The Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija) is a small, topographically diverse country that
               abuts the northwestern Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered on the west by Italy's Friuli-Venezia
               Giulia region. On the southwest it is adjacent to the Italian port city of Trieste and occupies a
               portion of the Istrian Peninsula, where it has a short but important coastline along the Gulf of
               Venice. On the south, southeast, and east, Slovenia shares a long border with Croatia, and on
               the far northeast it touches on Hungary. The northern boundary separates it from the Austrian
               states of Burgenland, Styria (Steiermark), and Carinthia (Kärnten). Its surface area is 7,821
               square miles (20,256 square kilometres), and its capital city is Ljubljana.

               The Slovenes are a Slavic people related linguistically to peoples to the south, but the real matrix
               of Slovenia's culture is its Eastern Alpine location. Easily accessible mountain passes (now
               superseded by tunnels) have long shaped its character by channeling demographic, economic,
               social, political, and intellectual currents from both the Mediterranean and Transalpine regions of
               Europe. For most of its history, Slovenia was split among the Holy Roman Empire, Venice,
               Austria, and Hungary. During most of the 20th century it was part of Yugoslavia, but, with the
               dissolution of that federation, a sovereign, internationally recognized republican government now
               manages Slovenia's destiny for the first time in 1,200 years.
The land.


               Slovenia is mostly elevated. Outside the coastal area, its terrain consists largely of karstic
               plateaus and ridges, magnificently precipitous Alpine peaks, and (between the elevated areas)
               valleys, basins, and arable or pastorally useful karstic poljes.

               Four main physiographic units may be distinguished. The first is the Alpine region, which takes
               up about two-fifths of Slovenia's surface area. In the northernmost reaches of this region, along
               the borders with Italy and Austria, are the High Alps, comprising the Kamnik and Savinja, the
               Karavanke (Karawanken), and the Julian chains--the last including Slovenia's highest peak,
               Mount Triglav, at 9,396 feet (2,864 metres). In a vale beneath Triglav lie idyllic Lake Bohinj
               and, northeastward, Lake Bled. Slightly lower than the High Alps is the Subalpine
               "ridge-and-valley" terrain. The main Subalpine range is the Pohorje, located between the Sava
               and Drava rivers. The historical name for the central Alpine lands is Gorenjska, or Upper
               Carniola--a name that Slovenes still use; in addition, they still refer to the Meza River valley as
               Koroska (Carinthia, or Kärnten). On Gorenjska's southern edge is the spacious Ljubljana basin,
               which contains the capital as well as the industrial city of Kranj. (see also Index: Julian Alps)

               The next largest region (occupying one-fifth of Slovenia's surface) is populous Subpannonia,
               which descends from the base of the Alpine-Subalpine region into the valleys of the Sava,
               Drava, and Mura rivers. Its basins contain the cities of Maribor (on the Drava) and Celje (on the
               Savinja, a tributary of the Sava). Subpannonia corresponds to the lower part of the old Austrian
               duchy of Styria; Slovenes persist in calling their portion Stajerska and share some traits with their
               Austrian neighbours. Beyond a saddle of hills known as the Slovenske Gorice or the Slovene
               Humpback is Prekmurje, a region drained by the Mura River that was ruled by Hungary until
               1918. The main town here is Murska Sobota.

               In the southwestern part of the country, the Karst, a spur of the lengthy Dinaric Alps, is the third
               major region. Although it takes up one-quarter of the surface, it houses but a minute fraction of
               Slovenia's population, which clusters between the wooded limestone ridges in dry and blind
               valleys, hollows, and poljes. Caves and underground rivers are features of karst topography.
               Water is scarce: the northeastern segment is called the Suha Krajina, or "Dry Countryside," and
               to the southeast lies the Bela Krajina, or "White Countryside," a transitional belt pointing toward
               Subpannonia. Most of the region is known to Slovenes by its historic names, Dolenjska (Lower
               Carniola) and Notranjska (Inner Carniola). The word karst comes from the Kras Plateau above
               Trieste; scientific study of this type of terrain is a Slovene specialty, research having begun during
               the 18th century in Habsburg Carniola.

               The fourth principal region (occupying barely one-twelfth of Slovenia's surface) is the Slovene
               Littoral, or Submediterranean Slovenia. Overlapping the ancient region of Primorje (known to
               Slovenes as Primorska, "Territory Near the Sea"), it is made up of Slovenia's portion of the
               Istrian Peninsula and is the natural hinterland of Trieste. The 29-mile (47-kilometre) strip of
               coast, with its lovely, Venetian-flavoured towns and beaches, is Slovenia's riviera. The city of
               Koper (just south of Trieste and known to Italians as Capodistria) is Slovenia's sole major port.


               Most of Slovenia's intricate fluvial network is directed toward the Danube River. The Sava,
               originating in the Julian Alps, flows past Ljubljana toward Croatia; its narrow valley serves as a
               road and rail conduit to Zagreb and eventually Belgrade, in Serbia. The Drava enters Slovenia
               from Austrian Carinthia and the Mura from Styria; they meet in Croatia and, like the Sava,
               ultimately reach the Danube. In the west, the Soca originates beneath Mount Triglav and, after a
               precipitous course, reaches the Gulf of Venice on Italian territory, where it is known as the
               Isonzo. (see also Index: Sava River, Drava River)

               The relatively steep gradients of Slovenia's topography create fast runoff, which in turn assures
               most of Slovenia copious water and hydroelectric resources. On the other hand, it also washes
               away valuable soil nutrients. Pollution remains a problem.


