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Singapore is a highly developed trade-oriented market economy.[9][10] Singapore's economy has been ranked as the most open in the world,[11] least corrupt,[12] most pro-business,[13] with low tax rates (14.2% of Gross Domestic Product, GDP)[14] and has the highest per-capita GDP in the world; in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). HP Pavilion dv7-6184ca CPU Fan

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, Temasek Holdings, holds majority stakes in several of the nation's largest companies, such as Singapore Airlines, SingTel, ST Engineering and MediaCorp. The economy of Singapore is a major Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) outflow financier in the world. HP Pavilion dv7-3125eo CPU Fan

Singapore has also benefited from the inward flow of FDI from global investors and institutions due to her highly attractive investment climate and a stable political environment.[15]

Exports, particularly in electronics, chemicals and services including the posture that Singapore is the regional hub for wealth management provide the main source of revenue for the economy, HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx CPU Fan

which allows it to purchase natural resources and raw goods which she lacks. Moreover, water is scarce in Singapore[19] therefore water is defined as a precious resource in Singapore along with the scarcity of land to be treated with land fillof Pulau Semakau. Singapore has limited arable land[20] that Singapore has to rely on the agrotechnology park[21] IBM MCF-C10AM05 CPU Fan

for agricultural production and consumption. Human Resource is another vital issue for the health of Singaporean economy.[22]

Singapore could thus be said to rely on an extended concept of intermediary trade to Entrepôt trade, by purchasing raw goods and refining them for re-export, such as in the wafer fabrication industry and oil refining. SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

Singapore also has a strategic port which makes it more competitive than many of its neighbours in carrying out such entrepot activities. Singapore has the highest trade to GDP ratio in the world, averaging around 400% during 2008-11.[23] The Port of Singapore is the second-busiest in the world by cargo tonnage. DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

In addition, Singapore's portinfrastructure and skilled workforce, which is due to the success of the country's education policy in producing skilled workers, is also fundamental in this aspect as they provide easier access to markets for both importing and exporting, and also provide the skill(s) needed to refine imports into exports. HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

Singapore's government promotes high levels of savings and investment through policies such as the Central Provident Fund, which is used to fund its citizen's healthcare and retirement needs. Singapore's savings rates have remained among the highest in the world since the 1970s.[24] FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

Most companies in Singapore are registered as private limited-liability companies (commonly known as "private limited companies"). A private limited company in Singapore is a separate legal entity, and shareholders are not liable for the company's debts beyond the amount of share capital they have contributed. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

To preserve its international standing and further its economic prosperity in the 21st century, Singapore has taken measures to promote innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, re-train her workforce, and even attract foreign talents. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

These measures aim to boost Singapore's productivity, so that Singapore remains competitive and ready for the challenges of an information-driven global economy.

Upon separation from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore faced a small domestic market, and high levels of unemployment and poverty.[24] 70 percent of Singapore’s households lived in badly overcrowded conditions, and a third of its people squatted in slums on the city fringes. ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

Unemployment averaged 14 percent, GDP per capita was US$516, and half of the population was illiterate.[25][26] In response, the Singapore government established the Economic Development Board to spearhead an investment drive, and make Singapore an attractive destination for foreign investment.[26] HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

FDI inflows increased greatly over the following decades, and by 2001 foreign companies accounted for 75% of manufactured output and 85% of manufactured exports.[24] Meanwhile, Singapore's savings and investment rates rose among the highest levels in the world, while household consumption and wage shares of GDP fell among the lowest.[ HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

As a result of this investment drive, Singapore's capital stock increased 33 times by 1992, a tenfold increase in the capital-labor ratio.[30] Living standards steadily rose, with more families moving from a lower-income status to middle-income security with increased household incomes. During a National Day Rally speech in 1987, FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

Lee Kuan-Yew claimed that (based on the home ownership criterion) 80% of Singaporeans could now be considered to be members of the middle-class. However, much unlike the economic policies of Greece and the rest of Europe, Singapore followed a policy of individualizing the social safety net. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

This lead to higher than average savings rate and a very sustainable economy on the long run. Without a burdensome welfare state or its likeliness, Singapore has developed a very self-reliant and skilled workforce well versed for a global economy.[31]

Singapore's economic strategy produced real growth averaging 8.0% from 1960 to 1999. Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

The economy picked up in 1999 after the regional financial crisis, with a growth rate of 5.4%, followed by 9.9% for 2000. However, the economic slowdown in the United States, Japan and the European Union, as well as the worldwide electronics slump, had reduced the estimated economic growth in 2001 to a negative 2.0%. HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

The economy expanded by 2.2% the following year, and by 1.1% in 2003 when Singapore was affected by the SARS outbreak. Subsequently, a major turnaround occurred in 2004 allowed it to make a significant recovery of 8.3% growth in Singapore, although the actual growth fell short of the target growth for the year more than half with only 2.5%. Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

In 2005, economic growth was 6.4%; and in 2006, 7.9%.

As of 8 June 2013, Singapore's unemployment rate is around 1.9% and the country's economy has a lowered growth rate, with a rate of 1.8% on a quarter-by-quarter basis—compared to 14.8% in 2010. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

Manufacturing and financial business services accounted for 26% and 22%, respectively, of Singapore's gross domestic product in 2000. The electronics industry leads Singapore's manufacturing sector, accounting for 48% of total industrial output, but the government also is prioritising development of the chemicals and biotechnologyindustries. HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

To maintain its competitive position despite rising wages, the government seeks to promote higher value-added activities in the manufacturing and services sectors. It also has opened, or is in the process of opening, the financial services,telecommunications, and power generation and retailing sectors up to foreign service providers and greater competition. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

The government has also attempted some measures including wage restraint measures and release of unused buildings in an effort to control rising commercial rents with the view to lowering the cost of doing business in Singapore when central business district office rents tripled in 2006. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

Singapore is considered a global financial hub, with Singapore banks offering world-class corporate bank account facilities. These include multiple currencies, internet banking, telephone banking, checking accounts, savings accounts, debit and credit cards, fixed term deposits and wealth management services.[32]  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

According to the Human Rights Watch, due to its role as a financial hub for the region, Singapore has continually been criticized for reportedly hosting bank accounts containing ill-gotten gains of corrupt leaders and their associates, including billions of dollars of Burma’s state gas revenues hidden from national accounts. Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

Singapore is aggressively promoting and developing its biotechnology industry. Hundred of millions of dollars were invested into the sector to build up infrastructure, fund research and development and to recruit top international scientists to Singapore. Leading drug makers, such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pfizer and Merck & Co., have set up plants in Singapore. SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

On 8 June 2006, GSK announced that it is investing another S$300 million to build another plant to produce pediatric vaccines, its first such facility in Asia.[34] Pharmaceuticals now account for more than 8% of the country's manufacturing production.

Singapore is the pricing centre and leading oil trading hub in Asia. HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan

The oil industry makes up 5 per cent of Singapore's GDP, with Singapore being one of the top three export refining centres in the world. In 2007 it exported 68.1 million tonnes of oil. The oil industry has led to the promotion of the chemical industry as well as oil and gas equipment manufacturing.[36] HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

Singapore has 70 per cent of the world market for both jack-up rigs and for the conversion of Floating Production Storage Offloading units. It has 20 per cent of the world market for ship repair, and in 2008 the marine and offshore industry employed almost 70,000 workers.

Singapore's total trade in 2000 amounted to S$373 billion, an increase of 21% from 1999. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Despite its small size, Singapore is currently the fifteenth-largest trading partner of the United States.[38] In 2000, Singapore's imports totaled $135 billion, and exports totaled $138 billion. Malaysia was Singapore's main import source, as well as its largest export market, absorbing 18% of Singapore's exports, with the United States close behind. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

Re-exports accounted for 43% of Singapore's total sales to other countries in 2000. Singapore's principal exports are petroleum products, food/beverages, chemicals, textile/garments, electronic components, telecommunication apparatus, and transport equipment. Singapore's main imports are aircraft, HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

crude oil and petroleum products, electronic components, radio and television receivers/parts, motor vehicles, chemicals, food/beverages, iron/steel, and textile yarns/fabrics.

Trade in Singapore has benefited from the extensive network of trade agreements Singapore has passed. According to Healy Consultants, HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Singapore has free trade access to the entirety of the ASEAN network, with import duty reduced when dealing with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) continues to attract investment funds on a large-scale for the country despite the city's relatively high-cost operating environment. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

The U.S. leads in foreign investment, accounting for 40% of new commitments to the manufacturing sector in 2000. As of 1999, cumulative investment for manufacturing and services by American companies in Singapore reached approximately $20 billion (total assets). The bulk of U.S. investment is in electronics manufacturing, oil refining and storage, and the chemical industry. More than 1,500 U.S. firms operate in Singapore. HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

Singapore's largely corruption-free government, skilled workforce, and advanced and efficient infrastructure have attracted investments from more than 3,000 multinational corporations (MNCs) from the United States, Japan, and Europe. Foreign firms are found in almost all sectors of the economy. ACER Aspire 4743 CPU Fan

MNCs account for more than two thirds of manufacturing output and direct export sales, although certain services sectors remain dominated by government-linked corporations.

The government also has encouraged firms to invest outside Singapore, with the country's total direct investments abroad reaching $39 billion by the end of 1998. HP Pavilion dv6-2170us CPU Fan

The People's Republic of China was the top destination, accounting for 14% of total overseas investments, followed by Malaysia (10%), Hong Kong (8.9%),Indonesia (8.0%) and U.S. (4.0%). The rapidly growing economy of India, especially the high technology sector, is becoming an expanding source of foreign investment for Singapore. Toshiba Satellite L675-S7018 CPU Fan

The United States provides no bilateral aid to Singapore, but the U.S. appears keen to improve bilateral trade and signed the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Singapore corporate tax is 17 per cent.

In 2000, Singapore had a workforce of about 2.2 million. ASUS F80Q CPU Fan

The country has the largest proficiency of English language speakers in Asia, making it an attractive place for multinational corporations.[39] The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), the sole trade union federation which has a symbiotic relationship with the ruling party, comprises almost 99% of total organized labour. ACER TravelMate 4200 CPU Fan

Government policy and pro-activity rather than labour legislation controls general labour and trade union matters. The Employment Act offers little protection to white-collar workers due to an income threshold. The Industrial Arbitration Court handles labour-management disputes that cannot be resolved informally through the Ministry of Manpower. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

The Singapore Government has stressed the importance of cooperation between unions, management and government (tripartism), as well as the early resolution of disputes. There has been only one strike in the past 15 years.

Singapore has enjoyed virtually full employment for long periods of time. HP G70-120EA CPU Fan

Amid an economic slump, the unemployment rate rose to 4.0% by the end of 2001, from 2.4% early in the year. Unemployment has since declined and as of 2012 the unemployment rate stands at 1.9%.[

While the Singapore government has taken a stance against minimum wage and unemployment benefit schemes, Toshiba Satellite A300-034 CPU Fan

in 2007 the government introduced a Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme to supplement wages of low-skilled workers.[41]

The Singapore Government and the NTUC have tried a range of programs to increase lagging productivity and boost the labour force participation rates of women and older workers. HP 606609-001 CPU Fan

However, labour shortages persist in the service sector and in many low-skilled positions in the construction and electronics industries. Foreign workers help make up this shortfall. In 2000, there were about 600,000 foreign workers in Singapore, constituting 27% of the total work force. As a result, wages are relatively suppressed or do not rise for all workers. Compaq Presario CQ60-301sl CPU Fan

In order to have some controls, the government imposes a foreign worker levy payable by employers for low end workers like domestic help and construction workers. In 2012, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) reported that Singapore should continue to fine-tune the calibration of its inflow of foreigners as the country continues to face an ageing population and a shrinking workforce. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

Singapore Parliament accepted the recommendations by its Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) for the optimal ratio of the level of immigration and foreign manpower for both high and low skilled workers.[42] The Government recognises that the current overall foreign workforce should complement the local resident workforce and not replace the Singaporean Core concept, ASUS Eee PC 701 CPU Fan

and helps companies greatly as they raise productivity through business restructuring and workforce retraining; raise resident labour force participation rate.

Government spending in Singapore has risen since the start of the global financial crisis, from around 15% of GDP in 2008 to 17% in 2012. Compaq Presario CQ60-305sa CPU Fan

The government's total expenditure as a percentage of GDP ranks among the lowest internationally and allows for a competitive tax regime.[45][dead link][46] The government has no foreign debt and consistent budget surpluses. Singapore government debt is issued for investment purposes, and not for fiscal needs.[47] HP 637607-001 CPU Fan

Personal income taxes in Singapore range from 0% to 20% for incomes above S$320,000. There are no capital gains or inheritance taxes in Singapore.[48][49]Singapore's corporate tax rate is 17% with exemptions and incentives for smaller businesses. Singapore has a single-tier corporate income tax system, which means there is no double-taxation for shareholders.[50] HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

Singapore introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) with an initial rate of 3% on 1 April 1994, increasing government's revenue by S$1.6 billion (US$1b, €800m) and establishing government finances.[51] The taxable GST was increased to 4% in 2003, to 5% in 2004, and to 7% in 2007.[52][dead linkHP Pavilion dv5-1210ez CPU Fan

The Singapore government owns two investment companies, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and smaller Temasek Holdings, which act as the nation's sovereign wealth funds. Both operate as commercial investment holding companies independently of the Singapore government, Compaq Presario CQ50-211nr CPU Fan

but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching serve as Chairman and CEO of these corporations respectively.[53][54][55] Temasek Holdings holds around S$60 billion of assets in Singapore, holding majority stakes in several of the nation's largest companies, such as Singapore Airlines, SingTel, ST Engineering and MediaCorp. HP G56-114SA CPU Fan

In 2012, an economics professor, Dr.(PhD) Christopher Balding, based in China began scrutinizing and criticizing the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and Temasek Holdings on its alleged accounting and auditing of public finances.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority. SONY Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N CPU Fan

It administers the various statutes pertaining to money, banking, insurance, securities and the financial sector in general, as well as currency issuance. The MAS has been given powers to act as a banker to and financial agent of the Government. It has also been entrusted to promote monetary stability, and credit and exchange policies conducive to the growth of the economy. HP Pavilion dv7-4060eo CPU Fan

Unlike many other central banks such as Federal Reserve System or Bank of England, MAS does not regulate the monetary system via interest rates to influence the liquidity in the system. Instead, it chooses to do it via the foreign exchange mechanism. It does so by intervening in the SGD market. Toshiba Satellite M70-252 CPU Fan

In April 2013, the country was recognised[by whom?] as an increasingly popular tax haven for the wealthy due to the low tax rate on personal income, a full tax exemption on income that is generated outside of Singapore and 69 double taxation treaties[32] that can minimize both withholding tax and capital gains tax. Toshiba Satellite A100-455 CPU Fan

Australian millionaire retailer Brett Blundy, with an estimated personal wealth worth AU$835 million, and multi-billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverinare two examples of wealthy individuals who have settled in Singapore (Blundy in 2013 and Saverin in 2012). Additionally, Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart owns property in Singapore[60] HP Pavilion dv5-2112br CPU Fan

and American investor Jim Rogers moved to Singapore in 2007—Rogers has identified the 21st century as an era in which Asia will dominate and wishes for his two daughters to learn Mandarin as a key outcome of the relocation.[61][62] Chinese Media TV celebrities Jet Li and Gong Li have also taken up naturalized Singapore citizenship. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

The history of Singapore dates to the 11th century. The island rose in importance during the 14th century under the rule of Srivijayan prince Parameswara and became a port until it was destroyed by Acehnese raiders in 1613

During World War II, Singapore was conquered and occupied by the Japanese Empire from 1942 to 1945. HP Pavilion dv6-3299en CPU Fan

When the war ended, Singapore reverted to British control, with increasing levels of self-government being granted, culminating inSingapore's merger with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia in 1963. However, social unrest and disputes between Singapore's ruling SONY Vaio VGN-NW11Z/T CPU Fan

People's Action Party and Malaysia's Alliance Party resulted in Singapore's separation from Malaysia. Singapore became an independent republic on 9 August 1965.

Facing severe unemployment and a housing crisis, Singapore embarked on a modernisation programme[when?] that focused on establishing a manufacturing industry, Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan

developing large public housing estates and investing heavily on public education. Since independence, Singapore's economy has grown by an average of nine percent each year.By the 1990s, the country had become one of the world's most prosperous nations, with a highly developed free market economy, strong international trading links, and the highest per capita gross domestic product in Asia outside of Japan. HP Pavilion dv7-4183sf CPU Fan

The earliest written record of Singapore occurs in a Chinese account from the third century, describing the island of Pu Luo Chung(蒲 罗 中). This was itself a transliteration from the Malay name "Pulau Ujong", or "island at the end" (of the Malay Peninsula).[2]The quasi-mythological Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) contains a tale of a prince of Srivijaya, HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

Sri Tri Buana (also known as Sang Nila Utama), who landed on the island during the 13th century. When he saw a lion, the prince took this as an auspicious sign and founded a settlement called Singapura, which means "Lion City" in Malay.[3] However, it is unlikely there ever were lions in Singapore, though tigers continued to roam the island until the early 20th century.[3][4] HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

In 1320, the Mongol Empire sent a trade mission to a place called Long Ya Men (or Dragon's Tooth Strait), which is believed to beKeppel Harbour, at the southern part of the island.[5] The Chinese traveler Wang Dayuan, visiting the island around 1330, described a small settlement called Dan Ma Xi (淡马锡, from Malay Tamasik) with Malay and Chinese residents. HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

The Nagarakretagama, a Javaneseepic poem written in 1365, also referred to a settlement on the island called Temasek (Sea Town). Recent excavations in Fort Canningfound evidence indicating that Singapore was an important port in the 14th century.[6]

In the 1390s, a Palembang prince, Parameswara, fled to Temasek after being deposed by the Majapahit kingdom. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ei CPU Fan

During the 14th century, Singapore was caught in the struggle between Siam (now Thailand) and the Java-based Majapahit Empire for control over the Malay Peninsula. According to Sejarah Melayu, Singapore was defeated in one Majapahit attack. He ruled the island for several years, before being forced to Melaka where he founded the Sultanate of Malacca.[3] HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

 

Singapore became an important trading port of the Malacca Sultanate[2] and later the Sultanate of Johor. In the early 15th century, Singapore was a Thai vassal state, but the Malacca Sultanate which Iskandar had founded quickly extended its authority over the island. After the Portuguese seizure of Malacca in 1511, the Malay admiral fled to Singapura and established a new capital at Johor Lama, keeping a port officer in SingapuraASUS A6000R CPU Fan

. The Portuguese destroyed the settlements in Singapore in 1587 and the island sank into obscurity for the next two centuries.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Malay Archipelago was gradually taken over by the European colonial powers, beginning with the arrival of the Portuguese at Malacca in 1509. HP Pavilion dv7-6011sg CPU Fan

The early dominance of the Portuguese was challenged during the 17th century by the Dutch, who came to control most of the ports in the region. The Dutch established a monopoly over trade within the archipelago, particularly in spices, then the region's most important product. Other colonial powers, including the British, were limited to a relatively minor presence.[9] Toshiba Satellite L300D-01P CPU Fan

In 1818, Sir Stamford Raffles was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of the British colony at Bencoolen. He was determined that Great Britain should replace the Netherlands as the dominant power in the archipelago, since the trade route between China andBritish India, which had become vitally important with the institution of the opium trade with China, Compaq Presario CQ60-409CA CPU Fan

passed through the archipelago. The Dutch had been stifling British trade in the region by prohibiting the British from operating in Dutch-controlled ports or by subjecting them to a high tariff. Raffles hoped to challenge the Dutch by establishing a new port along the Straits of Malacca, the main ship passageway for the India-China trade. He convinced Lord Hastings, HP Mini 110-3010sf CPU Fan

the Governor-General of India and his superior at the British East India Company, to fund an expedition to seek a new British base in the region.

Raffles arrived in Singapore on 28 January 1819 and soon recognized the island as a natural choice for the new port. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

It lay at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula, near the Straits of Malacca, and possessed a natural deep harbor, fresh water supplies, and timber for repairing ships. Raffles found a small Malay settlement, with a population of a few hundred, at the mouth of the Singapore River, headed by Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman. Toshiba Satellite M70-142 CPU Fan

The island was nominally ruled by the Sultan of Johor, Tengku Rahman, who was controlled by the Dutch and the Bugis. However, the Sultanate was weakened by factional division and Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman and his officials were loyal to Tengkoo Rahman's elder brother Tengku Hussein (or Tengku Long) who was living in exile in Riau. DELL Inspiron E1505 CPU Fan

With the Temenggong's help, Raffles managed to smuggle Hussein back into Singapore. He offered to recognize Hussein as the rightful Sultan of Johor and provide him with a yearly payment; in return, Hussein would grant the British the right to establish a trading post on Singapore.[9] A formal treaty was signed on 6 February 1819 and modern Singapore was born.[10][11] HP 532613-001 CPU Fan

Before Raffles arrived, there were around 1,000 people living in Singapore, mostly Malays and a few dozen Chinese.[12] By 1869, due to migration from Malaya and other parts of Asia, Singapore's population had reached 100,000. Many Chinese and Indian immigrants came to Singapore to work in the rubber plantations and tin mines, and their descendents later formed the bulk of Singapore's population. HP Envy 14-1080eo CPU Fan

Raffles returned to Bencoolen soon after the signing of the treaty and left Major William Farquhar in charge of the new settlement, with some artillery and a small regiment of Indian soldiers. Establishing a trading port from scratch was a daunting endeavor. ACER TravelMate 5230 CPU Fan

Farquhar's administration was fairly funded and was prohibited from collecting port duties to raise revenue as Raffles had decided that Singapore would be a free port. Farquhar invited settlers to Singapore, and stationed a British official on St. John's Island to invite passing ships to stop in Singapore. Lenovo 3000 G430 CPU Fan

As news of the free port spread across the archipelago, Bugis, Peranakan Chinese, and Arab traders flocked to the island, seeking to circumvent the Dutch trade restrictions. During the starting year of operation, $400,000 (Spanish dollars) worth of trade passed through Singapore. By 1821, the island's population had gone up to around 5,000, and the trade volume was $8 million. ASUS EEE PC 1215N CPU Fan

The population reached the 10,000 mark in 1825, and with a trade volume of $22 million, Singapore surpassed the long-established port of Penang.[9]

Raffles returned to Singapore in 1822 and became critical of many of Farquhar's decisions, despite Farquhar's success in leading the settlement through its difficult early years. Dell Vostro 3750 CPU Fan

For instance, in order to generate much-needed revenue, Farquhar had resorted to selling licenses for gambling and the sale of opium, which Raffles saw as social evils. Shocked at the disarray of the colony, Raffles set about drafting a set of new policies for the settlement. He also organized Singapore into functional and ethnic subdivisions under the Raffles Plan of Singapore.[9] Toshiba Satellite L500-018 CPU Fan

Today, remnants of this organization can still be found in the ethnic neighborhoods.

On 7 June 1823, John Crawfurd signed a second treaty with the Sultan and Temenggong, which extended British possession to most of the island. The Sultan and Temenggong traded most of their administrative rights of the island, including the collection of port taxes for lifelong monthly payments of $1500 and $800 respectively. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-116TU CPU Fan

This agreement brought the island under the British Law, with the provision that it would take into account Malay customs, traditions and religion.[9] Raffles replaced Farquhar with John Crawfurd, an efficient and frugal administrator, as the new governor.[14] In October 1823, Raffles departed for Britain and would never return to Singapore as he died in 1826, at the age of 44.[15] HP Pavilion dv6-2115eg CPU Fan

In 1824, Singapore was ceded in perpetuity to the East India Company by the Sultan.

The status of a British outpost in Singapore seemed initially in doubt as the Dutch government soon protested to Britain for violating the Netherlands' sphere of influence. But as Singapore rapidly emerged as an important trading post, Britain consolidated its claim on the island. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 cemented the status of Singapore as a British possession, carving up the Malay archipelago between the two colonial powers with the area north of the Straits of Malacca, including Singapore, falling under Britain's sphere of influence. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

In 1826, Singapore was grouped by the British East India Company[16][by whom?] together with Penang and Malacca to form the Straits Settlements, administrated by the British East India Company. In 1830, the Straits Settlements became a residency, or subdivision, of the Presidency of Bengal in British India.[17] SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan

During the subsequent decades, Singapore grew to become an important port in the region. Its success was due to several reasons including the opening of market in China, the advent of ocean-going steamships, and the production of rubber and tin in Malaya.[18] Its status as a free port provided crucial advantage over other colonial port cities in Batavia (Jakarta) Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 CPU Fan

andManila where tariffs were levied, and it drew many Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Arab traders operating in South-East Asia to Singapore. The later opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 would further boost trade in Singapore. By 1880, over 1.5 million tons of goods were passing through Singapore each year, with around 80% of the cargo transported by steamships.[19]  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

The main commercial activity was entrepôt trade which flourished under no taxation and little restriction. Many merchant houses were set up in Singapore mainly by European trading firms, but also by Jewish, Chinese, Arab, Armenian, American and Indian merchants. There were also many Chinese middlemen who handled most of the trade between the European and Asian merchants.[17] HP Pavilion dv7-3020es CPU Fan

By 1827, the Chinese became the largest ethnic group in Singapore. They consisted of Peranakans, who were descendants of early Chinese settlers, and Chinese coolies who flocked to Singapore to escape the economic hardship in southern China due to the Opium Wars. Many arrived in Singapore as impoverished indentured laborers and they were predominantly males. HP G62-369TX CPU Fan

The Malays were the second largest ethnic group until the 1860s and they worked as fishermen, craftsmen, or as wage earners while continued to live mostly in kampungs. By 1860, the Indians became the second largest ethnic group. They consisted of unskilled laborers, traders, and convicts who were sent to carry out public works projects such as clearing jungles and laying out roads. There were also Indian Sepoy troops garrisoned at Singapore by the British.[17] HP 13.V1.BJ195.F.GN CPU Fan

Despite Singapore's growing importance, the administration governing the island was understaffed, ineffectual and unconcerned with the welfare of the populace. Administrators were usually posted from India and were unfamiliar with local culture and languages. While the population had quadrupled during 1830 to 1867, Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan

the size of the civil service in Singapore had remained unchanged. Most people had no access to public health services and diseases such as cholera and smallpox caused severe health problems, especially in overcrowded working-class areas.[17] As a result of the administration's ineffectiveness and the predominantly male, transient, and uneducated nature of the population, HP Pavilion dv7-1451nr CPU Fan

the society was lawless and chaotic. In 1850 there were only twelve police officers in the city of nearly 60,000 people. Prostitution, gambling, and drug abuse (particularly of opium) were widespread. Chinese criminal secret societies (analogous to modern-day triads) were extremely powerful, and some had tens of thousands of members. HP G62-a57SG CPU Fan

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Latin America and the Pacific. Republicans, at first hostile to empire, became supportive. As it developed the new empire took on roles of trade with France, especially supplying raw materials and purchasing manufactured items, as well as lending prestige to the motherland and spreading French civilization and language, and the Catholic religion. ACER Aspire 5739 CPU Fan

It also provided manpower in the World Wars.[2]

It became a moral mission to lift the world up to French standards by bringing Christianity and French culture. In 1884 the leading exponent of colonialism, Jules Ferry declared; "The higher races have a right over the lower races, they have a duty to civilize the inferior races." IBM ThinkPad T40 2678 CPU Fan

Full citizenship rights - assimilation - were offered, although in reality "assimilation was always receding [and] the colonial populations treated like subjects not citizens."[3]France sent large numbers of settlers to North Africa, and they in turn became a powerful political force in Paris. IBM Thinkpad T43 CPU Fan

In World War II, Charles de Gaulle and the Free French used the overseas colonies as bases from which they fought to liberate France. However after 1945 anti-colonial movements began to challenge European authority. France fought and lost bitter wars in Vietnam and Algeria in the

Its settlers and many local supporters relocated to France. 1950s. IBM ThinkPad T43 2668 CPU Fan

Nearly all of France's colonies gained independence by 1960, but France retained great financial and diplomatic influence. The remaining small territories were integrated into France as overseas departments and territories. These now total altogether 123,150 km² (47,548 sq. miles), which amounts to only 1% of the pre-1939 French colonial empire's area, with 2.7 million people living in them in 2011. IBM ThinkPad T43 1871 CPU Fan

Excursions of Giovanni da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier in the early 16th century, as well as the frequent voyages of French boats and fishermen to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland throughout that century, were the precursors to the story of France's colonial expansion.[4] But Spain's jealous protection of its foreign monopoly, ACER Travelmate 8104WLMI CPU Fan

and the further distractions caused in France itself in the later 16th century by the French Wars of Religion, prevented any constant efforts by France to settle colonies. Early French attempts to found colonies in 1612 at São Luís ("France Équinoxiale"), and inBrazil, in 1555 at Rio de Janeiro ("France Antarctique") and in Florida (including Fort Caroline in 1562) were not successful, DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

due to a lack of official interest and to Portuguese and Spanish vigilance.

The story of France's colonial empire truly began on 27 July 1605, with the foundation of Port Royal in the colony ofAcadia in North America, in what is now Nova Scotia, Canada. A few years later, in 1608, Samuel De Champlain foundedQuebec, ASUS F80S CPU Fan

which was to become the capital of the enormous, but sparsely settled, fur-trading colony of New France (also called Canada). New France had a rather small population, which resulted from more emphasis being placed on the fur trade rather than agricultural settlements. Due to this emphasis, the French relied heavily on creating friendly contacts with the local First Nations community. HP Pavilion dv5-1058eo CPU Fan

Without the appetite of New England for land, and by relying solely on Aboriginals to supply them with fur at the trading posts, the French composed a complex series of military, commercial, and diplomatic connections. These became the most enduring alliances between the French and the First Nation community. IBM 13N5182 CPU Fan

The French were, however, under pressure from religious orders to convert them to Catholicism.[

Although, through alliances with various Native American tribes, the French were able to exert a loose control over much of the North American continent, areas of French settlement were generally limited to the St. Lawrence River Valley. IBM Thinkpad T30 2366-AA3 CPU Fan

Prior to the establishment of the 1663 Sovereign Council, the territories of New France were developed as mercantile colonies. It is only after the arrival of intendant Jean Talon in 1665 that France gave its American colonies the proper means to develop population colonies comparable to that of the British. IBM Thinkpad T30 CPU Fan

But there was relatively little interest in colonialism in France, which concentrated rather on dominance within Europe, and for most of its history, New France was far behind the British North American colonies in both population and economic development. Acadia itself was lost to the British in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.[ HP 535438-001 CPU Fan

In 1699, French territorial claims in North America expanded still further, with the foundation of Louisiana in the basin of the Mississippi River. The extensive trading network throughout the region connected to Canada through theGreat Lakes, was maintained through a vast system of fortifications, many of them centred in the Illinois Country and in present-day Arkansas. DELL Inspiron N3010 CPU Fan

As the French empire in North America grew, the French also began to build a smaller but more profitable empire in the West Indies. Settlement along the South American coast in what is today French Guiana began in 1624, and a colony was founded on Saint Kitts in 1625 (the island had to be shared with the English until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, when it was ceded outright). HP Pavilion dv6-3070tx CPU Fan

The Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique founded colonies in Guadeloupe and Martinique in 1635, and a colony was later founded on Saint Lucia by (1650). The food-producing plantations of these colonies were built and sustained through slavery, with the supply of slaves dependent on theAfrican slave trade. IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan

Local resistance by the indigenous peoples resulted in the Carib Expulsion of 1660.[

France's most important Caribbean colonial possession was established in 1664, when the colony of Saint-Domingue(today's Haiti) was founded on the western half of the Spanish island of Hispaniola. ASUS A8H CPU Fan

In the 18th century, Saint-Domingue grew to be the richest sugar colony in the Caribbean. The eastern half of Hispaniola (today's Dominican Republic) also came under French rule for a short period, after being given to France by Spain in 1795.

