The Syrian pound or Syrian lira is the currency of Syria and is issued by the Central Bank of Syria. The pound is subdivided into 100 qirsh. Before 1947, the word qirsh was spelled with the initial Arabic letter غ, after which the word began with ق; until 1958, banknotes were issued with Arabic on French on the reverse. After 1958, English has been used on the reverses, hence the three different names for this currency. Coins used both Arabic and French until independence only Arabic; the standard abbreviation for the Syrian pound is SYP. On 5 December 2005, the selling rate quoted by the Commercial Bank of Syria was 48.4 SYP to the US dollar. A rate of about 50 pounds to one dollar has been usual in the early 2000s, but the exchange rate is subject to fluctuations. Since the start of the civil war in 2011, the pound's exchange rate has deteriorated falling from 47 SYP for US$1 in March 2011 to 515 SYP for US$1 in July 2017. During the period when Syria was a part of the Ottoman Empire, which lasted about 400 years, the Ottoman lira was its main currency.
Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the placing of Syria under a mandate, the Egyptian pound was used in the territories under French and British mandates, including Lebanon and Palestine. Upon taking Lebanon and Syria under its separate mandate, the French government sought to replace the Egyptian currency and granted a commercial bank, the Banque de Syrie, the authority to issue a currency for states under its new mandate; the pound was pegged at a value of 20 French francs. As the political status of Lebanon evolved, the Banque de Syrie, to act as the official bank for Lebanon and Syria, was renamed the Banque de Syrie et du Grand-Liban; the BSL issued the Lebanese-Syrian currency for 15 years, starting in 1924. Two years before the expiration of the 15-year period, the BSL split the Lebanese-Syrian currency into two separate currencies that could still be used interchangeably in either state. In 1939, the bank was renamed the Banque de du Liban. In 1941, the peg to the French franc was replaced by a peg to the British pound of 8.83125 Syrian pounds = 1 British pound, as a consequence of the occupation of Syria by British and Free French forces.
This rate was based on the pre-war conversion rate between the sterling. In 1946, following devaluation of the franc, the pound was pegged once again to the franc at a rate of 1 pound = 54.35 francs. In 1947, the U. S. dollar was adopted as the peg for the Syrian currency, with 2.19148 pounds = 1 dollar, a rate, maintained until 1961. The Lebanese and Syrian currencies split in 1948. From 1961, a series of official exchange rates were in operation, alongside a parallel, black market rate which reflected the true market rate for Syrian pounds in Jordan and Lebanon where there was a healthy trade in the Syrian currency; the market was allowed to flourish because everybody, including government and public sector companies, needed it. The black market rate diverged from the official rate in the 1980s. Most the currency was pegged to the IMF SDF; as a result of the Syrian Civil War, there has been a capital flight to nearby countries including Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Syria has been subject to sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other countries.
As a result, the official exchange rate has deteriorated falling from 47 SYP for US$1 in March 2011 to 515 SYP for US$1 in July 2017. In 1921, cupro-nickel 1⁄2 qirsh coins were introduced, followed in 1926 by aluminium bronze 2 and 5 qirsh. In 1929, nickel-brass 1 qirsh and silver 10, 25 and 50 qirsha were introduced. Nickel-brass 1⁄2 qirsh were introduced 1935, followed by zinc 1 qirsh and aluminium-bronze 2½ qirsh in 1940. During the Second World War, brass 1 qirsh and aluminium 2 1⁄2 qirsh; these pieces were crudely undated. A new coinage was introduced between 1947 and 1948 in denominations of 2 1⁄2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 qirsha and 1 pound, with the 2 1⁄2, 5 and 10 qirush struck in cupro-nickel and the others in silver. Aluminium-bronze replaced cupro-nickel in 1960, with nickel replacing silver in 1968. In 1996, following high inflation, new coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 pounds, with the 25 pounds a bimetallic coin. In 2003 5, 10, 25 pound coins were issued, with latent images.
