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  • Publicado : 11 de marzo de 2011
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Background:

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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 victoriousAllied 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 thefront 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 anonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.

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Geography ::Germany

Location:

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Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark

Geographic coordinates:

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51 00 N, 9 00 E

Mapreferences:

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Europe

Area:

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total: 357,022 sq km

country comparison to the world: 62

land: 348,672 sq km

water: 8,350 sq km

Area - comparative:

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slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries:

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total: 3,621 km

border countries: Austria 784 km, Belgium 167 km, Czech Republic 646 km, Denmark 68 km, France 451 km, Luxembourg 138 km, Netherlands 577 km, Poland 456 km, Switzerland 334 km

Coastline:

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2,389 km

Maritime claims:

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territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:

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temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind

Terrain:

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lowlands innorth, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south

Elevation extremes:

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lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m

highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m

Natural resources:

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coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials,timber, arable land

Land use:

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arable land: 33.13%

permanent crops: 0.6%

other: 66.27% (2005)

Irrigated land:

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4,850 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

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188 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal(domestic/industrial/agricultural):

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total: 38.01 cu km/yr (12%/68%/20%)

per capita: 460 cu m/yr (2001)

Natural hazards:

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flooding

Environment - current issues:

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emissions from coal-burning utilities and...
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