French colonial expansion wasn't limited to the New World. SONY UDQFRZH13CF0 CPU Fan

In Senegal in West Africa, the French began to establish trading posts along the coast in 1624. In 1664, the French East India Company was established to compete for trade in the east. With the decay of the Ottoman Empire, in 1830 the French seized Algiers, thus beginning the colonization ofFrench North Africa.

During the First World War, after France had suffered heavy casualties on the Western Front, they began to recruit soldiers from their African empire. APPLE 661-4951 CPU Fan

By 1917, France had recruited 270,000 African soldiers.[5] Their most decorated regiments came from Morocco, but due to the pacification going on at the time they were only able to recruit 23,000 Moroccans. African soldiers had success in the battle of Verdun and failure in the offensive of Nivelle, HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan

but in general regardless of their usefulness French generals did not think highly of their African troops.[5]

After the First World War, France's African war aims were not being decided by her cabinet or the official mind of the colonial ministry, but rather the leaders of the colonial movement in French Africa. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

The first occasion of this occurring happened in 1915-1916, when Francois Georges-Picot (both a diplomat and part of a colonial dynasty) met with the British to discuss the division of Cameroon.[5] Picot proceeded with negotiations with neither the oversight of the French president nor the cabinet. Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan

What resulted was Britain giving nine tenths of Cameroon to the French in where Picot emphasized the demands of the French colonist over the French cabinet. This policy of French colonial leaders determining France's African war aims can be seen throughout much of France's empire.[6] SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan

Colonies were established in India in Chandernagore (1673) and Pondichéry in the south east (1674), and later at Yanam (1723), Mahe (1725), and Karikal (1739) (see French India). Colonies were also founded in the Indian Ocean, on the Île de Bourbon (Réunion, 1664), Isle de France (Mauritius, 1718), and the Seychelles(1756). HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan

In the middle of the 18th century, a series of colonial conflicts began between France and Britain, which ultimately resulted in the destruction of most of the first French colonial empire and the near complete expulsion of France from the Americas. These wars were the War of the Austrian Succession (1744–1748), the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan

the War of the American Revolution (1778–1783), the French Revolutionary Wars (1793–1802) and the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815). It may even be seen further back in time to the first of the French and Indian Wars. This cyclic conflict is known as the Second Hundred Years' War. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Although the War of the Austrian Succession was indecisive – despite French successes in India under the French Governor-General Joseph François Dupleix and Europe under Marshal Saxe – the Seven Years' War, after early French successes in Minorca and North America, saw a French defeat, HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan

with the numerically superior British (over one million to about 50 thousand French settlers) conquering not only New France (excluding the small islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon), but also most of France's West Indian (Caribbean) colonies, and all of the French Indian outposts. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan

While the peace treaty saw France's Indian outposts, and the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe restored to France, the competition for influence in India had been won by the British, and North America was entirely lost – most of New France was taken by Britain (also referred to as British North America, except Louisiana, SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan

which France ceded to Spain as payment for Spain's late entrance into the war (and as compensation for Britain's annexation of Spanish Florida). Also ceded to the British were Grenada and Saint Lucia in the West Indies. Although the loss of Canada would cause much regret in future generations, Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan

it excited little unhappiness at the time; colonialism was widely regarded as both unimportant to France, and immoral.

Some recovery of the French colonial empire was made during the French intervention in the American Revolution, with Saint Lucia being returned to France by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan

but not nearly as much as had been hoped for at the time of French intervention. True disaster came to what remained of France's colonial empire in 1791 when Saint Domingue (the Western third of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola), France's richest and most important colony, was riven by a massive slave revolt, caused partly by the divisions among the island's elite, which had resulted from the French Revolution of 1789. ASUS G2P CPU Fan

The slaves, led eventually by Toussaint Louverture and then, following his capture by the French in 1801, by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, held their own against French, Spanish, and British opponents, and ultimately achieved independence as Empire of Haiti in 1804 (Haiti became the first black republic in the world,[ Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan

much earlier than any of the future African nations although it was not until the 19th century that Europeans began establishing colonies in Africa).

In the meanwhile, the newly resumed war with Britain by the French, resulted in the British capture of practically all remaining French colonies. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

These were restored at the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, but when war resumed in 1803, the British soon recaptured them. France's repurchase of Louisiana in 1800 came to nothing, as the final success of theHaitian revolt convinced Bonaparte that holding Louisiana would not be worth the cost, leading to its sale to the United States in 1803 (the Louisiana Purchase). HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan

The French attempt to establish a colony in Egypt in 1798–1801 was not successful.

At the close of the Napoleonic Wars, most of France's colonies were restored to it by Britain, notably Guadeloupe andMartinique in the West Indies, French Guiana on the coast of South America, various trading posts in Senegal, Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan

the Île Bourbon (Réunion) in the Indian Ocean, and France's tiny Indian possessions; though Britain finally annexed Saint Lucia, Tobago, the Seychelles, and the Isle de France (now Mauritius). In 1825 Charles X sent an expedition to Haïti, resulting in the Haiti indemnity controversy.[7]

The true beginnings of the second French colonial empire, however, Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan

were laid in 1830 with the French invasion of Algeria, which was conquered over the next 17 years. During the Second Empire, Emperor Napoleon III tried to create a puppet state in Mexico, but it was a disaster. The United States in 1865, after winning its Civil War, sent a large combat army to the border and France had to withdraw. HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

Its puppet emperor was executed. This French intervention in Mexico lasted from 1861 to 1867.

In southeast Asia Napoleon III was more successful in establishing control one slice at a time. He took overCochinchina (the southernmost part of modern Vietnam including Saigon) in 1867 and 1874, as well as a protectorate overCambodia in 1863. ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan

Additionally, France had a sphere of influence during the 19th century and early 20th century in southern China, including a naval base at Kuangchow Bay (Guangzhouwan).

It was only after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 and the founding of the Third Republic (1871–1940) that most of France's later colonial possessions were acquired. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan

From their base in Cochinchina, the French took over Tonkin (in modernnorthern Vietnam) and Annam (in modern central Vietnam) in 1884–1885. These, together with Cambodia and Cochinchina, formedFrench Indochina in 1887 (to which Laos was added in 1893, and Kwang-Chou-Wan[10] in 1900). Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan

In 1849, the French concession in Shanghai was established, lasting until 1946.

In China proper, French leased Guangzhouwan (in 1898), and had enclaves (concessions) in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hankou (now part of Wuhan).[12]

Influence was also expanded in North Africa, establishing a protectorate on Tunisia in 1881 (Bardo Treaty). SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan

Gradually, French control was established over much of Northern, Western, and Central Africa around the start of the 20th century (including the modern nations of Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo), and the east African coastal enclave of Djibouti (French Somaliland). SONY VGN-BX197XP CPU Fan

The explorer Colonel Parfait-Louis Monteil traveled from Senegal to Lake Chad in 1890–1892, signing treaties of friendship and protection with the rulers of several of the countries he passed through, and gaining much knowledge of the geography and politics of the region.[13]

The Voulet–Chanoine Mission, a military expedition, was sent out from Senegal in 1898 to conquer the Chad Basin and unify all French territories in West Africa. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

This expedition operated jointly with two other expeditions, the Foureau-Lamy and Gentil missions, which advanced from Algeria and Middle Congo respectively. With the death of the Muslim warlord Rabih az-Zubayr, the greatest ruler in the region, and the creation of the Military Territory of Chad in 1900, the Voulet-Chanoine Mission had accomplished all its goals. Toshiba AB7805HX-GB3 CPU Fan

The ruthlessness of the mission provoked a scandal in Paris.

As a part of the Scramble for Africa, France had the establishment of a continuous west-east axis of the continent as an objective, in contrast with the British north-south axis. This resulted in the Fashoda Incident, Toshiba Satellite L500-208 CPU Fan

where an expedition led byJean-Baptiste Marchand was opposed by forces under Lord Kitchener's command. The resolution of the crisis had a part in the bringing forth of the Entente Cordiale. During the Agadir Crisis in 1911, Britain supported France and Morocco became a French protectorate. HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

At this time, the French also established colonies in the South Pacific, including New Caledonia, the various island groups which make up French Polynesia (including the Society Islands, the Marquesas, the Tuamotus), and established joint control of the New Hebrides with Britain.The French made their last major colonial gains after World War I, Toshiba Satellite P100-444 CPU Fan

when they gained mandates over the former Turkish territories of the Ottoman Empire that make up what is nowSyria and Lebanon, as well as most of the former German colonies of Togo and Cameroon.

A hallmark of the French colonial project in the late 19th century and early 20th century was the civilising mission(mission civilisatrice), HP Pavilion dv7-3114eo CPU Fan

the principle that it was Europe's duty to bring civilisation to benighted peoples.[14] As such, colonial officials undertook a policy of Franco-Europeanisation in French colonies, most notably French West Africa and Madagascar. During the 19th. century, French citizenship along with the right to elect a deputy to the French Chamber of Deputies was granted to the four old colonies of Guadeloupe, HP Mini 110-1125SA CPU Fan

Martinique, Guyanne and Réunion as well as to the residents of the "Four Communes" in Senegal. In most cases, the elected deputies were white Frenchmen, although there were some blacks, such as the Senegalese Blaise Diagne, who was elected in 1914.[15] Elsewhere, in the largest and most populous colonies, HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

a strict separation between "sujets français" (all the natives) and "citoyens français" (all males of European extraction) with different rights and duties was maintained until 1946. As was pointed out in a 1927 treatise on French colonial law, the granting of French citizenship to natives "was not a right, but rather a privilege".[16] Compaq Presario CQ60-210eo CPU Fan

Two 1912 decrees dealing with French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa enumerated the conditions that a native had to meet in order to be granted French citizenship (they included speaking and writing French, earning a decent living and displaying good moral standards). From 1830 to 1946, anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 natives Algerians only were granted French citizenship. HP Pavilion dv7-2250sf CPU Fan

In French West Africa, ouside of the Four Communes, there were 2,500 "citoyens indigènes" out of a total population of 15 million.[17]

French conservatives had been denouncing the assimilationist policies as products of a dangerous liberal fantasy. In the Protectorate of Morocco, HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

the French administration attempted to use urban planning and colonial education to prevent cultural mixing and to uphold the traditional society upon which the French depended for collaboration, with mixed results. After World War II, the segregationist approach modeled in Morocco had been discredited by its connections to Vichyism, and assimilationism enjoyed a brief renaissance.[15] HP G60-230us CPU Fan

In 1905, the French abolished slavery in most of French West Africa.[18] David P. Forsythe wrote: "From Senegal and Mauritania in the west to Niger in the east (what became French Africa), there was a parallel series of ruinous wars, resulting in tremendous numbers of people being violently enslaved. HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

At the beginning of the twentieth century there may have been between 3 and 3.5 million slaves, representing over 30 percent of the total population, within this sparsely populated region."[19]

Critics of French colonialism gained an international audience in the 1920s, and often used documentary reportage and access to agencies such as the League of Nations and the International Labor Organisation to make their protests heard. HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

The main criticism was the high level of violence and suffering among the natives. Major critics included Albert Londres, Félicien Challaye, and Paul Monet, whose books and articles were widely read.[20]

While the first stages of a takeover often involved the destruction of historic buildings in order to use the site for French headquarters, COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

archaeologists and art historians soon engaged in systematic effort to identify, map and preserve historic sites, especially temples such as Angkor Wat, Champa ruins and the temples of Luang Prabang.[21] Many French museums have collections of colonial materials. IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

Since the 1980s the French government has opened new museums of colonial artifacts including the Musée du Quai Branly and the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, in Paris; the Centre Culturel Tjibaou in New Caledonia; and the Maison des Civilisations et de l’Unité Réunionnaise in Réunion. HP G62-110SO CPU Fan

The French colonial empire began to fall during the Second World War, when various parts were occupied by foreign powers (Japan in Indochina, Britain in Syria, Lebanon, and Madagascar, the United States and Britain in Morocco and Algeria, and Germany and Italy in Tunisia). However, control was gradually reestablished by Charles de Gaulle. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

The French Union, included in the 1946 Constitution of 1946, replaced the former colonial Empire.

France was immediately confronted with the beginnings of the decolonisation movement. Paul Ramadier's (SFIO) cabinet repressed the Malagasy Uprising in 1947. In Asia, Ho Chi Minh's Vietminh declared Vietnam's independence, starting the First Indochina War. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

In Cameroun, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon's insurrection, started in 1955 and headed by Ruben Um Nyobé, was violently repressed.

When the Indochina War ended with defeat and withdrawal in 1954, France became almost immediately involved in a new, and even harsher conflict in Algeria, the oldest major colony. HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

Ferhat Abbas and Messali Hadj's movements had marked the period between the two wars, but both sides radicalised after the Second World War. In 1945, the Sétif massacre was carried out by the French army.

The Algerian War started in 1954. Algeria was particularly problematic, Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

due to the large number of European settlers (orpieds-noirs) who had settled there in the 125 years of French rule. Charles de Gaulle's accession to power in 1958 in the middle of the crisis ultimately led to the independence of Algeria with the 1962 Evian Accords. The Suez crisis in 1956 also displayed the limitations of French power, Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

as its attempt to retake the canal along with the British was stymied when the United States did not back the plan.

The French Union was replaced in the new 1958 Constitution of 1958 by the French Community. Only Guinea refused by referendum to take part in the new colonial organisation. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

However, the French Community dissolved itself in the midst of the Algerian War; almost all of the other African colonies were granted independence in 1960, following local referendums. Some few colonies chose instead to remain part of France, under the status of overseas départements (territories). Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

Critics of neocolonialism claimed that theFrançafrique had replaced formal direct rule. They argued that while de Gaulle was granting independence on one hand, he was creating new ties with the help ofJacques Foccart, his counsellor for African matters. Foccart supported in particular the Nigerian Civil War during the late 1960s. ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

Unlike elsewhere in Europe, France experienced relatively low levels of emigration to the Americas, with the exception of theHuguenots in British or Dutch colonies. France generally had close to the slowest natural population growth in Europe, and emigration pressures were therefore quite small. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

A small but significant emigration, numbering only in the tens of thousands, of mainly Roman Catholic French populations led to the settlement of the provinces of Acadia, Canada and Louisiana, both (at the time) French possessions, as well as colonies in the West Indies, Mascarene islands and Africa. SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

In New France, Huguenots were banned from settling in the territory, and Quebec was one of the most staunchly Catholic areas in the world until the Quiet Revolution. The current French Canadian population, which numbers in the millions, is descended almost entirely from New France's small settler population. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

On 31 December 1687 a community of French Huguenots settled in South Africa. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but have since been quickly absorbed into the Afrikaner population. After Champlain's founding of Quebec City in 1608, it became the capital of New France. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

Encouraging settlement was difficult, and while some immigration did occur, by 1763 New France only had a population of some 65,000.[25]

From 1713 to 1787, 30,000 colonists immigrated from France to the St. Domingue. In 1804 Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti (St. Domingue), ordered the massacre of whites remaining on the island.[26] HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

Out of the 40,000 inhabitants onGuadeloupe, at the end of the 17th century, there were more than 26,000 blacks and 9,000 whites.[27] Bill Marshall wrote, "The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly when tropical diseases and climate killed all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers."[28] HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

French law made it easy for thousands of colons, ethnic or national French from former colonies of North and West Africa, India and Indochina to live in mainland France. It is estimated that 20,000 colons were living in Saigon in 1945. 1.6 million European pieds noirs migrated from Algeria, Tunisia andMorocco.[29] Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 French Algerians left Algeria in the largest relocation of population in Europe since World War II.[ In the 1970s, over 30,000 French colons left Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime as the Pol Pot government confiscated their farms and land properties. HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan

In November 2004, several thousand of the estimated 14,000 French nationals in Ivory Coast left country after days of anti-white violence.[30]

Apart from French-Canadians (Québécois and Acadians), Cajuns, and Métis other populations of French ancestry outside metropolitan France include the Caldochesof New Caledonia, the so-called ZoreillesHP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

Petits-blancs with the Franco-Mauritian of various Indian Ocean islands and the Beke people of the French West Indies.

The number of Francophones (French language speakers) in the world has been rising substantially since the 1980s. In 1985, there were 106 million Francophones around the world. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-401TU CPU Fan

That number quickly rose to 173.2 million in 1997, 200 million in 2005, and reached 220 million in 2010 (+10% from 2007).[1] Forecasts expect that the number of French speakers in Africa alone to reach 400 million in 2025 and 715 million in 2050.[2] By 2050, the worldwide French speaking population will be multiplied by a factor of 4 whereas the world population would only be multiplied by a factor of 1.5. Toshiba Satellite A300D CPU Fan

Francization is also a designator applied to a number of ethnic assimilation policies implemented by French authorities from the French Revolution to present. These policies aimed to impose or to maintain the dominance of French language and culture by encouraging or compelling people of other ethnic groups to adopt them, and thereby developing a French identity, HP Pavilion dv8397ea CPU  Fan

at the expense of the existing identity. Coupled with this policy was deliberate suppression of minority languages.

The term can be applied to the Francization of the German-speaking inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine after this region was annexed by France following the First World War, HP Pavilion dv9821ea CPU Fan

to the Flemings in French Flanders, to the Occitans in Occitania, as well as to Basques, Bretons,Catalans, Corsicans and Niçards.

It began with the ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts under King Francis I of France, that prescribed the official use of the French language in all the documents. Other tongues, such as Occitan, began to disappear as written languages. HP COMPAQ TC4200 CPU Fan

Everything was Francized step by step, starting with surnames and place names. Presently, it still continues, but some change their names to bretonize(replacement of 'Le' by 'Ar' for instance Le Bras becomes Ar Braz 'the tall') or occitanize it again. City signs for example, might be spelled in French, but the local authorities are now allowed to add the historic version. SONY Vaio VGN-NW228F CPU Fan

The Government of Quebec has francization policies intended to establish French as the primary language of business and commerce. All businesses are required to provide written communications and schedules in French, and may not make knowledge of a language other than French a condition of hiring unless this is justified by the nature of the duties. HP G62-b16ST CPU Fan

Businesses with more than fifty employees are required to register with the Quebec Office of the French language in order to become eligible for a francization certificate, which is granted if the linguistic requirements are met. If not, employers are required to adopt a francization programme, which includes having employees, HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

especially ones in managerial positions, who do not speak French or whose grasp of French is weak attend French-language training.[4]

As part of the francization programme, the Quebec government provides free language courses for recent immigrants (from other countries or other provinces) who do not speak French or whose command of French is weak. HP Pavilion dv6-3049tx CPU Fan

The government also provides financial assistance for those who are unable to find employment due to being unable to speak French.[5]Another aspect of francization in Quebec regards the quality of the French used in Quebec. The Quebec Office of the French language has, since its formation, undertaken to discourage anglicisms and to promote high standards of French language education in schools.[6] HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

The francization programmes have been considered a great success, since 1977 (date of the vote on the Charter of the French Language.) the number of English speakers decreased from 14% in 1970 to less than 6.7% in 2006, also in the 70s the French language was understood by only native French speakers, (80%) of the population of Quebec, Toshiba Qosmio G30-167 CPU Fan

in 2001, French was understood by more than 94% of the population.[7] Also the number of immigrants choosing English schools for their children fell from 80% in 1970 to less than 4% in 2006.French is also becoming increasingly attractive to foreign speakers suggesting that the francization programmes have been successful.[ HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Montreal is a particular case, because unlike the rest of Quebec, the French-speaking proportion of the population diminished however this does not mean that the francization programmes failed, as the level of English speakers diminished too; it seems more likely that the decrease was caused by the fact that 93% of new immigrants choose to settle in Montreal,[8] Compaq Presario CQ40-408AX CPU Fan

with a corresponding rise in languages other than English and French. The government of Quebec estimate that the next 20 years will see the French-Speaker proportion of Montreal going back up.[9]

But those estimations seems to underestimate the Francization of Montreal for some experts because statistics shows that the proportion has already risen from 55.6% (1996) to 56.4% (2001)[10] HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

The success of the Francization of Quebec can also be seen over the borders of its territory, in Ontario the proportion of English speakers dropped from 70.5% in 2001 to 68% in 2006[11][12] while the proportion of French speakers went up from 4.06% (488 815) in 2006 to 4.80%(580 000) in 2009. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

However, this statistic must be examined in conjunction with the effects of Quebec francophone out-migration. Interprovincial migration, especially to Ontario, results in a net loss of population in Quebec. The numbers of French-speaking Quebecers leaving the province tend to be similar to the number entering, while immigrants to Quebec tend to leave.[13] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

None of the Quebec statistics are adjusted to compensate for the percentage - approximately 20% - of Anglophones who departed the province by the mid-1980s as a consequence of linguistic nationalism.[14] By 2001, over 60% of the 1971 population of Quebec Anglophones had left the province.[15] HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

The policy has been even more successful in New-Brunswick, where entire cities became French-speaking, for example: the city of Edmundston, which went from 89% of French speakers in 1996 to 93.4% in 2006, the city of Moncton (from 30.4% in 1996 to 33% in 2006), Dalhousie (from 42.5% to 49.5%) and Dieppe (from 71.1% in 1996 to 74.2% en 2006). HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

Some cities even passed over the 50% of French speakers between 1991 to 2006 like Bathurst, which passed from 44.6% of French speakers in 1996 to 50.5% in 2006, or Campbellton, (from 47% in 1996 to 55% in 2006).[16][17][18]

The Charter of the French Language has been a complete success according to Hervé Lavenir de Buffon (general secretary of the «HP Pavilion dv7-4150ec CPU Fan

Comité international pour le français, langue européenne »), who said in 2006 : "Before the Bill 101, Montreal looked like an American city, now Montreal looks like a French-speaking city, that proves how well the Bill 101 worked!"[19]

Rates of francization may be established for any group by comparing the number of people who usually speak French to the total number of people in the minority language group. HP Pavilion dv5-1102tu CPU Fan

See Calvin Veltman's Language Shift in the United States (1983) for a discussion.

In the last two centuries, Brussels transformed from an exclusively Dutch-speaking city to a bilingual city with French as the majority language and lingua franca. The language shift began in the 18th century and accelerated as Belgium became independent and Brussels expanded beyond its original city boundaries.[20][21] SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

From 1880 on, more and more Dutch-speaking people became bilingual, resulting in a rise of monolingual French-speakers after 1910. Halfway through the 20th century the number of monolingual French-speakers carried the day over the (mostly) bilingual Flemish inhabitants.[22] HP Pavilion dv7-6011tx CPU Fan

Only since the 1960s, after the fixation of the Belgian language border and the socio-economic development of Flanders was in full effect, could Dutch stem the tide of increasing French use.[23] The francisation of the Flemish periphery around Brussels still continues because of the continued immigration of French-speakers, coming from Wallonia and Brussels. HP Pavilion dv5-1040eb CPU Fan

However, the process is limited by the refusal of the French Government, on the basis of the French Constitution's line "The language of the Republic of France is French," to recognize minority languages in France. ASUS F3Jv CPU Fan,IBM ThinkPad R50p 2887 CPU Fan,SONY VGN-CS36GJ/R CPU Fan

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In the administrative division of France, the department (French: département, pronounced: [depaʁtəmɑ̃]) is one of the three levels of government below the national level (“territorial collectivities”), between the region and the commune. There are 96 departments in metropolitan France and 5 overseas departments, which also are classified as regions. HP Pavilion dv7-6184ca CPU Fan

Departments are further subdivided into 342 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the latter two have no autonomy and are used for the organisation of public services and sometimes elections.

France's departments are administered by elected general councils (conseil général) and their presidents, HP Pavilion dv7-3125eo CPU Fan

whose main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school (collège) buildings and technical staff, of local roads and school and rural buses, and a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the State administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx CPU Fan

where the prefect represents the government; however, regions have gained importance in this regard since the 2000s, with some department-level services merged into region-level services.

The departments were created in 1791 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces in view of strengthening national unity; IBM MCF-C10AM05 CPU Fan

almost all of them are therefore named after rivers, mountains or coasts rather than after historical or cultural territories, unlike regions, and some of them are commonly referred to by their two-digit postal code number, which was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates. They have inspired similar divisions in many of France’s former colonies. SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées (Bridges and Highways) infrastructure administration.

Before the French Revolution, France gained territory gradually through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved, partly in order to weaken old loyalties.

The modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure. HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

Their boundaries served two purposes:

  • Boundaries were deliberately chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation.

Boundaries were set so that any settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of the department. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

  • This was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government.

The old nomenclature was carefully avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after an area's principal river or other physical features. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

Even Paris was in the department of Seine.

The number of departments, initially 83, was increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of theFirst French Empire (see Provinces of the Netherlands for the annexed Dutch departments). ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814-1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size; the number of departments was reduced to 86, as three of the original departments had been split. In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department. The 89 departments were given numbers based on their alphabetical order.

The departments of Moselle, Bas-Rhin, and most of Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

A small part of Haut-Rhin remained French, however, and became known as the Territoire de Belfort. When France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not reintegrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department. FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

The reorganisation of Île-de-France (1968) and the division of Corsica (1975) added six more departments, raising the total to 96. Counting the five overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion and Mayotte) the total comes to 101 departments. In 2011, the overseas collectivity of Mayotte became the 101st department. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

The departmental seat of government is known as the prefecture (préfecture) orchef-lieu de département and is generally a city of some importance roughly at the geographical centre of the department. This was determined according to the time taken to travel on horseback from the periphery of the department. Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

The goal was for the prefecture to be accessible by horseback from any town in the department within 24 hours. The prefecture is not necessarily the largest city in the department; for instance, in Saône-et-Loire department the capital is Mâcon, but the largest city is Chalon-sur-Saône. Departments are divided into one or more arrondissements. HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

The capital of an arrondissement is called asubprefecture (sous-préfecture) or chef-lieu d'arrondissement.

Each department is administered by a general council (conseil général), an assembly elected for six years by universal suffrage, with the president of the council as executive of the department. Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

Before 1982, the executive of a department was the prefect (préfet) who represents the Government of France in each department and is appointed by thePresident of France. The prefect is assisted by one or more sub-prefects (sous-préfet) based in the subprefectures of the department. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan\

The departments are further divided into communes, governed by municipal councils. As of 1999, there were 36,779 communes in France. In the overseas territories, some communes play a role at departmental level. Paris, the country’s capital city, is a commune as well as a department. HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

In continental France (metropolitan France, excluding Corsica), the median land area of a department is 5,965 km2(2,303 sq mi), which is two-and-a-half times the median land area of a ceremonial county of England & Wales and slightly more than three-and-half times the median land area of a county of the United States. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

At the 2001 census, the median population of a department in continental France was 511,012 inhabitants, which is 21 times the median population of a U.S. county, but less than two-thirds of the median population of a ceremonial county of England & Wales. Most of the departments have an area of between 4,000 and 8,000 km², and a population between 320,000 and 1 million. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

The largest in area is Gironde (10,000 km²), while the smallest is the city of Paris (105 km²). The most populous is Nord (2,550,000) and the least populous is Lozère (74,000).

The departments are numbered: their two-digit numbers appear in postal codes, in INSEE codes (including "social security numbers") and on vehicle number-plates.  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

Initially, the numbers corresponded to the alphabetical order of the names of the departments, but several changed their names, so the correspondence became less exact. There is no number 20, but 2A and 2B instead, for Corsica. Corsican postal codes or addresses in both departments do still start with 20, though. Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

The two-digit code "98" is used by Monaco. Together with the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code FR, the numbers form the ISO 3166-2 country subdivision codes for the metropolitan departments. The overseas departments get three digits, e.g. 971 for Guadeloupe (see table below).

These maps cannot be used as a useful resource of voter preferences, SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

because General Councils are elected on a two-round system, which drastically limits the chances of fringe parties, for as long as they are not supported on one of the two rounds by a moderate party. After the 1992 election, the left had a majority in only 21 of the 100 departments; after the 2011 election, the left dominated 61 of the 100 departments (Mayotte only became a department after the election). HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan

The removal of one or more levels of local government has been discussed for some years; in particular, the option of removing the departmental level. Frédéric Lefebvre, spokesman for the UMP, said in December 2008 that the fusion of the departments with the regions was a matter to be dealt with soon. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

This was soon refuted by Édouard Balladur and Gérard Longuet, members of the Committee for the reform of local authorities, known as the Balladur Committee.[1]

In January 2008, the Commission for freeing French development, known as the Attali Commission, recommended that the departmental level of government should be eliminated within ten years.[2] HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Nevertheless, the Balladur Committee has not retained this proposition and does not advocate the disappearance of the departments, but simply "favors the voluntary grouping of departments," which it suggests also for the regions, with the aim of bringing the number of the latter down to fifteen.[3] This committee advocates, on the contrary, the suppression of the cantons. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

This article describes the process by which the territorial extent of metropolitan France came to be as it is in 2009. The territory of the French State is spread throughout the world. Metropolitan France is that part which is in Europe.

Occidental France, which arose from the Treaty of Verdun of 843, remained stable for many years. HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

The first kings, the Capetians, were too much occupied with imposing their authority in their own realm to be expansionist. They deftly exploited dissent among their turbulent vassals, applying pressure on them and on the Church and towns. The great conflicts with the kings of England were important occasions for asserting royal power. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

The 13th century re-annexations of Normandy and ofLanguedoc to the French kingdom were two important stages in the unification of the kingdom.

France soon lost the County of Barcelona (Catalonia), from the end of the 9th century. The crossing beyond the Rhone, which for a long time remained the frontier, did not begin until the 14th century, HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

with the purchase of the Dauphiné. Louis XI regained his inheritance of the two most powerful prerogatives granted to cadet branches of the dynasty: Burgundy and Anjou includingProvence in the Holy Roman Empire (1481–1482).

The marriage of Anne of Brittany first with Charles VIII then with Louis XII led finally to the effective annexation in 1532, of her duchy which was already within the ambit of the French Kingdom but which had hitherto firmly maintained its distinct existence. ACER Aspire 4743 CPU Fan

From 1635 to 1748, Richelieu and Louis XIV undertook an expansion of the frontiers of the kingdom towards the north and towards the Rhine. Their aim was to check the aspiration of the Austrian royal house towards its own predominance in Europe. The loss of French Flanders (1526) had brought the frontier dangerously close to the French capital. HP Pavilion dv6-2170us CPU Fan

Alsace, Artois and Franche-Comté were annexed between 1648 and 1697. The Duchy of Lorraine remained some time an enclave in the French kingdom before it too was incorporated in 1766. This and the purchase of Corsica in 1768 brought the territory of the kingdom into a consolidated block. Toshiba Satellite L675-S7018 CPU Fan

During the period of the French Revolution and First Empire, France expanded temporarily on the left bank of the Rhine. The frontier in the north east lost its definition. On the whole, it remained stable from 1697 to 1789 when it became vague, following no particular line. It was re-established, more or less on its old line in 1815, by the Congress of Vienna. ASUS F80Q CPU Fan

France did lose some places such as Landau and Saarlouis. These strategic losses and the construction of a powerful German state may be seen as giving rise to later diplomatic and military events. But even after the Armistice of 1918, France was unable to make new territorial gains towards the north-east, into the Saarland. ACER TravelMate 4200 CPU Fan

Subsequently in the 19th century, there were only a few developments. The Duchy of Savoy and the County of Nice were definitively re-attached to France, byplebiscite in 1860. Alsace-Lorraine was annexed by Germany in 1871 but became French again in 1918.[1]

Other alterations were made temporarily, by the occupying power, during the period of World War II. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

Modern Metropolitan France lies to a large extent, within clear limits of physical geography. Roughly half of its margin lies on sea coasts. In the south-west, its border lies among the peaks of the Pyrenees mountain range. Similarly, in the south-east it lies in part of the Alps. In the East it follows one or another of the Jura ranges until it reaches the River Rhine, HP G70-120EA CPU Fan

which it follows downstream. The remaining section, in the north-east, between the Rhine and the North Sea, is provided with the least clear natural definition.

