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The Kingdom of Burchadinger Factbook and Q&A

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The Kingdom of Burchadinger Factbook and Q&A

Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:39 pm

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THE KINGDOM OF BURCHADINGER



Burchadinger, officially the Kingdom of Burchadinger, is a country in The Franco Spanish Empire. It is bordered to the north by Inchland, Meekinos, and Voltairian Prospects; to the east by Saschen-Albertain and Scotrasia; to the south by Buffett and Colbert and New England and Maine; and to the west by Celestial Divinities. The territory of Burchadinger is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 1.332 billion inhabitants, it accounts for the third largest population among the member states of the The Franco Spanish Empire and is home to the largest number of FSE migrants.

The capital city is Bucharest. Burchadinger is a member of the World Assembly. With the election of Markus Rastenburg in 1989, Burchadinger started a series of political and economic reforms. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems, Burchadinger made economic reforms such as low flat tax rates in 2005 and joined the World Assembly on July 30th, 2009. While Burchadinger's income level remains one of the lowest in the World Assembly, reforms have increased the growth speed. Burchadinger is now an upper-middle income country economy.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:40 pm

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GOVERNMENT




Burchadinger is a liberal, socialist, constitutional monarchy. The Burchadingan political system operates under a framework laid out in the 1959 constitutional document known as the Grundgesetz (Basic Law). By calling the document Grundgesetz, rather than Verfassung (constitution), the authors expressed the intention that it would be replaced by a proper constitution once Burchadinger was properly laid out as a state. Amendments to the Grundgesetz generally require a two-thirds majority of both Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Prime Minister—currently Markus Rastenburg—is the head of government and exercises executive power. Federal legislative power is vested in the senate consisting of the Bundestag (Federal Diet) and Bundesrat (Federal Council), which together form a unique type of legislative body. The Bundestag is elected through direct elections, by proportional representation (mixed-member). The members of the Bundesrat represent the governments of the sixteen federal states and are members of the state cabinets. The respective state governments have the right to appoint and remove their envoys at any time.

Since 1989, the party system has been dominated by the National Party and the Infinite Party of Burchadinger with all Prime Ministers hitherto being member of either party. However, the smaller Centrist Party and the Reform Party (which has controlled seats in Senate since 1983) have also played important roles.

The most recent Burchadinger General Election was in 2005. It had three major candidates: Incumbent Prime Minister Markus Rastenburg; Infinite Party Senator Reimar Horten, and Centrist Party Governor Traiin Menascu.

Rastenburg ran his usual liberal campaign, supporting the implementation of a National Health Service Department (NHSD) and the Freedom of Information Act (FIA). He spoke against what he considered to be unfairness in Horten's conservative views on Abortion and view for the need of Campaign Finance Reform.

The Rastenburg campaign was very skilled at producing effective television advertising. Two of the more memorable ads it produced were commonly known as "The Future" and "Die Adler And The Stars".

Rastenburg was re-elected following the October 28 election in a popular vote landslide, winning 19 of 22 states. Rastenburg received 58.8 percent of the popular vote. Horten received 20.3 percent while Menascu got exactly 17 percent. The results of the election nearly ended Reimar Horten's political career, and he goes into the next election with nothing to lose.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:40 pm

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LAW



The Judiciary of Burchadinger is independent of the executive and the legislative branches. Burchadinger has a civil or statute law system that is based on Roman law. The Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court), located in Hoersche, is the Burchadinger Supreme Court responsible for constitutional matters, with power of judicial review. It acts as the highest legal authority and ensures that legislative and judicial practice conforms to the Basic Law for the Kingdom of Burchadinger (Basic Law). It acts independently of the other state bodies, but cannot act on its own behalf. Burchadinger's supreme court system, called Oberste Gerichtshöfe des Bundes, is specialised. For civil and criminal cases, the highest court of appeal is the Federal Court of Justice, located in Dresden and Leipzig. The courtroom style is inquisitorial. Other Federal Courts are the Federal Labour Court in Tirpitz, the Federal Social Court in Rakvere, the Federal Finance Court in Munich and the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. Criminal law and private law are codified on the national level in the Strafgesetzbuch and the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch respectively. The Burchadingan penal system is aimed towards rehabilitation of the criminal; its secondary goal is the protection of the general public. To achieve the latter, a convicted criminal can be put in preventive detention (Sicherungsverwahrung) in addition to the regular sentence if he is considered to be a threat to the general public. The Völkerstrafgesetzbuch regulates the consequences of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. It gives Burchadingan courts universal jurisdiction if prosecution by a court of the country where the crime was committed, or by an international court, is not possible.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:40 pm