On December 26, 2018, the Central Bank of Syria introduced a 50 Syrian pounds coin for general circulation and to replace the banknote of said denomination. In 1919, the Banque de Syrie introduced notes for 5, 25 and 50 qirsha, 1 and 5 livres; these were followed, by notes for 1 qirsh and 10, 25, 50 and 100 livres. In 1925, the Banque de Syrie et du Grand-Liban began issuing notes and production of denominations below 25 qirsha ceased. Notes below 1 livre were not issued from 1930. In 1939, the issuing body again changed its name, to the Banque de Syrie et du Liban. Between 1942 and 1944, the government introduced notes for 10, 25 and 50 qirsha. In the early 1950s, undated notes were issued by the Institut d'Emission de Syrie in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 livres, followed by notes dated 1955 for 10 and 25 livres; the Banque Centrale de Syrie took over paper money issuance in 1957, issuing the same denominations as the Institut d'Emission. In 1958, the French language was replaced by English.
Notes were issued for 1
The pound known as the lira, was the currency of Cyprus, including the Sovereign Base Areas in Akrotiri and Dhekelia, until 31 December 2007, when the Republic of Cyprus adopted the euro. However, the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus used and still uses on the official level the Turkish lira; the Cypriot pound was replaced by the euro as official currency of the Republic of Cyprus on 1 January 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of CYP 0.585274 per EUR 1.00. The British introduced the pound sterling unit to Cyprus in 1879 at a rate of one pound to 180 Turkish piastres, it remained equal in value to the pound sterling until 1972, some twelve years after Cyprus gained independence from the United Kingdom. The Cyprus pound was divided into 20 shillings, in common with its United Kingdom counterpart. However, unlike the United Kingdom shilling, the Cyprus shilling was divided into 9 piastres, thus establishing a nomenclature link to earlier Ottoman currency; the piastre was itself divided into 40 para.
The para denomination was used on postage stamps. However, the 1⁄4-piastre coin was equal to 10 para and called δεκάρα in Greek and the 1⁄2-piastre coin was equal to 20 para and called εικοσάρα; the introduction of the British currency into Cyprus was controversial from its inception in 1879 as technically the island remained a province of the Ottoman Empire and the right to issue currency within the Ottoman Empire rested with the Ottoman Sultan. A question on the legality of introducing the pound in Cyprus was raised by the British Member of Parliament, Mr. Thomson Hankey in the United Kingdom parliament in 1879, but concerns were dismissed by the British government, they ceased to be an issue on the island following its full annexation by Britain in 1914. In 1955, a decision was made by the British colonial authorities to decimalise the Cypriot pound, in this they used the system proposed by William Brown, a member of the United Kingdom parliament, who suggested in 1855 that the pound sterling in the United Kingdom should be divided into one-thousand parts, each called a mil.
Although this system was never adopted in the United Kingdom, it was used in several British colonies, including Hong Kong from 1863 to 1866. This latter example may have been the impetus to use a pound-mil system in Cyprus as the Palestinian pound was for a brief period accepted as legal tender in Cyprus. Cyprus decimalized in 1955 with 1,000 mils to the pound. Colloquially, the 5-mil coin was known as a "piastre" and the 50-mil coin as a "shilling"; the subdivision was changed to 100 cents to the pound on 3 October 1983. At that time, the smallest coin still in circulation was that of 5 mils; this soon was abolished. Mil-denominated coins are no longer legal tender. Towards the end of the Cypriot pound era, some cashiers omitted the 1- and 2-cent coins from the change they gave. Owner-operated businesses rounded down the net amount to be paid to the nearest multiple of 5 cents; the Cypriot national currency was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2008. The currency entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism II on 2 May 2005 and it was limited within the band of CYP 0.585274 ±15% per euro.
A formal application to adopt the euro was submitted on 13 February 2007. On May 16, 2007, along with Malta, received the European Commission's approval for this and was confirmed by the European Parliament on 20 June 2007 and the EU leaders on 21 June 2007; the permanent exchange rate, EUR 1.00 = CYP 0.585274, was decided by the EU Finance Ministers on 10 July 2007. From 12 July 2007 to 5 December 2007, the exchange rate remained at 0.5842. Since 7 December 2007, the rate has been fixed at the irrevocable rate, € = £0.585274. In summer 2006, the Bank of Cyprus started including on its statements the indicative balance in euros; the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority followed suit with its bills two months later. A small number of shops showed indicative euro totals on their receipts. By late autumn 2006, the number of banks and shops offering indicative euro equivalents on their statements and pricing had increased significantly; the Cypriot pound was replaced by the euro as official currency of the Republic of Cyprus on 1 January 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of CYP 0.585274 per €1.
