Europe

Slovenia country profile

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.

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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: Borut Pahor

Image copyright Getty Images

Prime minister of a centre-left government between 2008-12, Borut Pahor was was first elected president in December 2012.

He narrowly won re-election in November 2017, beating Marjan Sarec of the new LMS party.

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

Prime minister: Marjan Sarec

Image copyright URE MAKOVEC/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Marjan Sarec heads a minority government

Elections in June 2018 saw major gains for the SDS anti-immigration party of veteran former prime minister Janez Jansa, but he was unable to assemble a coalition.The LMS party entered parliament for the first time and emerged as the second-largest group. Its leader Marjan Serac managed to form a centre-left minority government in September. It governs with the support but not participation of The Left party.Mr Sarec first came to public attention as a comedian and satirist, before turning to politics and serving as mayor of the northern town of Kamnik.

He formed what became the centre-left LMS (Marjan Sarec List) in 2014, and narrowly lost the run-off president election in 2017. 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.

By the end of 2015 almost 73% of the population was online.

TIMELINE

Some key dates in Slovenia's history:

Image copyright 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 sovreign debt crisis.

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

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