Most of Slovenia is situated in the Karst plateau and in the Julian Alps. The largely mountainous and forested republic is drained by the Drava and Sava rivers. Ljubljana, Maribor, and Celje are the chief cities. The Slovenes constitute more than 80% of the population, but there are also Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks. Almost 60% are Roman Catholic, and there are Muslim and Eastern Orthodox minorites. Farming and livestock raising are important occupations, with potatoes, hops, wheat, sugar beets, corn, and wine grapes the main crops. However, Slovenia is the most industrialized and urbanized of all the former Yugoslav republics. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Slovenia's economy grew and tourism increased markedly, unimpeded by the warfare that devastated other regions. Iron, steel, aluminum, electronics, motor vehicles, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, and machine tools are the main industrial products. There are mineral resources of coal, lead, zinc, mercury, uranium, and silver. Exports include manufactured goods, machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, and food. Machinery, consumer goods, chemicals, and fuels are imported. The country's chief trading partners are Germany, Italy, Austria, France, and Croatia.
Slovenia is governed under the constitution of 1991. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is nominated by the president and elected by the National Assembly. There is a bicameral Parliament. Of the 90 members of the National Assembly, 40 are directly elected and 50 are elected on a proportional basis, all for four-year terms. Members of the 40-seat, advisory National Council are indirectly elected for five-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into 182 municipalities and 11 urban municipalities.
In ancient times the region was inhabited by the Illyrian and Celtic tribes. In the 1st cent. B.C. they fell under the Roman provinces of Pannonia and Noricum. The region was settled in the 6th cent. A.D. by the South Slavs, who set up the early Slav state of Samo, which in 788 passed to the Franks. At the division of Charlemagne's empire (843) the region passed to the dukes of Bavaria. In 1335, Carinthia and Carniola passed to the Hapsburgs. From that time until 1918 Slovenia was part of Austria and the region was largely comprised in the Austrian crownlands of Carinthia, Carniola, and Styria. In 1918, Slovenia was included in the kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (called Yugoslavia after 1929), and in 1919 Austria formally ceded the region by the Treaty of Saint-Germain.
In World War II Slovenia was divided (1941) among Germany, Italy, and Hungary. After the war, Slovenia was made (1945) a constituent republic of Yugoslavia and received part of the former Italian region of Venezia Giulia. In early 1990, Slovenia elected a non-Communist government and stepped up its demands for greater autonomy with the threat of possible secession. In Feb., 1991, the Slovenian parliament ruled that Slovenian law took precedence over federal law. Slovenia declared independence on June 25, and federal troops moved in, but after some fighting withdrew by July. Slovenia, along with Croatia, was recognized as an independent country by the European Community and the United Nations in 1992.
Milan Kučan was elected president of Slovenia in 1990 and continued as president of the independent republic; he was reelected in Nov., 1997. In 2002, Janez Drnovšek, a Liberal Democrat, was elected president after a runoff election; Drnovšek had been the country's prime minister. Slovenia became a member of NATO and the European Union in 2004, and adopted the euro as its currency three years later. Janez Janša became prime minister in Nov., 2004, heading a center-right coalition government.
A dispute over Slovenia's right to access to the Adriatic through waters that Croatia claims has been a source of tension between the two nations, and has led Slovenia to block some of the negotiations for Croatia's accession to the European Union. The countries agreed in Aug., 2007, to submit their boundary disputes to the International Court of Justice, and in Sept., 2009, Slovenia ended the freeze on Croatia's accession talks after an agreement stipulated that none of the documents associated with EU application would have any legal impact on the resolution of the border dispute.
In Nov., 2007, Danilo Türk, a former diplomat and left-of-center candidate, was elected to succeed Drnovšek as president. The opposition Social Democrats won a plurality in Sept., 2008, parliamentary elections, and in November party leader Borut Pahor became prime minister of the four-party coalition government.
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Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija, ), is a country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana.
At various points in Slovenia's history, the country has been part of the Roman Empire, partly the Republic of Venice, the principality Carantania (only modern Slovenia's northern part), the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire (later known as Austria-Hungary), the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929); partly Kingdom of Italy, between the two World Wars, occupied by Germany, Italy, Hungary and Croatia (1941-1945), and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991.
Slovenia is the only country once to have formed a part of a socialist state to be at the same time a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, the Schengen area, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and NATO.
