Slovakia [Country Flag of Slovakia]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Slovakia]



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Location: Central Europe, south of Poland

Geographic coordinates: 48 40 N, 19 30 E

Map references: Europe

total: 48,845 sq km
land: 48,800 sq km
water: 45 sq km

Area—comparative: about twice the size of New Hampshire

Land boundaries:
total: 1,355 km
border countries: Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 215 km, Hungary 515 km, Poland 444 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: Gerlachovka 2,655 m

Natural resources: brown coal and lignite; small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt

Land use:
arable land: 31%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 17%
forests and woodland: 41%
other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 800 sq km (1993 est.)

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol

Geography—note: landlocked


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Population: 5,392,982 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21% (male 570,515; female 546,088)
15-64 years: 68% (male 1,819,831; female 1,845,800)
65 years and over: 11% (male 235,926; female 374,822) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.08% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 9.96 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 9.48 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 9.73 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.19 years
male: 69.41 years
female: 77.15 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak

Ethnic groups: Slovak 85.7%, Hungarian 10.7%, Gypsy 1.5% (the 1992 census figures underreport the Gypsy/Romany community, which could reach 500,000 or more), Czech 1%, Ruthenian 0.3%, Ukrainian 0.3%, German 0.1%, Polish 0.1%, other 0.3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 60.3%, atheist 9.7%, Protestant 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, other 17.5%

Languages: Slovak (official), Hungarian

Literacy: NA


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Country name:
conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local long form: Slovenska Republika
local short form: Slovensko

Data code: LO

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Bratislava

Administrative divisions: 8 departments (kraje, singular—kraj); Banskobystricky, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky, Zilinsky

Independence: 1 January 1993 (from Czechoslovakia)

National holiday: Slovak Constitution Day, 1 September (1992); Anniversary of Slovak National Uprising, 29 August (1944)

Constitution: ratified 1 September 1992, fully effective 1 January 1993

Legal system: civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; legal code modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal theory

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Michal KOVAC (since 2 March 1993); note—leaves office 2 March 1998; first round of voting for his replacement occurred 29 January 1998
head of government: Prime Minister Vladimir MECIAR (since 12 December 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by National Council for a five-year term; election last held 8 February 1993 (next to be held March 1998); following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results: Michal KOVAC elected president; percent of parliamentary vote—NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic or Narodna Rada Slovensky Repubiky (150 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 30 September-1 October 1994 (next to be held 26-27 September 1998)
election results: percent of vote by party—HZDS 35%, SDL 10.4%, Hungarian coalition (Hungarian Christian Democrats, Hungarian Civic Party, Coexistence) 10.2%, KDH 10.1%, DU 8.6%, ZRS 7.3%, SNS 5.4%; seats by party—governing coalition 83 (HZDS 61, ZRS 13, SNS 9), opposition 67 (SDL 18, Hungarian coalition 17, KDH 17, DU 15)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are elected by the National Parliament; Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders: Movement for a Democratic Slovakia or HZDS [Vladimir MECIAR, chairman]; Party of the Democratic Left or SDL [Jozef MIGAS, chairman]; Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement or MKDH [Bela BUGAR]; Hungarian Civic Party or MOS [Laszlo A. NAGY, president]; Coexistence [Miklos DURAY, chairman]; Christian Democratic Movement or KDH [Jan CARNOGURSKY, chairman]; Democratic Union or DU [Jozef MORAVCIK, chairman]; Association of Slovak Workers or ZRS [Jan LUPTAK, chairman]; Slovak National Party or SNS [Jan SLOTA, chairman]; Slovak Green Alternative or SZA [Zora LAZAROVA, chairwoman]; Farmers' Party of Slovakia or RSS [Pavel DELINGA, chairman], note—Pavel DELINGA was elected chairman of New Agrarian Party or NAS in November 1997 which emerged from a merger of the Slovak Farmer's Party or RSS and the Farmers Movement of the Slovak Republic or HPS; Social Democratic Party of Slovakia or SSDS [Jaroslav VOLF, chairman]; Party of Greens in Slovakia or SZS [Zdeuka TOTHORA, chairman]; Democratic Party or DS [Jan LANGOS, chairman]; Slovak Democratic Coalition or SDK (includes KDH, DS, DU, SSDS, SZS) [Mikulas DZURINDA]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Party of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen of Slovakia; Christian Social Union; Confederation of Trade Unions or KOZ; Metal Workers Unions or KOVO and METALURG; Association of Employers of Slovakia; Association of Towns and Villages or ZMOS

