Slovakia. Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda had great difficulties in keeping the ruling five-party Alliance Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) united and in agreement. When he failed in his efforts to form a single party of the SDK, he announced in February that he had decided to form a new party, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKU). The new party was formally formed at the end of the year, and Dzurinda was then elected leader. SDKU was intended to be a tool for a government victory in 2002 and to complete the country’s integration into the EU and NATO. Slovakia began negotiations with the EU on membership during the year, and faced radical reforms including business and justice.
President Rudolf Schuster underwent an operation during the summer, which caused life-threatening complications: In a coma, Schuster flew to Innsbruck, Austria for care. Since the Constitution did not provide for measures with the head of state in a coma, the prime minister became acting president, which annoyed Schuster when he recovered. A subsequent report found major shortcomings in Slovak healthcare, and the Minister of Health resigned.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Slovakia. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
During the year, Slovakia received criticism from Amnesty International, which accused the Slovak police of abusing the Roma. The EU also criticized Slovakia for treating the Roma. During the year, many Roma chose to seek asylum in Western European countries.
Mečiar had support, especially among the rural poor and the elderly, and he managed to gather enough signatures to create a referendum demanding early elections. The vote was held in November, but as only 20% of voters participated, the result was invalid.
Unemployment figures in Slovakia were among the highest in Europe and were around 20% during the year. Many jobs disappeared when a large shipyard in Komárno was forced to strike again. The shipyard could not deliver to its overseas customers because bombed bridges in Serbia continued to block the Danube River.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Slovakia in 2000 was 5,399,100, ranking number 103 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.090% yearly, and the population density was 112.2777 people per km2.