Austria

  • Posted on: 29 October 2014
  • By: admin

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria (German: About this sound Republik Österreich (help·info)) (lit. Eastern Realm), is a federal republic and a landlocked country of roughly 8.5 million people[6] in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,855 square kilometres (32,377 sq mi) and has alpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 metres (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speak local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

The greater part of Austria lies in the cool/temperate climate zone, where humid westerly winds predominate. With nearly three-fourths of the country dominated by the Alps, the alpine climate is predominant. In the east—in the Pannonian Plain and along the Danube valley—the climate shows continental features with less rain than the alpine areas. Although Austria is cold in the winter (−10 – 0 °C), summer temperatures can be relatively high,[70] with average temperatures in the mid-20s and a highest temperature of 40.5 °C (105 °F) in August 2013.

Austria is the 12th richest country in the world in terms of GDP (Gross domestic product) per capita,[72] has a well-developed social market economy, and a high standard of living. Until the 1980s, many of Austria's largest industry firms were nationalised; in recent years, however, privatisation has reduced state holdings to a level comparable to other European economies. Labour movements are particularly strong in Austria and have large influence on labour politics. Next to a highly developed industry, international tourism is the most important part of the national economy.