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

List of Countries
Map of Europe

Hungary Travelling Guide
Hungary Travelling Guide

General background: Hungary was part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. In the more open GORBACHEV years, Hungary led the movement to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and steadily shifted toward multiparty democracy and a market-oriented economy. Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Hungary developed close political and economic ties to Western Europe. It joined NATO in 1999 and is a frontrunner in a future expansion of the EU.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Indiana.

Climate: Temperate; cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers.

Terrain: Mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border.

Population: 10,075,034 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Hungarian 89.9%, Roma 4%, German 2.6%, Serb 2%, Slovak 0.8%, Romanian 0.7%

Religions: Roman Catholic 67.5%, Calvinist 20%, Lutheran 5%, atheist and other 7.5%

Language: Hungarian 98.2%, other 1.8%

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Budapest

Legal system: Rule of law based on Western model

Economic overview: Hungary continues to demonstrate strong economic growth and to work toward accession to the European Union. The private sector accounts for over 80% of GDP. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms is widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment totaling more than $23 billion since 1989. Hungarian sovereign debt was upgraded in 2000 to the second-highest rating among all the Central European transition economies. Inflation and unemployment - both priority concerns in 2001 - have declined substantially. Economic reform measures such as health care reform, tax reform, and local government financing have not yet been addressed by the ORBAN government.

Communication/Telephone system: The telephone system has been modernized and is capable of satisfying all requests for telecommunication service.

Places of interest: The majority of travelers arrive in picturesque Budapest, which has a lively arts, café and music scene, and is host to a range of cultural and sporting festivals. Hungary has some of the best bird-watching areas in Europe.

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