The Treaty of Verdun of 843 marked the appearance of France and Germany. The arrangement was seen as a temporary sharing out of the inheritance between the heirs of Charlemagne. Toshiba Satellite A300-034 CPU Fan

It set a seal to the creation of the borders of two states which would have each its own development. Their common frontier at that time, was placed approximately along the Saôneand the Rhône.

On the one side, the first Germanic monarchy would weaken itself in trying to re-establish the Carolingian Empire without having sufficient means. HP 606609-001 CPU Fan

On the other hand, the French monarchy would from a modest base, slowly establish itself, ultimately to take the leading role in Western Europe.

In 987, the Carolingians were ousted in France by the election of Hugues Capet who imposed his dynasty. The royal domain of the first Capetians was initially limited to a part of the Île-de-France, between Paris and Orléans, which were its principal towns. Compaq Presario CQ60-301sl CPU Fan

Elsewhere, it was the great lords who exercised their authority, notably the six lay peers of France : the dukes ofAquitaine, of Burgundy and of Normandy, besides the counts of Champagne, of Flanders and of Toulouse.

The first objective of the Capetian kings was the consolidation of their regional authority, which they tried to do in the course of the 11th and 12th centuries. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

The principal enlargement of the royal domain in the course of that period was the purchase of the Viscounty of Bourges in 1101 which was to become the Duchy of Berry.

The struggle against the Norman and Angevin kings of England was the opportunity for the kings of France to extend their authority. They had it is true; to face up to the formidable challenge with which they were presented. ASUS Eee PC 701 CPU Fan

The Duke of Normandy William the Conqueror became King of England in 1066 through his victory at Hastings over the Saxons. On the extinction of his male line of descent, his heir was the Duke of Anjou, Henry Plantagenet, grandson by his mother of Henry I of England. Two months before he ascended to the English throne, Compaq Presario CQ60-305sa CPU Fan

as Henry II, he married Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, the richest heiress in the French kingdom and ex-wife of the King of France. The kings of France nevertheless, held some trump cards: the prestige and prerogatives of their position, the dissent at the heart of the Plantagenet family and the difficulty the latter had in exacting obedience in the South-West. HP 637607-001 CPU Fan

John Lackland, son of Henry II, caused confusion among his vassals by his irregular and violent behaviour.

The king of France, Phillip Augustus was able to take advantage of this by taking Normandy from him by his capture of the fortress of the Château Gaillard, upstream from Paris (1204). HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

The conquest of that province was vital as it increased the revenues of the French Crown substantially. Philip Augustus was in fact the first king of whom the authority extended beyond the Île de France. The extent of his field of action and its effectiveness of his authority were enhanced. The king subdued notably, the County of Vermandois, Touraine and the key parts of the County of Auvergne. The last was entrusted to several lords of the royal entourage before being formally reattached to the royal domain in 1531. HP Pavilion dv5-1210ez CPU Fan

The success of Philip Augustus was confirmed by his victory over theHoly Roman Emperor at Bouvines in 1214.

Shortly afterwards, The King of France Louis VIII the Lion exploited the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars of theMidi to impose his authority on the County of Toulouse (1229). Compaq Presario CQ50-211nr CPU Fan

This new conquest was to become the province ofLanguedoc and until The Revolution, comprised essentially eight of the modern French départments in the Midi. Thanks to the troubles of the end of the mediaeval period, Languedoc was to obtain the establishment of its own institutions: a parliament (which was a sovereign court of justice) and États, that is States: assembly which voted on taxes and which decided on communal investments. HP G56-114SA CPU Fan

The cumulative effect of these conquests was to prompt the kings to appoint their younger sons to territories: theapanages or privileges. This policy would allow the kings to progressively impose royal authority on the provinces, since in practice, the apanages would return without difficulty, to the crown whether by inheritance or by confiscation. SONY Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N CPU Fan

This happened for example, in Poitou, in 1271 and Anjou, in 1481. These were two provinces taken by conquest from the kings of England by Phillip Augustus and Louis VIII.

Occasionally, the apanage policy weakened the royal power. When the French king, Charles VI was in conflict with Louis of Orléans, his brother, their cousin, the duke of Burgundy, HP Pavilion dv7-4060eo CPU Fan

Jean Sans Peur, by a series of violent strikes, tried to impose himself on the government. He progressively attracted the hostility of the rest of the group of the royal princes: he ended by being ousted. By a surprise attack in 1418, he seized Paris, forcing the heir to the throne, the future Charles VII, to flee to Bourges. Toshiba Satellite M70-252 CPU Fan

Similarly, counts of the very rich county of Flanders (at this stage, they were the dukes of Burgundy) used their position as top rank peers of France to establish a powerful state. Their policy was facilitated by the fragmentation of power in France and in Germany, at the end of the Middle Ages. The duchy of Burgundy's holdings in the Netherlands were the precursor of the modern Belgium. Toshiba Satellite A100-455 CPU Fan

However, the kings of England remained dukes of Aquitaine. When Philip IV died, his nephew, Philip I count of Valois mounted the throne of France in the end, as Philip VI. Philip VI had married Jean of Champagne, who brought Champagne with her into the royal domain (1284). HP Pavilion dv5-2112br CPU Fan

They had two sons but a new series of conflicts, known as the Hundred Years' War, was provoked by the claim of Edward III of England, grandson of Philip VI through Edward's mother. Edward's aim was to supplant Philip VI. French armies suffered heavy defeats at Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356). Later, a third serious defeat was suffered at Agincourt (1415). DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

Having temporarily lost territory as a result of the Treaty of Brétigny, the kingdom was again divided by the Treaty of Tours (1420). But a new spirit was born in Joan of Arc who obliged the English king to raise the Siege of Orléans (1429). Having been crowned at Reims, HP Pavilion dv6-3299en CPU Fan

Charles VII returned to Paris and finally established his authority in the South West, that is to say Aquitaine, taking Bordeaux and Bayonne (1453) from the English king.

The Holy Roman Empire, which is represented in the modern world by Germany, sank into political anarchy during the 13th century. This opened the way to all sorts of encroachment. SONY Vaio VGN-NW11Z/T CPU Fan

Philip IV joined the town of Lyon to his realm again (1312). It was a former capital of the Gauls and an important crossroads in European commerce.

The unhappy Phillip VI bought the Dauphiné on 30 March 1349, by the treaty of Romans.

His grandson, the brother of Charles V, Louis was invested as Duke of Anjou. He was further adopted as heir by the Countess of Provence and Queen of Sicily, Joan. Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan

He accomplished his conquest of Provence in 1383-1384. His grandson,King René could not however, maintain his position in Italy and transferred his possessions to the King of France, Louis XI: Anjou in France and Provence in the Holy Roman Empire (1481).

Louis XI had the good sense not to adopt René's claims in Italy. HP Pavilion dv7-4183sf CPU Fan

That was not so in the case of his son Charles VIII who not only undertook an expedition to Naples which gave no result but beforehand, abandoned several of his father's conquests; Artois, Franche-Comté and Roussillon, to his eventual competitors.

On the one hand, the succession of the Duchy of Burgundy and on the other, HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

the desire to gain a foothold in Italy were the cause of a first series of conflicts with the House of Austria, the Habsburgs. On the death of the last Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, his possessions were divided. His daughter, Mary of Burgundy inherited the Burgundian Netherlands and the Burgundian part of the Franche-Comté. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

Louis XI took back the Duchy of Burgundy proper and Picardy(1482). The grandson of Mary, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V of Habsburg entered into conflict with Francis I of France.[2] They both wanted the Duchy of Burgundy as well as the Duchy of Milan.

This first phase was interrupted by the French Wars of Religion and it was not decisive for the French monarchy. HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

HP Pavilion dv7-3190ei CPU Fan

After his defeat at Pavia in 1526, Francis I kept Burgundy but renounced in perpetuity, his suzerainty over the County of Flanders. The Burgundian Netherlands which Emperor Charles V had inherited, had hitherto been composed partially of French and partially of German territories. By the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549, they became a separate political entity. HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

Meanwhile, Henry II of France consolidated the frontiers of the French kingdom by the occupation in 1552, of the towns of Metz, Toul and Verdun which became the province of the Three Bishoprics and the re-taking of Calais from the Queen of England (1558).

Elsewhere, the marriage of Louis XII with Ann of Brittany, followed by that of their daughter ClaudASUS A6000R CPU Fan

e to Francis I in 1514 permitted the attachment of the Duchy of Brittany to France again (1532).

At the time of his accession in 1589, Henry IV of France brought the possessions of the last remaining great feudal house, the Albrets, to the royal domain. He was the heir by his mother, Joan of Albret. These possessions were Béarn, Armagnac and Limousin. HP Pavilion dv7-6011sg CPU Fan

Having each developed a strong identity, like Languedoc, these later additions, Béarn, Burgundy and Brittany retained their own institutions such as states and parliament, until the Revolution.

The house of Austria showed a wish for supremacy in Europe, giving an impression of a militant bastion ofCatholicism faced with the emergent Protestant states. Toshiba Satellite L300D-01P CPU Fan

The French monarchy was more worried that this claim would find echoes in Catholic circles in France. Besides, Habsburg possessions encircled its territory: Spain, theNetherlands, Franche-Comté and more distantly, Milan. Until the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588, it was not clear that England would not become part of this encirclement. Compaq Presario CQ60-409CA CPU Fan

Henry IV of France had inherited a dispute with Spain. By his mother, he was heir to the kings of Navarre who had been dispossessed by the kings of Spain. They had been left with only Lower Navarre. From this time on, the kings of France carried also the title of 'king of Navarre'.

Before taking up the struggle again, Henry IV paid off the French adventure in Italy. HP Mini 110-3010sf CPU Fan

In 1601, he intervened against Duke of Savoy who had supported plots against him. By the Treaty of Lyon, France acquired Bresse, Bugey,Valromey and the Pays de Gex, which together constitute the modern département of Ain. This was in exchange for the marquisate of Saluzzo, the last place he held in Italy. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

France had taken possession of Saluzzo in 1548, on the death of its last marquis. It had been claimed since the purchase of the Dauphiné.

However, the prospect of a conflict with the house of Austria offended a great part of the Catholics of France, notably the court. Toshiba Satellite M70-142 CPU Fan

DELL Inspiron E1505 CPU Fan

Marie de Médicis and the dukeD' Épernon were notable members of this party. It was in this context that Henry was assassinated by a fanatic, Ravaillac, which put a stop to his project.

The king of France Louis XIII and his prime minister Richelieu retook the offensive in 1635 within the framework of the Thirty Years' War. A first, decisive war against Spain was marked by the victory at Rocroi in 1643. HP 532613-001 CPU Fan

The eastward expansion was aimed at cutting the lines of communication of France's enemies and to facilitate contacts with her allies in Germany, a country then comprising many small, more or less independent states.

Wars against the house of Austria followed each other and the several treaties resulting from them accumulated into a French grasp on several provinces of the Holy Roman Empire: HP Envy 14-1080eo CPU Fan

The Peace of Westphalia (1648) had the effect of an annexation by France of the margraviate of Haute-Alsace, hitherto a Habsburg property, and of the Décapole, a federation of ten Alsatian towns. They also ratified the annexation of the Three Bishoprics, of Metz, Toul and Verdun, occupied since 1552. ACER TravelMate 5230 CPU Fan

  • The Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) allowed the recovery of the County of Artois (with the exception of Aire ofSaint-Omer), and of Roussillon: at this stage, the frontier with Spain became permanently defined.

The first Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) in 1668 ended the War of Devolution. Lenovo 3000 G430 CPU Fan

  • Louis XIV took the towns ofLille, Douai and Armentières from the Spanish, thereby allowing France a foothold back in Flanders.

The Treaty of Nijmegen, signed 10 August 1678, ended the Franco-Dutch War. The great loser in the war was Spain, ceding to France a list of places - Franche-Comté, ASUS EEE PC 1215N CPU Fan

  • the forts on the Aire and Saint-Omer, Cambrai, Valenciennes and Maubeuge in Hainaut. From the time of the Revolution, these French lands in Flanders and Hainaut would become the département of Nord.

From 1680 to 1697, Louis XIV emboldened by his early successes, adopted a policy of unilateral annexations and groupings. Dell Vostro 3750 CPU Fan

The French even took part during the temporary conquest of Habsburg-ruled Luxembourg from 1684 to 1697.

By the Treaty of Rijswijk in 1697, which concluded the War of Austrian Succession, he had finally to renounce most of these newly-taken lands but retainedSaarlouis and Lower Alsace, with the town of Strasbourg. Toshiba Satellite L500-018 CPU Fan

The bulk of Alsace was thenceforward, entirely French. The exceptions were Mulhouse and some territories held by German princes.

At the end of Louis XIV's reign, a balance seemed to have been achieved. The other European powers were no longer disposed to accept a new French expansion and were prepared to form alliances to oppose such a thing. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-116TU CPU Fan

The borders had been pushed out far from the French capital. On top of this, they were thenceforward defended by a network of modern fortresses constructed by Vauban. Fortified towns to the north of Lorraine (Montmédy, Thionville, Longwy, Saarlouis)[4] isolated the Duchy from other states of the German (Holy Roman) Empire so as to weaken the independence of the duke. HP Pavilion dv6-2115eg CPU Fan

Since 1632, France had regularly occupied Lorraine in periods of war, without annexing it.[5] The duke, Charles IV, who was allied with the houses of Austria and Bavaria, adopted a policy hostile towards France. He and afterwards, his nephew, Charles V of Lorraine had been officers in the Imperial Austrian Army. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

It was only later that France was presented with both motive and a favourable occasion to annex the duchy. This was the marriage, in 1736, of Francis de Lorraine to the heiress of the Austrian imperial house, Archduchess Maria Theresa, at a moment when Austria was weakened. The Treaty of Vienna (1738) awarded Lorraine toLouis XV of France, HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

who gave it for life, to his father-in-law, Stanisław Leszczyński. The duchy of Lorraine would be formally annexed to France in 1766, when Stanisław died. In recompense, Duke Francis III was given the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, which was vacant.

Through animosity towards the Habsburgs, France allowed itself to be drawn into the War of Austrian Succession again. SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan

However, after the victory at the Battle of Fontenoy, Louis XV renounced all his new conquests. In 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) put an end to the rivalry of the French and Austrian monarchies.

In 1768, the Republic of Genoa ceded Corsica to Louis XV in exchange for annulment of a debt.[6] Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 CPU Fan

Thus, on the eve of the Revolution, the modern, hexagonal shape of France was accomplished. However, the complexity of the feudal framework which governed the political organization under the Ancien Régime explains the survival of a number of foreign enclaves, particularly in the recent zone of expansion - Alsace, Franche-Comté and Lorraine.  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

The French title of this section has been retained in translation from the French Wikipedia page because the apparently corresponding term in English has not quite the same meaning. English-speaking historians, though they define it otherwise, in effect, regard the term 'contemporary history' as meaning 'within living memory'. HP Pavilion dv7-3020es CPU Fan

French writers on the other hand, are inclined to open the period with the French Revolution.

As a means of loosening old ties of allegiance, and of rationalizing administration, the old divisions based on feudal ownership were replaced by départements of roughly uniform size and named after geographical features such as rivers. HP G62-369TX CPU Fan

Even Paris was in the département of Seine. Nevertheless, in some cases such asNord the modern département comprises broadly, the territory of one period of acquisition.

Following discussion at Plombières, of 21 July 1858, the minister of the Estates of Savoy Camillo Cavour promised Napoleon III the Duchy of Savoy and the county of Nice, HP 13.V1.BJ195.F.GN CPU Fan

in exchange for French support in the policy of the unification of Italy (the Risorgimento), led by king Victor-Emmanuel II of Savoy. That proposition was made official by a treaty at Turin, dated December 1858. It was actually signed in January 1859.

Following the victories over Austria in 1859 (Magenta and Solferino),[11] Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan

and the armistice of Villafranca, Austria ceded Lombardy to France, who ceded it immediately to Piedmont/Sardinia, Napoleon III took back Savoy and Nice. With the Treaty of Turin, 24 March 1860, Victor-Emmanuel consented to ceding the duchy of Savoy and the county of Nice, after consulting the populations, which took place in April 1860. HP Pavilion dv7-1451nr CPU Fan

The king released his Savoyard subjects following the plebiscite of the same month.

Since 1848, Menton and Roquebrune, then integral parts of the principality of Monaco, declared themselves to be free towns and were occupied by a Sardinian garrison. Following the secession by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia of the Duchy of Savoy and of the County of Nice to France in 1860, HP G62-a57SG CPU Fan

the inhabitants of Roquebrune and Menton, towns considered in the circumstances as forming part of the County of Nice, chose by referendum, to be reunited with France.

On 2 February 1861, Prince Charles III of Monaco and Napoleon III signed a treaty at Paris by which, in exchange for 4,000,000 francs, SONY Vaio VGN-NR31S/S CPU Fan

the prince and his successors would renounce in perpetuity, in favour of the Emperor of the French, all rights direct and indirect on these two communes.

Following the Franco-Prussian War, of 1870 and by virtue of the Treaty of Frankfurt (10 May 1871), all of Alsace excepting the Territory of Belfort, was annexed by Germany, as were the districts of Sarreguemines, IBM 91P9252 CPU Fan

Metz, Sarrebourg (less 9 communes), Château-Salins (less 10 communes) and 11 communes of the arrondissement of Briey in Lorraine and the cantons of Saales and Schirmeck in the Vosges; a total of 1,447,000 hectares; 1,694 communes and 1,597,000 inhabitants. These territories would be recovered at the end of the First World War.[13] Toshiba Satellite M70-122 CPU Fan

Alsace-Lorraine was annexed de facto to the Third Reich on 27 November 1940. Though the main towns of Alsace-Lorraine were liberated during the autumn of 1944, by troops of Generals Koenig and Leclerc, fighting raged on in the Colmar Pocket until 2 February 1945.

The French colonial empire was constituted of the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 17th century onward. SONY UDQFWPH22FQU CPU Fan

A distinction is generally made between the "First colonial empire", that existed until 1814 and by which time most of it had been lost, and the "Second colonial empire", which began with the conquest of Algier in 1830 and came to an end with the granting of independence to Algeria in 1962. HP Pavilion dv6-2150ei CPU Fan

By 1900, it had become the world's second-largest colonial empire, albeit far behind the British Empire both in terms of population and size.[1] On the eve of World War II, it covered some 12,300,000 km² of land, with a population of 110 million (including France).

In rivalry with England, France began to establish colonies in North America, the Caribbean, HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

and India, following theSpanish and Portuguese successes during the Age of Discovery. A series of wars with Great Britain during the 18th century and early 19th century stripped away most of its first empire.

France took control of Algeria in 1840 but began in earnest to rebuild its worldwide empire after 1870, concentrating chiefly in West Africa, with important holdings in Asia, Toshiba Satellite P100-238 CPU Fan

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The EU is committed to eliminating existing loopholes in the system of taxation of savings income. Switzerland has expressed to the EU its willingness in principle to correspondingly adjust the taxation of savings income. Here it should be noted that Switzerland has adopted the OECD standard on administrative assistance and that the Federal Council rejects the automatic exchange of information.[43] SONY Vaio VGN-NR31S/S CPU Fan

Since July 1, 2005, Switzerland has charged a withholding tax on all interest earned in the personal Swiss accounts of European Union residents.

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but, since December 2008,[44] is a part of the Schengen agreement. IBM 91P9252 CPU Fan

Swiss bank accounts cannot be opened without the holder signing a legal document asserting that they have no outstanding financial obligations to the IRS. Despite this, Swiss banks have been criticized for improperly shielding tax evaders.

In January 2003, the United States Department of Treasury announced a new information-sharing agreement under the already extant U.S.-Swiss Income Tax Convention;[45] Toshiba Satellite M70-122 CPU Fan

the agreement was intended to facilitate more effective tax information exchange between the two countries.[46] However, Swiss policy has continued to come under international criticism, and in March 2009 Switzerland agreed to renegotiate more effective tax cooperation with the United States and other countries.[47] SONY UDQFWPH22FQU CPU Fan

In 2013, the Swiss Parliament approved a law that allows Swiss banks to cooperate with United States tax authorities as specified in the FATCA.

Some bank accounts are afforded an extra degree of privacy. Information concerning such accounts, known as numbered accounts, is restricted to senior bank officers, rather than being accessible to all the employees of a bank. However, the information required to open such an account is no different from that of an ordinary account; completely anonymous accounts are not allowed by law. HP Pavilion dv6-2150ei CPU Fan

Should a criminal investigation take place, law enforcement has access to information related to a numbered account in the same way it has access to information about any other account.

There are several measures in place to counter money laundering. The Money Laundering Act sets forth requirements of account holders' identification, and requires reporting of any suspicious transactions to the Money Laundering Reporting Office.[50] HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

According to the CIA World Factbook, Switzerland is "a major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries..."[51] Toshiba Satellite P100-238 CPU Fan

However, Switzerland's cooperation in transnational financial issues has been praised by several major U.S. officials. A Federal Bureau of Investigation anti-terrorism official noted that Switzerland was one of several countries to participate in joint task forces targeting financing of Al-Qaeda terrorist cells; ACER Aspire 5739 CPU Fan

a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury praised Swiss cooperation and the country's assistance in the finding and freezing of terrorist and Iraqi assets.

Swiss bank secrecy was dealt a severe setback by the revelations made by ex-UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld, who blew the whistle on UBS providing Americans with vehicles to hide up US$20 billion in assets to avoid taxes.[ IBM ThinkPad T40 2678 CPU Fan

Birkenfeld's revelations to the U.S. government concerning UBS's practices led to a massive fraud investigation against the Swiss bank UBS.[56][57][58] As a result of the information he gave U.S. authorities, the DOJ announced it had reached adeferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with UBS that resulted in a $780 million fine and the release of previously privileged information on American tax evaders.[59][60] IBM Thinkpad T43 CPU Fan

On 11 September 2012, the U.S. IRS Whistleblower Office paid Birkenfeld a $104 million award for acting as a corporate whistleblower.[61] The Swiss media credit Birkenfeld's act with affecting a sea change in Swiss banking. After Birkenfeld's award, the Swiss newspaper Blick claimed, “Birkenfeld was a blessing for the Swiss financial industry,” IBM ThinkPad T43 2668 CPU Fan

in that his revelations helped accelerate the industry's transition away from its reliance on “dirty” money by dooming the bank secrecy laws that enabled tax evasion.[62]

Birkenfeld has compared the Swiss banking industry with gangsters. "In essence, bank secrecy is analogous to criminal racketeering — and the Swiss government, along with every Swiss private banker, is a co-conspirator. IBM ThinkPad T43 1871 CPU Fan

Swiss Banks are alleged to stash black money (money not reported to the government for tax purposes);[64][65] reportedly, the value of deposits in Swiss banks by Indians exceeds the value of deposits by any other nationality.[64] Editor-in-chief for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, noted that, as per documents of bank accounts by a former banker and whistleblower Rudolf Elmer, the "names in the documents came from 'US, Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia' – from all over".ACER Travelmate 8104WLMI CPU Fan

Several inquiries have been made into the conduct of Swiss banks during the Nazi Germany period (1933–1945), especially regarding funds deposited by or allegedly stolen from victims of the Holocaust. The campaign causing the highest outlays (US$1.25 billion in 1999) on the part of the Swiss banking industry as of 2009 was the World Jewish Congress lawsuit against Swiss banks launched by Edgar Bronfman, DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

president of the World Jewish Congress, in concert with US Senator Alfonse d'Amato of New York.[72]

The audit run by the Volcker commission which resulted from this lawsuit cost CHF300 million and gave its final report in December 1999. It determined that the 1999 book value of all dormant accounts possibly belonging to victims of Nazi persecution that were unclaimed, ASUS F80S CPU Fan

closed by the Nazis, or closed by unknown persons was CHF95 million. Of this total, CHF24 million were "probably" related to victims of Nazi persecution.[73] In addition the commission found "no proof of systematic destruction of records of victim accounts, organized discrimination against the accounts of victims of Nazi persecution, HP Pavilion dv5-1058eo CPU Fan

or concerted efforts to divert the funds of victims of Nazi persecution to improper purposes." It also "confirmed evidence of questionable and deceitful actions by some individual banks in the handling of accounts of victims".[73]

In response to the lawsuit, the Swiss government commissioned an independent panel of international scholars known as the IBM 13N5182 CPU Fan

Bergier Commission to study the relationship between Switzerland and the Nazi regime. It reached similar conclusions about the banks' conduct in its final report,[74] and found that trade with Nazi Germany did not significantly prolong the war.

With recent changes in the Swiss bank secrecy regime the assets held by foreign persons in Swiss IBM Thinkpad T30 2366-AA3 CPU Fan

bank accounts declined according to data by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) by 28.1% between January 2008 and November 2009. Other states, such as Singapore, have attracted depositors seeking privacy and protection. Having taken steps to make its banks more attractive, Singapore strengthened penalties for violators of bank secrecy (IBM Thinkpad T30 CPU Fan

and now imposes steeper fines and longer jail sentences for offenders), and modified its laws on trusts and inheritance. Singapore is also now the location of Credit Suisse's international banking headquarters.[75] Despite these changes, however, Switzerland still ranks at the top of the Tax Justice Network's "Financial Secrecy Index" as of 2011. HP 535438-001 CPU Fan

The Swiss economy is characterised by a skilled and generally 'peaceful' workforce. One quarter of the country's full-time workers are unionised. Labour and management relations are amicable, characterised by a willingness to settle disputes instead of resorting to labour action. They take place between trade unions and branch associations, DELL Inspiron N3010 CPU Fan

that are themselves often grouped in Union of Employers, like the Fédération patronale vaudoise or the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève. About 600 collective bargaining agreements exist today in Switzerland and are regularly renewed without major problems.

With the peak of the number of bankruptcies in 2003, however, the mood was pessimistic. HP Pavilion dv6-3070tx CPU Fan

Massive layoffs and dismissals by enterprises resulting from the global economic slowdown, major management scandals and different foreign investment attitudes have strained the traditional Swiss labour peace. Swiss trade unions have encouraged strikes against several companies, including Swiss International Air Lines, Coca-Cola, and Orange. Total days lost to strikes, however, remain among the lowest in the OECD. IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan

Switzerland is among the world's most prosperous countries in terms of private income. In 2007 the gross median household income in Switzerland was an estimated 107,748 CHF, or USD 137,094 at purchasing power parity (PPP). The median income after social security, taxes and mandatory health insurance was 75,312 CHF, or USD 95,824 at PPP. ASUS A8H CPU Fan

In October 2011, Switzerland had the highest average wealth per adult, at USD 540,000 (c. 325,000 at PPP)[32] This development was tied to the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Swiss franc, which caused capital in Swiss francs to more than double its value in dollar terms during the 2000s and especially in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007–2008, without any direct increase in value in terms of domestic purchasing power.[33] SONY UDQFRZH13CF0 CPU Fan

At the same time, wealth distribution of Switzerland has the high Gini coefficient of 0.8, indicating unequal distribution, see list of countries by distribution of wealth.[34] The high average wealth is explained by a comparatively high number of individuals who are extremely wealthy and says nothing about a typical Swiss citizen. HP COMPAQ 2510P CPU Fan

The median wealth of a Swiss adult (50th percentile) is five times lower than the average, at USD 100,900 (c. USD 61,000 at PPP).

Apart from agriculture, there are minimal economic and trade barriers between the European Union and Switzerland. In the wake of the Swiss voters' rejection of the European Economic Area Agreement in 1992, APPLE 661-4951 CPU Fan

the Swiss Government set its sights on negotiating bilateral economic agreements with the EU. Four years of negotiations culminated in Bilaterals, a cross-platform agreement covering seven sectors: research, public procurement, technical barriers to trade, agriculture, civil aviation, land transport, and the free movement of persons. HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan

Parliament officially endorsed the Bilaterals in 1999 and it was approved by general referendum in May 2000. The agreements, which were then ratified by the European Parliament and the legislatures of its member states, entered into force on June 1, 2002. The Swiss government has since embarked on a second round of negotiations, called the Bilaterals II, which will further strengthen the two organisations' economic ties. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Switzerland has since brought most of their practices into conformity with European Union policies and norms in order to maximise the country's international competitiveness. While most of the EU policies are not contentious, police and judicial cooperation to international law enforcement and the taxation of savings are controversial, mainly because of possible side effects on bank secrecy. Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan

Swiss and EU finance ministers agreed in June 2003 that Swiss banks would levy a withholding tax on EU citizens' savings income. The tax would increase gradually to 35% by 2011, with 75% of the funds being transferred to the EU. Recent estimates value EU capital inflows to Switzerland to $8.3 billion. SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) (in French, Banque des règlements internationaux (BRI)) is aninternational organization of central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks".[2] As an international institution, it is not accountable to any single national government. HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan

The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City. SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan

The BIS was established on May 17, 1930 by an intergovernmental agreement by Germany,Belgium, France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Italy, Japan, United States andSwitzerland.[3][4]

The BIS was originally intended to facilitate reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.[5] HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

The need to establish a dedicated institution for this purpose was suggested in 1929 by the Young Committee, and was agreed to in August of that year at a conference at The Hague. A charter for the bank was drafted at the International Bankers Conference at Baden Baden in November, and its charter was adopted at a second Hague Conference on January 20, 1930. HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan

According to the charter, shares in the bank could be held by individuals and non-governmental entities. The BIS was constituted as having corporate existence in Switzerland on the basis of an agreement with Switzerland acting as headquarter state for the bank. It also enjoyed immunity in all the contracting states. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan

Between 1933 and 1945 the BIS board of directors included Walther Funk, a prominent Naziofficial, and Emil Puhl, who were both convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, as well as Hermann Schmitz, the director of IG Farben, and Baron von Schroeder, the owner of the J.H.Stein Bank, which held the deposits of the Gestapo. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan

There were allegations that the BIS had helped the Germans loot assets from occupied countries during World War II.

As a result of these allegations, at the Bretton Woods Conference held in July 1944, Norway proposed the "liquidation of the Bank for International Settlements at the earliest possible moment". Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan

This resulted in the BIS being the subject of a disagreement between the American and British delegations. The liquidation of the bank was supported by other European delegates, as well as the United States (including Harry Dexter White, Secretary of the Treasury, and Henry Morgenthau),[6] but opposed by John Maynard Keynes, head of the British delegation.

Fearing that the BIS would be dissolved by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan

Keynes went to Morgenthau hoping to prevent the dissolution, or have it postponed, but the next day the dissolution of the BIS was approved. However, the liquidation of the bank was never actually undertaken.[7] In April 1945, the new U.S. president Harry S. Truman and the British government suspended the dissolution, and the decision to liquidate the BIS was officially reversed in 1948.[8] ASUS G2P CPU Fan

The BIS was originally owned by both governments and private individuals, since the United States and France had decided to sell some of their shares to private investors. BIS shares traded on stock markets, which made the bank an unusual organization: an international organization (in the technical sense of publicinternational law), yet allowed for private shareholders. Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan

Many central banks had similarly started as such private institutions; for example, the Bank of England was privately owned until 1946. In more recent years the BIS has bought back its once publicly traded shares.[9] It is now wholly owned by BIS members (central banks) but still operates in the private market as a counterparty, DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

asset manager and lender for central banks and international financial institutions.[10] Profits from its transactions are used, among other things, to fund the bank's other international activities.