During the 14th century, most of Slovene Lands passed under the Habsburg rule. In the 15th century, the Habsburg domination was challenged by the Counts of Celje, but by the end of the century the great majority of Slovene-inhabited territories were incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. Most Slovenes lived in the region known as Inner Austria, forming the majority of the population of the Duchy of Carniola and the County of Gorizia and Gradisca, as well as of Lower Styria and southern Carinthia. Slovenes also inhabited most of the territory of the Imperial Free City of Trieste, although representing the minority of its population. Slovene majorities also existed in the Prekmurje region of the Kingdom of Hungary, and in Venetian Slovenia and north-western Istria, which were part of the Republic of Venice.
In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation spread throughout the Slovene Lands. During this period, the first books in Slovene language were written by the Protestant preacher Primož Trubar and his followers, establishing the base for the development of the Slovene standard language. Although almost all Protestants were expelled from the Slovene Lands (with the exception of Prekmurje) by the beginning of the 17th century, they left a strong legacy in the tradition of the Slovene culture, which was partially incorporated in the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 17th century. The Slovene cultural tradition was further reinforced in the Enlightenment period in the 18th century by the endeavours of the Zois Circle.
After a short French interim between 1805 and 1813, all Slovene Lands were included in the Austrian Empire. Slowly, a distinct Slovene national consciousness developed, and the quest for a political unification of all Slovenes became widespread. In 1848, a mass political and popular movement for the United Slovenia (Zedinjena Slovenija) emerged as part of the Spring of Nations movement within the Austrian Empire.
Between 1848 and 1918, numerous institutions (including theatres and publishing houses, as well as political, financial and cultural organisations) were founded in the so-called Slovene National Awakening. Despite their political and institutional fragmentation and lack of a proper political representation, the Slovenes were able to establish a functioning and integrated national infrastructure. During this period, the town of Ljubljana, the capital of Carniola, emerged as the undisputed centre of all Slovene Lands, while the Slovenes developed an internationally comparable literature and culture. Nevertheless, the Slovene national question remained unsolved, so the political élite started looking towards other Slavic nations in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans in order to engage in a common political action against German and Hungarian hegemony. The idea of a common political entity of all South Slavs, known as Yugoslavia, emerged.
During World War I, after the Italian attack on Austria-Hungary in 1915, the Italian front opened, and some of the most important battles (the Battles of the Isonzo) were fought along the river Soča and on the Kras Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral.
With the collapse of the Austria-Hungary in 1918, the Slovenes initially joined the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which just a few months later merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, in 1929 renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The western part of the Slovene Lands (the Slovenian Littoral and western districts of Inner Carniola) was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and became known under the name of Julian March. In 1920, in the Carinthian Plebiscite, the majority of Carinthian Slovenes voted to remain in Austria. Although the Slovenes in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia were submitted to an intolerant centralist policy trying to eradicate a distinct Slovene national consciousness, they were still better off than Slovenes in Italy, Austria and Hungary, who became victims of policies of forced assimilation and violent persecution. As a reaction to the fascist violence of the Italian State in the Julian March, the organisation TIGR, regarded as one of the first armed antifascist resistance groups in Europe, was founded in 1927.
In April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis Powers. Slovenia was divided between Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Horthy's Hungary and several villages given to the Independent State of Croatia. Soon, a liberation movement under the Communist leadership emerged. Due to political assassinations carried out by the Communist guerrillas as well as the pre-existing radical anti-Communism of the conservative circles of the Slovenian society, a civil war between Slovenes broke out in the Italian-occupied south-eastern Slovenia (known as Province of Ljubljana) between the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People and the Axis-sponsored anti-communist militia, the Slovene Home Guard, formed to protect villages from attacks by Communist partisans. The Slovene partisan guerrilla managed to liberate large portions of the Slovene Lands, making a contribution to the defeat of Nazism.
Following the re-establishment of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II, Slovenia became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, declared on 29 November 1945. A Communist dictatorship was established, but due to the Tito-Stalin split economic and personal freedom were better than in the Eastern Bloc. In 1947, Italy ceded most of the Julian March to Yugoslavia and Slovenia thus regained the Slovenian Littoral, including access to the sea. From the 1950s, the Socialist Republic of Slovenia enjoyed a relatively wide autonomy under the rule of the local Communist elite. In 1990, Slovenia abandoned its communist infrastructure, the first free and democratic elections were held and the DEMOS coalition defeated the former Communist parties. The state reconstituted itself as Republic of Slovenia. In December 1990, the overwhelming majority of Slovenian citizens voted for independence, which was declared on 25 June 1991. A Ten-Day War followed in which the Slovenians rejected Yugoslav military interference. After 1990, a stable democratic system evolved, with economic liberalisation and gradual growth of prosperity. Slovenia joined NATO on 29 March 2004 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. Slovenia was the first post-Communist country to hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first six months of 2008.
