The Czech Republic
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The Czech Republic is a small landlocked country in Central Europe. Its area is nearly
79 000 square kilometers. Its capital is Prague.
The country borders Poland, Austria, Germany and Slovakia, with which it was united in the state of Czechoslovakia until 31 December 1992. The country consists of two main regions: Bohemia – the western half and Moravia – with part of Silesia in the east. Bohemia is more densely populated and industrialized than the eastern part.
The borders are mostly defined by mountains and rivers. The best known mountain ranges are the Šumava, the Krušné Mountains, the Jizerské Mountains, the Krkonoše, the Orlické Mountains, the Jeseníky and the Beskydy. Bohemia is separated from Moravia by the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. The largest rivers are the Elbe, the Vltava and the Morava. Although there are only a few natural lakes in the country, Southern Bohemia has many artificial lakes, which date from the 16th century. There are many mineral springs throughout the country, around many o which saps have developed (Karlovy Vary, Třeboň, Luhačovice, …).
The country is heavy forested. Around one-third of the total area of the country is forested. The forests provide a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Nature reserves and national parks can be found throughout the country. The largest are in the Krkonoše and the Šumava. There are several karst regions in the country with remarkable caves. In the Moravian Karst there is an abyss and an underground river.
Czech weather is moderate but unpredictable.
Although the country is not very rich in natural resources with the exception of coal, it is highly industrialized. Its most important industries are steel, machinery, textiles, and food processing…. The agriculture is developed and so the country is almost self-sufficient in agricultural production. The economy of the country depends on foreign trade. The main partners are Germany, Austria and Slovakia.
The population of the country is slightly higher than 10 million people, mostly Czechs.
The Czech Republic is a democratic country. Head of the state is President, elected for a five-year period by the Parliament. The Parliament comprises two Houses – the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The executive power is in the hands of the Government headed by the Prime Minister.