As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks. HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan

While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan

preferably as asimultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic assumptions. Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan

Central banks do not unilaterally "set" rates, rather they set goals and intervene using their massive financial resources and regulatory powers to achieve monetary targets they set. One reason to coordinate policy closely is to ensure that this does not become too expensive and that opportunities for private arbitrage exploiting shifts in policy or difference in policy, are rare and quickly removed. HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

Two aspects of monetary policy have proven to be particularly sensitive, and the BIS therefore has two specific goals: to regulate capital adequacy and make reserve requirements transparent.

Capital adequacy policy applies to equity and capital assets. These can be overvalued in many circumstances because they do not always reflect current market conditions or adequately assess the risk of every trading position. ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan

Accordingly the BIS requires the capital/asset ratio of central banks to be above a prescribed minimum international standard, for the protection of all central banks involved.

The BIS's main role is in setting capital adequacy requirements. From an international point of view, ensuring capital adequacy is the most important problem between central banks, as speculative lending based on inadequate underlying capital and widely varying liability rules causes economic crises as "bad money drives out good" (Gresham's Law). SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan

Reserve policy is also important, especially to consumers and the domestic economy. To ensure liquidity and limit liabilityto the larger economy, banks cannot create money in specific industries or regions without limit. To make bank depositing and borrowing safer for customers and reduce risk of bank runs, banks are required to set aside or "reserve".Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan

Reserve policy is harder to standardize as it depends on local conditions and is often fine-tuned to make industry-specific or region-specific changes, especially within large developing nations. For instance, the People's Bank of China requires urban banks to hold 7% reserves while letting rural banks continue to hold only 6%, SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan

and simultaneously telling all banks that reserve requirements on certain overheated industries would rise sharply or penalties would be laid if investments in them did not stop completely. The PBoC is thus unusual in acting as a national bank, focused on the country not on the currency, but its desire to control asset inflation is increasingly shared among BIS members who fear "bubbles", SONY VGN-BX197XP CPU Fan

and among exporting countries that find it difficult to manage the diverse requirements of the domestic economy, especially rural agriculture, and an export economy, especially in manufactured goods.

Effectively, the PBoC sets different reserve levels for domestic and export styles of development. Historically, Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

the United States also did this, by dividing federal monetary management into nine regions, in which the less-developed western United States had looser policies.

For various reasons it has become quite difficult to accurately assess reserves on more than simple loan instruments, and this plus the regional differences has tended to discourage standardizing any reserve rules at the global BIS scale. Toshiba AB7805HX-GB3 CPU Fan

Historically, the BIS did set some standards which favoured lending money to private landowners (at about 5 to 1) and for-profit corporations (at about 2 to 1) over loans to individuals. These distinctions reflecting classical economicswere superseded by policies relying on undifferentiated market values—more in line with neoclassical economics. Toshiba Satellite L500-208 CPU Fan

The BIS sets "requirements on two categories of capital, tier 1 capital and total capital. Tier 1 capital is the book value of its stock plus retained earnings. Tier 2 capital is loan-loss reserves plus subordinated debt. Total capital is the sum of Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital. Tier 1 capital must be at least 4% of total risk-weighted assets. HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

Total capital must be at least 8% of total risk-weighted assets. When a bank creates a deposit to fund a loan, its assets and liabilities increase equally, with no increase in equity. That causes its capital ratio to drop. Thus the capital requirement limits the total amount of credit that a bank may issue. Toshiba Satellite P100-444 CPU Fan

It is important to note that the capital requirement applies to assets while the bank reserve requirement applies to liabilities."

The relatively narrow role the BIS plays today does not reflect its ambitions or historical role.

A "well-designed financial safety net, supported by strong prudential regulation and supervision, HP Pavilion dv7-3114eo CPU Fan

effective laws that are enforced, and sound accounting and disclosure regimes", are among the Bank's goals. In fact they have been in its mandate since its founding in 1930 as a means to enforce the Treaty of Versailles.

The BIS has historically had less power to enforce this "safety net" than it deems necessary. HP Mini 110-1125SA CPU Fan

Recent head Andrew Crockett has bemoaned its inability to "hardwire the credit culture", despite many specific attempts to address specific concerns such as the growth of offshore financial centres (OFCs), highly leveraged institutions (HLIs), large and complex financial institutions (LCFIs), deposit insurance, and especially the spread of money laundering and accounting scandals. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

The BIS provides the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision with its 17-member secretariat, and with it has played a central role in establishing the Basel Capital Accords of 1988 and 2004. There remain significant differences between United States, European Union, and United Nations officials regarding the degree of capital adequacy and reserve controls that global banking now requires. Compaq Presario CQ60-210eo CPU Fan

Put extremely simply, the United States, as of 2006, favoured strong strict central controls in the spirit of the original 1988 accords, while the EU was more inclined to a distributed system managed collectively with a committee able to approve some exceptions.

The UN agencies, especially ICLEI, are firmly committed to fundamental risk measures: HP Pavilion dv7-2250sf CPU Fan

the so-called triple bottom line and were becoming critical of central banking as an institutional structure for ignoring fundamental risks in favour of technical risk management.

Since 2004, the BIS has published its accounts in terms of special drawing rights (SDRs), replacing the gold franc as the bank's unit of account. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

As of March 2007 (end of month) the bank had total assets of $409.15 billion, given a dollar/SDR exchange rate of 1.51 for March 30, 2007. Included in that total is 150 tons of fine gold.

Zermatt is a municipality in the district of Visp in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais inSwitzerland. It has a population of about 5,800 inhabitants. HP G60-230us CPU Fan

The town lies at the upper end of Mattertal at an elevation of 1,620 m (5,310 ft), at the foot of Switzerland's highest peaks. It lies about 10 km (6.2 mi) from the over 10,800 ft (3,291.84 m) high Theodul Pass bordering Italy.

Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

Until the mid-19th century, it was predominantly an agricultural community; the first and tragic ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 was followed by a rush on the mountains surrounding the village, leading to the construction of many tourist facilities. The year round population (as of December 2012) is 5,786[1], HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

though there may be several times as many tourists in Zermatt at any one time. Much of the local economy is based on tourism, with about half of the jobs in town in hotels or restaurants[3]and just under half of all apartments are vacation apartments.[4] Just over one-third of the permanent population was born in the town, while another third moved to Zermatt from outside Switzerland. COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

The name of Zermatt, as well as that of the Matterhorn itself, derives from the alpine meadows, or matten (in German), in the valley. The name appeared first as Zur Matte ("at the meadow") and became later Zermatt. It does not appear until 1495 on a map or 1546 in a text, but may have been employed long before. IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

Praborno or Prato Borno (prato also means meadow) are the older names of Zermatt; they appear in the ancient maps as early as the thirteenth century.[6] The French-speaking people from the Aosta Valley and from the French-speaking part of canton Valais (Wallis) used this name until about 1860 in the form of Praborne, or PraborgneHP G62-110SO CPU Fan

The reason of this change from Praborno to Zermatt is attributed to the gradual replacement of the Romance-speaking people by German-speaking colony.

The town of Zermatt lies at the southern end of the Matter Valley (German: Mattertal), which is one of the lateral branches of the great Valley of the Rhone. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

Zermatt is almost completely surrounded by the high mountains of the Pennine Alps among which Monte Rosa (or Dufourspitze), Switzerland's highest peak at 4,634 metres (15,203 ft) above sea level. It is followed by the Dom (4,545 m [14,911 ft]), Lyskamm (4,527 m [14,852 ft]), Weisshorn (4,505 m [14,780 ft]) and theMatterhorn (4,478 m [14,692 ft]). SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

Most of the Alpine four-thousanders are located around Zermatt or in the neighbouring valleys.

Zermatt is traversed by the main river of the valley: the Matter Vispa,[9] which rises at the glaciers at the feet of the highest peaks: the Gorner Glacier on the east side near Monte Rosa and the Zmutt Glacier on the west side between Dent d'Hérens and Dent Blanche. HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

The town of Zermatt, while dense, is geographically small. There are three main streets which run along the banks of the river Matter Vispa, and numerous cross-streets, especially around the station and the church which forms the centre of Zermatt. In general anything is at most a thirty-minute walk away. Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

There are several "suburbs" within Zermatt. Winkelmatten, which was once a separate hamlet, lies on a hill (1,670 m [5,480 ft]) on the southern side. Steinmatten is located on the eastern bank of the main river.

Many hamlets are located in the valleys above Zermatt, however they are not usually inhabited all Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

year round. Zum See(1,766 m [5,794 ft]) lies south of Zermatt on the west bank of the Gorner gorge, near Furi where a cable car station is located (1,867 m [6,125 ft]). On the side of Zmutt valley (west of Zermatt) lies the hamlet of Zmutt (1,936 m [6,352 ft]), north of the Zmuttbach river. Findeln (2,051 m [6,729 ft]) is located in the eastern valley above the Findelbach river. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

It lies below the Sunnegga station (2,278 m [7,474 ft]). Located near a train station of the Gornergrat railway, Riffelalp (2,222 m [7,290 ft]) is one of the highest hamlets with a chapel.

Zermatt has an area, as of 2011, of 242.7 km2 (93.7 sq mi). Of this area, 9.5% is used for agricultural purposes, while 4.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 0.7% is settled (buildings or roads) and 85.6% is unproductive land. Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

The village was "discovered" by mid-nineteenth-century British mountaineers, most notably Edward Whymper, whose conquest of the Matterhorn made the village famous. The Matterhorn was one of the last alpine mountains to be conquered (in 1865), and the first expedition that reached the top ended dramatically with only 3 of the 7 climbers surviving the descent. ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

The story is related in the Matterhorn Museum.

Zermatt is a starting point for hikes into the mountains, including the Haute Route that leads to Chamonix in France and the Patrouille des Glaciers. Cable cars and chair liftscarry skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer; Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

the highest of them leads to theKlein Matterhorn at 3,883 m (12,740 ft), a peak on the ridge between Breithorn and Matterhorn that offers spectacular views in all directions. It is possible to cross into Italy via the Cervinia cable car station. A spectacular rack railway line (theGornergratbahn, the highest open-air railway in Europe) runs up to the summit of theGornergrat at 3,089 m (10,134 ft). SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

Zermatt is also the western terminus for the Glacier Express rail service connecting to St. Moritz and the MGB (Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn).

To prevent air pollution, which could obscure the town's view of the Matterhorn, the entire town is a combustion-engine car-free zone. Almost all vehicles in Zermatt are battery driven and almost completely silent. Electric vehicles are allowed for local commerces. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

The Cantonal police can issue a permit which allows residents to drive and park at the northern outskirts. Some emergency (fire trucks, ambulances, etc.) and municipal (buses, garbage trucks, etc.) vehicles are also allowed to use combustion engines. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

Passenger vehicles operating within Zermatt include tiny electric shuttles provided by hotels to carry visitors from the main train station (or the taxi transfer point just outside town) to the hotel properties, "electro" taxis operated by four major Zermatt families, and "electro" buses, which serve two routes: HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

one between the major hotel areas and the stations of the various ski-lifts, and the other following a similar route but also serving the more rural "suburb" of Winkelmatten. Horse-drawn carriages can also be found; some are operated by hotels and others are available for hire.

Most visitors reach Zermatt by cog railway train from the nearby town of Täsch (Zermatt shuttle). HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

Trains also depart for Zermatt from farther down the valley at Visp and Brig, which are on the main Swiss rail network. The town also has a heliport (ICAO: LSEZ) and a local helicopter operator, Air Zermatt, which also provides alpine rescue services.

In 2007, a project group was formed to evaluate options for development of the local transportation network (as the "electro" buses do not have enough capacity). Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

The results of this study are published in the December 2007 edition of Zermatt Inside. The six options explored are a coaster, a funicular, a metro, moving sidewalks, a gondola and more "electro" buses.

Zermatt is known throughout the world for its skiing, especially Triftji for its moguls. The high altitude results in consistent skiing continuously throughout the summer. HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan

Skiing in Zermatt is split up into four areas: Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee. There is also a connection to Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy through the Plateau Rosa glacier.[12][13]

In 2008, Zermatt hosted an "Infinity Downhill Race". HP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

The race took place on 13 and 14 December and comprised a course descending from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (3,800 m (12,500 ft)) and finished in Zermatt itself (1,600 m (5,200 ft)). The course was 20 kilometres (12 miles) long and featured a 2,200 metres (7,218 feet) descent. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-401TU CPU Fan

The Sunnegga Paradise is accessed via a funicular railway, followed by a gondola to Blauherd and finally a cable car onwards to the Rothorn (3,103 m) above. The topography of the mountain and the valley tends to keep the Rothorn clear and sunny, even when Zermatt is submerged in cloud. Toshiba Satellite A300D CPU Fan

From Blauherd there is a gondola down to Gant, and from there a connecting cablecar goes to Hohtälli. This cable car and the newer 4-seat chairlift Sunnegga-Findeln-Breitboden provide connections between Sunnegga and Gornergrat. With few steep slopes, this mountain is often used to train younger skiers.

The Gornergrat is served by the Gornergratbahn railway, HP Pavilion dv8397ea CPU  Fan

a 29 minute ride to the Gornergrat peak (3,089 m), via Riffelalp, Rotenboden and Riffelberg, (with limited stops at Findelbach and Landtunnel just above Zermatt). At the summit, the hotel and restaurant have been refurbished and accommodate a shopping centre. Riffelalp station is linked to Riffelalp Resort by a short tramway line named Riffelalptram.[15] HP Pavilion dv9821ea CPU Fan

A cable car heads up from Hohtälli to the Rote Nase (3,247 m). This final lift serves a freeride area but can be unreliable as this mountainside requires good snow cover to be skiable. The lifts in this area generally open for the season in late February or early March - cablecar is now permanently closed, with no replacement lift planned. HP COMPAQ TC4200 CPU Fan

A new slope leading back from Hohtälli to Kellensee just under the Gornergrat replaced this lift to maintain the link from the Rothorn to Gornergrat.

Near the southern end of Zermatt, the Matterhorn Express gondola transports passengers up to the interchange station at Furi. From here there is access to Schwarzsee via a gondola to the right, SONY Vaio VGN-NW228F CPU Fan

a cable car that leads on to the Trockener Steg midstation (and then on to the Klein Matterhorn), and a new gondola, opened on 18 December 2006, links Furi to Riffelberg on the Gornergrat mountain. This lift addresses one of the most persistent criticisms of Zermatt: that it is very difficult to ski the two sides of the valley without a tiresome trek through Zermatt between the Gornergratbahn and the Matterhorn Express at opposite ends of the town. HP G62-b16ST CPU Fan

Testa Grigia at the top of the Theodulpass serves as a connection to the Italian ski-resorts of Cervinia and Valtournenche. From the Swiss side it is only reachable by skilift, but from the Italian side by a chairlift and by a cablecar. There are customs offices here as well as a small alpine museum. HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

Zermatt is marketed as an all year skiing resort, with summer skiing limited to the Theodulgletscher behind the Klein Matterhorn. Whilst strictly true, during the off season in May and June there will only tend to be one or two runs open, and the main glacier area does not open until July. HP Pavilion dv6-3049tx CPU Fan

In operation since 25 October 2003, the Furggsattel six-seater chairlift has twelve (of eighteen) masts that stand directly on the glacial ice of the Theodulgletscher - a first for Switzerland. It is one of very few lifts worldwide with bottom- and top-station in different countries, respectively Switzerland and Italy. HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

Zermatt has a population (as of December 2012) of 5,786.[1] As of 2008, 35.9% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[19] Over the last 10 years (2000–2010 ) the population has changed at a rate of 6.4%. It has changed at a rate of -3.2% due to migration and at a rate of 7.1% due to births and deaths.[10] Toshiba Qosmio G30-167 CPU Fan

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (4,093 or 68.4%) as their first language, Portuguese is the second most common (719 or 12.0%) and Italian is the third (474 or 7.9%). There are 226 people who speak French and 1 person who speaksRomansh.[5]

As of 2008, the population was 51.6% male and 48.4% female. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

The population was made up of 1,840 Swiss men (31.6% of the population) and 1,166 (20.0%) non-Swiss men. There were 1,837 Swiss women (31.5%) and 985 (16.9%) non-Swiss women.[20] Of the population in the municipality, 2,214 or about 37.0% were born in Zermatt and lived there in 2000. Compaq Presario CQ40-408AX CPU Fan

There were 720 or 12.0% who were born in the same canton, while 774 or 12.9% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 2,039 or 34.1% were born outside of Switzerland.[5]

As of 2000, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 21.3% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 70.2% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 8.5%.[10] HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

As of 2000, there were 2,763 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 2,830 married individuals, 207 widows or widowers and 188 individuals who are divorced.[5]

As of 2000, there were 2,441 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.2 persons per household.[10] There were 921 households that consist of only one person and 128 households with five or more people. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

In 2000, a total of 2,167 apartments (52.1% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 1,890 apartments (45.4%) were seasonally occupied and 103 apartments (2.5%) were empty.[4] As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 14.1 new units per 1000 residents.

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the CVP which received 68.98% of the vote. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

The next three most popular parties were the SVP (19.61%), the SP (6.3%) and the FDP (3.51%). In the federal election, a total of 1,326 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 46.0%.[23]

In the 2009 Conseil d'Etat/Staatsrat election a total of 1,009 votes were cast, of which 66 or about 6.5% were invalid. The voter participation was 34.4%, which is much less than the cantonal average of 54.67%.[24] HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

In the 2007 Swiss Council of States election election a total of 1,289 votes were cast, of which 105 or about 8.1% were invalid. The voter participation was 45.4%, which is much less than the cantonal average of 59.88%.

About half of the jobs in Zermatt are in the hotel and restaurant industry. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

As of 2010, Zermatt had an unemployment rate of 1.9%. As of 2008, there were 52 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 23 businesses involved in this sector. 567 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 56 businesses in this sector. 3,957 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 433 businesses in this sector.[10] HP Pavilion dv7-4150ec CPU Fan

There were 3,841 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 44.6% of the workforce.

In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 4,261. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 20, all of which were in agriculture. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 538 of which 83 or (15.4%) were in manufacturing and 385 (71.6%) were in construction. HP Pavilion dv5-1102tu CPU Fan

The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 3,703. In the tertiary sector, 531 or 14.3% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 477 or 12.9% were in the movement and storage of goods, 2,178 or 58.8% were in a hotel or restaurant, 38 or 1.0% were in the information industry, SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

54 or 1.5% were the insurance or financial industry, 116 or 3.1% were technical professionals or scientists, 56 or 1.5% were in education and 87 or 2.3% were in health care.[3]

In 2000, there were 744 workers who commuted into the municipality and 89 workers who commuted away. HP Pavilion dv7-6011tx CPU Fan

The municipality is a net importer of workers, with about 8.4 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving.[26] Of the working population, 7.1% used public transportation to get to work, and 2.6% used a private car.

From the 2000 census, 4,458 or 74.4% were Roman Catholic, while 458 or 7.6% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. HP Pavilion dv5-1040eb CPU Fan

Of the rest of the population, there were 131 members of an Orthodox church (or about 2.19% of the population), there were 2 individuals (or about 0.03% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church, and there were 59 individuals (or about 0.99% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. ASUS F3Jv CPU Fan

There were 4 individuals (or about 0.07% of the population) who were Jewish, and 82 (or about 1.37% of the population) who were Muslim. There were 6 individuals who wereBuddhist and 4 individuals who belonged to another church. 205 (or about 3.42% of the population) belonged to no church, areagnostics or atheists, and 602 individuals (or about 10.05% of the population) did not answer the question. IBM ThinkPad R50p 2887 CPU Fan

In Zermatt about 1,988 or (33.2%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 470 or (7.8%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 470 who completed tertiary schooling, 51.1% were Swiss men, 21.1% were Swiss women, 14.0% were non-Swiss men and 13.8% were non-Swiss women.[5] SONY VGN-CS36GJ/R CPU Fan

During the 2010-2011 school year there were a total of 677 students in the Zermatt school system. The education system in the Canton of Valais allows young children to attend one year of non-obligatory Kindergarten.[27] During that school year, there 6 kindergarten classes (KG1 or KG2) and 106 kindergarten students. Toshiba Satellite A215-S4807 CPU Fan

The canton's school system requires students to attend six years of primary school. In Zermatt there were a total of 24 classes and 458 students in the primary school. The secondary school program consists of three lower, obligatory years of schooling (orientation classes), followed by three to five years of optional, advanced schools. Toshiba Satellite Pro M10-SP405 CPU Fan

There were 219 lower secondary students who attended school in Zermatt.[28] All the upper secondary students attended school in another municipality.

As of 2000, there were 98 students in Zermatt who came from another municipality, while 23 residents attended schools outside the municipality. HP Pavilion dv4-1120us CPU Fan,Compaq Presario C550EM CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv7-4087cl CPU Fan

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The economy of Switzerland is one of the world's most stable economies. Its policy of long-term monetary security and political stability has made Switzerland a safe haven for investors, creating an economy that is increasingly dependent on a steady tide of foreign investment. HP Pavilion dv7-6184ca CPU Fan

Because of the country's small size and high labor specialization, industry and trade are the keys to Switzerland's economic livelihood. Switzerland has achieved one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with low unemployment rates and a balanced budget. The service sector has also come to play a significant economic role. HP Pavilion dv7-3125eo CPU Fan

Switzerland as a federal state was established in 1848. Before that time, the city-cantons of Zurich and Basel in particular began to develop economically based on industry and trade, while the rural regions of Switzerland remained poor and under-developed. While a workshop system had been in existence throughout the early modern period, HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx CPU Fan

the production of machines began in 1801 in St. Gallen, with the third generation of machines imported from Great Britain. But in Switzerland, hydraulic power was often used instead of steam-engines because of the country's topography while there are no significant deposits of coal. By 1814, hand weaving had been mostly replaced by the power loom. IBM MCF-C10AM05 CPU Fan

Both tourism and banking began to develop as an economic factor from about the same time.

Its industrial sector began to grow in the mid-19th century, but Switzerland's emergence as one of the most prosperous nations in Europe, sometimes termed the "Swiss miracle" was a development of the short 20th century, among other things tied to the role of Switzerland during the World Wars. SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

During World War I, Switzerland suffered an economic crisis. It was marked by a decrease in energy consumption, energy being mostly produced by coal in the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The war tax[specify] was introduced. As imports were difficult, attempts were made to strengthen the Swiss economy. DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

The cultivation of grain was promoted, and the Swiss railway became the first to use electric instead of coal-burning, steam-driven engines[

In the 1920s Switzerland's energy consumption increased[

Throughout the 1930s Switzerland's energy consumption stagnated[HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

In the 1940s, particularly during World War II the economy profited from the increased export and delivery of weapons to the German Reich, France, Great Britain, and other neighbouring and close countries. However, Switzerland's energy consumption decreased rapidly. The conduct of the banks cooperating with the Nazis, but not exclusively, they also cooperated extensively with the British and French.[ FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

and the commercial relations with the axis powers during the war became the subject of sharp criticism, resulting in a short period of international isolation of Switzerland from the world. After World War II, Switzerland's production facilities remained to a great extent undamaged which facilitated the country's swift economic resurgence[SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

In the 1950s, annual GDP growth averaged 5% and Switzerland's energy consumption doubled. Coal lost its rank as Switzerland's primary energy source, as other fossil fuels such as crude and refined oil and natural and refined gas imports increased. This decade also marked the transition from an industrial economy to a service economy. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

Since then the service sector has been growing faster than the agrarian and industrial sectors.

In the 1960s, annual GDP growth averaged 4% and Switzerland's energy consumption doubled. By the end of the decade oil was Switzerland's primary energy source.

In the 1970s GDP growth rates gradually declined from a peak of 6.5% in 1970 until contracting 7.5% in 1975 and 1976. ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

Switzerland became increasingly dependent on oil imported from its main supplier, the OPEC cartel. The 1973 international oil crisis caused Switzerland's energy consumption to decrease from 1973 to 1977. In 1974 there were three nationwide car-free Sundays when private transport was prohibited as a result of the oil supply shock. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

From 1977 onwards GDP grew, however Switzerland was also affected by the 1979 energy crisis which resulted in a short term decrease of Switzerland's energy consumption.

In the 1980s, Switzerland was affected by the hike in oil prices which resulted in a decrease of energy consumption until 1982 when the economy contracted by 1.3%.HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

From 1983 on both GDP and energy consumption grew.

In the 1990s, Switzerland's economy was marred by slow growth, having the weakest economic growth in Western Europe. The economy was affected by a 3-year-recession from 1991 to 1993 when the economy contracted by 2%, which also became apparent in Switzerland's energy consumption and export growth rates. FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

Switzerland's economy averaged no appreciable increase (only 0.6% annually) in gross domestic product (GDP).

After having unemployment rates lower than 1% prior to 1990, the 3-year-recession also caused the unemployment rate to rise to its all-time-peak of 5.3% in 1997. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

And thus, as of 2008, Switzerland is at the second place among European countries with populations above one million in terms of nominal and purchasing power parity Gross Domestic Product per capita, behind Norway (see list). On numerous occasions in the 1990s real wages decreased since nominal wages couldn't keep up with inflation. Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

However, beginning in 1997, a global resurgence in currency movement provided the necessary stimulus to the Swiss economy. It slowly gained momentum and peaked in the year 2000 with 3.7% growth in real terms.

In the early 2000s recession, being so closely linked to the economies of Western Europe and the United States, HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

Switzerland was not able to escape the slowdown felt in these countries. After the worldwide stock market crashes in the wake of the 9/11 terrorism attacks there were more announcements of false enterprise statistics and exaggerated managers' wages. In 2001 the rate of growth dropped to 1.2%, to 0.4% in 2002 and in 2003 the real GDP contracted by 0.2%.Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

That economic slowdown had a noticeable impact on the labour market.

Many companies announced mass dismissals and thus the unemployment rate rose from its low of 1.9% in June 2000 to its peak of 3.9% in October 2004, although well below the European Union (EU) unemployment average of 8.9%. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

The consumer mood worsened and domestic consumption decreased.

The exports of goods and services in the EU and the USA decreased as a result of the Swiss Franc's appreciation in value which caused an increase in prices of exported goods and services. HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

On the other hand Switzerland's tourism sector slumped and room occupation rates by foreign guests decreased. Besides that a deficit of market competition in many branches of Switzerland's economy persisted.On the 10.11.2002 the economics magazine Cash published 5 measures which political and economic actors were suggested to implement so that Switzerland would once again experience an economic revival: Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

1. Private consumption should be promoted with decent wage increases. In addition to that families with children should get discounts on their health insurances.

2. Switzerland's national bank should revive investments by lowering interest rates. Besides that monetary institutes should increasingly credit consumers and offer cheaper land zones which are to be built on. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

3. Switzerland's national bank is asked to devalue the Swiss Franc, especially compared to the Euro.

4. The government should implement the anti-cyclical measure of increasing budget deficits. Government spending should increase in the infrastructural and educational sectors.  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

Lowering taxes would make sense in order to promote private household consumption.

5. Flexible work schedules should be instituted, thus avoiding low demand dismissals.

These measures were applied with successful results along with the government's policy of the Magical Hexagon which consists of full employment, social equality, Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

economic growth, environmental quality, positive trade balance and price stability. The rebound which started in mid-2003 saw growth rate growth rate averaging 3% (2004 and 2005 saw a GDP growth of 2.5% and 2.6% respectively; for 2006 and 2007, the rate was 3.6%). In 2008, GDP growth was modest in the first half of the year while declining in the last two quarters. SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

Because of the base effect, real growth came to 1.9%. While it contacted 1.9% in 2009, the economy started to pick up in Q3 and by the second quarter of 2010, it had surpassed its previous peak. Growth for 2010 stood at 2.6%[11]

The stock market collapse has deeply affected investment income earned abroad. HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan

This has translated to a substantial fall in the surplus of the current account balance. In 2006, Switzerland recorded a 15.1% per GDP surplus. It went down to 9.1% in 2007 and further dropped to 1.8% in 2008. It recovered in 2009 and 2010 with a surplus of 11.9% and 14.6% respectively. As of the first quarter 2010, Switzerland house prices are still edging up.[12] HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Switzerland at market prices estimated[11] by the Swiss Government with figures in millions of Swiss Francs.

The Swiss economy follows the typical First World model with respect to the economic sectors. Only a small minority of the workers are involved in the Primary or Agricultural sector HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

(1.3% of the population, in 2006) while a larger minority is involved in the Secondary or Manufacturing sector (27.7% in 2012). The majority of the working population are involved in the Tertiary or Services sector of the economy (71.0% in 2012).[13]

While most of the Swiss economic practices have been brought largely into conformity with the European Union's policies, HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

some trade protectionism remains, particularly for the small agricultural sector.

Switzerland is one of the leaders in exports of high-end watches as well as clocks, companies such as TAG-Heuer, Hublot, Zenith amongst others produce most of the world's high-end watches, in 2011, the exports of Switzerland reached nearly 19.3 billion CHF. HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

Swiss watch manufacturers exceeded their previous annual result by 19.2%. The exports of those watches mainly go to Asia (55%), Europe (29%), America (14%), Africa and Oceania (both 1%).[15]

In USD, Switzerland has an export, in 2011, of over USD$20 billion, making it the country with the highest export value of watches, followed by Hong Kong, at under USD$10 billion.[15] HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

However, China export the most watches (all watches), at a total of 682.1+ units (in millions), followed by Hong Kong at 402.7, then Switzerland at 29.8 million units.

Switzerland has an extensive industrial sector, which is not very well known around the world, but present with companies in different industrial sectors, such as: food processing like Nestlé, HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

chemical for industrial and construction use like Sika AG, pharmaceutical like Novartis and Roche and roof coating chemicalsSarnafil.

The pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland directly and indirectly employs about 135'000 people.[1] It contributes to 5.7% of the gross domestic product of Switzerland and contributes to 30% of the exportations.[1] HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

Switzerland is home to many pharmaceutical companies, including very large groups such as Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche. In 2013, 41 life science companies have their international headquarters (and 29 more their regional headquarters) in Switzerland.

Switzerland is extremely protective of its agricultural industry. ACER Aspire 4743 CPU Fan

High tariffs and extensive domestic subsidisations encourage domestic production, which currently produces about 60% of the food consumed in the country.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Switzerland is subsidising more than 70% of its agriculture compared to 35% in the EU. HP Pavilion dv6-2170us CPU Fan

The 2007 Agricultural Program, recently adopted by the Swiss Federal Assembly, will increase subsidies by CHF 63 million to CHF 14.092 billion.

Protectionism acts to promote domestic production, but not to reduce prices or the cost of production, and there is no guarantee the increased domestic production is actually consumed internally; Toshiba Satellite L675-S7018 CPU Fan

it may simply be being exported, to the profit of the producers. 90 to 100% of potatoes, pork, veal, cattle and most milk products, are produced in the country. Beyond that, Swiss agriculture meets sixty-five per cent of the domestic food demand.[16]

The first reform in agricultural policies was in 1993. Among other changes, ASUS F80Q CPU Fan

since 1998 Switzerland has linked the attribution of farm subsidies with the strict observance of good environmental practice. Before farmers can apply for subsidies, they must obtain certificates of environmental management systems (EMS) proving that they: "make a balanced use of fertilizers; use at least 7% of their farmland as ecological compensation areas; regularly rotate crops; ACER TravelMate 4200 CPU Fan

adopt appropriate measures to protect animals and soil; make limited and targeted use of pesticides."[17] 1,500 farms are driven out of business each year. But the number of organic farms increased by 3.3 percent between 2003 and 2004, and organic sales increased by 7 percent to $979 million.[18] HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

Moreover, Swiss consumers consider less important the drawback of higher prices for organic food compared to locally produced, conventional food.

