Pollona

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Republic of Pollona
Ploňá Republika
Flag
Motto: "Veritas Lux Mea"
Latin: "The truth is my light"
Anthem: Svoboda Volání
Freedom's Call
Location of Pollona (green)
– in Alisna ( dark grey )
CapitalLiberec
Largest Port Brno
Official languages Czech
German (de jure)
Ethnic groups 86.9% Czech
10.1% Styrian
3.0% Other
Demonym Pollonan
Government Federal Republic
 •  President Josef Laszlo
 •  Prime Minister Micael Hrubý
Establishment
 •  Pollonan Revolution July 2, 1919 
 •  Constitution Ratified November 17, 1922 
Area
 •  453 km2
175 sq mi
 •  Water (%) 4.5%
Population
 •  estimate 71,000,000
 •  2015 census 71,600,214
 •  Density 157.71/km2
408/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
 •  Total $2.435 trillion
 •  Per capita $34,008
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
 •  Total $2.580 trillion
HDI .857
very high
Currency Koruna (kr)
Time zone CAMT (UTC)+1:00
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .po

Pollona (Czech: Ploná), officially known as The Republic of Pollona (Czech: Ploná Republika) is a soverign state located in southeastern Alisna. It compromises a portion of the Alisnan mainland and several surrounding islands in the Karmish Gulf. Pollona shares a land border with Questers in the north, Borgosesia and Sombornia in the south, Silgadin and Schaumburg in the northwest, and a maritime boundary with Karaman to the southeast. Relative to Alisna and Maredoratica, Pollona is a medium sized nation, covering 453,972 sq. km (175,280 sq. mil) and inhabited by over 71 million people.

In Antiquity the Polnavi were a group of slavic people's who migrated from modern-day Karaman. Much of coastal and southern Pollona was controlled by Sessitensian Empire in the early 2nd and 3rd century CE. After the empire's collapse in 500 CE, the Morav established merchant cities and feudal kingdoms within in the greater Swabian Empire. In the late 1400s, internal divisions in Swabia split the Styrian and Pollonan regions; the Pollonan states established an independent Moravian Empire in 1495. Gradually, the Moravian Empire consolidated the monarchy and Pollona into a nation-state by the Industrial Revolution. At its height in the 19th century, the Moravian Empire included Borgosesia and parts of Alqosia. The Great War ignited a revolution in the 1920s which founded of the Republic of Pollona.

The Basic Law establishes Pollona as a federal representative democratic republic. The society emulates the philosophy of Legal Populism (Právní Populismus): a form of citizen lawmaking through systems like devolution, popular referenda, citizen's commissions, and jury supremacy.

The country suffers internationally due to the continuation of the segregationist Odveta system. Odveta (Czech: ”Retaliation”) is the name given to a series of policies and laws in Pollona defining the legal status of Pollona's German minority. They were enacted between 1935 and 1940 after the Red Spring Uprising, with the intention of subduing rebellious Germans and . While some of the Odveta statutes have since been repealed, their legacy, together with the remaining laws, continue to have a significant impact on Pollonan society. Odveta has widespread domestic support, but is criticized internationally and by organizations like the Maredoratic League.

Pollona is characterized as a high income developed free market economy, with elements of industrial democracy andwelfare capitalism. The government is staunchly oriented towards free trade and economic integration, and hosts the Maredoratic Trade Organization. Pollona is a member of the Brezier Group, the Group of Twenty, and the Maredoratic League. Pollona exerts its economic and political influence on the Alisnan continent and through select bilateral ties.

History

Prehistory and Antiquity

Middle Ages

Moravian Empire

File:PolWoR.png
Battle of Linz, part of the Wars of Religion

States in the eastern half of the Swabian Empire disputed the election for Emperor in 1492, claiming it was fraudulent and rigged in favor of western states. The political crisis continued for the next three years, as eastern electors defied the Emperor's authority. Finally, in 1495 most states east of the Fleckenwalder Mountains separated from the Swabian Empire and appointed King Ludvík of Moravia as Emperor.

The Moravian Empire was only intended as a temporary rival state, designed to extract concessions from the "western states" of Swabia. Talks to reunify the Empires continued for the rest of Ludvík's reign. Upon his death the throne passed directly to his son Sigmund, establishing the Moravia as a hereditary monarchy. As successive emperors consolidated their power, the prospects for reunification faded.

The Protestant Reformation created sharp divisions within the nobility, which became nominally Protestant. Emperor Borhumír's death triggered a succession crisis, which decended into civil war. Known as the Pollonan Wars of Religion, the conflict was the most destructive in Pollonan history. With the acension of Empress Katerina and the foundation of the Royal Episcopal Church, religious tensions eased. In the ensuing decades, the Crown yielded more power to the legislative Diet. Following the Golden Compact of 1739, Moravia became a constitutional monarchy.

The Empire entered an expansionary period in the 17th and 18th centuries. After a war in 1672, Moravia gained the "Three Counties" from Questers and in 1724 it won control of the Silgadin. The Empire fought Morieux constantly in the 1700s over the Vladzemi islands, even supporting the Pirate Republic of Rochehaut. Moravia reached its height under Peter III, who annexed Borgosesia and Galkayo in 1800.

