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About Austria

austriamap Austria is a small mountainous landlocked country in South Central Europe. It is bound by Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, and Slovenia and Italy to the south, as well as Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.

Austria is a federal republic state with a parliamentary democracy. With an area of 83.858 sq km Austria consists of 9 independent federal states (Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, and Vienna) with their own provincial governments. The federal legislation is exercised by the national council (Nationalrat) together with the Upper House of Parliament (Bundesrat)- the two chambers of Parliament. Austria is a member of the European Union, the United Nations and most UN organizations.

Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal.

 
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