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N a t i o n a l F l a g:
Three horizontal stripes in black, red, gold
(Image source of the German flag: 3D Animated Flags–By 3DFlags.com)
S t a t e:
Democratic Parliamentary Federal Democracy since 1949
C a p i t a l C i t y:
Berlin, 3.4 million inhabitants
E m b l e m:
A n t h e m:
Third verse by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben ”Das Lied der Deutschen” to a melody by Joseph Haydn “Kaiserhymne“
P a r l i a m e n t:
Bundestag (16th legislative period: 613 MPs)
S t a t e H o l i d a y:
October 3, Day of German Unity
T i m e Z o n e:
C u r r e n c y:
Germany is a member of the Eurozone, EUR 1 = 100 cents
P h o n e d i a l c o d e:
I n t e r n e t TLD:
.de (one of the ten most frequent top-level domains)
O f f i c i a l l a n g u a g e:
German. German is the mother tongue of 100 million people. German is the mother tongue spoken most frequently in the European Union.
G e o g r a p h y:
Location: Central Europe
Size: 357,021 km2
Borders: 3,757 km
Coastline: 2,389 km
L a n d s c a p e:
From the North Sea to the Baltic Sea in the North to the Alps in the South, Germany is structured geographically as follows: the North German lowlands, the Mittelgebirge ridge, the Southwest German subdued mountains and terraced landscape, the South German piedmont and the Bavarian Alps.
C l i m a t e:
Moderate oceanic/continental climatic zone with frequent changes in weather and primarily westerly winds.
I n h a b i t a n t s:
With 82.3 million inhabitants (of which 42 million are women) Germany has the largest population of any EU member state. Around 7.3 million foreigners live in Germany (8.8% of the total population) and of them 1.7 million are Turks.
P o p u l a t i o n d e n s i t y:
With 231 inhabitants per square kilometer Germany is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe.
B i r t h s:
In average 1.3 children per woman
P o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h:
A g e s t r u c t u r e:
14% less than 15, 20% over 65
L i f e e x p e c t a n c y:
With an average life expectancy of 76 years for men and 81 for women (born in 2003) Germany is above the OECD.
U r b a n i z a t i o n:
88% of the population live in cities and conurbations. In Germany, there are 82 cities with a population of over 100,000.
R e l i g i o n s:
Just under 53 million people profess to be Christians (26m Catholics, 26m Protestants,
900,000 members of the Orthodox churches), 3.3m are Muslims, 230,000 Buddhists, 100,000 Jews, 90,000 Hindus. The Basic Law guarantees freedom of thought, conscience and religion. There is no state religion.
N e i g h b o r i n g S t a t e s:
Germany is at the heart of Europe and has nine neighbors. Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland.
H i g h e s t m o u n t a i n:
Zugspitze 2963 m
L o n g e s t r i v e r s:
Rhine 865 km, Elbe 700 km
La r g e s t c i t i e s:
Berlin 3.4 million inhabitants, Hamburg (1.8 million), Munich (1.3 million), Cologne (1.0 million), Frankfurt/Main (662000).
I m m i g r a t i o n:
Since 2005, the new Immigration Act regulates immigration.
P o l i t i c a l S y s t e m:
L e g i s l a t i o n:
Bicameral system: in addition to the Bundestag, the Bundesrat (consisting of delegates of the state governments to uphold the states’ interests) participates in legislation.
S t a t e s t r u c t u r e:
Germany is a federation consisting of 16 federal states, each with its own constitution, parliament and government. The highest state authority is exercised by the federal government. Through the agency of the Bundesrat, the states are represented at the federal level and participate in federal legislation.
S u f f r a g e:
Universal, equal and secret suffrage as of 18 years of age (in the case of municipal elections in part as of 16), elections to the Bundestag are held every four years.
Federal President, Federal Chancellor, Multi-Party system:
Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler (CDU) since 2004, Dr. Angela Merkel (CDU) since 2005. Multi-party system, parties have a special constitutional status, receive state financial support, can only be prohibited by the Federal Constitutional Court.
The Federal Republic of Germany consists of sixteen Federal States with its capital Berlin. Located in the heart of Europe, Germany is linking the west with the east, the north with the south. The most denselypopulated country in Europe, Germany has been flanked by nine neighboring states since the unification of the two German states in 1990. An integral part of the European Union and NATO, Germany is a partner to the central and eastern European states that are en route to becoming part of a united Europe.
Germany’s population, including approximately 7.3 million foreigners, amounts to almost 83 million people, and originates from a number of different tribes, such as the Franks and Saxons, Prussians, Swabians and Bavarians. Today the names of these tribes still can be found in the names of the different states, e.g. Bavaria, Westphalia, Lower Saxony, etc.
For most of its history, Germany was not a unified state but a loose association of territorial states that together made up the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation”. It was a long time until the founding of the German Reich in 1871. The term “deutsch” first surfaced in the 8th century. It referred to the language spoken in the eastern part of the Franconian realm, and meant “as the people speak” – as opposed to Latin, the language of scholars.
After Charlemagne’s death in 814 the Franconian realm disintegrated, primarily along the linguistic divide between early Medieval French and Old High German. A feeling of belonging together emerged only gradually among the inhabitants of the eastern areas. “Germany” ought to be where “German” was spoken. Whereas the western border was established at an early date, settlement of the East did not come to a halt until the 14th century. The resulting contact between and intermingling of the German and Slavonic populations persisted until World War II.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic and socially responsible federal country. The nationwide constitutional order of the Basic Law is expressed in the country’s constitutional bodies, in the country’s federalism, in the legal order and in the electoral system. These determine not only everyday political routine, but also the lives of the people in Germany. The Federal System ensures a balance between the power of the central government and the 16 states, which have their own constitution as well as to some extent legislative, judicial and administrative powers. The states are taking care of the development of their own economies and industries. Therefore different states of Germany may simultaneously be joining and supporting their companies at trade fairs and exhibitions in Qatar.
In the early days of the 21st century Germany is actively engaged in securing peace, safeguarding human rights and combating terrorism around the world. Germany supports a system of global cooperative security within the framework of the United Nations, and in light of the historic expansion of the EU through 2004 now finds itself at the center of a union of neighbours closely interconnected by friendship as well as political and economic ties.
Germany is a country which highly values education and vocational training, research and the sciences. The country has produced Nobel Prize winners, high-level scientific work is undertaken here, international projects are promoted, and students from all over the world study here. Open-minded, modern and tolerant – these are the hallmarks of German society at the beginning of the 21st century. For the vast majority of people, the family still forms the nucleus of their lives, yet the forms people choose for living together have become far more numerous. Supported by consistent measures by the state to ensure equality, there has been a change in the interpretation of the roles men and women play.
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