Moravia was one of the first Alisnan countries to enter the Industrial Revolution, famously constructing a vast rail network. This economic development cemented the Empire's status as a continental power. The Empire fought Questers in 1862 and again in 1886. In 1892, the Moravian Empire celebrated 400 years of independence and the royal dynasty.

Republic and Modern Day

In 1913, a Liberal-Social Democrat coalition gained control of the Diet and proposed radical social, economic, and political reforms. The Moravian Empire fought the Great Maredoratic War alongside the Coalition powers. Stalemate in the war and a Political crises in 1919 cascaded into the Pollonan Revolution. The revolt overthrew the Empire and established the Pollonan Republic on July 2, 1919. For the next two years, a period referred to as the Zmatek, (Czech: "the Chaos"), general anarchy pervaded as the provisional government fought off foreign invaders and red revolutionaries. On November 22nd 1921, Pollonan voters approved a new, republican constitution: the Basic Law.

File:PolRedSpring.png
The Red Spring devastated and divided the Pollonan People

For the next decade the new Republic enjoyed an era of increased, widespread prosperity. The Empire's principalities were amalgamated into larger states, full civil equality was established, and the labor movement was legitimized by social legislation. New movements in culture transformed Pollona from a closed, conservative society into a cosmopolitan, mercantile state.

In 1934 Pollona's ethnic German minority took part in an uprising known as the "cervená jaro" (Red Spring). The brutal guerrilla fighting and resulting counterinsurgency left over 100,000 dead in 3 years. The government enacted a series of laws in response, now known as Odveta. The Styrian government was accused of inflaming the rebellion, leading to persistent hostile relations.

Starting in the 1940s the government, particularly under Prime Minister Zestal, intervened heavily in the economy: nationalizing several heavy industries, establishing a flurry of new welfare programs, and supporting the trade union movement. Pollona helped draft the Maredoratic League sanctions against Questers in its war with Varnia in 1942, and supported the independence of Rochehaut in 1943. For much of the 1950s, the Republic retreated from international politics.

File:RobertToluka.jpg
President Robert Toluka is credited for Pollona's strong economy and initiating rapprochement with Maredoratic states.

A government default in 1969 lead to several years of stagflation and political paralysis. The Republic's relative isolationism ended in the presidential election of 1972, won by Nationalist Martin Kapralek. Riding a wave of jingoistic fervor, he precipitated a rapid military buildup. His 4 years in office are associated with staggering economic incompetence, curtailed civil liberties, a new crackdown on German Pollonans and a failed reconquest of the Vladzemi. In 1976, Kapralek was impeached.

Starting in 1980, Liberal President Robert Toulka, instituted an array of structural, market based reforms to revive the Pollonan economy. GDP doubled roughly doubled by the 21st century, and industrial productivity increased by 75%. The healthier economy quelled political disillusionment, but it also masked deep splits between Toulka and the Liberals. His social policies, like Odveta, and supporting detente with Styria and Questers were unpopular in Parliament. The Liberal cabinet resigned in mass protest in 1985, causing party disarray and division well into the 2000s. As a result, the right dominated politics for the next twenty years.

Pollona re-entered international affairs in the late 1990s, as it developed new relationships with Alisan states and reconnected with Wilassian countries like Rochehaut and Heavenly Realm. During 2001 Revolution in Questers, the Waldstein administration supported the liberal resistance movement. After the Generalists took power, Pollona backed the monarchists in the short civil war. Questarian relations further deteriorated after the creation of the Jesselton Pact, as Pollona responded by drifting towards Prekonate. Pollona was rocked by a series of government corruption cases in 2010 and a sharp recession two years later. Voters selecting the young and reform minded Josef Laszlo to accede to the Presidency in 2013. He has since committed a platform of transparency and competence.

Geography

Template:Gallery of Pollona


Pollona is located in eastern Alisna in the northern hemisphere of Maredoratica, between 44° and 54°N, and is comprised of a mainland territory and two islands (Vertek and Brunclav). Its total area, including surface water area, is 453,972 km² (175,279.6 square miles), making it the 6th largest country in Alisna.

Pollona is bordered on land by Borgosesia and Sombornia in the southwest, Silgadin and Schaumburg in the northwest, Questers to the north and east. Pollona is situated along the Maredoratic Ocean and shares a maritime boundary with Karaman and Sombornia. The Fleckenwalder Mountains form the bulk of the natural borders in the north and west, whereas grasslands and hills predominate in the east. Pollonan geography varies sharply between its constituent states.

The coastal lowlands have a mixture of topographies. In the south towards Sombornia, there are high cliff formations and rocky coastlines; as one travels northward the coast becomes softer and more flat. Deep water inlets in the south make for excellent ports like Brno and Lípazka. Northern resort towns such as Lenešice take advantage of their scenic beaches.

The islands of Verteki and Brunclav are geography similar to south-western Pollona. Both have a networks of chalk cliffs and small coastal inlets. Verteki is the smaller island at 510 km² (196.9 square miles), and approximately half of the island is a set aside as a nature preserve. Brunclav has a landmass of 6,600 km² (2,548.3 square miles) and is farther away from the Pollonan mainland. Brunclav is largely hilly, with seasonal rivers that dry up during the summer months. Brunclav's population is concentrated along the south-south eastern coast.

