Slovenia is not Slovakia!
A few new states were created in Europe at the beginning of the 90s. Two big countries, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, broke into several smaller states. Two of them have similar names: Slovakia and Slovenia. By their natives, they are called Slovensko and Slovenija.
The names can be similar, but these countries have different past – Slovakia rose from the Czechoslovakia, Slovenia from Yugoslavia. While Slovenia suffered of a war conflict, Slovakia separated from its Czech neighbour in a peaceful way.
These countries don’t share borders, they never did (see the map below – Slovakia in blue circle, Slovenia in red).
Both countries are members of the European Union and NATO. Since 1st of January 2007 (Slovenia) and 1st of January 2009 (Slovakia), both countries are members of the European Monetary Union – the so-called Euro Zone.
But Slovenia is surrounded by Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy and it is a coastal country, on the border of the Balkans and Central Europe. Whereas Slovakia is situated directly in Central Europe with no access to the sea. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana and the capital of Slovakia is Bratislava. Slovenia has a population of about 2 mil., Slovakia 5.4 mil.
Quick Comparison Table
|Formal Country Name||Slovak Republic||Republic of Slovenia|
|Local Short Country Name||Slovensko||Slovenija|
|Formal Local Country Name||Slovenská Republika||Republika Slovenija|
|ISO Codes||SK, SVK, 703||SI, SVN, 705|
|International Road Sign||SK||SLO|
|TLD (Top Level Domain)||.sk||.si|
|International Sport Symbol||SVK||SLO|
|International Phone Code||+421 (or 00421)||+386 (or 00386)|
|Area||49025 sq.km||20256 sq.km|
|Number of Inhabitants||5.4 million||2 million|
|Access to Sea||no sea||about 50 km coastline|
|Former Currency||Koruna (100 halierov)||Tolar (100 stotin)|
|Time Zone||Central European (GMT+1)|
Slovenia and Slovakia in Football
Both countries were there in South Africa on the football worldcup in 2010. Slovenia didn’t qualify to the best 16, but Slovakia did.
Slovakia lost against Netherlands (as it turned out the second best team at this worldcup, they lost only one match in the finals against Spain) in the match for quaterfinals 1:2. But before that, in the F group Slovakia has beaten Italy 3:2 (therefore Italy didn’t qualify to the best 16!), played a draw with New Zealand 1:1 (New Zealand kicked the drawing goal 20 seconds before the end of the match) and has lost against Paraguay 0:2.
Slovenia and Slovakia in Hockey
Slovakia has excelent ice hockey players – 6 times world champion as part of Czechoslovakia and 2002 champion as a separate country. Slovenia barely got to the A group of the Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship – only 6 times in the best 16 teams of the world.
Politicians Mixing Slovakia and Slovenia
- George W. Bush: “The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned first-hand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas.” This is a quote from US president. He had actually met the leader from Slovenia, not Slovakia. :)
- At a news conference in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, introduced Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop to the crowd of journalists. “I’m very happy to be here today with the Prime Minister of Slovakia.” :)
- Staff of Slovak and Slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange wrongly-addressed mail! :)