               Slovenia's complex geology has created a pedological mosaic. The small, thick Pleistocene
               cover is acidic and viscid. Permeable, thin brown podzols--cambisols and fluvisols--are
               productive if fertilized, but they cover a mere 10 percent of the surface, chiefly to the northeast.
               The carbonate bedrock underlying much of the country produces thin lithosols suited to forest
               growth. There are many good alluvial soils (particularly in Subpannonia) as well as bog varieties.
               Karstic sinkholes and poljes are famous for terra rossa, a red soil produced by the degradation
               of the underlying limestone.

               As stated above, eluviation is intense everywhere. Overall, the prerequisites for agriculture (apart
               from livestock raising) are poor--although Slovenia's stubborn farmers seem to effect miracles.


               Slovenia may be divided into three climatic zones. Conditions in Istria and near Trieste indicate
               a transition from the Mediterranean climate of the Dalmatian coast to a moderate continental
               climate. In this zone the highest monthly precipitation (up to 15 inches, or 380 millimetres) and
               highest temperatures (often rising above 80° F, or 27° C) occur in June and July. Winter
               temperatures rarely drop below 50° F (10° C), but the mild winters are sometimes interrupted
               by the awful bora, a cold northerly wind.

               Central and northern Slovenia have a continental, "cool summer" climate, while the eastern third
               of the country (mainly Subpannonia) also falls into the continental category but has warm
               summers and a growing season almost as long as Istria's. Monthly summer rainfall in the cool
               belt is more than three inches, and high temperatures average 68° F (20° C)--although there are
               uncomfortable hot spells. The warm summer zone receives more than four inches of rainfall
               monthly from April to September, although the east and northeast have much less overall
               precipitation, and midsummer highs reach well past 70° F (21° C). From November to
               February, temperature readings below freezing are common in both zones, above all in the cool
               summer region.

               Plant and animal life.

               Slovenia's flora reflects the country's physiographic diversity, especially its varying elevations.
               At the highest elevations below the tree line, Alpine conifers such as junipers alternate with high
               meadowland. Lower down is a central belt of coniferous and deciduous trees (birch and beech)
               mixed with pasturage and arable lands, and still lower comes deciduous growth including karstic
               heath and maquis (good for rough grazing). At sea level along the littoral is a typically
               Mediterranean cover of brushwood, including maquis. Fruit and vegetable areas are scattered
               about the country, and forests cover about half of the terrain.

               Several animal species have been given protected status. Along with others of direct economic
               importance, they include the reintroduced (though still rare) ibex, the European brown bear, the
               chamois, the wild boar, and red, fallow, and roe deer as well as standard varieties of small
               game. The lynx has reappeared. The Subpannonian habitat suits migratory fowl and upland
               birds, and the trout and grayling of the Soca are renowned among sport anglers. Adriatic waters,
               like the Mediterranean in general, are not an especially favourable environment for fish.

               Settlement patterns.

               With some 6,000 localities, Slovenia's population is overdispersed. Three-quarters of the
               nation's population centres are hamlets with fewer than 200 residents, and only half of all
               Slovenes can be categorized as city dwellers. Commuting from suburbs and farm homes to
               urban jobs is common.

               With its incorporation into Yugoslavia after World War I, Slovenia entered a period of
               agricultural decline and quickening industrialization that induced people to settle at lower
               elevations or simply to emigrate--a process that accelerated after World War II. In cities and
               larger towns, physical evidence of this shift can be seen in the ubiquity of high-rise housing and
               shopping centres. A modernized economy has also benefited the service infrastructure and
               standard of living in rustic localities, despite only modest changes in the traditional smallholding
               pattern of landownership in favour of cooperatives and state farms.
The people.

               Ethnic composition.

               More than 90 percent of Slovenia's people are ethnically Slovene. German speakers, who
               formed the elite during the Habsburg era, vanished entirely after World War II. The 1954
               agreement over Trieste has left a few thousand Italian speakers in Istria, and Prekmurje has a
               small Hungarian minority. (These autochthonous Italians and Magyars enjoy legally guaranteed
               rights, including parliamentary representation.) (see also Index: Trieste agreement)

               The disintegration of Yugoslavia has brought numerous immigrants from other former Yugoslav
               republics; there are also a few Albanians and Gypsies. Integration of these people, who come
               from cultures with differing value systems, attitudes, and political traditions, poses a difficult
               problem. Despite linguistic kinship with people from the Balkan Peninsula, the Slovenes are
               culturally an Alpine folk who have more in common with northern Italians, southern Germans,
               and the Swiss.


               Slovene is a South Slavic language, along with Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian, but
               it also has affinities to West Slavic Czech and Slovak. Eastern Slovene dialects blend with
               Kajkavian forms of Serbo-Croatian, but literary Slovene is remote from its Serbo-Croatian
               counterparts. Loan words from German, Italian, Friulian, and Hungarian speech can be heard. In
               addition, there are marked differences among the 47 dialects and standard Slovene, which is
               derived from two Carniolan speech variants.