The Interior, (the area of the country between 100-1000m above sea level) is a lush landscape characterized by gently rolling hills and plains, with lush deciduous forests clustered among the rural countryside. These fertile plains encompass a larger area in the north east towards the Questarian border. The main watersheds in the interior are fed by 4 rivers: the Bóbr, the Lomná, the Moldau, and the Orlik.

The Highlands are split into two halves: the larger section begins in Northern Moravia and ends at the foothills of the Fleckenwalder Mountains; the other portion forms the border with Borgosesia and the area near the Sázava River. The topography of the Pollonan Highlands is mostly hilly, with dense, coniferous forests and few flat plateaus.

In the alpine, mountainous north the terrain is highly rugged and difficult to traverse; in some places there is snow almost year around. It in the Fleckenwalder Mountain Range where one can find Mount Jeseniky, the tallest point in Pollona (2,718 meters).

Pollona is rich in natural resources such as iron, copper, potash, salt, and several rare earth ores. The interior is prime for most temperate agricultural products. Pollona has few inland energy deposits and almost no extractable oil; coal however, is readily found in northern parts of the country. Due east in Pollona's EEZ, there are offshore reserves of natural gas, which can be tapped by deep water drilling.

Climate

The Pollonan climate is generally categorized as temperate, summers rarely exceed 30°C and winters rarely fall below -10°C; the country receives plentiful rain and precipitation from offshore weather patterns.

The south and southwest are a mixture of a drier oceanic and Mediterranean climate, resulting from a combination of maritime influences. In the northeast, the climate is predominantly oceanic with a high level of rainfall, mild winters and warm summers. About midway inland the climate becomes more continental with hot, stormy summers, and colder winters. In these central regions temperature and precipitation vary greatly between the seasons; the higher the elevation the lower the average temperature. The climate in the foothills and mountains is predominately alpine. Temperatures dip below freezing 100 days a year, and snow cover lasts up to four months in the mountains.


Template:Pollonan Climate

Stavy

Pollona comprises 16 federated states (Stavy) and the 4 city-states (Mestské-Státy) of Liberec, Brno, Kralové, and Dárkovijal. Each state has its own constitution and government. New states may be created through a referendum and approval by Parliament. The states are further subdivided into counties and municipalities, though the exact number varies by region. Counties have no formal organization, but are responsible for courts, tax collection, and census administration. Municipalities have their own councils and administratives bodies which are granted home rule, allowing them to create ordinances. There are approximately 350 Counties and some 10,000 Municipalities.

Template:Pollonan Regions

Politics

Federal Structure

File:PolGov.png
Governmental Structure of Pollona

Pollona is a federal, semi-presidential republic. The foundations of Pollonan government are outlined in the Basic Law, ratified in 1922. Ammendments require double majority approval from the states and voters in a referendum. The Basic Law provides the basis for separation of powers, and details a list of limited federal perogatives; all other powers are reserved to the states.

The President of Pollona is the formal head of state elected to a non-renewable 7 year term, and weilds significant constitutional authority. The current President is Josef Laszlo, elected in 2013.

File:PolGov.png
Pollonan Government

The Prime Minister is the head of government and accountable to the National Assembly. His or her Cabinet is tasked with the day to day functions of the government. Typically, and especially during periods of cohabitation, the President controls foriegn affairs while the prime minister coordinates domestic policy.

Federal legislative power is vested in the Parliament of Pollona, consisting of the National Assembly and the Federal Council. The National Assembly is elected directly though the STV system. The members of the Federal Council are appointed by the state legislatures.

The Supreme Court is Pollona's highest judicial and appellate body, with justices nominated by each state's high court. Nominees are vetted by the Federal Council and approved by a policy jury. The Justices may serve for up to 20 years. Civil service positions are determined by a combination of examinations, recommendations, and vetting by a policy jury. The each federal department is periodically reviewed by the Auditor's Commission.

There are several political alliances prominent in Pollonan politics, the two largest are the center-right Civic-Democrats and the center-left Liberal Union.

Local Government

File:PolDemoc.jpg
Open air meetings are an integral feature in small Pollonan towns

Local government is an important aspect for Pollonans, for most governing powers reside strictly at a local and state level. Each locality offers a blend of representative and direct democracy.

In small towns and rural municipalities open air meetings conduct the everyday political affairs of a community. Resolutions, budgets, and motions are open for debate to all local property owners or adult citizens. Measures are decided by a simple show of hands. An elected commission or provincial-mayor preside over the community's everyday administration. The Federal Bureau of Statistics calculates that the average 'town' (<50,000) holds 6 meetings and 10 referendums a year.

File:PolCC.jpg
City Council of Ourim, the size of a typical municipal parliament

In larger urban areas, residents are divided into small parishes of a few hundred households each. These "villages" elect a chairman as a symbol of the local community with direct powers over local public works. This chairman serves as the parish representative on the city council.

