General information about Austria

$imageAlt(OÖ.Tourismus/Röbl)


AUSTRIAN PROVINCES

Austria is divided into nine provinces: Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Tyrol, Carinthia, Salzburg, Vorarlberg and Burgenland.

POLITICS

The Federal Chancellor of Austria is the main government representative. The Federal President of Austria is the main state representative. The government has the right to exercise local state and federal power. In addition to the government, the National Council and the Federal Council are two chambers that can exercise federal power.

ECONOMY

Austria, a member of the European Union since 1995, is one of the richest countries in the EU with a stable economy. Austria’s industrial capacity is advanced and supports a large service sector. The most important areas of industry include manufacturing systems, metal construction, chemical production and auto production as well as food and gourmet food items. The province of Upper Austria has the highest share of industrial production in Austria.

Agriculturally there is an increasing trend to produce organic foods. More than 50 percent of Austria’s surface is used for agriculture. In the area of raw materials production and energy recovery, Austria’s resources include iron ore, non-ferrous metals, granites and soil. Despite rich resources in some areas, expanding industry requires importing other resources not available in Austria. This includes resources for fuel and energy sources and resources for the electricity industry. Austria has its own oil and natural gas reserves and is expanding its capacity in hydro-power. Austria currently leads the European Union in the development of hydro power.

$imageAltTourism is a major part of Austria’s economy and visitors flock to Austria to enjoy its natural beauty, national parks, lake regions and the country’s rich cultural heritage. The degree of Austria’s recent economic advancement partly exceeds even the advancements made by the Danube Monarchy. Admission to the European Union and subsequent globalization efforts underscore Austria’s expanding efficiency and the modernization of its economy.

LANGUAGE

German is the official language of Austria, spoken by over 97 percent of the population. German is a pluricentric language and there are a variety of dialects distinct to each province and region. The majority of Austrians do not speak standard High German and the differences in dialect can vary greatly, resulting in communication barriers between some Austrians and Germans. Other languages, such as Turkish, Serbian, Croatian, Hungarian, Bosnian, and Slovenian, are spoken by 2.3 percent of the population in Austria.

RELIGION

The majority of Austrians are Christian and 73.6 percent of the population is registered as Roman Catholic. Approximately 4.7 percent of Austrians are Lutheran and another 4.2 percent are Muslim. There are also very small groups of Buddhists, Jews and Hindus.


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United States expels Russia intelligence

by 58andfixed

Gatherers
CNN Wire Staff
July 9, 2010
Ten Russians allegedly involved in intelligence gathering were expelled from the United States Thursday night, leaving on a flight chartered by the Russia government to Vienna, Austria, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.
U.S. marshals were on board the flight, which left about 10 p.m. ET from New York's LaGuardia Airport.
They were released in exchange for Russia's release of four Russian prisoners accused of spying for the United States, officials from both countries said Thursday
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