Swastria

Royal Confederation of Swastria

Königliche Eidgenossenschaft Süestrien
Flag of
Flag
Motto: "Non Sibi Sed Patrae"(Latin)
"For the State"
Anthem: Hymne der Konföderation
Hymn to the Confederation

Royal anthem Heil dir im Siegerkranz
Hail to Thee in Victor's Crown
Capital
and largest city
Wittburg
Official languagesTeutonic
Tynic
Demonym(s)Swastrian
GovernmentConstitutional confederal monarchy
• King
H.R.H Karl V
Corinna Böhme
Unification
1 September 1705
9 October 1706
Area
• Total
498,132 km2 (192,330 sq mi)
• Water (%)
1.5
Population
• November 2017 estimate
17,270,202
• May 2014 census
16,461,053
• Density
33.0/km2 (85.5/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)November 2017 estimate
• Total
$1.164 trillion
• Per capita
$67,433
GDP (nominal)November 2017 estimate
• Total
$706.23 billion
• Per capita
$40,893
HDI (2016)0.901
very high
CurrencyFlorin (HLF)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Wittburg Standard Time)
• Summer (DST)
UTC-1 (-5)
Driving sideright
Calling code500
Internet TLD.hl

Swastria, officially the Royal Confederation of Swastria (Teutonic: Königliche Eidgenossenschaft Süestrien), is a constitutional confederal monarchy located in northern Nordania in Esquarium. It is bordered to the north by Sjealand, to the east by Lersekt and to the south by Eibenland.

Swastria has been continuously inhabited for over 350,000 years, with the earliest human remains dated from 375,000 years ago. Swastria was one of the first lands settled during the Teutonic Migration, with various Teutonic tribes settling in eastern and south eastern Swastria before eventually spreading across the whole country, with the last permanent settlers arriving in classical antiquity. Nordic peoples from beyond the Horowitz Mountains to the north settled western Swastria during the first century AD, with the two people groups coming into frequent contact. Successive conflicts with the Nordic peoples resulted in the creation of the Kingdom of Sassau in the middle of the 8th century AD, under King Lothar I. Unable to fully subdue the western coastline by himself, King Klaus II of Sassau requested the assistance of the Order of Altenburg to subdue the Nordics, especially the Tynics, beginning the Western Crusades. After the end of the crusades around 1232, the Order of Altenburg established the Holy Tynic State which lasted from 1235 until 1525. The growing power and influence of the Kingdom of Sassau became too much for the two states, with Sassau conquering most of the Tynic Sea coast, save for a predominantly Tynic part of the northwestern part of the coast which became known as the Duchy of Weissland.

Sassau was dissolved following a brief civil war in 1542 over the succession to the throne of King Wilhelm V. It dissolved into seven independent countries ruled by disparate royal families. The dissolution saw the rise of various cities such as Wittburg as well as port cities along the northern and western coasts which grew immensely through trade. The period throughout the late 16th and early 17th centuries was largely peaceful with countries allying themselves with different Nordanian powers in return for support or beneficial trade. The growing size and influence of Eisendarl in the east and the maritime dominance of Sjealand in the north prompted substantial change, with the first reunification congress convened in June 1691 in Wittburg. Subsequent congresses emphasised the need for reunification to present a stronger and more assertive Teutonic nation in northern Nordania.

Following the final congress in 1701, the Confederation of Swastria was formed with the Articles of Confederation signed on September 1, 1705. The following year, the State Constitution was signed into law as the first act of the new Federal Parliament. Between 1706 and 1847, Swastria consolidated it's position in Nordania, beginning industrialisation in 1782. The strength of the new confederation was tested in 1847 with the Confederal War in which differing sides from various constituent states fought a brief but bloody civil war over political and religious differences. Following the war, Swastria continued to further unify itself by passing a series of government acts introducing a state religion, official languages and other social laws. National unity proved effective when Swastria entered the Great War of the North in 1864, defeating Sjealand and conquering Weissland. The post-war period saw immense technological, economic and social development as well as greater prosperity, with Swastria establishing itself as a technological power within Nordania. Political instability at the turn of the 20th century plagued Swastria, exposing deep divides in society. This resulted in the June Uprising of 1936, in which syndicalists and other radical leftists attempted to seize control in a putsch against the royal family and the government. The failure of the uprising resulted in a long, drawn out insurgency orchestrated by syndicalist and radical leftist groups, not ending until 1990.

Swastria has a developed, industrialised economy with a high standard of living and high personal wealth. It's capital city, Wittburg, is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in Esquarium.

Etymology

History

Early History

Unification

Modern History

Geography

Swastria is the x largest country in western Nordania with a total size of 498,132 square kilometres (192,329 square miles). Swastria is one of two countries that has a coastline on both the Tynic Sea and the Sea of Njord, the other being Sjealand.

Swastria contains a portion of the East Tynic Mountains, a large mountain chain running the length of the eastern coast of the Tynic Sea. The mountains were formed through the tectonic activity generated by the subduction of the West Nordanian Plate underneath the East Nordanian Plate. The mountains themselves are relatively young geologically, having formed within the last 100,000 years. Tectonic uplift results in the mountains increasing in altitude by 8mm (0.3 inches) annually. Because of the mountains sitting above the subduction zone, the area is seismically and geologically active, with numerous hot springs and a number of volcanoes located within the mountains. Dozens of {[wpl|fault lines}} also cross Swastria, primarily from north to south, making the region one of the most seismically active areas in Nordania. The East Tynic Mountains in Swastria are divided into several ranges and subranges, the most important being the Nordfjell, the Wittkeed, and the Drakentähn Mountains. The Nordfjell rises in northwestern Seemark and runs along the northwestern border with Sjealand, with the northernmost tip of the range extending into the extreme southern part of Sjealand. The Nordfjell provides the source for two rivers in Seemark, the Grå and the Blå, both named for the colour of the waters. The Wittkeed lies to the east of the Nordfjell and extends eastwards from the shores of the Eriksee to the Vielau Basin and is the second largest of the three major ranges. Unlike the other ranges, which roughly follow the north-south orientation along the coast, the Wittkeed are spread out east to west owing to the differences in fault lines in this particular region. The Wittkeed is the location of Swastria's second highest mountain and tallest volcano, Hoffsdrepen, at 3,554 metres (11,660 feet) in altitude. The Drakentähn Mountains are the largest of the major ranges, stretching from central Seemark and Senftenbarg into northwestern Eibenland. These mountains are the largest and most dramatic in Swastria, and are home to the highest peak, the Koenigsdrepen, which sits at an altitude of 3,976 metres (13,044 feet).

Central Swastria is primarily dominated by the eastern foothills of the Wittkeed, the Drakentähn Mountains and the Vielau Basin, the latter being a large basin created by the passage of the Vielau. The basin is bordered on the eastern and western sides by rugged mountainous terrain, with many sheer cliff faces owing to the continued tectonic uplift and erosion by the river. The basin is one of the easternmost places where regular seismic activity takes place, and numerous small fault lines can be found along the river and in the surrounding hills and mountains. To the east of the river lies an isolated area of mountains and volcanoes known as the Grootfür, with three large peaks dominating the mountains. These peaks, the Donartipp, Wodentipp, and the Koenigstipp, form a complex volcano where three volcanic peaks share a single massive magma chamber. These peaks are dormant, and geothermal activity in the vicinity of the Grootfür and on the mountains themselves pose a significant threat to communities occupying the eastern basin. Volcanic lahars are the most significant threat to these communities, as mud and debris being swept down from the mountains would flood various creeks and rivers that flow into the Vielau.

South of the basin lies a large area of flat tablelands known as the Hoogland, which lies either side of the Vielau. The area is a raised plateau of rolling grasslands formed by a combination of alluvial deposits from the Vielau and smaller rivers, and volcanic deposits of ash from significant historic eruptions. The area is somewhat fertile, although changeable weather conditions mean most crops are not suited for this environment outside of numerous grasses. It was formed over millions of years, however the Hoogland is vulnerable to erosion by wind and rain owing to the fact that the soil present in the region is largely composed of small grains and is therefore unable to bind as well as purely alluvial or clay soils. The loss of topsoil especially is a problem, and stringent measures and requirements for landowners remain in order to preserve this particular part of Swastria.