               Slovenes are largely Roman Catholic. The authority of a once-powerful church hierarchy was
               broken by the flight of ultraconservative Catholics (including many clerics) in 1945, and religious
               practice was further vitiated by the acceleration of industrialization and consumerism under the
               communist Yugoslav regime. Immigration of Muslims and Orthodox Christians from the Balkans
               has modified this essentially homogeneous picture.

               Demographic trends.

               Along with the rest of the industrial West, Slovenia has undergone an intense transformation
               from rural to nonagrarian society. Numerical growth, however, has not been as great as
               elsewhere in Europe owing to emigration and, until the 1970s, the absence of immigration. The
               annual population growth rate is 0.4 percent, the birth rate 10.8 per 1,000, and life expectancy
               68.8 years for men and 76.7 for women.
The economy.

               Drawing upon a long tradition of crafts, the modernization and diversification of the Slovene
               economy began in the late Habsburg era. Owing in part to this head start, Slovenia made great
               progress (at least by communist standards) under Yugoslavia's market-oriented,
               "self-management" form of socialism. With only 8 percent of Yugoslavia's population, Slovenes
               produced 20 percent of its wealth and 30 percent of its exports. By the 1980s, however, the
               system had succumbed to debt and stagnation, and resentment over the Belgrade government's
               policy of distributing subsidies from the more prosperous northern republics to the backward
               and often corrupt southern republics was probably the catalyst of Slovene independence.

               Yugoslavia's breakup deprived Slovenia of a secure market and caused economic dislocation
               as Slovene enterprises were forced to compete for business in a broader market at a time of
               worldwide recession. Intrinsic weaknesses of "socially owned" enterprises were exposed,
               including featherbedding, limited professional skills, poor competitiveness, undercapitalization,
               outmoded production methods, and resistance to innovation. Positive features included the
               modern infrastructure and Slovenia's traditionally strong social discipline. Development strategy
               calls for specialization, differentiation, internationalization, and investment in human
               resources--processes that go hand in hand with privatization and encouragement of foreign


               Since it produces only 84 percent of its food requirements, Slovenia is not self-sufficient;
               however, progress in the agrarian sector has been immense. Archaic Slovene farming methods
               began to change in the late 1700s with the introduction of modern crop rotation and new plants
               such as potatoes, corn (maize), beans, and alfalfa, putting an end to the previous cycle of
               famines. By the mid-20th century, dairy and meat products dominated agriculture, cereals having
               been largely abandoned. Under communism, private plots were limited to 25 acres (10
               hectares), and expropriated lands were turned over to collective and state farms. The 250
               "social" enterprises were linked to food processing. They proved efficient, especially in raising
               poultry and cattle, but operated at high cost. Privatization commenced in 1992.

               Field crops make up slightly more than 40 percent of agricultural production, livestock almost 55
               percent, and fruits and wine about 5 percent. Feed-based agriculture prevails in the
               Alpine-Subalpine region and the Karst. Subpannonia specializes in cereals and cattle, while root
               crops characterize Dolenjska, Gorenjska, the Sava-Mura floodplains, and Istria. Istria has olives
               and wine grapes as well, and fine wines are also made in other warmer areas--for example,
               along the border with Styria. Sheep and horse breeding--with the exception of a stud farm in
               Lipica, the original home of Vienna's celebrated Lipizzaner horses--have declined greatly.

               Timber remains crucial to Slovene industry, but, owing to excessive felling in Slovene forests,
               wood must be imported. Forests have also been damaged by factory and motor vehicle


               Slovenia's modern industrial history began in the 19th century with the injection of capital from
               abroad. By 1910 every 10th Slovene worked in industry. The post-1918 Yugoslav market
               especially benefited textiles, coal, iron and other metals, and wood. Small industries evolved
               because of good transportation, electrification, and a skilled, highly motivated labour force, so
               that by 1939 the number of industrial employees had doubled. Under communism, industry was
               virtually force-fed. Metals and engines received top priority, textiles came second, and electrical
               machinery, a new branch, followed. Because production was oriented toward Yugoslavia's
               needs, not all Slovene industry could compete in developed markets. Also, under the socialist
               watchwords of symmetry and polycentrism, almost every major locality received at least one or
               two factories, yet only a handful of these employed more than 5,000 persons.

               Nevertheless, Slovenia has a well-balanced manufacturing base. Metal products, furniture,
               paper, leather and shoes, sporting goods, and textiles are distributed worldwide. New industries
               include electronics, appliances, chemicals, drugs, vehicles, and transportation requisites. Paper,
               colour lithography, and printing deserve special mention.

               Slovenia's power-generating infrastructure includes four thermoelectric and 12 hydroelectric
               plants. Close to the Croatian border at Krsko is a 664-megawatt nuclear facility. Coal reserves
               are meagre and of declining quality, so that natural gas (imported from Russia and Algeria) and
               oil are growing in relative importance.


               Some three million annual visitors--many of whom simply used to cross Slovenia on their way
               to the Dalmatian coast--now take advantage of recreational opportunities such as skiing, hiking,
               boating, fishing, and hunting, which are offered by Slovenia's diverse topography and splendid
               scenery. The Triglav area has been made a national park. Spas such as Rogaska Slatina
               preserve an elegant Neoclassical aura from Habsburg times. Tourists are mainly Germanophone
               and British; their spending is an important source of hard currency.

               Finance and trade.

