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Motto: Pax et unitatis
("Peace and Unity")
|File:Map of Belfras On Acheron.png|
|Recognised regional languages||Quechua|
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
from the Latin Empire
|14 May 1852|
|18 August 1895 |
from 1 January 1900)
|15 August 1952|
|2,361,568 km2 (911,807 sq mi)|
|110,000,000 (mid 2012)|
|56.81/km2 (147.1/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Belfrasian Lira (BFL)|
Belfras, officially the Federation of Belfras (Latin: Foederatio Belfrasiana) is a Federal monarchy that is located in southern Norumbia sitting between the Makria Ocean and the Kayamuca Sea. It shares a land border with Elatia and Gristol-Serkonos and shares a maritime border with Mutul. The capital of the Federation is Thessalona and it's largest city is Delphoria.
Evidence of human settlement in Belfras is traced back some 11,000 years with the first organised settlements in recorded history being the early Maetiku city-states that were eventually conquered by the Kayamuca Empire, a pan-Kayamuca Sea empire that dominated the region until its collapse and the following Belfrasian Crusade established the long-standing Latium-led colonies that eventually Federalised into the nation as it is today in 1855 and its independence in 1900 established the current monarchy.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Government and politics
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Infrastructure
- 7 Science and Technology
- 8 Culture
- 9 See Also
The name Belfras (pronounced [bɛlˈfrɑz]) is derived from the Tekamoran Ven Potroni Belfras Inin ("The Great blessed land"), originally describing the areas surrounding the state of Mondria inhabited by the Tekamoran civilisation which reigned in the region from 2,500 BCE to 603 CE when the Runakuna empire - now modern-day Kustakuna - invaded from the south. The Runakunans utilised the Tekamoran name for the lands, with expeditions further inland naturally having the name applied to them. Following the withdraw of the Runakuna Empire in the 11th century the league of city states left in it's wake was collectively known as the "Benfrasse League", with the territory itself remaining known as Ven Potroni Belfras Inin.
The name was lost in usage during the 13th century when the Latin Empire invaded the city-states to the south of the Tekamoran civilisation, titling the land they had landed in Hesperia, Latin for "Western Land". This name was for a time utilised by the invading Belisarian Empire for the entirety of modern-day Belfras, but by the turn of the 13th century the eastern coast states had formed their own names, with Ven Potroni Belfras Inin being named "Mondria" after the Latin general in charge of the invasion of the Tekamoran.
The first mention of 'Belfras' aside from in literature of the now destroyed Tekamoran civilisation was in 1724 by Marcus Antonius Questros, a famed explorer who mapped the western coast of the southern continent and renowned lover of Tekamoran arts. A report from him to the Imperial Cartography Office back in Castellum ab Alba was at the time cited as ground breaking work, with multiple scholars opting to continue referring to the southern side of the continent where their colonies thrived by 'Belfras'.
In the 19th century civil discord began to grow within the colonies as citizens began demanding more rights and the ability to self govern, demands that were met due to an unsettled Imperial government following a succession crisis. The country's constitution, created and signed on 1 January 1852, federalised the colonies into one entity under the name 'Belfras', directly referencing Marcus Questros' work as the origin of the name. The central colony at the time of the federalisation, Salonika, renamed itself to 'Hesperia' in honour of the colonial heritage, with the name Salonika being adopted in the 20th century as the capital district for the nation's capital, Thessalona.
Government and politics
The first traces of the modern political state of Belfras are found in the Act of Federalisation signed into power in 1855, with the nation being divided into ten crown dependencies of the Latin Empire prior to this date. The Act of Federalisation merged these dependencies into a singular entity with the city of Thessalona, seat of imperial power in Norumbia serving as the capital. This singular state underwent numerous legislative changes until the Belfrasian Self Governance Act of 1895 was signed which brought into existence a regal title that would eventually become the monarchy of Belfras. The act was followed up by the formation of the Royal Household in 1897 with then-Duke Philippos of the House of Dimitrios, Duke of Mondria and largest power in Belfras, being granted the title by Emperor Constantine XIX with the coronation taking place when the Self Governance Act came into full force on new years day 1900.
Following the coronation of Sovereign Prince Philippos the nation swore an oath of fealty to the Latin Emperor, with Constantine XIX serving as overlord over the self governing nation until his death on 13 April 1945, sparking the Social War. Following the conclusion of the war, an oath was not sworn to Empress Diana Augusta and was the point in which the country became fully independent. For their actions in the Social War, the then monarch Georgio was raised to King, a title that would be passed on to his son Nicholaus.
