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Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: [ˈbundəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔjtʃlant]), is a country in West-central Europe. It is bordered on the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea; on the east by Poland and the Czech Republic; on the south by Austria and Switzerland; and on the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands., IPA:
Germany is a parliamentary federal republic of sixteen states (Bundesländer). The capital city and seat of government is Berlin. As a nation-state, the country was unified amidst the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. After its defeat in World War II Germany was divided, and it became reunified in 1990. It is a founding member of the European Union, and with over 82 million people it has the largest population among the EU member states.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a modern great power, a member state of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G4 nations and, as of 2006, ranked sixth in military expenditure. Germany is the world's third largest economy by nominal GDP, the world's largest exporter of goods, and the world's second largest importer of goods. In 2007 it held the rotating presidencies of both the European Council and the G8 summits.
Germany is often called Das Land der Dichter und Denker (the land of poets and thinkers). German culture began long before the rise of Germany as a nation-state and spanned the entire German-speaking world. From its roots, culture in Germany has been shaped by major intellectual and popular currents in Europe, both religious and secular. As a result, it is difficult to identify a specific German tradition separated from the larger framework of European high culture. Another consequence of these circumstances is the fact, that some historical figures, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka and Paul Celan, though not citizens of Germany in the modern sense, must be seen in the context of the German cultural sphere to understand their historical situation, work and social relations.