               Major financial institutions include the Ljubljana Stock Exchange and the Bank of Slovenia. A
               rebaptized Slovene monetary unit, the tolar (German: Thaler), has superseded the Yugoslav

               With the loss of the Yugoslav market, Slovenia's trade goal is integration with its new main
               partner, the European Community, to which Slovenia exports about 70 percent of its goods
               and from which it receives about 60 percent of its imports. The European Free Trade Area
               accounts for about 10 percent of exports and 15 percent of imports. Also vital are commercial
               and other ties within the Alpine-Adriatic Working Community (Italy, Austria, Croatia, Hungary,
               and Germany). Most of the rest of Slovenia's export-import market is in the former Yugoslav
               republics, principally Croatia.


               Slovenia's Eastern Alpine location and easily accessible transit routes have been crucial since
               ancient days. Vestiges of the Roman road and settlement network are still visible. During the
               1840s the Viennese government built the monumental Southern Railroad, which passed through
               Slovenia on its way from Vienna to Trieste. Austria-Hungary also constructed lateral lines that
               still link Slovenia to Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and southeastern Germany.

               Four highway-rail corridors cross Slovenia: London-Istanbul-Tehran,
               Amsterdam-Hamburg-Zagreb, Lyon-Milan-Trieste-Ljubljana (with a branch going to the
               Croatian port of Rijeka), and the north-south Trans-European Motorway running from the Baltic
               States in the north to the Mediterranean countries in the south. Tunnel-studded expressways
               (Slovene: avtocesta) are the nexus of road travel to Italy and Austria, while other, mainly
               secondary, routes lead into Croatia. Despite efforts to improve its highways, Slovenia suffers
               traffic congestion, particularly near Ljubljana and Maribor. These two cities also have small
               international airports.
Administration and social conditions.


               The highest state authority is the president, who nominates the executive, promulgates laws
               passed by the assembly, and sets election dates. The president also commands the armed forces
               and declares national emergencies. Popularly elected, he sits for five years and may serve a
               second term.

               The legislative assembly has 90 directly elected delegates (including two representing Italian and
               Hungarian speakers). It is advised by a 40-member indirectly chosen, nonpartisan state council
               that represents economic and local interests. The executive consists of a prime minister and
               cabinet ministers. The cabinet must enjoy the support of an assembly majority.

               An autonomous judiciary caps the system of power separation. Local government, once
               subordinate, has become autonomous.


               Primary schooling is compulsory and lasts eight years from age 7 to 14. Secondary schools are
               either vocational or academic. The University of Ljubljana, founded in 1595 and reopened in
               1919, has divisions including the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities and arts,
               education, law, medicine, and engineering. The University of Maribor, founded in 1975, is
               vocationally oriented.

               The Slovene government finances many research institutes, especially in the natural sciences and
               technology. A Slovene scholarly tradition reaches directly back to the 17th-century Carniolan
               polymath Johann Weichard, Baron von Valvasor. The premier centre of learning is the Slovenian
               Academy of Sciences and Arts, established in 1938.
Cultural life.

               Austrian Empress Maria Theresa's educational reforms of the 18th century produced a reading
               public for the eloquent Romantic poet France Preseren, Slovene literature's pater patriae.
               Novels followed in the late 1800s. The luminaries of the Modern school, the novelist Ivan
               Cankar and the poet Oton Zupancic, were the first of a long list of politically influential writers.
               Among interwar figures were the harshly realistic novelist Prezihov Voranc and the avant-gardist
               Srecko Kosovel. Poet Edvard Kocbek stood out during and after World War II; an antifascist,
               he suffered at the hands of ex-comrades. Postwar literary celebrities include Ciril Zlobec, Niko
               Grafenauer, and Drago Jancar.

               Music and the visual arts also have a rich heritage. Slovenes are especially proud of the
               Renaissance composer Jakob Petelin Gallus-Carniolus, known in the German-speaking world as
               Jacob Handl. Theater and the media are remarkably creative. An important, internationally
               active cultural group is the century-old Slovene Mother Bee (Slovenska Matica).

               The Slovene lands to 1918.

               The Alpine Slavs.

               During the 6th century AD, ancestors of the Slovenes, now referred to by historians as Alpine
               Slavs or proto-Slovenes, pushed up the Sava, Drava, and Mura river valleys into the Eastern
               Alps and the Karst. There they absorbed the existing Romano-Celtic-Illyrian cultures. At that
               time the Slavs owed allegiance to the Avar khans. After the defeat of the Avars by the Byzantine
               emperor Heraclius, a Slavic kingdom emerged under Samo (reigned 623-658) that extended
               from the Sava valley northward as far as Leipzig. It came under Frankish rule in 748. Over the
               next two centuries, Alpine Slavs living in present-day Austria and western Hungary were
               absorbed by waves of Bavarian and Magyar invaders, so that the Slovene linguistic boundaries
               contracted southward. Nevertheless, a Slovene tribal duchy, centred in Austria's Klagenfurt
               basin, managed to survive for some 200 years. Though it is still imperfectly understood, ancient
               Carantania (or Carinthia) serves as a symbol of nationhood for contemporary Slovenes. (see
               also Index: Slovenia)

               The Middle Ages.

