Saturday, 07 December, 2013
21:20 GMT 01:20 Moscow
Local Time: 01:20
The Federal Republic of Germany
The Federal Republic of Germany is situated in western Europe. The country borders Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland in the south, Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands in the west and northwest, the Czech Republic in the southeast and Poland in the east. Germany owns the East and part of the North Frisian Islands and Helgoland in the North Sea, Rügen, Hiddensee, Fehmarn, most of the Usedom Island and a number of small islands in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic and North seas wash it in the north and the foothills of the Alps in the south featuring the highest point in the country – the Zugspitze Mountain (2,962 m).
The population is 82.2 million.
The capital of Germany is Berlin.
The country’s administrative divisions consist of 16 administrative entities – Baden-Wuerttemberg (Stuttgart), Bayern (Munchen) or Bavaria (Munich), Berlin, Brandenburg (Potsdam), Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Wiesbaden), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Schwerin), Niedersachsen (Hanover), Nordrhein-Westfalen (Dusseldorf), Rheinland-Pfalz, (Maintz); Saarland, (Saarbrucken); Sachsen (Dresden), Sachsen-Anhalt (Magdeburg), Schleswig-Holstein (Kiel), Thueringen (Erfurt); Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg are cities that are independent administrative entities.
The state language is German.
The currency is the euro (1 euro = 100 eurocents).
The political system is a federal republic.
The country has the Constitution of the united Germany, which entered into force on October 3, 1990 and is grounded in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany adopted on May 23, 1949.
The head of state is the federal president elected by the Federal Assembly, the constitutional body established for this particular purpose. The Federal Assembly consists of the members of the Bundestag and the same number of deputies elected by the provincial parliaments. The federal president is elected by a majority of votes for a term of five years (on May 23) and can be re-elected only once. He represents the nation in international and legal matters. The federal president appoints and fires federal judges, officials and commissioned and warrant officers. He enjoys the right of pardon, nominates a candidate for the federal chancellor, appoints and relieves federal ministers on advice of the federal chancellor.
The legislative authority is vested in a bicameral parliament: the Bundestag (lower chamber) and the Bundesrat (upper chamber).
The Bundestag is elected by popular vote for a term of four years. The 15th Bundestag consists of 603 deputies. Half of them are elected by direct majority vote and the other half by weighted voting by means of party lists in each land.
The Bundesrat consists of 68 representatives of 16 federal lands. It consists of members of land governments or their representatives. Depending on the number of the population, the federal lands are issued three, four, five or six votes.
The executive power is vested in the federal government headed by the federal chancellor (prime minister). The German chancellor is nominated by the president and elected by the Bundestag by majority vote.
The judicial authority is represented by the Federal Constitutional Court (the higher judicial body), the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Arbitration Court that handles administrative, financial, labor and social issues.
The state holiday is the Day of National/German Unity celebrated on October 3 since 1990.
The principal economic indices are as follows:
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