|General background: The Slovene lands were
part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria until 1918
when the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming
a new nation, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. After World
War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia,
which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's
rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power of the
majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing
their independence in 1991. Historical ties to Western
Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy make
Slovenia a leading candidate for future membership in
the EU and NATO.
Area comparative: Slightly
smaller than New Jersey.
climate on the coast, continental climate with mild
to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and
valleys to the east.
Terrain: A short
coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region
adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountain and valleys
with numerous rivers to the east.
Population: 1,932,917 (July 2002 est.)
Ethnic groups: Slovene 88%, Croat 3%, Serb
2%, Bosniak 1%, Yugoslav 0.6%, Hungarian 0.4%, other
Religions: Roman Catholic (Uniate 2%) 70.8%,
Lutheran 1%, Muslim 1%, atheist 4.3%, other 22.9%
Language: Slovenian 91%, Serbo-Croatian 6%,
Government type: Parliamentary democratic
Legal system: based on civil law system
Economic overview: Although Slovenia enjoys
a GDP per capita substantially higher than that of
the other transitioning economies of Central Europe,
it needs to speed up the privatisation process and
the dismantling of restrictions on foreign investment.
About 45% of the economy remains in state hands, and
the level of foreign direct investment inflows as
a percent of GDP is the lowest in the region. Despite
the global slowdown in 2001, the economy turned in
an excellent record on exports, which grew 5%. Inflation
dropped slightly but at 8.4% remains a matter of concern.
Communication/Telephone system: Not available
Places of interest:
Travel tips: Travelers in search of an antidote
to much of Europe's crowds and high prices can, at
least for the meantime, consider it their little secret.