The CIA World Factbook estimates Switzerland's 2011 exports at $308.3 billion and the 2010 exports at $258.5 billion. Imports are estimated to be $299.6 billion in 2011 and $246.2 billion in 2010. HP G70-120EA CPU Fan

According to the World Factbook numbers, Switzerland is the 20th largest exporter and the 18th largest importer.[14]

The United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database has lower numbers for Switzerland's exports and imports. The UN calculates exports at $223.5 billion in 2011 and $185.8 billion in 2010. The value of all imports in 2011 was $197.0 billion and in 2010 it was $166.9 billion.[19] Toshiba Satellite A300-034 CPU Fan

Switzerland's largest trading partner is Germany. In 2009, 21% of Switzerland's exports and 29% of its imports came from Germany. The United States was the second largest destination of exports (9.1% of total exports) and the fourth largest source of imports (6.7%).[20]

Switzerland's neighbors made up next largest group; Italy was third for exports (8.6%) and second for imports (10%), HP 606609-001 CPU Fan

France was fourth for exports (8%) and third for imports (8.1%) and Austria was fifth for exports (4.6%) and sixth for imports (3.7%). Major non-European trading partners included; Japan (seventh for exports with 3.6% and twelfth for imports with 2%), China (eighth for exports and imports with 3.1% and 2.5% respectively) and Turkey (sixteenth for exports with 1.2% and ninth for imports with 2.3%).[20] Compaq Presario CQ60-301sl CPU Fan

As a first world country with a skilled labor force, the majority of Swiss exports are precision or 'high tech' finished products. Switzerland's largest specific SITC categories of exports include;medicaments, glycosides and vaccines, watches, orthopaedic appliances and precious jewellery. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

Some raw ores or metals are exported, but the majority of the exports in this category are finished jewellery or other finished products. Agricultural products that Switzerland is famous for, such as cheese (0.29%), wine (0.05%) and chocolate (0.39%) all make up only a small portion of Swiss exports and agricultural products make up only a small portion of all exports.[20] ASUS Eee PC 701 CPU Fan

Switzerland's main imports include; medicaments, cars, precious jewellery and other unclassified transactions. While Switzerland has a long tradition of manufacturing cars,[21] there are currently no large-scale assembly line automobile manufacturers in the country.Switzerland has a highly developed tourism infrastructure, especially in the mountainous regions and cities, making it a good market for tourism-related equipment and services. Compaq Presario CQ60-305sa CPU Fan

14% of hotels were in Grisons, 12% each in the Valais and Eastern Switzerland, 11% in Central Switzerland and 9% in theBernese Oberland. The ratio of lodging nights in relation to resident population ("tourism intensity", a measure for the relative importance of tourism to local economy) was largest in Grisons (8.3) and Bernese Oberland (5.3), HP 637607-001 CPU Fan

compared to a Swiss average of 1.3. 56.4% of lodging nights were by visitors from abroad (broken down by nationality: 16.5% Germany, 6.3% UK, 4.8% USA, 3.6% France, 3.0% Italy) [22]

The total financial volume associated with tourism, including transportation, is estimated to CHF 35.5 billion (as of 2010) although some of this comes from fuel tax and sales of motorway vignettes. HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

The total gross value added from tourism is 14.9 billion. Tourism provides a total of 144,838 full time equivalent jobs in the entire country. The total financial volume of tourist lodging is 5.19 billion CHF and eating at the lodging provides an additional 5.19 billion. The total gross value added of 14.9 billion is about 2.9% of Switzerland's 2010 nominal GDP of 550.57 billion CHF. HP Pavilion dv5-1210ez CPU Fan

Tourists are drawn to Switzerland's Alpine climate and landscapes, in particular for skiing and mountaineering.

As of 2011, tourism accounted for an estimated 2.9% of Switzerland's gross domestic product.

Tourism begins with British mountaineers climbing the main peaks of the Bernese Alps in the early 19th century (Jungfrau1811, Finsteraarhorn 1812). Compaq Presario CQ50-211nr CPU Fan

The Alpine Club in London is founded in 1857. Reconvalescence in the Alpine climate, in particular from Tuberculosis, is another important branch of tourism in the 19th and early 20th centuries for example inDavos, Graubünden. Because of the prominence of the Bernese Alps in British mountaineering, the Bernese Oberland was long especially known as a tourist destination. HP G56-114SA CPU Fan

Meiringen's Reichenbach Falls achieved literary fame as the site of the fictional death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (1893). The first organised tourist holidays to Switzerland were offered during the 19th century by the Thomas Cook and Lunn Travel companies. SONY Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N CPU Fan

Official statistics of tourism were planned since 1852, but were only realized from 1934, and continued until 2003. Since 2004, the Federal Statistical Office had discontinued its own statistics, but collaborates with Switzerland Tourism in the publication of yearly "Swiss Tourism Figures". In the year 2011 as a total number of 4,967 registered hotels or hostels, HP Pavilion dv7-4060eo CPU Fan

offering a total of 240,000 beds in 128,000 rooms. This capacity was saturated to 41.7% (compared to 39.7% in 2005), amounting to a total of 38.8 million lodging nights. 14% of hotels were in Grisons, 12% each in the Valais and Eastern Switzerland, 11% in Central Switzerland and 9% in the Bernese Oberland. Toshiba Satellite M70-252 CPU Fan

The ratio of lodging nights in relation to resident population ("tourism intensity", a measure for the relative importance of tourism to local economy) was largest in Grisons (8.3) and Bernese Oberland (5.3), compared to a Swiss average of 1.3. 56.4% of lodging nights were by visitors from abroad (broken down by nationality: 16.5% Germany, 6.3% UK, 4.8% USA, 3.6% France, 3.0% Italy) [2] Toshiba Satellite A100-455 CPU Fan

The total financial volume associated with tourism, including transportation, is estimated to CHF 35.5 billion (as of 2010) although some of this comes from fuel tax and sales of motorway vignettes. The total gross value added from tourism is 14.9 billion. Tourism provides a total of 144,838 full time equivalent jobs in the entire country. HP Pavilion dv5-2112br CPU Fan

The total financial volume of tourist lodging is 5.19 billion CHF and eating at the lodging provides an additional 5.19 billion. The total gross value added of 14.9 billion is about 2.9% of Switzerland's 2010 nominal GDP of 550.57 billion CHF.[3][4]

The major airport of Switzerland is at Zurich, main railway connections are to Geneva, Zurich and Basel. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

The main connection across the Alps is via the Gotthard tunnels (road and railway).

The most visited Swiss tourist attractions are first, the Rhine Falls, second, the Berne Bear exhibit (both for free), and third, with over 1.8 million paid entries: Zoo Basel.

In 2003, the financial sector comprised an estimated 11.6% of Switzerland's GDP and employed approximately 196,000 people (136,000 of whom work in the banking sector); HP Pavilion dv6-3299en CPU Fan

this represents about 5.6% of the total Swiss workforce.[25]

Swiss neutrality and national sovereignty, long recognized by foreign nations, have fostered a stable environment in which the banking sector was able to develop and thrive. Switzerland has maintained neutrality through both World Wars, is not a member of the European Union, and was not even a member of the United Nations until 2002.[26][27] SONY Vaio VGN-NW11Z/T CPU Fan

Currently an estimated 28 percent of all funds held outside the country of origin (sometimes called "offshore" funds) are kept in Switzerland.[28] In 2009 Swiss banks managed 5.4 trillion Swiss Francs.[29]

The Bank of International Settlements, an organization that facilitates cooperation among the world's central banks, Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan

is headquartered in the city of Basel. Founded in 1930, the BIS chose to locate in Switzerland because of the country's neutrality, which was important to an organization founded by countries that had been on both sides of World War I.[30]

Foreign banks operating in Switzerland manage 870 billion Swiss francs worth of assets (as of May 2006). HP Pavilion dv7-4183sf CPU Fan

Banking in Switzerland is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which derives its authority from a series of federal statutes. The country's tradition of bank secrecy, which dates to the Middle Ages, was first codified in the Banking Law of 1934.[1] In 2011, banks represented 59.4% of the total value added of the Swiss financial sector, HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

totalling CHF 35.0 billion representing 6.2% of the country's GDP.[2] UBS and Credit Suisse, the two largest banks in Switzerland, were ranked globally at #19 and #25 among banks, with assets of approximately US$1.375 trillion and US$1.090 trillion, respectively.[3]

As of 11 October 2008, the banking industry in Switzerland has an average leverage ratio (assets/networth) of 29 to 1, HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

while the industry's short-term liabilities are equal to 260 percent of the Swiss GDP or 1,273 percent of the Swiss national debt.

Swiss mercenaries brought home funds from their contracts that helped Swiss banks begin.[5] Banking began in the eighteenth century by way of the riches of merchants. HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

Wegelin & Co., established in 1741, was the oldest bank in Switzerland until it restructured into a new legal entity in 2013.[9] Hentsch & Cieand Lombard Odier were both founded in 1796 in Geneva as private banks, and Pictet and Cie was established in 1805 as a merchant bank.Hentsch & Cie was a founding member of the Swiss National bank during 1852. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ei CPU Fan

Switzerland is a prosperous nation with a per capita gross domestic product higher than that of most western Europeannations. In addition, the value of the Swiss franc (CHF) has been relatively stable compared with that of othercurrencies.[16] In 2009, the financial sector comprised 11.6% of Switzerland's GDP and employed approximately 195,000 people (136,000 of whom work in the banking sector); HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

this represents about 5.6% of the total Swiss workforce. Furthermore, Swiss banks employ an estimated 103,000 people abroad.[17]

Swiss neutrality and national sovereignty, long recognized by foreign nations, have fostered a stable environment in which the banking sector was able to develop and thrive. ASUS A6000R CPU Fan

Switzerland has maintained neutrality through both World Wars, is not a member of the European Union, and was not a member of the United Nations until 2002.[18][19]

Currently an estimated one-third of all worldwide funds held outside their country of origin (sometimes called "offshore" funds) are kept in Switzerland. HP Pavilion dv7-6011sg CPU Fan

In 2001 Swiss banks managed US$2.6 trillion. The following year they handled US$400 billion less which has been attributed to both a bear market and stricter regulations on Swiss banking.[20] By 2007 this figure has risen to roughly CHF6.7 trillion (US$6.4 trillion).

The Bank of International Settlements, an organization that facilitates cooperation among the world's central banks, is headquartered in the city of Basel. Toshiba Satellite L300D-01P CPU Fan

Founded in 1930, the BIS chose to locate in Switzerland because of the country's neutrality, which was important to an organization founded by countries that had been on both sides of World War I.[21]

Foreign banks operating in Switzerland manage CHF870 billion Swiss worth of assets (as of May 2006). Compaq Presario CQ60-409CA CPU Fan

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is a public law institution that supervises most banking-related activities as well as securities markets and investment funds.[23] Regulatory authority is derived from the Swiss Financial Market Supervision Act (FINMASA) and Article 98 of the Swiss Federal Constitution. HP Mini 110-3010sf CPU Fan

The office of the Swiss Banking Ombudsman, founded in 1993, is sponsored by the Swiss Banking Ombudsman Foundation, which was established by the Swiss Bankers Association. The ombudsman's services, which are offered free of charge, include mediation and assistance to persons searching for dormant assets. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

The ombudsman handles about 1,500 complaints raised against banks yearly.[24]

In October 2013, the Swiss government stated that it intended to sign an international agreement sponsored by the OECD that, if ratified by Parliament, will align Swiss bank practices with those of other countries and in effect end the special secrecy that clients of Swiss banks had enjoyed in the past. Toshiba Satellite M70-142 CPU Fan

In 1934, the Swiss Federal Assembly passed the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks (colloquially known as the Banking Law of 1934), which mainly concerned administrative matters such as bank supervision. The provisions found in Article 47(b), were added before passage of the bill due to Nazi authorities' attempts to investigate the assets of Jews and "enemies of the state" held in Switzerland. DELL Inspiron E1505 CPU Fan

Swiss banks, as well as the post office (which handles some financial transactions) use an electronic payments system known as Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC). The system is supervised by the Swiss National Bank and is operated via a joint venture.[27] SIC handled over 250 million transactions in 2005, with a turnover value of 41 trillion Swiss francs. HP 532613-001 CPU Fan

As of 2008, there are 327 authorized banks and securities dealers in Switzerland,[29] ranging from the "Two Big Banks" down to small banks serving the needs of a single community or a few special clients.

UBS and Credit Suisse are respectively the largest and second largest Swiss banks and account for over 50% of all deposits in Switzerland; HP Envy 14-1080eo CPU Fan

each has extensive branch networks throughout the country and most international centres.

Due to their size and complexity, UBS and Credit Suisse are subject to an extra degree of supervision from the Federal Banking Commission.

UBS came into existence in June 1998, when Union Bank of Switzerland, founded in 1862, and Swiss Bank Corporation, founded in 1872,merged. ACER TravelMate 5230 CPU Fan

Headquartered in Zurich and Basel, it is Switzerland's largest bank. It maintains seven main offices around the world (four in the United States and one each in London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong) and branches on five continents.

Credit Suisse is the second-largest Swiss bank. Lenovo 3000 G430 CPU Fan

Based in Zurich, it was founded in 1856; its market capitalization (as of 2007) is US$95.2 billion, and the company has about 40,000 employees. Credit Suisse Group offers private banking, investment banking and asset management services. It acquired The First Boston Corporation in 1988 and merged with the Winterthur insurance company in 1997; ASUS EEE PC 1215N CPU Fan

the latter was sold to AXA in 2006.[31] The asset management services were sold to Aberdeen Asset Management in 2008 during the GFC.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) serves as the country's central bank. Founded by the Federal Act on the Swiss National Bank (16 January 1906), it began conducting business on 20 June 1907. Dell Vostro 3750 CPU Fan

Its shares are publicly traded, and are held by the cantons, cantonal banks, and individual investors; the federal government does not hold any shares.[32] Although a central bank often has regulatory authority over the country's banking system, the SNB does not; regulation is solely the role of the Federal Banking Commission. Toshiba Satellite L500-018 CPU Fan

COMPAQ Presario CQ42-116TU CPU Fan

The term private bank refers to a bank that offers private banking services and in its legal form is a partnership. The first private banks were created in St. Gallen in the mid-18th century and in Geneva in the late 18th century as partnerships, and some are still in the hands of the original families such as Hottinger and Mirabaud. HP Pavilion dv6-2115eg CPU Fan

In Switzerland, such private banks are called private bankers (a protected term) to distinguish them from the other private banks which are typically shared corporations. Historically in Switzerland a minimum of CHF1 million was required to open an account, however, over the last years many private banks have lowered their entry hurdles to CHF250,000 for private investors. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

There are, as of 2006, 24 cantonal banks; these banks are state-guaranteed semi-governmental organizations controlled by one of Switzerland's 26 cantons that engage in all banking businesses.[34] The largest cantonal bank, the Zurich Cantonal Bank, had a 2005 net income of CHF810 million. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

Raiffeisen Switzerland "assumes the role of central bank" in providing treasury services, and is the third largest group consisting of 328 banks in 2011, 390 in 2012 with 1,155 branches.[36][37] During February 2012 P. Vincenz was chief executive.[38] During January an announcement was made that the non-U.S. businesses ofWegelin & Co, SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan

the oldest Swiss bank, would be bought by the Raiffeisen group. The group has 3 million plus clients within Switzerland.

Swiss bank secrecy protects the privacy of bank clients; the protections afforded under Swiss law are similar to confidentiality protections between doctors and patients or lawyers and their clients. Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 CPU Fan

The Swiss government views the right to privacy as a fundamental principle that should be protected by all democratic countries. While privacy is protected, in practice all bank accounts are linked to an identified individual. Moreover, the bank secrecy is not absolute: a prosecutor or judge may issue a "lifting order" in order to grant law enforcement access to information relevant to a criminal investigation.[39]  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

In October 2013, the Swiss government stated that it intended to sign an international agreement sponsored by the OECD that, if ratified by Parliament, will align Swiss bank practices with those of other countries and in effect end the special secrecy that clients of Swiss banks had enjoyed in the past. HP Pavilion dv7-3020es CPU Fan

Swiss law distinguishes between tax evasion (non-reporting of income) and tax fraud (active deception). International legal assistance used to be granted only with respect to tax fraud. Under pressure from the OECD and the G20, the Swiss government decided in March 2009 to abolish the distinction between tax evasion and tax fraud in dealings with foreign clients. HP G62-369TX CPU Fan

Switzerland adheres to the international OECD standards with regard to administrative assistance in tax matters (decision to take over the OECD Model Tax Convention, in particular Article 26)[40]

For Swiss taxpayers the distinction remains in place. Although not considered a crime and hence not prosecuted in a penal court, tax evasion is a serious offence under Swiss tax law and hefty financial penalties apply. HP 13.V1.BJ195.F.GN CPU Fan

In domestic prosecutions, banking secrecy may be lifted by court order in cases of tax fraud or particularly severe cases of tax evasion.

Pressure on Switzerland has been applied by several states and international organizations attempting to alter the Swiss privacy policy. Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan

The European Union, whose member countries geographically surround Switzerland, has complained about member states' nationals using Swiss banks to avoid taxation in their home countries. The EU has long sought a harmonized tax regime among its member states, although many Swiss banking officials (and, according to some polls, the public) are resisting any such changes.[1] HP Pavilion dv7-1451nr CPU Fan

However, Switzerland did not want to be seen as an obstacle to closer tax cooperation among EU-member states and decided to support the international efforts to adequately tax cross-border investment income. The retention tax agreed with the European Union (EU) in the taxation of savings income agreement is a suitable and efficient means of doing so. HP G62-a57SG CPU Fan

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A ring of coastal mountains surround low plains at the centre of the island. The highest of these isCarrauntoohil (Irish: Corrán Tuathail) in County Kerry, which rises to 1,038 m (3,406 ft) above sea level.[92]The most arable land lies in the province of Leinster.[93] Western areas can be mountainous and rocky with green panoramic vistas. ACER Aspire 5739 CPU Fan

The River Shannon, the island's longest river at 386 km (240 mi) long, rises inCounty Cavan in the north west and flows 113 kilometres (70 mi) to Limerick city in the mid west.[94]

The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle. Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. IBM ThinkPad T40 2678 CPU Fan

The climate is typically insular and is temperate avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes.[95] This is a result of the moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevail from the South-Western Atlantic.

Precipitation falls throughout the year but is light overall, particularly in the east. IBM Thinkpad T43 CPU Fan

The west tends to be wetter on average and prone to Atlantic storms, especially in the late autumn and winter months. These occasionally bring destructive winds and higher total rainfall to these areas, as well as sometimes snow and hail. The regions of north County Galway and east County Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning annually for the island, with lightning occurring approximately five to ten days per year in these areas.[96] IBM ThinkPad T43 2668 CPU Fan

Munster, in the south, records the least snow whereas Ulster, in the north, records the most.

Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Usually around 40 days of the year are below freezing 0 °C (32 °F) at inland weather stations, compared to 10 days at coastal stations. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat waves, most recently in 1995, 2003, 2006 and 2013. IBM ThinkPad T43 1871 CPU Fan

In common with the rest of Europe, Ireland experienced unusually cold weather during the winter of 2009/10. Temperatures fell as low as −17.2 °C (1 °F) in County Mayo on 20 December[97]and up to a metre (3 ft) of snow in mountainous areas.

The island consists of varied geological provinces. In the far west, around County Galway and County Donegal, ACER Travelmate 8104WLMI CPU Fan

is a medium to high grade metamorphic and igneous complex of Caledonide affinity, similar to the Scottish Highlands. Across southeast Ulster and extending southwest to Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, with similarities to the Southern Uplands province of Scotland. Further south, along the County Wexford coastline, is an area of granite intrusives into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks, like that found in Wales.[98][99] DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

In the southwest, around Bantry Bay and the mountains of Macgillicuddy's Reeks, is an area of substantially deformed, but only lightly metamorphosed, Devonian-aged rocks.[100] This partial ring of "hard rock" geology is covered by a blanket of Carboniferous limestone over the centre of the country, giving rise to a comparatively fertile and lush landscape. ASUS F80S CPU Fan

The west-coast district of the Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well-developed karst features.[101] Significant stratiform lead-zinc mineralisation is found in the limestones around Silvermines and Tynagh.

Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing following the first major find at the Kinsale Head gas field off Cork in the mid-1970s.[102][103] HP Pavilion dv5-1058eo CPU Fan

In 1999, economically significant finds of natural gas were made in the Corrib Gas Field off the County Mayo coast. This has increased activity off the west coast in parallel with the "West of Shetland" step-out development from the North Sea hydrocarbon province. The Helvick oil field, estimated to contain over 28 million barrels (4,500,000 m3) of oil, is another recent discovery. IBM 13N5182 CPU Fan

There are three World Heritage Sites on the island: the Brú na Boinne, Skellig Michael and the Giant's Causeway.[105] A number of other places are on the tentative list, for example the Burren, the Ceide Fields and Mount Stewart.[106]

Some of the most visited sites in Ireland include Bunratty Castle, the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, IBM Thinkpad T30 2366-AA3 CPU Fan

 Holy Cross Abbey and Blarney Castle.[107]Historically important monastic sites include Glendalough and Clonmacnoise, which are maintained as national monuments in the Republic of Ireland.[108]

Dublin is the most heavily touristed region[107] and home to several of the most popular attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and Book of Kells.[107] IBM Thinkpad T30 CPU Fan

The west and south west, which includes the Lakes of Killarney and the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry and Connemara and the Aran Islands in County Galway, are also popular tourist destinations.[107]

Achill Island lies off the coast of County Mayo and is Ireland's largest island. It is a popular tourist destination for surfing and contains 5 Blue Flag beaches and Croaghaun one of the worlds highest sea cliffs. HP 535438-001 CPU Fan

Stately homes, built during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in Palladian, Neoclassical and neo-Gothic styles, such as, Castle Ward, Castletown House, Bantry House, are also of interest to tourists. Some have been converted into hotels, such as Ashford Castle, Castle Leslie and Dromoland Castle.

As Ireland was isolated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels after the ice age, it has less diverse animal and plant species than either Great Britain or mainland Europe. There are 55 mammal species in Ireland and of them only 26 land mammalspecies are considered native to Ireland.[109] DELL Inspiron N3010 CPU Fan

 Some species, such as, the red fox, hedgehog and badger, are very common, whereas others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so. Aquatic wildlife, such as species of sea turtle,shark, seal, whale, and dolphin, are common off the coast. About 400 species of birds have been recorded in Ireland. Many of these are migratory, including the Barn Swallow. Most of Ireland's bird species come from Iceland, Greenland and Africa. HP Pavilion dv6-3070tx CPU Fan

Several different habitat types are found in Ireland, including farmland, open woodland, temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, conifer plantations, peat bogs and a variety of coastal habitats. However, agriculture drives current land use patterns in Ireland, limiting natural habitat preserves,[110] particularly for larger wild mammals with greater territorial needs. IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan

With no top predator in Ireland, populations of animals, such as semi-wild deer, that cannot be controlled by smaller predators, such as the fox, are controlled by annual culling.

There are no snakes in Ireland and only one reptile (the common lizard) is native to the island. Extinct species include theIrish elk, the great auk and the wolf. ASUS A8H CPU Fan

Some previously extinct birds, such as the Golden Eagle, been reintroduced in about the year 2000 after decades of extirpation. http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/indicators/epa_indicators_2002.pdf Until medieval times Ireland was heavily forested with oak, pine and birch. Forests today cover about 12.6% of Ireland,[8] of which 4,450 km² or one million acres is owned by Coillte, the Republic's forestry service.[111] SONY UDQFRZH13CF0 CPU Fan

The Republic lies in 42nd place (out of 55) in a list of the most forested countries in Europe.[112] Much of the land is now covered with pasture and there are many species of wild-flower. Gorse (Ulex europaeus), a wild furze, is commonly found growing in the uplands and ferns are plentiful in the more moist regions, especially in the western parts. HP COMPAQ 2510P CPU Fan

It is home to hundreds of plant species, some of them unique to the island, and has been "invaded" by some grasses, such asSpartina anglica.The long history of agricultural production, coupled with modern intensive agricultural methods such as pesticide and fertiliser use and runoff from contaminants into streams, rivers and lakes, impact the natural fresh-water ecosystems and have placed pressure on biodiversity in Ireland.APPLE 661-4951 CPU Fan

A land of green fields for crop cultivation and cattle rearing limits the space available for the establishment of native wild species. Hedgerows, however, traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries, act as a refuge for native wild flora. This ecosystem stretches across the countryside and acts as a network of connections to preserve remnants of the ecosystem that once covered the island. Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy, HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan

which supported agricultural practices that preserved hedgerow environments, are undergoing reforms. The Common Agricultural Policy had in the past subsidised potentially destructive agricultural practices, for example by emphasising production without placing limits on indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides; but reforms have gradually decoupled subsidies from production levels and introduced environmental and other requirements.[118] HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Forest covers about 12.6% of the country, most of it designated for commercial production.[110] Forested areas typically consist of monoculture plantations of non-native species, which may result in habitats that are not suitable for supporting native species of invertebrates. Remnants of native forest can be found scattered around the island, in particular in the Killarney National Park. Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan

Natural areas require fencing to prevent over-grazing by deer and sheep that roam over uncultivated areas. Grazing in this manner is one of the main factors preventing the natural regeneration of forests across many regions of the countryPeople have lived in Ireland for over 9,000 years, although only a limited amount is known about thepalaeolithic, neolithic and Bronze Age inhabitants of the island. SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan

Early historical and genealogical records note the existence of dozens of different peoples that may or may not be mythological, for example the Cruithne, Attacotti, Conmaicne, Eóganachta, Érainn, and Soghain, to name but a few. Over the past 1000 years or so, Vikings, Normans, Scots and English have all added to the Gaelic population and have had significant influences on Irish culture. HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan

Ireland's largest religious group is Christianity. The largest denomination is Roman Catholicismrepresenting over 73% for the island (and about 87% of the Republic of Ireland). Most of the rest of the population adhere to one of the various Protestant denominations (about 48% of Northern Ireland).[120] The largest is the Anglican Church of Ireland. The Muslim community is growing in Ireland, mostly through increased immigration. SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan

The island has a small Jewish community. About 4% of the Republic's population and about 14% of the Northern Ireland population[120] describe themselves as of no religion. In a 2010 survey conducted on behalf of the Irish Times, 32% of respondents said they went to a religious service more than once a week.

The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th century until the mid-19th century, HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

but a devastatingfamine in the 1840s caused one million deaths and forced over one million more to emigrate in its immediate wake. Over the following century the population was reduced by over half, at a time when the general trend in European countries was for populations to rise by an average of three-fold.

Traditionally, Ireland is subdivided into four provinces: Connacht (west), Leinster (east), Munster(south), and Ulster (north). HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan

In a system that developed between the 13th and 17th centuries,[121] Ireland has 32 traditional counties. Twenty-six of these counties are in the Republic of Ireland and six are in Northern Ireland. The six counties that constitute Northern Ireland are all in the province of Ulster (which has nine counties in total). As such, Ulster is often used as a synonym for Northern Ireland, although the two are not coterminous. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan\

In the Republic of Ireland, counties form the basis of the system of local government. Counties Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Tipperary have been broken up into smaller administrative areas. However, they are still treated as counties for cultural and some official purposes, for example postal addresses and by the Ordnance Survey Ireland. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan

Counties in Northern Ireland are no longer used for local governmental purposes,[122] but, as in the Republic, their traditional boundaries are still used for informal purposes such as sports leagues and in cultural or tourism contexts.[123]

City status in Ireland is decided by legislative or royal charter. Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan

Dublin, with over 1 million residents in the Greater Dublin Area, is the largest city on the island. Belfast, with 579,726 residents, is the largest city in Northern Ireland. City status does not directly equate with population size. For example,Armagh, with 14,590 is the seat of the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland and was re-granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 (having lost that status in local government reforms of 1840).Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan

In the Republic of Ireland, Kilkenny, seat of the Butler dynasty, while no longer a city for administrative purposes (since the 2001 Local Government Act), is entitled by law to continue to use the description.

The population of Ireland collapsed dramatically during the second half of the 19th century. A population of over 8 million in 1841 was reduced to slightly more than 4 million by 1921. ASUS G2P CPU Fan

In part, the fall in population was due to death from the Great Famine of 1845 to 1852, which took about 1 million lives. However, by far the greater cause of population decline was the dire economic state of the country which led to an entrenched culture of emigration lasting until the 21st century.

Emigration from Ireland in the 19th century contributed to the populations of England, the United States, Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan

Canada and Australia where today a large Irish diaspora lives. Today 4.3 million Canadians, or 14% of the population, are of Irish descent.[125] A total of 36 million Americans claim Irish ancestry – more than 12% of the total population and 20% of the white population.[126]

Massachusetts is the most Irish of US states with 23.8% of the population claiming Irish ancestry. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

The pattern of immigration over this period particularly devastated the western and southern seaboards. Prior to the Great Famine, the provinces of Connacht, Munster and Leinster were more or less evenly populated whereas Ulster was far less densely populated than the other three. Today, Ulster and Leinster, and in particular Dublin, have a far greater population density than Munster and Connacht. HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan

With growing prosperity since the last decade of the 20th century, Ireland became a destination for immigrants. Since the European Union expanded to include Poland in 2004, Polish people have made up the largest number of immigrants (over 150,000)[127] from Central Europe. There has also been significant immigration from Lithuania, the Czech Republic andLatvia.[128] Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan

The Republic of Ireland in particular has seen large-scale immigration. The 2006 census recorded that 420,000 foreign nationals, or about 10% of the population, lived in the Republic of Ireland.[129] A quarter of births (24 percent) in 2009 were to mothers born outside of Ireland.[130] Chinese and Nigerians, along with people from other African countries, have accounted for a large proportion of the non–European Union migrants to Ireland. Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan

Up to 50,000 eastern and central European migrant workers may have left Ireland since the end of 2008.

Two main languages are spoken in Ireland: Irish and English. Both languages have widely contributed to literature. Irish, now a minority but official language of the Republic of Ireland, was the vernacular of the Irish people for over two thousand years and was probably introduced by some sort of proto-Gaelic migration during the Iron age, HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

possibly earlier. It began to be written down after Christianisation in the 5th century and spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man where it evolved into the Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages respectively.

The Irish language has a vast treasure of written texts from many centuries, and is divided by linguists into Old Irish from the 6th to 10th century, Middle Irish from the 10th to 13th century, ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan

Early Modern Irish until the 17th century, and the Modern Irish spoken today. It remained the dominant language of Ireland for most of those periods, having influences from Latin, Old Norse, French and English. It declined under British rule but remained the majority tongue until the early 19th century, and since then has been a minority language, although revival efforts are continuing in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan

Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking areas are still seeing a decline in the language. The main Gaeltacht areas are down the west of the country, in Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Kerry. Irish language is a compulsory subject in the state education system in the Republic, and the Gaelscoil movement has seen many Irish medium schools established in both jurisdictions. Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan

English was first introduced to Ireland in the Norman invasion. It was spoken by a few peasants and merchants brought over from England, and was largely replaced by Irish before the Tudor Conquest of Ireland. It was introduced as the official language with the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests. The Ulster plantations gave it a permanent foothold in Ulster, and it remained the official and upper-class language elsewhere, SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan

the Irish-speaking chieftains and nobility having been deposed. Language shift during the 19th century replaced Irish with English as the first language for a vast majority of the population.[132]

Less than 10% of the population of the Republic of Ireland today speak Irish regularly outside of the education system[133] and 38% of those over 15 years are classified as "Irish speakers." SONY VGN-BX197XP CPU Fan

In Northern Ireland, English is the de facto official language, but official recognition is afforded to Irish, including specific protective measures under Part III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. A lesser status (including recognition under Part II of the Charter) is given to Ulster Scots dialects, which are spoken by roughly 2% of Northern Ireland residents, and also spoken by some in the Republic of Ireland.[13Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

4] Since the 1960s with the increase in immigration, many more languages have been introduced, particularly deriving from Asia and Eastern Europe.