The bicameral Parliament of Slovenia is characterized by an asymmetric duality, as the Constitution does not accord equal powers to both chambers. It consists of the National Assembly (Državni zbor), and the National Council (Državni svet). The National Assembly has ninety members, 88 of which are elected by all the citizens in a system of proportional representation, while two are elected by the indigenous Hungarian and Italian minorities. Elections take place every four years. It is the supreme representative and legislative institution, exercising legislative and electoral powers as well as control over the Executive and the Judiciary. The National Council has forty members, appointed to represent social, economic, professional and local interest groups. Among its best-known powers is the authority of the "postponing veto" - it can demand that the Parliament re-discusses a certain piece of legislation.
|English name||Native name||Upper Carniola||Gorenjska||Lower Styria||Štajerska||Prekmurje||Prekmurje||Carinthia||Koroška||Inner Carniola||Notranjska||Lower Carniola||Dolenjska||Goriška||Goriška||Slovenian Istria||Slovenska Istra|
Goriška and Slovenian Istria together are known as the Littoral region (Primorska). White Carniola (Bela krajina), otherwise part of Lower Carniola, is considered a separate region of Slovenia, as are Zasavje and Posavje, the former being a part of Upper Carniola, Lower Carniola and Styria; and the latter part of Lower Carniola and Styria.
Slovenia's statistical regions exist solely for legal and statistical purposes. As of February 2007 there are 12 statistical regions (NUTS-2 level), which are grouped in two macroregions (NUTS-1 level): Mura (Pomurska), Drava (Podravska), Carinthia (Koroška), Savinja (Savinjska), Central Sava (Zasavska), Lower Sava (Spodnjeposavska), Southeast Slovenia (Jugovzhodna Slovenija), Inner Carniola-Karst (Notranjsko-kraška), Central Slovenia (Osrednjeslovenska), Upper Carniola (Gorenjska), Gorica (Goriška), and Coastal-Karst (Obalno-kraška)
The government, however, is preparing a plan for new administrative regions. The number of these regions is not yet defined, but is said to be between twelve and fourteen. After being unveiled publicly, the plan will undergo parliamentary debate. Constitutional changes allowing the creation of regions have already been approved by the National Assembly. If, however, twelve administrative regions are favored, they will most likely be the same as those already in place.
On 24 May 2007 the government proposed a reform in the local government system, introducing administrative regions with limited home rule. It has been stated that 13 will be the maximum allowed number of such regions (or provinces), but their actual names, territories and capitals have yet to be exactly determined. As the passage of necessary legislation has stalled, the process of devolution has been postponed, probably till 2010.
Four major European geographic regions meet in Slovenia: the Alps, the Dinarides, the Pannonian Plain, and the Mediterranean. Slovenia's highest peak is Triglav (2,864 m; 9,396 ft); the country's average height above sea level is 557 metres (1,827 ft). Although on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, most of Slovenia is in the Black Sea drainage basin. The geographical centre of Slovenia is at the coordinates 46°07'11.8" N and 14°48'55.2" E. It lies in Spodnja Slivna near Vače in the municipality of Litija. Slovenia's coastline measures 47km (29 mi).
Around half of the country (11,691 km²; 4,514 sq mi) is covered by forests; the third most forested country in Europe, after Finland and Sweden. Remnants of primeval forests are still to be found, the largest in the Kočevje area. Grassland covers 5,593 square kilometres (2,159 sq mi) and fields and gardens 2,471 square kilometres (954 sq mi). There are 363 square kilometres (140 sq mi) of orchards and 216 square kilometres (83 sq mi) of vineyards.
Its climate is sub-mediterranean on the coast, alpine in the mountains and continental with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaux and valleys to the east. Average temperatures are -2 °C (28 °F) in January and 21 °C (70 °F) in July. The average rainfall is 1,000 millimetres (39.4 in) for the coast, up to 3,500 millimetres (137.8 in) for the Alps, 800 millimetres (31.5 in) for south-east and 1,400 millimetres (55.1 in) for central Slovenia.