As a result of the Act of Federalisation and written constitution, Belfras is a federal monarchy with it's monarch being the head of state and chief executive for the nation. The states in Belfras have their own governments, holding legislative and administrative powers over their own territories so long as they comply with national directive appointed by both the monarch and the nations senate. Each state has an elected governor, a house of representatives elected from administrative units within the state and has organisational control over it's home guard. These states elect individuals to the national senate to represent the state in national legislation.
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The constitution of the country closely follows the Latin imperial model from the days when the nation was a crown dependency. This means that the monarchy of the nation holds executive and legislative powers with the monarch serving as head of state and chief executive. The constitution permits the monarch powers to act as chief legislator and holds power to direct the courts and senate and may veto or overrule legislation as their own discretion. The Act of Federalisation protects the individual state governments existence and right to direct internal legislation in line with national directives, but the constitution overrules the act in that the monarch may veto state legislation and execute their own. The monarch's Royal Household supports the monarch in his role as chief executive and head of state. The Head of the Royal Household is a highly ranked political position and is the highest non-elected post in the country.
While the senate holds legislative powers for the nation, the monarch must approve of legislature voted for in the senate before it can become law. This is also true for foreign relations, with the monarch representing the country internationally and is able to direct foreign relations without senate approval. The royal family are often granted representative powers by the crown when conducting official state visits to foreign nations to speak on the crowns behalf. The monarch also serves as the supreme commander of the armed forces and holds sole power to declare war. While typically directing the military or declaring war would require senatorial approval, in cases of emergency the monarch may overrule this necessity.
The first Latin-based senate formed in Norumbia was formed by the Latin Emperor John V in Thessalona in 1322, having decided to form the seat of imperial government in the new colonies in the newly formed city. Eventaully each crown dependency had their own senate of elected representatives taht would, at the approval of the Imperial crown, form legislature over their territories. The Act of Federalisation in 1855 shifted the political landscape of the nation dramatically. Salonika, the dependency territory which held Thessalona as its capital was reduced in size and turned into a Federal Territory directly controlled by the senate. The senate in Thessalona became a national senate with control over the other territories which were reformed into states. Thessalona, now a Federal Territory, had a city council formed to decide legislature within the city. The Consul of the Thessalonan senate had its title changed to become the highest elected official in the country.
Today the senate is an unicameral legislative body for the national government composed of 440 senators elected on a five year period by national elections. People from each state could put themselves up for election to the national senate, but most would require at least some experience within their own states senate before being allowed to stand. The head of the senate, the Consul, is the leader of the dominating political group within the senate and is responsible for directing the senate in meetings and forming legislation. The office of the Consul exists to represent the will of the people to the sovereign and their office cannot be changed by monarch, although they may veto their powers with their own supreme authority. While it has never happened, the constitution allows the sovereign to disband the senate or force senators, even the Consul, to give up their seats for new elections - Although the ejected senator may stand for their seat again.
The formation of the senate does not rely on the parties necessarily. A person may stand for election without being a part of any political party, but will often be associated with a group but is not required to be in line with their politics. Many political parties exist within the senate but are amalgamated into six primary groups. The Peoples Popular is the largest union of parties and is headed by the current Consul, Theodosius Lupis. Within the Peoples Popular exist some 100 political parties which align in primary desires. Another example, the Western Coalition, is what senators from parties dominant in state senates on the western coast will join when elected to the national senate. The Republican Union, the smallest party, is anti-monarchy and it's 20 seats are held by people with differing political views, but unite on their primary political desire to oust the monarchy.
The Armed Forces was formally created in the accords federalising the Latin colonies into a unified military in 1855. The Armed Forces consists of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. The Marines and the Coast Guard are deputy branches of the Navy, with the coast guard being jointly operated by the Department of the Interior. In 2015 the armed forces employed a total of 361,500 personnel with an additional 250,000 civilian personnel employed to help maintain and operate it's bases and other necessary operations.
From 1855 to 1900 the military swore allegiance exclusively to the Latin Emperor and then the Sovereign Prince with an oath of fealty to the Emperor from 1900 to 1948. Following the Social War, sometimes commonly known as the Latin civil war, the military has exclusively sworn allegiance to the now titled King, although keeps significant traces of it's heritage such as historic oaths of allegiance branded into the rank pips utilised by the Army. The Monarch has ultimate control over the military in their role as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and personally appoints members of their cabinet and, while having the power to appoint members of the Military Council, often leaves this role to the selected Chief of the Military Council, who since 2017 has been Anastasios Dialetis.