Eastern Swastria is predominantly flat, rolling plains that extend from the eastern foothills of the Grootfür and the mouth of the Vielau Basin to the coast of the Sea of Njord. These plains, especially the lower coastal flat lands, are largely remnants of the last ice age, as this area was the southernmost extent of the vast ice sheets that cover most of northern Nordania. As such, this region is subject to crustal uplift, as the crust rebounds after it was depressed under millions of tonnes of ice. Over the thousands of years since the last ice age, the landscape in the northeast has changed considerably. The Binnensee, Swastria's largest lake, was created through thousands of years of post-glacial rebound, as it was cut off from the sea by the uplift of land surrounding the mouth of the Mies. This post glacial uplift produces periodical earthquakes independent of any general fault system, although these earthquakes happen fairly infrequently. Numerous lakes can be found along Swastria's northeastern border with Varienland, and these lakes are also the result of post glacial uplift.

Southeastern Swastria is primarily higher flat to rolling plains with a broad area of rugged, limestone hills separating this area from west to east. These limestone hills, simply known as the Wännekeed, are the source of two rivers in eastern Swastria: the Bökau and the Mies. The Bökau is the smaller of the two rivers and flows into the Mies river at the city of Essigen. The Mies rises from natural springs in the eastern part of the Wännekeed and flows into the Binnensee before continuing beyond into the Sea of Njord. Much of the terrain in and around the Wännekeed is marked by karst, chiefly rocky outcroppings and cliffs from hills eroded by wind and rain. Numerous small lakes and ponds can be found in this region, as the area contains many natural freshwater springs. The Fichtau flows through extreme southeastern Swastria, on its westward course into the Bay of Hovershahn.

Swastria's most important river is the Vielau, which has its origins several kilometres inside northwestern Eibenland. Throughout the absolute majority of its length, it flows through central and northern Swastria, passing through significant cities such as Aalau, Eekboomwohld, and Fuurnwohld, as well as the capital Wittburg, before flowing into the Lüttesbinnensee. Water from the Vielau eventually reaches the Sea of Njord through the Nordkanal, which connects the two bodies of water. Throughout most of its length, the Vielau is navigable by flat bottomed or shallow draught vessels and has facilitated trade and growth of numerous towns and cities along its length. The corridor between Aalau and Nordhaben is home to over 30% of the population of Swastria. However, the river only has two major tributaries: the Tachau and the Ilenau. The former drains from the Aultsee in central Swastria and flows into the Vielau in the city of Eekboomwohld, the latter flows from a natural spring draining the Central Swastrian Acquifer and joins the Vielau in Wittburg.

Swastria's other rivers have also played an important part in the development of Swastria. In the east, the Mies is the most important river, and it is the longest river located entirely within Swastria. Unlike the Vielau it continues through the Binnensee and into the Sea of Njord. It has also facilitated trade as well as access to the sea historically for Swastria's eastern duchies and principalities, and continues to play an important part in the economy of eastern Swastria. In the west, the Eiben and the Gries play less of an important part in the development of southwest Swastria, owing to the mountainous nature of the course of the rivers as they flow through the East Tynic Mountains. Both rivers originate in Eibenland to the south, and have been used as a source of electricity and irrigation water, although they remain largely undeveloped. In Seemark, the Søen is the most important river. Unlike the Gries or the Eiben, the Søen is somewhat navigable through out some of its length, although navigability becomes more difficult east of the city of Birkelund. The river flows through the regional capital Hvidby as it empties into the Bight of Seemark. Four tributaries flow into the river, the Blå, Grå, Erik, and the Lillesøen, the first two draining the Nordfjell, the third being the only outflow of the Eriksee, and the latter flowing from a different spring inside the Drakentähn Mountains.

Climate

Swastria experiences a temperate climate year round which produces mild to cool weather. Summers are warm around most of the country, although inland areas can see hot and dry conditions during summer months. Winters are cold and snowfall is abundant. The climate is heavily influenced by the Horowitz Mountains to the north, which generally restrict the amount of cold air flowing over the country and in some winters, even create a heating effect. The Gulf of Holstein to the west and the Gulf of Germania to the east generally influence the coastal areas, with the sea moderating the weather patterns on both coasts. The northern coast is much cooler on average than the western coast due to the influence of northern cold air currents and much cooler waters. In addition, many of the winter storms that bring snow to Swastria come from the northeast.

Summers in Swastria are generally warm to hot. Coastal areas experience continuous sea breezes keep temperatures along the coast cooler than inland areas. Temperatures inland can exceed 30°C on hot days, and can even exceed 40°C in many areas during heat waves. Hotter temperatures inland are the result of hot, humid air masses from the south, with the Senftenberg Mountains providing a moderate drying affect in areas to the north of the mountains. These clash with cooler air from the west and from the north, creating thunderstorms. Thunderstorms occur mainly from May until September with the most severe thunderstorms forming in June and July. These severe thunderstorms produce a large amount of rain and hail, causing damage to crops and other property as well as flash flooding. Tornadoes sometimes form from these thunderstorms. Some of these tornadoes are severe enough to destroy houses and kill people.

Winters are cool to cold and are often accompanied by large amounts of snowfall, particularly in the northeast where the northern coast is most exposed to air masses from the Arctic. The coasts in the north and the east generally are much milder than the interior of the country, owing to the moderating effects of the sea. However, storm events brings snow and freezing temperatures to these areas regularly. Winter temperatures are generally above freezing for most of the season but can fall well below freezing in the right conditions. Frosts are common in the months between late November and early April, resulting in reasonably short growing seasons. Snowfall mostly occurs between December and February with the heaviest falls occurring in January. Major winter weather events can bring blizzards and white out conditions. Windstorms also occur reasonably often across winter months as unstable weather conditions in the northwestern Great Ocean create large areas of moisture which develop into cyclonic weather lows and are pushed north by air and water currents that bring warmer waters up the western coast of Artisia. These storms bring heavy rain and damaging winds and often cause billions of dollars in damage annually.

Biodiversity

Flora

Swastria has three predominant biomes: temperate coniferous forests, temperate broadleaf forests and temperate grasslands.

Temperate coniferous forests are found across Swastria, but predominantly in the north and central parts of the country, especially around the Senftenberg Mountains and the Horowitz Mountains. These biomes, especially at altitude, are generally devoid of any substantial undergrowth save for grasses or small bushes and shrubs. The biome also differs in tree species depending on the altitude of the forest. Species like the Holsteiner pine, mountain pine and the Ambrosian pine are typical of pine species found in higher altitude coniferous forests. Other coniferous tree species include the silver fir, the Nordanian larch and the Nordanian spruce, all of which are native species found in high and low altitude coniferous forests. A number of other coniferous species have also been introduced by humans, including the Conitian fir and the Conitian pine, both of which are extensively cultivated for forestry use, especially to support local timber and wood product industries. The introduction of these tree species, as well as the advent of commercial forestry, has lead to a substantial increase in danger from wildfires. Since the late 1970's, the Royal Forest Service (Königliches Walddienst, KWD) has implemented forest and fire management policies to mitigate the fire hazard posed by commercial forestry plantations.

Temperate broadleaf forests cover the majority of Holstein and are found at medium and low altitudes. Most of these forests were cut down or logged to provide building materials for ships, houses and furniture as well as expanding agricultural land. Swastria has had forest management policies in some form of another since the late 18th century in order to maintain common hunting lands as well as timber resources. These forests contain mostly deciduous trees. Notable tree species found within these forests include field maple, common hornbeam, mayflower and the Nordanian beech. The latter is especially widespread in forests. Other general tree families commonly found in Swastria include elm and oak.

