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currency: Euro (EUR)
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Germany profile
strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea
Germany history
As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
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Conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
Conventional short form: Germany
Local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Local short form: Deutschland/Bharat
former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich
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Germany's capital city is Berlin
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Germany Constitution:

23 May 1949, known as Basic Law; became constitution of the united Germany 3 October 1990
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Germany population growth rate: -0.19%
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Germany highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m
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Germany lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m
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About 33% of Germany's land is arable.
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Rhine River is the Longest River in Germany
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Germany birth rate is 8 births/1,000 population
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Germany infant mortality rate is 3 deaths/1,000 live births
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Germany fertility rate is 1.42 children born/woman
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Germany climate:

temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind
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Top 10 cities of Germany with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Berlin: 3,471,756
2. Hamburg: 1,786,448
3. Munich: 1,353,186
4. Cologne: 1,007,119
5. Frankfurt: 688,664
6. Stuttgart: 606,588
7. Düsseldorf: 598,786
8. Dortmund: 580,444
9. Essen: 574,635
10. Bremen: 547,340
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Germany ethnic groups:

German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish)
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Germany Exports:

motor vehicles, machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, metals, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, rubber and plastic products
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Germany Imports:

machinery, data processing equipment, vehicles, chemicals, oil and gas, metals, electric equipment, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, agricultural products
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bicameral legislature consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 votes; state governments sit in the Council; each has three to six votes in proportion to population and is required to vote as a block) and the Federal Parliament or Bundestag (622 seats; members elected by popular vote for a four-year term under a system of personalized proportional representation; a party must win 5% of the national vote or three direct mandates to gain proportional representation and caucus recognition)

Administrative Divisions:
16 states (Laender, singular - Land):
1. Baden-Wuerttemberg
2. Bayern (Bavaria)
3. Berlin
4. Brandenburg
5. Bremen
6. Hamburg
7. Hessen (Hesse)
8. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
(Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)
9. Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
10. Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia)
11. Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate)
12. Saarland
13. Sachsen (Saxony)
14. Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt)
15. Schleswig-Holstein
16. Thueringen (Thuringia)

note:
Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat)
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance '90/Greens - Claudia ROTH and Cem OEZDEMIR

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) - Angela MERKEL

Christian Social Union (CSU) - Horst SEEHOFER

Free Democratic Party (FDP) - Philipp ROESLER

Left Party (Die Linke) - Katia KIPPING and Bernd RIEXINGER

Social Democratic Party (SPD) - Sigmar GABRIEL