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ECONOMY



Before Markus Rastenburg was elected in late 1989, the country experienced a decade of economic instability and decline, led in part by an obsolete industrial base and a lack of structural reform. From 2000 onwards, however, the Burchadingan economy was transformed into one of relative macroeconomic stability, characterized by high growth, low unemployment and declining inflation. In 2006, according to the Burchadingan Statistics Office, GDP growth in real terms was recorded at 7.7%, one of the highest rates in The Franco Spanish Empire. Growth dampened to 3.1% in 2007, but was expected to exceed 8% in 2008 because of a high production forecast in agriculture (30–50% higher than in 2007). The GDP grew by 8.9% in the first nine months of 2008, but growth fell to 2.9% in the fourth quarter and stood at 7.1% for the whole 2008 because of the regional financial crisis. According to Hellekinos data, the Burchadingan GDP per capita stood at 46% of the FSE average in 2008. Unemployment in Burchadinger was at 3.9% in September 2007, which is very low compared to other middle-sized or large FSE countries such as Meekinos, Celestial Divinities, North Wiedna and Scotrasia. Foreign debt is also comparatively low, at 20.3% of GDP. Exports have increased substantially in the past few years, with a 25% year-on-year rise in exports in the first quarter of 2006. Burchadinger's main exports are clothing and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, raw materials, cars, military equipment, software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). Trade is mostly centred on the member states of the Franco Spanish Empire, with Inchland and Voltairian Prospects being the country's single largest trading partners. The country, however, maintains a large trade deficit, which increased sharply during 2007 by 50%, to €15 billon. After a series of privatisations and reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, government intervention in the Burchadingan economy is somewhat lower than in other FSE economies. In 2005, the government replaced Burchadinger's progressive tax system with a flat tax of 16% for both personal income and corporate profit, resulting in the country having one of the lowest fiscal burden in the Franco Spanish Empire, a factor which has contributed to the growth of the private sector. The economy is predominantly based on services, which account for 55% of GDP, even though industry and agriculture also have significant contributions, making up 35% and 10% of GDP, respectively. Additionally, 32% of the Burchadingan population is employed in agriculture and primary production, one of the highest rates in Europe. Since 2000, Burchadinger has attracted increasing amounts of foreign investment, with Hemerwulf Flugzeugwerke attracting most of the interest.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:41 pm

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ECONOMY-TRANSPORTATION



Due to its location, Burchadinger is a major crossroad for Regional economic exchange. However, because of insufficient investment, maintenance and repair, the transport infrastructure does not meet the current needs of a market economy and lags behind The Franco Spanish Empire. Nevertheless, these conditions are rapidly improving and catching up with the standards of Trans-FSE transport networks. Several projects have been started with funding from grants and several loans from Regional Financial Institutions guaranteed by the state, to upgrade the main road corridors. Also, the Government is actively pursuing new external financing or public-private partnerships to further upgrade the main roads, and especially the country's motorway network.

The railway transport experienced a dramatic fall in freight and passenger volumes from the peak volumes recorded in 1989 mainly due to the decline in GDP and competition from road transport. In 2004, the railways carried 8.64 billion passenger-km in 99 million passenger journeys, and 73 million metric tonnes, or 17 billion ton-km of freight. The combined total transportation by rail constituted around 45% of all passenger and freight movement in the country.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:41 pm

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ECONOMY-ENERGY



Burchadinger has considerable sources of oil and natural gas and ranks as number 3 in the region among net exporters of crude oil. Most electricity is produced from coal, but Burchadinger also has a high share of windpower.

To encourage investment in wind power, families were offered a tax exemption for generating their own electricity within their own or an adjoining commune. While this could involve purchasing a turbine outright, more often families purchased shares in wind turbine cooperatives which in turn invested in community wind turbines. By 2004 over 150,000 Burchadingans were either members of cooperatives or owned turbines, and about 5,500 turbines had been installed, although with greater private sector involvement the proportion owned by cooperatives had fallen to 75%. Wind turbines produce 16-19% of electricity demand. Burchadinger is connected by transmission lines to other FSE countries.

Because of energy taxes, Burchadinger has the highest household electricity prices in the region, while industries pay just below FSE average.

