Prekmurje is a region in Slovenia's utmost North-East, having roughly the same size as Luxembourg. It is by its very nature quite international, being surrounded by Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.

In a way, Prekmurje is blessed: Being so close to the rich and economically strong country of Austria without being part of it, has been a great advantage for the region ever since Slovenia's independence from communist Yugoslavia in 1991. It can be said that Prekmurje possesses the best of two worlds: Austria's economy is its motor, but the specific Slovenian circumstances, like lower taxes, wages for workers, and living costs, have created a situation quite favourable for its economic development.

Especially concerning international trade and the service sector (Prekmurje's IT industry is growing rapidly). Of course, tourism and real estate are also major factors - this too is especially getting fuelled by the country's proximity to Austria - but also that to Hungary is becoming more and more significant. In fact, Prekmurje has a sizable Hungarian minority, which facilitates its trade with that country.

Its second blessing is its natural beauty in a mild, continental climate. Imagine rolling hills, forests, pastures, and meadows in Europe's ancient heartland, with an abundance of traditional villages and an agriculture that keeps the landscape beautiful.

The people of Prekmurje are deeply attached to their land and their customs - and tasty food is very high on their agenda. Prekmurje is famous for its traditional dishes, like Bujta Repa, a pork, turnip, and millet casserole, or Prekmurska Gibanica, a delicious layered pastry. Many Austrians, full of sentimentality and nostalgia, feel that in this region they can find their own past and elements of it that contemporary Austria more and more forgets.

Murska Sobota (population 20 thousand) is the region's capital, its biggest town, and its cultural center. As recently as 2006, it became the seat of a new Catholic Diocese. The town is an important hot spot for spa tourism.

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Prekmurje, Slovenia

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