10 March 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Smer-SD 44.4%, KDH 8.8%, OLaNO 8.6%, Most-Hid 6.9%, SDKU-DS 6.1%, SaS 5.9%, other 19.3%; seats by party - Smer-SD 83, KDH 16, OLaNO 16, Most-Hid 13, SDKU-DS 11, SaS 11
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (consists of 78 judges - as of 2003 - organized into criminal, civil, commercial, and administrative divisions with 3- and 5-judge panels; Constitutional Court (consists of 13 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judge candidates proposed by the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic, a 17-member independent body to include the Supreme Court chief justice and presidential and governmental appointees; judges appointed by the president for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the National Council of the Republic and appointed by the president; judges appointed for 12-year terms
    subordinate courts: regional and district civil courts; Higher Military Court; military district courts; Court of Audit
    parties in the Parliament:
    Bridge or Most-Hid [Bela BUGAR]
    Christian Democratic Movement or KDH [Jan FIGEL]
    Direction-Social Democracy or Smer-SD [Robert FICO]
    Freedom and Solidarity or SaS [Richard SULIK]
    Ordinary People and Independent Personalities or OLaNO [Igor MATOVIC]
    Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-Democratic Party or SDKU-DS [Pavol FRESO]
    selected parties outside the Parliament:
    Civic Conservative Party or OKS [Ondrej DOSTAL]
    Nation and Justice - Our Party or NAS [Anna BELOUSOVOVA]
    Party of the Democratic Left or SDL [Jozef DURICA]
    Party of the Hungarian Coalition or SMK [Jozsef BERENYI]
    People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia or LS-HZDS [Vladimir MECIAR]
    People's Party - Our Slovakia or LSNS [Marian KOTLEBA]
    Slovak National Party or SNS [Andrej DANKO]
    Association of Towns and Villages or ZMOS
    Confederation of Trade Unions or KOZ
    Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia or ZPS
    Federation of Employers' Associations of the Slovak Republic
    Medical Trade Association or LOZ
    National Union of Employers or RUZ
    Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry or SOPK
    The Business Alliance of Slovakia or PAS
    Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Peter KMEC
    chancery: 3523 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 237-1054
    FAX: [1] (202) 237-6438
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Theodore SEDGWICK
    embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava
    mailing address: P.O. Box 309, 814 99 Bratislava
    telephone: [421] (2) 5443-3338
    FAX: [421] (2) 5441-8861
    three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red derive from the Pan-Slav colors; the Slovakian coat of arms (consisting of a red shield bordered in white and bearing a white double-barred cross of St. Cyril and St. Methodius surmounting three blue hills) is centered over the bands but offset slightly to the hoist side
    note: the Pan-Slav colors were inspired by the 19th-century flag of Russia
    double-barred cross (Cross of St. Cyril and St. Methodius) surmounting three peaks
    name: "Nad Tatrou sa blyska" (Lightning Over the Tatras)

    lyrics/music: Janko MATUSKA/traditional
    note: adopted 1993, in use since 1844; the anthem's music is based on the Slovak folk song "Kopala studienku"