Service within the armed forces is voluntary above the age of 18, but employment within the military can begin at 16 with parental permission through the Junior Academy program. Recruits through the program learn necessary skills and earn their necessary High School-equivalent grades alongside necessary military qualifications for their chosen branch prior to reaching the age of 18 and entering the service at that point. Although service is voluntary, the constitution legalise the usage of conscription as and when deemed necessary by the government "to protect the Federation and it's people".
The budget of the armed forces in 2013 was $64.570 billion, approximately 2.75% of the country's GDP that year.
Law enforcement and crime
Two primary bodies for policing exist within the Federation, the National Police and the Civil Guard. The National Police operate in urban areas from large towns to cities, being referred to as simply the 'national police' in most of its patrol areas, including large cities such as the capital. The Civil Guard is a Gendarmerie, a military force dedicated to policing the civilian population. They operate in rural areas and the highways, with bodies such as the Border Guard operating within them. The national government controls both bodies, but each state has their own police body that will focus around their state capital and answer to that states governor.
The highest level of policing in the country is the National Crime Investigation Agency, simply known as the NCIA. They have national jurisdiction and work closely with the National Police and Civil Guard to conduct high level investigations, including organised crime and allegations of treason. The smuggling of narcotics from Oxidentale is a major concern for police within the country and in the south of the country gang-related violence is rife.
The Federation is an active practitioner of the death penalty and was criticised in 2004 for the execution of Pamela Sarnoriva, a nationalised citizen who was found guilty of murdering her family in 2001 despite inconclusive evidence.
Belfras is a predominantly christian country with the Fabrian church as it's state religion. Despite this, it allows other religions to operate within it's borders with limitations regarding actively seeking converts or conducting services in areas outside of state-sanctioned areas of worship.
Education within the Federation is provided by public, private, and home school systems. Public education is operated and regulated by state and local governments with oversight from the overall government itself.
Children are required to attend school from age 6 to 16, with optional free education continuing through college to the age of 18. The initial cycle of education takes the child through Primary school and Secondary school systems, which form a foundation and expands upon it respectively. These schools are typically public with uniform dress-codes and a nationally-instituted code of standards for education and teacher performance. Districts of a state typically have a 'supervisory board' for education within that district. Children entering Primary school are divided into classes, with those class names differing depending on where that school is or it's own history. Basic education creates a foundation for maths, literature, geography and team-working skills that is steadily expanded as the child grows and learns more until they have a 'Basic Grade' for those skills, typically just before entering secondary school at the age of 11.
Upon entering secondary school, the child has their own education 'tailored' around a central static block of literature and maths. This tailored education aims to bring their overall understanding of chosen and mandatory areas to the national standard by the time they reach the age of 16 and take their National Standard Certification, or NSC. This rates them on their areas in an A-to-F scale, with 'A' being the highest and 'F' signifying a total failure of understanding. Those whom fail in an area are not granted any certificate although the grade awarded remains with them. Following conclusion of secondary school at the age of 16 children may continue on in three junctures: They may continue to college, a free education to the age of 18 which will allow them to gain specific qualifications for chosen career paths. They may also enter a career immediately through the aid of a career councillor at secondary school or alone. Finally, they may enter the government-funded military program which will give them rewarding qualifications. The only draw-back from entering the military program is that you are bound to serve until you reach the age of 21.
Higher education within the country is expanded from the free education college a student may enter at the age of 16. This system allows the student to earn a degree or qualification for a chosen skill or to increase their NSC in literature, maths or anything they 'tailored' for themselves in secondary school. A 10-year advertising program from the government from the 80s to the 90s brought more public awareness of this possibility and has increased educational standards as a result.
The period between the age of 16 to 18 is better known as the 'Free Education Period' within the education system, or EDP. During the EDP for pupils they are encouraged to keep standards high and mid-education ratings (A overall grade of how the pupil is doing in EDP) at a good level as to appeal toward the government and large organisations to 'sponsor' them into advanced education, such as university or academies such as the Academy of Medicine. These sponsorships will pay for their entry and stay at campus facilities for them to gain the qualifications. The difference between a government sponsorship and an organisational sponsorship is the latter tends to be aimed toward you having a job within their organisation at the end of their education, whereas a government sponsorship does not. Organisational sponsorships also tend to be viewed as more prestigious than government ones by the public, especially for larger and better known organisations. The exception to this rule is that the government-run health system may sponsor future medical practitioners and the legal system may sponsor future members of it through the Academy of Law.