Ireland's culture comprises elements of the culture of ancient peoples, later immigrant and broadcast cultural influences (chieflyGaelic culture, Anglicisation, Americanisation and aspects of broader European culture). Toshiba AB7805HX-GB3 CPU Fan

In broad terms, Ireland is regarded as one of the Celtic 'nations' of Europe with Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Brittany. This combination of cultural influences is visible in the intricate designs termed Irish interlace or Celtic knotwork. These can be seen in the ornamentation of medieval religious and secular works.Toshiba Satellite L500-208 CPU Fan

The style is still popular today in jewellery and graphic art,[135] as is the distinctive style oftraditional Irish music and dance, and has become indicative of modern "Celtic" culture in general.

Religion has played a significant role in the cultural life of the island since ancient times (and since the 17th centuryplantations, has been the focus of political identity and divisions on the island). HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

Ireland's pre-Christian heritage fused with theCeltic Church following the missions of Saint Patrick in the 5th century. The Hiberno-Scottish missions, begun by the Irish monk Saint Columba, spread the Irish vision of Christianity to pagan England and the Frankish Empire. These missions brought written language to an illiterate population of Europe during the Dark Ages that followed the fall of Rome, earning Ireland the sobriquet, Toshiba Satellite P100-444 CPU Fan

"the island of saints and scholars". Since the 20th century the Irish pubs worldwide have become, especially those with a full range of cultural and gastronomic offerings, outposts of Irish culture.

The Republic of Ireland's national theatre is the Abbey Theatre founded in 1904 and the national Irish-language theatre is An Taibhdhearc, established in 1928 in Galway. HP Pavilion dv7-3114eo CPU Fan

Playwrights such as Seán O'Casey, Brian Friel, Sebastian Barry, Conor McPhersonand Billy Roche are internationally renowned.

Ireland has made a large contribution to world literature in all its branches, particularly in the English language. Poetry in Irish is the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century. HP Mini 110-1125SA CPU Fan

In English, Jonathan Swift, still often called the foremost satirist in the English language, was wildly popular in his day for works such as Gulliver's Travels and A Modest Proposal and Oscar Wilde is known most for his often quoted witticisms.

In the 20th century, Ireland produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats,Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

Although not a Nobel Prize winner, James Joyce is widely considered to be one of the most significant writers of the 20th century. Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature and his life is celebrated annually on 16 June in Dublin as "Bloomsday".[139] Modern Irish literature is often connected with its rural heritage[140] through writers such as John McGahern and poets such as Seamus Heaney. Compaq Presario CQ60-210eo CPU Fan

Irish traditional music and dance has seen a surge in popularity and global coverage, including through the phenomenon ofRiverdance, a theatrical performance of Irish traditional dancing.[141] In the middle years of the 20th century, as Irish society was modernising, traditional music fell out of favour, especially in urban areas.[142] HP Pavilion dv7-2250sf CPU Fan

However during the 1960s, inspired by the American folk music movement, there was a revival of interest in Irish traditional music led by groups such as The Dubliners, The Chieftains,Emmet Spiceland, The Wolfe Tones, the Clancy Brothers, Sweeney's Men and individuals like Seán Ó Riada and Christy Moore.[143]

Groups and musicians including Horslips, Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy incorporated elements of Irish traditional music into contemporary rock music and, during the 1970s and 1980s, HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred, with many individuals regularly crossing over between these styles of playing. This trend can be seen more recently in the work of artists like Enya, The Saw Doctors, The Corrs, Sinéad O'Connor, Clannad, The Cranberries, Black 47 and The Pogues among others. HP G60-230us CPU Fan

During the 1990s a sub-genre of folk metal emerged in Ireland that fused heavy metal music with Irish and Celtic music. The pioneers of this sub-genre were Cruachan, Primordial, and Waylander. Some contemporary music groups stick closer to a "traditional" sound, including Altan, Téada, Danú, Dervish, Lúnasa, and Solas. Others incorporate multiple cultures in a fusion of styles, such as Afro Celt Sound System and Kíla. HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

The earliest known Irish graphic art and sculpture are Neolithic carvings found at sites such as Newgrange[144] and is traced throughBronze age artefacts and the religious carvings and illuminated manuscripts of the medieval period. During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, a strong tradition of painting emerged, including such figures as John Butler Yeats, William Orpen, Jack Yeatsand Louis le Brocquy. HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

Contemporary Irish visual artists of note include Sean Scully, Kevin Abosch, and Alice Maher.

The Irish philosopher and theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena was considered one of the leading intellectuals of his early Middle Ages. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, an Irish explorer, was one of the principal figures of Antarctic exploration. COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

He, along with his expedition, made the first ascent of Mount Erebus and the discovery of the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole. Robert Boyle was a 17th-century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor and early gentleman scientist. He is largely regarded one of the founders of modern chemistry and is best known for the formulation of Boyle's law.[145] IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

19th century physicist, John Tyndall, discovered the Tyndall effect, which explains why the sky is blue. Father Nicholas Joseph Callan, Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College, is best known for his invention of the induction coil, transformer and he discovered an early method of galvanisation in the 19th century.

Other notable Irish physicists include Ernest Walton, winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics. HP G62-110SO CPU Fan

With Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, he was the first to split the nucleus of the atom by artificial means and made contributions to the development of a new theory of wave equation.[146] William Thomson, or Lord Kelvin, is the person whom the absolute temperature unit, the Kelvin, is named after. SirJoseph Larmor, a physicist and mathematician,DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

made innovations in the understanding of electricity, dynamics, thermodynamics and the electron theory of matter. His most influential work was Aether and Matter, a book on theoretical physics published in 1900.[147]

George Johnstone Stoney introduced the term electron in 1891. John Stewart Bell was the originator of Bell's Theorem and a paper concerning the discovery of the Bell-Jackiw-Adler anomaly and was nominated for a Nobel prize.[145SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

] Notable mathematicians include Sir William Rowan Hamilton, famous for work in classical mechanics and the invention of quaternions. Francis Ysidro Edgeworth's contribution of the Edgeworth Box remains influential in neo-classical microeconomic theory to this day; while Richard Cantillon inspired Adam Smith, among others. John B. HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

Cosgrave was a specialist in number theory and discovered a 2000-digit prime number in 1999 and a record composite Fermat number in 2003. John Lighton Synge made progress in different fields of science, including mechanics and geometrical methods in general relativity. He had mathematician John Nash as one of his students.

Ireland has nine universities, Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

seven in the Republic of Ireland and two in Northern Ireland, including Trinity College, Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

Dublin and the University College Dublin, as well as numerous third-level colleges and institutes and a branch of the Open University, the Open University in Ireland.The island of Ireland fields a single international team in most sports. One notable exception to this is Association football, although both associations continued to field international teams under the name "Ireland" until the 1950s. An all-Ireland club competition for soccer, the Setanta Cup, was created in 2005. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of match attendance and community involvement, with about 2,600 clubs on the island. In 2003 it represented 34% of total sports attendances at events in Ireland and abroad, followed by hurling at 23%, soccer at 16% and rugby at 8%[148] and the All-Ireland Football Final is the most watched event in the sporting calendar.[149] Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

Soccer is the most widely played team game on the island, and the most popular inNorthern Ireland.[148][150] Swimming, golf, aerobics, soccer, cycling, Gaelic football and billiards/snooker are the sporting activities with the highest levels of playing participation.[151] The sport is also the most notable exception where the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland field separate international teams. ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

Since the 1990s ice hockey has seen an increase in popularity, notably with the Belfast Giants ice hockey team in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland have also produced two World Snooker Champions. Many other sports are also played and followed, including basketball, boxing, cricket, fishing, greyhound racing,handball, hockey, horse racing, motor sport, show jumping and tennis. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

Gaelic football, hurling and handball are the best-known of the Irish traditional sports, collectively known as Gaelic games. Gaelic games are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), with the exception of ladies' Gaelic football and camogie (women's variant of hurling), which are governed by separate organisations. The headquarters of the GAA (and the main stadium) is located at the 82,500[152] capacity Croke Park in north Dublin. SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

Many major GAA games are played there, including the semi-finals and finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. During the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Road stadium in 2007–10, international rugby and soccer were played there.[153] All GAA players, even at the highest level, are amateurs, receiving no wages, although they are permitted to receive a limited amount of sport-related income from commercial sponsorship. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

The Irish Football Association (IFA) was originally the governing body for soccer across the island. The game has been played in an organised fashion in Ireland since the 1870s, with Cliftonville F.C. in Belfast being Ireland's oldest club. It was most popular, especially in its first decades, around Belfast and in Ulster. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

However, some clubs based outside Belfast thought that the IFA largely favoured Ulster-based clubs in such matters as selection for the national team. In 1921, following an incident in which, despite an earlier promise, the IFA moved an Irish Cup semi-final replay from Dublin to Belfast[154]

Dublin-based clubs broke away to form the Football Association of the Irish Free State. HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

Today the southern association is known as the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). Despite being initially blacklisted by the Home Nations' associations, the FAI was recognised by FIFA in 1923 and organised its first international fixture in 1926 (against Italy). However, both the IFA and FAI continued to select their teams from the whole of Ireland, with some players earning international caps for matches with both teams. HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

Both also referred to their respective teams as Ireland.

In 1950, FIFA directed the associations only to select players from within their respective territories and, in 1953, directed that the FAI's team be known only as "Republic of Ireland" and that the IFA's team be known as "Northern Ireland" (with certain exceptions). Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup finals in 1958 (reaching the quarter-finals), 1982 and 1986. The Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in 1990 (reaching the quarter-finals), 1994, 2002 and the European Championships in 1988 and2012. Across Ireland, there is significant interest in the English and, to a lesser extent, Scottish soccer leagues. HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan

Unlike soccer, Ireland continues to field a single national rugby team and a single association, the Irish Rugby Football Union(IRFU), governs the sport across the island. The Irish rugby team have played in every Rugby World Cup, making the quarter-finals in four of them. Ireland also hosted games during the 1991 and the 1999 Rugby World Cups (including a quarter-final). HP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

There are four professional Irish teams; all four play in the Magners League (now called the RaboDirect Pro12) and at least three compete for theHeineken Cup. Irish rugby has become increasingly competitive at both the international and provincial levels since the sport went professional in 1994. During that time, Ulster (1999[155]), Munster (2006[156] and 2008[157]) and Leinster (2009 and 2011)[158] COMPAQ Presario CQ42-401TU CPU Fan

have won the Heineken Cup. In addition to this, the Irish International side has had increased success in the Six Nations Championshipagainst the other European elite sides. This success, including Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006 and 2007, culminated with a clean sweep of victories, known as a Grand Slam, in 2009.[159]

The Ireland cricket team was among the associate nations that qualified for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Toshiba Satellite A300D CPU Fan

It defeated Pakistan and finished second in its pool, earning a place in the Super 8 stage of the competition. The team also competed in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 after jointly winning the qualifiers, where they also made the Super 8 stage. Ireland also won the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier to secure their place in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, as well as official ODI status through 2013. HP Pavilion dv8397ea CPU  Fan

Kevin O'Brien scored the fastest century in Word Cup history (113 runs off 63 balls), as Ireland produced one of the great upsets to defeat England by 3 wickets in the 2011 tournament

Rugby league in Ireland is governed by Rugby League Ireland, which runs the Irish Elite League, there are currently 20 teams across Ulster, Munster andLeinster.[160] HP Pavilion dv9821ea CPU Fan

The Irish rugby league team is made up predominantly of players based in Ireland, England and Australia.[161] Ireland reached the quarter-finals of the 2000 Rugby League World Cup as well as reaching the semi finals in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

Horse racing and greyhound racing are both popular in Ireland. HP COMPAQ TC4200 CPU Fan

There are frequent horse race meetings and greyhound stadiums are well-attended. The island is noted for the breeding and training of race horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs.[163] The horse racing sector is largely concentrated in the County Kildare.[164]

Irish athletics has seen a heightened success rate since the year 2000, with Sonia O'Sullivan winning two medals at 5,000 metres on the track; SONY Vaio VGN-NW228F CPU Fan

gold at the 1995 World Championships and silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Gillian O'Sullivan won silver in the 20k walk at the 2003 World Championships, while sprint hurdler Derval O'Rourke won gold at the 2006 World Indoor Championship in Moscow. Olive Loughnane won a silver medal in the 20k walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2009. HP G62-b16ST CPU Fan

Ireland has won more medals in boxing than in any other Olympic sport. Boxing is governed by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. Michael Carruth won a gold medal in the Barcelona Olympic Games and in 2008 Kenneth Egan won a silver medal in the Beijing Games.[165] Paddy Barnes secured bronze in those games and gold in the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

 (where Ireland came 2nd in the overall medal table) and 2010 Commonwealth Games. Katie Taylor has won gold in every European and World championship since 2005. In August 2012 at the Olympic Games in London Katie Taylor created history by becoming the first Irish woman to win a gold medal in boxing in the 60 kg lightweight.[166] HP Pavilion dv6-3049tx CPU Fan

Golf is very popular and golf tourism is a major industry attracting more than 240,000 golfing visitors annually.[167] The 2006 Ryder Cup was held at The K Clubin County Kildare.[168] Pádraig Harrington became the first Irishman since Fred Daly in 1947 to win the British Open at Carnoustie in July 2007.[169] He successfully defended his title in July 2008[170] before going on to win the PGA Championship in August.[171] HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

Harrington became the first European to win the PGA Championship in 78 years and was the first winner from Ireland. Three golfers from Northern Ireland have been particularly successful. In 2010, Graeme McDowellbecame the first Irish golfer to win the U.S. Open, and the first European to win that tournament since 1970. Rory McIlroy, at the age of 22, won the 2011 U.S. Toshiba Qosmio G30-167 CPU Fan

Open, while Darren Clarke's latest victory was the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George's. In August 2012, McIlroy won his 2nd major championship by winning the USPGA Championship by a record margin of 8 shots.

The west coast of Ireland, Lahinch and Donegal Bay in particular, have popular surfing beaches, being fully exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Donegal Bay is shaped like a funnel and catches west/south-west Atlantic winds, creating good surf, especially in winter. Since just before the year 2010, Bundoran has hosted European championship surfing. Scuba diving is increasingly popular in Ireland with clear waters and large populations of sea life, particularly along the western seaboard. Compaq Presario CQ40-408AX CPU Fan

There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Corkcoast.[172]

With thousands of lakes, over 14,000 kilometres (8,700 mi) of fish bearing rivers and over 3,700 kilometres (2,300 mi) of coastline, Ireland is a popularangling destination. HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

The temperate Irish climate is suited to sport angling. While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers, salmon fishing in particular received a boost in 2006 with the closing of the salmon driftnet fishery. Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile. Sea angling is developed with many beaches mapped and signposted,[173] and the range of sea angling species is around 80. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Food and cuisine in Ireland takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in the island's temperate climate and from the social and political circumstances of Irish history. For example, whilst from the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the dominant feature of the Irish economy was the herding of cattle, the number of cattle a person owned was equated to their social standing.[175] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

Thus herders would avoid slaughtering a milk-producing cow.[175]

For this reason, pork and white meat were more common than beef and thick fatty strips of salted bacon (or rashers) and the eating of salted butter (i.e. a dairy product rather than beef itself) have been a central feature of the diet in Ireland since the Middle Ages.[175] HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

The practice of bleeding cattle and mixing the blood with milk and butter (not unlike the practice of the Maasai) was common[176] and black pudding, made from blood, grain (usually barley) and seasoning, remains a breakfast staple in Ireland. All of these influences can be seen today in the phenomenon of the "breakfast roll".

The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century heavily influenced cuisine thereafter. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food and by the mid-19th century the vast majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk.[177] A typical family, consisting of a man, a woman and four children, would eat 18 stone (110 kg) of potatoes a week.[175] Consequently, dishes that are considered as national dishes represent a fundamental unsophistication to cooking, HP Pavilion dv7-4150ec CPU Fan

such as the Irish stew,bacon and cabbage, boxty, a type of potato pancake, or colcannon, a dish of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage.[175]

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, with a re-emergence of wealth in Ireland, a "New Irish Cuisine" based on traditional ingredients incorporating international influences[178] has emerged.[179] HP Pavilion dv5-1102tu CPU Fan

This cuisine is based on fresh vegetables, fish (especially salmon, trout, oysters, mussels and other shellfish), as well as traditional soda breads and the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are now being produced across the country. The potato remains however a fundamental feature of this cuisine and the Irish remain the highest per capita[175] consumers of potatoes in Europe. SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

An example of this new cuisine is "Dublin Lawyer": lobster cooked in whiskey and cream.[180] Traditional regional foods can be found throughout the country, for example coddle in Dublin or drisheen in Cork, both a type of sausage, or blaa, a doughy white bread particular to Waterford.

Ireland once dominated the world's market for whiskey, producing 90% of the world's whiskey at the start of the 20th century. HP Pavilion dv7-6011tx CPU Fan

However, as a consequence of bootleggers during the prohibition in the United States (who sold poor-quality whiskey bearing Irish-sounding names thus eroding the pre-prohibition popularity for Irish brands)[181] and tariffs on Irish whiskey across the British Empire during the Anglo-Irish Trade War of the 1930s,[182] sales of Irish whiskey worldwide fell to a mere 2% by the mid-20th century.[183] HP Pavilion dv5-1040eb CPU Fan

In 1953, an Irish government survey, found that 50 per cent of whiskey drinkers in the United States had never heard of Irish whiskey.[184]

Irish whiskey, as researched in 2009 by the CNBC American broadcaster, remains popular domestically and has grown in international sales steadily over a few decades.[185] ASUS F3Jv CPU Fan

Typically CNBC states Irish whiskey is not as smoky as a Scotch whisky, but not as sweet as American or Canadian whiskies.[185] Whiskey forms the basis of traditional cream liqueurs, such asBaileys, and the "Irish coffee" (a cocktail of coffee and whiskey reputedly invented at Foynes flying-boat station) is probably the best-known Irish cocktail. IBM ThinkPad R50p 2887 CPU Fan

Stout, a kind of porter beer, particularly Guinness, is typically associated with Ireland, although historically it was more closely associated with London. Porter remains very popular, although it has lost sales since the mid-20th century to lager. Cider, particularly Magners (marketed in the Republic of Ireland asBulmers), is also a popular drink. SONY VGN-CS36GJ/R CPU Fan

 

Red lemonade, a soft-drink, is consumed on its own and as a mixer, particularly with whiskey. Toshiba Satellite A215-S4807 CPU Fan,Toshiba Satellite Pro M10-SP405 CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv4-1120us CPU Fan

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Ireland (i/ˈaɪərlənd/; RP: [ˈʌɪələnd]; Irish: Éire [ˈeːɾʲə] ; Ulster-Scots: Airlann or Airlan) is an island to the north-west of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth.[5]To its east is the island of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the Irish Sea. SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remaining area and is located in the north-east of the island. The population of Ireland is approximately 6.4 million. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.[6] DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

The island's geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until medieval times. As of 2013, the amount of land that is forested in Ireland is about 11% of the total land area, compared with European average of 35%.[7][8] HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland.

Gaelic Ireland emerged some time in prehistory and lasted until the early 17th century. The island was converted to Christianity from the 5th century onward. Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland. FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest. This led to the colonization of northern Ireland by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, and was extended during the 18th century. In 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became increasingly sovereign over the following decades, and Northern Ireland which remained a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973, both parts of Ireland joined the European Economic Community. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and education. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed for example through Gaelic games, Irish music, and the Irish language. The culture of the island has also many features shared with Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, rugby, horse racingand golf. ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

Most of Ireland was covered with ice until the end of the last ice age over 9,000 years ago. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, was part of continental Europe. Mesolithic stone age inhabitants arrived from Britain some time around 7,000 BC and agriculture followed with the Neolithic Age around 3,000 BC.[9] HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

At the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day County Mayo, is an extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world,[10] dating from not long after this period. Consisting of small divisions separated bydry-stone walls, the fields were farmed for several centuries between 3,500 and 3,000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops imported from the Iberian Peninsula. HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

The Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2,500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel, harnessing oxen, weaving textiles, brewing alcohol, and skillful metalworking, which produced new weapons and tools, along with fine gold decoration and jewellery, such asbrooches and torcs. FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included Britain, France, Spain and Portugal whereCeltic languages developed, but this view stands against the more generally accepted view among 'Celticists' that their origin lies in Continental Europe with the Hallstatt culture. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

The Iron Age in Ireland is traditionally associated with people known as the Celts. The Celts were commonly thought to have colonised Ireland in a series of invasions. The first Celtic-speaking tribes are believed to have arrived on the island about 600 BC in what is referred to as the Hallstatt era.

Other colonists followed them, the main thrust arriving in the later La Tene era some time between the third and first centuries BC. Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

They came from neighbouring Britain, Gaul andIberia: tribes from two main stems of the Continental Celts—the Belgae originating in northern Gaul and the Gael from southern Gaul and the northern seaboard of the Iberian Peninsula.

Historically four separate Celtic incursions into are deemed to have occurred in Ireland, HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

The Priteni were the first to colonize the island, followed by the Belgae who invaded Ireland from northern Gaul and Britain. Later, Laighin tribes from Armorica (present-day Brittany) are believed to have invaded Ireland and Britain more or less simultaneously. Lastly, the Milesians (Gaels) reached Ireland from either northern Iberia or southern Gaul. Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

The Priteni tribes (Ireland and Britain were known to the early Greeks as the Pritenic Islands) are believed to have arrived a little after 700 BC. Their origin as Celts is questionable; according to some sources they were more likely to have been the descendants of the earlier Neolithic indigenous inhabitants of the island. Probably, they were a mixture of both. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

The second wave, the Euerni,belonging to the Belgae people of northern Gaul, began arriving about the sixth century BC. They called their new home Eueriio, which would later evolve through the old Irish Eriu to Eire to Ireland.

The third wave of colonization is believed to have taken place some time about 300 BC. They were the Laginians or, according to their own tradition, Gauls who came to Ireland from Armorica. HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

Their name association with Laighi, the ancient name for Leinster, suggests that this was where they first settled. Another branch of the same people was the Galioin (or Gailenga) who settled in an area north of Dublin and Meath. The last major Celtic settlement in Ireland is believed to have taken place some time between 150–50 BC. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

These people have been identified as the Milesians (Sons of Mil, or Gaels) who, according to tradition, fled Roman incursions into northern Iberia and southern Gaul. These were Iron Age Celts and their dominance over the island was to last well over a thousand years.[16]

The Gaels, the last wave of Celts, were said to have divided the island into five or more kingdoms after conquering it. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

However, most academics favour a theory that emphasises the diffusion of culture from the neolithic to bronze age overseas as opposed to a military colonisation.[17] Finds such as Clonycavan Man are given as evidence for this theory.

The earliest written records of Ireland come from classical Greco-Roman geographers. Ptolemy in his Almagest refers to Ireland as Mikra Brettania (Little Britain), in contrast to the larger island, which he called Megale Brettania (Great Britain).[19]  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

In his later work, Geography, Ptolemy refers to Ireland asIouernia and to Great Britain as Albion. These "new" names were likely to have been the Celtic names for the islands at the time. The earlier names, in contrast, were likely to have been coined before direct contact with local peoples was made.[20]

The Romans would later refer to Ireland by this name too in its Latinised form, Hibernia,[21] or Scotia.[22] Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

Ptolemy records sixteen nations inhabiting every part of Ireland in 100 AD.[23] The relationship between the Roman Empire and the tribes of ancient Ireland is unclear. However, a number of finds of Roman coins have been made, for example at Newgrange.[24]

Ireland continued as a patchwork of rival tribes but, beginning in the 7th century AD, SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

a concept of national kingship gradually became articulated through the concept of a High King of Ireland. Medieval Irish literature portrays an almost unbroken sequence of High Kings stretching back thousands of years but modern historians believe the scheme was constructed in the 8th century to justify the status of powerful political groupings by projecting the origins of their rule into the remote past.[25] HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan

The High King was said to preside over the patchwork of provincial kingdoms that together formed Ireland. All of these kingdoms had their own kings but were at least nominally subject to the High King. The High King was drawn from the ranks of the provincial kings and ruled also the royal kingdom of Meath, with a ceremonial capital at the Hill of Tara. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

The concept only became a political reality in the Viking Age and even then was not a consistent one.[26] However, Ireland did have a unifying rule of law: the early written judicial system, the Brehon Laws, administered by a professional class of jurists known as thebrehons.[27]

The Chronicle of Ireland records that in 431 AD Bishop Palladius arrived in Ireland on a mission from Pope Celestine I to minister to the Irish "already believing in Christ."[28HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

] The same chronicle records that Saint Patrick, Ireland's best known patron saint, arrived the following year. There is continued debate over the missions of Palladius and Patrick but the consensus is that they both took place[29] and that the older druid tradition collapsed in the face of the new religion.[30] Irish Christian scholars excelled in the study of Latin and Greek learning and Christian theology. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

In the monastic culture that followed the Christianisation of Ireland, Latin and Greek learning was preserved in Ireland during the Early Middle Ages in contrast to elsewhere in Europe, where the Dark Ages followed the decline of the Roman Empire.[30][31]

The arts of manuscript illumination, metalworking and sculpture flourished and produced treasures such as the Book of Kells, HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

ornate jewellery and the many carved stone crosses[32] that still dot the island today. A mission founded in 563 on Iona by the Irish monk Saint Columba began a tradition of Irish missionarywork that spread Christianity and learning to Scotland, England and the Frankish Empire on Continental Europe after the fall of Rome.[33] HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

These missions continued until the late Middle Ages, establishing monasteries and centres of learning, producing scholars such as Sedulius Scottus and Johannes Eriugena and exerting much influence in Europe.

From the 9th century, waves of Viking raiders plundered Irish monasteries and towns.[34] These raids added to a pattern of raiding and endemic warfare that was already deep-seated in Ireland. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

The Vikings also were involved in establishing most of the major coastal settlements in Ireland: Dublin, Limerick, Cork,Wexford, Waterford, and also Carlingford, Strangford, Annagassan, Arklow, Youghal, Lough Foyle and Lough Ree.

On 1 May 1169, an expedition of Cambro-Norman knights with an army of about six hundred landed at Bannow Strand in present-day County Wexford. HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

It was led by Richard de Clare, called Strongbow due to his prowess as an archer.[36] The invasion, which coincided with a period of renewed Norman expansion, was at the invitation of Dermot Mac Murrough, the king of Leinster.[37]

In 1166, Mac Murrough had fled to Anjou, France, following a war involving Tighearnán Ua Ruairc, of Breifne, and sought the assistance of the Angevin king, Henry II, in recapturing his kingdom. ACER Aspire 4743 CPU Fan

In 1171, Henry arrived in Ireland in order to review the general progress of the expedition. He wanted to re-exert royal authority over the invasion which was expanding beyond his control. Henry successfully re-imposed his authority over Strongbow and the Cambro-Norman warlords and persuaded many of the Irish kings to accept him as their overlord, an arrangement confirmed in the 1175 Treaty of Windsor. HP Pavilion dv6-2170us CPU Fan

The invasion was legitimised by the provisions of the Papal Bull Laudabiliter, issued by Adrian IV in 1155. The bull encouraged Henry to take control in Ireland in order to oversee the financial and administrative reorganisation of the Irish Church and its integration into the Roman Church system.[38] Some restructuring had already begun at the ecclesiastical level following the Synod of Kells in 1152.[39] Toshiba Satellite L675-S7018 CPU Fan

There has been significant controversy regarding authenticity of Laudabiliter,[40]and there is no general agreement as to whether the bull was genuine or a forgery.[41][42]

In 1172, the new pope, Alexander III, further encouraged Henry to advance the integration of the Irish Church with Rome. Henry was authorised to impose a titheof one penny per hearth as an annual contribution. ASUS F80Q CPU Fan

This church levy, called Peter's Pence, is still extant in Ireland as a voluntary donation. In turn, Henry accepted the title of Lord of Ireland which Henry conferred on his younger son, John Lackland, in 1185. This defined the Irish state as the Lordship of Ireland. When Henry's successor died unexpectedly in 1199, John inherited the crown of England and retained the Lordship of Ireland. ACER TravelMate 4200 CPU Fan

Over the century that followed, Norman feudal law gradually replaced the Gaelic Brehon Law so that by the late 13th century the Norman-Irish had established a feudal system throughout much of Ireland. Norman settlements were characterised by the establishment of baronies, manors, towns and the seeds of the modern county system. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

A version of the Magna Carta (the Great Charter of Ireland), substituting Dublin for London and Irish Church for Church of England, was published in 1216 and theParliament of Ireland was founded in 1297.

From the mid-14th century, after the Black Death, Norman settlements in Ireland went into a period of decline. The Norman rulers and the Gaelic Irish elites intermarried and the areas under Norman rule became Gaelicised. HP G70-120EA CPU Fan

In some parts, a hybrid Hiberno-Norman culture emerged. In response, the Irish parliament passed the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1367. These were a set of laws designed to prevent the assimilation of the Normans into Irish society by requiring English subjects in Ireland to speak English, follow English customs and abide by English law.[43] Toshiba Satellite A300-034 CPU Fan

By the end of the 15th century central English authority in Ireland had all but disappeared and a renewed Irish culture and language, albeit with Norman influences, was dominant again. English Crown control remained relatively unshaken in an amorphous foothold around Dublin known as The Pale and under the provisions of Poynings' Law of 1494, the Irish Parliamentary legislation was subject to the approval of the English Parliament. HP 606609-001 CPU Fan

The title of King of Ireland was re-created in 1542 by Henry VIII, then King of England, of the Tudor dynasty. English rule of law was reinforced and expanded in Ireland during the latter part of the 16th century, leading to the Tudor conquest of Ireland. A near complete conquest was achieved by the turn of the 17th century, following the Nine Years' War and the Flight of the Earls. Compaq Presario CQ60-301sl CPU Fan

This control was further consolidated during the wars and conflicts of the 17th century, which witnessed English and Scottish colonisation in the Plantations of Ireland, the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Williamite War. Irish losses during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (which, in Ireland, included the Irish Confederacy and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland) are estimated to include 20,000 battlefield casualties. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

200,000 civilians are estimated to have died as a result of a combination of war-related famine, displacement, guerilla activity and pestilence over the duration of the war. A further 50,000[Note 2]were sent to slavery in the West Indies. Some historians estimate that as much as half of the pre-war population of Ireland may have died as a result of the conflict.[46] ASUS Eee PC 701 CPU Fan

The religious struggles of the 17th century left a deep sectarian division in Ireland. Religious allegiance now determined the perception in law of loyalty to the Irish King and Parliament. After the passing of the Test Act 1672, and with the victory of the forces of the dual monarchy of William and Mary over the Jacobites, Roman Catholics and nonconforming Protestant Dissenters were barred from sitting as members in the Irish Parliament. Compaq Presario CQ60-305sa CPU Fan

Under the emerging penal laws Irish Roman Catholics and Dissenters were increasingly deprived of various and sundry civil rights even to the ownership of hereditary property. Additional regressive punitive legislation followed 1703, 1709 and 1728. This completed a comprehensive systemic effort to materially disadvantage Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, while enriching a new ruling class of Anglican conformists.[47] HP 637607-001 CPU Fan

The new Anglo-Irish ruling class became known as the Protestant Ascendancy.