Temperate grasslands are typically found in the southern border regions as well as in the southeast of Swastria, especially in Lindau. These are not true grasslands, as they are not naturally created but rather influenced through man, with many of the species found in these grasslands native to Nordania but commonly found elsewhere in pastoral land. Common grass species found in this region include meadow foxtail and common cat's tail, the latter being much more widespread due to it's introduction as feed for livestock, particularly cattle. Canarygrass is also widespread in this region due to accidental introduction, and has been designated an invasive weed due to it's toxicity to grazing animals.

Fauna

Swastria is home to 416 species of birds, 81 species of mammals, 12 species of reptiles and 19 species of amphibians. Among the notable bird species includes one species of flamingo as well as the Golden eagle, known in Holstein as the Königsadler, or "King's Eagle". It is the national bird of Swastria and often a symbol of royal power and prestige within Swastria. A number of birds have been introduced into Swastria, the most well known being the common pheasant, which was introduced in the mid-19th century for the landed gentry as a game bird.

Many of Swastria's mammalian species are found elsewhere in Nordania, resulting in few endemic species. Swastria has also seen a decline in it's megafauna since the beginning of classical antiquity as the human population began to grow and with it, the demand for agricultural land. The demand for agricultural land plus changing climates saw many ice age species wiped out, primarily at the hands of humans. Species that survived the Holocene extinction were further threatened by human activities. The most threatened of these species were the gray wolf and the Nordanian subspecies of brown bear. Both were saved from local extirpation by a now famous conservation program in the 1950's. Swastria's megafauna is managed by the Federal Wildlife Service (Königliches Tierweltdienst, KTD), which maintains a list of protected species as well as maintains population records of various game animals. Species managed by the KTD include the red and roe deer, moose and boar species present in Swastria. Both the gray wolf and the brown bear are protected from hunting or other non-approved killings. Among other notable mammalian megafauna present in Swastria are the northernmost populations of lynx and golden jackal in Nordania. Populations of jackals are mostly limited to southern and southeastern areas of Swastria, particularly in Lindau. Lynx populations can be found further to the north within the Senftenberg Mountains.

Swastria's reptilian species include one species of turtle, five species of lizards, one species of slowworm and eight species of snakes. Among the snake species present in Swastria include three species of vipers, a venomous genera of snakes that poses a danger to humans. The Nordanian adder is the most prevalent of these dangerous snakes. It also causes the most bites, with around 80% of the 1,500 snakebites that occur annually in Swastria coming from adders. All hospitals and most medical centres are stocked with antivenom for all three native species of venomous snakes and most pharmacies also sell antivenom over the counter.

Politics

Government

Swastria is a constitutional confederal monarchy with executive powers split between the King and the Chancellor. Legislative power is vested in the bicameral Federal Parliament (Bundesparlament). Swastria is governed by two legal documents; the Articles of Confederation and the State Constitution. Furthermore, Swastria also retains a legal entity known as the Crown (die Krone) which is represented in government property and financial holdings as well as in the legal system.

The Articles of Confederation is the first legal document to be enshrined into the law of the confederation, with the royal edict issued on September 1, 1705. The legal document outlines the roles and responsibilities of the constituent countries of the federation and the relationship between these countries, the federal government and the Crown. The document states that all manners of governance barring foreign relations, trade and war, although this was expanded several times and now include customs and excise as well as the welfare system. It also devolved most of the federal government's, and the Crown's, political powers to the constituent countries, with the respective regents of each country holding the same legal power as the King over their country. It allowed for the creation of individual parliaments and established leaders for constituent governments.

The State Constitution was the second legal document to be enshrined into the law of the confederation and the first document passed by the Federal Parliament, with the constitution receiving royal assent on October 9, 1706. The State Constitution outlined the political relationship between the Crown, the Federal Parliament and the federal government as well as the constituent countries. It established basic political and civil rights, as well as established the modern judicial system, including the Constitutional Court. Term limits for the members of both houses of the Federal Parliament were established, as was rules and stipulations outlining the political powers and roles of the Chancellor and the King. The State Constitution has been amended 199 times since it became law.

The King and the Crown are both political and legal entities. The King is officially the head of state and officially represents Swastria whenever he travels overseas on official business. However, the King does not represent the confederation politically, which is the role of the Chancellor. King Karl V is the current ruling monarch, having assumed the throne on January 1, 2007. According to the State Constitution, all laws passed by both houses of the Federal Parliament are given royal assent in order to become law. According to the State Constitution, the King may accept or refuse assent to laws that have passed both houses of the Federal Parliament, although this is more of a formality. In addition, it allows the King to propose legislation in person as all proposed legislation is in the name of the King. However, Kings have usually refrained from proposing legislation in person as this could be considered a contradiction to ministerial responsibilities. The King may also dissolve the lower house of the Federal Parliament on the recommendation of the Chancellor, with an election to take place in no more than three months from the date of the dissolution. The Crown is a legal entity in Holstein that usually represents state holdings and property, as well as formally conducts prosecutions on the behalf of the federal government or constituent governments and law enforcement agencies. Companies which are held by the state either in full or in majority are known as Crown corporations (Kronenkorporation) and have all profits and dividends held by the government on the behalf of the royal family. Other things held by the Crown include funds, government agencies and other government services.

The Chancellor is the formal head of government of Holstein and the de facto head of state politically. The incumbent Chancellor is Corinna Böhme, who was first elected in 2009. She is also the current leader of the National Conservative Party. The Chancellor is primarily involved with outlining and implementing government policy through the Cabinet of Ministers, which they appoint. They also act as an adviser to the King on issues pertaining to the government and make formal recommendations for events such as the dissolution of the Federal Assembly. The Chancellor also has weekly meetings with the King where they inform the King of government policies, government planning and foreign policy. Each Chancellor is elected to a renewable four year term.

The Federal Parliament (Bundesparlament) is the primary legislative body of Swastria. It is bicameral with two houses: the Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) and the Royal Assembly (Königlichversammlung). The Federal Assembly is the principal legislative house of the Federal Parliament and is the only house whose members are elected. It is composed of 160 elected members, officially known as parliamentarians (Parlamentarier) who are elected to renewable four year terms. The Federal Assembly is the primary legislative body where proposed legislation is drafted, debated and amended. It also is the primary body where the Chancellor and government ministers may be questioned on government policy and laws. The Federal Assembly can convened parliamentary inquiries and parliamentary commissions on social and legislative issues as well as important events. The Royal Assembly is composed of 110 members. Each constituent country appoints nine members, with Wittburg appointing two members. Each member is appointed to an eight year non-renewable term. Historically, the Royal Assembly was composed of the landed gentry who were appointed for life, but this was changed in the 1940's to include non-hereditary members. Non-hereditary members are normally legal experts such as former district or constituent judges, prominent lawyers or local body politicians and civil administrators who have served their communities for more than twenty years. Appointments to the Royal Assembly are made by the regents of the constituent countries. In the case of Wittburg, the mayor appoints the city's two representatives. Unlike the Federal Assembly, the Royal Assembly is non-partisan and being un-elected, cannot be dissolved. This can ensure that there is a continuation of governance if the Federal Assembly is dissolved. The primary function of the Royal Assembly is to debate and pass legislation passed up from the Federal Assembly, as well as act as an official oversight for the federal government and government ministries, agencies and other institutions. The Royal Assembly also approves members to the Supreme Court and to the Constitutional Court.

Administrative divisions

Constituent Countries

According to the Articles of Confederation, there are twelve constituent countries that compose the confederation. These are the countries that were once independent states prior to the processes of creating the confederation in the late 17th century. In addition, there is one free city, Wittburg. Each constituent country has its own regent, either a Crown Prince (Kronprinz) for principalities or a Crown Duke (Kronherzog) for duchies. Wittburg has a mayor and thus is the only federal entity to directly elect its governing official.

Each constituent country has its own constitution, its own parliament, called a Landesparlament, and its own government. Each constituent country has a Minister-President (Ministerpräsident) who serves as the country's official head of government. Minister-Presidents are limited by term limits outlined in each individual constitution and do not have powers outside of their own constituent country. The Articles of Confederation also compel Minister-Presidents and constituent parliaments to cooperate with one another and with the federal government on issues concerning all of Swastria.

