Germany covers about 357 thousands squarekilometres of Western Europe. It extends from North See and Baltic Sea in the North to the Alps in the South. A little more than 81 million people of which 91% possess German citizenship live in this region.
Germany is a federal republic. The constitutional system is a multiparty parliamentary democracy in which the parliament is elected every 4 years. The government is lead by the chancellor that is at present Gerhard Schroeder. Germany consists of 16 federal states ("Bundesländer"). Each federal state has its own parliament and government; they possess souvereignity in certain political issues.
German unification in 1990 has challenged the political, administrative and economic system as well as the people in a new and unexpected way: Two states that had been gone through very different political and social developments in the last 40 years were supposed to be one. The atmosphere of enthusiasm at the beginning was soon changed into an atmosphere of disappointment and confrontation between East and West. Today the topics on the domestic political (federal) agenda are mostly discussed for whole Germany, like the increase of old people in relation to young people, the high indeptness of the state, unemployment and immigration.

Last Modified: 11.02.2002