(pronounced "vlah-DEE-meer SHPEED-lah")
"Our goal is a modern social state and EU entry."
The Czech Republic is a small, landlocked country in central Europe consisting of two lands, Bohemia and Moravia. To the country's west lies Germany, to the north, Poland, to the south, Austria, and to the east, Slovakia. Its total area is 78,900 sq km (31,560 sq mi).
The population was estimated at 10.3 million in 2002. Czechs comprise 81% of the total, Moravians 13%, and Slovaks around 3%. Smaller percentages of Poles, Germans, Hungarians, and Roma (Gypsies) also live in the Czech Republic. About 40% of the population are Roman Catholic, 40% have no religious affiliation, 5% are Protestant, 3% are Orthodox, and 13% have other religious affiliations.
The government began a process of overhauling the formerly centrally planned economy in 1991. The Czech economy now has all the characteristics of a free market, with approximately 75% of gross domestic product (GDP) produced in the private sector. Primary exports include machinery and transport equipment, industrial goods, agricultural products, minerals, and chemical goods. Nearly two-thirds of its trade is with European Union (EU) countries. The GDP at per capita purchasing power parity was estimated in 2002 at US $15,300. The unit of currency is the koruna (K C ).
Office of the Prime Minister
11348 Prague 1, Czech Republic