Constituent countries are responsible for their own education, transport, healthcare, emergency services and other aspects of governance that are not delegated to the federal government. Each constituent parliament also has the powers to pass their own legislation, provided that the legislation does not conflict with that passed by the federal government. If such a conflict does occur, federal legislation has automatic precedence. Constituent countries may also create their own police forces and all countries have their own local police force.

As a free city, Wittburg's status is different to that of the constituent countries. The city's mayor serves as the governing official of the city, effectively combining the roles of regents and of minister-president. However, it does not have a parliament nor does it have any of the same powers as constituent countries have. Instead, Wittburg has a City Assembly ( Stadtversammlung) which administers the city much in the same way a city council would. However, the City Assembly has more powers than ordinary city councils do, with powers over healthcare, education and emergency services. Law enforcement is provided by the Federal Police of Swastria and the city is not permitted to create binding legislation of its own. Instead, city ordinances are issued which have the same legal status as legislation passed by a constituent parliament, although most of the laws in place in Wittburg are passed by the Federal Parliament.

Districts

Each constituent country is divided into districts (Bezirk), of which there are 89 in total. Each district serves as the main interface between the local residents and the constituent country for most matters that are either not directly dealt with by the constituent government or at the municipal level. In addition, most federal government services are provided at the district level, rather than at the state.

Districts themselves have few political powers and mostly serve as a continuation of the constituent and federal bureaucracy. They usually issue drivers licences, marriage licences as well as permits for public assemblies and hunting. They are also provide staff for the public health and education systems of the constituent country as well as the federal welfare system. Districts are administered by a district council (Bezirksrat) which oversees administration of the district. The council is headed by a district intendant (Bezirksbegleiter) who serves as the executive of the council and has the final say in all decisions the council makes. The district intendant, in addition to the council members, are appointed to their positions and serve for five year terms. Although there are no restrictions on how many terms anyone may serve on the council, the limits are generally dictated by the age of the councilor or their performance in office.

In addition, there are six statutory cities (Statutarstadt). Statutory cities have the same functions as a municipality but also have the same additional powers as districts. Cities wishing to have statutory status must have a total population exceeding half a million residents. As a free city, Wittburg is not counted as a statutory city as it is considered a federal division.

Municipalities

Municipalities (gemeiden, singular gemeinde) are the lowest tier of internal governance in Swastria. There are 219 municipalities, with municipalities classified as either urban municipalities (Stadtgemeinde) or rural municipalities (Ländlichegemeinde). There is no real difference between the two in administrative powers, other than the size. Urban municipalities are classified as a contiguous built-up area numbering more than 5,000 residents and may consist of a single town or city. A rural municipality is considered to be an area encompassing a number of individual built-up areas with areas of agricultural or other land in between, with no stipulations on population size. Each constituent country has additional definitions and rules on the creation of urban and rural municipalities.

Municipalities generally have a number of delegate powers over a number of aspects of governments including restaurant licences and licences for other premises, zoning laws, social housing as well as environment laws, including water quality and air pollution. Utilities such as electricity, gas, water and sewage are provided at a municipal level. Public transportation and road construction and maintenance are also conducted at a municipal level, with municipal governments usually free to provide public transport service themselves or contract the services to private companies.

Taxation is also one of the areas where municipalities have some considerable power. Municipalities levy property taxes as their main source of income, but also other taxes. A number of rural municipalities have instituted bachelors taxes. Many municipalities have brought into the federal tax scheme allowing municipal governments to collect expatriate taxes from citizens and permanent residents of Swastria who have emigrated. Commuter taxes are popular among many of the larger urban municipalities in Swastria, with all of Swastria's statutory cities and Wittburg levying commuter taxes.

Judiciary

File:Justizpalais.jpg
The Justizpalais in Wittburg which is the seat of the Supreme Court.

The judicial system in Swastria is separated between the ordinary courts, which deal with matters of civil and criminal law and public law courts which largely deal with constitutional and administrative law. Courts are primarily used to deal with federal and constituent laws, although some municipalities maintain courts themselves to deal with other affairs.

District courts (Bezirksgericht) are found in each of Holstein's 89 districts, with 112 courts in total found across the country. Some of the more populous districts have more than one court to deal with the cases brought before them. District courts only hear cases of civil and criminal law and enforce both federal and constituent laws as well as deal with other matters including civil suits. District courts also issue marriage licences and certificates as well as deal with matters pertaining to family laws and divorces. Typically criminal and civil trials are overseen by one judge.

Constituent courts (Landesgerichte) are found in each of the constituent countries with 24 courts in total. They function the same way as district courts but are generally referred to for much more serious criminal cases as well as major civil law cases such as disputes between major companies or individuals, or lawsuits over ƒ600,000 ($500,000). Swastria does not have juries, instead criminal and some civil cases are presided over by a panel of judges, known as a Judicial Panel (Gerichtsbarkeit) which is composed of three judges that hear the evidence and vote to convict or dismiss defendants or civil cases.

At the federal level, Swastria only has two courts: the Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgericht) and the Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof). The Constitutional Court deals with matters involving constitutional and administrative laws regarding the Articles of Confederation and the State Constitution. The court hears cases brought to it by the federal government or by constituent countries over disputes regarding powers, laws, status of internal divisions or other administrative matters. It also hears cases regarding legislation proposed by or passed by the Federal Parliament. The Constitutional Court also reviews laws against the articles of the State Constitution to determine whether or not they are constitutional and issues appropriate verdicts. The Constitutional Court is composed of 30 judges who are appointed by the Royal Assembly.

The Supreme Court is the final appellate court in Holstein. It deals with both civil and criminal cases which were unable to be resolved through the lower appellate court system. As with other courts, a judicial panel of three judges presides over the cases where evidence is presented for an appeal. Full trials are then conducted to determine a result, which is considered binding. The Supreme Court is composed of 12 judges appointed by the Royal Assembly.

Appellate courts are present at the constituent and district level, with one court per district and one higher court per country. Each court consists of six judges who review cases brought before them and either refer cases back to district or constituent courts or pass cases onto higher courts. Although most cases are criminal in nature, civil cases, especially those regarding child custody and divorce are also passed to these courts.

All of Swastria's statutory cities and the city of Wittburg have municipal courts (Amtsgericht) where minor criminal cases, such as traffic fines, are heard, in addition to civil cases such as neighbor disputes and noise regulation violations. Although the cases in court are minor, the courts themselves have equal status to those of districts because of the status of the cities they are found in.

Law Enforcement

A police car of the Bundespolizei.

The Federal Police (Bundespolizei) is the primary law enforcement agency in Swastria. It is present in all 12 constituent countries and provides direct law enforcement in Wittburg. The Federal Police enforce both federal law and constituent law, with the jurisdiction extending throughout all of Swastria. Although it's primary role is law enforcement, the Federal Police also perform a number of security roles, including security in public places, protection of government ministries and buildings, riot control and counter terrorism. The Federal Police work with other federal and constituent government agencies on matters of law enforcement as well as provide assistance to constituent police forces.

Each of Swastria's 12 constituent countries has its own police force, known as the Landspolizei. Constituent police forces provide law enforcement at a district and municipal level and only enforce constituent laws. They are also the only police force that conducts active traffic policing. Constituent police also have special operations officers which respond to serious situations, as well as conduct important raids for drugs or other contraband.

Many cities often have municipal law enforcement officers which aren't considered to be police but are used to enforce specific municipal laws and codes. Among the most common officers employed are parking enforcement officers who are employed directly by the city council to enforce the city's parking regulation. Park police are also a common sight in larger cities.

Foreign Relations

Swastria maintains a status of armed neutrality and has done so since 1865. This policy has translated into a policy of political neutrality. Holstein has refrained from joining any political or military alliances and unions. Currently the country maintains observer status with the Esquarian Community, the Nordanian League and the Organisation of Esquarian Nations. It has also refrained from joining any economic alliances in Esquarium, instead pursuing a policy of negotiating and ratifying bilateral trade agreements.

