Geographic and Governmental Profile of Slovakia

Background
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 themselves ruled by the Austrians. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I, the Slovaks joined the Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once more became free. The Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on 1 January 1993. Slovakia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004 and the euro area on 1 January 2009.
Location
Central Europe, south of Poland
Geographic coordinates
48 40 N, 19 30 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Europe
Area
total:
49,035 sq km
rank:
131
land:
48,105 sq km
water:
930 sq km
Area - comparative
about twice the size of New Hampshire
Land boundaries
total:
1,474 km
border countries:
Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 197 km, Hungary 676 km, Poland 420 km, Ukraine 90 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Terrain
rugged mountains in the central and northern part and lowlands in the south
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Bodrok River 94 m
highest point:
Gerlachovsky Stit 2,655 m
Natural resources
brown coal and lignite; small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt; arable land
Land use
arable land:
29.23%
permanent crops:
2.67%
other:
68.1% (2005)
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Irrigated land
1,660 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
50.1 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
1.04
per capita:
193 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards
NA
Environment - current issues
air pollution from metallurgical plants presents human health risks; acid rain damaging forests
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
landlocked; most of the country is rugged and mountainous; the Tatra Mountains in the north are interspersed with many scenic lakes and valleys
Country name
conventional long form:
Slovak Republic
conventional short form:
Slovakia
local long form:
Slovenska Republika
local short form:
Slovensko
Government type
parliamentary democracy
Capital
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
Administrative divisions
8 regions (kraje, singular - kraj); Banskobystricky, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky, Zilinsky
Independence
1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Constitution
ratified 1 September 1992, effective 1 January 1993; changed September 1998; amended February 2001
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
Legal system
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
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
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)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
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%
Legislative branch
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
Judicial branch
Supreme Court (judges are elected by the National Council); Constitutional Court (judges appointed by president from group of nominees approved by the National Council)
Political parties and leaders
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 [Mikulas DZURINDA]
selected parties outside the Parliament:
Civic Conservative Party or OKS [Peter ZAJAC]; Nation and Justice - Our Party or NAS [Anna BELOUSOVOVA]; Party of the Democratic Left or SDL [Marek BLAHA]; 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 [Jan SLOTA]
Political pressure groups and leaders
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
International organization participation
Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, 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, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
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
Diplomatic representation from the US
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
Flag description
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 Cross of Lorraine surmounting three blue hills) is centered over the bands but offset slightly to the hoist side
the Pan-Slav colors were inspired by the 19th-century flag of Russia
National symbol(s)
double-barred cross (Cross of Lorraine) surmounting three peaks
National anthem
name:
"Nad Tatrou sa blyska" (Storm Over the Tatras)
lyrics/music:
Janko MATUSKA/traditional
adopted 1993, in use since 1844; the anthem's music is based on the Slovak folk song "Kopala studienku"
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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