Slovenia – The Republic of Slovenia, a state in Central Europe

Slovenia

Slovenia (Slovenia ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia Republika Slovenija ) is a state in Central Europe. According to the 2002 census, Slovenia has a population of more than 1,964 thousand people and a territory of 20,253 square kilometers. The country is one hundred forty-fourth largest country in the world in terms of population and one hundred fiftieth in terms of territory.

The capital is Ljubljana. The official language is Slovene.

Unitarian state, parliamentary republic. In February 2012 the post of prime minister was held by Janez Janša. Subdivided into 210 communities, 11 of which have city status.

It is located in the prealpine part of the Balkan Peninsula. It is washed by the waters of the Adriatic Sea. It borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, and Croatia to the east and south.

An industrial country with a dynamically developing economy. GDP for 2011 amounted to 58.979 billion U.S. dollars (about 29 179 U.S. dollars per capita). The currency unit is the euro.

Independence was proclaimed on June 25, 1991.

Content

History

The Slavic ancestors of modern Slovenes settled on the territory of the country in the 6th century A.D. In the 7th century they formed Karantania, which became one of the first Slavic states. In 745, in exchange for military aid, Karantania recognized the protectorate of the Franks, while retaining formal independence until its dissolution in 1180. The influence of the Franks contributed to the Christianization of the Slovenes.

Around the year 1000, the first written document in the Slovene language, Brižinski spomeniki, was written. In the 14th century the territory of modern Slovenia came under the rule of the Habsburgs and later became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Slovenia was divided into three provinces: Kranjska, Goriska and Stajerska.

The transfer of trade routes and the Thirty-Year War in the 17th century led to the economic decline of Slovenia, but in the 18th century its economic development intensified again: the production of various goods increased and agricultural production grew by about 60%. A national enlightenment movement developed. This period was called the Slovene Renaissance.

From 1809 to 1813 a large part of Slovenia was part of the Illyrian provinces. In the 19th century, especially during and after the Austrian Revolution of 1848-1849, a Slovenian national movement developed in the Austrian Primorye (center Krajna).

In 1918 Austria-Hungary collapsed. Italy, at the end of World War I, took over the entire Slovenian Maritime Region, incorporating it into the Venetia Giulia region. The rest of the Slovenian lands became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which in 1929 was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In 1941, after the Axis powers attacked Yugoslavia, Italy annexed the territory up to Ljubljana and Germany annexed the rest of the territory with the city of Maribor.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia collapsed during World War II, and Slovenia became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was announced on November 29, 1945. Moreover, from Italy to Slovenia were annexed the autochthonous Slovene lands Obalna Kraška and Goriska.

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A referendum held on June 25, 1991 showed that 88.2 percent of Slovenians supported the independence of Slovenia from SFRY.

The war in Slovenia (one of the military conflicts of the war that began at the breakup of Yugoslavia) lasted ten days, during 72 combat encounters, the Yugoslav Army lost 45 people killed, 146 wounded, 4,693 servicemen and 252 members of the federal forces were taken prisoner of war. Losses of the Slovenian Self Defense Forces were 19 killed (9 combatants, the rest civilians) and 182 wounded. Twelve foreign nationals, mostly drivers in the service of international transport companies, were also killed. Thirty-one tanks (including those burned and damaged), 22 transport armored vehicles, 172 vehicles and 6 aircraft were taken out of action.

On December 23, 1991 the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia was adopted.

Administrative division

The country is divided into 210 municipalities, of which 11 have city status.

Political structure

The president, elected every 5 years, is the head of Slovenia. Executive power belongs to the president and the ministerial cabinet. The latter is appointed by parliament.

Parliament consists of two chambers: the State Assembly (državni zbor) and the State Council (državni svet). Ninety deputies are elected to the State Assembly: 88 under the proportional system, and two seats under the majoritarian system for the Slovenian-Italian and Hungarian communities. The State Council performs the functions of the upper house. It consists of 40 deputies, elected for five-year terms, representing important economic, structural and national groups of society. The Parliament is elected every 5 years. The main parliamentary parties are the Slovenian Democratic Party and the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia.