               In the 10th century, after the partitioning of the Frankish empire, the lands in which Slovene
               speakers lived were assigned to the German kingdom. As part of the defense of that kingdom
               against Magyar invaders, they were divided among the marks, or border marches, of Carinthia,
               Carniola, and Styria. German lay and clerical lords arrived, along with dependent peasants, and
               enserfed the Slovenes, whom they called Wends or Winds. Over the next three centuries the
               marches came under the tenuous authority of several territorial dynasts. In the 13th century they
               fell to Otakar II of Bohemia, who, like Samo, tried to establish a Slavic empire. Following the
               defeat of Otakar in 1278, Styria was acquired by the Habsburg family. Carinthia and Carniola
               fell into Habsburg hands in 1335, Istria in 1374, and the city of Trieste in 1382. Habsburg rule
               was based on a bureaucracy that shared power with local noble-run estates. One of these was
               run by the counts of Celje, who were powerful in the Middle Ages but whose lineage died out in
               1456. (see also Index: Austria, Habsburg, House of)

               Modern Slovenes tend to view the coming of German rule as a national calamity, as it subjected
               the Alpine Slavs to steady pressure to Germanize. Nonetheless, it was from this time that they
               were included in the Western, or Roman Catholic, church. German episcopal and monastic
               foundations, along with local diocesan establishments, enriched and fructified the native Slavic
               culture with western European civilization. Indeed, the first missionaries to the area, arriving from
               Ireland in the 8th century, taught the Alpine Slavs to pray in their own tongue. The Freising
               Manuscripts, a collection of confessions and sermons dating from about AD 1000, are the
               earliest known document in what eventually became the Slovene language.

               Early modern times.

               Along with the rest of the Habsburg empire, Slovene-inhabited lands experienced fully the
               Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The area was left firmly Roman Catholic, but in fact
               Slovene national development was assisted by such Protestant scholars as Primoz Trubar and
               Jurij Dalmatin, who in the 16th century propagated the gospel in the vernacular and even printed
               a Slovene translation of the Bible.

               The Slovenes never lived under Ottoman rule, although Turkish invaders were only partially
               deflected by the Habsburg's Military Frontier, established in Croatian lands to the south. Turkish
               raids occasionally penetrated even Carinthia. The failure of the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683
               and Habsburg victories in Hungary ended the Turkish menace. Baroque civilization was free to
               permeate all of Austria, including Slovene-inhabited lands.

               Economically, the Slovene lands had been incorporated fully into the system of German feudal
               tenure. The topography of the region militated against the development of large-scale agriculture,
               and the larger feudal estates typically contained substantial areas of forest. Cultivation was
               confined in the main to peasant holdings. Peasant rights were at times defended only with
               difficulty. There are records of several uprisings by both German and Slovene peasants against
               onerous seignorial exactions, including substantial Slovene participation in a Croatian revolt in
               1573. Generally speaking, however, direct attachment to the crown meant that the Slovene
               lands escaped much of the economic and political upheaval that affected life among other South
               Slavs living under Habsburg rule. As a consequence of this and of their greater proximity to the
               major urban and economic centres of the Habsburg empire, the Slovenes reached relatively high
               levels both of literacy and technical development and achieved an early integration into a market
               economy. The reforms decreed by Empress Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II in the 18th
               century particularly improved the lot of the peasantry. (see also Index: feudalism)

               The later Habsburg era.

               From 1809 to 1814 a large part of the Slovene lands was included in the Illyrian Provinces of
               Napoleon I's French Empire, along with Dalmatia, Trieste, and parts of Croatia. French
               occupation had a profound impact on the politics and culture of the area. The French
               encouraged local initiative and favoured the use of Slovene as an official language. Many of the
               changes did not survive the return to Habsburg rule, but the period contributed greatly to the
               national self-awareness of both the Croats and the Slovenes and aroused in some intellectuals an
               "Illyrian" ideal that stressed the common political and cultural interests of the South Slavs.

               Moved by this ideal, the poet and philologist Jernej Kopitar published the first grammar of the
               Slovene language in 1808. In his position as imperial censor, Kopitar made the acquaintance of
               the great Serb linguistic reformer Vuk Karadzic, and he tried to apply Karadzic's ideas
               concerning the standardization of Slavonic orthography to Slovene by eliminating its many
               Germanic accretions and stressing its South Slav origins. Kopitar's ideas bore fruit in 1843 with
               the publication of the first Slovene-language newspaper in Ljubljana (or Laibach, as it was
               known to its German-speaking population.)

               The revolutionary upheavals that swept many parts of Europe in 1848 had their counterpart in
               Slovenia, with the formulation of the first Slovene national program: this demanded a unified
               Slovene province within the Austrian Empire. Vienna stifled this program as it did rebellion
               everywhere, but Slovenia, like Europe, had changed. As the relics of manorialism vanished and
               plowmen became freeholders, Austrian nobles such as the Auerspergs lost their ancient grip.
               German remained the normal language for merchants and the tiny educated elite, but a Slavic
               bourgeoisie was growing and gradually becoming enfranchised. Change was most evident in
               Carniola, where by 1900 Ljubljana became truly Slovene.

