Slovakia

Geography

The Slovak Republic is situated in Central Europe, sharing borders with Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. Mountains, lowlands, valleys, lakes, cave formations, forests and meadows provide many examples of Slovakia’s year-round natural beauty. The Carpathian Arc, a range of mountains stretching across the north, takes up almost a half of the country. The south and east of the country lie in the lowlands, an important agricultural area in Slovakia.

The highest point: Mount Gerlach in the High Tatras 2,655 m above sea level
The lowest point: River Bodrog 94 m above sea level
Maximum length: 428 km (Záhorská Ves [W] — Nová Sedlica [E])
Maximum breadth: 195 km (Štúrovo [S] — Skalité [N])
The longest river: River Váh (378 km)

Time

GMT + 1; GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October.
Weather
The Slovak Republic has a continental climate with 4 seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter). Summers are hot; winters are cold, cloudy and humid. The average winter daily temperature is -2 °C, but can plummet to -15 °C. The average daily temperature in summer is 21 °C, but can be as warm as over 30 °C. The coldest month is January; the hottest month is July.
The period from May to July is often considered the best season. Data concerns Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Weather in northern and mountainous regions could be much colder. During the winters the sun rises approximately at 7:30 and sets about 16:00. During the summer, sunrise is before 5:00 and sunset is about 21:00.

Political System and State Bodies

The Slovak Republic has been established on 1 January 1993 as one of the successors to the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. It is a parliamentary democracy, and its Constitution guarantees equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex, race, colour, language, faith, religion, political affiliation or conviction, national or social origin, nationality or ethnic origin, property, birth or any other status.

State Bodies

The National Council of the Slovak Republic is a unicameral parliament and the country’s main legislative body. The National Council has 150 members elected for 4-year terms in direct elections. The electoral system is proportional representation. Parties are allocated seats in the Parliament according to the percentage share of the votes they get in parliamentary elections. Only a party with at least 5 % of votes can obtain seats in the Parliament.

The President is the Head of State elected for a five-year term in a direct two round election. The same person can be elected President for a maximum of two consecutive 5-year terms. The current Slovak President is Mr. Ivan Gašparovič (elected for the 2nd period in 2009).

The Government is the highest tier of executive power and consists of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers. The Government is formed on the basis of parliamentary elections (last one held in June 2010). The Prime Minister is appointed and can be dismissed by the President. Upon the advice of the Prime Minister, the President appoints and dismisses other members of the Government. The Government is collectively responsible for the exercise of governmental powers to the Parliament, which may hold a vote of no confidence at any time. The Parliament can hold a vote of no confidence to a single member of the Government, too. The current Prime Minister, Mrs. Iveta Radičová has been appointed in July 2010.

Other constitutional bodies are the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic and the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic. The state administration power is mostly executed on central level. The central bodies have lower – regional levels. If needed, local state administration authorities establish other authorities and offices in regions.

 

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