An extraordinary climatic shock known as the "Great Frost" struck Ireland and the rest of Europe between December 1739 and September 1741, after a decade of relatively mild winters. The winters destroyed stored crops of potatoes and other staples and the poor summers severely damaged harvests.[48] HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

This resulted in the famine of 1740. An estimated 250,000 people (about one in eight of the population) died from the ensuing pestilence and disease.[49] The Irish government halted export of corn and kept the army in quarters but did little more.[49][50] Local gentry and charitable organisations provided relief but could do little to prevent the ensuing mortality.[49][50] HP Pavilion dv5-1210ez CPU Fan

In the aftermath of the famine, an increase in industrial production and a surge in trade brought a succession of construction booms. The population soared in the latter part of this century and the architectural legacy of Georgian Ireland was built. In 1782,Poynings' Law was repealed, giving Ireland legislative independence from Great Britain for the first time since 1495. Compaq Presario CQ50-211nr CPU Fan

The British government, however, still retained the right to nominate the government of Ireland without the consent of the Irish parliament.

In 1798, members of the Protestant Dissenter tradition (mainly Presbyterian) made common cause with Roman Catholics in a republican rebellion inspired and led by the Society of United Irishmen, with the aim of creating an independent Ireland. HP G56-114SA CPU Fan

Despite assistance from France the rebellion was put down by British and Irish government and yeomanry forces. In 1800, the British and Irish parliaments both passed Acts of Union that, with effect from 1 January 1801, merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to create a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. SONY Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N CPU Fan

The passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was ultimately achieved with substantial majorities, having failed on the first attempt in 1799. According to contemporary documents and historical analysis, this was achieved through a considerable degree of bribery, with funding provided by the British Secret Service Office, and the awarding of peerages, places and honours to secure votes.[51] HP Pavilion dv7-4060eo CPU Fan

 Thus, Ireland became part of an extended United Kingdom, ruled directly by a united parliament at Westminster in London.Aside from the development of the linen industry, Ireland was largely passed over by the industrial revolution, partly because it lacked coal and iron resources[52][53] and partly because of the impact of the sudden union with the structurally superior economy of England,[54] which saw Ireland as a source of agricultural produce and capital. Toshiba Satellite M70-252 CPU Fan

The Great Famine of the 1840s caused the deaths of one million Irish people and over a million more emigrated to escape it.[57] By the end of the decade, half of all immigration to the United States was from Ireland. The period of civil unrest that followed until the end of the 19th century is referred to as the Land War. Mass emigration became deeply entrenched and the population continued to decline until the mid-20th century. Toshiba Satellite A100-455 CPU Fan

Immediately prior to the famine the population was recorded as 8.2 million by the 1841 census.[58] The population has never returned to this level since.[59] The population continued to fall until 1961 and it was not until the 2006 census that the last county of Ireland (County Leitrim) to record a rise in population since 1841 did so.

The 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of modern Irish nationalism, primarily among the Roman Catholic population. HP Pavilion dv5-2112br CPU Fan

The pre-eminent Irish political figure after the Union was Daniel O'Connell. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Ennisin a surprise result and despite being unable to take his seat as a Roman Catholic. O'Connell spearheaded a vigorous campaign that was taken up by the Prime Minister, the Irish-born soldier and statesman, the Duke of Wellington. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

Steering the Catholic Relief Bill through Parliament, aided by future prime minister Robert Peel, Wellington prevailed upon a reluctant George IVto sign the Bill and proclaim it into law. George's father had opposed the plan of the earlier Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger, to introduce such a bill following the Union of 1801, fearing Catholic Emancipation to be in conflict with the Act of Settlement 1701. HP Pavilion dv6-3299en CPU Fan

A subsequent campaign, led by O'Connell, for the repeal of the Act of Union failed. Later in the century, Charles Stewart Parnell and others campaigned for autonomy within the Union, or "Home Rule". Unionists, especially those located in Ulster, were strongly opposed to Home Rule, which they thought would be dominated by Catholic interests.[60] SONY Vaio VGN-NW11Z/T CPU Fan

After several attempts to pass a Home Rule bill through parliament, it looked certain that one would finally pass in 1914. To prevent this from happening, the Ulster Volunteers were formed in 1913 under the leadership of Edward Carson.[61]

Their formation was followed in 1914 by the establishment of the Irish Volunteers, whose aim was to ensure that the Home Rule Bill was passed. Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan

The Act was passed but with the "temporary" exclusion of the six counties of Ulster that would become Northern Ireland. Before it could be implemented, however, the Act was suspended for the duration of the First World War. The Irish Volunteers split into two groups. The majority, approximately 175,000 in number, under John Redmond, took the name National Volunteers and supported Irish involvement in the war. HP Pavilion dv7-4183sf CPU Fan

A minority, approximately 13,000, retained the Irish Volunteers' name, and opposed Ireland's involvement in the war.The failed Easter Rising of 1916 was carried out by the latter group in alliance with a smaller socialist militia, the Irish Citizen Army. The British response, executing fifteen leaders of the Rising over a period of ten days and imprisoning or interning more than a thousand people, turned the mood of the country in favour of the rebels. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

Support for Irish republicanism increased further due to the ongoing war in Europe, as well as the Conscription Crisis of 1918.[62]

The pro-independence republican party, Sinn Féin, received overwhelming endorsement in the general election of 1918, and in 1919 proclaimed an Irish Republic, setting up its own parliament (Dáil Éireann) and government. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

Simultaneously the Volunteers, which became known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), launched a three-year guerilla war, which ended in a truce in July 1921 (although violence continued until June 1922, mostly in Northern Ireland).[62]

In December 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was concluded between the British Government and representatives of the Second Dáil. HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

It gave Ireland complete independence in its home affairs and practical independence for foreign policy, but an opt-out clause allowed Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom, which it immediately exercised as expected. Additionally, an oath of allegiance to the King was to be taken.[63] HP Pavilion dv7-3190ei CPU Fan

Disagreements over these provisions led to a split in the nationalist movement and a subsequent civil war between the new government of the Irish Free State and those opposed to the treaty, led by Éamon de Valera. The civil war officially ended in May 1923 when de Valera issued a cease-fire order.

During its first decade the newly formed Irish Free State was governed by the victors of the civil war. HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

When de Valera achieved power, he took advantage of the Statute of Westminster and political circumstances to build upon inroads to greater sovereignty made by the previous government. The oath was abolished and in 1937 a new constitution was adopted.[62] This completed a process of gradual separation from the British Empire that governments had pursued since independence. ASUS A6000R CPU Fan

However, it was not until 1949 that the state was declared, officially, to be the Republic of Ireland.

The state was neutral during World War II, but offered clandestine assistance to the Allies, particularly in the potential defence of Northern Ireland. Despite being neutral, approximately 50,000[65] volunteers from independent Ireland joined the British forces during the war, four being awarded Victoria Crosses. HP Pavilion dv7-6011sg CPU Fan

German Intelligence was also active in Ireland.[66] German intelligence operations effectively ended in September 1941 whenpolice made arrests on the basis of surveillance carried out on the key diplomatic legations in Ireland, including that of the United States. To the authorities counterintelligence was a fundamental line of defence. Toshiba Satellite L300D-01P CPU Fan

With a regular army of only slightly over seven thousand men at the start of the war, and with limited supplies of modern weapons, the state would have had great difficulty in defending itself from invasion from either side of the conflict.[66][67]

Large-scale emigration marked the 1950s and 1980s, but beginning in 1987 the economy improved, and the 1990s saw the beginning of substantial economic growth. Compaq Presario CQ60-409CA CPU Fan

This period of growth became known as the Celtic Tiger.[68] The Republic's real GDP grew by an average of 9.6% per annum between 1995 and 1999,[69] in which year the Republic joined the euro. In 2000 Ireland was the sixth-richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita.[70]

Social changes followed quickly on the heels of economic prosperity, HP Mini 110-3010sf CPU Fan

ranging from the 'modernisation' of the annual parade in Dublin to mark the principal national holiday of Saint Patrick's Day (17 March), to the decline in authority of the Catholic Church. The financial crisis of 2008–2010 dramatically ended this period of boom. GDP fell by 3% in 2008 and by 7.1% in 2009, the worst year since records began (although earnings by foreign-owned businesses continued to grow).[71Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

] The state has since experienced deep recession, with unemployment, which doubled during 2009, remaining above 14% in 2012.

Northern Ireland was created as a division of the United Kingdom by the Government of Ireland Act 1920 and until 1972 it was a self-governing jurisdiction within the United Kingdom with its own parliament and prime minister. Toshiba Satellite M70-142 CPU Fan

Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, was not neutral during the Second World War and Belfast suffered four bombing raids in 1941. Conscription was not extended to Northern Ireland and roughly an equal number volunteered from Northern Ireland as volunteered from the south. One, James Joseph Magennis, received the Victoria Cross for valour. DELL Inspiron E1505 CPU Fan

Although Northern Ireland was largely spared the strife of the civil war, in decades that followed partition there were sporadic episodes of inter-communal violence. Nationalists, mainly Roman Catholic, wanted to unite Ireland as an independent republic, whereas unionists, mainly Protestant, wanted Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom. HP 532613-001 CPU Fan

The Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland voted largely along sectarian lines, meaning that the Government of Northern Ireland (elected by "first-past-the-post" from 1929) was controlled by the Ulster Unionist Party. Over time, the minority Catholic community felt increasingly alienated with further disaffection fueled by practices such as gerrymandering and discriminationin housing and employment. HP Envy 14-1080eo CPU Fan

In the late 1960s, nationalist grievances were aired publicly in mass civil rights protests, which were often confronted byloyalist counter-protests.[76] The government's reaction to confrontations was seen to be one-sided and heavy-handed in favour of unionists. Law and order broke down as unrest and inter-communal violence increased.[77] ACER TravelMate 5230 CPU Fan

The Northern Ireland government requested the British Army to aid the police, who were exhausted after several nights of serious rioting. In 1969, the paramilitary Provisional IRA, which favoured the creation of a united Ireland, emerged from a split in the Irish Republican Army and began a campaign against what it called the "British occupation of the six counties".Lenovo 3000 G430 CPU Fan

Other groups, on both the unionist side and the nationalist side, participated in violence and a period known as the Troublesbegan. Over 3,600 deaths resulted over the subsequent three decades of conflict.[78] Owing to the civil unrest during the Troubles, the British government suspended home rule in 1972 and imposed direct rule. There were several unsuccessful attempts to end the Troubles politically, such as the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. ASUS EEE PC 1215N CPU Fan

In 1998, following a ceasefire by the Provisional IRA and multi-party talks, the Good Friday Agreement was concluded as a treaty between the British and Irish governments, annexing the text agreed in the multi-party talks.

The substance of the Agreement (formally referred to as the Belfast Agreement) was later endorsed by referendums in both parts of Ireland. Dell Vostro 3750 CPU Fan

The Agreement restored self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of power-sharing in a regional Executive drawn from the major parties in a new Northern Ireland Assembly, with entrenched protections for the two main communities. The Executive is jointly headed by a First Minister and deputy First Minister drawn from the unionist and nationalist parties. Toshiba Satellite L500-018 CPU Fan

Violence had decreased greatly after the Provisional IRA and loyalist ceasefires in 1994 and in 2005 the Provisional IRA announced the end of its armed campaign and an independent commission supervised its disarmament and that of other nationalist and unionist paramilitary organisations.[79]

The Assembly and power-sharing Executive were suspended several times but were restored again in 2007. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-116TU CPU Fan

In that year the British government officially ended its military support of the police in Northern Ireland (Operation Banner) and began withdrawing troops. On Wednesday, 27 June 2012, Northern Ireland's deputy first minister and former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness, shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II in Belfast, a handshake symbolizing reconciliation between the two nations. HP Pavilion dv6-2115eg CPU Fan

Politically, the island is divided between Ireland, a sovereign state also called the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, a constituent country of theUnited Kingdom. They share an open border and both are part of the Common Travel Area.

Both Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union, and as a consequence there is free movement of people, goods, services and capital across the border. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminister model with a written constitution and a popularly elected president who has mostly ceremonial powers. The Government is headed by a prime minister, the Taoiseach, who is appointed by the President on the nomination of the lower house of parliament, the Dáil. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

Members of the government are chosen from both the Dáil and the upper house of parliament, the Seanad. Its capital is Dublin.

Ireland today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita[80] and in 2011 was ranked the seventh most developed nation in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index.[81] SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan

A period of rapid economic expansion from 1995 onwards became known as the Celtic Tiger period, was brought to an end in 2008 with an unprecedentedfinancial crisis and and economic depression in 2009.

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom with a local executive and assemblywhich exercise devolved powers. The executive is jointly headed by the first and deputy-first minister, with the ministries being allocated in proportion with each party's representation in the assembly. Its capital is Belfast. Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 CPU Fan

Ultimately political power is held by London, from which Northern Ireland has gone through intermittent periods of direct rule during which devolved powers have been suspended. Northern Ireland elects 18 of the UK House of Commons' 650 MPs. TheNorthern Ireland Secretary is a cabinet level post in the British government. Northern Ireland forms a separate jurisdiction, its court of final appeal is the UK Supreme Court.  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

As part of the Good Friday Agreement, the British and Irish government agreed on the creation of all-island institutions and areas of cooperation.

The North/South Ministerial Council is an institution through which ministers from theGovernment of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive agree all-island policies. HP Pavilion dv7-3020es CPU Fan

At least six of these policy areas must have an associated all-island "implementation bodies" and at least six others must be implemented separately in each jurisdiction. The implementation bodies are: Waterways Ireland, the Food Safety Promotion Board, InterTradeIreland, theSpecial European Union Programmes Body, the North/South Language Body and the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission. HP G62-369TX CPU Fan

The British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference provides for co-operation between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom on all matter of mutual interest, especially Northern Ireland. In light of Ireland's particular interest in the governance of Northern Ireland, "regular and frequent" meetings co-chaired by the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, dealing with non-devolved matters to do with Northern Ireland and non-devolved all-Ireland issues, are required to take place under the establishing treaty.

The North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association is a joint parliamentary forum for the island of Ireland. HP 13.V1.BJ195.F.GN CPU Fan

It has no formal powers but operates as a forum for discussing matters of common concern between the respective legislatures.

Despite the two jurisdictions using two distinct currencies (the euro and pound sterling), a growing amount of commercial activity is carried out on an all-island basis. Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan

This has been facilitated by the two jurisdictions' shared membership of the European Union, and there have been calls from members of the business community and policymakers for the creation of an "all-island economy" to take advantage of economies of scale and boost competitiveness.

Ireland has an ancient industry based on peat (known locally as "sod" or "turf") as a source of energy for home fires. HP Pavilion dv7-1451nr CPU Fan

A form of biomass energy, this source of heat is still widely used in rural areas. In cities, heat is generally supplied by heating oil, although some urban suppliers distribute "sods of turf" as "smokeless fuel."

An area in which the island operates as a single market is electricity.[83] For much of their existence electricity networks in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were entirely separate. HP G62-a57SG CPU Fan

Both networks were designed and constructed independently post partition. However, as a result of changes over recent years they are now connected with three interlinks[84] and also connected through Great Britain to mainland Europe. The situation in Northern Ireland is complicated by the issue of private companies not supplying Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) with enough power. SONY Vaio VGN-NR31S/S CPU Fan

In the Republic of Ireland, the ESB has failed to modernise its power stations and the availability of power plants has recently averaged only 66%, one of the worst such rates in Western Europe. EirGrid is building a HVDC transmission line between Ireland and Great Britain with a capacity of 500 MW, about 10% of Ireland's peak demand.[85] IBM 91P9252 CPU Fan

As with electricity, the natural gas distribution network is also now all-island, with a pipeline linking Gormanston, County Meath, and Ballyclare, County Antrim.[86] Most of Ireland's gas comes through interconnectors between Twynholm in Scotland and Ballylumford, County Antrim and Loughshinny, County Dublin. Toshiba Satellite M70-122 CPU Fan

A decreasing supply is coming from the Kinsale gas field off the County Cork coast[87][88] and the Corrib Gas Field off the coast of County Mayo has yet to come on-line. The County Mayo field is facing some localised opposition over a controversial decision to refine the gas onshore.

Research and development in Ireland in renewable energy such as wind power has increased since 2004. SONY UDQFWPH22FQU CPU Fan

Large wind farms are being constructed in coastal counties such as Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim. The construction of wind farms has in some cases been delayed by opposition from local communities, some of whom overall consider the wind turbines to be unsightly. The Republic of Ireland is also hindered by an ageing network that was not designed to handle the varying availability of power that comes from wind farms. HP Pavilion dv6-2150ei CPU Fan

The ESB's Turlough Hill facility is the only power-storage facility in the state.

The island of Ireland is located in the north-west of Europe, between latitudes 51° and 56° N, and longitudes 11° and 5° W. It is separated from the neighbouring island of Great Britain by the Irish Sea and the North Channel, which has a width of 23 kilometres (14 mi)[90] at its narrowest point. HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

To the west is the northern Atlantic Ocean and to the south is the Celtic Sea, which lies between Ireland and Brittany, in France. Ireland has a total area of 84,421 km2 (32,595 sq mi)[2][91] Ireland and Great Britain, together with nearby islands, are known collectively as the British Isles. As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands. Toshiba Satellite P100-238 CPU Fan

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Many Korean, Japanese and American appliances sold in the US are actually of Mexican design and origin but sold under the OEM's client names.[133][134] In 2008 one out of every four consumer appliances sold in the United States was of Mexican design.

While many foreign companies like Phillips, Vizio and LG simply install wholly owned factories in HP Pavilion dv6-2115eg CPU Fan

Mexico a number of foreign companies have set up semi-independent joint venture companies with Mexican businesses to manufacture and design components in Mexico. These companies are independently operated from their foreign parent companies and are registered in Mexico. These local companies function under Mexican law and retain a sizable portion of the revenue. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

These companies typically function dually as in-company OEM development and design facilities and manufacturing centers and usually produce most components needed to manufacture the finished products. An example would by Sharp which has formed Semex.[136] Semex was founded as a joint venture between Sharp and Mexican investors which acts as an autonomous independent company which Sharp only maintains partial control over. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

The company manufactures whole products such televisions and designs individual components on behalf of Sharp such as LCD modules and in return Semex is granted access to Sharp capital, technology, research capacity and branding. Notable foreign companies which have set up joint venture entities in Mexico include Samsung which formed Samex,[137] SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan

a local designer and manufacturer of finished televisions, white goods and individual electronic components like printed circuit boards, LCD panels and semiconductors,[138] Toshiba, who formed Toshiba de México, S.A. de C.V., an administratively autonomous subsidiary which produces electronics parts, televisions and heavy industrial equipment.[139] Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 CPU Fan

Some of these subsidiaries have grown to expand into multiple branches effectively becoming autonomous conglomerates within their own parent companies. Sony for example started operations in Mexico in 1976 with a group of Mexican investors, and founded the joint venture, Sony de Mexico[140] which produces LED panels, LCD modules, automotive electronics, appliances and printed circuit boards amongst other products for its Japanese parent company,  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

Sony KG. Sony de Mexico has research facilities in Monterrey and Mexico City, designs many of the Sony products manufactured in Mexico and has now expanded to create its own finance, music and entertainment subsidiaries which are Mexican registered and independent of their Japanese parent corporation.

Although much of Mexico's electronics industry is driven by foreign companies, HP Pavilion dv7-3020es CPU Fan

Mexico also has a sizeable domestic electronics industry and a number of electronics companies including Mabe, a major appliance manufacturer and OEM which has been functioning since the nineteen fifties and has expanded into the global market, Meebox, a designer and manufacturer desktop and tablet computers, solar power panels and electronics components, Texa, which manufactures computers laptops and servers, HP G62-369TX CPU Fan

Falco, a major international manufacturer of electronic components such as printed circuitboards, power systems, semiconductors, gate drives and which has production facilities in Mexico, India and China, and Lanix, Mexico's largest electronics company which manufactures products such as computers, laptops, smartphones, LED and LCD displays, flash memory, tablets, servers, hard drives, HP 13.V1.BJ195.F.GN CPU Fan

RAM, optical disk drives, and printed circuitboards and employs over 11,000 people in Mexico and Chile and distributes its products throughout Latin America.[142][143][144] Another area being currently developed in Mexico is Robotics, Mexico's new Mexone robot has been designed with the idea that in future years develop a commercial application for such advanced robots. Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan

Mineral resources are the "nation's property" (i.e. public property) by constitution. As such, the energy sector is administered by the government with varying degrees of private investment. Mexico is the sixth-largest oil producer in the world, with 3,700,000 barrels per day (590,000 m3/d).[146] Pemex, the public company in charge of administering research, HP Pavilion dv7-1451nr CPU Fan

exploration and sales of oil, is the largest company (oil or otherwise) in Mexico, and the second largest in Latin America after Brazil's Petrobras.[147] Nonetheless, the company is heavily taxed, a significant source of revenue for the government, of almost 62 per cent of the company's sales.[22] Without enough money to continue investing in finding new sources or upgrading infrastructure, and being protected constitutionally from private and foreign investment, HP G62-a57SG CPU Fan

some have predicted the company may face institutional collapse.[22] While the oil industry is still relevant for the government's budget, its importance in GDP and exports has steadily fallen since the 1980s. In 1980 oil exports accounted for 61.6% of total exports; by 2000 it was only 7.3%.

The tertiary sector was estimated to account for 70.5% of the country's GDP, and employs 58% of the active population.[14SONY Vaio VGN-NR31S/S CPU Fan

]This section includes transportation, commerce, warehousing, restaurant and hotels, arts and entertainment, health, education, financial and banking services, telecommunications as well as public administration and defense. Mexico's service sector is strong, and in 2001 replaced Brazil's as the largest service sector in Latin America in dollar terms. IBM 91P9252 CPU Fan

According to the IMF the Mexican banking system is strong, in which private banks are profitable and well-capitalized.[150] The financial and banking sector is increasingly dominated by foreign companies or mergers of foreign and Mexican companies with the notable exception of Banorte. The acquisition of Banamex, one of the oldest surviving financial institutions in Mexico,Toshiba Satellite M70-122 CPU Fan

by Citigroup was the largest US-Mexico corporate merger, at US $12.5 billion.[151] In spite of that, the largest financial institution in Mexico is Bancomer associated to the Spanish BBVA.[152]

The process of institution building in the financial sector in Mexico has evolved hand in hand with the efforts of financial liberalization and of inserting the economy more fully into world markets.[153] SONY UDQFWPH22FQU CPU Fan

Over the recent years, there has been a wave of acquisitions by foreign institutions such as US-based Citigroup, Spain’s BBVA and the UK’s HSBC. Their presence, along with a better regulatory framework, has allowed Mexico’s banking system to recover from the 1994–95 peso devaluation. Lending to the public and private sector is increasing and so is activity in the areas of insurance, leasing and mortgages.[154] HP Pavilion dv6-2150ei CPU Fan

However, bank credit accounts for only 22% of GDP, which is significantly low compared to 70% in Chile.[155] Credit to the Agricultural sector has fallen 45.5% in six years (2001 to 2007), and now represents about 1% of total bank loans.[156] Other important institutions include savings and loans, credit unions (known as "cajas populares"),[157] HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

government development banks, “non-bank banks”, bonded warehouses, bonding companies and foreign-exchange firms.[158]

A wave of acquisitions has left Mexico’s financial sector in foreign hands. Their foreign-run affiliates compete with independent financial firms operating as commercial banks, brokerage and securities houses, insurance companies, retirement-fund administrators, mutual funds, and leasing companies. Toshiba Satellite P100-238 CPU Fan

Mexico has a single securities market, the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, known as the Bolsa). The market has grown steadily, with its main indices increasing by more than 600% in the last decade. It is Latin America's second largest exchange, after Brazil's. The total value of the domestic market capitalization of the BMV was calculated atUS$409 billion at the end of 2011, and raised to US$451 billion by the end of February this year.[159] ACER Aspire 5739 CPU Fan

The Indice de Precios y Cotizaciones (IPC, the general equities index) is the benchmark stock index on the Bolsa. In 2005 the IPC surged 37.8%, to 17,802.71 from 12,917.88, backed by a stronger Mexican economy and lower interest rates. It continued its steep rise through the beginning of 2006, reaching 19,272.63 points at end-March 2006. The stockmarket also posted a record low vacancy rate, according to the central bank. IBM ThinkPad T40 2678 CPU Fan

Local stockmarket capitalisation totalled US$236bn at end-2005, up from US$170bn at end-2004. As of March 2006 there were 135 listed companies, down from 153 a year earlier. Only a handful of the listed companies are foreign. Most are from Mexico City or Monterrey; companies from these two cities compose 67% of the total listed companies. IBM Thinkpad T43 CPU Fan

The IPC consists of a sample of 35 shares weighted according to their market capitalisation. Heavy hitters are America Telecom, the holding company that manages Latin America’s largest mobile company, América Móvil; Telefonos de Mexico, Mexico’s largest telephone company; Grupo Bimbo, world's biggest baker; and Wal-Mart de México, a subsidiary of the US retail giant. IBM ThinkPad T43 2668 CPU Fan

The makeup of the IPC is adjusted every six months, with selection aimed at including the most liquid shares in terms of value, volume and number of trades.

Mexico’s stockmarket is closely linked to developments in the US. Thus, volatility in the New York and Nasdaq stock exchanges, as well as interest-rate changes and economic expectations in the US, can steer the performance of Mexican equities. IBM ThinkPad T43 1871 CPU Fan

This is both because of Mexico’s economic dependence on the US and the high volume of trading in Mexican equities through American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Currently, the decline in the value of the dollar is making non-US markets, including Mexico's, more attractive.

Despite the recent gains, investors remain wary of making placements in second-tier initial public offerings (IPOs). ACER Travelmate 8104WLMI CPU Fan

Purchasers of new issues were disappointed after prices fell in numerous medium-sized companies that made offerings in 1996 and 1997. IPO activity in Mexico remains tepid and the market for second-tier IPOs is barely visible. There were three IPOs in 2005.

Banco de México is Mexico's central bank, an internally autonomous public institution whose governor is appointed by thepresident and approved by the legislature to which it is fully responsible. DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

ASUS F80S CPU Fan

Banco de México's functions are outlined in the 28th article of the constitution and further expanded in the Monetary Law of the United Mexican States.[162] Banco de México's main objective is to achieve stability in the purchasing power of the national currency. It is also the lender of last resort. HP Pavilion dv5-1058eo CPU Fan

The floating exchange originated with reforms initiated after the December 1994 peso crash which had followed an unsustainable adherence to a short band. Under the new system, Banco de México now makes no commitment to the level of the peso exchange rate, although it does employ an automatic mechanism to accumulate foreign reserves. It also possesses tools aimed at smoothing out volatility. IBM 13N5182 CPU Fan

The Exchange Rate Commission sets policy; it is made up of six members—three each from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Publico—SHCP) and the central bank, with the SHCP holding the deciding vote.

In August 1996, Banco de México initiated a mechanism to acquire foreign reserves when the peso is strong, IBM Thinkpad T30 2366-AA3 CPU Fan

without giving the market signals about a target range for the exchange rate. The resulting high levels of reserves, mostly from petroleum revenues, have helped to improve the terms and conditions on debt Mexico places on foreign markets. However, there is concern that the government relies too heavily on oil income in order to build a healthy base of reserves. IBM Thinkpad T30 CPU Fan

According to the central bank, international reserves stood at US $75.8 billion in 2007.[163] In May 2003, Banco de México launched a program that sells U.S. dollars via a monthly auction, with the goal of maintaining a stable, but moderate, level of reserves.From April 1, 1998 through April 1, 2008 the Peso traded around a range varying from $8.46 MXN per $1.00 USD on April 21, 1998 to $11.69 MXN per $1.00 USD on May 11, 2004, a 10 year peak depreciation of 38.18% between the two reference date extremes before recovering. HP 535438-001 CPU Fan

After the onset of the US credit crisis that accelerated in October 2008, the Peso had an exchange rate during October 1, 2008 through April 1, 2009 fluctuating from lowest to highest between $10.96 MXN per $1.00 USD on October 1, 2008 to $15.42 MXN per $1.00 USD on March 9, 2009, a peak depreciation ytd of 28.92% during those six months between the two reference date extremes before recovering. DELL Inspiron N3010 CPU Fan

From the $11.69 rate during 2004's low to the $15.42 rate during 2009's low, the peso depreciated 31.91% in that span covering the US recession coinciding Iraq War of 2003 and 2004 to the US & Global Credit Crisis of 2008.

Some experts including analysts at Goldman Sachs who coined the term BRIC in reference to the growing economics of Brazil, Russia, India, HP Pavilion dv6-3070tx CPU Fan

and China for marketing purposes believe that Mexico is going to be the 5th or 6th biggest economy in the world by the year 2050, behind China, United States, India, Brazil, and possibly Russia.

Mexico’s monetary policy was revised following the 1994–95 financial crisis, when officials decided that maintaining general price stability was the best way to contribute to the sustained growth of employment and economic activity. IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan

As a result, Banco de México has as its primary objective maintaining stability in the purchasing power of the peso. It sets an inflation target, which requires it to establish corresponding quantitative targets for the growth of the monetary base and for the expansion of net domestic credit.

The central bank also monitors the evolution of several economic indicators, such as the exchange rate, ASUS A8H CPU Fan

differences between observed and projected inflation, the results of surveys on the public and specialists’ inflation expectations, revisions on collective employment contracts, producer prices, and the balances of the current and capital accounts.

A debate continues over whether Mexico should switch to a US-style interest rate-targeting system. SONY UDQFRZH13CF0 CPU Fan

Government officials in favor of a change say that the new system would give them more control over interest rates, which are becoming more important as consumer credit levels rise.Until 2008(???), Mexico used a unique system, amongst the OECD countries,[154] to control inflation in a mechanism known as the corto (lit. "shortage") a mechanism that allowed the central bank to influence market interest rates by leaving the banking system short of its daily demand for money by a predetermined amount.HP COMPAQ 2510P CPU Fan

If the central bank wanted to push interest rates higher, it increased the corto. If it wished to lower interest rates, it decreased the corto. Source: BANXICO: in April 2004, the Central Bank began setting a referential overnight interest rate as its monetary policy.