The first regionalisations of Slovenia were made by geographers Anton Melik (1935-1936) and Svetozar Ilešič (1968). The newer regionalisation by Ivan Gams divides Slovenia in the following macroregions:
According to a newer natural geographic regionalisation, the country consists of four macroregions. These are the Alpine, the Mediterranean, the Dinaric, and the Pannonian landscapes. Macroregions are defined according to major relief units (the Alps, the Pannonian plain, the Dinaric mountains) and climate types (submediterranean, temperate continental, mountain climate). These are often quite interwoven.
Despite economic success, Slovenia faces challenges. Much of the economy remains in state hands and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia is one of the lowest in the EU per capita. Taxes are relatively high, the labor market is seen as inflexible, and industries are losing sales to China, India, and elsewhere.
During the 2000s, privatizations were seen in the banking, telecommunications, and public utility sectors. Restrictions on foreign investment are being dismantled, and foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to increase. Slovenia is the economic front-runner of the countries that joined the European Union in 2004 and was the first new member which adopted the euro on 1 January 2007.
Slovenia's main ethnic group is Slovene (83%). Nationalities from the former Yugoslavia (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Montenegrin) form 5.3%, and the Hungarian, Albanian, Roma, Italian and other minorities form 2.8% of the population. Ethnic affiliation of 8.9% was either undeclared or unknown.
Life expectancy in 2003 was 72.2 years for men and 80 years for women. Slovenia ranks number 8 on the list of countries by suicide rate.
With 99 inhabitants per square kilometre (256/sq mi), Slovenia ranks low among the European countries in population density (compared to 320/km² (829/sq mi) for the Netherlands or 195/km² (505/sq mi) for Italy). The Notranjska-Kras statistical region has the lowest population density while the Central Slovenian statistical region has the highest. Approximately 51% of the population lives in urban areas and 49% in rural areas.
The official language is Slovene, which is a member of the South Slavic language group. Hungarian and Italian enjoy the status of official languages in the ethnically mixed regions along the Hungarian and Italian borders.
By religion, Slovenes are traditionally largely Roman Catholic (57.8% according to the 2002 Census). According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 37% of Slovenian citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 46% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 16% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".
Slovenia's first book was printed by the Protestant reformer Primož Trubar (1508-1586). It was actually two books, Catechismus (a catechism) and Abecedarium, which was published in 1550 in Tübingen, Germany.
The central part of the country, namely Carniola (which existed as a part of Austria-Hungary until the early 20th century) was ethnographically and historically well-described in the book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (Die Ehre deß Herzogthums Crain, Slava vojvodine Kranjske), published in 1689 by Baron Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693).
Some of Slovenia's greatest literates were the poets France Prešeren (1800-1849), Oton Župančič, Srečko Kosovel, Edvard Kocbek and Dane Zajc, as well as the writers Ivan Cankar (1876-1918) and Vladimir Bartol, Alojz Rebula, Drago Jančar, Boris Pahor, Tomaž Šalamun and Aleš Debeljak are the leading names of contemporary Slovene literature, while Aleš Šteger is one of the most noticeable name among newcomers. The most important Slovene painters include Jurij Šubic and Anton Ažbe in late 19. century. Ivana Kobilca, Rihard Jakopič, Ivan Grohar worked in the beginning of 20. century while Avgust Černigoj, Lojze Spacal, Anton Gojmir Kos, Riko Debenjak, Marij Pregelj, exceptional Gabrijel Stupica, Janez Bernik worked mostly in the second part of 20. century. Contemporary artists are Emerik Bernard, Metka Krašovec, Ivo Prančič, Gustav Gnamuš, group IRWIN and Marko Peljhan. World fame obtained Zoran Mušič who worked in Paris and Venice. The most important Slovene sculptors were Fran Berneker, Lojze Dolinar, Zdenko Kalin, Slavko Tihec, Janez Boljka and now Jakov Brdar and Mirsad Begić. The most famed Slovene architects were Jože Plečnik and Max Fabiani and later Edo Ravnikar and Milan Mihelič.
Slovenia is a homeland of numerous musicians and composers, including Renaissance composer Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591), who greatly influenced Central European classical music, and the violin virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini. In the twentieth century, Bojan Adamič was a renowned film music composer and Ivo Petrić (born 16 June 1931), is a composer of European classical music.