               In the 1890s political parties were formed, including the Progressive (Liberal) Party, the Socialist
               Party, and the Slovene People's Party. The Slovene People's Party had close links to the Roman
               Catholic church, which had also been instrumental in establishing large-scale cooperative
               movements earlier in the century. By providing credit, marketing, and other facilities to peasants
               and artisans, the cooperatives enabled both rural and urban Slovenes to break free from German

               During World War I, Slovenes fighting in the Austrian army suffered huge losses against the
               Italians in incessant battles of attrition along the Soca (Italian: Isonzo) front. In May 1917, as the
               war turned against the Central Powers, the Slovene Anton Korosec and other South Slav
               deputies in the Austrian Reichsrat put forward a declaration in favour of "the unification of all
               territories of the monarchy inhabited by South Slavs in one independent political body, under the
               sceptre of the Habsburg dynasty." Known as Trialism, this ideal of a partnership among South
               Slavs, Austrians, and Hungarians fell victim to the collapse of Austria-Hungary in October 1918.
               The next best choice seemed to be a federation of South Slav states, and Slovene political
               leaders collaborated in the hasty formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

Slovenia as a polity.

               Interwar Yugoslavia.

               At the Paris Peace Conference after the war, the Allies awarded Italy all the coastal areas that
               had given Slovenes access to the sea--including Gorizia (Gorica), Trieste, and Istria. The
               Yugoslav kingdom was given the Prekmurje region and southern Styria but only a small part of
               southern Carinthia. Yugoslav troops occupied much of the Klagenfurt basin, but the Allies
               insisted that a plebiscite be held in two zones to decide the fate of the rest of southern Carinthia.
               In October 1920 the more southerly zone chose Austria, so that no plebiscite was held in the
               northern zone around Klagenfurt; both zones were left to Austria. Almost one-third of Europe's
               Slovene speakers were thus left outside the boundaries of Slovenia. Slovene speakers in Italy
               and Austria continued to be subject to discrimination and political pressure by the dominant
               majorities--as were Slovenia's Germans between 1918 and 1941.

               Incorporation into the Yugoslav kingdom also proved disappointing. Anton Korosec reached
               high positions in the government, but Slovene politicians overall had minimal influence in
               Belgrade. Strong central control--in effect, Serbian hegemony--was imposed over the kingdom
               in an effort to discipline its hybrid citizenry. As a "province" of Yugoslavia, Slovenia's autonomy
               was restricted mainly to cultural affairs. Its economy, which had already industrialized more than
               the rest of the kingdom, benefited somewhat from greater commercial contact with Belgrade, but
               progress was limited by the detachment of Slovene producers from the economically vital
               Habsburg centres of Klagenfurt and Trieste. Also, as one of the kingdom's wealthiest areas,
               Slovenia was taxed more heavily than other regions. By the late 1930s Slovene politics was
               riven by political factions, including ardently Catholic conservatives, anticlerical liberals, and ever
               more militant leftists.

               World War II.

               After the German invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, Slovenia was partitioned. Italy took the
               southwest, including Ljubljana; Germany annexed the north directly into the Reich; and Hungary
               recovered Prekmurje. Although the Slovenes had been deemed racially salvageable by the
               Nazis, the mainly Austrian rulers of the Carinthian and Styrian regions commenced a brutal
               campaign to destroy them as a nation. Resistance groups sprang up; after Germany invaded the
               Soviet Union, they came under the domination of the communist-led Slovene National Liberation
               Front. From its principal base in the forests near Kocevje, the Front combined operations
               against the occupiers and their Slovene collaborators in the White Guard with a ruthless struggle
               against potential rivals, such as members of the Slovene People's Party. In November 1943 the
               Front joined Josip Broz Tito's Partisans in proclaiming a new Yugoslavia, and in May 1945
               Ljubljana was liberated. After the armistice, the British repatriated more than 10,000 Slovene
               collaborators who had attempted to retreat with the Germans, and Tito had most of them
               massacred at the infamous "Pits of Kocevje."

               The communist era.

               Having occupied Trieste in May 1945, the Partisans hoped that its possession was assured, but
               the Allies forced the establishment of a Free Territory of Trieste, consisting of an
               Italian-administered zone in and around the city and a Yugoslav zone on the Istrian Peninsula. In
               1954 Tito agreed to allow the return of Trieste to Italy. The Yugoslav zone was incorporated
               into Slovenia; this gave the Slovenes access to the sea and left fewer Slovene speakers outside
               Yugoslavia, but it also brought a small Italian minority into the republic. (see also Index: Trieste

               As a constituent of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, Slovenia underwent a
               complete restructuring of its economy, politics, and society along Stalinist lines. Following the
               rupture between Tito and Stalin in 1948, however, conditions improved. Over the next two
               decades, Slovenia managed to achieve greater prosperity than the southern Yugoslav republics
               under the unique economic system known as "socialist self-management"--designed largely by
               Tito's chief ideologue, the Slovene Edvard Kardelj. By the 1970s, liberalization had brought on
               a number of local autonomy movements, especially in Croatia and Slovenia, obliging the League
               of Communists of Yugoslavia to reassert party control throughout the federation. In Slovenia,
               dissenting voices survived in such journals as Mladina ("Youth") and Nova Revija ("New
               Review"). Through the 1980s, as the Yugoslav economy succumbed to inflation and debt, even
               Slovene communists steadily lost patience with what they perceived to be profound cultural
               differences between them and the southern Yugoslav peoples. In May 1990 Slovenia held free,
               multiparty elections in which Milan Kucan, a former communist official, was elected president,
               and in December a referendum calling for a sovereign, independent Slovenia received more
               than 90 percent of the vote. The response of the Belgrade government--by then dominated by
               Serbia's nationalist strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, and by the Serb-led Yugoslav People's
               Army (YPA)--was to begin an economic blockade of Slovenia and to expropriate Ljubljana's
               bank assets. Slovene and Croatian proposals for a looser Yugoslav confederation were rejected
               by Serbia, and on June 25, 1991, Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia.

