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A small country in south-east Europe.


Slovenia is bordered by Austria to the north, Hungary to the east, Italy to the west, and Croatia to the south and east. It has an outlet to the Adriatic Sea. The country is largely mountainous and wooded, with fertile valleys; there are extensive mineral and coal reserves.


Industry is well developed, including iron, steel, and textiles. Deposits of coal, lead, zinc, aluminium, and mercury are exploited. Agriculture includes livestock-rearing, viticulture, and crops such as cereals, sugar beet, and potatoes.


The Slovenes are a west Slavonic people, ruled by the Habsburgs from the 14th century until 1918. After World War I the majority of the Slovene people were incorporated into the new kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later Yugoslavia. In 1941 their lands were divided between Italy, Hungary, and the Third Reich. In 1945, 1947, and 1954, areas of the Istrian peninsula, including parts of the Free Territory of Trieste, were incorporated into the Republic of Slovenia within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The most economically and educationally advanced of the Slav republics, Slovenes are predominantly Roman Catholic, with a strong Western heritage. During 1989 pressure began to mount for independence, and a coalition of six parties, the Democratic Opposition of Slovenia (DEMOS) emerged. In May 1990 it formed a non-communist government under President Milan Kučan, and in July declared independence, confirmed by a referendum in December. There was intermittent fighting between Slovene partisans and units of the Yugoslav army during 1990, before Serbia tacitly accepted the situation. In April 1992 DEMOS split, and the Liberal Democrats under Janez Drnovsek formed a government. Kučan was re-elected President later that year. A series of Liberal Democrat-led coalitions ruled Slovenia until 2004, with a brief conservative interlude in 2000. Following the 2004 election, however, a conservative coalition was formed under Janez Janša. Slovenia joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.




20,251 sq km (7897 sq miles)


1,999,000 (2005)


1 tolar = 100 stotin


Roman Catholic 83.5%

Ethnic Groups:

Slovene 90.0%


Slovenian (official)

International Organizations:

UN; OSCE; EU; NATO; Council of Europe; WTO

Subjects: History.

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