According to the Basic Law, each federated state must guarentee a "democratic and republican government" to its citizens. Each state is governed by a cabinet and Premier (Premiér), with its own distinct legislature or State Council (Státní Rada). Some councils are unicameral, but all bicameral chambers select their second house by Sortition.

Voters can demand binding referenda on all levels of government. A referendum is mandatory for constitutional amendments, for example (and requires a double majority). Upon approval by the appropriate legislature or through a petition submited by 5% of the citizenry, the question is scheduled for a general ballot. To give ample time for debate, a referendum is held the following year.

Pollonan Law

See also: Pollonan Law
File:PSCOP.jpg
Winderhof Palace: Seat of the Supreme Court

Pollonan law is a hybrid system: the Basic Law acts as a form of law code, however, courts follow precedent from cases predating the constitution, ascribing common law characteristics. The federal judiciary is supported by appelate courts and the state constitutional courts. Local court districts may subdivide themselves on cases topics like tax, family, contract, or criminal law. The exact division of courts in any particular district depends on the local population, a practice dating back to medieval times. These local petty judges are elected non-partisanly; vacancies in higher courts are filled by nomination and review from judges in lower courts. Legal proceedings for "ordinary" cases are guaranteed within one week of filing.

The Pollonan philsophy of Legal Populism views society as the ultimate arbiter of the law. Therefore, the legal system contains democratic elements like jury trial. All bindingtrials in Pollona are made by jury. These juries have vast discretion in reviewing evidence, reaching judgements, and proclaiming sentences. A jury is well within its right ignoring "unjust laws" if it sees fit. Such jury nullification is a common mechanism and a tenant of Legal Populism.

File:PolJury.jpg
An ordinary Jury Box

The Basic Law itself outlines a set of universal legal rights (though Odveta complicates things) for defendants. There are significant burdens on the state, particularly in criminal cases. Government surveillance and searches only allowable via signed judicial warrant. Civil forfeiture is also extremely regulated. In criminal cases a jury must vote unanimously to convict. The death penalty is allowed in cases of "particularly violent crimes or acts against humanity," an interpretation strictly applied to certain categories of murder. The last application of the death penalty was in 2007, via firing squad.

The Pollonan press often highlights unresolved legal questions which clutter courts, like judgements on social issues. On these questions existing precedent is considered archaic and worthless. Odveta cases are international faux pas, but individual court can do little to remedy the situation.

See also: Pollonan Law

Economy

See also: Economy of Pollona, Financial System of Pollona

Downtown Port Brno: Hub of the CBSE and the country's financial sector

Pollona can be described free market, service based economy. Among Maredoratican states, Pollona has been rated as one of the region's freest economies since 2005. Regulations are efficient and transparent to the public, with few impediments to start a business. The government has removed state subsidies and reduced capital requirements for small firms. Start-ups now represent 14% of Pollonan companies. Tax revenues and government spending amount to 20% of GDP. The federated states are mostly in charge of welfare and social security provision. There are no import or export controls with most Maredoratic states. GDP growth has averaged between 2-5% annually since the 1980s, during which time GDP per capita doubled.

Pollonan labor laws are considered flexible by international standards. According to national polls, at least 35% of the private-sector labor force is unionized. This is in part, due to the government sponsored Co-determination between management and employees. Current statutes mandate company works councils and employees on corporate boards. Industrial cooperatives are popular and incentivized, while unions are encouraged to offer their members insurance and fringe benefits. Each state manages industrial relations between employers and employees. National surveys claim Pollonans describe workplace relations as "cordial". Statistics peg the unemployment rate at 6.2%.

The service sector accounts for over 60% of Pollona's gross GDP. The country's largest industries are in financial services, consumer manufacturing, petrochemicals, bioengineering, metal refining, transportation, and shipbuilding. Leading industrial giants like Kobelkn & Co., Petrolf, and CWD form an important structural backbone to the economy. In recent years the economy has been buoyed by emerging energy firms for Pollonan oil and natural gas.

File:PolPort.png
The Port of Sazavou, the 3rd busiest in Pollona

Pollona is one of the world's largest trading hubs, with the total value of imports and exports equal to roughly 80% of its GDP. Much of Pollona's trade consist of re-exports or secondary goods. As such, the Wholesale sector is the country's most rapidly developing industry: given the country's location, port infrastructure, and business friendly environment. Agiculture is the smallest portion of Pollonan GDP but are highly productive. Pollonan agriculture is concentrated in cereal crops, fruits, livestock, and fishing. Pollona imports lumber, other raw materials, aircraft, luxury goods, produce, heavy machinery, and light manufactured goods; the discovery of off-shore oil has spurred further imports of equipment.

The Port Brno Stock Exchange hosts the country's largest trading floor, and main index of the Pollonan economy is the PITA, a market weighted index that lists 50+ of the country's most important public firms.

Banking

The Pollonan economy incorporates a unique free banking model, with no official central bank. The government allows Pollonan financial institutions to issue banknotes that can be exchanged throughout the economy. Tender is (officially) backed by liquid assets, and the strength of the issuing bank. Larger financial institutions join clearinghouse associations, such as the Sázava Banking Union, to facilitate inter-bank transactions and provide a lender of last resort for member institutions. Clearinghouses govern membership criteria, and work in conjunction with ratings agencies to assure customers and creditors of their financial soundness. As a result the Pollonan financial system is extremely stable: bank failures or liquidations regarded as highly rare events.