International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CCC, CE (guest), CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NSG, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Branislav LICHARDUS
chancery: (temporary) Suite 250, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 965-5161
FAX: [1] (202) 965-5166

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ralph R. JOHNSON
embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [42] (7) 533-0861, 533-3338
FAX: [42] (7) 533-5439

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red superimposed with the Slovak cross in a shield centered on the hoist side; the cross is white centered on a background of red and blue


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Economy—overview: Since the establishment of the Slovak Republic on 1 January 1993, Slovakia has continued the difficult transformation from a centrally controlled economy to a modern market-oriented economy. Macroeconomic performance improved steadily in 1994-96, but privatization progressed only in fits and starts. Strong export performance boosted GDP growth to 4.9% in 1994 after a four-year decline. GDP then rose by 6.8% in 1995, 7% in 1996, and 5.9% in 1997, rates among the highest in Central and Eastern Europe. Inflation dropped from 26% in 1993 to 6% annually in 1996-97, the lowest rate in the region. Private activity now makes up more than two-thirds of GDP. Although Slovak economic performance continues to be impressive, many warning signs of possible danger ahead have been raised. Aggregate demand has surged in the form of increased personal and government consumption. At the same time that the budget deficit is growing, the money supply has been rapidly increasing, which could apply upward pressure on inflation. The trade and current account deficits both are mounting as imports soar and exports sag. Perhaps most troubling, Slovakia continues to have difficulty attracting foreign investment because of perceived political problems and halting progress on restructuring and privatization. Continuing economic recovery in western Europe should boost exports and production, but Slovakia's position with foreign creditors and investors could suffer setbacks in 1998 if progress on privatization and restructuring stalls and if domestic political problems continue to tarnish its international image.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$46.3 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5.9% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$8,600 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.2%
industry: 39.4%
services: 55.4% (1996)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 6% (1997)

Labor force:
total: 2.352 million
by occupation: industry 29.3%, agriculture 8.9%, construction 8.0%, transport and communication 8.2%, services 45.6% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 12.8% (1997 est.)

revenues: $5.7 billion
expenditures: $6.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996)

Industries: metal and metal products; food and beverages; electricity, gas, coke, oil, and nuclear fuel; chemicals and manmade fibers; machinery; paper and printing; earthenware and ceramics; transport vehicles; textiles; electrical and optical apparatus; rubber products

Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1996)

Electricity—capacity: 7.115 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 23.223 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 4,698 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; hogs, cattle, poultry; forest products

total value: $8.8 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment 22.8%; chemicals 12.2%; miscellaneous manufactured goods 11.9%; raw materials 4.4% (1996)
partners: EU 41.3% (Germany 20.9%, Austria 6.0%), Czech Republic 30.6%, FSU 7.1% (1996)

total value: $11.1 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment 35.4%; fuels 17.0%; intermediate manufactured goods 15.5%; miscellaneous manufactured goods 9.0% (1996)
partners: EU 36.9% (Germany 14.7%, Italy 6.0%), Czech Republic 24.8%, FSU 17.7% (1996)

Debt—external: $9.5 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 koruna (Sk) = 100 halierov

Exchange rates: koruny (Sk) per US$1—35.50 (January 1998), 33.616 (1997), 30.654 (1996), 29.713 (1995), 32.045 (1994), 30.770 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 1,362,178 (1992 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international: NA

Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA; note—there are 22 private broadcast stations and 1 public (state) broadcast station

Radios: 915,000 (1995 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 56 private broadcast stations, 2 public (state) broadcast stations (1995 est.)

Televisions: 1.2 million (1995 est.)


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total: 3,665 km
broad gauge: 107 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 3,507 km 1.435-m gauge (1424 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 51 km (46 km 1,000-m gauge; 5 km 0.750-m gauge) (1996)

total: 36,608 km
paved: 36,059 km (including 215 km of expressways)
unpaved: 549 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 172 km on the Danube

Pipelines: petroleum products NA km; natural gas 2,700 km

Ports and harbors: Bratislava, Komarno

Merchant marine:
total: 3 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 15,041 GRT/19,517 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 13 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 3 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, Reserve Force (Home Guards)

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,471,103 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 1,125,200 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 46,964 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $423 million (1996)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 2.7% (1996)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: Gabcikovo Dam dispute with Hungary (to be resolved March 1998); unresolved property issues with Czech Republic over redistribution of former Czechoslovak federal property

Illicit drugs: minor, but increasing, transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish bound for Western Europe