Czech Republic

Czech Republic
Prague (Praha)
Czech
Czech koruna (CZK)
+420

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The Czech Republic, short form Czechia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest.

The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy. The Parliament has two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.

The Czech state, known as Bohemia and later as the Bohemian Crown, was formed in the late 9th century. The country reached its greatest territorial extent during the 13th and 14th century, under the rule of the P?emyslid and Luxembourg dynasties. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts alongside Austria and Hungary. Bohemia later became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I. After the Munich Agreement (signed by Nazi Germany, France, Britain and Italy), Polish annexation of Zaolzie and German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won plurality (38%)[9] in the 1946 elections.

In a 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania); the troops remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Czech Republic made economic reforms such as fast privatizations. Annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth stood at around 6% until the outbreak of the recent global economic crisis. The country is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country according to the World Bank. In addition, The Czech Republic has the highest human development in Central and Eastern Europe, ranking as a "Very High Human Development" nation. It is also ranked as the most democratic and healthy (by infant mortality) country in the region and as the third most peaceful country in Europe.