Pollonan banks are among the securest in Maredoratica, and many of Pollona's clearinghouses are regional leaders in finance. Bank privacy regulations are also notoriously tight, leading to constant conflict between the financial sector and the Pollonan government.

The national currency is the Pollonan Koruna, abbreviated as the PKR. The issuance of Koruna and national monetary policy is regulated by the Pollonan Monetary Board. The Koruna is currently Maredoratica's third largest reserve currency, behind the Ecu and the Florin. In 2015, the Koruna, on averaged, traded against the Ecu at 2.15=1.

Transportation

Pollona has an extensive interconnected transport network. Rail transportation is the most popular method of long distance travel. The Pollonan rail network stretches over 45,800 km of track of which 40% of it is electrified (mostly in the southeast). Approximately 1,500 km of tracks in Pollona are designated as high speed rail, a service which has expanded rapidly within the past decade. As a consequence, most of the country can be reached within a three-hour radius of the capital: Liberec. Numerous companies offer competing commuter, inter-city, and high-speed rail links across the country. The market around the coastal regions, Port Borno, and Liberec is particularly active and competitive. Roughly 65% of freight traffic in Pollona is carried by rail.

File:PolRail.jpg
HSR line of Kompass, Pollona's largest railway.

Approximately 530,000 km of highways, unpaved roads, and turnpikes cross the country. New public highways have a maximum six lane rule after a referendum in 2006. Vehicle ownership is relatively average for Maredoratica: with approximately 490 cars per 1000 people. Vehicle ownership is lower in the south, due to high vehicle taxes, extensive public transport, and congestion charges in urban centers. Road travel is essential for the more mountainous northern regions of Pollona.

Pollona has no flag carrier and aircraft transportation as a whole is comparatively underdeveloped. Domestic airports and competitors are quite small, as foreign and multinational airlines are allowed to operate profitable domestic routes. Vaclav International Airport and Moravia International Airport are the country's two largest hubs. Rural airports are sparse, rare, and in some cases dangerous to traverse.

As for urban public transport, busing systems are by far the most popular and well-maintained. Metropolitan centers may also feature tram and subway lines. These services link up with other public or private transportation carriers in the city.

Energy

The discovery of large offshore natural gas reserves in the 1990s have become a critical asset for the Pollonan energy industry. Once heavily dependent on imported coal, Pollonan power companies have since switched to cheaper petroleum and natural gas for fuel. International partnerships with countries like Jungastia and Prekonate facilitate Pollona's growing petrochemical industry. Nuclear power is encouraged by the government and is planed to be the largest source of the nation's electricity by 2030. In the north and more mountainous areas, renewable energy sources like wind and hydroelectric are increasing in use. For electricity generation in Pollona, 34% is provided by Natural Gas, 25% Nuclear, 19% Petroleum, 10% Hydroelectric, 7% Coal, and 5% by Other Renewables.

Demographics

As of the 2015 Census, the population of Pollona is 71,600,214 people. Pollona's population growth is .875% per annum and stabilizing, due to rising living standards and longer life expectancies. Life expectancy for males and females is roughly 76 and 80 years respectively. Pollona's fertility rate, approximately 2.1 children per woman, is right at the replacement rate (though this figure is expected to decline in the coming years). Pollona's median age is 33.5 years.

As of 2000, Pollonan census data collects information on national origin and presumed ethnicity. Approximately 95% of the population self identifies as Pollonan (not including ethnic Germans). Immigration controls were streamlined beginning in 1982 (including the abolition of national origin quotas), leading to a rise in net migration. The rise in non-Alisnan immigration, particularly from Wilassia, has lead to a more diverse and multi-ethnic urban population. The largest immigrant communities in Pollona are, in descending order, from Rochehaut (~1,140,000), Guurdalai (~520,000), Karaman (~310,000), and Jungastia (~280,000). There is also a large Borgosesian expatriate community, numbering approximately 150,000.

Statistically, Pollona's most common language is Alisnan Czech, similar to its cousin dialect spoken in Prekonate, with 80% of the population recognizing Czech as a first language. Much of the language contains dialectic elements of neighboring Questers, Borgosesia, and Galla. German, spoken by 10-11% of the population as a first language, is not de jure recognized due to the Odveta policies; though no longer actively suppressed it is discouraged. English, French, Spanish, Sondsteadish, and Prekovi are popular second languages for Pollonans. 80% of the population is capable of speaking one of the four fluently, most often French.

The population density of Pollona is average for Maredoratica. A sizable portion of the Pollonans live along the eastern and southern coastlines of the country. Places like Port Brno (5.4 Million) and Kralové (2.1 Million), experienced rapid growth after 1920. The country itself did not reach a 50/50 urban, rural split until 1947. In recent decades de-suburbanization has created an outflow to smaller towns or dense urban centers.