The political parties represented in the State Assembly (as a result of the September 2008 elections:

    (Socialni demokrati, SD) – center-left, 29 deputies (Slovenska demokratska stranka, SDS) – centrist, 28 deputies
  • For Truth (Zares) – centre-left, 9 deputies
  • Democratic Party of Retired Persons of Slovenia (Demokratična stranka upokojencev Slovenije, DeSUS) – center-left, 7 deputies
  • Slovenska nacionalna stranka (SNS) – left-wing nationalist, 5 deputies
  • Slovenska People’s Party (Slovenska ljudska stranka, SLS) – centre-right, 5 deputies
  • Slovene Youth Party (Stranka mladih Slovenije, SMS), center-left, in alliance with SLS (Liberalna demokracija Slovenije, LDS), center-left, 5 deputies

Parties not represented in the parliament:

  • Nova Slovenija – Christian People’s Party (Nova Slovenija – Krščanska ljudska stranka, NSi) – centrist
  • Lipa – nationalist
  • Slovenian Greens (Zeleni Slovenije)
  • Christian Democratic Party (Krščanska demokratska stranka, KDS)
  • Party of the Slovenian People (Stranka slovenskega naroda, SSN) – nationalist
  • Our Slovenia (Slovenija je naša, SJN)

Geographical data

Slovenia is located in the Alpine-Danube region of Central Europe. There are four main geographical regions: the Alps in the north-west (the Julian, Kamenska-Savin, Karavanke and Pohorje Ranges, occupying 42% of the territory), the Pannonian (Middle Danube) Lowland in the north-east (28%), the Dinaric Plateau in the south (21%), including the Karst Plateau, which gave its name to this type of relief, the Mediterranean Coast in the west (Adriatic Sea, 9%). The area is 20,273 km². Land area: 20,151 km². Water area: 122 km². The highest point is the top of Mount Triglav (2864 m) [1], the lowest – the Adriatic Sea coast (0 m).

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Major rivers: the Sava (221 km), the Drava – the right tributaries of the Danube. Lakes are mountain-glacial (Bled, Bohinia) and karst (Cerknica, drying up, the largest in the country, a maximum of 26 km ²). There are about a thousand karst caves (Postojnska Jama, Škociańskie Caves). Numerous waterfalls, the largest Cedzka (130 m). The climate is temperate continental for most of the north, the average January temperature is 0 … -2°C, July 19 … 21°C. Rainfall is 800-1200 mm, in mountains – over 3000 mm/year in some places. More than half of the territory is covered with beech, oak and coniferous forests, in the mountains – alpine meadows, in seaside – maquis, on the Karst plateau – steppe vegetation.

Economy

Advantages : stability. The manufacturing industry is competitive. Strong exports. Prospects for trade growth due to EU membership. Auto factory Revoz is very productive (Renault Clio). Unior d.d. – one of the largest and most important Slovenian importers, including for the German car industry. Competitive port in Koper. Of all the countries in Eastern Europe has the minimum amount of debt. In 2001, a trade agreement with Bosnia.

Weaknesses : the economy is partially liberalized, which keeps foreign investors. Privatization (including the banking sector) is slow.

Slovenia’s national currency is the euro (formerly the tolar).

Slovenia was the first of the countries that joined the EU in 2004, which put into circulation a single European currency. The average gross wage in Slovenia for September 2007 was 1,260 euros, the average net wage (after taxes and insurance premiums) was 820 euros. The minimum wage in 2007 was 522 euros.

In June 2005, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Slovenian Development Strategy, which includes:

  • Exceeding the average level of EU economic development, as well as increasing employment in accordance with the Lisbon Strategy goals for the next ten years;
  • Improving the quality of life and well-being of everyone, as measured by indicators of human development, health, social risks and social cohesion;
  • Ensuring the principle of sustainability as the main quality criterion in all the fields of development, including the goal of sustainable population growth;
  • Developing the country’s image in the world through the development of its characteristic pattern, cultural identity and active participation in international processes.

The major oil company Petrol is fully state-owned, and according to a special decision of the government, it cannot be privatized.

There is one nuclear power plant in the Slovenian energy sector, the Krško Nuclear Power Plant. The unemployment rate is 7%, the gross product per 1 inhabitant is 27,000 USD, and there are only 950,000 workers in the country.