Private education in the country allows private schools to formulate their own curriculum, as long as it obeys basic standards for national education and maintains cultural integrity for the country. Private Schools tend to be in two versions, one that is almost identical to public primary and secondary schools but with a much higher limitation on membership. The other version are 'academic' institutions that house the pupil and continues to provide education from the age of 6 to 16 in one place. The military also operates a private school from 11 to 16, with pupils sometimes continuing into the military education program thereafter. Public and private colleges and universities also maintain a parity in standards, although private universities are viewed as far more prestigious and tend to create the leading echelon of the country.
Healthcare in the country is currently at the highest level it has been in living memory. It has a system of private and publicly funded health care with complementary treatments, aftercare, and hospice care. Public healthcare within the country is provided by the National Health Bureau, or NHB. The NHB operates public hospitals and clinics around the country that provide a paid-for health service to permanent residents as and when needed. This service is free for medical treatment with the exceptions of non-life threatening prescriptions, dental charges that are not causing pain, and standard charges for most surgical procedures as necessary. Clinical visitations cost money to book, although hospitals utilise a walk-in service for people of whom have suffered an injury but are mobile.
Hospitals and clinics throughout the country operate within set, district-dependant organisations to better oversee day-to-day operations of each hospital. This has allowed medical aid to be transferred from one to another quickly should one hospital find itself short of one kind of medicine and allows for a better, fluid function of the hospital system. Cross-district transfers are also fairly common, with patients often being transferred to Monrael Place hospital, which is a specialist childrens hospital and the best in the country. Most transfers are done with privately chartered flights, although it has been known for the military to assist as necessary, such as when children suffering burns from the 1993 Downsridge School fire were flown in an Air Force transport plane directly to Monrael Place within hours for immediate surgery. The government at the time called this "Two government agencies working together to accomplish both of their primary objectives; To serve the Federation."
Permanent residents of the Federation or those born in the country and passport holders (such as expats) are entitled to free medical treatments with the exception of non-urgent dental treatments and non-life threatening prescriptions. People within the country that are not permanent residents are also entitled to free treatment by the RNHB at time of use and with clinical aid as well for emergency non-admission treatment. Non-emergency treatment will require the patient to undergo an eligibility interview to establish eligibility and legitimacy. The Bureau has in the past refused to provide treatment to individuals they feel have entered the country with the purpose of exploiting the health service provided or to commit 'health evasion', or to use the service and flee before paying. Regulations for charging non-permanent residents for medical treatments were brought into use in 2016.
Individuals entering the country for a temporary stay that will last more than six months are required to pay an immigration medical surcharge that will entitle them to medical treatment on the same basis as a permanent resident. The surcharge, brought into service in 2004, is $200 a year with exemptions for those arriving on diplomatic visas.
Private healthcare in the country is readily available, although not a free service. These institutions can involve private surgery and aftercare, full hospitals for wealthier residents or alteration specialists, better known as 'plastic surgeons'. Privately-run organisations are also heavily involved in the RNHB to provide on-hand security, cleaning or supplementary staff as well as to provide and maintain the majority of the Bureau's medical equipment.
Tourism in the country is both a well-developed part of the country's economy and a key part of it. The country had one of the highest numbers of visitors in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2013 and has featured in the top three tourism destinations index for seven years running as of 2016. Tourism in the country is a combination of ecotourism with leisure and recreation, with people either opting to enjoy the sun and beach of places like Thessalona's pristine-white beaches or the in-land Still Sea. The 2015 Travel Guidance issued globally, the country was listed as #1 for visitation in regards to luxury-related tourism and history, with over 500 battle-fields and 250 museums to visit.
Belfras' main competitive advantage in tourism index is it's natural resources, which was ranked 1st in 2008 and again in 2016. The country ranked 18th for cultural resources, due to it's world heritage sites for pre-colonial civilisations and colonial/independence-era museums. The country's transportation infrastructure was rated as being a bonus toward the tourism industry, with the national road/rail network being completed in 1955. A tourism boom in the 1980s saw prices deflate substantially to the area, causing it's appeal to middle-class families to rise from that point onward and a national law enforcing prices to remain low to keep up a steady stream of tourism to the country. Subsequently ticket taxes and airport charges for tourism firms have remained at 1980s levels, with a government fund bridging the monetary gap for larger tourism firms. This has had the unfortunate consequence of the larger tourism firms in the country, Belfrasian Tourism Deluxe being one of them, establishing a monopoly on the industry. Safety and security in the country's tourism regions remain high, with police forces having special Economic Protection Units (FPU) purposed toward specifically guarding tourism destinations. The primary reason for the foundation of the FPU was the 1997 San Marco massacre that saw several tourists killed. The 1997 attack was the last recorded incident with tourists in the country, causing it's Safety and Security index to rise to 18th in 2011.
Water supply and sanitation
Science and Technology
To be filled