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Germany Government
Capital:
Berlin
Country name:
conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
conventional short form: Germany
local short form: Deutschland
former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich
local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Government type:
federal republic
Administrative divisions:
16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen
Independence:
18 January 1871 (German Empire unification); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and later, France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; unification of West Germany and East Germany took place 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991
National holiday:
Unity Day, 3 October (1990)
Constitution:
23 May 1949, known as Basic Law; became constitution of the united German people 3 October 1990
Legal system:
civil law system with indigenous concepts; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Horst KOEHLER (since 1 July 2004)
elections: president elected for a five-year term by a Federal Convention including all members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of delegates elected by the state parliaments; election last held 23 May 2004 (next to be held 23 May 2009); chancellor elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term; election last held 22 September 2002 (next to be held NA September 2006)
head of government: Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (since 27 October 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the chancellor
election results: Horst KOEHLER elected president; received 604 votes of the Federal Convention against 589 for Gesine SCHWAN; Gerhard SCHROEDER elected chancellor; percent of Federal Assembly vote 50.7%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (603 seats; elected by popular vote under a system combining direct and proportional representation; a party must win 5% of the national vote or three direct mandates to gain representation; members serve four-year terms) and the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 votes; state governments are directly represented by votes; each has 3 to 6 votes depending on population and are required to vote as a block)
elections: Federal Assembly - last held 22 September 2002 (next to be held NA September 2006); note - there are no elections for the Bundesrat; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election
election results: Federal Assembly - percent of vote by party - SPD 38.5%, CDU/CSU 38.5%, Alliance '90/Greens 8.6%, FDP 7.4%, PDS 4%; seats by party - SPD 251, CDU/CSU 248, Alliance '90/Greens 55, FDP 47, PDS 2; Federal Council - current composition - NA
Judicial branch:
Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (half the judges are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat)
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance '90/Greens [Angelika BEER and Reinhard BUETIKOFER]; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]; Christian Social Union or CSU [Edmund STOIBER, chairman]; Free Democratic Party or FDP [Guido WESTERWELLE, chairman]; Party of Democratic Socialism or PDS [Lothar BISKY]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Franz MUENTEFERING]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
business associations, employers' organizations; expellee, refugee, trade unions, and veterans groups
International organization participation:
AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Wolfgang Friedrich ISCHINGER
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
telephone: [1] (202) 298-8140
chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel R. COATS
embassy: Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse 4-5, 10117 Berlin; note - a new embassy will be built near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
mailing address: PSC 120, Box 1000, APO AE 09265
telephone: [49] (30) 238-5174
FAX: [49] (30) 238-6290
consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold
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