In 2009, the global economic downturn led to a decline in exports and industrial production – by more than 6%, and the unemployment rate exceeded 9%.

The Bank of Slovenia is the central issuing and supervisory authority. The Banks Association is made up of about 30 commercial banks in Slovenia.

Population

Ethnic composition: of the total population according to the 2002 census. 1,964,036 people.

    1 631 363 (83,1 %) 38 964 (2,0 %) 35 642 (1,8 %) 21 542 (1,1 %) 6 243 (0,3 %) 6 186 (0,3 %) 3 972 (0,2 %) 2 667 (0,1 %) 2 258 (0,1 %)
  • Unspecified and unknown 174,913 (8.9%)
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As of July 2009, there were 2,005,692 registered residents in Slovenia. Slovenia has the 145th largest population in the world. The average age of the population is 41.7 years. (40 men and 43 women).

The average population density is 99 people per km². About half of the inhabitants live in towns and cities and the rest in the countryside.

The official language is Slovene. Hungarian and Italian have official status in the regions bordering Hungary and Italy.

Religion: According to the census of 2002, Catholics make up 57.8% of the population, Orthodox 2.3%, Protestants 0.8%, and Muslims 2.4%.

Culture

Slovene is a Southern Slavonic language, written in the Latin alphabet. It has common roots with Croatian and Serbian, but differs greatly from them. Slovene is one of the few Slavic languages which have preserved its dual number. Nowadays there are 49 dialects of Slovene language.

Slovenia’s most famous writer is Franze Prešern (1800-49), whose lyrical poems set new standards for Slovenian literature and helped awaken a national consciousness. Since World War II, many Slovenian folklore traditions have been lost, but there are attempts to revive the national culture, for example, the trio Trutamora Slovenika performs Slovenian folk music, and in the early 1990s an international accordionist competition was won by Alessandra Minacca, who performed Slovenian plays. In the 1970s, the musical style of industrial came to the country, which by the early 1980s embraced the whole of Slovenia (a striking example – the band Laibach from Ljubljana, Laibach – the German version of the name of the Slovenian capital). Postmodernism in painting and sculpture has been promoted since the 1980s by the group “Neue Slowenische Kunst” and five unknown artists working under the pseudonym “IRWIN”. Many significant buildings and squares in Slovenia were created by the architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957).

Slovenian cuisine is traditionally based on the use of fish, and has borrowed many dishes from neighboring countries. From Austria – klobasa (sausage), vvitek (strudel) and Danube zrezek (Viennese schnitzel). Gnocchi (potato dumplings), rijota (risotto) and ravioli-like girkrof are typically Italian dishes. Golash (goulash) and paprikash (stewed chicken or beef) were borrowed from Hungarian cuisine. The main Balkan dishes have long been burek (layered pie with meat or cheese), meat and apple pie. There are many kinds of dumplings, of which shtrukli (cheese dumplings) are the most popular. Traditional dishes are better tasted in the hollnas – versions of restaurants. An example of a traditional Slovenian dish is Goveja juha (soup made of rich beef broth with long vermicelli (rezanci), sometimes with the addition of parmesan cheese, as well as Gobova juha (soup with porcini mushrooms). Slovenia produces excellent white and red wines, strong drinks – schnops, brandy, etc., called “zhganje”, and brands of beer popular in Slovenia – “Laško”, “Union”.

Holidays

The Act on Public Holidays and Public Holidays in the Republic of Slovenia stipulates the following holidays and public holidays:

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Slovenia

Slovenia is a country in the center of Europe. The inhabitants speak Slovene and in some areas also Hungarian and Italian. The republic has borders with four countries. Occupies the prealpine part of the Balkans. There is access to the Adriatic Sea.

The state has more than 10 cities, which are divided into two hundred communities. They are characterized by a stable economy. It was one of the first countries that came out for the accession to the European Union. Many ethnic groups live in the territory – Slovenes and Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and others. The country is a secular state in terms of religion.

Hotels

Hotels in Slovenia are famous for comfort and service. Accommodation ranges from modest town houses and two to five-star hotels in the cities to small cottages and private farms, where locals rent several rooms to travelers. The type of food – classic “bed and breakfast” or half-board, as in all European countries.