Diplomacy is one of the measures that Holstein maintains its territorial integrity as well as its political and military neutrality. Swastria currently maintains bilateral relations with around 25 nations across Esquarium plus has diplomatic contact with another twelve. It maintains its closest relations with Nordanian countries although it has especially good relations with a number of countries across Esquarium, notably Ainin, Nevanmaa, Geadland, Toksan and Vyvland.

Military

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Conscripts reporting for national service in Tirol.

Swastria maintains a large, well equipped armed forces. It actively enforces conscription as a means of providing the armed forces with a continuous flow of recruits. In addition, it also ensures that a substantial proportion of the population is able to resist an occupying power in case of an invasion.

Currently the armed forces has a total of 653,158 personnel on active and reserve duty as well as in the paramilitary. The current defence budget is ƒ22.3 billion ($17.8 billion), representing 1.56% of the GDP.

There are four branches that compose the Royal Defence Forces (Königliche Verteidigungskräfte): the Royal Army (Königliche Armee), the Royal Air Force (Königliche Luftstreitkräfte), the Royal Navy (Königliche Marine) and the Auxiliary Forces (Hilfskräfte).

Conscription in Swastria was first introduced in 1857 during the Weißland War and has been actively enforced ever since. Despite Swastria maintaining a policy of armed neutrality, the state maintains conscription as a way of ensuring national defence. Currently only men are conscripted, although universal conscription was put to a referendum in 1978 and in 2012 but failed to gain enough support. Conscripts currently serve 36 months as part of the armed forces, a third of which as an active duty soldier and the remainder as part of the reserves. They are then required to serve part time for another five years as part of the Auxiliary Forces. Alternative service, known as Zivildienst (Civil Service), allows people who do not wish to serve in the military to serve in civilian forces, including police, fire, emergency medical services and civil defence. Women are legally required to enlist for and perform civil service for 18 months.

Economy

Swastria has a GDP of ƒ1.43 trillion ($1.144 trillion), with a GDP (PPP) per capita of ƒ83,683 ($66,847), making it the second richest country in Artisia and one of the richest countries in Esquarium. It is also one of the richest countries, with a median household income of ƒ98,175 ($78,540) as of 2016.

Swastria's economy is considered to be a high-tech, developed social market economy with strong labour protection laws. It is a stable economy thanks to numerous economic ties to Nordania as well as wider economic ties around Esquarium. Swastria has a 62% trade-to-GDP ratio and is actively involved in establishing bilateral trade agreements with numerous states. Around 70% of the workforce in the public sector and 61% of the workforce in the private sector are a member of a labour union. As of the 2014 Census, Swastria has a workforce of 9.7 million people, with an unemployment rate of 4.1% as of April 2017.

The main sectors of the economy of Swastria are manufacturing, finance and banking, tourism, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.

Manufacturing

Manfacturing is one of the largest sectors in the economy of Swastria and collectively employs around eight percent of the workforce. Much of the manufacturing is automated with robots now doing the majority of the assembly work. Just under 779,000 people are employed in manufacturing, down from a high of 1.4 million during the late 1960's. One of the largest industries in terms of export revenues is the arms industry, with Swastria exporting $12.7 billion in firearms in 2016, the majority coming from private sales in key markets in Nordania and elsewhere. The most prolific include Bühler, which manufactures sniper rifles and sport air rifles, Merz, which manufactures sporting firearms and target pistols, Ultima Firearms which manufactures high quality pistols and BVA which manufactures military and civilian assault rifles, as well as other heavy weaponry.

The automotive industry is one of the smaller but more robust in Nordania, and is composed of a number of different manufacturing companies. Schenk Fabrik is a manufacturer of licence produced vehicles as well has vehicle parts and supplies numerous Nordanian manufacturers. Swastria has three significant car manufacturers: Arnoldi, EMW and Loewe. Arnoldi is the largest and most established of Holstein's car manufacturers. It currently sells its products all over Esquarium and has production lines in numerous countries. Both EMW and Loewe are owned by Teuscher Holdings which also has a variety of investments in other industries. Their products are primarily orientated towards the premium market. Furthermore, Holstein has numerous smaller companies in the automotive market. Kiefer Feuerwehrfahrzeuge manufactures fire trucks and other related equipment and is one of the largest companies of its kind in the world. Baer is one of Esquarium's largest motorcycle manufacturers. In the agricultural industry, Kahn is an important manufacturer of tractors and other agricultural machinery. Swastria is also a prolific manufacturer of racing cars, with the Kobel racing team currently competing in the Esquarian Championship. Kobel is a well known manufacturer of EC cars and also competed in the EEC between 1970 and 1992. Stoller and Vetter are two smaller manufacturers who have seen limited success with their cars, especially in the new EEC GT1 category.

Swastria is also an important manufacturer of white goods and in the aviation industry. Swastria has two major aircraft manufacturers: Aravia and Spiegler. Aravia is a manufacturer of helicopters as well as turboprop regional aircraft for civilian and military customers. Spiegler is primarily a manufacturer of turboprop training aircraft and has recently entered the civilian market.

Finance

Swastria is active in the finance industry with several prominent banks and finance companies located in Holstein. The largest retail bank in Swastria is Postbank, which manages the country's postal savings system. The bank manages a total of ƒ185 billion ($148 billion) in assets 3.25 million clients. The bank itself is partially owned by the federal government and by each of the governments of the constituent countries. The largest bank in Swastria by total asset value is the United Bank of Swastria (Vereinigte Bank Swastreich, VBH) which acts more as a financial services provider and provides wealth management, asset management and investment banking services to over 2.5 million clients. It has ƒ1.16 trillion ($935 billion) in assets. Other important banks include the Rural Credit Union (Ländliche Kreditunion, LK), the largest financial company dedicated to providing finance services and banking for rural customers.

Agriculture

Agriculture remains an important part of the economy of Swastria. Historically agricultural policy centered around self-sufficiency as a means of insuring the country in the event of war. Mechanisation as well as global economics have seen a steady decline in the agricultural sector since the 1940's, with less than 10% of the labour force employed in the agricultural sector. Agriculture remains the most subsidised economic sector in Swastria as the government seeks to protect farmers incomes as well as secure lucrative export markets. Swastria is a regionally important producer of crops such as vegetables and cereals because of it's comparatively low population density and large areas of arable land. It's principal agricultural exports are cereal grains such as wheat, oats and rye as well as vegetables such as potatoes and pumpkins. Swastria is also one of the largest exporters of red meat and dairy products in Nordania, producing around ten percent of the region's milk alone. Common red meats exported from Swastria are beef and lamb. Milk is the largest export earner for dairy products, earning ƒ7.87 billion ($6.3 billion) in 2016.

Tourism

Currency

The florin (ƒ) is the sole legal currency of Swastria. It was first proposed as a currency within the newly established federation in March 1707 to unify the federation under a single currency. The first coins were minted three years later in January 1710. In 1841, the first banknotes were issued by three approved national banks. These were consolidated into the Federal Bank of Swastria (Bundesbank Swastreich) which became the sole issuer of the florin. In 1951, the florin became a fiat currency as the Federal Bank saw to move away from relying on the gold standard as a way of keeping value in the currency.

The Federal Bank of Swastria was founded in June 1860 and has continuously operated since. It is the official central bank of Swastria and is the sole issuer of coins and banknotes within the federation. It is headed by a governor who is appointed by the Chancellor to serve a single term of eight years. The governor's role is non-partisan and is primarily to make decisions regarding monetary policy. The current governor is Johannes Niedermann.

In addition to monetary policy, the Federal Bank is also tasked with maintaining currency reserves and investments, facilitating payments between banks, cooperating with international monetary authorities and providing banking services to the federation as well as the federal government.

Energy

Electricity

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The Linden Power Station in Wittburg is the largest power station in Swastria.

