Official Name Czech Republic
Capital City Prague (1.7 million)
Languages Czech (official), Slovic
Official Currency Koruna
Religions Catholic, others
Land Area 78,864 sq km (30,449 sq miles)
The Czech Republic (Czech: ??esk?? republika listen?), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The republic borders Poland to the north, Germany to the northwest and west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. Historic Prague (Czech: Praha), a major tourist attraction, is its capital and largest city. The country is composed of two older regions, Bohemia and Moravia, and part of a third one, Silesia. As of May 1, 2004, it is a member state of the European Union. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993 announced that the name Czechia
The Czech lands emerged in the late 9th century when it was unified by the Premyslids. The kingdom of Bohemia was a significant local power, but religious conflicts such as the 15th century Hussite Wars and the 17th century Thirty Years War were devastating. It later came under the Habsburg influence and became part of Austria-Hungary.
Following the collapse of this state after World War I, the Czechs and neighbouring Slovaks joined together and formed the independent republic of Czechoslovakia in 1918. This new country contained a large German minority, which would lead to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia when Germany successfully annexed the minority through the Munich Agreement in 1938, and Slovakia gained greater autonomy, with the state renamed "Czecho-Slovakia". Slovakia broke away further in 1939 and the remaining Czech state was occupied by the Germans.
After World War II, a reconstituted 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 liberalise party rule and create "socialism with a human face" during the Prague Spring. In 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its "freedom" through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution". On January 1, 1993, the country peacefully split in two, creating independent Czech and Slovak republics.
According to its constitution the Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy, whose head of state is a president, indirectly elected every five years by the parliament. The president is also granted specific powers such as the right to nominate Constitutional Court judges, dissolve parliament under certain conditions, and enact a veto on legislation. He also appoints the prime minister, who sets the agenda for most foreign and domestic policy, as well the other members of the cabinet on a proposal by the prime minister.
One of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states, the Czech Republic has been recovering from recession since mid-1999. Growth in 2000-2001 was led by exports to the EU, especially Germany, and foreign investment, while domestic demand is reviving. With a GDP (PPP) per capita of $19,475, the Czech Republic's per-capita output is approximately two-thirds that of the large Western European economies and approximately on par with that of Portugal, Greece and Slovenia.
reference: www.worldatlas. com