Template:Largest Cities of Pollona

Religion

Pollona is a religiously diverse country, where the role of organized religion plays a soft but firm role in the culture. Before the Reformation, Pollona was completely Catholic. However, the region had a long standing tradition of breakaway sects and heresies that challenged church authority. At the onset of the Protestant Reformation many smaller princes in the Moravian Empire adopted Protestant denominations, causing divisive religious splits in the empire. Several religious wars in the 16th century ended with the Edit of Toleration and the principle of free determination. Eventually, the monarchy created the Pollonan Episcopal Church as a compromise and to avoid further religious turmoil. By the beginning of the 18th century Jewish emancipation and freedom of worship were enshrined in law.

File:PolCathedral.jpg
St. Matthias, the Oldest Cathedral of the Pollonan Episcopal Church

As of 2012, the largest religious sect in Pollona is the Pollonan Episcopal Church, representing approximately 45.5% of the population; 21.6% of people self identified as Catholics, and another 13.4% identified with other Protestant denominations. Judaism makes up the largest non-Christian religious group in Pollona, representing 3.3% of the population. 1.1% of people belonged to smaller religious communities such as Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Approximately 15.1% of the Pollonan population either expresses no religious affiliation, or has no opinion.

Template:Religious Composition of Pollona

The Basic Law declares Pollonan a secular state. Though the Pollonan Episcopal Church was the denomination of the Imperial Crown, it was never the official state church. After the Velvet Revolution, religious communities were spared from radical anti-clericalism. Religion was, instead, entrenched in the Basic Law. The country's religious plurality is still deeply enshrined. One poll claimed 86% of the country agreed that "Religious diversity adds to the strength of the Republic," and 68% agreed that "It is important to be exposed to a variety of religious thoughts". The Pollonan Religious Congress still meets every few years to address global interfaith issues.

Education

File:PolPri.jpg
A typical primary school

Primary education is exclusively run at the state level, schooling is mandatory between the ages of 7 and 16. In rural localities, primary schools are directly funded by the municipality, and governed by elected school boards. In urban areas, public schools are funded via a modified voucher system, with the money distributed based on a combination of average per pupil costs, enrollment figures, and academic performance. Each public school is nominally independent, and may specalize in certain subjects or skills; parents may send their child to any school of their choice. Religious and private schools charge their own tuition for enrollment. There are charities and scholarship funds which help disadvantaged students pay for the costs of private secondary (and tertiary education).

File:PolUni.jpg
Podebrad University

Those wishing to further their education apply to upper secondary school (ages 16-19), which prepares students for one of the three tracks of Pollonan higher education: the universities, the polytechnics, or the trade schools. Through aptitude and placement exams, students are automatically qualified for whichever school type they placed into. This classification is considered quite fluid, as students may retake the exams. Trade schools prepare students for manual or practical professions and require three years of study. Polytechnical schools are generally for white collar professions that require more rigorous background education; a degree requires anywhere between 3-6 years of education. Universities the most prestigious and cover the liberal arts, humanities, and research fields. University and Polytechnical schools accept cross-over professions like law and medicine, though certain technical schools have emerged specifically for such fields.

Higher education is a priority of state governments, in practice there are both state and private institutions.

The Pollonan literacy rate is calculated to be 98.7%, with over 39% of the adult population holding some form of bachelor's degree or higher.

Health

The Pollonan healthcare system is a combination of state, private, and charity facilities that operate under a free market model. State hospitals, run by municipal health departments, are funded by local taxpayers and patient fees. Charity hospitals are religiously affiliated or serve lower-income communities. For-profit clinics and hospitals make up the largest portion of the Pollonan healthcare system. Hospitals in urban regions may specialize in specific medical practices.

File:PolHos.jpg
Goerte Institut z Kardiologie

State governments regulate medical care. Citizens are universally required to carry a catastrophic health insurance plan. Those unable to afford basic insurance receive subsidies from the government. Citizens who want more generous plans pay for them out of pocket. Doctor visits, prescriptions, and other lower cost services are considered out-of-pocket expenses paid for by the consumer. Practitioners are required by law to publicly publish the names and fees of their services for prospective patients. Hospitals and Doctors are regulated by consumer advocacy groups and local state Medical Boards.

Ambulance and Emergency Medical Services are provided by local or municipal fire departments. Facilities like the Goerte Institut z Kardiologie, and St. Thomas Škola z Neurologická, are considered some of the top medical research hospitals in the region. Medical licensing is a straightforward process and the typical residency is between 2-4 years.

Pollonan health statistics are considered standard for the region, reflect of cultural trends in diet, drug use, and the use of preventative medicine. There are approximately 3.22 Doctors per 1,000 people.

Law Enforcement

Local law enforcement conducted by the Mestská Policisté (municipal police). Police Commissioners, the highest officer of a local police force, are either hand-picked by a policy jury, or appointed through a referendum. Policing styles vary to suit the needs of the local community with a few notable similarities: most police officers are armed, and drive marked vehicles. Regular daylight and nighttime patrols are common in Pollonan cities. More chaotic situations like riot control are handled by the army. There are approximately 3.85 police officers per 1,000 Pollonans.

