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Germany is a country of significant economic power in the European Continent with a historic lead in many of the technical and theoretical fields. It has sixteen states, and the capital city is Berlin. It covers a total area of about 357,021 square kilometers. Germany's economy is the fourth largest in the world by nominal GDP. It is the second largest exporter and importer. The social market economy of Germany has got a highly skilled labor force, low level of corruption, large capital cost, and high level of innovation. In the year 2012, reports indicated that the official average national unemployment rate was 6.7 %. The country advocates for close European political and economic integration (Germany 2012).
Germany's commercial policies are increasingly determined by the agreements between the EU legislation and the European Union members. On first of January 2002, Germany introduced the common European currency, euro. The European Central Bank sets the monitory policies. The country is known to have specialized in small and medium enterprises (Germany 2012).
Types of Businesses or Industries in the Germany
A business can be termed as an organization involved in trade of services and goods to the consumers. According to Germany 2012, the country is a popular destination for foreign investments in the world. The author brings out the fact that manufacturing is the foundation of Germany's economy. It has several manufacturing regions with Ruhr being the most prominent industrial region and the busiest in the world. Ruhr, an area of coal mines and steel mills along Bremen, Hamburg, and Ruhr River is composed of Duisburg, Dortmand, and the Dussel Dorf. It produces most of the nation's steel and iron. The steel is exported, and most of it is used to make the ships, tools and automobiles. Dresden has a power plant and growing electronic industry, Bavaria, in the south, has many plants for the manufacture of stereo equipment and automobiles (Germany 2012).
West Germany is known in the world for exquisite workmanship and excellent designs of products such as the Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and the BMW cars. In Germany, several factories are being modernized and workers trained in computer technology and modern manufacturing. Currently, nearly six million cars are produced in Germany every year. The Volkswagen Group, an automotive company, is among the three largest in the world along with the General motors and the Toyota (Germany 2012).
Other notable industries in Germany include the chemistry industry; Bayers, BASF and Hoechst. The other crucial industries include machine and vehicle construction industries, aircraft manufacturing industry, shipbuilding, plant machinery and automobiles. The British aircraft legend, Rolls Royce, has continued to invest in Germany because it prefers the Europe's largest economy to its home market (Germany 2012).
Among the growing industries include the electronics, electrical engineering, and office equipment industries. Reports indicate that small businesses have gone out of business due to their inability to offer services and discounts of the large services; thus, wholesale trade has domineered. There is growth of the retail turn-over and self-service operations, which have replaced the traditional trade outlets. The solar cell industry is also among the growing industries in Germany. The country is a leading producer of the photovoltaic products, which convert the sunlight radiation, into electric energy.
The real estate industry in Germany is among the growing industries. The immobilienScout24 is one of the largest internet real estate marketplaces, which offers extensive service, for every aspect of housing and relocation. Its portal brings the property seekers and the vendors together (Germany 2012). The main exports of Germany include the machinery, chemical products, motor vehicles, optical and precision goods, and the electrical engineering goods.
The Type of Government in Germany
The country can be said to be federal republic with its federal legislative powers vested in the parliament, Bundestag and the representative body of its regional state, Bundesrat. Since 1949, Germany has embraced multiparty system, which is dominated by the Germany's SPD (Social Democratic Party) and the CDU (Christian Democratic Union). In the 1949 constitution, Grundgesetz lays out the political system of the country (Germany 2012).
In the constitution, basic law of the country lays emphasis on the protection of individual liberty in an extensive catalogue of the human rights. It also divides power both between the State levels and the federal levels and the between the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches (Germany 2012).
The executive comprises of the head of state, the head of the government and the cabinet. The duties of the Federal President, Bundesprasident, are mostly ceremonial and representative. The Federal Assembly elects the president, who is not a member of the government every five years. The Federal assembly is a distinct body comprised of the members of the parliament and an equal number of the state delegates. The delegates are always convened for the purpose of selecting the president. Since the CDU is the domineering party, it has produced most of the presidents. Some of the roles of the president include creating a new chancellor and dissolving the parliament (Germany 2012).
The head of the government who is the Federal Chancellor is in charge of the Federal government. He is elected by the parliament and responsible for choosing the Federal Ministers and the vice chancellor. Before the Chancellor leaves the office, the parliament must have already appointed a new chancellor otherwise he remains in office. The cabinet consists of the chancellor and the cabinet ministers (Germany 2012).
