Slovenia country profile

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Map of Slovenia

Slovenia is a small country in Central Europe, but contains within its borders Alpine mountains, thick forests, historic cities, and a short Adriatic coastline.

Slovenia was the first former Yugoslav republic to join the European Union, in May 2004 - shortly after joining Nato.

Unlike Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia was swiftly won with relatively few deaths. The country also found the transition from a state economy to the free market easier than most.

Long regarded as one of the best-performing new EU members, Slovenia was dragged into a deep recession by the European financial crisis in 2012. This prompted mass protests at corruption and economic mismanagement by successive governments.

FACTS

Republic of Slovenia

Capital: Ljubljana

  • Population 2 million

  • Area 20,273 sq km (7,827 sq miles)

  • Major language Slovene

  • Major religion Christianity

  • Life expectancy 76 years (men), 84 years (women)

  • Currency euro

Getty Images

LEADERS

President: Natasa Pirc Musar

Image source, Getty Images

Natasa Pirc Musar is Slovenia's first female president. She won 54% of the votes cast in the second round of the country's presidential polls on 13 November 2022. Her rival, right-wing politician and former foreign minister, Anze Logar, won 46% of the votes.

A lawyer and former journalist, Pirc Musar, said that her "first task will be to open a dialogue among all Slovenes" and vowed she would do her best to "truly be the president for all". Human rights, the rule of law and social welfare issues were at the heart of her campaign.

The role of president is largely ceremonial, but carries authority in defence and foreign affairs.

Prime minister: Robert Golob

Image source, Getty Images

Robert Golob won a surprise victory over veteran right-wing populist Prime Minister Janez Jansa at the April 2022 parliamentary elections.His green Freedom Movement formed a coalition with the Social Democrats and the Left, and pledged to focus on environmental issues, as well as rising food and energy prices.

MEDIA

Slovenia's media scene is diverse and free.

The main papers are privately-owned.

The broadcasting sector is a mix of public and private ownership. Many households are connected to cable, satellite, or internet protocol TV (IPTV). There is an advanced digital terrestrial TV (DTT) network.

There were 1.6 million internet users by December 2021, 80% of the population (Worldinternetstats.com).

TIMELINE

Some key dates in Slovenia's history:

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Slovenia used to be part of Yugoslavia, and broke away with relatively little conflict

1918 - After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Slovenia joins the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The kingdom later becomes known as Yugoslavia.

1941 - Slovenia is occupied by Nazi Germany and Italy during the Second World War.

1945 - At the end of the war, Slovenia becomes a constituent republic of communist Yugoslavia.

1991 - Slovenia, along with Croatia, declares its independence. The Yugoslav army intervenes and about dozens of people are killed before the European Union brokers a ceasefire. The Yugoslav army withdraws.

2004 - Slovenia joins the European Union.

2011-13 - Mass protests at corruption and financial mismanagement during the European sovereign debt crisis.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Slovenia became part of the trail taken by migrants heading to northern Europe in 2015-16

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