The Republic of Austria is strategically located at the heart of European traffic along the commercial route of the Danubian and the passes of the Alpine, making the country within the range of various political and economic systems. This landlocked nation possesses a mountainous terrain and is enclosed by Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany.
This small country has witnessed more than a quarter-century of economic instability and Nazi authoritarianism. However, in 1955, Austria has established political neutrality when Allied troops that had been dominating the nation since the close of the Second World War fled.
Austria has a full-bloomed market economy and has close connections with Germany as well as other EU economies. The country depends heavily on the service sector alongside its industrial and agricultural sectors. However, Austria’s economy plummeted which was caused by the international economic downturn in 2008, resulting in a 3.9% decline in GDP in 2009. Because of the financial crisis, the largest banks in Austria incurred substantial losses. But unlike other European countries, unemployment hasn’t gone up, thanks to its subsidized reduced working hour strategy that retained employees.
In 1995, Austria joined the European Union. Prior to transitioning to the euro in 1995, its official currency was the Austrian schilling which was introduced in 1925. The schilling replaced the Austro-Hungarian krone at a ratio of 1 schilling to 10,000 krone. The first shilling was withdrawn during the German annexation of the country in 1938.
The second schilling was introduced in 1945, although dated 1944, in 50 groschens and 1 up to 1,000 schillings. The last series of notes released by Austria before the euro was designed by Robert Kalina who eventually designed the European Monetary Union’s banknotes. Depicted on their obverse are famous Austrian personalities in the fields of arts, science, education, and mathematics. Meanwhile, their reverse reflects places or objects related to the featured person.