Slovenia the Republic of Slovenia, is a sovereign state located in southern Central Europe at a crossroads of important European cultural and trade routes. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, it has a population of 2.07 million. One of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is a parliamentary republic and a member of the United Nations, of the European Union, of NATO; the capital and largest city is Ljubljana. Slovenia has a mountainous terrain with a continental climate, with the exception of the Slovene Littoral, which has a sub-Mediterranean climate, of the northwest, which has an Alpine climate. Additionally, the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Plain meet on the territory of Slovenia; the country, marked by a significant biological diversity, is one of the most water-rich in Europe, with a dense river network, a rich aquifer system, significant karst underground watercourses.
Over half of the territory is covered by forest. The human settlement of Slovenia is uneven. Slovenia has been the crossroads of Slavic and Romance languages and cultures. Although the population is not homogeneous, Slovenes comprise the majority; the South Slavic language Slovene is the official language throughout the country. Slovenia is a secularized country, but Catholicism and Lutheranism have influenced its culture and identity; the economy of Slovenia is small and export-oriented and has been influenced by international conditions. It has been hurt by the Eurozone crisis which started in 2009; the main economic field is services, followed by construction. The current territory of Slovenia has formed part of many different states, including the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Carolingian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Republic of Venice, the French-administered Illyrian Provinces of Napoleon I, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary. In October 1918 the Slovenes exercised self-determination for the first time by co-founding the State of Slovenes and Serbs.
In December 1918 they merged with the Kingdom of Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. During World War II Germany and Hungary occupied and annexed Slovenia, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet state. In 1945 Slovenia became a founding member of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, renamed in 1963 as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the first years after World War II this state was allied with the Eastern Bloc, but it never subscribed to the Warsaw Pact and in 1961 became one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. In June 1991, after the introduction of multi-party representative democracy, Slovenia became the first republic that split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. In 2004, it entered the European Union. Slovenia's name means the "Land of the Slavs" in Slovene and other South Slavic languages; the etymology of Slav itself remains uncertain. The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is derived from the word slovo denoting "people who speak," i. e. people who understand each other.
This is in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people". The word slovo and the related slava and slukh originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew-, cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος, as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo, English loud; the modern Slovene state originates from the Slovene National Liberation Committee held on 19 February 1944. They named the state as Federal Slovenia, a unit within the Yugoslav federation. On 20 February 1946, Federal Slovenia was renamed the People's Republic of Slovenia, it retained this name until 9 April 1963, when its name was changed again, this time to Socialist Republic of Slovenia. On 8 March 1990, SR Slovenia removed the prefix "Socialist" from its name, becoming the Republic of Slovenia. Present-day Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is evidence of human habitation from around 250,000 years ago. A pierced cave bear bone, dating from 43100 ± 700 BP, found in 1995 in Divje Babe cave near Cerkno, is considered a kind of flute, the oldest musical instrument discovered in the world.
In the 1920s and 1930s, artifacts belonging to the Cro-Magnon, such as pierced bones, bone points, a needle were found by archaeologist Srečko Brodar in Potok Cave. In 2002, remains of pile dwellings over 4,500 years old were discovered in the Ljubljana Marshes, now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel, the oldest wooden wheel in the world, it shows that wooden wheels appeared simultaneously in Mesopotamia and Europe. In the transition period between the Bronze age to the Iron age, the Urnfield culture flourished. Archaeological remains dating from the Hallstatt period have been found in southeastern Slovenia, among them a number of situl
Jakob Aljaž was a Slovene Roman Catholic priest and mountaineer. Aljaž was born in a small Upper Carniolan village of Zavrh pod Šmarno Goro, northeast of Ljubljana, in what was the Austrian Empire, he was a priest and a successful composer and choir master. His works are still popular among Slovenes, he became known by having mountain huts built throughout the Julian Alps, which fostered the development of mountaineering in the Slovene Lands. By far his most well known construction is the Aljaž Tower, built on the summit of Mount Triglav, the highest mountain of the Julian Alps and of Slovenia, he arranged several hiking paths to be laid out, enabling more visitors to come to the mountains. The endeavours of Jakob Aljaž had a influential role in the emergence of Mount Triglav as one of the central symbols of the Slovene people; the first verse from the patriotic poem Oh, Triglav, My Home by Matija Zemljič, put into music by Jakob Aljaž, is engraved in the Slovenian 50 cent euro coin. Since 2007, its first stance has been the anthem of the Alpine Association of Slovenia.
