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Slovakia

Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe, enclosed by Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. After Great Moravia dissolved in the 10th century, the territory became part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The country was devastated by the Mongol invasion in 1241-1242, however, recovered with the help of Bela IV of Hungary and the settlement of Germans who became an influential ethnic group.

Following World War I, Czechoslovakia emerged as a democratic state, but fascist parties gained power in the Slovak lands during World War II. After the war, Czechoslovakia was reestablished and came under communist rule until the peaceful Velvet Revolution in 1989. On January 1, 1993, Slovakia became an independent state after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, known as the Velvet Divorce.

Slovakia’s high-income developed economy maintains a market economy and a comprehensive social security system that takes care of free education and universal health care for its citizens. It also has one of the longest-paid parental leaves Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  

Slovakia is the world's largest per capita car producer, manufacturing 1.1 million cars in 2019. It ranked the 48th richest country in 2023 with a per capita GDP of $41,515. Despite a small population of 5 million, its GDP of $127.5 billion positioned it as the 62nd largest economy globally.  

Slovakia experienced significant economic growth, earning the nickname "Tatra Tiger" in the 2000s, with a successful transition to a market-driven economy and an average annual per capita GDP growth of 6%. The country has a sound financial sector, low public debt, and high international competitiveness, attracting foreign investment due to factors like low wages, favorable tax rates, a well-educated workforce, and a strategic Central European location.

Following the division of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on December 31, 1992, Slovakia introduced the Slovak koruna, also known as the Slovak crown. It was divisible into 100 haliers. Initially, provisional banknotes were created by attaching stamps with the Slovak coat of arms and denomination to Czechoslovak banknotes of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 korún. Later in 1993, Slovakia issued its own banknotes featuring notable individuals from its history on the front. The reverse sides of the banknotes showcased the locations associated with these historical figures and their activities within the territory of present-day Slovakia. On January 1, 2009, Slovakia adopted the euro as its currency.

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