|ECEAT-Germany European Centre for Eco
Agro Tourism is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to stimulate
sustainable rural development by promoting small-scale tourism activities
at ecological and environmentally friendly farms.
EuroParc - Germany Information about Germany's national parks, biosphere reserves and nature (regional) parks.
WWF Germany The World Wide Fund For Nature in Germany.
|Background: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. In January 2011,
Germany assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the
Government type: federal republic
Currency: euro (EUR)
Geography of Germany
Location: Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between
the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
People of Germany
Most inhabitants of Germany are ethnic German. There are, however, more than 7 million foreign residents, many of whom are the families and descendents of so-called "guest workers" (foreign workers, mostly from Turkey, invited to Germany in the 1950s and 1960s to fill labor shortages) who remained in Germany. Germany has a sizable ethnic Turkish population (2.4% at the beginning of 2010). Germany is also a prime destination for political and economic refugees from many developing countries. An ethnic Danish minority lives in the north, and a small Slavic minority known as the Sorbs lives in eastern Germany. Due to restrictive German citizenship laws, most "foreigners" do not hold German citizenship even when born and raised in Germany. However, since the German Government undertook citizenship and immigration law reforms in 2002, more foreign residents have had the ability to naturalize.
Germany has one of the world's highest levels of education, technological development, and economic productivity. Since the end of World War II, the number of youths entering universities has more than tripled, and the trade and technical schools of the Federal Republic of Germany (F.R.G.) are among the world's best. Germany is a broadly middle class society. A generous social welfare system provides for universal medical care, unemployment compensation, and other social needs. Millions of Germans travel abroad each year.
With unification on October 3, 1990, Germany began the major task of bringing the standard of living of Germans in the former German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.) up to that of western Germany. This has been a lengthy and difficult process due to the relative inefficiency of industrial enterprises in the former G.D.R., difficulties in resolving property ownership in eastern Germany, and the inadequate infrastructure and environmental damage that resulted from years of mismanagement under communist rule.
Economic uncertainty in eastern Germany is often cited as one factor contributing to extremist violence, primarily from the political right. Confusion about the causes of the current hardships and a need to place blame has found expression in harassment and violence by some Germans directed toward foreigners, particularly non-Europeans. The vast majority of Germans condemn such violence.
Population: 82,282,988 (July 2010 est.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Germany > Map Economy History