Swastria generates approximately 17,935.95 Mwh of electricity annually. Around 85% of the electricity generated is for domestic consumption, with the remaining 15% of electricity exported to neighbouring countries. Electricity generation in Swastria is managed through a mixed market system with a competitive free market for electricity generation and sales companies and government ownership of electricity infrastructure. Constituent countries are responsible for electricity transmission lines within their respective territorial boundaries, although lines and transformers are built to federal standards.

Nuclear energy accounts for approximately 21% of the electricity generated in Swastria. There are six nuclear generating stations in Swastria, all of them are owned by state owned electricity generator Atomkraft Swastreich (AkS). Nuclear energy has been generated in Swastria since 1969, when the Hollingen Nuclear Power Plant became operational. Nuclear power has been a controversial subject in Swastria, with the country having an anti-nuclear movement since the early 1970's. Despite calls to shut down nuclear power plants, the government has kept all six plants operational, with estimated shutdown periods expected to be in the 2040's.

Fossil fueled power plants generate 21% of electricity in Swastria. The majority of the plants are powered by natural gas, with only a few coal-fired plants remaining operational. In the 1960's and 1970's, Swastria began the transition from coal to natural gas as it's primary source of fossil fuels for nuclear generation as it was a cheaper and cleaner burning alternative. However, Swastria plans to phase out thermal power within the next 40 years as it brings renewable power generation stations online.

Hydroelectricity is by far the largest contributor of electricity in Swastria at 56% of electricity generated. Swastria has 34 hydroelectric generating stations, the majority of them in the Horowitz Mountains. The first dam became operational in 1886 and Holstein has since made use of it's hydroelectric resources. Continued investment in hydroelectric schemes will see hydroelectricity become the dominant source of electricity in Swastria by 2030.

Two percent of Swastria's electricity is generated by three biomass plants which operate within urban areas and are fueled by refuse generated by their respective cities. The government plans to add three more biomass generating stations by 2030.

Swasstrom is the largest electricity generating company in Swastria. It is a majority state owned company and owns most of the generating stations and thermal power plants in the country. The largest private company is EnA, which controls around 45% of the electricity retail market.

Fossil Fuels

Swastria has moderate fossil fuel reserves, with production mostly centered around meeting domestic demand. Holstein has approximately 43 million bbl of proven reserves of crude oil, with 15.1 million bbl of crude oil produced annually. Despite this, Swastria is a net oil importer and relies on imports from other Nordanian countries to meet demand. State owned company Bundesöl is the largest oil company in Holstein and extracts oil from two of Swastria's largest oil fields: the Graslitz Oil Field and the Laun Oil Field, both of which are located in southern Swastria where most of the crude oil is located. Bundesöl also has considerable operations and investments in oil extraction and exploration operations around Esquarium.

Swastria has approximately 24.8 billion cubic metres of natural gas reserves, primarily found in the east and southeast. It also has an annual production rate of 1.8 billion cubic metres of gas. All of the gas produced in Holstein is to satisfy domestic demand as it is the primary fossil fuel used to power Swastria's therma power stations. It is also used for cooking and heating homes. As with crude oil, Swastria is a net gas importer and maintains agreements with neighbouring nations for the supply of natural gas. It also has one of the largest natural gas storage facilities in Nordania and has an operating capacity of 2.4 billion cubic metres. SwaGas is the largest extractor and distributor of natural gas in Swastria. Most of the natural gas produced in Holstein is extracted from the Sornethal field near the border with Lersekt.

There are approximately 69.9 million tons of proven coal reserves in Swastria, with annual coal production of around 1.15 million tons of coal annually. Most of the coal reserves are located in the central part of the country, particularly in the Senftenberg Mountains. Coal mining has been an important part of the economy since the reserves were first exploited in the first half of the 18th century. However, production has been declining since the late 1960's with a transition from coal to natural gas as the primary fuel for Swastria's thermal power plants. Domestic consumption for coal has declined sharply and now the majority of the coal mined in Swastria is exported overseas. All of the coal mined in Swastria is lignite, with bituminous coal mining ceasing in 1968. Nordania Mineralis is the largest company extracting coal in Swastria, in addition to its other mineral extraction operations.

Transport

Rail

Swastria has 11,446 kilometres (7,112 miles) of railways. Approximately 85% of the network is electrified. The vast majority of the network is composed of standard gauge (1,435 mm) track. Eight percent of the total network is composed of different track gauges, all of them narrow gauge. Most of these are privately owned and operated tourist lines or funicular railways. All standard gauges lines are owned by the individual constituent countries of the confederation, which in turn are held by a federally owned holding company known as the Federal Holding Company for Infrastructure (Bundesholdinggesellschaft für Infrastruktur, BfI). Each constituent country has a company which purchases and maintains standard gauge lines, with these companies owned by the BfI. All narrow gauge railways are owned privately, either by trusts operating heritage railway lines or as private enterprises. Holstein has railway connections to all neighbouring countries, all of which are standard gauge lines. However, railway lines running into Lersekt and Tynland require changes to run on different currents used in overhead lines.

Each constituent country levies user fees for railway companies to use the standard gauge railway network within their territory. Companies operating at a federal level are charged by the federal government for use of the railways and the money is then split between the constituent countries. User fees do not overlap, with companies operating at a federal level only paying user fees to the federal government.

Swastria has several operating companies utilizing its railway infrastructure. The largest is Swastrian Federal Railways (Schwastrisches Bundesbahn, SBB). SBB is owned by the federal government and operates cargo and passenger rail services. It transports 366 million passengers and 48 million tons of freight every year. The company was founded in 1898 as a merger of several independent railway companies and remains the oldest continual railway operator in Swastria. SBB maintains a number of subsidiaries for freight services, passenger services, maintenance and real estate. In addition, SBB also operates sea ferry services in the Gulf of Swastria under the SBB Ferries subsidiary. Most other companies operate within constituent countries, either as local or regional operators. Other operators at a federal level are Kargojet, which operates freight services, and West Nordanic Railways (West Nordische Bahn, WNB) which operates international passenger services to Tynland and Sjealand.

High speed trains have been operating in Swastria since 1997, with approximately 230 kilometres of dedicated track composing the entire high speed network. Much of the track lies between Wittburg and other populous cities in northeastern Swastria. Two companies operate high speed rail services in Holstein: HBB and WNB. SBB's high speed services rely on three classes of high speed trains with a maximum operating speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). WNB operate push-pull electric locomotives with an operational speed of 230 km/h (143 mph).

Road

Swastria has a total of 210,540 kilometres (130,823 miles) of roads. It has one of the highest percentages of paved roads anywhere in Esquarium, with less than 0.5% of the total road network being unpaved. Roads in Swastria are generally managed by constituent countries as part of their constitutional powers, with each constituent country financing, building and maintaining roads through taxes, tolls and other levies. The federal government also uses vehicle registration fees, petrol taxes and Autobahnsteuern, or "motorway taxes". The latter are compulsory for road vehicles such as cars and trucks as well as motorcycles. Vehicles that do not travel on motorways, such as farm tractors and come city buses are not subject to these taxes. Each tax comes in the form of a sticker which is attached to the windscreen and entitles the user to use federal motorways and other roads for 12 months. The amount of tax levied depends on the vehicle. Cars pay a total of ƒ40 ($32), trucks and buses pay ƒ250 ($200) and motorcycles pay ƒ20 ($16).

The majority of the network consists of single carriageways, with smaller numbers of dual and triple carriageways. Most of the latter can be found in Swastria's 3,971 kilometre (2,467 mile) Autobahn network. Swastria began building it's motorways in the mid-1950's and is still continuing the expansion of the network. Around three quarters of the motorway network is owned by the federal government through a real estate investment fund called the Motorway Investment Fund (Autobahn-Investmentfonds, AI). The fund itself is owned by the Federal Holding Company for Infrastructure (BfI). The remaining 25% of motorways in Swastria are owned by constituent or city governments. No federal motorways contain tolls, however motorways outside of federal ownership are tolled. The legal speed limit for most motor vehicles on Swastria's motorway network is 130 km/h (80 mph).