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Marked Pollonan Police Car

The Special Crimes Agency, or Speciální Trestním Agentura (STA), is a federally run intelligence agency which assists in specific criminal investigations. The STA's largest priorities are white collar criminals, gang related offenses, trans-state crimes, and unique cases from local police. Vnitrní Bezpecnosti (Homeland Security) is the smallest agency, in charge of border patrol and counter-terrorism operations. The STA and Homeland Security are directly controlled by Interior Ministry. In order to become a law enforcement officer a secondary-school diploma or military service is required; higher level positions require a graduate degree. All applicants go through a substantial screening and background check, and upon approval begin formal training in an academy.

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Dense Parking Regulations Result in Few Tickets Actually Being Issued

Due to the massive quanitity of potential parking violations, Pollonan officers are said to rarely enforce vehicle laws. According to one study, officers prefered issuing warnings instead of scanning dense vehicle codes. Thus Pollona, almost entirely by accident, has one of the lowest parking violation rates in Maredoratica.

Military & Foreign Affairs

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Pollona or Vojenský is the military of Pollona. The commander-in-chief of the Pollonan Military is the President, advised by the Secretary of Defense (Ministerstvo obrany). The professional and everyday management of the military is tasked to the Military Directorate, subject to oversight from the President and Parliament. Foreign and Military Intelligence opperate out of one agency: the MZS (ministerstvo zahranicních šetrení).

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Pollonan Ship in Military Exercise

In 2015 military expenditures were approximately $110 Billion, or 4.3% of GDP. With 515,000 active duty personnel, this equates to roughly $210/per capita. The military is divided into three branches. The Pollonan Army or APR, (Armáda Ploná Republika), is capable of fielding 12 divisions. The NzP or Navy (Námornictvo z Ploná) is a green-water navy of 95 ships tasked to defend Pollonan trade interests. The PRAF or Pollonan Air Force (Vzdušné síly z Ploná Republika) is the newest and smallest of the three branches with several hundred aircraft. The Pollonan military is an all volunteer force: the imposition of a draft is considered only in the event of a severe wartime emergency. A larger section of citizen militas, collectively known as the Republican Guard (Republikánská Garda), act as a pseudo-military reserve. These reserve militias number about 190,000.

Most of the military is stationed along the Questarian border.

Foreign Affairs

Pollonan Foreign Relations are conducted through the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with the Cabinet. Pollona is a member of the Group of Twenty economic community, the Brezier Group, and of the Maredoratic League. Pollona is the host of the Maredoratic Trade Organization (MTO), and has used its position to push for sharp reductions in international trade barriers. Pollonan diplomats advance free trade as sign of goodwill and further international cooperation. Furthermore, the country has signed economic and trade agreements with countries like Galla, Rochehaut, and Jungastia.

As one of the larger nations in Alisna, Pollona stands to benefit from using its soft power to influence other nations on the continent. This influence is, at best, hindered by Pollona's current diplomatic relations. There are some exceptions. Pollona has relatively close relations with Valipac, funneling investment and diplomatic support. Due to specific cultural, political, and historical ties, Rochehaut and Pollona share a special relationship and are very close diplomatically.

Most of Pollona's foreign relations stem from its policies in the Questarian Revolution and the result of Odveta. Pollona supported the unsuccessful liberal resistance in Questers, and then supported the monarchy in the failed counter-coup; relations with the Generalist government have since been cold. However, all border crises as of yet have not lead to war. To counterbalance the Jesselton Pact support of Questers, Pollona is friendly with Prekonate: the Prekovis officially have a military "Training Center" in Pollona. Pollonan politicians vary between supporting and distrusting further Prekovi influence in Alisna. In the same manner, Pollona typically distrusts non-Alisnan states from interfering in Alisnan politics.

Most democratic states criticize Pollona's segregationist Odveta policies: Styria being the most vocal. Alisnan countries like Sondstead, Berry, and Galla, dislike associating with Pollona's status quo. Pollona has accepted measures from these countries to "liberalize," though to varying degress of success. Pollonan officials support closer ties with other Alisnan democracies. In Borgosesia, Pollona supported the democratic movement and recent liberal reforms.

Alisnan economic and political integration is vigerously endorsed in Pollona. Supporters claim it would encourage future cooperation with the continental powers, project Pollona's economic influence, and curb anti-Pollonan militarism on the continent. An example of this is effort is the recently created Pan-Alisnan Forum, a Pollonan creation after several years of negotiation. Other integration proposals have been sent to Alisnan countries, but are unlikely to be adopted until Pollona's internal politics change.

Culture

Literature & Fine Arts

Before the Imperial Era, much of Pollonan culture and literature was dominated or influenced by the Catholic Church. During the Enlightenment, a new class of Pollonan writers, philosophers, and scientists established the Magic Lantern Society, an organization devoted to spreading Pollonan culture and science. Pollonan philosophers such as Lennart Vaclav or Klaus Bulow, were influential members of the MLS.

Certain artistic movements, such as Romanticism, Impressionism, and Modernism dominated national art between the 19th and early-20th centuries. Historial works like A Woman on Sunday, Gentle Breezes, and The Redeemers' Light are considered some of the most famous paintings in the country.

The Pollonan literary cannon is a conflicting pattern of satire, realism, disillusionment, optimism, and individualism. Most Pollonan novels are characterized by personal or small group narratives, and feature an overarching physical or meta-physical conflict. The earliest example is Andrej Láska's The Fortune of Life, a multi-volume series following the struggles of a lower-class family. Láska's works inspired future writers like novelist Edvard Hrabe (Detective Machán) and the poet Michael Filipek (Warbler in Spring). Such writers address conflicts in morality, the condition of society, and the power of nature.

Modern Pollonan literature is heavily influenced by Existentialist undertones. One running theme, uniting past and present writing, is comedy: humor of any stripe is considered a necessity. The Pollonan cultural community} is also near unanimously anti-Odveta. This can be found in plays and short stories like The Road to Kreisau, or Three Short Tics. Ethnic German artists largey operate under pseudonyms and produce highly successful works; it is one of the few fields with genuine equality.

Theatre, particularly musical theater, is reaching the height of its popularity. The district of Chirby Hill is an amalgamation of about 20 different theaters located in Port Brno, and is the premier theatrical venue in the region. Street music or performances are not uncommon in many Pollonan cities, and are considered open forums for new artists to express their talent and creativity.

Cuisine

Pollonan cuisine is characterized by hearty meat compliments, light pastries and breads, and the prevalence of alcohol. Beef, Potatoes, Fish, Grains, and Legumes form the primary staples of the Pollonan diet.

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Traditional Style Guláš with dumplings (Knedlik)

Pollonan meals are divided into two courses, with an optional after course. A traditional first course is a small salad or soup (polévka). Popular main dishes include Pikantní Rybí (literally "spiced fish"), hovezí guláš (also known as goulash), Smažený Veprový (Pork Schnitzel), and Rajská (meat with sauce and whipped cream). Sides include items like opékané brambory (roasted potatoes), rýže, fried mushrooms (smažené žampiony), zelí, or dumplings.

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Open Market Pastery Stall

Breakfasts are highly filling and considered crucially important in Pollona's "morning culture". Breakfast dishes may include toast with džem, palacinky (crepes), or a pastry (like the Kolac). A small side such as Klobásy (grilled sausage"), Smažený Sýr (Fried Cheese), and or fruit are accompanied in the meal. The most popular morning drink is milk (followed by coffee, with Pollonans consuming over 315 kg per capita.

Pastries (moucníki) are a national addiction and are one of the most well known food exports of the country. Dorty (sweet cakes), Jablecný (Strudels, with popular flavors such as apple), Medovník (honey puffs), chocolate Kolaci, Vánocka (braided buns) and dessert crepes are just some of the more famous Pollonan pastries. With such a wide variety, many local bakeries now function as full cafes, and are popular for evening social outings. It's hard to understate the Pollonan love of such items: when the Liberec government attempted to place a $0.10 tax on sweets in 2001, it sparked riots so severe the proposal was dropped.

Alcohol is served with most lunch and dinner meals, and on occasion beer may be served at breakfast. Given the amicable climate for both grains and grapes, there are a wide variety of national wines and or beers to choose from. Statistically speaking, vineyards and breweries are responsible for substantial portion of rural incomes. These central Pollonan regions are thus dubbed by alcohol connoisseurs as The Barrel Belt.

Sports

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Hockey is a very popular sport in Pollona

Sports play a part in the life of many Pollonans. The two leading sports in the Republic are ice hockey and football, drawing the large attention from the media and local support groups. The Pollonan National Football Team has qualified for the FMFA Maredoratic Cup in the past five competitions, and in 2014 the Pollonan team advanced to the quarter finals; in football Pollona considered at average strength against its major Maredoratican competitors. The country's ice hockey team is less more internationally, especially against trained teams in Sondstead and Prekonate; the sport is more popular in the north of the country and in grade school. For the MIHF Championship, the Pollonan team has qualified several times within the past two decades. In general, any international match of Pollona's ice hockey or football team draws attention, especially when played against a traditional or friendly rival. Tennis, volleyball, and track (sports imported from Rochehaut) are quickly rising in popularity.

The southern regions are known for holding annual, international competitions in all sorts of aquatic events; swimming and especially sailing are highly popular. The premier international regatta is the Alisnan Cup: a course running along the Pollonan coast that spans seven days. The competition draws, on average, 1800 boats from a dozen countries annually. The nation's most popular sailing organization, the Jeráb Yacht Club, is the largest in Maredoratica: attracting a membership of over 25,000. In the northwest, hiking and skiing are highly popular. They are ideal activities for regional tourists and new beginners: Pollona belongs to an century long tradition of trail marking, and thus there is unique system of markers and safe paths carefully selected over time. This network contains over 30,000 km of perfectly marked short or long distanced trails crossing the country's mountainous landscape.

Music & Etc.

Pollona has long held a position as a center of Classical and Romantic music, leaving behind a long history of composers and musicians from the Imperial Era. Jazz, which appeared at the beginning of the Republic, is still a very popular musical style in Pollona given the historical connection with the founding of the country. Though Pollona itself produced only a handful of bands and signers from the era, specific stations are still dedicated with bringing in talent from abroad. On national syndicated radio stations, modern pop and indie rock are the most played and popular among the younger demographic; for broader audiences ska, reggae, and other foreign musical styles are extremely popular alongside domestic classic rock and pop.

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