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Hungary, facts and history in brief           Budapest, facts and history in brief



Brief facts about Hungary and

Budapest

Hungary (Republic of Hungary)
Brief facts.

Location: Central Europe 47N, 20E, (borders with Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia)
Background: Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until World War I. It lost over 2/3 of its land and population after WWI in the Allies dictated Trianon Peace Agreement. After WWII, it was ruled by Communists. Moscow met the 1956 popular uprising, announcing the withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact with a massive military intervention. During the Gorbachev years, Hungary led the movement to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and steadily shifted toward multiparty democracy and a market-oriented economy. Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Hungary developed close political and economic ties to Western Europe. It joined NATO in 1999 and is a frontrunner in a future expansion of the EU.

Climate: Continental with Mediterranean and Atlantic influences, cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers.
Average temperatures: January -2C (28F), July 23C (73F)
Elevation: lowest point: Tisza River 78 m, highest point: Kékes 1,014 m
Natural resources: bauxite, coal, natural gas, fertile soils, and arable land
Land use: arable land: 51%, crops: 3.6%, pastures: 12.4%, forests: 19%, other: 14%
Population: 10,106,017 (July 2001 est.)
Ethnic groups: Hungarian 89.9%, Roma 4%, German 2.6%, Serb 2%, Slovak 0.8%, Romanian 0.7%
Religions: Roman Catholic 67.5%, Calvinist 20%, Lutheran 5%, atheist and other 7.5%
Languages: Hungarian 98.2%, other 1.8%
Literacy: total population: 99%
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Budapest (2 million inhabitants)
Administration: 19 counties, 169 towns, and 2904 villages
Urban population ratio: 60 percent
Flag: three equal sized horizontal colours, red (top), white and green.

The Hungarian national anthem

Population increment: -0.1 percent (decreasing!)
Life expectancy: men 66, women 74 (decreasing!!!)
Local time: winter GMT+1 hour, summer GMT+2 hours, as in West Europe.
Public holidays: January 1, March 15, May 1, August 20, October 23, December 25, 26
Established: A.D. 996. King Stephen I, (Saint Stephen) first legal ruler.
Legal system: rule of law based on Western model (President, Prime Minister, Cabinet, National Assembly, 366 seats. by popular vote under a system of proportional and direct representation for 4 year term. Cc. 9 parties represented.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and green
International organisation participation: Member of all International Organisations and signatory to most international and environmental treaties.
Economy - overview: Hungary continues to demonstrate strong economic growth and to work toward accession to the European Union. Hungarian sovereign debt was upgraded in 2000 to the second-highest rating among all the Central European economies. Inflation - a top economic concern in 2000 - is still high at almost 10%, pushed upward by higher world oil and gas and domestic food prices.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $113.9 billion (2000 est.) GDP - real growth: 5.5% GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $11,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5%, industry: 35%, services: 60% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 9.4% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues: $13 billion
Industries: mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals
Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, sunflower seed, potatoes, sugar beets; pigs, cattle, poultry, dairy products
Exports: $25.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000) machinery and equipment 59.5%, other manufactures 29.4%, food products 6.9%, raw materials 2.4%, fuels and electricity 1.8% (2000) Germany 37%, Austria 9%, Italy 6%, Netherlands 5% (2000)
Imports: $27.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000) machinery and equipment 51.1%, other manufactures 35.9%, fuels and electricity 8.1%, food products 2.8%, raw materials 2.1% (2000) Germany 25%, Russia 8%, Austria 7%, Italy 7% (2000)
Electricity - production: 36.75 billion kWh (1999), fossil; 61.09%, hydro: 0.51%, nuclear: 38.4%
Debt - external: $29.6 billion (2000)
Currency: forint (HUF)
Exchange rates: forints per US dollar - 282.240 (January 2001)
Telephones: - main lines in use: 3.095 million (1997), cellular: 1.269 million (July 1999) both system modern and is capable of satisfying all requests for telecommunication service
Internet: Well established, widely used (.hu).
International country telephone code: 36

Travelling in Hungary: Hungary has an excellent transport network. Every part of the country can be visited within one day trip from Budapest. There are two main railway stations in Budapest, where both international and intercity trains. The main central bus stations are also centrally situated. Regular boat and Hydrofoil services on the Danube to Vienna etc.

Hungarians in the World: Czech and Slovakia 700.000, former Yugoslavia 650.000, Romania 2,000.000, former Soviet Union 200.000, Austria 70.000, Belgium 10.000, France 35.000, Holland 5.000, Great Britain 10.000, Italy 10.000, Germany 50.000, Switzerland 10.000, Sweden 16.000, Other West European countries 10.000, United States 730.000, Canada 140.000, Argentina 10.000, Brazil 70.000, Uruguay 5.000, Other South American countries 10.000, South African Republic 5.000, Australia 55.000, Israel 220.000. Total=5m.

Who are the Hungarians?

Do extra-terrestrial beings exist? - the Nobel Prize winning Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, was once asked by his disciples in California.
Of course, Fermi answered - they are already here among us, they are called Hungarians.
Why did Fermi think this about Hungarians?
Because Hollywood's dream factories were partly built by Hungarian producers, directors, writers and cameramen? Or because - as the saying goes - Hungarians were created by God to sit on horseback?
Perhaps because Béla Bartók's music in his own time was considered extra-terrestrial by many? Or because of the Hungarian language, which does not resemble any world language and sounds so strange?
So, who are these Hungarians? It is not (yet) known quite precisely. It seems certain they arrived somewhere from Asia. With regard to Hungary's location, world languages generally define it as: Eastern Europe. In fact, our country is situated in the centre of the continent, in Central Europe, in its eastern part: this is the Carpathian Basin, where one thousand years ago, visitors already found a Hungarian state.
This small country is one of the great survivors of history: states and empires emerged, expanded or disintegrated and disappeared around it. Hungary and the Hungarian nation survived the devastation of the Tartars and Turks, Habsburgs and Russians in the Carpathian Basin; survived the fact that it belonged among the losers of both world wars. The national anthem describes the Hungarians as "people torn by fate".
So we are not extra-terrestrials. They learnt and became tempered in the tormenting storms of the world: you can experience a particular organic link between the old and new, between history and the present-day in this country, which is still keenly safeguarding its traditions, culture and arts, but was always perceptive to what is new, different and the future.
Do you know that one of the centres of the Renaissance was in Hungary in the 15th century? That the Hungarian statehood is over 1,000 years old? That after 1945, the first armed revolution against Stalinism took place in Hungary? That the iron curtain was dismantled on the frontier of Hungary and Austria?
In Hungary, you can see regions with a particular atmosphere, fabulous villages, churches and castles. You are welcome in Budapest, which many consider to be one of the finest cities of Europe, or maybe the whole world. If you are fond of tasty food, and exclusive wines, this is the place that you will like!


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