Slovakia sits in the heart of Europe, straddling the northwestern end of the Carpathian Mountains and forming a clear physical barrier between the plains of Poland to the north and Hungary to the south. In 1918 the Slovaks joined the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Slovakia has mastered much of the difficult transition from a centrally planned economy to a modern market economy.
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People: Slovak (85.7%), Hungarian (10.6%), Romany (1.6%), Czech (1%)
Language: Slovak, Hungarian, Czech, and German
Religion: 60% Roman Catholic, 10% Protestant, 4% Orthodox
Government: Parliamentary Democracy
GDP: US$67.34 billion
Major Industries: Metal products, electricity, gas, coke, oil, rubber products and agriculture
Major Trading Partners: EU (esp. Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland)