Alanko

From MareWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Republic of Alanko
Alankojva Republika
Flag
Location of Alanko in Alisna.
CapitalKelmė
Official languages Alankovan
Minority languages Danish, Sondsteadish, Varnian
Ethnic groups (2012, CSE Panorama des statistiques mondial)
Demonym Alankovan
Government Unitary Parliamentary Republic
 •  President
 •  Prime Minister
Legislature Seimas
Independence from Varnia
 •  Samogitian Confederacy ???? 
 •  Varnian conquest 12?? 
 •  Duchy of Alanko declared 3 September 1915 
 •  Varnian reoccupation 1918 
 •  Status aparte 10 November 1984 
 •  Full independence 1 January 2002 
Area
 •  Land 182,512 km2
70,468 sq mi
Population
 •  2014 estimate 5,619,550
 •  Density 30.79/km2
79/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2014 estimate
 •  Total $114.89 billion
 •  Per capita $20,445
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
 •  Total $90.38 billion
 •  Per capita $16,084
Currency Svaras (ALS)
Time zone EAMT (UTC+1)
 •  Summer (DST) EAST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .al

Alanko, officially the Republic of Alanko or Alankovan Republic (Alankovan: Alankojva Republika is a sovereign state in northern Alisna, bounded by Varnia to the north and west, Questers to the south, and Rytuic Sea to the east and south. Over the Rytuic Sea to the east it shares a maritime border with Sondstead. Alanko covers a land area of 182,512 square kilometers and had an estimated population of 5,619,550 people in 2014. The capital and largest city is Kelmė (formerly known as Kelmnestad), located at the mouth of the Jura River.

Alankovans are the only surviving Baltic nation, speaking a language marked by significant linguistic conservatism and more closely related within the Indo-European family to the Slavic languages of Prekonate and Pollona than to the surrounding Germanic languages. The Alankovans were ruled by Varnia for over 700 years from the 13th to 20th centuries, with only the brief interruption of a Questarian puppet state, the Duchy of Alanko, during the Great Maredoratic War, until achieving self-government through a rebellion and Maredoratic League intervention in 1984 and full independence in 2002.

History

[Insert other relevant history, we are not miracle workers]

In September 1918 the combatants on the Alisnan front signed an armistice. In the peace negotiations, the Dutchy of Alanko was formally ceded back to Varnia. The Dutchy was incorporated as the Varnian region (Landsdeler) of Alankødet. Though there was some semblance of local governance, Alankødet was de facto under direct military rule during the 1920s and 30s. Dissidents and "political subversives" were arrested and deported to Varnian military prisons in the Arctic. Instances of military brutality occurred, but were generally uncommon. Officials in Bergvin experimented on-and-off with proposals to pacify the local population, allowing the official use of Alankovan or extending Varnia's judiciary to Alankødet.

In 1947 four Varnian officials were assassinated and two military bases in Alankødet were bombed. The newly formed Alankovan Liberation Movement (Alankova Išsivadavimo Judėjimas) or AIJ, claimed responsibility for the attacks and vowed to fight the "Varnian Occupation" for an autonomous Alanko. A further round of attacks by the AIJ prompted a military crackdown over the following decade. The Varnian counter-insurgency was sporadic: civil liberties would be suspended during a crackdown, after which local Alankovans were granted forms of local government. Alankovan officials would use their positions to criticize Varnian rule and/or aid AIJ members, prompting a return to military rule. This cycle continued well into the late 1970s.

Varnian voters made multiple attempts "solve" the "Alankødet question." A measure granting independence for the region never qualified for the ballot. A proposal for a separate "Alankovan council" was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In 1967 a Varnian Referendum granted Alankødet the right to hold its own referenda, which would be separate but superseded by Varnian law. Alankødet promptly voted in 1967, 1968, and 1973 to remove the Varnian military; in 1969 Alankødet impeached several Varnian judges; in 1970 and 1973 Alankødet voted for full fiscal autonomy. Usurpringly, such motions were ignored and in 1973 Varnian voters revoked Alankødet's referendum privileges. Varnians approved four separate coercion bills designed to suppress Alankovan dissent.

In 1980 an AIJ affiliate bombed the Executive Council building and attempted to assassinate the President of Varnia. The action provoked an "invasion" of Alanko in the Summer of 1980 to root out terrorism. Assaults by Varnian officers sparked civil disobedience and ultimately a civil war in Alankødet. The conflict, known globally as the Alankovan War, lasted for 4 years and cost tens of thousands of lives. After a Maredoratic League intervention in 1984, Alanko became an autonomous territory of Varnia under the protection of League forces (headed by MATRAMAL). Under the League's transitional peace plan, government responsibilities were gradually be transferred to a provisional government. Varnia could retain its police and military presence, intervene in certain "civilian affairs," and conduct operations against the AIJ (under League supervision). Varnian influence gradually waned in the 1990s.

On January 1st 2002 Alanko formally declared independence and adopted a new constitution. The Tomassunr Commission formalized the boundary between Alanko and Varnia on March 2nd, 2002. The Progressive Party, formed during the provisional government has largely steered Alankovan politics ever since it won the 2002 general election. Alanko's economic boom continued for the next decade, influencing migration from border regions into Alankovan cities. The Maredoratic Assistance Mission in Alanko (MAAMAL) continues to monitor the border and the Republic's development.

Geography

Alanko is situated in northeastern Alisna, sharing land borders with Questers to the south and Varnia to the north and west. It's position on the western coast of the Ryutic Sea and proximity to neighboring Sondstead allows Alanko to share a maritime border. Just over half of the country lies above the 60° parallel north.

Fields and forests in south-central Alanko.

Alanko as a whole is largely flat with open, rolling countryside the dominant feature. The country can be split between two broad areas: the lower coastal plains and the higher interior forests. To the west lies an area of uplands simply known as the Western Uplands. It is here that Alanko's highest point, Mount Viliunas, is located, with an altitude of 298 metres (977 feet).

Around half of Alanko is composed of flat coastal plains, with the areas around major rivers being alluvial floodplains. Historically the Jūra River has been prone to flooding but intensive irrigation and damming has lessened the risk of modern floods occurring. Alanko's coastal plains are agriculturally intensive, with around 75% of the area taken up by farms and other agricultural businesses. Because of this intense agricultural activity, the Alankovan government has recently implemented a series of policies with regards to reforesting parts of farms, in addition to managing water pollution which is becoming an increasingly problematic issue. The plains have their origins in the massive glaciers which covered all of northern Alisna during the last ice age. Many of Alanko's major cities, such as the capital Kelmė, can be found on the coast, in addition to around 60% of the population. River mouths, especially that of the Jūra River, are composed of a variety of marshlands and tidal areas which provide stop overs for various migrating bird species. Many of these areas are protected by the government and are considered part of Alanko's national heritage.

Further inland are the much more densely forested hinterlands of Alanko. The hinterlands are more sparsely populated and less intensely farmed, allowing for greater preservation of Alanko's once predominant pine and {[wpl|Spruce|spruce}} forests. Unlike the coastal plains which are more flat and generally lack substantial geographical features, the hinterlands have much more rolling countryside, giving way to moderately sized hills in the west. The forests are the principal source for Alanko's forestry industry, which is substantially regulated to encourage sustainable harvesting and plantation practices. The hinterlands are home to many protected areas, including Sėla National Park, the largest protected area in Alanko.

Over 1,000 lakes and ponds are found in Alanko, with the largest two lakes being Lake Sėla and Lake Merkys. At 483 square kilometres (183 square miles), Lake Sėla is the largest lake in Alanko. Lake Sėla plays an important part in Alankovan history thanks to the Ežeras Pilis ("Lake Castle") located on Riteriai Island. It was the last refuge of x Kingdom before the conquest of medieval Alanko by Varnia. Riteriai Island is a protected area, with the waters around it also a popular recreational fishing spot. Lake Sėla is home to around nine different species of endemic freshwater fish and crustacean species. It is also an important source of fresh water for the surrounding area, including the city of Narutis. A hydroelectric dam at the point where the lake is drained by the Upytė River provides an significant source of electricity for western Alanko.

Lake Merkys is located in the northeast of Alanko and at 251 square kilometres (96 square miles) is roughly half the size of Lake Sėla. Although less culturally significant, Lake Merkys has become important to Alanko as a tourist destination, especially for upscale tourism, with the lake noted for its scenic beauty as well as the spa town of Merkys. The lake is also known for its crystal clear waters, good recreational fishing and it's proximity to Kamorunas National Park, named after prominent conservationist Kristoforas Kamorunas.

Alanko is crossed by five major rivers. The longest is the Jūra River, of which 327 kilometres (203 miles) flows through Alanko. It is also the largest in terms of volume as well as its width. Historically the Jūra was used for transportation between the coast and the interior, with cities like Žiotyskáimas and Jūrapilis founded as river trading posts. About one percent of internal shipping is done through river transport. It also forms an important transportation corridor with major roads and railways passing alongside the river. The longest river entirely within Alanko is the Grieža River, with a total length of 182 kilometres (113 miles). The Grieža originates from a freshwater spring in the Western Uplands and flows roughly northeast before flowing into the Ryutic Sea near the border with Questers. The Merkys River is Alanko's third longest at 154 kilometres (95 miles) and like the Jūra, is also an important transport corridor. Other major rivers include the Upytė River at 112 kilometres (69 miles) long and the Dreverna River at 65 kilometres (40 miles) long.

Alanko possesses two populated islands in the Ryutic Sea: Kvaselis Island and Ruonių Island. Kvaselis is the largest of Alanko's Ryutic islands at 403 square kilometres (155 square miles). The majority of the island's 8,500 inhabitants live in the northern third of the island that is part of Rusnė municipality with the remaining two thirds administered by the province of Neringa. The island is home to a number of seal and seabird colonies which are popular with tourists. The largest town on the island is Judrėnai, a small fishing port with around 6,350 inhabitants. Ruonių is the smaller of the two islands at 107 square kilometres (41 square miles) and has a population of around 2,300 inhabitants. Unlike Kvaselis, Ruonių forms its own free municipality and was formed during local government restructuring after independence. Like Kvaselis, Ruonių relies on fishing and tourists visiting seabird and seal colonies as its primary sources of income.

Climate

A winter scene in central Alanko.

The climate of Alanko can be broadly described as a humid continental climate but fits within the cool summer subtype. The Ryutic Sea plays an important part in the regulation of Alanko's climate, with its moderating effects largely being felt across the country. Although the climate fits within an overall subtype, there are local variations of that subtype.

Coastal areas of Alanko are under the influence of a climate that exhibits features common with maritime climates, with the immediate coast experiencing mild summers and cool winters which are usually devoid of frosts or snowfall. Inland areas along the coast tend to be more prone to frosts but share similar climate features. Rainfall is abundant year round. Summers in the coast tend to be cooler than average, with the average temperatures in summer between 14-16°C (57-60°F). High temperatures average 20°C during summer months. Although there is a slight decrease in rainfall during summer, the months between April and August tend to be the most sunniest. Winters along the coast are milder than they are in the interior, with most days at or below freezing and average low temperatures around -5°C (23°F). Snowfall occurs regularly in inland areas but less so on the coast. However, frosts and sleet are common in the winter months. Weather systems moving south from the Arctic can plunge temperatures to well below -20°C (-4°F) and dump up two two metres (six feet) of snow over a short period of time. Because of a lack of topographical features to block or reduce the effects of these winter storms, almost all of Alanko is affected, with snow falling down to sea level on the coast.

Inland areas experience a climate much more akin to a humid continental type, with more pronounced differences between winter and summer. Summers in the interior are warm, with average daily temperatures between 17-19°C (62-66°F) and average highs of between 21-23°C (69-73°F). Temperatures can exceed 30°C (86°F) during heatwaves, with hot, northerly winds creating dry conditions and keeping cooler air masses from the Ryutic away. Because of the heating effect of summer and cooler temperatures aloft, the months between May and August are prone to {[wpl|Thunderstorm|thunderstorms}} which build up during daytime heating and often produce downpours as well as damaging hail and even tornadoes. Winters in the interior are much cooler, with days above freezing rare during January and February, with the average high at the height of winter being -3°C (26°F) and lows around -8°C (17°F). Snowfall is regular with snow on the ground roughly between mid December and late February. Artic storms often bring freezing weather, with temperatures plunging below -30°C (-22°F) not uncommon.

Alanko's hottest recorded temperature is 37.8°C (100°F) in Raseiniai on July 18, 2003. The coldest temperature recorded is -42.9°C (-45.2°F) in Alytus on January 29, 1989.

Politics

According to the Constitution of 2002, Alanko is unitary parliamentary republic. The President is the head of state elected by the Seima for 5 years and can be reelected once. If no presidential candidate secures a backing by 2/3rds of the Seima, then a special body known as the Konvencija (comprised of the Seima and municipal councils) can elect the president by a simple majority. Upon assuming office, the candidate-elect surrenders any party affiliation. The President acts as commander-in-chief and is the highest representative in international affairs. The president has the power to appoint the Prime Minister and cabinet with the consent of the Seima, submit legislation for reconsideration or to the Constitutional Court, grant pardons or titles, make appointments to certain state institutions, and initiate referenda. The current president is XXXX.

The Government of Alanko or the executive branch is headed by the Prime Minister, nominated by the president and approved by the parliament. The prime minster's Cabinet exercises most executive power and day-to-day functions of the government. The cabinet carries out domestic and foreign policy, with the consent of the parliament. The prime minister has the right to appoint up to 15 ministers, with or without portfolio. The current Prime Minister is XXXX.

All legislative power is vested in Parliament of Alanko, known as the Seima. The 200 member unicameral legislature is elected by the people every 4 years, through a system of mixed member proportional representation. Alanko is heavily involved in the development of e-voting, which is now used by up to 25% of voters. Post independence, Alanko has had a multi-party system, largely dominated by the Progressive Party, a liberal-agrarian coalition.

Alanko is divided into 16 Provinces (Provincijos) and 8 Free Municipalities, which are the administrative subdivisions of the country. The Provincial boundaries and their names were formalized by the Duchy of Alanko, and largely kept intact during Varnian Rule. After independence, parliament kept the provinces but carved out several "Free Municipalities". These municipalities comprise the largest cities in Alanko, and are unitary authorities. Unlike the rest of the country, Free Municipalities provide all local services within their jurisdiction. Outside these areas, local government operates on a two-tiered structure. The Provinces divide their responsibilities with local "Parishes" (Parapijų). Each municipality is a unit of self-government, with its own representative and executive bodies.

Economy

Demographics

The most recent census in Alanko was carried out in 2012, with the aid of the Maredoratic League and the Varnian Government. Approximately 5,619,550 people live in Alanko, a 10% increase since 2002. Only .5% of the increase is as a result of natural population growth: Alanko's fertility rate is low (1.8). The increase is the result of an influx of over 500,000 ethnic Alankovans emigrating from the Varnian border regions. A signification portion, as many as 30%, of these new arrivals have incomes well below the official poverty line. Such large scale migration has placed considerable pressure on government services and social institutions, which are struggling to control the problem.

Approximately 84% of the country's inhabitants (~4.7 m) identify as ethnic Alankovan. The largest ethno-linguistic minority are the 12% of inhabitants who identify as Varnian (~670,000), who predominately reside in the northern border regions of the country; significant enclaves of Varnians also inhabit larger cities like Kelmė. However, exact statistics on those who are "Alankovan" v.s. "Varnian" are difficult to calculate: as many as 15% of Alankovans (~ 750 k) claim Varnian as their first language. This overlap has spurred government attempts to "Alankofi" the population, raising criticism from human rights organizations and the Maredoratic League.

There are also a number of other minorities in Alanko, most notably ethnic Questarians (approximately 2% or ~ 110 k ) who are concentrated in the South-Southwest, and Sondsteaders (1% or ~50 k) who reside mostly on Alankovan islands and in coastal cities.

Military and Foreign Affairs

Alanko does not officially have a standing military as per the Halmstad Accords. Alankovan armed forces are also prohibited from holding certain classes of weapons and vehicles. A small section of armed forces perform policing and border patrol duties. The Alankovan Gendarmie, the Nacionalinė Gvardija (National Guard) doubles as paramilitary force in a limited capacity, with a total of XX,XXX personnel. The Pakrantės Gynybos Pajėgos (Coastal Defense Force) or PGP is the Alankovan coast guard with X,XXX personnel.

Varnia

Post-independence, Alanko ratified several treaties with Varnia known as the Halmstad Accords. These treaties, among other things, created an anti-terrorism task force and formalized compensation for property damages. However, several issues still cause tension between Alanko and Varnia. Alankovan citizenship and language laws are considered discriminatory against ethnic Varnians, while government officials refuse to indict known AIJ members. Varnia is accused of fomenting unrest in the Republic by creating pro-Varnian parties and organizations. Varnian military units have crossed the border several times to eliminate terrorist cells.

Since the arrival of Varnian development aid, overall relations have improved.

Maredoratic League

The Maredoratic League maintains a mission in Alanko MAAMAL, composed of approximately XX,000 armed and observational personnel which represent multiple League nations. The objectives of MAAMAL are to deter hostilities towards Alanko, monitor and advise civilian institutions, facilitate public safety and civil order, demilitarize active terrorist groups, interdict cross-border smuggling, and assist in humanitarian aid. MAAMAL contingents are organized along regional lines and coordinated by a central directorate in the capital.

Culture