The Federal legislative power is divided between the regional state and the parliament. The parliament is elected by the people of Germany. The Bundestag, parliament has 598 or more members to serve for a four year term. For a party to be eligible to constitute the Bundestag, then it must receive at least 5% of the national vote. The purpose of this rule was to reduce the political fragmentation and strong minor parties (Germany 2012).
The parliament seeks the regional, state representative's consent, whenever it comes to proposed legislation that is related to the revenues, shared by the state and the federal government, and the state responsibility impositions. A conciliation committee is formed to find a compromise, in case the parliament disagrees with the regional, state representatives (Germany 2012).
In Germany, the Judiciary system comprises of three types of the courts namely the ordinary courts, specialized courts and the constitutional courts. The ordinary court handles the civil and the criminal cases. The highest ordinary court, which is also the top court of appeal, is German's Federal Court of Justice. The specialized courts hear cases concerning the administration, labor, fiscal, social and the patent law. As for the constitutional courts, they focus on the constitutional interpretation and the judicial review; the highest constitutional court is the Federal Constitutional Court (Fisher, 1995).
The government of Germany has maintained over 200 diplomatic missions abroad and also holds relations with approximately 190 countries. Reports indicate that the largest contributor to the EU and the UN budget is Germany. The government is a member of World Bank, International Monitory Fund, NATO defense alliance and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (Fisher, 1995).
The People of Germany
In Germany, the citizens are allowed to choose the type of education they are interested in and also have access to the preferred profession through business or education qualifications. The state, Lander is primarily responsible for the provision of education to the citizens. The goal of education is to provide opportunities to the citizens to develop professionally and personally in regard to their preferences and abilities. The local district government provides the quality education and opportunities for all the citizens through a variety of educational institutions (Fisher, 1995).
The Kindergarten education providing for children between the ages of two and six is optional, but beyond that education is compulsory for all citizens. The children between six and ten attend the Grundschule. The children, who join the State school in primary, are not charged the tuition fee (Fisher, 1995).
Later, the pupils join secondary school, which has five types of schools namely the gymnasium, realschule, hauptschule, gesamtschule, and realschulabschulus. The gymnasium school prepares students for the higher education in the Universities. Each school finishes with its own final exam. Only students who have passed the Abitur exam are administered at the Gymnasium school, and those who have attained a master craftsman diploma are allowed to join the universities (Fisher, 1995).
When a citizen completes any of the above mentioned secondary school, then he is allowed to join a vocational school if he so wishes. They undergo a two or three apprenticeship training where the attendance is twice a week. The state obliges the company to accept the apprentices on the company's apprenticeship scheme. The apprentice is entitled to a part-time salary, and once one passes the exams he is awarded a certificate which allows him to start a career at a low management level (Fisher, 1995).
The citizens have a right to choose to either attend the public or the private schools. For a child at risk, the youth welfare office funds his education at the private school. The pupils at private realschulen and Gymnasien have lower entrance requirement than the public counterparts. As for children with exceptional needs, there are exceptional schools that provide education for them. Children with learning difficulties do attend the Sondershule fur Lenbehanderte. While those with significant emotional needs do attend the Forderschule Schwerpunkt emotionale. The teachers in specialized schools are professionally qualified, and schools have a favorable teacher - student ratio and facilities in comparison with the other. The state also provides elite schools for the gifted children (Fisher, 1995).
Religion in German
Christianity is the largest religion in Germany with approximately 62% population of adherents. Islam covers 5% followed by Judaism and Buddhism. There are two large churches; the Roman Catholic and the Evangelical Church in Germany. The numbers of adherents in these churches have reduced because of differing policies in church. Reports indicate non-religious people in Hamburg, Berlin, Saxony Thuringia and Saxony- Anhaly. After the communist rule, the German democratic Republic government encourages the atheist worldview through institutions such as the youth consecrations and secular coming of age ceremonies, which were highly attended by the youth. Because of this influence, the number of christenings and religious weddings have reduced (Fisher, 1995).
The first mosque for the Muslims was established, in Berlin, in 1915. The purpose was to enable the Muslim prisoners who had been interned in Berlin after the First World War to worship Allah. The population of the Muslims has grown since the government allowed foreign workers into the country (Fisher, 1995).
Germany has experienced the fastest growing Jewish community in Berlin. Most of the Jews are from the Soviet-Union countries who settled in Germany after the Berlin wall fall. The government policy has also contributed towards the growth of the Jewish in the country since it grants an immigrant ticket to anyone from the Baltic States with Jewish heritage. The churches and the government have taken a responsibility of disseminating warnings about the upcoming and existing sects, cults and religious movements (Fisher, 1995).
