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Official Name: Federal Republic of Germany
Total area: 357 021 km2
GDP per capita: $39,028
Native Language: German
Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional republic
Major Religion: Roman Catholicism, Lutheran
Monetary Unit: Euro (EUR)
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in western-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 80.3 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. Germany is the major economic and political power of the European continent and a historic leader in many theoretical and technical fields.
Germany has the largest population of any EU country. Its territory stretches from the North Sea and the Baltic in the north to the Alps in the south and is traversed by some of Europe's major rivers such as the Rhine, Danube and Elbe.
Germany is a federal republic. The lawmakers at the national level are the Bundestag , whose members are elected every four years by popular vote and the Bundesrat , which consists of 69 representatives of the 16 states (Bundesländer).
After the Second World War, Germany was divided into the democratic West and the Communist East (German Democratic Republic). The Berlin Wall became the symbol of this division. It fell in 1989 and Germany was reunited a year later.
German is the most widely spoken first language in the European Union. Germany is the world's third largest economy, producing automobiles, precision engineering products, electronic and communications equipment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and much more besides. Its companies have invested heavily in the central and east European countries which joined the EU in 2004.
As birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner, among others, Germany's gift to European classical music is important. In thought and word, Germany’s huge heritage includes the works of Luther, Goethe, Schiller, Nietzsche, Kant, Brecht and Thomas Mann.
Germany is the second largest producer of hops in the world and the country is known for its quality beers. Wine is produced in the Moselle and Rhine valleys.
Health & Welfare
Germany has one of the most comprehensive and generous systems in the world. It includes health, old age, disability, unemployment insurance, child support, public housing and veterans aid.
Economy & Jobs
Manufacturing, industry, mining, farming, forestry, fishing, energy, banking, and tourism.
Berlin, Frankfurt city, Lubeck medieval town, Munich city, Rhine Valley, and Weimar pilgrimage site.
Germany is the 12th richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita, has a well-developed social market economy, and a high standard of living. Until the 1980s, many of Germany's largest industry firms were nationalised; in recent years, however, privatisation has reduced state holdings to a level comparable to other European economies. Labour movements are particularly strong in Germany and have large influence on labour politics. Next to a highly developed industry, international tourism is the most important part of the national economy. Mariahilf shopping avenue in Vienna.
Germany has historically been the main trading partner of Germany, making it vulnerable to rapid changes in the German economy. Since Germany became a member state of the European Union it has gained closer ties to other EU economies, reducing its economic dependence on Germany. In addition, membership in the EU has drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by Germany's access to the single European market and proximity to the aspiring economies of the European Union. Growth in GDP accelerated in recent years and reached 3.3% in 2006.
Germany indicated on 16 Nov 2010 that it would withhold the December installment of its contribution to the EU bailout of Greece citing material worsening of the Greek debt situation and apparent inability of Greece to collect the level of tax receipts it had previously promised.
Since the fall of communism, Germanyn companies have been quite active players and consolidators in Eastern Europe. Between 1995 and 2010, 4'868 mergers & acquisitions with a total known value of 163 bil. EUR with the involvement of Germanyn firms have been announced. The largest transactions with involvement of Germanyn companies have been: the acquisition of Bank Germany by Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank for 7.8 bil. EUR in 2000, the acquisition of Porsche Holding Salzburg by Volkswagen Group for 3.6 bil. EUR in 2009, and the acquisition of Banca Comercială Română by Erste Group for 3.7 bil. EUR in 2005.
Tourism accounts for almost 9% of the Germanyn gross domestic product. In 2007, Germany ranked 9th worldwide in international tourism receipts, with 18.9 billion US$. In international tourist arrivals, Germany ranked 12th with 20.8 million tourists.