However, pound banknotes and coins continued to have legal tender status and were accepted for cash payments until 31 January 2008. Cypriot pounds were convertible free of charge at Cypriot credit institutions until 30 June 2008. CYP coins were convertible at the Central Bank of Cyprus until 31 December 2009 and CYP banknotes were convertible until 31 December 2017. For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see The History of British Currency in the Middle East. In 1879, copper coins were introduced in denominations of 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1 piastre; the Greek-Cypriots called the first of these coins the δεκάρα, referring to its equivalence to 10 para. The Greek name for the 1⁄2-piastre coin was εικοσάρα; these coins were followed, in 1901, by silver 3, 4 1⁄2, 9 and 18 piastres, the last two being equal to 1 and 2 shillings. The 3 piastres was only issued that year; the 1⁄4 piastre was last struck in 1926. In 1934, scalloped-shaped 1⁄2 and 1 piastre coins were introduced struck in cupro-nickel, changing to bronze in 1942.
In 1947, cupro-nickel 1 and 2 shil
The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806; the Kingdom of Hungary – as Regnum Independens – was administered by its own institutions separately from the rest of the empire. After Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was adopted, joining together the Kingdom of Hungary and the Empire of Austria to form Austria-Hungary; the power of nationalism to create new states was irresistible in the 19th century, the process could lead to collapse in the absence of a strong nationalism.
The Austrian Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities and languages that served as the bases for separatist nationalism, it had a large army with good forts. Its naval resources were so minimal, it typified by Metternich. They employed a grand strategy for survival that balanced out different forces, set up buffer zones, kept the Habsburg empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War; the Empire overnight disintegrated into multiple states based on nationalism. Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt and Regensburg. On 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6; this measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, but the actual consequence of the Imperial Recess was the end of the empire.
Taking this significant change into consideration, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors. In 1804, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria, in which all his lands were included. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, which had functioned as a composite monarchy for about three hundred years, he did so because he foresaw either the end of the Holy Roman Empire, or the eventual accession as Holy Roman Emperor of Napoleon, who had earlier that year adopted the title of an Emperor of the French. To safeguard his dynasty's imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Apart from now being included in a new "Kaiserthum", the workings of the overarching structure and the status of its component lands at first stayed much the same as they had been under the composite monarchy that existed before 1804.
This was demonstrated by the status of the Kingdom of Hungary, a country that had never been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and which had always been considered a separate realm—a status, affirmed by Article X, added to Hungary's constitution in 1790 during the phase of the composite monarchy and described the state as a Regnum Independens. Hungary's affairs remained administered by its own institutions, thus no Imperial institutions were involved in its government. The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805. On 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by General Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm; the French victory resulted in the capture of many cannons. Napoleon's army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, which concluded with an armistice on 6 December 1805; the French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to ally themselves with the French and assert their formal independence from the Empire.