Air

Swastria has a total of 119 airports and three heliports. Approximately 53 airports have no paved runways and the remaining 66 airports have paved runways. Wittburg Altkirche International Airport is the largest airport in Swastria, handling 27.6 million passengers in 2016. The airports of Neuenburg and Salzberg are the second and third largest airports, handling 23.4 million and 16.5 million passengers in 2016 respectively. Swastria's three largest airports are owned by Tor Schwastreich, a company jointly owned by the federal government through the BfI and the respective constituent governments controlling the airports.

Civil aviation is regulated by the Civil Aviation Office (Zivilluftfahrtbüro, ZFB). It is tasked with oversight of civil aviation in Swastria, including enforcement of regulations surrounding pilots, aircraft and airports. It also issues hazardous air cargo shipment permits and permits for governments to fly through or into Holstein using state or government aircraft. The ZFB is the principal enforcer of aviation safety in Swastria and investigates all air accidents and incidents.

There are 48 airlines operating in Swastria. The largest of these airlines is KLT, which is the flag carrier of Holstein. Other important airlines include private full service airline Air Swastria and low cost airline Volair.

Demographics

As of June 2017, Swastria has a population of 17,221,658 inhabitants, an increase of 0.5% over the March 2017 estimate and an increase of 3.9% since the 2014 Census. This represents a yearly growth rate of 1.3%, making Holstein one of the few Nordanian countries to experience positive population growth rates of over one percent.

Health

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The Royal Hospital in Wittburg is the largest hospital in Swastria.

Healthcare in Swastria is generally managed by each constituent country as it is one of the powers delegated to them in the Articles of Confederation. The federal government through the Ministry of Public Health is largely limited to providing funding for public hospitals as well as broad policies regarding public health. Both constituent and federal governments often cooperate on policy matters that affect all of Swastria.

Constituent governments divide health services by district, with each district covered by a District Health Authority (Bezirksverfassungsautorität, BVA) which administers hospitals, medical centres and emergency medical services in a given district. Each BVA is headed by an administration board composed of appointed health officials, including former doctors, nurses and medical professionals. The chairman however is an elected position and is chosen in district elections.

All citizens and permanent residents of Holstein are required to purchase health insurance, which is run by private insurance companies. Each constituent government has an individual Basic Health Plan (Basisverfassungsvorsorge, BVV) which is considered to be affordable. Each plan covers treatment in case of illness or accident as well as pregnancies, with additional coverage including specialist treatments. These plans cover the costs of hospitalisation and treatment of those of the insured. Federal law requires that all private health companies must provide these plans for all citizens and permanent residents and are forbidden from denying any person coverage. Compulsory purchases begin at age 18 for women and 20 for men, with laws requiring that partial coverage can be obtained from age 16 if the individual is employed. Individuals under 18 years of age have free healthcare.

Hospitals and medical centres in Holstein are largely run by constituent governments but receive most of their funding from the federal government. In addition to providing direct medical treatment at the hospitals themselves, they also provide home care services for patients. Unlike hospital services and treatment, which is free, home care services receive constituent government subsidies but are largely paid out of hand. Constituent governments also partially subsidise private doctor or general practitioner visits, in addition to some other health specialists like orthodontists and chiropractors.

Education

Education in Swastria is split between a free public school system and private schools. The public school system is predominantly administered by constituent countries who have complete control over primary and secondary education, with the federal government having control of Holstein's 50 universities.

Constituent countries administer Holstein's primary and secondary schools, and have the ability to regulate everything from curriculum to school terms. Each constituent country has a Department of Education (Ausbildungsministerium) which enforces sets education law, policy as well as distributes funding and personnel. In addition, teachers at primary and secondary schools are also considered to be civil servants. Some powers are delegated to the district level, with District Education Boards (Bezirksausbildungsvorstand BAV) mostly legislating minor aspects of education such as school zoning as well as the hiring of teachers and other staff.

Students generally begin school at around six years of age, although some countries make exceptions for those who are five years old. Primary school (Primarschule) lasts between five and six years and secondary school (Mittelschule) lasts between four and five years. Generally school is mandatory between the ages of six and 18 years of age, although students can leave school at age 16 with parental permission. Secondary education in Swastria follows the same system as other Teutonic countries and splits schools between vocational schools and academic schools. Upon finishing secondary school, students sit the matura, a series of exams. Students who pass exams are awarded a Maturazeugnis if they graduated from a academic school or a Fachszeugnis if they graduated from a vocational school.

Tertiary education in Swastria is administered by the Ministry of Public Education. There are 37 public universities and 13 private universities in Holstein. All universities and other tertiary education establishments are bound by federal law to accept students who have acquired either of the secondary school diplomas. Public universities are either free or subsidised to 75% of the costs, with private universities free to charge tuition fees. Universities follow the same system as secondary schools and are split between academic universities and vocational schools. Two universities offer a combination of academic and vocational subjects and are known as Federal Institutes of Technology (Bundes Technische Universität, BTU).

Private schools in Swastria are largely unregulated by constituent law except through enforcement of school terms and holiday periods. Most of the private schools that exist in Swastria are run by the Catholic Church with a smaller number of private academies. Private schools often charge school fees which are some of the most expensive anywhere in Nordania, although the Catholic Church subsidises its schools through church funds. Furthermore, international schools are also classified as private schools but exclusively serve the children of foreign diplomats and civil servants.

Religion

According to the Sixteenth Amendment of the State Constitution, Swastria is officially a secular state, with the amendment passing in 1873. This allows for the freedom of worship within Swastria outside of the major religions. However, the constitution also requires that all monarchs must be a member of the Irminist faith.

Approximately 67% of Swastrians identify as Irminists. Irminism has its roots in ancient Norcist and other Alemannic traditions and mythology. Subsequent turmoil and warfare following the collapse of the Kingdom of Swastria led to a substantial decline in Irminism, including the destruction of multiple temples and places of worship. Communal and household worship remained strong during this period and provided the basis for which Irminism could be developed. Irminism is similar to Norcism and other Nordanian pagan faiths but puts an emphasis on Alemannic mythology, itself largely derived from Norcism. Irminism is the official religion of Swastria despite state secularism, as this derives from the early confederal period where Irminism was used as part of the unification of Swastria. In recent years, Irminism has seen a decline again, primarily due to changing attitudes regarding religion and it's place in society.

Atheists and agnostics compose approximately 30% of the population. It is the fastest growing religious demographic within Swastria hand has seen an increase of over 40% over the last decade. Most of the growth has come from Swastria's youth, who are overwhelmingly irreligious.

Three percent of Swastrians adhere to a variety of minor religions. These religions are largely limited to immigrant communities within Swastria, largely from other groups in Nordania and further abroad. The largest of these groups are Saturnists at 1.5%, followed by smaller groups of Christians, Khaturvi and Kamists.

Ethnic groups

Swastria has numerous different ethnic groups living within its borders. However, officially the government classifies its population between "white" and "non white", making no distinction between various ethnic groups. This means according to official census data, ethnic groups from Velkia, Borea and Nautasia are classed as "non white" despite having differences in physical appearance. However, in recent years, Swastria has been gathering and publishing more specific data on its ethnic composition.

Approximately 96% of the population is composed of "white" ethnic groups. The largest of these groups is the Teutonic people at 68.1% of the total population. Foreign born and native born Teutonic people are not differentiated in official census data, nor are their countries of birth listed. Therefore it's difficult to determine how many Teutonics are actually native born Swastrians and how many others emigrated from other Teuton speaking countries.

Nordic groups compose the second largest collection of "white" ethnic groups in Swastria. The largest of these groups are the Tynics at 15.8% of the total population. Holstein has the largest population of Tynics outside of Sjealand. Other Sjealandic ethnic groups are also present in Holstein. Swedes constitute 3.7% of the population, Norwegians 2.1% and Icelanders 0.3%. Vjaars constitute 1.9% of the population and Fjallanders 1.2%. The latter two are the results of periodic immigration to Holstein, especially since the end of the Great War of the North.

