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   Czechia Country Guide

Flag of Czech Republic At the close of World War I, the Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, having rejected a federal system, the new country's predominantly Czech leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the increasingly strident demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Slovaks, the Sudeten Germans, and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). On the eve of World War II, Nazi Germany occupied the territory that today comprises the Czech Republic and Slovakia became an independent state allied with Germany. After the war, a reunited but truncated Czechoslovakia (less Ruthenia) fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize communist rule and create "socialism with a human face," ushering in a period of repression known as "normalization." The peaceful "Velvet Revolution" swept the Communist Party from power at the end of 1989 and inaugurated a return to democratic rule and a market economy. On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a nonviolent "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. The country changed its short-form name to Czechia in 2016.

Map of Czech Republic Full Name: Czech Republic
Area: 78,866 sq km (water: 1,590 sq km, land: 77,276 sq km)
Population: 10,644,842 (July 2016 est.)
Capital City: Prague

People: Czech 64.3%, Moravian 5%, Slovak 1.4%, other 1.8%, unspecified 27.5% (2011 est.)
Language: Czech 95.4%, Slovak 1.6%, other 3% (2011 census)
Religion: Roman Catholic 10.4%, Protestant (includes Czech Brethren and Hussite) 1.1%, other and unspecified 54%, none 34.5% (2011 est.)

Government Type: Parliamentary democracy
Chief of State President Milos ZEMAN (since 8 March 2013)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Bohuslav SOBOTKA (since 17 January 2014); First Deputy Prime Minister Andrej BABIS and Deputy Prime Minister Pavel BELOBRADEK (both since 29 January 2014)

GDP: $US 350.9 billion (2016 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 33,200 (2016 est.)
Inflation: 0.5% (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 5.6% (2016 est.)
Industries: Metallurgy, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, glass, armaments
Currency: Czech koruna (CZK)

Member of EU: Yes

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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 2/2017
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