World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Austria Travelling Guide
Austria Travelling Guide

General background: Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law of that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. This neutrality, once ingrained as part of the Austrian cultural identity, has been called into question since the Soviet collapse of 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995. A prosperous country, Austria entered the European Monetary Union in 1999.

Area comparative: slightly smaller than Maine

Climate: Temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain in lowlands and snow in mountains; cool summers with occasional showers.

Terrain: In the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping.

Population: 8,169,929 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: German 88%, non-nationals 9.3% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Roma), naturalized 2% (includes those who have lived in Austria at least three generations)

Religions: Roman Catholic 78%, Protestant 5%, Muslim and other 17%

Language: German

Government type: Federal republic

Capital: Vienna

Legal system: Civil law system with Roman law origin; judicial review of legislative acts by the Constitutional Court; separate administrative and civil/penal supreme courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Austria, with its well-developed market economy and high standard of living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's. Membership in the EU has drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by Austria's access to the single European market and proximity to EU aspirant economies. Slowing growth in Germany and elsewhere in the world slowed the economy to only 1.2% growth in 2001; the economy is expected to do little better in 2002. To meet increased competition from both EU and Central European countries, Austria will need to emphasize knowledge-based sectors of the economy, continue to deregulate the service sector, and lower its tax burden.

Communication/Telephone system: Highly developed and efficient, there are 48 main lines for every 100 persons; the fibre-optic net is very extensive; all telephone applications and Internet services are available. Satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Eutelsat; in addition, there are about 600 VSAT (very small aperture terminals) (2002).

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