Federal republic in the center of Europe. It is limited to the north by the Czech Republic, to the northeast by Slovakia, to the east by Hungary, to the south by Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland and to the west by Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Germany. It has 83,859 km2 of surface. Vienna is the capital.
Territory and resources:
According to Relationshipsplus.com, Austria is a mountainous country, with an average altitude of 910 m. To the north are the North Tyrol Alps and the Salzburg Alps. To the south are located the Alps of Ötztal, Zillertal, Catarina and the Karawanken mountains. The areas that are not part of the Alps are: in the north, a mountain range with undulations and in the east, part of the Danube basin.
The main rivers are the Danube, with its tributary the Inn, Mur and Murz. There are also numerous lakes, such as Constance and Neusiedler.
The climate varies according to the altitude. Mountainous regions, which are subject to moderate Atlantic flows, receive more rainfall than the lowlands of the east, which are subject to continental influences. The vegetation is alpine, with deciduous trees in the lower regions and conifers in the upper levels.
Population and government:
Most are Germans, although there is a great ethnic mix, such as Croats, Magyars, Slovenians, Czechs and small groups of Italians, Serbs, Romanians and Turks.
In 1993 the population was 7,915,145 inhabitants, with a density of 94 inhab / km2. The biggest cities are: Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck.
Catholicism is practiced by 78% of the population, Protestantism by 5%, there are also 1% Muslims and a small minority of Jews. German is the country’s official language.
Austria is a federal and democratic republic governed under the 1920 Constitution. Executive power is commanded by the president, who in turn is elected by universal suffrage. A chancellor, appointed by the president, leads the Council of Ministers.
The economy is characterized by its market character. Since 1946, energy industries, major commercial banks, major transportation companies and basic industries have been nationalized. Gross domestic product in 1994 was $ 196.5 billion, which is equivalent to $ 20,380 per capita.
The land for cultivation is scarce and its main productions are: beet, potatoes, cereals and milk. The livestock industry is very developed. It also has important deposits of iron, lignite, magnesite, graphite, oil and natural gas.
An important traditional handicraft manufacturing industry produces articles made of glass, wood, fabrics and ceramics, although the main industry is metallurgy. It also has industries for the production of food, the chemical industry, building materials, papers and fabrics, the latter is mainly based on the production of wool. Tourism is of great importance in the economy.
The national currency is the shilling.
During World War II, in October 1943, Great Britain, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) signed the Moscow Declaration, which proclaimed the establishment of an independent Austria as an allies’ war objective. In 1945, the western powers recognized a provisional government, led by the socialist Karl Renner, who later won the elections and was elected president of the republic.
Austria was divided into four occupation zones, controlled by the United States, France, Great Britain and the USSR, and Vienna was similarly divided. The war had destroyed industries and the communication and transportation system. There was a great immigration, mainly to America. The economic recovery was benefited by the Marshall Plan granted by the United States.
The four allies and Austria signed the State Treaty in 1955, reestablishing the republic. In 1961, Austria finished paying what it owed to the USSR, due to German possessions. From 1945 to 1966, Austria was governed by a coalition of the Socialist and Popular parties that developed a mixed market economy.
In 1966, the first Popular Party government was created in the Second Republic and, in 1970, the Socialists were the majority party for the first time. Chancellor Kreiski’s era (until 1983) was marked by modernization and rising living standards. The new socialist chancellor Fred Sindwatz formed a coalition with the Liberal Party that ended in 1986, the year in which he joined the Popular Party. In 1992, Thomas Klestil, candidate of the Popular Party, was elected president. Austria joined the EU in 1995.