Hellenicsare the only South Nordanian ethnic group present in Swastria, at 2.9% of the population. Hellenics are also the result of immigration, with most of the immigrants arriving in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

"Non white" groups make up approximately four percent of the population. The largest of these groups are Arabs at 1.7% of the population. Most of the Arab population are or descended from refugees escaping persecution in numerous countries, with Holstein accepting refugees from Nautasia since it began accepting political and religious refugees in the late 1940's. The largest source of Arab refugees is Kraq, followed by Irvadistan. Black Nautasians are the second largest non-white group at 1.3%. Most black Nautasians come from Litorea, where work exchange programs have existed since the 1960's. Namorese constitute 0.7% of the population and have been migrating to Holstein since the early 20th century, albeit in small numbers. Toksanese people and Tuthinians constitute 0.2% and 0.1% of the population respectively.

Languages

Holstein's languages are regulated by the Federal Law on Languages (Bundesgesetz über die Sprachen, BGS) which outlines Swastria's official languages at a federal level. It also delegates powers for Swastria's constituent countries to make local languages official in their respective jurisdictions.

Teutonic is spoken by approximately 83% of the population as a first language and by the remainder of the population as a second or third language. It is one of two official languages in Swastria. Swastria speaks a dialect of West Teutonic known as the Swastreisch dialekte. At around 65% of Teutonic speakers in Swastria, it is the largest Teutonic dialect within the confederation. Swastria has three main dialect families within the confederation. These are Lower West Teutonic, Middle West Teutonic and Upper West Teutonic. Only one dialect of Lower West Teutonic spoken in Swastria is Helzingenisch, spoken principally around the city of Helzingen in Dessau. Three dialects of Middle West Teutonic are spoken in Swastria: Büssingisch spoken in and around the city of Büssing in southern Tirol, Neuenburgisch, spoken in and around the city of Neuenburg in central-eastern Holstein and Senftenbergisch, spoken around the Senftenberg Mountains in central Swastria. Upper West Teutonic is spoken primarily in the Horowitz Mountains of Königsmark and Tirol, as well as northeastern parts of Däneland. Standard Teutonic, known in Swastria as Klasseteutonisch (literally "Class Teutonic") is commonly used in official documentation as well as television, especially in news bulletins. Most of the Teutonic language media produced on television and in print is done in Holsteinisch, making Swastrians particularly adept at understanding two Teutonic dialects.

Tynic is the second official language of Swastria at the federal level. It is also an official language of Däneland, where it is spoken by a majority of the population. Tynic is also spoken by an additional 32% of the population as a second language, making it the second most widely spoken language in Swastria. Tynic can be found primarily in Däneland, but also in the border countries of Tirol and Königsmark, both of which have smaller Tynic speaking minorities. It is also an official constituent language in both respective countries. Orally, the Tynic spoken in Swastria and the Tynic spoken in neighbouring Sjealand are identical however they use different alphabets. Tynic in Swastria uses the Latin alphabet and has done so since the Western Crusades, and more recently since the Great War of the North, as opposed to Tynic in Sjealand, which uses runes. Furthermore, Tynics in Swastria speak Sydtynisk, a dialect of Tynic spoken in areas historically occupied by either the former principality of Weissland or by other former Tynic states.

Swedish, Norwegian and other minority Nordanian languages are collectively spoken by 12% of the population. Most of these languages do not have official status within Holstein. Many of them are spoken as second languages and are offered as optional language classes in most schools.

Culture

Swastrian culture is heavily influenced by both Nordic and Teutonic cultures. Nordic, in particular Tynic Culture, has most of it's influence around the north and west of the confederation, owing to those areas being progressively annexed throughout the era of the Kingdom of Sassau, and most recently following the annexation of Weissland during the Great War of the North. Swastrians are generally stereotyped as a quiet, stoic, insular people with a strong sense of national pride and patriotism. They are often negatively portrayed as being suspicious of outsiders to the point of paranoia, and this sometimes manifests itself in casual or overt xenophobia.

There are multitudes of subcultures within Swastria, related to cultural aspects such as art and music as well as broader societies. Different constituent countries have different subcultures within Swastria and are influenced by their inhabitants, the geography and in recent times, the dominance of urban or rural life.

Music

Swastria has had an important role in influencing and shaping music within Nordania. Prior to the 19th century, the majority of music was folk music, often played by local bands in towns and villages across the confederation, with few national performances or known composers. The development of music in Swastria, especially classical music and opera was driven largely by the King as well as the government, who considered the development of a national style of music and Swastrian composers to be important in developing a sense of national unity and a unique identity. In addition to the promotion of local folk music across the confederation, the government and the King became patrons of various projects, including the construction of theaters and opera houses to promote music works. King Franz II founded the Royal School of Music (Königliche Musikschule) in Wittburg in June 1775, which promoted the development of classical music and opera within Swastria, educating and developing the skills of well known composers such as Niels Egger (1769-1843) and Gustav Strähl (1803-1878). Influential composers such as Fritz Dreier (1821-1905), Konrad Leuthold (1824-1901) and Lorenz Von Siebenthal (1830-1911) played an important role in establishing Swastria as a cultural power within Nordania, creating some of the most well known musical pieces.

The 20th century saw another substantial development period in Swastria with the rise in popularity of rock and roll music as well as Template:Pop music. Both rock and roll and pop music within Swastria can trace their origins back to the late 1950's, with the import of music trends from elsewhere in Nordania.

Art

Literature

Film

Swastria has an active film industry and is one of the largest producers of Teutonic language movies in Esquarium.

Cuisine

Swastrian cuisine is a reflection of the once fragmented nature of the confederation, with many regional dishes. It is also reflective of the cultural influence of its neighbours, especially Sjealand. Traditional dishes tend to be seasonal, as well as utilize ingredients that would be readily available in different regions of the country. Meals are typical of Nordania, with breakfasts generally being light, either bread rolls with cheese and cold cuts or a bowl of muesli. Lunch is traditionally the main meal of the day, with Swastrians usually taking an hour during the middle of the day for lunch, either at home or at cafes and restaurants. Dinners are less important, but still consist of a substantial meal, although special occasions usually resulting in large dinners with multiple meal courses.

Central areas of Swastria, predominantly Altenreich, Sarau and Senftenberg, have dishes that heavily feature meats and vegetables. Popular meats include beef, pork and chicken, with other meats available in supermarkets according to availability. Game meat is available during the hunting season with many restaurants across Swastria offering different game meats. Venison is the most popular and most commonly available meat, alongside other deer meat such as roe deer and fallow deer. Wild boar, hare, duck and pheasant are all other game meats available in restaurants during the hunting season. Central Swastria is famous for its sausages, with many different kinds found throughout the region. Famous kinds of sausage include Blautwust, made from pig's blood, Wittwust, Senftenbergerwust, Brägenwust and Landjäger. Sausages are generally served with vegetables such as potatoes, or other sides and condiments, especially mustard. Sauerkraut is also a popular side.

Coastal regions have dishes primarily based around fish, but inland ingredients can also be found in coastal dishes. The Njord Sea coast differs from the Tynic Sea coast in terms of dishes. On the Njord Sea coast, Fischbrötchen are common snack foods and are served with either pickled or fried fish. Other famous dishes from the region include rippenbraden, which is a rib roast made from pork belly stuffed with apples, cinnamon, prunes and rum, and Mittweekbraden, a stew containing ham, pears and string beans.

Swastrian cuisine is known for its cakes and pastries, with Schwarttorte being the most well known. Other famous Swastrian cakes include Karamelltort and Rumtort. The Tynic pastry, popular in both Swastria and Sjealand, was invented in Wittburg where it is known locally simply as the Wittburger. They can be filled with sweet jams or chocolate and are covered in chocolate icing and icing sugar. These pastries are available in almost every bakery, supermarket and cafe in Swastria.

Beer is a very popular alcoholic beverage in Swastria. The absolute majority of the beer sold in Swastria is of the pale lager type. Kellerbeer and wheat beer are other popular styles regularly sold in supermarkets and liquour stores.

Sports