Slovakia profile - Timeline

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A chronology of key events

1918 - Habsburg Empire collapses after defeat in World War One. Slovak and Czech lands unite to form Czechoslovakia, which emerges as the most democratic and prosperous of the Habsburg successor states.

1939 - Independent Slovak Republic formed after Nazi Germany and its allies dismember Czechoslovakia. It soon becomes a German satellite state.

1944 August- Slovak National Uprising results in German occupation of Slovakia, which ends with the arrival of the Soviet Army and the re-establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1945.

1948-89 - Communist rule.

1993 January - Independence after Czechoslovakia splits. Parliament elects Michal Kovac of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (MDS) president. Vladimir Meciar, also of the MDS, is prime minister in a coalition government.

1995 March - Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Hungary signed, guaranteeing the existing border and ethnic minority rights.

1995 November - New law restricting official use of any language other than Slovak gives rise to international condemnation.

1998 March - Constitutional crisis as President Kovac ends term and parliament fails to agree on a successor, allowing Mr Meciar to assume presidential powers.

1998 June - Decision to start up first reactor at Mochovce nuclear plant not far from Austrian border angers Vienna.

European integration

1998 September/October - Mikulas Dzurinda heads new coalition government, and pledges to strengthen democracy and put Slovakia back on the road to European integration.

1999 January - Parliament ends nearly a year of constitutional crisis by passing a new law allowing for president to be directly elected by the people.

1999 May - Pro-Western candidate Rudolf Schuster wins the first direct presidential elections.

2001 February - Parliament approves far-reaching changes to the constitution, a key step towards gaining membership of the EU and Nato. It decentralises power to the regions, strengthens the judiciary, and gives greater recognition to minority rights.

2003 May - Slovaks vote in referendum in favour of EU membership. Turnout is just over the required 50%.

2004 February - Police and troops brought in to end rioting by Romany population protesting against cuts in benefits in parts of eastern Slovakia.

2004 March - Slovakia admitted to Nato.

2004 April - Ivan Gasparovic elected president, defeating former Prime Minister Meciar in second round of voting.

EU membership

2004 May - Slovakia is one of 10 new states to join the EU.

2005 November - Slovakia joins European Exchange Rate Mechanism, a significant step on the way to membership of the eurozone.

2006 April - Floods as Danube bursts banks.

2006 June-July - Left-wing opposition leader Robert Fico becomes prime minister in a coalition government with Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and another right-wing party.

2007 December - Slovakia withdraws its last troops from Iraq.

Euro entry

2009 January - Slovakia adopts the euro.

2009 April - Ivan Gasparovic becomes first president to win re-election, defeating centre-right challenger Iveta Radicova in the second round of voting.

2009 July - Slovak parliament passes new language law allowing fines to be imposed for using a minority language in government buildings. Hungary condemns new law, saying it discriminates against the Hungarian minority.

2010 May - Slovakia protests at Hungarian parliament's decision to allow ethnic Hungarians living abroad to apply for Hungarian citizenship. It retaliates by threatening to strip any Slovak who applies for dual nationality of their Slovak citizenship.

2010 July - Iveta Radicova of the SDKU-DS party appointed prime minister at the head of a four-party centre-right government following parliamentary elections in June.

2011 October - Parliament ratifies a eurozone bailout plan after the government agrees to hold an early general election in March 2012.

2012 March - Leftist opposition party Smer, led by former prime minister Robert Fico, wins landslide victory in general election, taking over half of the seats in parliament.

Far right gains ground

2013 November - Regional elections see far-right, anti-Roma Our Slovakia party leader Marian Kotleba win the governorship of the province of Banska Bystrica.

2014 March - Independent candidate Andrej Kiska beats Robert Fico in presidential election.

2014 - Mr Fico denounces European Union sanctions against Russia over Crimean annexation, reflecting his government's long-standing policy of rapprochement with Russia.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The killing of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in 2018 was condemned by European Union politicians, who said no democracy could survive without a free press

2015 - Mr Fico takes a firm stand against European Union migrant quotas.

2016 March - Mr Fico's Smer party emerges as largest party after parliamentary elections dominated by migrant issue, but loses majority. Far-right Our Slovakia party led by Marian Kotleba enters parliament for first time.

2018 February - Investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner Martina Kusnirova are shot dead. He had reported on an alleged tax fraud linked to the interior minister.

2018 March - Robert Fico resigns in the aftermath of the Kuciak case. His deputy Peter Pellegrini takes over.

2019 March - Pro-EU opposition candidate Zuzana Caputova beats the government's Maros Sevcovic in the second round of the March 2019 presidential election, with 58% of the vote. She takes office in June.

2020 March - The anti-corruption Ordinary People (OLaNO) party led by Igor Matovic forms a centre-right coalition after winning elections the previous month.

2021 April - Finance Minister Heger takes over as head of government in an attempt to resolve a crisis over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.