Slovakia. According to countryaah, Slovakia introduced the euro at the New Year and thus became the sixteenth country in the EU to move to the single European currency. The transition was celebrated by about 100,000 people at a ceremony in Bratislava. Immediately after the New Year, there was a state of Christianity in Slovakia when the Russian Federation’s and Ukraine’s gas price strikes swept Russian gas supplies to the EU via Ukraine. Slovakia, which was almost entirely dependent on the Russian gas supply federation, lost two-thirds of its supply overnight. Heat and electricity production were affected, and the authorities had to fight for hospitals, schools and housing to cope with the severe cold. The industry also faced great difficulties and, among other things, car manufacturers were forced to shut down temporarily. The government decided to restart the Soviet-built nuclear reactor in Jaslovské Bohunice, which had been closed at New Year in accordance with an agreement with the EU. Both the European Commission and neighboring Austria protested, and thanks to German gas supplies, Slovakia did not have to start the reactor. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for abbreviation SK which stands for the nation of Slovakia.
At the first round of the presidential election in March, incumbent Ivan Gašparović, the head of state, overcame challenger Iveta Radičová, but none of them reached half the votes. Therefore, a new round was held in April, when Gašparović was re-elected for his second term with more than 55 percent of the vote against just over 44 percent for Radičová. Gašparović symbolized stability in a time of economic turmoil, while the liberal Christian Democrat Radičová stood for renewal and support among young people. But as a proponent of women’s right to abortion, she was controversial among traditional Slovak Catholics. Instead, she had great success in southern Slovakia, where many ethnic Hungarians reside. Participation in the presidential election was low, 43.6 and 51.6 percent, respectively. But in the EU elections in June it became even lower,
In October, the government threatened, like the neighboring Czech Republic, to demand exemptions from the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. These were guarantees against German and Hungarian property claims, which were seized when Germans and Hungarians were driven away from Czechoslovakia at the end of the Second World War. The Slovak Nationalist Party (SNS) in the coalition government has demanded tough policies against Hungarians and Roma. However, despite the Czech Republic being exempted, Slovakia did not demand this.
History. – The coexistence in a unitary state of Czechs and Slovaks and the institutional aspect that this had to assume (after the centralistic solution imposed by Prague in 1918 and the separatist experience of the pro-Nazi Slovak republic, during the Second World War) central nodes of the recomposition of the Czechoslovak state in 1945. The Slovak request for a political order that would guarantee its autonomy found partial fulfillment in the formation of a legislative body (the Slovak National Council) and a local government, confirmed by the Czechoslovakian Constitution of 1948. The subsequent Czechoslovakian Constitution (1960) however almost entirely canceled Slovak autonomy, causing within the Slovak Communist Party (KSS, Komunistická Strana Slovenska) many criticisms and reinforcing federalist tendencies. The reform program initiated by A. Dubček (leader of the Slovak Communists, who became first secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party in January 1968) also provided for a federal order, effectively implemented in January 1969. The centralistic practice of the regime of G. Husák – first secretary of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party after the Soviet intervention and the end of Dubček’s reformist experience – however, it left Slovak institutions without real power, instead recording some progress in economic and social rebalancing between the two states.
The Slovak question re-exploded in the early nineties following the collapse of the communist regime and the adoption of measures for the transition to a market economy which again accentuated the economic disparities between the two states, highlighting the greatest difficulties of the Slovak economy (with unemployment tending to 8% at the end of 1991, against 3 ÷ 4% in the Czech territory). The protagonist of the negotiations that in December 1989 led to the end of the Communist political dominance was, together with the Prague Civic Forum (OF, Občanské Fórum), a Slovak group called Public Opinion Against Violence (VPN, Verejnosť Proti Násiliu). After participating in the federal government established in December 1989, the VPN established itself as the largest Slovak party in the federal and local elections of June 1990, followed by the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH, Kresťanskodemokratické Hnutie), born from the ranks of the Catholic opposition, from the KSS and then by the nationalists of the Slovak National Party (SNS, Slovenská Národná Strana). After the elections the problem of a redefinition of the relationship between the two states was placed on the agenda, while in Slovakia the leader of the VPN, V. Mečiar, constituted a coalition government. As head of the Slovak government, Mečiar interpreted the growing pressure of Slovak political and popular sectors for greater autonomy, and in some cases even for independence, causing a crisis in his government and a rift in the VPN (which, remained anchored to a strongly federalist vision, gradually lost importance). In March 1991, out of the VPN, Mečiar set up a new organization, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS, Hnutie Za Demokratické Slovensko) which, alongside the request to regulate Czechoslovak relations on a confederal basis, stressed the need for the Slovakia of a slowdown in the transition to the market economy. Deputy Prime Minister, J. Čarnogurský, leader of the KDH, took over from Mečiar to lead the government. In the following months it became clear that the hypothesis of giving the federation a new Constitution before the next federal and local elections, scheduled for June 1992, were destined to fail. The elections took place in the midst of a stalemate that favored the HZDS in Bratislava and a right-wing formation (born from the split of the OF), the Civic Democratic Party (ODS, Občanská Democratická Strana) by V. Klaus, in Prague. The incompatibility of the economic programs of the ODS (tending to a rapid implementation of the liberal reforms) and of the HZDS determined a block of the unitary political perspectives. The separation process has since accelerated. Mečiar returned to the leadership of the government in Slovakia, where the Party of the Democratic Left (SDL, Strana Demokratickej L’Avice), successor of the KSS, had established itself as the second political force. The Slovak National Council approved a declaration of sovereignty in July, and in November the Federal Assembly adopted a constitutional amendment that provided the legal basis for the dissolution of the federation, now the subject of negotiations between the Czech and Slovak governments (which resulted in an agreement in December cooperation).
On 1 September 1992 the Slovak parliament approved a republican constitution of a parliamentary type which entered into force on 1 January 1993, at the same time as the proclamation of the Slovak Republic; on February 15, 1993 the parliament elected M. Kovac, coming from the HZDS, president of the Republic. The political life of the Slovakia has since been characterized by a strong instability accentuated during 1994: the resignation of Mečiar (March) was followed by the establishment of a coalition government led by J. Moravcik, leader the Slovak Democratic Union (born from a split of the HZDS); the early elections in October, however, recorded a defeat of the ruling coalition and an affirmation of the HZDS with 35% of the votes. The economic difficulties did not decrease after independence and in 1993 unemployment reached 14% while inflation went from 10% in 1992 to 25 ÷ 30%.
The Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic have succeeded the Czechoslovakian Federation in many organizations (UN, CSCE, Council of Europe, IMF and World Bank) and international agreements, including that of association with the European Union. Despite a policy tending to maintain good relations with the Czech Republic (with which diplomatic relations have been established) and neighboring countries, disagreements have also occurred with Hungary in relation to the treatment of the Hungarian minority.