Jakob Aljaž died in the village of Dovje. "Ceremony Pays Homage to the Mountaineer Aljaž". Government Communication Office of Slovenia. 2007-08-07. Archived from the original on 2008-03-01. "LANDschaft/LEIDEN/LEIDENschaft". Hidden Museum.net. Retrieved 2007-11-13. Free scores by Jakob Aljaž in the Choral Public Domain Library
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
The Lipizzan, or Lipizzaner, is a breed of horse originating from Lipica in Slovenia. Established in 1580, the Lipica stud farm is the world's oldest continuously operating stud farm, it is closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, where they demonstrate the haute école or "high school" movements of classical dressage, including the controlled, stylized jumps and other movements known as the "airs above the ground." The horses at the Spanish Riding School are trained using traditional methods that date back hundreds of years, based on the principles of classical dressage. The Lipizzan breed dates back to the 16th century, when it was developed with the support of the Habsburg nobility; the breed takes its name from one of the earliest stud farms established, located near the village of Lipica, in modern-day Slovenia. The breed has been endangered numerous times by warfare sweeping Europe, including during the War of the First Coalition, World War I, World War II; the rescue of the Lipizzans during World War II by American troops was made famous by the Disney movie Miracle of the White Stallions.
The breed has starred or played supporting roles in many movies, TV shows and other media. Today, eight stallions are recognized as the foundation bloodstock of the breed, all foaled the late 18th and early 19th centuries. All modern Lipizzans trace their bloodlines to these eight stallions, all breeding stallions have included in their name the name of the foundation sire of their bloodline. Classic mare lines are known, with up to 35 recognized by various breed registries; the majority of horses are registered through the member organizations of the Lipizzan International Federation, which covers 11,000 horses in 19 countries and at 9 state studs in Europe. Most Lipizzans reside in Europe, with smaller numbers in the Americas and Australia. Gray in color, the Lipizzan is a muscular breed that matures and is long-lived. Most Lipizzans measure between 15.2 hands. However, horses bred to be closer to the original carriage-horse type are taller, approaching 16.1 hands. Lipizzans have a long head, with a straight or convex profile.
The jaw is deep, the ears small, the eyes large and expressive, the nostrils flared. They have a neck, sturdy, yet arched and withers that are low and broad, they are a Baroque horse, with a wide, deep chest, broad croup, muscular shoulder. The tail is well set; the legs are strong, with broad joints and well-defined tendons. The feet are tough. Lipizzan horses tend to mature slowly. However, they live and are active longer than many other breeds, with horses performing the difficult exercises of the Spanish Riding School well into their 20s and living into their 30s. Aside from the rare solid-colored horse, most Lipizzans are gray. Like all gray horses, they have black skin, dark eyes, as adult horses, a white hair coat. Gray horses, including Lipizzans, are born with a pigmented coat—in Lipizzans, foals are bay or black—and become lighter each year as the graying process takes place, with the process being complete between 6 and 10 years of age. Lipizzans are not true white horses, but this is a common misconception.
A white horse has unpigmented skin. Until the 18th century, Lipizzans had other coat colors, including dun, chestnut, black and skewbald. However, gray is a dominant gene. Gray was the color preferred by the royal family, so the color was emphasized in breeding practices. Thus, in a small breed population when the color was deliberately selected as a desirable feature, it came to be the color of the overwhelming majority of Lipizzan horses. However, it is a long-standing tradition for the Spanish Riding School to have at least one bay Lipizzan stallion in residence, this tradition is continued through the present day; the ancestors of the Lipizzan can be traced to around 800 AD. The earliest predecessors of the Lipizzan originated in the seventh century when Barb horses were brought into Spain by the Moors and crossed on native Spanish stock; the result was other Iberian horse breeds. By the 16th century, when the Habsburgs ruled both Spain and Austria, a powerful but agile horse was desired both for military uses and for use in the fashionable and growing riding schools for the nobility of central Europe.
Therefore, in 1562, the Habsburg Emperor Maximillian II brought the Spanish Andalusian horse to Austria and founded the court stud at Kladrub. In 1580, his brother, Archduke Charles II, established a similar stud at Lipizza, located in modern-day Slovenia, from which the breed obtained its name; the name of the village itself derives from the Slovenian word lipa, meaning "linden tree."Spanish and Arabian stock were crossed at Lipizza, succeeding generations were crossed with the now-extinct Neapolitan breed from Italy and other Baroque horses of Spanish descent obtained from Germany and Denmark. While breeding stock was exchanged between the two studs, Kladrub specialized in producing heavy carriage horses, while riding and light carriage horses came from the Lipizza stud. Beginning in 1920, the Piber Federal Stud, near Graz, became the main stud for the horses used in Vienna. Breeding became selective, only allowing stallions that had proved themselves at the Riding School to stand at stud, only breeding mares that had passed rigorous performance testing.
