Germany

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Germany

Post  msistarted on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:21 pm

Germany (Listeni /ˈdʒɜrməni/), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, pronounced [ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant] ( listen)),[4] is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea; to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic; to the south by Austria and Switzerland; and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The territory of Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state of the European Union,[5] and home to the third-largest number of international migrants worldwide.[6]

A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806. During the 16th century, northern Germany became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. As a modern nation-state, the country was first unified amidst the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. After World War II, in 1949, Germany was divided into the states of East Germany and West Germany, along the lines of Allied occupation. Germany was reunified in 1990. West Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area and adopted the euro in 1999.[7][8][9]

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic of sixteen states. The capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD. It is a major power with the world's fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. It is the second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. In absolute terms, Germany allocates the third biggest annual development aid budget in the world,[10] while its military expenditure ranked seventh.[11] The country has developed a very high standard of living and a comprehensive system of social security. It holds a key position in European affairs and maintains a multitude of close partnerships on a global level.[12] Germany is recognised as a scientific and technological leader in several fields.[13]

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