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PUBLIC HEALTH



The entire population must pay compulsory health insurance. The insurers are non-profit agencies that annually participate in negotiations with the state regarding the overall funding of health care in Burchadinger. There are three main funds, the largest of which covers 84% of the population and the other two a further 12%. A premium is deducted from all employees' pay automatically. The 2001 Social Security Funding Act, set the rates for health insurance covering the statutory health care plan at 5.25% on earned income, capital and winnings from gambling and at 3.95% on benefits (pensions and allowances) After paying the doctor's or dentist's fee, a proportion is claimed back. This is around 75 to 80%, but can be as much as 85%. The balance is effectively a co-payment paid by the patient but it can also be recovered if the patient pays a regular premium to a voluntary health insurance scheme. Nationally, about half of such co-payments are payed from BIAH insurance and half out of pocket. Under recent rules (the coordinated consultation procedure) General practitioners are more expected to act as "gate keepers" who refer patients to a specialist or a hospital. The incentive is financial in that expenses are reimbursed at lower rates for patients who go direct to a specialist (except for dentists, gynecologists and psychiatrists). As costs are borne by the patient and then reclaimed, patients have freedom of choice where to receive care. Around 65% of hospital beds in Burchadinger are provided by public hospitals, around 15% by private non-profit organizations, and 20% by for-profit companies.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:42 pm

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CULTURE



Burchadinger has its unique culture, which is the product of its geography and of its distinct historical evolution. Like Burchadingans themselves, it is fundamentally defined as the meeting point of three regions: The Franco Spanish Empire, Allegheny, and Deshcalvia, but cannot be truly included in any of them. In Burchadinger, the States are in charge of the cultural institutions. There are 240 subsidised theatres, hundreds of symphonic orchestras, thousands of museums and over 25,000 libraries spread over the 22 states. These cultural opportunities are enjoyed by many millions: there are over 91 million Burchadingan museum visits every year; annually, 20 million go to theatres and operas; while 3.6 million listen to the great symphonic orchestras. Burchadinger claims some of the region's most renowned classical music composers, including Ludwig Gaht, Mihai Rowskar, and Gerrard Wagner. Numerous Burchadingan painters have enjoyed regional prestige through their work in diverse artistic styles. Burchadingan literature can be traced back to the Middle Ages and the works of writers such as Nikolas Retferd are well known region wide.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:42 pm

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CULTURE-SPORTS



Sport forms an integral part of Burchadingan life. Twenty-seven million Burchadingans are members of a sports club and an additional twelve million pursue such an activity individually. Association football is the most popular sport. With more than 6.3 million official members, the Burchadingan Football Association (Burchadinger Fußball-Bund) is the largest sports organisation of its kind in The Franco Spanish Empire. Tennis is the second most popular sport in terms of registered sportsmen, with three million Burchadingans a member of a tennis club.

Burchadinger has taken part in world sports events such as The World Cup, The Summer Olympics, The Baptism of Fire, The Cup of Harmony and is about to take part in The Winter Olympics. Burchadinger has earned one medal in the Summer Olympics in Fencing, winning a Bronze medal in the Sabre Team Category. The nation's best result in Football was in The 36th Baptism of Fire, reaching the Semi-Finals, Burchadinger was expected to crush The Five Worlds, but were instead beaten 2-1.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:42 pm

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CULTURE-RELIGION



Christianity is the largest religious denomination in Burchadinger, with 50 million adherents. 26.5 million are Protestants and 25.5 million are Catholics. The second largest religion is Islam with 4.3 million adherents followed by Buddhism and Judaism, both with around 200,000 adherents. Hinduism has some 90,000 adherents and Sikhism 75,000. All other religious communities in Burchadinger have fewer than 50,000 adherents. About 24.4 million Burchadingans have no registered religious denomination.

Protestantism is concentrated in the north and east and Catholicism is concentrated in the south and west. Non-religious people, including atheists and agnostics, make up 29.6% of the population, and are especially numerous in East Burchadinger and major metropolitan areas.

Of the 4.3 million Muslims, most are Sunnis and Alevites, but there are a small number of Shi'ites. 1.7% of the country's overall population declare themselves Orthodox Christians. Large cities with significant Jewish populations include Berlin, Sigmaringen and Goberschit.

According to the National Cencus 2009, 47% of Burchadingan citizens agreed with the statement "I believe there is a God", whereas 25% agreed with "I believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% said "I do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:43 pm

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CULTURE-MEDIA



Burchadinger's television market is one of the largest in The Franco Spanish Empire, with some 34 million TV households. The many regional and national public broadcasters are organised in line with the federal political structure. Around 90% of Burchadingan households have cable or satellite TV, and viewers can choose from a variety of free-to-view public and commercial channels. Pay-TV services have not become popular or successful while public TV broadcasters NSC and NNN offer a range of digital-only channels.