Today, eight foundation lines for Lipizzans are recognized by various regi
The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019; the euro is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. The euro is subdivided into 100 cents; the currency is used by the institutions of the European Union, by four European microstates that are not EU members, as well as unilaterally by Montenegro and Kosovo. Outside Europe, a number of special territories of EU members use the euro as their currency. Additionally, 240 million people worldwide as of 2018 use currencies pegged to the euro; the euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar. As of August 2018, with more than €1.2 trillion in circulation, the euro has one of the highest combined values of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.
S. dollar. The name euro was adopted on 16 December 1995 in Madrid; the euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency on 1 January 1999, replacing the former European Currency Unit at a ratio of 1:1. Physical euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation on 1 January 2002, making it the day-to-day operating currency of its original members, by March 2002 it had replaced the former currencies. While the euro dropped subsequently to US$0.83 within two years, it has traded above the U. S. dollar since the end of 2002, peaking at US$1.60 on 18 July 2008. In late 2009, the euro became immersed in the European sovereign-debt crisis, which led to the creation of the European Financial Stability Facility as well as other reforms aimed at stabilising and strengthening the currency; the euro is managed and administered by the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank and the Eurosystem. As an independent central bank, the ECB has sole authority to set monetary policy; the Eurosystem participates in the printing and distribution of notes and coins in all member states, the operation of the eurozone payment systems.
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty obliges most EU member states to adopt the euro upon meeting certain monetary and budgetary convergence criteria, although not all states have done so. The United Kingdom and Denmark negotiated exemptions, while Sweden turned down the euro in a 2003 referendum, has circumvented the obligation to adopt the euro by not meeting the monetary and budgetary requirements. All nations that have joined the EU since 1993 have pledged to adopt the euro in due course. Since 1 January 2002, the national central banks and the ECB have issued euro banknotes on a joint basis. Euro banknotes do not show. Eurosystem NCBs are required to accept euro banknotes put into circulation by other Eurosystem members and these banknotes are not repatriated; the ECB issues 8% of the total value of banknotes issued by the Eurosystem. In practice, the ECB's banknotes are put into circulation by the NCBs, thereby incurring matching liabilities vis-à-vis the ECB; these liabilities carry interest at the main refinancing rate of the ECB.
The other 92% of euro banknotes are issued by the NCBs in proportion to their respective shares of the ECB capital key, calculated using national share of European Union population and national share of EU GDP weighted. The euro is divided into 100 cents. In Community legislative acts the plural forms of euro and cent are spelled without the s, notwithstanding normal English usage. Otherwise, normal English plurals are sometimes used, with many local variations such as centime in France. All circulating coins have a common side showing the denomination or value, a map in the background. Due to the linguistic plurality in the European Union, the Latin alphabet version of euro is used and Arabic numerals. For the denominations except the 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, the map only showed the 15 member states which were members when the euro was introduced. Beginning in 2007 or 2008 the old map is being replaced by a map of Europe showing countries outside the Union like Norway, Belarus, Russia or Turkey.
The 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, keep their old design, showing a geographical map of Europe with the 15 member states of 2002 raised somewhat above the rest of the map. All common sides were designed by Luc Luycx; the coins have a national side showing an image chosen by the country that issued the coin. Euro coins from any member state may be used in any nation that has adopted the euro; the coins are issued in denominations of €2, €1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, 1c. To avoid the use of the two smallest coins, some cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents in the Netherlands and Ireland and in Finland; this practice is discouraged by the Commission, as is the practice of certain shops of refusing to accept high-value euro notes. Commemorative coins with €2 face value have been issued with changes to the design of the national side of the coin; these include both issued coins, such as the €2 commemorative coin for the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, nationally i
The Euro summit is the meeting of the heads of state or government of the member states of the eurozone. It is distinct from the EU summit held by the European Council, the meeting of all EU leaders; the Euro summit began as an offshoot of the Euro Group, the meeting of the eurozone member's finance ministers. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for the Euro summit to replace the Euro Group as a "clearly identified economic government" for the eurozone, stating it was not possible for the eurozone to continue without it; the eurozone economic government would discuss issues with the European Central Bank, which would remain independent. Sarkozy stated that "only heads of state and government have the necessary democratic legitimacy" for the role; this idea was based on the meeting of eurozone leaders in 2008 who met to agree a co-ordinated eurozone response to the banking crisis. They first met in response to the debt crisis. Subsequent meetings took place in March 2010, May 2010, March 2011, July 2011 and October 2011.
In the October 2011 meeting, it was agreed to formalise the Euro summit, as at least twice yearly meeting. This change was formalised in the 2012 Treaty on Stability and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. Since this formalisation, Heads of State or Government have failed to meet this target of twice yearly meetings in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. A Euro summit President, separate from the Euro Group President, would be elected at the same time as the President of the European Council and under the same rules; until such an election takes place, the European Council President fulfils that role. In October 2011, the Eurozone head of states agreed to meet at least twice per year, as part of measures to improve governance of the Eurozone. Meetings were chaired by president Herman Van Rompuy from March 2010 to November 2014. Donald Tusk has been the Euro Summit president since December 1, 2014, ends his term on May 31, 2017; the table below lists the summary reports of all previous Euro Summits.