               Two days later the YPA attacked border posts that had been taken over by Slovenia. In what
               became known to the Slovenes as the Ten-Day War, Slovene militiamen, adopting tactics
               originally intended to defend Yugoslavia against invading Soviet tanks, defeated the ineptly
               commanded, disintegrating YPA units with minimal loss of life. The last Yugoslav soldier left by
               ship from Koper on Oct. 25, 1991.
               Slovenia strengthened its domestic political and economic stability in 1993 while continuing its
               opening to the West, in particular by forging new links with the European Community (EC),
               NATO, and Germany. On January 25 the Slovene National Assembly voted 60-25 to confirm a
               new coalition government made up of the Liberal Democrats, the strongest party in the Dec. 6,
               1992, election, and the Christian Democrats, the second largest party. Janez Drnovsek, leader
               of the Liberal Democrats; was reconfirmed as prime minister; Lojze Peterle, leader of the
               Christian Democrats, became foreign minister.

               The relative domestic political calm was upset by the seizure of a 120-ton consignment of arms
               at the airport in Maribor in July under the terms of the UN arms embargo covering the entire
               area of former Yugoslavia. An investigation was ordered by the government, which led to the
               arrest of seven persons. On September 24 the Ministry of Interior Affairs announced that the
               arms, in a deal of which the former minister of interior affairs was cognizant, had been destined
               for the Muslim-led government in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On October 2 the office of the
               president denied allegations that he had known about arms sales to Bosnia. On October 7 the
               head of the intelligence service resigned in connection with the affair.

               In October it was officially revealed that Slovenia was looking after 29,000 refugees from
               former Yugoslavia, not 70,000 as had been previously claimed. On November 23 the National
               Assembly adopted tighter regulations on naturalization, requiring, among other things, a 10-year
               residence period (5 years of that time continuous).

               In April in Luxembourg, Slovenia signed a so-called asymmetrical agreement with the EC under
               which Slovenia's exports would gain virtually unlimited access to EC markets while exports
               from the EC to Slovenia would remain subject to certain restrictions. Slovenia's relations with
               Croatia became tense in December when Slovenia announced the closure, "sometime in 1994,"
               of the jointly financed and operated Krsko nuclear station because of Croatia's alleged failure to
               fulfill its financial obligations.

               Slovenia's main trading partners in 1993 were Germany, Italy, France, and Austria. Its gross
               domestic product grew by 1% compared with 1992. Total exports were 4.8% lower than in
               1992; imports in 1993 grew by 10.8% compared with 1992. About 55% of Slovenia's total
               foreign trade was with the countries of the EC. The inflation rate in 1993 was 33%. Industrial
               production in the January-November 1993 period was 3.4% lower than in the first 11 months of
               1992. Unemployment in the January-October 1993 period was 14.9%, higher than in the first
               10 months of 1992.
               Slovenia continued its economic and political advance on a broad front while maintaining its
               drive for membership in all important world institutions. On September 29 it became a full
               member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which on Jan. 1, 1995, would be
               replaced by the World Trade Organization. Also in September, Slovenia's prime minister, Janez
               Drnovsek, was elected one of the vice presidents of the Liberal International at its meeting in
               Reykjavík, Iceland. Slovenia's main goal of joining the European Union (EU), however, came
               no closer to being realized in 1994.

               Italy obstructed Slovenia's attempt to obtain the EU's associate membership, demanding that
               Slovenia make concessions regarding the property of 160,000 former Italian citizens who left
               or were expelled from Slovenia after 1945. According to official Italian calculations, nearly
               7,000 ha (17,300 ac) of land, 300 building plots, 21 companies, and 7,172 buildings belonging
               to Italians were nationalized between 1945 and 1972 by the Slovene authorities. An attempt to
               negotiate a compromise made by Slovenia's foreign minister, Lojze Peterle, and his Italian
               counterpart, Antonio Martino, in Aquilea, Italy, in October went awry when the government in
               Ljubljana repudiated its own foreign minister. Peterle, a Christian Democrat whose party was a
               coalition partner of the prime minister's Liberal Party, resigned. He had not been replaced by the
               end of 1994, and his ministry was temporarily taken over by the prime minister himself.

               Relations with Croatia deteriorated during 1994. No solution was found in disputes over
               territorial rights in the Bay of Piran and sovereignty over certain inland villages. On October 3
               the lower house of the Slovene National Assembly approved the assigning of disputed territory
               to a Slovene municipality. There was also no resolution of the dispute over savings deposited by
               Croats with the biggest Slovene bank, Ljubljanska Banka, before the breakup of former

               Local elections held in December showed a swing toward the Christian Democrats, but that
               party maintained its coalition with the Liberals. In the first nine months of 1994, Slovenia
               reported a $250.5 million trade deficit. Its exports in that period increased by 8.1%, and imports
               grew by the same amount. About 60% of Slovene exports went to EU countries, and 5.7% of
               its imports came from there. Annual inflation was 19.9%. Privatization was slow, with 26,000
               firms accounting for 77% of total output still in the public sector at the end of 1994.

