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Slovakia timeline

A chronology of key events

1993 January - Independence after Czechoslovakia splits. Parliament elects Michal Kovac of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (MDS) president. Vladimir Meciar, also of the MDS, is prime minister in coalition government.

Shopping street in central Bratislava
Bratislava: Site was originally inhabited by Celts, Romans
Bratislava population: 429,000
Capital of Hungary 1526-1784
Part of Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918

1994 March - New coalition led by Jozef Moravcik of Democratic Union of Slovakia formed following no-confidence vote in Meciar government.

1994 December - Meciar heads another coalition following new elections.

1995 March - Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Hungary signed, guaranteeing the existing border and ethnic minority rights.

1995 November - New law restricting official use of any language other than Slovak gives rise to international condemnation.

1998 March - Constitutional stalemate as President Kovac ends term and parliament fails to agree on a successor. Prime Minister Meciar assumes presidential powers, prompting protest demonstrations and EU condemnation. He takes the opportunity to dismiss nearly half the country's ambassadors and overturn several Kovac decisions.

1998 June - Decision to start up first reactor at Mochovce nuclear plant not far from Austrian border angers Vienna.

European integration

Vladimir Meciar, prime minister for most of the mid-1990s
PM Vladimir Meciar pursued populist, nationalist agenda

1998 September/October - Meciar loses premiership following elections. Mikulas Dzurinda, heads new coalition, pledges to strengthen democracy and put Slovakia back on the road to European integration.

1999 January - Parliament ends nearly a year of constitutional crisis by passing a new law allowing for president to be directly elected by the people.

1999 May - Pro-Western candidate Rudolf Schuster wins country's first direct presidential elections.

1999 July - Parliament approves law to improve the status of minority languages.

2001 February - Parliament approves far reaching changes to the country's constitution, a key step towards gaining membership of the EU and Nato. The new constitution decentralises power in Slovakia, increases the authority of the state audit office, strengthens the independence of the judiciary and gives greater recognition to minority rights.

First directly elected president, Rudolf Schuster
Rudolf Schuster: First directly-elected president

2002 January - Eight new regional parliaments created under amended constitution, one of the key requirements for EU entry.

2002 September - Mikulas Dzurinda wins second term as premier in a centre-right coalition government.

2002 December - EU summit in Copenhagen formally invites Slovakia to join in 2004.

2003 May - Slovaks vote in referendum in favour of EU membership. Turnout is just over the required 50 per cent.

2004 February - Police and troops brought in to end rioting by Romany population protesting against cuts in benefits in parts of eastern Slovakia.

2004 March - Slovakia admitted to Nato.

2004 April - Ivan Gasparovic elected president, defeating former Prime Minister Meciar in second round of voting.

EU membership

2004 May - Slovakia is one of 10 new states to join the EU.

2005 May - Parliament ratifies EU constitution.

Mikula Dzurinda, prime minister from 1998-2006
Mikulas Dzurinda, PM from 1998-2006

2005 November - Slovakia joins European Exchange Rate Mechanism, a significant step on the way to membership of the eurozone.

2006 January - Slovak military plane crashes in Hungary, killing 42 people.

2006 April - Floods as Danube bursts banks.

Court intervenes to end strike by doctors and nurses over pay and sell-offs in the healthcare sector.

2006 June-July - Left-wing opposition leader Robert Fico becomes prime minister in a coalition government with Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and a right-wing party.

2006 October - Robert Fico announces withdrawal of Slovakia's troops in Iraq by the end of 2007.

2007 November - Scandal involving land deals leads to firing of Farm Minister Miroslav Jurena and plunges the three-party ruling coalition into crisis.

Police seize enriched uranium that could be used for a ''dirty bomb'' and arrest two Hungarians and a Ukrainian.

2007 December - Slovakia withdraws its last troops from Iraq.

Euro entry

2008 July - EU gives formal approval for Slovakia to adopt the euro in January 2009.

SLOVAKIA'S HUNGARIANS
A man in Budapest protests against the new language law affecting the Hungarian minority in Slovakia on 1 September 2009
Slovakia has a sizeable Hungarian minority.

2009 January - Slovakia adopts the euro.

2009 April - Ivan Gasparovic becomes first Slovak president to win re-election, defeating centre-right challenger Iveta Radicova in the second round of voting.

2009 July - Slovak parliament passes new language law allowing fines to be imposed for using a minority language in government buildings. Hungary condemns new law, saying it discriminates against Slovakia's Hungarian minority.

2010 March - President Gasparovic vetoes controversial patriotism law due to come into force on 1 April. The law would require schools to display symbols of Slovak statehood in every classroom and to play the national anthem every Monday morning.

2010 May - Slovakia protests at Hungarian parliament's decision to allow ethnic Hungarians living abroad to apply for Hungarian citizenship. It retaliates by threatening to strip any Slovak who applies for dual nationality of their Slovak citizenship.

2010 July - Iveta Radicova of the SDKU-DS party appointed prime minister at the head of a four-party centre-right government following parliamentary elections in June.

2011 October - Ruling coalition collapses when one of the four governing parties refuses to back Slovak ratification of an expanded eurozone bailout fund.

Two days later, parliament ratifies the eurozone bailout plan after the government agrees to hold an early general election in March 2012.

2011 December - Leaked secret service wiretap reports nicknamed "the gorilla files" point to shady deals between centre-right politicians and a local financial group.

2012 March - Leftist opposition party Smer, led by former prime minister Robert Fico, wins landslide victory in general election, taking over half of the seats in parliament.



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