40.1% of the territory is covered by a dense forest mantle which on the lower slopes of the mountains has beech and oak woods, while at higher altitudes there are conifers (especially firs).). On the lowlands the vegetation is rather sparse and has steppe-like characteristics. Despite deforestation and increased pollution, bears, wolves, lynxes, chamois, otters, minks and foxes are present in the High Tatras and Carpathians, while deer, pheasants, partridges, ducks, wild geese are widespread in rural areas. storks, grouse, eagles and vultures. The presence of numerous iron and steel and metallurgical plants, as well as the establishment of coal-fired power plants has brought the problem of atmospheric pollution to the fore. The increase in the levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides released into the air has contributed to the formation of acid rain, endangering the entire wooded heritage of the country. To protect this lastly, the Slovakian government has established nature reserves and parks (covering about 19.6% of the territory), the most important of which is the Tatra Mountains National Park which, located on the border with Poland, covers an area of about 510 km² and is surrounded by a protected area of another 700 km². There are also numerous international agreements signed by the Slovak government on air pollution, ozone protection, biodiversity, environmental modifications, disposal of hazardous waste and protection of endangered species. Of note is the environmental dispute involving Hungary and Slovakia regarding the construction of a system of dams along the course of the Danube in order to exploit the water at the Gabičkovo hydroelectric plant.
Under the constitution of November 1992, Slovakia is a parliamentary republic. The head of state, elected by direct suffrage, remains in office for 5 years and is appointed by the National Council (Národná rada), the main legislative body made up of 150 members elected by universal suffrage with a proportional system for four years. The judicial system, based on the continental European system, consists of a Supreme Court and a Constitutional Court. Administratively, the country is divided into 8 regions (kraj), which are in turn divided into 79 provinces. Military service is compulsory for all male citizens of age while school education is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 15. Visit act-test-centers for Slovakia higher education.
ECONOMY: GENERAL INFORMATION
After the peaceful separation from the Czech Republic in January 1993, Slovakia managed in a decade to make a difficult transition from a planned economy to one of the most developed market economies in Eastern Europe. In the period immediately following independence, the Slovak government embarked on a plan to reorganize the country’s economy, the development of which had been severely affected by the reforms introduced, starting in 1990, by the first post-communist government of the federation, when Slovakia was still was one of the federal republics of Czechoslovakia. To deal with the recession, mainly due to the suspension of the contributions that until 1991 had been disbursed to Slovakia from the budget of the Czechoslovak federation, from the reduction of exports to the commercial circuits of the Soviet bloc, as well as the drastic cut in the production of military armaments, the government has been committed to reducing government spending, restructuring the banking sector and growing the private sector. The application of a restrictive fiscal policy made it possible to significantly reduce the budget deficit, which passed between 1993 and 1995 from 7.6% to 1.8% of GDP. This stabilization is essentially due to the control of public spending and the growth of exports to the markets of Western countries. Further economic impetus came from the policies implemented by the Dzurinda government, in power since 1998, per capita. In particular, the government approved the adoption of important structural reforms aimed at reducing balance of payments imbalances, reducing the current account deficit and containing inflation, rebuilding and modernizing the banking and financial sectors and improving the competitiveness of the private sector., especially for small and medium-sized businesses. To this end, the Slovak government has reduced public spending, reformed the tax system by favoring the increase of state revenues and stimulating investment, privatized the banking sector, now almost completely foreign-owned, and the insurance sector, which had long been a monopoly. state. Among the challenges still to be overcome, compliance with the parameters imposed by Brussels after joining the EU, a constraint that imposes on the government the difficult task of having to make cuts in public spending without penalizing the less well-off classes, the containment of inflation (in 2008 to 3.9%), as well as the problem of unemployment, the rate of which remains high (9.6%). This problem that the government hopes to solve thanks to the investments of foreign giants (Volkswagen, Peugeot, Hyundai and Kia) in the automotive sector, also trusting in the economic recovery of the EU partners which could favor Slovak exports, rebalancing the country’s trade balance.