On 10 December 1805, Maximilian IV Joseph, the prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria, proclaimed himself King, followed by the Duke of Württemberg Frederick III on 11 December. Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden, was given the title of Grand Duke on 12 December; each of these new states became French allies. The Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleon's German allies at the expense of defeated Austria. Francis II agreed to the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg, which in practice meant the dissolution of the long-lived Holy Roman Empire and a reorganization under a Napoleonic imprint of the German territories lost in the process into a precursor state of what became modern Germany, those possessions nominally having been part of the Holy Roman Empire within the present boundaries of Germany, as well as other measures weakening Austria and the Habsburgs in other ways. Certain Austrian holdings in
The Biafran pound was the currency of the breakaway Republic of Biafra between 1968 and 1970. The first notes denominated in 5 shillings and £1 were introduced on January 29, 1968. A series of coins was issued in 1969. In February 1969, a second family of notes was issued consisting of 5 shilling, 10 shilling, £1, £5 and £10 denominations. Despite not being recognised as currency by the rest of the world when they were issued, the banknotes were afterwards sold as curios and are now traded among banknote collectors at well above their original nominal value; the most common note is the 1968 and 1969 1 pound notes, with the 10 pound note and all coins being rare. Nigerian pound Nigerian naira Postage stamps and postal history of Biafra Banknotes of Biafra."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2006-01-13. CS1 maint: Archived copy as title CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown Coins with Nigerian naira Information from Biafraland. A detailed article on the banknotes of the Biafran pound pjsymes.com.au Coins from Biafra - Online Coin Club
The Manx pound is the currency of the Isle of Man, in parity with the pound sterling. The Manx pound is divided into 100 pence. Notes and coins, denominated in pounds and pence, are issued by the Isle of Man Government; the Isle of Man is in a one-sided de facto currency union with the United Kingdom: the Manx government has decided to make UK currency legal tender on the island, to back its own notes and coins with Bank of England notes. Manx government notes may, on demand, be exchanged at par for Bank of England notes of equivalent value at any office of the Isle of Man Bank. All notes and coins which are legal tender in any part of the United Kingdom are legal tender within the Isle of Man. Unlike Northern Irish and Scottish notes, the UK does not require the Isle of Man government to back the Manx notes and coins with Bank of England notes or securities. There is no restriction under UK law on the number of coins they may issue; the notes and coins are not underwritten by the UK government, there is no guarantee of convertibility beyond that given by the Manx authorities.
However, the requirement in the island's Currency Act 1992 for the Isle of Man Treasury to exchange Manx Pound banknotes on demand for Bank of England notes in practice restricts the issue of unbacked currency, the aggregate total of notes issued must be pre-approved by Tynwald. ISO 4217 does not include a separate currency code for the Manx pound, but where code distinct from GBP is desired, IMP is used. UK notes and coins are accepted in the Isle of Man, but Manx notes and coins are not accepted in the UK. To assist those travelling, the ATMs at the Sea Terminal, at Isle of Man Airport issue Bank of England notes only. A number of businesses accept euros; the first Manx coinage was issued in 1668 by John Murrey, a Douglas merchant, consisting of pennies equal in value to their English counterparts. These "Murrey Pennies" were made legal tender in 1679, when the Court of Tynwald outlawed the unofficial private coinage, circulating prior to and alongside John Murrey's pennies. Due to the difficulty of maintaining the supply of coins on the island, in 1692, the value of the Manx coinage was decreased, with English crowns circulating at 5 shillings 4 pence, half-crowns at 2 shillings 8 pence and guineas at 22 shillings.
At that time, Tynwald forbade the removal of money from the island, in an attempt to maintain supply. In 1696, a further devaluation occurred, with all English silver and gold coins valued at 14 Manx pence for every shilling. Between 1696 and 1840, Manx copper coins circulated alongside first English, British silver and gold coins at the rate of 14 pence to 1 shilling; as in England, there were 20 shillings to the pound. Thus, after 1696, £100 sterling was worth £116 13s 4d Manx. In 1708, the Isle of Man Government approached the Royal Mint, requested that coinage be issued for the island; the Master of the Mint, Sir Isaac Newton, refused. As a result, the first Government issue of coins on the island was in 1709; this coinage was made legal tender on 24 June 1710. In 1733 Tynwald prohibited the circulation of any "base" coinage other than that issued by the Government; because of the similarity between Manx and British coins, it was profitable to change shillings to Manx coinage and pass it off as British currency in Great Britain, making a profit of £2 for every £12 in Manx coinage so transferred.
This happened on such a scale that by 1830 the island was totally deprived of copper coinage. In an attempt to resolve this problem, a proposal was introduced to abandon the separate Manx coinage in favour of British coins; this was rejected by the House of Keys in 1834, but they were overruled by the British Government in 1839. An Act was passed declaring that "... the currency of Great Britain shall be and become, is hereby declared to be, the currency of the Isle of Man", this remains Manx law to this day. This change was resented: some islanders felt defrauded, there was serious rioting in Douglas and Peel; these were known as the "Copper Row" riots, were put down by the Manx militia. The Royal Mint issued a total of £1,000 in copper coins. Following an Act in 1840, these were valued at 12 pence to the shilling. All coins issued before 1839 were declared by this law to be no longer current, were recalled by the Board of Customs and exchanged by the Royal Mint at their original nominal value for the new coinage.
