At a glance
Germany has been a member of the euro area since 1 January 1999. Euro banknotes and coins were introduced on 1 January 2002. Before that date, the euro was the official currency but only existed as 'book money'. The euro replaced the German mark (DEM) at the conversion rate of EUR 1 = DEM 1.95583.
Germany is represented by Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor, at Euro Summit meetings and by its Minister for Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, at Eurogroup meetings.
- Adoption of the euro: 01/01/1999
- Former currency: German mark (EUR 1 = DEM 1.95583 )
- GDP per capita (current prices): €31 400 (2011 - Eurostat)
- Number of votes at the Council of the EU: 29
- Member of the Schengen area: Yes
- Official languages: German (de)
The Federal Republic of Germany is a decentralised state, made up of federal states (Länder), districts and municipalities. Power is shared between the Federal Government and the federal states.
The Federal Assembly has around 600 members, elected for four years.
The Federal Council has 69 members appointed by the governments of the federal states. Each federal state appoints between three and six members depending on the size of its population.
The head of state is the President of the Republic. The President is elected by indirect suffrage for a term of five years, renewable once.
The President's the role is essentially honorary and representative. Executive power is exercised by the Federal Chancellor.
- Political system: federal republic
- Voting age: 18, voting not compulsory
- National Day: 3 October (German Unity Day – 1990)
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