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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. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.


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Geography

Location
Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates
47 20 N, 13 20 E

Map references
Europe

Area World Ranking: 114
Total 83,871 sq km
Land 82,445 sq km
Water 1,426 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries
Total 2,562 km
Border countries
Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366 km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330 km, Switzerland 164 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims
None (landlocked)

Climate
Temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers

Terrain
In the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Neusiedler See 115 m
Highest point Grossglockner 3,798 m

Natural resources
Oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower

Land use
Arable land 16.59%
Permanent crops 0.85%
Other 82.56% (2005)

Irrigated land
1,170 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
84 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 3.67 cu km/yr (35%/64%/1%)
Per capita 448 cu m/yr (1999)

Natural hazards
Landslides; avalanches; earthquakes

Environment - current issues
Some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
Landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere


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  Austria (Vienna):


  GPS points from Austria (Vienna)

Untersiegendorf Lower Austria

Krappfeld Carinthia

Altruppersdorf Lower Austria

Parapluieberg Lower Austria


Morten Salzburg

Stein Styria

Feldboden Lower Austria




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