Slovakia

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 5.4
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 58%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 0.0%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km˛) : 49,01


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Slovak85
Hungarian10
Gypsy2
Czech1
Other2



Main Cities Population
Bratislava 425 155
Kosice 235 006
Presov 91 767
Nitra 85 742
Zilina 85 268
Banská Bystrica 81 704



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Bratislava (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer).
Summer time from March to October



Languages
Official language: Slovak
Business languages: Slovak, German and English.

Free translation tools

Slovnik.cz
Free English-Slovak-English dictionary

Ectaco
Free English-Slovak-English dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Catholics 60%
Protestants 8.5%
Orthodox 4%
Others 17.5%.


Political context

Slovakia is a republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Slovakia (official name: Slovak Republic) was part of Czechoslovakia until 1993 and became a European Union member in 2004.
President is the chief of state and is elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term. Following the parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed Prime Minister by the President for a four-year term. Prime Minister is the head of the government and enjoys the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. The cabinet is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
The legislature is unicameral in Slovakia. The parliament called National Council consists of 150 seats; its members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms. The executive branch of government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the National Council, often expressed through a vote of confidence. Legislative power is vested in the National Council. Prime Minister cannot dissolve the parliament, but President can do so in case circumstances demand so. The people of Slovakia have considerable political rights.
Slovakia has an independent judiciary, though there has been concern about judicial corruption and backlog of cases. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1992 (amended in 1998 & 2001). The country’s civil law system is based on Austro-Hungarian codes. The legal code was modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal theory. Slovakia accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but with reservations. Being a member of the European Union, the national law in Slovakia needs to comply with the conditions of the Community legislation. The judicial language used in the country is Slovak; having an interpreter is possible.
Slovakia is ruled by law. Foreign nationals can expect an impartial trial from the country’s judicial system. However, corruption is a big problem which has affected health-care, education, police & judiciary in the country. After joining EU, the government is bringing necessary legislation to curb the corruption and provide maximum transparency in the functioning of the government.


Major political parties

Slovakia has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party normally has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties need to work with each other to form coalition governments. The major political parties in the country are:
SNS (Slovak National Party) – a centre-right party based on principles of Christianity, Nationalism and Socialism;
KDH (Christian Democratic Movement ) – Christian democrats;
Smer-SD (Direction - Social Democracy) – generally considered to be left-of-centre political party SMK (Hungarian Coalition Party) – a party of ethnic Hungarian minority;
LS-HZDS (People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia) – a social democratic party;
SDKU-DS (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union- Democratic Party) – a Christian democratic party.


Major political leaders

President: Ivan GASPAROVIC (since June 2004) – non-partisan, but nominated by political parties
Prime Minister: Robert FICO (since July 2006) – Smer-SD, heading a coalition government with SDKU-DS and SMK


Next political election dates

Presidential: April 2009
National Council: Year 2010




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Slovakia 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 1,401 1,515 ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
- Beautiful mountains and forests can be found in the central and in Northern part of the country.
-Saint Martin cathedral, in the lower part of the city and the Austrian citadel that overlap the Danube with its bridge and its panoramic tower, are the old symbols of the power of the Slovak capital, Bratislava.

For more information about tourism in Slovakia , check out the following web site(s) :
Slovak Tourism Board



Food


Traditional dishes
The Slovak food is influenced by Hungarian, Austrian and German recipes. The Slovaks offer numerous specialties such as a big variety of soups, vegetable-based dishes, smoked pork meats and numerous pasta-based dishes.
The culinary specialties may vary from one region to another.
One of the most popular dishes is the Bryndzové halusky: potatoes covered with roasted bacon and ewe cheese .
The kapustnica: vegetable soup with mushrooms and small pieces of smoked pork. It is traditionally served at important occasions such as weddings or at Christmas.
Sunkova rolka chrenovou: it is an appetizer with small pieces of ham, dipped into a raifort sauce and served with a wild berries brandy (borovicka).
For dessert, you can enjoy the Slovak pancakes (palacinky) with a chocolate sauce, some jam or soft white cheese with grapes. Finally, you can enjoy the Makove sulance, a dessert fried vermicelli-based with poppy seeds and sugar sprinkled on top.
Finally, you can enjoy your dinner with a plum brandy: the slivovica.


Food-related taboos
There are no culinary taboos in the Slovak cooking.

Last modified on December 2006

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