Marriages in Germany
Germany currently is reported to be recording fewer marriages, smaller families and more divorces. For one to get married in Germany, then they have to give a six week notice of the intended marriage to the city. The civil wedding may take place in the city hole with only the parent and two witnesses attending (Fisher, 1995).
In Germany, there are various marriage customs that differ from one state to another. In Thuringia, a state in Germany, the youth make love on their way from the village dances and fairs. The boy asks the girl to marry him, and the girl dares not to refuse the first man who asks her. A Shellroda girl wishes to say no to the proposal, she put a sausage on the table during the meal, and the boy understands that his suit has no hope. The pride in Upper Palatinate puts a pinch of salt in her pocket together with a piece of bread in order to guard against future poverty. Her husband hopes for a good harvest because with him in his coat pocket is the specimens for all kinds of grains. The Thuringia bride is clothed in black displays, gorgeous coins and chains (Fisher, 1995).
Before the wedding, friends and relatives bring kitchenware and old porcelain, which they throw on the ground, in front the groom and the bride as a way to grant them luck and a happy life. After the wedding, the couple does not embark on the honeymoon immediately, but wait until the last guest leaves the home (Fisher, 1995).
Things that are Considered Taboo in Germany
A taboo is a prohibited action or good in the society due to the religious and cultural belief. One of the taboos in Germany is in regard to the food and drinks. The Jews in Germany forbid the consumption of reptiles and amphibians. They also forbid the consumption of bats and bears (Fisher, 1995).
Catholics in Germany are forbidden to eat the vultures, ostriches and the eagle. As for the Muslims they are forbidden to eat birds of prey that hunt with talons and clowns. According to the Torah books, the Catholics are forbidden from consuming the camels. Both the Jewish and the Muslim laws forbid the consumption of the cats. In Germany, most Hindus are forbidden to eat beef as the cow is considered sacred in their culture. Pig consumption is forbidden in both Judaism and the Islam. The onion genus vegetables are considered as taboo in the Buddhist and Hindus community (Fisher, 1995).
Various drinks are taboo with regard to the culture and the religion of the society. Most Christian branches, Buddhists and Islam forbid the consumption of alcohol. Islam has banned all the intoxicants; however, small. Islam prohibits the drinking of blood and insists that animals should be properly slaughtered, and all the blood drained (Feldman, 1966).
The number of people on the waiting list in Germany is high simply because the organ donation in the country is a taboo. People are easily scared on hearing scary stories of organ smuggling and theft. Insecurities have been infiltrated in the people given that one has to determine the time of death and brain death which is difficult. The doctors only depend on the heart failure as an indicator of death (Feldman, 1966).
In the Muslim culture, women are forbidden from visiting gynecologists or receive sex education. This has caused several young Muslims to live a reckless life of having sex in rest rooms and hide their phones to keep secrets from the family members. They have also been subjected to late term abortions and hymen reconstruction because they consider breaking of virginity before marriage as a taboo (Feldman, 1966).
Germany has a liberal social market economy. It has the largest economy in the European continent. Germany has been one of the forerunners in technological advancement since the onset of industrialization. It rates second as an exporter and third as an importer. The Countries aggressive international policy makes it suitable and attractive for foreign investments (Feldman, 1966).
The country has well developed infrastructure which makes it easily accessible by the foreign investors. They have well connected railways and roadways, which makes it an indispensable gateway to the European Union. Since the country is technologically advanced, the foreign investors can seek technological assistance. The government of Germany has eliminated the communication barrier between the foreign investors and the workers since most of the workers are educated and technically qualified. The government has a mandatory rule of not discriminating between the foreign and local investors in a bid to attract the foreign investors. Germany has a strategic position since it is situated at the center of the European continent; thus, enable the foreign investors to gain access to the other countries in the EU. The foreign investors are attracted by the low levels of corruption in the country (Feldman, 1966).
In conclusion, Germany has a federal government structure and has one of the largest economies in the world. It has various industries among them the manufacturing industries of ships, cars, and aircrafts. It has a modern technology system that attracts foreign investors who seek their assistance. Germany is dominated with Christians with other members of the country being Muslims, Jews, Buddhist and other segmented religions. Because of a variety of cultures and religion in the country, Germany has various taboos ranging from food and drinks to gender difference taboos. The country has various factors that make it attractive to the foreign investors.