               Although Slovenia's aspirations to join the European Union (EU) continued to be frustrated in
               1995 by Italy's opposition, the country maintained a steady rate of economic progress. There
               was hope for progress on EU membership in March, after Italy lifted its veto on talks, and on
               May 19 the European Commission approved the terms of Slovenia's associate membership.
               Then Italy called for further changes to the 1975 Osimo Treaty and the 1983 Rome Agreement
               between Italy and Yugoslavia (of which Slovenia was then a part) and insisted on material
               compensation for Italians displaced in the 1945 border adjustments as preconditions for
               agreeing to further EU talks. Italy further demanded that Italian citizens have the right to buy
               property in Slovenia. Pres. Milan Kucan visited Brussels on November 30, but Italy continued
               to insist on its preconditions, and talks on Slovenia's association with the EU made no further
               progress. On December 6 Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek acknowledged that the talks had
               reached an impasse. Nonetheless, Slovenia was voted a full member of the Central European
               Free Trade Agreement in September, and relations with NATO continued to develop within the
               Partnership for Peace program. U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry visited Slovenia on
               September 16.

               In June Slovenia agreed with a consortium of nearly 300 banks to assume responsibility for
               18% of the total debt of $4.7 billion owed to the banks by former Yugoslavia. Relations with
               Croatia remained tense mainly because of the continuing dispute over the territorial waters of the
               Bay of Piran. On November 30 Slovenia recognized Yugoslavia.

               Relations between the government and the country's Roman Catholic Church deteriorated
               sharply in 1995. The church demanded the return of property nationalized under the communist

               Slovenia registered 5% growth in gross domestic product in 1995. The annual inflation rate was
               11%. Its exports, at $6,180,000,000 for the January-September 1995 period increased by
               26.1% over the corresponding period in 1994. In the same period, Slovene imports, at $7
               billion, were 35.2% higher than in 1994. For January-September Slovenia's trade deficit was
               $804 million, compared with $266 million in the first nine months of 1994. The tolar became
               fully convertible on Sept. 1, 1995.

               On June 10, 1996, Slovenia signed an agreement of associate membership with the European
               Union (EU). The country's ultimate goal was full EU membership, with 2001 as the target date.
               Slovenia moved closer to membership when its legislature agreed to support changes in the
               nation's constitution to permit noncitizens to own property. This demand had been pressed
               strongly by Italy, which thereupon removed its veto against Slovenia. During the year Slovenia
               continued its efforts to be included in the first group of nations (Poland, Hungary, Czech
               Republic) to be invited to join in the expansion of NATO, winning important support for this in
               the U.S. Congress.

               Pope John Paul II visited Slovenia May 17-19, the first pope ever to have visited the
               overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country. He was received enthusiastically despite major
               problems between the church and state authorities over the slow return of church properties
               seized during the communist regime. The Vatican, in late 1991, had been the first international
               entity to recognize the independence of Slovenia.

               Quadrennial legislative elections held November 10 produced an even split between
               left-of-centre and right-of-centre parties. The centre-left Liberal Democracy of Slovenia won
               25 of the 90 seats, followed by three more conservative parties: the Slovenian People's Party
               (19 seats), the Social Democratic Party (16), and the Slovenian Christian Democrats (10). In
               fifth place was the United List of Social Democrats, the reformed Communist Party. On
               December 8 a national referendum was held, with voters deciding whether to approve a change
               in the election law toward a majority system and away from proportional representation. In the
               referendum the voters rejected the proposed change.

               Slovenia experienced a 3% increase in gross domestic product in 1996. The inflation rate was
On Feb. 27, 1997, Slovenia's legislature finally broke a deadlock and approved a new coalition
               government, again led by Janez Drnovsek, prime minister since 1992. Legislative elections in
               November 1996 had given Drnovsek's centre-left Liberal Democracy of Slovenia 25 of 90
               seats, which made it the largest party. After prolonged negotiations the right-wing Slovenian
               People's Party (19 seats) agreed to enter the government, and its leader, Marjan Podobnik,
               became deputy prime minister. The centre-left DeSUS Party (5 seats), primarily representing
               retirees, also joined the coalition. Government policies remained unchanged.

               Milan Kucan, president since 1990, was elected in November to a second five-year term. The
               former head of Slovenia's Communist Party, Kucan ran as a nonparty candidate and received
               56% of the vote. His nearest competitor in the eight-candidate field won 18%.

               Slovenia's economic growth rate remained moderate at 3.5%. The rate of inflation was 9.5%,
               and unemployment stood at 14%. At the end of October, the country had $4,185,000,000 of
               foreign exchange reserves and a foreign debt of $4,060,000,000.

               On March 5 Msgr. Franc Rode was appointed archbishop and titular head of the Roman
               Catholic Church in Slovenia, replacing Archbishop Alojzij Sustar, who retired. He proved more
               forceful than his predecessor in defending the church's interests, particularly in the still-delayed
               return of forest land and other property confiscated by the communist government after World
               War II.

               Although disappointed by the decision of NATO members in July to exclude Slovenia in the
               first round of expansion, Slovenia's government pledged to work toward the country's inclusion
               in the projected second round and in the meantime to continue participation in the
               NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace. A small Slovene military unit joined the SFOR
               peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina in November. On July 16 the European Union
               formally invited Slovenia to join in negotiations aimed at eventual membership. In October the
               UN General Assembly elected Slovenia to serve a two-year term (1998-99) as a
               nonpermanent member of the Security Council, replacing Poland.