CAPITAL : Bratislava
FLAG : Horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red, superimposed with a crest of a white double cross on three blue mountains.
ANTHEM : Nad Tatru sa blyska (Over Tatra it lightens).
MONETARY UNIT : The currency of the Slovak Republic is the Slovak koruna (S K ) consisting of 100 hellers, which replaced the Czechoslovak Koruna (K CS ) on 8 February 1993. There are coins of 10, 20, and 50 hellers and 1, 2, 5, and 10 korun, and notes of 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, and 5,000 korun. S K 1 = $0.0271 (or $1 = S K 36.87) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; May Day, 1 May; Anniversary of Liberation, 8 May; Day of the Slav Apostles, 5 July; Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising, 29 August; Reconciliation Day, 1 November; Christmas, 24–26 December. Movable holiday is Easter Monday.
TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.
The topography of Slovakia features rugged mountains in the central and northern part of the country, and lowlands in the south. The High Tatras (Tatry) mountains along the Polish border are interspersed between many lakes and deep valleys. Bratislava is situated in Slovakia's only substantial region of plains, where the Danube River forms part of the border with Hungary.
Slovakia's climate is continental, with hot summers and cold winters. In July the mean temperature is 21° C (70° F ). January's mean temperature is–1° C (30° F ). Rainfall averages roughly 49 cm (19.3 in) a year, and can exceed 200 cm (80 in) annually in the High Tatras.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Over one-third of the land is forest. Some original steppe grassland areas can be found in Slovakia today. Mammals found in the country include fox, rabbits, and wild pig. A wide variety of birds inhabit the valleys of Slovakia. Carp, pike, and trout are found in the country's rivers, lakes, and streams.
Slovakia receives about 450 asylum-seekers every year. At the beginning of 1999, 400 refugees were recognized. Of these, 300 have remained in the country, and 39 have been granted Slovak citizenship. In April 1999 Slovakia granted temporary protection to 90 refugees from Kosovo. Of these, 70 left Slovakia in July 1999 and returned home. In 1999, the net migration rate was0.29 migrants per 1,000 population.
Slovakia is currently divided into 79 districts and 8 regions ( kraje ), and each region has a parliament and governor. The 8 regional parliaments were created in January 2002 under the new amended constitution as part of Slovakia's efforts to gain membership in the EU.
Slovakia is a member of the UN, which it joined in 1993 when Czechoslovakia agreed to split into two parts. The country is a member of the WTO, ECE, IAEA, ICAO, IDA, IFC, ILO, IMF, ITU, OSCE, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, and the World Bank. It is an applicant to the EU, and is expected to join that body in 2004. Slovakia was formally invited to join NATO in November 2002.
Fishing is only a minor source of the domestic food supply. Production comes mostly from mountain streams and stocked ponds. Some of the rivers and ponds near Bratislava are polluted with chemicals and petrochemical seepings, impairing the growth of fish stocks regionally. The total catch in 2000 was 2,250 tons, with common carp and rainbow trout the dominant species.
Slovakia has no territories or colonies.
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