Slovenia - Country history and economic development

6TH CENTURY A.D. Slavs settle in present Slovene lands, comprising parts of the ancient Roman provinces of Pannonia and Noricum, driving out Avar tribesmen. Bavarian domination brings most of the population into Roman Catholicism.

623. Chieftain Franko Samo creates the first independent Slavic state, stretching from Lake Balaton (now in Hungary) to the Adriatic Sea, but it later disintegrates.

8TH CENTURY. The region is taken over by the Frank-ish Empire, and a feudal agrarian economy takes root.

10TH CENTURY. The Duchy of Carantania is formed in the region, which is included in the Holy Roman Empire.

1335-1918. Slovenes are governed by the Habsburgs of the Austrian (later Austro-Hungarian) Empire. The majority of them live in parts of the Austrian crown lands of Carinthia, Carniola, and Styria. A minority of Slovenes along the coast of the Adriatic Sea remain in the republic of Venice, which later, too, is incorporated into the Habsburg Empire.

1918. Austria-Hungary collapses at the close of World War I, and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) is formed with much enthusiasm, but soon many Slovenes find themselves dis-enchanted with the new regime.

1918-1929. Dissatisfaction with the Serb-dominated centralist policy of the kingdom grows as a political crisis brings about a dictatorial Serbian monarchist regime and the abolishment of the traditional provinces. The country is renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.

1941. Yugoslavia collapses in World War II, and Germany (which has annexed Austria in 1938), Italy, and Hungary divide the territory of Slovenia and force the transfers of population.

1945. Slovenia is liberated and Josip Broz Tito's communist government proclaims the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. The Slovenian republic is then created as a member of the new federation and included in Yugoslavia's socialist economy. Heavy industry develops, but, since the late 1950s, economic control is decentralized, and some private initiative is allowed. Slovenes enjoy more affluent lives and more freedom of travel and communication than other Eastern European nations.

1947. Slovenia acquires Slovenian-speaking districts on the Adriatic Sea in Istria from Italy.

1980-1990. Slovenia's dissatisfaction with the Yugoslav federation after Tito's death increases sentiment for greater autonomy and later for independence. The economy opens further to neighboring Italy and Austria.

1990. Communist power collapses throughout Eastern Europe, and Slovenia holds the first multiparty elections in Yugoslavia since World War II in April, and votes for independence in a December referendum.

1991. Slovenia declares independence from Yugoslavia in June. The Serb-dominated Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) sends forces in an attempt to secure Yugoslavia's borders. In a 10-day war, Slovene forces defeat the JNA, allowing Slovenia to quickly secure independence and international recognition. It later displays a steady pattern of political and economic continuity, almost unseen in other parts of Eastern Europe.

1991. The new democratic constitution is adopted.

1992. The European Union and the United States acknowledge the independence of Slovenia, and it joins the United Nations and the Council of Europe. Milan Kucan, president of the republic since 1990, is reelected to the office by 64 percent of the vote. The center-left Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS), headed by Janez Drnovsek, wins a plurality of seats in parliament.

1993. Slovenia joins the International Monetary Fund.

1996. Slovenia signs the association agreement and applies for membership to the European Union.

1997. President Kucan reelected to a third term; Slovenia is invited to EU accession.

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