After 1839, no further Manx coins were issued, they became scarce and were replaced in general circulation on the island by the coinage of the United Kingdom. They did not cease to be legal coinage on Mann until decimalisation in 1971. Banknotes had been issued for the island since 1865. In 1971 the United Kingdom moved with the pound subdivided into 100 pence; the Isle of Man Government, having issued its own banknotes for ten years, took the opportunity to approach the Royal Mint and request its own versions of the decimal coins, which were introduced in 1971. The "Murrey Pennies" of 1668 were the first to depict the'triskeles' symbol and the Island motto "Quocunque Gesseris Stabit", both of which have continued to feature on Manx coinage until the present day. In 1709, pennies and halfpennies were introduced. More of these coins were issued in 1733; these issues of coins have the crest of the Stanley family, Lords of Mann, on the obverse, together
The Lebanese pound is the currency of Lebanon. It used to be divided into 100 piastres but high inflation in the Lebanese Civil War has eliminated the subdivisions; the plural form of lira, as used on the currency, is either lirat or the same, whilst there were four forms for qirsh: the dual qirshan, the plural qirush used with numbers 3–10, the accusative singular qirsha used with 11–99, or the genitive singular qirshi used with multiples of 100. In both cases, the number determines. Before the Second World War, the Arabic spelling of the subdivision was غرش. All of Lebanon's coins and banknotes are bilingual in French. Before World War I, the Ottoman lira was used. In 1918, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the currency became the Egyptian pound. Upon gaining control of Syria and Lebanon, the French replaced the Egyptian pound with a new currency for Syria and Lebanon, the Syrian pound, linked to the French franc at a value of 1 pound = 20 francs. Lebanon issued its own coins from 1924 and banknotes from 1925.
In 1939, the Lebanese currency was separated from that of Syria, though it was still linked to the French franc and remained interchangeable with Syrian money. In 1941, following France's defeat by Nazi Germany, the currency was linked instead to the British pound sterling at a rate of 8.83 Lebanese pounds = 1 pound sterling. A link to the French franc was restored after the war but was abandoned in 1949. Before the Lebanese Civil War, 1 U. S. dollar was worth 3 pounds. During the civil war the value decreased until 1992, when one dollar was worth over 2500 pounds. Subsequently the value increased again, since December 1997 the rate of the pound has been fixed at 1507.5 pounds per US$. Lebanon's first coins were issued in 1924 in denominations of 2 and 5 girush with the French denominations given in "piastres syriennes". Issues did not include the word "syriennes" and were in denominations of 1⁄2, 1, 2, 2 1⁄2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 girsha. During World War II, rather crude 1⁄2, 1 and 2 1⁄2 girsh coins were issued.
After the war, the Arabic spelling was changed from girsh to qirsh. Coins were issued in the period 1952 to 1986 in denominations of 1, 2 1⁄2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 qirsh and 1 lira. No coins were issued between 1994, when the current series of coins was introduced. Coins in current use are: Lebanon's first banknotes were issued by the Banque du Syrie et Grand-Liban in 1925. Denominations ran from 25 girsha through to 100 pounds. In 1939, the bank's name was changed to the Bank of Lebanon; the first 250-pound notes appeared that year. Between 1942 and 1950, the government issued "small change" paper money in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 girsh or qirsh. After 1945, the Bank of Syria and Lebanon continued to issue paper money for Lebanon but the notes were denominated in "Lebanese pounds" to distinguish them from Syrian notes. Notes for 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 pounds were issued; the Banque du Liban was established by the Code of Money and Credit on 1 April 1964. On 1 August 1963 decree No. 13.513 of the “Law of References: Banque Du Liban 23 Money and Credit” granted the Bank of Lebanon the sole right to issue notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 pounds, expressed in Arabic on the front, French on the back.
Higher denominations were issued in the 1980s and 1990s as inflation drastically reduced the currency's value. Banknotes in the current use are: All current notes feature an Arabic side with the value in Arabic script numerals of large size; the other side is in French with the serial number in both Arabic and Latin script and in bar code below the latter one. Economy of Lebanon Banque du Liban Historical and current banknotes of Lebanon
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well