Slovenia attractions

Slovenia is the Adriatic Sea, alpine meadows, mountains, mirror-clear lakes and forests. The area of the country is equal to the area of Moscow region, but there are a lot of attractions. Thanks to the mild climate, the architectural heritage is well preserved to this day.

The City Castle in Ljubljana is the most visited by tourists and fondly loved by locals. It is an informal symbol of the country. It was erected by the Habsburg dynasty in the 15th century to protect the future country from Turkish invaders. Admission inside is free and exhibitions, concerts and festivals are often held there.

St. Nicholas Cathedral in Ljubljana is the largest Catholic church in the city. On the surface, it is unremarkable; an ordinary church. But once inside, it immediately becomes clear why it is on the top pages of guidebooks to the country: the interior painting is very impressive, and the stone cascade overhead gives grandeur to the place.

The main tourist squares in Ljubljana are Preshern Square (the place where the city fortification began in the Middle Ages) and Čopova Street (the local Arbat, with souvenir kiosks and the first McDonald’s in the country).

The buildings of Piran have been preserved since the 15th century. It is a mixture of everything: the Roman Empire, the heritage of the Byzantine Empire, the past of the Venetian Republic and the time of the Ottoman Empire. The old part of the city is situated along the Adriatic coast. It is a very romantic and picturesque place.

Museums

The State Gallery in Ljubljana is the oldest museum in the country. It was founded in 1918. It has the best collection of paintings by artists of Slovenia and curious canvases by various authors of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. There are paintings by modern authors. The permanent exhibition of the architectural museum is devoted to modern construction and industrial design. No photo exhibition and architectural biennale passes by.

Climate of Slovenia:: Mediterranean climate on the coast. Continental climate with mild and hot summers. Cold winters on the plateau and valley to the east.

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Slovenia’s resorts

Little Slovenia is full of natural treasures and places where you can relax, gain strength, get inspiration and improve your health. It has everything: sea, mountains and lakes. The length of the Slovenian coast is only 45 kilometers. The beaches are stone and pebble, there are several with sand. Infrastructure is well developed and aimed at a relaxed, family vacation with children. Popular sea resorts are Koper, Izola, Piran, Portoroz. Popular ski resorts are Mariborskoe porje, Kranjska Gora, Terme Zreche, Bohinj. Slovenian resorts are modest, ideal for beginners in skiing. Unlike Austria, France, and Switzerland, the prices are moderate.

Leisure

Slovenia is a special country. Here you can combine recreation at the sea with a trip to the mountains and walks through the architectural and historical sights. There are a lot of thermal and medical resorts known all over the world. Balneological resorts welcome visitors wishing to improve their health all the year round. In the beginning of June in Ljubljana there is a wine festival and in the end of June it is the International festival of jazz. December is famous for colorful Christmas fairs.

Locality of Slovenia:: A short coastal strip on the Adriatic. Alpine mountain region adjoins Italy and Austria. Mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers in the east.

Transportation

The bus is the cheapest and fastest transport in the cities. It has a lane on the road, so you can quickly get from one end of town to the other. You can buy a ticket (in the form of a token) for a ride at special vending machines or tobacconist’s stands. Between cities you can travel by train. Tickets can be bought at train stations and tourist offices. To rent a car, you need to pay a deposit (or have a credit card) and be over 21 years old. The minimum cost is 20 euros per day.

Standard of Living

Since 2004, Slovenia is a member of the EU. At the moment the country is rapidly developing: the tourism sector is growing, industry and domestic production is increasing. In terms of prices – a little bit more expensive than the Czech Republic and Poland. Cheaper than Austria. The price of rental housing, as well as the cost of utilities, is high.

Slovenia is safe. It is not that the residents do not put the alarm system on cars, but often do not lock them. But the standard security measures are worth observing: carry a copy of passport, do not carry the entire amount of money. The Slovene language is slightly similar to Russian. Understand the locals you should not be difficult.

Slovenia has resources like: : Lignite, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests.

Slovenian cities

Ljubljana is the capital of the country. It is a quiet, beautiful and unhurried city, something like any of the Russian cities. Locals go to the capital’s stores, and work in Austria or Hungary. The city of Maribor in the northeast of the country is famous for its beautiful architecture. The second most populous city in the country.

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