Burchadinger is home to some of the region's largest media conglomerates, including Maxwellson and Carohearwish AG. Some of Burchadinger's top free-to-air commercial TV networks are owned by OATV AG.

The Burchadingan book market produces around 60,000 new publications every year. It represents 38% of all the books published region wide and puts Burchadinger in first place among the region’s book producers. The Sigmaringen Book Fair is considered to be the most important book fair in the region for regional deals and trading.

The country's news is provided for English speakers by news magazine Der Spiegel, state broadcaster Burchadinger Welle and news site The Nation.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:43 pm

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EDUCATION



Responsibility for educational oversight in Burchadinger lies primarily with the federal states individually, whilst the federal government only has a minor role. Optional kindergarten education is provided for all children between three and six years old, after which school attendance is compulsory for at least nine years. Primary education usually lasts for four years and public schools are not stratified at this stage. In contrast, secondary education includes three traditional types of schools based on a pupil's ability as determined by teacher recommendations: the Gymnasium enrolls the most gifted children and prepares students for university studies, and attendance lasts eight or nine years depending on the state; the Realschule has a broader range of emphasis for intermediate students and lasts six years; the Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education. Since the 1960s, a reform movement attempted to unify secondary education in a Gesamtschule (comprehensive school). However, instead of overcoming the stratification, Gesamtschule just became a fourth type of secondary school. Since about 2000, several Burchadingan Länder simplified their school system to two or three tiers. Motives were: The example of where in the 1990s, a two-tier school system was established; mediocre scores in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), first published in 2001, prompted a nation-wide debate about the school system, and in particular about the social selectivity of early stratification; catering mostly for students from immigrant families, inner-city Hauptschulen were increasingly considered dysfunctional; outside the metropoles, the population is shrinking, so that it becomes increasingly unpractical to maintain a three- or four-tier school system. A special system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung ("dual education") allows pupils in vocational training to learn in a company as well as in a state-run vocational school. To enter a university in Burchadinger, high school students are generally required to take the Schmartil examination, typically done at the age of 18 or 19. However, students possessing a diploma from a vocational school may also apply for matriculation in certain subjects. Nearly all Burchadingan universities are public (i.e. non-private) institutions, charging tuition fees ranging from €50–500 per semester for each student.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:43 pm

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MILITARY



Burchadinger's military, the Bundeswehr, is a military force with Heer (Army), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Zentraler Sanitätsdienst (Central Medical Services) and Streitkräftebasis (Joint Support Service) branches. Military service is compulsory for men at the age of 18, and conscripts serve nine-month tours of duty. Conscientious objectors may instead opt for an equal length of Zivildienst (roughly translated as civilian service), or a six year commitment to (voluntary) emergency services like a fire department. In 2003, military spending constituted 1.5% of the country's GDP. In peacetime, the Bundeswehr is commanded by the Minister of Defence, currently Gerhard Tewersse. If Burchadinger went to war, which according to the constitution is allowed only for defensive purposes, the King would become commander in chief of the Bundeswehr. The Bundeswehr employs 300,500 professional soldiers, 55,000 18–25 year-old conscripts who serve for at least nine months under current rules, and 2,500 active reservists at any given time. Roughly 300,000 reservists are available to the Armed Forces and participate in defense exercises as well as deployments abroad. Since 2001 women can serve in all functions of service without restriction, but they are not subject to conscription. There are presently around 14,500 women on active duty and a number of female reservists who take part in all duties including peacekeeping missions and other operations. Ten female medical officers have been promoted to a General rank so far.

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Postby Burchadinger » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:43 pm

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GEOGRAPHY



The territory of Burchadinger covers 595,412 km. It is the fourth largest country by area in The Franco Spanish Empire. Burchadinger shares borders with more countries than any other country in the region. It is bordered to the north by Inchland, Meekinos, and Voltairian Prospects; to the east by Saschen-Albertain and Scotrasia; to the south by Buffett and Colbert and New England and Maine; and to the west by Celestial Divinities. Most of Burchadinger has a temperate seasonal climate in which humid westerly winds predominate. Consequently in the north-west and the north, the climate is oceanic; rainfall occurs year round with a maximum during summer.

Winters are mild and summers tend to be cool, though temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F) for prolonged periods. In the east, the climate is more continental; winters can be very cold, summers can be very warm, and long dry periods are often recorded. Central and southern Burchadinger are transition regions which vary from moderately oceanic to continental.

