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Germany Government 1999

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
    conventional short form: Germany
    local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    local short form: Deutschland

    Data code: GM

    Government type: federal republic

    Capital: Berlin
    note: the shift from Bonn to Berlin will take place over a period of years, with Bonn retaining many administrative functions and several ministries even after parliament moves in 1999

    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: German Unity Day (Day of Unity), 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 Roman HERZOG (since 1 July 1994)
    head of government: Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (since 27 October 1998)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the proposal of the chancellor
    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 Land Parliaments; election last held 23 May 1994 (next to be held 23 May 1999); chancellor elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term; election last held 27 September 1998 (next to be held in the fall of 2002)
    election results: Roman HERZOG elected president; percent of Federal Convention vote—52.6%; Gerhard SCHROEDER elected chancellor; percent of Federal Assembly—52.8%

    Legislative branch: bicameral chamber (no official name for the two chambers as a whole) consists of the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (656 seats usually, but 669 for the 1998 term; 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 27 September 1998 (next to be held by the fall of 2002); 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 40.9%, Alliance 90/Greens 6.7%, CDU/CSU 35.1%, FDP 6.2%, PDS 5.1%; seats by party—SPD 298, Alliance 90/Greens 47, CDU/CSU 245, FDP 43, PDS 36; Federal Council—current composition—votes by party—SPD-led states 45, CDU-led states 24

    Judicial branch: Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht, half the judges are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat

    Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Wolfgang SCHAEUBLE, chairman]; Christian Social Union or CSU [Edmund STOIBER, chairman]; Free Democratic Party or FDP [Wolfgang GERHARDT, chairman]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Oskar LAFONTAINE, chairman]; Alliance '90/Greens [Gunda ROESTEL and Antje RADCKE]; Party of Democratic Socialism or PDS [Lothar BISKY, chairman]; German People's Union or DVU [Gerhard FREY, chairman]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: employers' organizations, expellee, refugee, trade unions, and veterans groups

    International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNOMIG, UPU, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Juergen CHROBOG
    chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000
    FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador John C. KORNBLUM
    embassy: Deichmanns Aue 29, 53170 Bonn
    mailing address: PSC 117, APO AE 09080
    telephone: [49] (228) 3391
    FAX: [49] (228) 339-2663
    branch office: Berlin; mailing address: Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse 4-5, 10117 Berlin, PSC 120, Box 1000, APO AE 09265; telephone: [49] (30) 238-5174; FAX [49] (30) 238-6290
    consulate(s) general: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

    Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)