Economy ::Slovakia

    Slovakia has made significant economic reforms since its separation from the Czech Republic in 1993. Reforms to the taxation, healthcare, pension, and social welfare systems helped Slovakia consolidate its budget and get on track to join the EU in 2004 after a period of relative stagnation in the early and mid 1990s and to adopt the euro in January 2009. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost entirely in foreign hands, and the government has helped facilitate a foreign investment boom with business friendly policies. Slovakia's economic growth exceeded expectations in 2001-08 despite a general European slowdown. Foreign direct investment (FDI), especially in the automotive and electronic sectors, fueled much of the growth until 2008. Cheap and skilled labor, low taxes, no dividend taxes, a relatively liberal labor code, and a favorable geographical location are Slovakia's main advantages for foreign investors. The economy contracted 5% in 2009 primarily as a result of smaller inflows of FDI and reduced demand for Slovakia''s exports before rebounding in 2010-11, but growth slowed in 2012 due to weakening external demand. The government of Prime Minister Robert FICO in 2012 implemented tax increases on higher-earning individuals and corporations, effectively scrapping Slovakia''s flat tax to help meet budget deficit targets of 4.9% of GDP in 2012 and 3% of GDP in 2013.
    $134.1 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    $131.4 billion (2011 est.)
    $127.3 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $91.92 billion (2012 est.)
    2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    3.2% (2011 est.)
    4.4% (2010 est.)
    $24,600 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    $24,200 (2011 est.)
    $23,500 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    23% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    23.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
    19.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 57.3%
    government consumption: 17.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.5%
    investment in inventories: -0.8%
    exports of goods and services: 95.6%
    imports of goods and services: -90.6%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 3.8%
    industry: 37%
    services: 59.2% (2012 est.)
    grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, cattle, poultry; forest products
    metal and metal products; food and beverages; electricity, gas, coke, oil, nuclear fuel; chemicals and manmade fibers; machinery; paper and printing; earthenware and ceramics; transport vehicles; textiles; electrical and optical apparatus; rubber products
    6.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    2.724 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    agriculture: 3.5%
    industry: 27%
    services: 69.4% (December 2009)
    13.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    13.2% (2011 est.)
    21% (2002)
    lowest 10%: 4.4%
    highest 10%: 22.4% (2009 est.)
    26 (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    26.3 (1996)
    revenues: $30.41 billion
    expenditures: $34.4 billion (2012 est.)
    33.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    -4.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    52.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    43.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general Government Gross Debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities, including sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government, and social security funds.
    calendar year
    3.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    3.9% (2011 est.)
    1.75% (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    1.75% (31 December 2010 est.)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks from the euro area; Slovakia became a member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on 1 January 2009
    3.47% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    3.91% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $37.14 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    $34.64 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    $52.73 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    $52.99 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $68.47 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    $68.04 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.736 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    $4.15 billion (31 December 2010)
    $4.672 billion (31 December 2009)
    $535.2 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    $52.86 million (2011 est.)
    $80.67 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    $78.5 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and electrical equipment 35.9%, vehicles 21%, base metals 11.3%, chemicals and minerals 8.1%, plastics 4.9% (2009 est.)
    Germany 22.4%, Czech Republic 14.6%, Poland 8.6%, Hungary 7.8%, Austria 7.1%, France 5.6%, Italy 4.9%, UK 4.1% (2012)
    $75.99 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    $75.1 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and transport equipment 31%, mineral products 13%, vehicles 12%, base metals 9%, chemicals 8%, plastics 6% (2009 est.)
    Germany 18.5%, Czech Republic 17.9%, Russia 9.9%, Austria 7.7%, Hungary 7.2%, Poland 6%, South Korea 4.3% (2012)
    $2.519 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    $2.462 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $68.44 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    $68.61 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $61.49 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    $58.69 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $11.54 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    $11.61 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7778 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
    0.7198 (2009 est.)
    0.6827 (2008 est.)

Energy ::Slovakia

Communications ::Slovakia

    1.056 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    5.983 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    general assessment: Slovakia has a modern telecommunications system that has expanded dramatically in recent years with the growth in cellular services
    domestic: analog system is now receiving digital equipment and is being enlarged with fiber-optic cable, especially in the larger cities; 3 companies provide nationwide cellular services
    international: country code - 421; 3 international exchanges (1 in Bratislava and 2 in Banska Bystrica) are available; Slovakia is participating in several international telecommunications projects that will increase the availability of external services (2011)
    state-owned public broadcaster, Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), operates 3 national TV stations and multiple national and regional radio networks; roughly 35 privately owned TV stations operating nationally, regionally, and locally; about 40% of households are connected to multi-channel cable or satellite TV; more than 20 privately owned radio stations (2008)
    1.384 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    4.063 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 58

Transportation ::Slovakia

    35 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    total: 21
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 3
    under 914 m: 11 (2013)
    total: 14
    914 to 1,523 m: 9
    under 914 m:
    5 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    gas 6,774 km; oil 419 km (2013)
    total: 3,622 km
    country comparison to the world: 48
    broad gauge: 99 km 1.520-m gauge
    standard gauge: 3,473 km 1.435-m gauge (1,615 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 50 km 1.000-m or 0.750-m gauge (2008)
    total: 43,761 km
    country comparison to the world: 84
    paved: 38,085 km (includes 384 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 5,676 km (2008)
    172 km (on Danube River) (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    total: 11
    country comparison to the world: 109
    by type: cargo 9, refrigerated cargo 2
    foreign-owned: 11 (Germany 3, Ireland 1, Italy 2, Montenegro 1, Slovenia 1, Turkey 1, Ukraine 2) (2010)
    Bratislava, Komarno

Military ::Slovakia

Transnational Issues ::Slovakia

    bilateral government, legal, technical and economic working group negotiations continued in 2006 between Slovakia and Hungary over Hungary's completion of its portion of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project along the Danube; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Slovakia has implemented the strict Schengen border rules
    stateless persons: 1,523 (2013)
    transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market; consumer of ecstasy