Contemporary popular musicians have been Slavko Avsenik, Laibach, Vlado Kreslin, Pero Lovšin, Pankrti, Zoran Predin, Lačni Franz, New Swing Quartet, DJ Umek, Valentino Kanzyani, Siddharta, Big Foot Mama,Terrafolk, Katalena, Magnifico and others.
Slovene cinema has more than a century-long tradition with Karol Grossmann, Janko Ravnik, Ferdo Delak, France Štiglic, Mirko Grobler, Igor Pretnar, France Kosmač, Jože Pogačnik, Matjaž Klopčič, Jane Kavčič, Jože Gale, Boštjan Hladnik and Karpo Godina as its most established filmmakers. Contemporary film directors Janez Burger, Jan Cvitkovič, Damjan Kozole, Janez Lapajne and Maja Weiss are most notable representatives of the so-called "Renaissance of Slovenian cinema".
Famous Slovene scholars include the chemist and Nobel prize laureate Friderik - Fritz Pregl, physicist Joseph Stefan, philosophers Slavoj Žižek and Milan Komar, linguist Franc Miklošič, physician Anton Marko Plenčič, mathematician Jurij Vega, sociologist Thomas Luckmann, theologian Anton Strle and rocket engineer Herman Potočnik.
Although Slovenia is a small country, there is an exceptionally wide variety of habitats. In the north of Slovenia are the Alps (namely, Julian Alps, Karavanke, Kamnik Alps), and in the south stand the Dinaric Alps. There is also a small area of the Pannonian plain and a Littoral Region. Much of southwestern Slovenia is characterized by Classical Karst, a very rich, often unexplored underground habitat containing diverse flora and fauna.
About 58% of the country is covered by forests. The forests are an important natural resource, but logging is kept to a minimum, as Slovenians also value their forests for the preservation of natural diversity, for enriching the soil and cleansing the water and air, for the social and economic benefits of recreation and tourism, and for the natural beauty they give to the Slovenian landscape. In the interior of the country are typical Central European forests, predominantly oak and beech. In the mountains, spruce, fir, and pine are more common. The tree line is at 1,700 to 1,800 metres (or 5,575 to 5,900 ft).
Pine trees also grow on the Kras plateau. Only one third of Kras is now covered by pine forest. Before that Kras was covered by oak forest. It is said that most of the forest was chopped down long ago to provide the wooden piles on which the city of Venice now stands. The Kras and White Carniola are well known for the mysterious proteus. The lime/linden tree, also common in Slovenian forests, is a national symbol.
In the Alps, flowers such as Daphne blagayana, various gentians (Gentiana clusii, Gentiana froelichi), Primula auricula, edelweiss (the symbol of Slovene mountaineering), Cypripedium calceolus, Fritillaria meleagris (snake's head fritillary), and Pulsatilla grandis are found.
The country's fauna includes marmots, Alpine ibex, and chamois. There are numerous deer, roe deer, boar, and hares. The edible dormouse is often found in the Slovenian beech forests. Hunting these animals is a long tradition and is well described in the book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (Slava vojvodine Kranjske, 1689), written by Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693). Some important carnivores include the Eurasian lynx (reintroduced to the Kočevje area in 1973), European wild cats, foxes (especially the red fox), and the rare jackal. There are also hedgehogs, martens, and snakes such as vipers and grass snakes. As of March 2005, Slovenia also has a limited population of wolves and around four hundred brown bears.
There is a wide variety of birds, such as the Tawny Owl, the Long-eared Owl, the Eagle Owl, hawks, and Short-toed Eagles. Various other birds of prey have been recorded, as well as a growing number of ravens, crows and magpies migrating into Ljubljana and Maribor where they thrive. Other birds include (both Black and Green) Woodpeckers and the White Stork, which nests in Prekmurje.
The indigenous Slovenian fish is the marble trout or marmorata (Salmo marmoratus). Extensive breeding programmes have been introduced to repopulate the marble trout into lakes and streams invaded by non-indigenous species of trout.
Domestic animals originating in Slovenia include the Carniolan honeybee, the indigenous Karst Shepherd and the Lipizzan horse. The exploration of various cave systems has yielded discoveries of many cave-dwelling insects and other organisms.
Slovenia is a veritable cornucopia of forest, cavern and mountain-dwelling wildlife. Many species that are endangered or can no longer be found in other parts of Europe can still be found here.
The Slovenian education system consists of:
Specific parts of the system:
Currently there are three public universities in Slovenia:
In addition, there is the private University of Nova Gorica.