Czech Republic



Official Country Name
Czech Republic

Czech Republic Overview
Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). After World War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face." Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

Czech Republic Economy
The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Growth in 2000-05 was supported by exports to the EU, primarily to Germany, and a strong recovery of foreign and domestic investment. Domestic demand is playing an ever more important role in underpinning growth as interest rates drop and the availability of credit cards and mortgages increases. The current account deficit has declined to around 3% of GDP as demand for Czech products in the European Union has increased. Inflation is under control. Recent accession to the EU gives further impetus and direction to structural reform. In early 2004 the government passed increases in the Value Added Tax (VAT) and tightened eligibility for social benefits with the intention to bring the public finance gap down to 4% of GDP by 2006, but more difficult pension and healthcare reforms will have to wait until after the next elections. Privatization of the state-owned telecommunications firm Cesky Telecom took place in 2005. Intensified restructuring among large enterprises, improvements in the financial sector, and effective use of available EU funds should strengthen output growth.

Czech Republic Location
Czech Republic is located in Central Europe, southeast of Germany

Region
Czech Republic is located in Europe

Czech Republic Population
Czech Republic has population of 10,235,455 (July 2006 est.)

Czech Republic Climate
Czech Republic has temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters

Czech Republic Terrain
Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country

Czech Republic Natural Resources
hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber

Ethnic Groups in Czech Republic
Czech Republic has the following ethnic groups - Czech 90.4%, Moravian 3.7%, Slovak 1.9%, other 4% (2001 census)

Czech Republic Religions
Roman Catholic 26.8%, Protestant 2.1%, other 3.3%, unspecified 8.8%, unaffiliated 59% (2001 census)

Czech Republic Languages
Czech

Czech Republic Capital
Czech Republic capital is Prague

Czech Republic Currency
Czech Republic currency is Czech koruna

Map of Czech Republic