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GEOGRAPHY-ENVIRONMENT



Burchadinger is known for its environmental consciousness. Most Burchadingans consider anthropogenic causes to be a significant factor in global warming. The state is committed to treaties promoting biodiversity, low emission standards, recycling, and the use of renewable energy, and supports sustainable development at a global level. The eagle is a protected bird of prey and the national heraldic animal.

The Burchadingan government has initiated wide ranging emission reduction activities and the country´s overall emissions are falling.

Almost 40% of the total land area of Burchadinger are protected areas. Of these, Kurt Schroeder Reserve Biosphere is the largest and least damaged wetland complex in The Franco Spanish Empire, covering a total area of 5,800 km2 (2,200 sq mi).

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Postby Burchadinger » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:21 am

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GEOGRAPHY-FLORA AND FAUNA



In Burchadinger there have been identified 3,700 plant species from which to date 23 have been declared natural monuments, 74 missing, 39 are endangered, 171 vulnerable and 1,253 are considered rare. The three major vegetation areas in Burchadinger are the alpine zone, the forest zone and the steppe zone. The vegetation is distributed in an storied manner in accordance with the characteristics of soil and climate, but according to altitude as: oak, flasks, linden, ash (in the steppe zone and low hills), beech, oak (between 500 and 1200 meters), spruce, fir, pine (between 1200 and 1800 m), juniper, Mountain Pine and dwarf trees (in 1800 and 2000 meters), alpine meadows consisting of small herbs (over 2000 meters). Off the high valleys, due to persistent moisture, there is a specific vegetation of meadow, reed, rush, sedge, and often with patches of willows, and poplars.

The fauna of Burchadinger consists of 33,792 species of animals, 33,085 invertebrate and 707 vertebrate. The vertebrate species consist of 191 fish, 20 amphibian, 30 reptile, 364 bird and 102 mammal species. Fauna is especially broken down by vegetation. Thus, specific floor steppe and forest steppe have the following species: rabbit, hamster, ground squirrel, pheasant, drop, quail, carp, perch, pike, catfish, the forest floor of hardwood (oak and beech): boar, wolf, fox, barbel, woodpecker, and for coniferous forest floor: trout, lynx, deer, goats and specific alpine fauna like black and bald eagles. In particular the Kurt Schroeder Reserve is the place where hundreds of species of birds exist, including pelicans, swans, wild geese and flamingos, birds that are protected by law. The reserve is also a seasonal stopover for migratory birds. Some rare species of birds in the area are the pelican, cormorant, little deer, Red-breasted Goose and the Mute Swan.

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Postby Burchadinger » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:22 am

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS



By the mid-1980s, Burchadinger possessed a well-developed communications system. There were approximately 3.6 million telephones in usage (21.8 for every 100 inhabitants), and 16,476 telex stations. Both of these networks were run by the Burchadinger Post der KOB (Burchadinger Post Office). An unusual feature of the telephone network was that in most cases, direct dialing for long distance calls was not possible. Although area codes were assigned to all major towns and cities, they were only used for switching international calls. Instead, each location had its own list of dialing codes - with shorter codes for local calls, and longer codes for long distance calls. In 1976 Burchadinger inaugurated the operation of a ground-based radio station at Fürstenwalde for the purpose of relaying and receiving communications from satellites.

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Postby Burchadinger » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:29 am

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INQUIRIES



If your nation is intrigued about Burchadinger, and wishes to know more, feel free to send messages to our Foreign Minister, Ardi Hulkeburg. He will answer your questions as soon as possible.
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Postby Fascist Wales » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:16 am

What is Burchadinger's stance on Abortion?

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Founded: Jun 12, 2009
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Postby Burchadinger » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:36 am

Fascist Wales wrote:What is Burchadinger's stance on Abortion?

Generally, the government is pro-choice, but there are rarely any abortions performed in hospitals.
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Call me Burch and not Burcha

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Zeppy
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10112
Founded: Oct 30, 2008
Ex-Nation

Postby Zeppy » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:42 am

Where is the Federal Republic of Zeppy located in The Franco Spanish Empire?

Is your census biased?

How many immigrant of our Grand Republic are located in your Kingdom?

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Burchadinger
Minister
 
Posts: 2423
Founded: Jun 12, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Burchadinger » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:47 am

Where is the Federal Republic of Zeppy located in The Franco Spanish Empire?

Sadly, these records were wiped by Voltairian Prospects

Is your census biased?

We assure you it isn't.

How many immigrant of our Grand Republic are located in your Kingdom?

According to last year's records, there are nearly 500,000-1 million immigrants from your Grand Republic.
Runners Up - DBC XXV
Third Place - AOCAF XXXIII

Call me Burch and not Burcha


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