Animals and Plants
What is growing in Slovakia?
In the lowlands and the lower parts of the mountains, oak and hornbeams are the most common. With increasing altitude there will be more beech and fir trees and finally spruce trees. Swiss stone pines also occur, for example in the Tatra Mountains. In addition to buttercups, carnations, gentians and primroses, 37 endemic plants also grow there.
Which animals live in Slovakia?
Numerous animals such as lynxes, wolves and even bears live in the mountains of Slovakia. Foxes, wild boars, roe deer and squirrels cavort in the woods. There are a total of 90 species of mammals, with bats alone accounting for 24 species. Tatra chamois, marmots and snow mice can be found above the tree line.
Birds are represented in 352 species. Among them you can find cormorants, redtails and golden eagles. The three-toed woodpecker, the ring owl and the pine jay also fly through Slovakia. Of course there are also reptiles, amphibians and fish.
Cars from Slovakia
According to ehealthfacts, Slovakia is one of the largest producers of cars in Europe. This is because several foreign automobile manufacturers have opened large plants here. These include Volkswagen, Kia and Peugeot. If you calculate how many cars are manufactured per inhabitant, Slovakia is the country with the greatest number of cars per capita worldwide. In total, there are around one million cars every year and only 5.4 million people live in the country.
Rich west, poor east
Agriculture only contributes 3.8 percent to the country’s entire economy. Grain, potatoes, sugar beets and hops are grown.
Overall, the Slovak economy is doing well. It is very export oriented. In addition to automobiles and auto parts, electronic items are also exported. One problem with the Slovak economy is that there is a strong east-west divide. This means that the economy in the west is very successful and attracts many foreign entrepreneurs, while the east is rather poor.
History of Slovakia from 1945 to today
So Czechoslovakia was newly founded. In 1946 the Communist Party won the elections, and in 1948 it took power in the February revolution. President Beneš was forced to resign. The constitution was changed and the country reshaped according to the Soviet model. The country became the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, also known as ČSSR for short.
As early as 1963, the leader of the Slovak communists, Alexander Dubček, tried to push through a more liberal course. When he became the new party leader in 1968, his goal was to create “socialism with a human face”. Reforms and a completely new course became the ” Prague Spring “. But the Soviet Union wanted to prevent this and sent troops to Czechoslovakia. The new course was forcibly terminated.
Velvet revolution and division of Czechoslovakia
On November 17, 1989, a peaceful student demonstration was brutally suppressed by the police. This was followed by a counter-demonstration with 750,000 people. President Gustáv Husák resigned on December 10th. Václav Havel, who had actively campaigned for the overthrow, became the new president. So there was a nonviolent overthrow and the communist system became a democracy.
However, the first few years made it clear that the interests of the Czech Republic and Slovakia were not necessarily the same. In 1992, the division of Czechoslovakia into the two states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia was decided and implemented.
Slovakia (since 1993)
On January 1st, 1993 the new independent state of Slovakia was founded. Prime Minister was Vladimír Mečiar. However, he ruled increasingly authoritarian and refused economic reforms. Numerous scandals are associated with his tenure. He became increasingly isolated from the West as he turned more to Russia.
In 1998, Mečiar was replaced by Mikuláš Dzurinda. During his tenure until 2006, Dzurinda led Slovakia into the EU.
Robert Fico became his successor in 2006. In the term of office until 2010, Slovakia joined the Schengen Agreement and the euro area. Iveta Radičová was Prime Minister from 2010 to 2012, Robert Fico has held the office again since 2012 and was re-elected in 2016. In 2014 Andrej Kiska became president of the country, and in 2019 he was succeeded by Zuzana Čaputová.