Map of Austria
The Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich)
Extracted from the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Austria is a landlocked country in Central Europe, a federation
of 9 states.
Austria is bordered by Liechtenstein
and Switzerland in the west,
Italy and Slovenia in the south,
Hungary and Slovakia in the east, and
Germany and the Czech Republic in the north.
Official; language German.
Area; 83,858 km˛.
Currency; Euroš, Austrian euro coins.
(Prior to 1999: Austrian schilling)
Time zone; UTC +1.
National anthem; Land der Berge, Land am Strome.
Internet TLD .AT
Phone Calling Code 43.
After being conquered by the Romans, Huns,
Lombards, Ostrogoths, Bavarians and Franks,
Austria came under the rule of the
Babenbergs from the 10th to the 13th
century, which were succeeded by the
The line of this family continued
to govern Austria until the 20th century.
After the abolition of the Holy Roman
Empire, Austria became part of the
double-monarchy Austria-Hungary in 1867.
This nation was split up after being on
the losing side of World War I, forming
Austria as it is today.
Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany
in 1938 (the "Anschluss").
The Allies occupied Austria at
the end of World War II until 1955,
when the country again became fully
independent under the condition
that it remained neutral.
However, after the collapse of
communism in Eastern Europe,
Austria became increasingly
involved in European affairs,
and in 1995, Austria joined the
European Union, and the euro
monetary system in 1999.
Head of state is the president,
who is elected every 6 years by
popular vote. The president chooses
the chancellor, traditionally the
leader of the largest party in the
elections for parliament.
The Austrian parliament consists
of two chambers, the Bundesrat
(federal council), which consists
of 64 representatives of the states,
based on population, and the
Nationalrat (national council),
which has 183 directly elected members.
After three decades of social-democratic
majority (SPÖ) a right-wing
coalition was formed in 2000,
consisting of the conservative
People's Party (ÖVP) and the right-wing
Freedom Party (FPÖ). However, after
some turmoil within the FPÖ concerning
party policy and leadership, Federal
Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP)
announced on September 9, 2002
that general elections would be
held prematurely at the end of November.
In the elections of November 24, 2002,
the ÖVP won a landslide victory
(42.3% of the vote), whereas the
FPÖ was reduced to a mere 10.1%.
The new Austrian parliament
(Nationalrat, 183 seats) will be made up as follows:
79 seats ÖVP (Austrian People's Party) (42.3% of the vote)
69 seats SPÖ (Austrian Social Democratic Party) (36.51%)
18 seats FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party) (10.1%)
17 seats Die Grünen (Austrian Green Party) (9.47%)
On February 28, 2003, the coalition
between the ÖVP and the FPÖ has
been continued, again with Wolfgang
Schüssel (ÖVP) as Federal Chancellor.
His Vice Chancellor is Herbert Haupt (FPÖ).
Prior to that, long-lasting "probing
talks" ("Sondierungsgespräche") took
place between the ÖVP and the other
major parties FPÖ, SPÖ and the Green Party.
States of Austria
A federal republic, Austria
is divided into nine states,
Being situated in the Alps,
Austria's west and south are
mountainous making Austria a
well-known winter sports destination.
The highest mountain is the
Grossglockner, at 3,798 m.
The north and east of the country
are mostly rolling terrain.
The climate is temperate,
with cold winters and cool summers.
The main cities are capital
Vienna, situated on the Danube,
Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Linz.
Austria, with its well-developed
market economy and high
standard of living, is closely
tied to other European Union
economies, especially Germany's.
Membership in the EU has drawn
an influx of foreign investors
attracted by Austria's access
to the single European market
and proximity to EU aspirant
Slowing growth in Germany and
elsewhere in the world slowed
the economy to only 1.2% growth in 2001.
To meet increased competition
from both EU and Central
European countries, Austria
will need to emphasize knowledge-based
sectors of the economy, continue
to deregulate the service sector,
and lower its tax burden.
About ten percent of the Austrians
are of non-Austrian descent, many
from surrounding countries,
especially from the former
East Bloc nations.
Over 50,000 indigenous Slovenians
live in the Austrian provinces
of Carinthia and Styria.
A large group of labour
immigrants is also present.
The official language, German,
is spoken by everybody; the
dialect is similar to that
spoken in southern Germany.
There is, however, a separate
standard for Austrian German
with differences to the German
spoken in Germany.
More than three-quarters
of Austrians are Roman Catholic.
Other important religions are
Islam and Protestantism.
Austria has been the birthplace
for several famous composers such
as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
Johann Strauss, Sr. and Johann
Other famous Austrians include
physicists Ludwig Boltzmann
and Erwin Schrödinger as well
as philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein,
psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and
poet Peter Rosegger.
Being situated in the Alps,
Austria has been the homeland of
many great alpine skiers, such
as Toni Sailer, Hermann Maier,
Annemarie Moser-Pröll and Anita Wachter.
Holidays Date English Name Local Name Remarks
January 1, New Year's Day.
January 6, Epiphany.
May 1, (also, Labour day).
Ascension Day, (Thursday 40 days after Easter).
Corpus Christi, (Thursday 11 days after Pentecost).
October 26, National day (Law on neutrality passed).
November 1, All Saints.
December 8, (Maria Empfängnis).
December 25, Christmas.
December 26, Boxing Day.
December 31, New Year's Eve, (Sylvester).
This information was updated December 2004
All text is available under the terms of the
Free Documentation License (see
Copyrights for details).
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