New procedure rules for Euro summits were adopted on 14 March 2013, regulating the Euro Summit shall meet at least twice a year, convened by its President on preferably one of the same dates as the EU summits. However, for unknown reasons, only one Euro Summit meeting per year took place in 2013 and 2014, none took place in 2016. In its informal capacity, the de facto summit President has been the European Council President, meaning that Herman Van Rompuy chaired all meetings since March 2010 to December 2014; the proposals for formalisation of the summit include electing a President along the same lines as the European Council President, until Van Rompuy continues to chair the summit. On 1 March 2012, he was formally elected as President of the Euro Summit for the term 1 June 2012 to 30 November 2014. New president for the term 1 December 2014 until 31 May 2017, is the former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Notes Presidents of other EU institutions, such as the President of the European Commission and the European Central Bank President attend.
Presidents of the Euro Group and of the European Parliament may be invited and the President of the Euro Summit shall present a report to the European Parliament after each of the meetings of the Euro Summit. Heads of state or government of non-eurozone signatories to the European Fiscal Compact treaty participate, at least once a year, for those policies of the treaty that apply to them. In some summits, other leaders might attend discussions, for example the British Prime Minister attending the 2008 summit. European Fiscal Compact European sovereign debt crisis Euro Group
President of the European Central Bank
The President of the European Central Bank is the head of the European Central Bank, the institution responsible for the management of the euro and monetary policy in the Eurozone of the European Union. The President heads the executive board, governing council and general council of the ECB, he represents the bank abroad, for example at the G20. The President is appointed by a qualified majority vote of the European Council, de facto by those who have adopted the euro, for an eight-year non-renewable term; however the first President, did not serve his full term Wim Duisenberg was the President of the European Monetary Institute when it became the ECB, just prior to the launch of the euro, on 1 June 1998. Duisenberg became the first President of the ECB; the French interpretation of the agreement made with the installation of Wim Duisenberg as ECB President was that Duisenberg would resign after just four years of his eight-year term, would be replaced by the Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet. Duisenberg always denied that such an agreement was made and stated in February 2002 that he would stay in office until his 68th birthday on 9 July 2003.
In the meanwhile Jean-Claude Trichet was not cleared of legal accusations before 1 June 2002, so he was not able to begin his term after Duisenberg's first four years. On 9 July 2003 Trichet was not cleared, therefore Duisenberg remained in office until 1 November 2003. Duisenberg died on 31 July 2005. Jean-Claude Trichet served during the European sovereign debt crisis. Trichet's strengths lay in keeping consensus and visible calm in the ECB. During his tenure, Trichet has had to fend off criticism from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who demanded a more growth-orientated policy at the ECB. Germany supported Trichet in demanding the bank's independence be respected. However, he was criticised from straying from his mandate during the crisis by buying the government bonds of eurozone member states. ECB board members Axel A. Weber and Jürgen Stark resigned in protest at this policy if it helped prevent states from defaulting. IMF economist Pau Rabanal argued that Trichet "maintained a expansionary monetary policy," but "sacrificed the ECB's inflation target for the sake of greater economic growth and jobs creation, not the other way round."
While straying from his mandate, he has however still kept interest rates under control and maintained greater price stability than the Deutsche Bundesbank did before the euro. As well as defending the ECB's independence and balancing its commitment to interest rates and economic stability, Trichet fought Sarkozy for automatic sanctions in the EU fiscal reforms and against Angela Merkel against private sector involvement in bail outs so as not to scare the markets, he had however made some mistakes during the crisis, for example by: raising interest rates just after inflation topped out and just prior to the recession triggered by the Lehman Brothers collapse. In his final appearance before the European Parliament, Trichet called for more political unity, including, he asserted that the ECB's role in maintaining price stability throughout the financial crisis and the oil price rises should not be overlooked. He stated, in response to a question from a German newspaper attacking the ECB's credibility following its bond-buying.
Mario Draghi was chosen to become the next President of the ECB on 24 June 2011. He is President since 1 November 2011. Pascal Canfin, Member of the European Parliament, asserted that Draghi had been involved in swaps for European governments, namely Greece, trying to disguise their countries' economic status. Draghi responded that the deals were "undertaken before my joining Goldman Sachs I had nothing to do with" them, in the 2011 European Parliament nomination hearings. List of presidents since the establishment of the bank on 1 June 1998. Vice President Christian Noyer was only appointed for four years so that his resignation would coincide with the expected resignation of Duisenberg, his successors, starting with Lucas Papademos, are granted eight-year terms. Organisation of the ECB President's CV EU Treaties.