Petty corruption based on exercise of administrative discretion in matters of zoning and business permits is endemic in Mexico[164] adding about 10% to the cost of consumer goods and services.[165] APPLE 661-4951 CPU Fan

An April 2012 article in The New York Times reporting payment of bribes to officials throughout Mexico in order to obtain construction permits, information, and other favors[166] resulted in investigations in both the United States and Mexico.Mexico is an export oriented economy. It is an important trade power as measured by the value of merchandise traded, and the country with the greatest number of free trade agreements.[169] HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan

In 2005, Mexico was the world's fifteenth largest merchandise exporter and twelfth largest merchandise importer with a 12% annual percentage increase in overall trade.[170] In fact, from 1991 to 2005 Mexican trade increased fivefold.[171] Mexico is the biggest exporter and importer in Latin America; in 2005, Mexico alone exported US $213.7 billion, roughly equivalent to the sum of the exports of Brazil, HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Paraguay.[170] By 2009 Mexico ranked once again number 15 on World's leading exporters with US $230 billion (And amongst the top ten excluding Intra-EU countries).[172] However, Mexican trade is fully integrated with that of its North American partners: close to 90% of Mexican exports and 50% of its imports are traded with the United States and Canada. Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan

Nonetheless, NAFTA has not produced trade diversion.[30] While trade with the United States increased 183% from 1993–2002, and that with Canada 165%, other trade agreements have shown even more impressive results: trade with Chile increased 285%, with Costa Rica 528% and Honduras 420%.[31] Trade with the European Union increased 105% over the same time period. SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan

Mexico joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986, and today is an active and constructive participant of the World Trade Organization. Fox's administration promoted the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Americas; Puebla served as temporary headquarters for the negotiations, and several other cities are now candidates for its permanent headquarters if the agreement is reached and implemented. HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan

The North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is by far the most important Trade Agreement Mexico has signed both in the magnitude of reciprocal trade with its partners as well as in its scope. Unlike the rest of the Free Trade Agreements that Mexico has signed, NAFTA is more comprehensive in its scope and was complemented by the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan

The NAAEC agreement was a response to environmentalists' concerns that companies would relocate to Mexico or the United States would lower its standards if the three countries did not achieve a unanimous regulation on the environment. The NAAEC, in an aim to be more than a set of environmental regulations, established the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NACEC), HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

a mechanism for addressing trade and environmental issues, the North American Development Bank (NADBank) for assisting and financing investments in pollution reduction and the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC). The NADBank and the BECC have provided economic benefits to Mexico by financing 36 projects, mostly in the water sector. By complementing NAFTA with the NAAEC, it has been labeled the "greenest" trade agreement.[175] HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan

The NAALC supplement to NAFTA aimed to create a foundation for cooperation among the three members for the resolution of labor problems, as well as to promote greater cooperation among trade unions and social organizations in all three countries, in order to fight for the improvement of labor conditions. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan

Though most economists agree that it is difficult to assess the direct impact of the NAALC, it is agreed that there has been a convergence of labor standards in North America. Given its limitations, however, NAALC has not produced (and in fact was not intended to achieve) convergence in employment, productivity and salary trend in North America.[176] SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan

The agreement fell short in liberalizing movement of people across the three countries. In a limited way, however, immigration of skilled Mexican and Canadian workers to the United States was permitted under the TN status. NAFTA allows for a wide list of professions, most of which require at least a Bachelor's degree, for which a Mexican or a Canadian citizen can request TN status and temporarily immigrate to the United States. Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan

Unlike the visas available to other countries, TN status requires no sponsorship, but simply a job offer letter.

The overall benefits of NAFTA have been quantified by several economists, whose findings have been reported in several publications like the World Bank's Lessons from NAFTA for LA and the Caribbean,[176] NAFTA's Impact on North America,[177] and NAFTA revisited by the Institute for International Economics.[30] Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan

They assess that NAFTA has been positive for Mexico, whose poverty rates have fallen, and real income salaries have risen even after accounting for the 1994–1995 Economic Crisis. Nonetheless, they also state that it has not been enough, or fast enough, to produce an economic convergence nor to reduce the poverty rates substantially or to promote higher rates of growth. ASUS G2P CPU Fan

Beside this the textile industry gain hype with this agreement and the textile industry in Mexioogained open access to the American market, promoting exports to the United States. The value of Mexican cotton and apparel exports to the U.S. grew from $ 3 billion in 1995 to $ 8.4 billion in 2002, a record high of $ 9.4 billion in 2000. At the same time, the share of Mexico’s cotton textile market the U.S. Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan

has increased from 8 percent in 1995 to 13 percent in 2002.|} Some have suggested that in order to fully benefit from the agreement Mexico should invest in education and promote innovation as well as in infrastructure and agriculture.[176]

Contrary to popular belief, the maquiladora program was in place far before NAFTA, DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

in some sense dating all the way back to 1965. A maquiladora manufacturer operates by importing raw materials into Mexico either tariff free (NAFTA) or at a reduced rate on a temporary basis (18 months) and then using Mexico's relatively less expensive labor costs to produce finished goods for export. Prior to NAFTA maquiladora companies importing raw materials from anywhere in the world were given preferential tariff rates by the Mexican government so long as the finished good was for export.HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan

The US, prior to NAFTA, allowed Maquiladora manufactured goods to be imported into the US with the tariff rate only being applied to the value of non US raw materials used to produce the good, thus reducing the tariff relative to other countries. NAFTA has eliminated all tariffs on goods between the two countries, but for the maquiladora industry significantly increased the tariff rates for goods sourced outside of NAFTA. Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan

Given the overall size of trade between Mexico and the United States, there are remarkably few trade disputes, involving relatively small dollar amounts. These disputes are generally settled in WTO or NAFTA panels or through negotiations between the two countries. The most significant areas of friction involve trucking, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and a number of other agricultural products. Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan

A research brief published by the World Bank[178] as part of its Trade Costs and Facilitation Project suggests that Mexico has the potential to substantially increase trade flows and economic growth through trade facilitation reform. The study examines the potential impacts of trade facilitation reforms in four areas: port efficiency, customs administration, information technology, and regulatory environment (including standards). HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

The study projects overall increments from domestic reforms to be on the order of $31.8 billion, equivalent to 22.4 percent of total Mexican manufacturing exports for 2000–03. On the imports side, the corresponding figures are $17.1 billion and 11.2 percent, respectively. Increases in exports, including textiles, would result primarily from improvements in port efficiency and the regulatory environment. ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan

Exports of transport equipment would be expected to increase by the greatest increment from improvements in port efficiency, whereas exports of food and machinery would largely be the result of improvements in the regulatory environment. On the imports side, Mexican improvements in port efficiency would appear to be the most important factor, although for imports of transport equipment, SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan

improvements in service sector infrastructure would also be of relative importance.

Small and medium enterprises in Mexico generally called PYMEs (Spanish: pequeña y mediana empresa), are an important segment of the Mexican economy. They are classified in two types of small and medium enterprises: family businesses and non-family businesses.[1] Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan

The Mexican Government supports PyMEs since 2004. The Mexican Chamber of Economy with the help of the Mexican government creates different type of programs for the PyMEs that need to improve their participation in the national market and also for the international market. The PyMEs' size is classified by the number of employees they have. The main sectors are manufacturing, commerce and service. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan

As of 2006 there were about 4 million enterprises in Mexico. Out of those 4 million, 99.8% were small and medium enterprises. About 52% of the Mexican GDP is generated by small and medium size enterprises. While the remaining 48% relies on large enterprises. Small and medium size enterprises contribute with the 72% of the formal employment in Mexico. SONY VGN-BX197XP CPU Fan

PyMEs are subdivided into: 15% for Micro, 14.5% for small and 22.5% for medium enterprises.[2]

PyMes can be classified by type and size. There is a manufacturing, commerce, and service type. Within these, PyMEs are classified according to the number of employees—10, 50, 250 and more than 250 respectively—into micro, small, medium, and large enterprises. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

Service enterprises are classed by those with have 10, 50, 100, and more than 100 employees.[3]

PyMEs throughout the nation are distributed by region. About 38% of them in the central part of the country, 17% locate southwest, 6% southeast, 12% northeast and 27% center-west.

There are two types of PyMEs in Mexico (according to their origin). Toshiba AB7805HX-GB3 CPU Fan

Those that began as family businesses and those formed by more formal partnership. The ones that start as family business are small and only very few of them have some type of projection abroad. These are usually the ones who search for government support mainly for financial and training purposes. The other type of small and Medium size enterprises in Mexico are those who follow an established path. Toshiba Satellite L500-208 CPU Fan

An example of this could be franchises, these do not have a problem of expanding abroad. Franchises are small projection of big enterprises who have already done the market research before entering a new zone. They have all the possible experience on expanding overseas and very little risk on failing because in most cases they go under the concept of a high brand awareness. HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

PyMEs have been an important part of the country's development, especially in the area of exports. Due to their small size they are versatile, dynamic and have growth potential. This potential also includes entering international markets. They are a major source of job creation in the country and are the most likely to implement new technologies. Since many are located in different regions of the country, they foment local development. Toshiba Satellite P100-444 CPU Fan

The main contribution to enterprises growth lies on PyMEs. The importance of small and medium size enterprises in Mexico has grown through time due to the positive effect these businesses have had on Mexico's economy. Since these enterprises continue becoming more important, government is focusing a lot on supporting them.

On the other hand, they also have some disadvantages. HP Pavilion dv7-3114eo CPU Fan

In general PyMEs have not development the habit of reinvesting to improve production or reinvest in equipment. They do not have enough economic resources to hire specialized employees nor to train current ones. This and lack of foresight can lead to insufficient sales, lack of competitiveness, inadequate customer service, low quality and higher prices. HP Mini 110-1125SA CPU Fan

Because of the lack of quality control, legal problems such as dealing with VATs and defective products becomes an issue.

Since 2004, Mexican government has had a number of programs to support PyMEs so that they help Mexico's economy growth. The government has two groups of programs to support PyMEs.The first group helps PyMEs to grow within the national market.HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

The main programs are Emerging Programs, Productive Projects, Centros Mexico Emprende (Mexico undertake program), National System of Loan Guaranties, and Enterprises Consultancy.[5]

The main objective of the Programas Emergentes (Emerging Programs) is to help the economic areas that have been affected by natural disasters. This program achieves this objective through loans with special payment conditions. Compaq Presario CQ60-210eo CPU Fan

This help is given to the PyMEs that stop their economic activity because of a natural disaster. The Emerging Programs are coordinated and supervised by "Fondo PyMe." The regulations that this organization point out is that the PyMEs are supported with special resources with the concepts that the directive council determine that are essential to the economic reactivation of the enterprises. HP Pavilion dv7-2250sf CPU Fan

These enterprises have to satisfy certain conditions.[6] Proyectos Productivos (Productive Projects) helps to finance investment projects that improve the competitiveness of PyMes. This helps to trigger the creation and maintenance of jobs and regional development. The most important project is the financing. These funds are mostly targeted to production projects. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

The projects have to help by developing, expansion and consolidation of the enterprises.[7] The Centros Mexico Emprende (Mexico undertake program) is for the execution of public or private services to support PyMEs. The support is given in a comprehensive, accessible, lively, and timely way according to the size and the enterprises potential. HP G60-230us CPU Fan

The different types of center concepts are: fitting out and infrastructure, designing and updating information systems for planning, and measuring of results generated from the "Centros Mexico Emprende."[8] Sistema Nacional de Garantias (National System of Loan Guaranties) provides PyMEs with easy access to the financing programs with competitive conditions and payment periods.[9] HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

The Consultoria Empresarial (Enterprises Consultancy) is a program that helps PyMEs be more productive and profitable. It achieves this objective through the identification of business intervention programs. These programs are applied to one or more fundamental areas of an enterprise as training and consultancy and the development of instructors and consultants. HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

The second group helps PyMEs to maintain a place and to succeed in the international market. The SPyME (Subsecretaría para la Pequeña y Mediana Empresa) was created to promote, encourage, and design tools and programs with the purpose of creating, consolidating and developing micro, small, and medium enterprises in the international market.[11] COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

The Sub-secretary for Small and Medium Enterprise (SPYME), with the purpose of helping primarily small enterprises, created thePrograma Nacional de Capacitación y Consultoría (National Program for Training and Consultancy). This program incorporates improvement actions in areas where weaknesses or opportunities are detected. IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

The program stimulates the consolidation of the entrepreneurship through actions like the instrumentation of innovative methodologies in productive priority sectors. The program also foments the application of strategic programs to improve enterprises management.[12]

The National Program of Training and Consultancy (Programa Nacional de Capacitación y Consulta) divides its operation in four components. HP G62-110SO CPU Fan

The Programa de Consultoría General (Program of General Consultancy), that was created for the projects of major demand identified by chambers and managerial associations, that as well as for state and municipal governments, will look for the support of the Fondo PyME (Fund SME). This program was made to take care of the needs of training and consultancy, across proven methodologies that assure they will have quantifiable results. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

The Programa Moderniza (Modernization Program), the Secretary of Economy (SE) and the Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR) started a System of Management named "Modernize" that allows to improve the quality of the services offered to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the tourist sector. The Secretary of Tourism carries out the consultants' formation, which are the only ones authorized to execute the program and to register in SECTUR. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

The Formación de Consultores PyME – JICA (SME Consultants' Formation – JICA) establishes the formation of advisers specialized in the methodology of the Agency of International Cooperation of the Japan (JICA). The process is based on the application of Japanese tools of improvements of high impact with a lower cost. It lasts approximately one month and a half, and is directed to consultants with more than three years of experience in managerial consultancy. HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

This has allowed relying on a base of specialized consultants that multiplies the efforts to offer specialized services of consultancy that generate more competitive enterprises. The Consultoría Empresarial PyME (SME Managerial Consultancy-JICA) estimulates the development and consolidation of the MIPyMES by the application of a model of integral attention of standardized consultancy, Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

carried out by the consultants PYME-JICA and accredited by the Secretary of Economy. The process of consultancy that is offered in the facilities of the company lasts from 3 to 4 months, and is directed for MIPYMES, preferably with two years of operation. The Fondo PyME (Fund SME), along with the National Program of Consultancy PYME-JICA, helps with subsidies that go from 30 to 70 percent of the total cost of the service of managerial consultancy. Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

It is proven that many economies are based on their exports. Well organized and structured PyMEs can be a significant source of exports. For this reason, the Mexican government is giving special attention to PyMEs in this regard, allocating a big part of its economic resources to help small and medium size enterprises expand overseas. Supported PyMEs can mean increasing exports and a more open economy.[13] Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

The "Subsecretaria para la pequena y mediana empresa" (SPyME) was founded to design, foment and promote programs and other tools that have as objective the creation, consolidation and development of micro, small and medium size enterprises.

About 59% of Mexico's exports are controlled by 30% of the total enterprises in the country. Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

Out of all the PyMEs existing only 9% of them export, while the remaining 83% do not have any type of presence overseas. International Commerce in Mexico is mainly based on big enterprises, this is why government is very interested on giving assistance and financial help to small businesses.

Out of all the exporting enterprises in Mexico only 64,000 are PyMEs. They are located mostly in the center part of the country, northeast and centerwest. ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

There are many ways PyMEs can be supported in Mexico. Fiscal support to Mexican exporters. VAT return or VAT compensation. Program of foment for the manufacturing industry maquiladora and export services (IMMEX). Also through the program of sectorial promotion. Program of Drawback ( through which Government offers VAT return to those Mexican small businesses that export to a country that has imposed tariffs on imports). Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

There are Benefits to High level exporting enterprises (ALTEX). Benefits to International commerce enterprises (ECEX). Mechanisms of Indirect Exports such as VAT elimination or Application of 0% VAT on exports. Mixed Commission for the Promotion of exports (COMPEX). An annual incentive named National Exporting Price. Government aid such as information or opportunities to expand overseas, consultancy and training. SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

Commercial opportunities such as analysis of the market. Selection and establishment of contact with client within the foreign market. Government may also support PyMEs though a Positioning process.

The most important programs supporting for exports are Financing, Consultancy, Training, Exporting, Technical Assistance and Information on exports.[14] SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

The services that the Programa Nacional de Franquicias (Exemption National Program) offers to PyMES are: commercialization, consultancy and financing. Likewise, they approach to the entrepreneurs, MIPyMES and owners of exemptions, to give them supports that offer the opportunity to start a new business taking advantage of the experience of an exemption, stimulate successful business to turn them into exemptions, HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

develop new exemptions. Support the consolidation of the existing exemptions. Export models of Mexican exemptions. Strengthen the positioning of the brand of the existing exemptions and realize the re-engineering of existing models of exemptions.[15]

The PyMExporta Centers are federal, states and local organizations who have the objective of helping the PyMEs that have the special interest to start, increase, or to diversify their exports worldwide. HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

This organizations join efforts with the Business Mexican Sector to achieve this aim.[16]

Some of the advantages and benefits that the centers bring to PyMEs are the training of the export process, a specialized consultancy for the development of export projects, the possibility of being able of promote the PyMEs in the international market, consultancy in customs Mexico requirements, HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

information about markets and legal regulations for exports and the support in the tasks of logistics and management. The PyMExporta Centers work with their own register methodology, accompaniment and management of institutional supports according with what the businesses require. The supporting service is personal and specialized for each need of the enterprises.[16] Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

Services are given depending on the levels of the identification of the enterprises potential, in case the enterprises have the facilities to export its product a document will be signed for the development of each process stage of the export. The commerce strategy identifies the requirements of the product, it supports and advises the businessman since the beginning of the contract of international sale until the end of the sale. HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

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The economy of Mexico is the 13th largest in the world in nominal terms and the 11th by purchasing power parity, according to the World Bank. Since the 1994 crisis, administrations have improved the country'smacroeconomic fundamentals. Mexico was not significantly influenced by the recent 2002 South American crisis, and maintained positive, although low, rates of growth after a brief period of stagnation in 2001. SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

However, Mexico was one of the Latin American nations most affected by the 2008 recession with its Gross Domestic Product contracting by more than 6%. Moody's (in March 2000) and Fitch IBCA (in January 2002) issued investment-grade ratings for Mexico's sovereign debt. In spite of its unprecedented macroeconomic stability, which has reduced inflation and interest rates to record lows and has increased per capita income, DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

enormous gaps remain between the urban and the rural population, the northern and southern states, and the rich and the poor.[13] Some of the government's challenges include the upgrade of infrastructure, the modernization of the tax system and labor laws, and the reduction of income inequality.

The economy contains rapidly developing modern industrial and service sectors, with increasing private ownership. HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

Recent administrations have expanded competition in ports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution and airports, with the aim of upgrading infrastructure. As an export-oriented economy, more than 90% of Mexican trade is under free trade agreements (FTAs) with more than 40 countries, including the European Union, Japan, Israel, and much of Central and South America. FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

The most influential FTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into effect in 1994, and was signed in 1992 by the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico. In 2006, trade with Mexico's two northern partners accounted for almost 90% of its exports and 55% of its imports.[14] Recently, the Congress of the Union approved important tax, pension and judicial reforms, and reform to the oil industry is currently being debated. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

According to the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world's largest companies in 2008, Mexico had 16 companies in the list.[15]

Mexico's labor force is 78 million. The OECD and WTO both rank Mexican workers as the hardest working in the world in terms of the amount of hours worked yearly, although profitability per man-hour remains low. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

Mexican president Porfirio Díaz brought unprecedented economic growth during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. This growth was accompanied by foreign investment and European immigration, the development of an efficient railroad network and the exploitation of the country's natural resources. Annual economic growth between 1876 and 1910 averaged 3.3%.[21] ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

Political repression and fraud, as well as huge income inequalities exacerbated by the land distribution system based on latifundios, in which large haciendas were owned by a few but worked bymillions of underpaid peasants living in precarious conditions, led to the Mexican Revolution (1910–1917), an armed conflict that drastically transformed Mexico's political, social, cultural, and economical structure during the twentieth century under a premise of social democracy. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

The war itself, however, left a harsh toll in the economy and population, which decreased over the 11-year period between 1910 and 1921. The reconstruction of the country was to take place in the following decades.

The period from 1930 to 1970 was dubbed by economic historians as the "Mexican Miracle", a period of economic growth that followed the end of the Mexican Revolution and the resumption of capital accumulation during peacetime. HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

During this period the nation adopted the economic model of import substitution industrialization (ISI) which protected and promoted the development of national industries. The country experienced an economic boom through which industries rapidly expanded their production.[22] Important changes in the economic structure included free land distribution to peasants under the concept of ejidoFUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

the nationalization of the oil and railroad companies, the introduction of social rights into the constitution, the birth of large and influential labor unions, and the upgrading of infrastructure. While population doubled from 1940 to 1970, GDP increased sixfold during the same period.[23]

Growth while under the ISI model had reached its peak in the late 1960s. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

During the 1970s, the administrations of Echeverría and López Portillo, tried to include social development in their policies, an effort that entailed more public spending. With the discovery of vast oil fields in a time in which oil prices were surging and international interest rates were low -and even negative- the government decided to borrow from international capital markets to invest in the state-owned oil company, Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

which in turn seemed to provide a long-run income source to promote social welfare. In fact, this method produced a remarkable growth in public expenditure,[22] and president López Portillo announced that the time had come to "manage prosperity"[24] as Mexico multiplied its oil production to become the world's fourth largest exporter. HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

In the period of 1981–1982 the international panorama changed abruptly: oil prices plunged and interest rates rose. In 1982, president López Portillo, just before ending his administration, suspended payments of foreign debt, devalued thepeso and nationalized the banking system, along with many other industries that were severely affected by the crisis, among them the steel industry. Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

While import substitution had been in use during an era of industrialization, by the 1980s it was evident that the protracted protection had produced an uncompetitive industrial sector with low productivity gains.[22]

President de la Madrid was the first of a series of presidents that began to implement neoliberal reforms. After the crisis of 1982, lenders were unwilling to return to Mexico and, in order to keep the current account in balance, DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

the government resorted to currency devaluations, which in turn sparked unprecedented inflation,[22] which reached a historic high in 1987 at 139.7%.[29]

The first step toward the liberalization of trade was Mexico's signature of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT) in 1986. During the Salinas administration many state-owned companies were privatized. HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

In 1992, the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed between the United States, Canada and Mexico, and after the signature of two additional supplements on environments and labor standards, it came into effect on January 1, 1994. Salinas also introduced strict price controls and negotiated smaller minimum wage increments with labor unions with the aim of curbing inflation. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

While his strategy was successful in reducing inflation, growth averaged only 2.8 percent a year.[22] Moreover, by fixing the exchange rate, the peso became rapidly overvalued while consumer spending increased, causing the current account deficit to reach 7% of GDP in 1994. The deficit was financed through tesobonos a type of public debt instrument that reassured payment in dollars.[30] HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

The Chiapas uprising, and the assassinations of the ruling party's presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio and the Secretary-General of the party and brother of the Assistant-Attorney General José Francisco Ruiz Massieu in 1994, sent a disquieting message to investors. Public debt holders rapidly sold their tesobonos, depleting the Central Bank's reserves,[30]  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

while portfolio investments, which had made up 90% of total investment flows, left the country as fast as they had come in.[22] This unsustainable situation eventually forced the entrant Zedillo administration to abandon the fixed exchange rate. The peso sharply devalued and the country entered into an economic crisis in December 1994. Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

The boom in exports, as well as an international rescue package crafted by American president Bill Clinton, helped cushion the crisis. In less than 18 months, the economy was growing again, and annual rate growth averaged 5.1 percent between 1995 and 2000.[22]

President Zedillo and president Fox continued with trade liberalization and during his administrations several FTAs were signed with Latin American and European countries, SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

Japan and Israel, and both strove to maintain macroeconomic stability. Thus, Mexico became one of the most open countries in the world to trade, and the economy base shifted accordingly. Total trade with the United States and Canada tripled, and total exports and imports almost quadrupled between 1991 and 2003.[31] The nature of foreign investment also changed with a greater share of foreign-direct investment (FDI) over portfolio investment. HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan

Mexico's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) was estimated at US $1,748.908 billion in 2012, and $1,231.642 billion in nominal exchange rates.[14] As such, its standard of living, as measured in GDP in PPP per capita was US $15,782.897. The World Bank reported in 2009 that the country's Gross National Income in market exchange rates was the second highest in Latin America, HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

after Brazil at US $1,830.392 billion,[32] which lead to the highestincome per capita in the region at $14,400.[33] As such, Mexico is now firmly established as an upper middle-income country. After the slowdown of 2001 the country has recovered and has grown 4.2, 3.0 and 4.8 percent in 2004, 2005 and 2006,[34] even though it is considered to be well below Mexico's potential growth.[30] HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

The Mexican currency is the peso (ISO 4217: MXN; symbol: $). One peso is divided into 100 centavos (cents). MXN replaced MXP in 1993 at a rate of 1000 MXP per 1 MXN. The exchanged rate has remained stable since 1998, oscillating between 10.20 and 11=3.50 MXN per US$. Interest rates in 2007 were situated at around 7 percent,[35] HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

having reached a historic low in 2002 below 5 percent. Inflation rates are also at historic lows; the inflation rate in Mexico in 2006 was 4.1 percent, and 3 percent by the end of 2007. Unemployment rates are the lowest of all OECD member countries at 3.2 percent. However, underemployment is estimated at 25 percent.[14] Mexico's Human development index was reported at 0.829,[36] HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

(comprising a life expectancy index of 0.84, an education index of 0.86 and a GDP index of 0.77), ranking 52 in the world within the group of high-development.

Poverty and income disparity has been a persistent problem in Mexico, and while the recent exponential growth of the economy has caused an overall fall in the percentage of the population living in conditions of poverty, this fall has not been proportional to the general growth. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Currently 17% of the population lives below Mexico's own poverty line, making Mexico rank behind Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Thailand. The overall poverty rate however is 44.2%, while a full 70% lack one of the 8 economic indicators used to define poverty by the Mexican government.[37] From the late 1990s, the majority of the population has been part of the growing middle class.[13] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

But from 2004 to 2008 the portion of the population who received less than half of the median income has risen from 17% to 21% and the absolute levels of poverty have risen considerably from 2006 to 2010, with a rise in persons living in extreme or moderate poverty rising from 35 to 46% (52 million persons).[38][39] This is also reflected by the fact that infant mortality in Mexico is three times higher than the OECD average, and literacy levels are in the median range of OECD nations. HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

A single person in Mexico has a net worth equal to eight percent of GDP: Carlos Slim.[40]Additionally, only ten percent of Mexicans represent 25% of Mexican GDP. A smaller group, 3.5%, represent 12.5% of Mexican GDP.[41]

According to the OECD, Mexico is the country with the second highest degree of economic disparity between the extremely poor and extremely rich, after Chile - although this gap has been diminishing over the last decade. ACER Aspire 4743 CPU Fan

The bottom ten percent on the income rung disposes of 1.36% of the country's resources, whereas the upper 10% dispose of almost 36%. OECD also notes that Mexico's budgeted expenses for poverty alleviation and social development is only about a third of the OECD average - both in absolute and relative numbers.[38] According to the World Bank, in 2004, 17.6% of Mexico's population lived in extreme poverty, while 21% lived in moderated poverty. HP Pavilion dv6-2170us CPU Fan

Remittances, or contributions sent by Mexicans living abroad, mostly in the United States, to their families at home in Mexico, are a substantial and growing part of the Mexican economy; they comprised $18 billion in 2005.[43] In 2004, they became the tenth largest source of foreign income after oil, industrial exports, manufactured goods, electronics, heavy industry, automobiles, construction, food, and banking & financial services. Toshiba Satellite L675-S7018 CPU Fan

Remittances are a larger part of the Mexican economy than tourism expenditures and represented 2.1 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product.[44] The growth of remittances has been remarkable: they have more than doubled since 1997, although they have since decreased somewhat [45] Recorded remittance transactions exceeded 41 million in 2003, of which 86 percent were made by electronic transfer.[46] ASUS F80Q CPU Fan

The Mexican government, cognizant of the economic viability of immigrant workers, began issuing an upgraded version of the Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad(MACS, High Security Consular Identification), an identity document issued at Mexican consulates abroad. This document is now accepted as a valid identity card in 32 US states, as well as thousands of police agencies, hundreds of cities and counties, as well as banking institutions.[46] ACER TravelMate 4200 CPU Fan

The main receptors of remittances in 2004 were the states of Michoacán, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico and Puebla, which jointly captured 45% of total remittances in that year.[44] Several state governments, with the support of the federal government, have implemented programs to use part of the remittances to finance public works. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

This program, called Dos por Uno (Two for every one) is designed in a way that for each peso contributed by migrants from their remittances, the state and the federal governments will invest two pesos in building infrastructure at their home communities.

Regional disparities and income inequality continue to be a problem in Mexico. HP G70-120EA CPU Fan

While all constituent states of the federation have a Human Development Index (HDI) superior to 0.70 (medium to high development), northern and central states have higher levels of HDI than the southern states. Nuevo León, Campeche and the Federal District have HDI levels similar to European countries, whereas that of Oaxaca and Chiapas is similar to that of Syria or Egypt.[48] Toshiba Satellite A300-034 CPU Fan

At the municipal level, disparities are even greater: Delegacion Benito Juarez in Mexico City has an HDI similar to that of Germany or New Zealand, whereas, Metlatonoc in Guerrero, would have an HDI similar to that of Malawi. The majority of the federal entities with high development (superior to 0.80) are located in the northern region (with the exception ofColima, Jalisco, HP 606609-001 CPU Fan

Aguascalientes, the Federal District, Querétaro, as well as the southeastern states of Quintana Roo andCampeche). The less developed states (with medium development in terms of HDI, superior to 0.70) are located at the southern Pacific coast.

In terms of share in GDP per sector (in 2004), the largest contributors in agriculture are Jalisco (9.7%),Compaq Presario CQ60-301sl CPU Fan

Sinaloa(7.7%) and Veracruz (7.6%); the greatest contributors in industrial production are the Federal District (15.8%), State of México (11.8%) and Nuevo León (7.9%); the greatest contributors in the service sector are also the Federal District (25.3%), State of México (8.9%) and Nuevo León (7.5%).[49]

Since the 1980s, the economy has slowly become less centralized; TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

the annual rate of GDP growth of the Federal District from 2003–2004 was the smallest of all federal entities at a mere 0.23%, with drastic drops in the agriculture and industrial sectors. Nonetheless, it still accounts for 21.8% of the nation's GDP. The states with the highest GDP growth rates are Quintana Roo (9.04%), Baja California (8.89%), and San Luis Potosí (8.18%).[50] ASUS Eee PC 701 CPU Fan

In 2000, the federal entities with the highest GDP per capita in Mexico were the Federal District (US $26,320), Campeche (US $18,900) and Nuevo León (US $30,250); the states with the lowest GDP per capita were Chiapas (US $3,302), Oaxaca (US $4,100) and Guerrero (US $6,800).

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2006 was estimated at US $1.134 trillion, Compaq Presario CQ60-305sa CPU Fan

and GDP per capita in PPP at US $10,600.[14] The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 70.5%, followed by the industrial sector at 25.7% (2006 est.). Agriculture represents only 3.9% of GDP (2006 est.). Mexican labor force is estimated at 38 million of which 18% is occupied in agriculture, 24% in the industry sector and 58% in the service sector (2003 est.). HP 637607-001 CPU Fan

After the Mexican Revolution Mexico began an agrarian reform, based on the 27th article of the Mexican Constitution than included transfer of land and/or free land distribution to peasants and small farmers under the concept of the ejido.[53]This program was further extended during President Cárdenas' administration during the 1930s[54] and continued into the 1960s at varying rates.[55] HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

The cooperative agrarian reform, which guaranteed small farmers a means of subsistence livelihood, also caused land fragmentation and lack of capital investment, since commonly held land could not be used as collateral. In an effort to raise rural productivity and living standards, this constitutional article was amended in 1992 to allow for the transfer of property rights of the communal lands to farmers cultivating it.[56] HP Pavilion dv5-1210ez CPU Fan

With the ability to rent or sell it, a way was open for the creation of larger farms and the advantages of economies of scale. Large mechanized farms are now operating in some northwestern states (mainly in Sinaloa). However, privatization of ejidoscontinues to be very slow in the central and southern states where the great majority of peasants produce only for subsistence. Compaq Presario CQ50-211nr CPU Fan

Up until the 1990s, the government encouraged the production of basic crops (mainly corn and beans) by maintaining support prices and controlling imports through the National Company for Popular Subsistence (CONASUPO). With trade liberalization, however, CONASUPO was to be gradually dismantled and two new mechanisms were implemented: Alianza and Procampo. HP G56-114SA CPU Fan

Alianza provides income payments and incentives for mechanization and advanced irrigation systems. Procampo is an income transfer subsidy to farmers. This support program provides 3.5 million farmers who produce basic commodities (mostly corn), and which represent 64% of all farmers, with a fixed income transfer payment per unit of area of cropland. SONY Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N CPU Fan

This subsidy increased substantially during president Fox's administration, mainly to white corn producers in order to reduce the amount of imports from the United States. This program has been successful, and in 2004, roughly only 15% of corn imports are white corn –the one used for human consumption and the type that is mostly grown in Mexico– as opposed to 85% of yellow and crashed corn –the one use for feeding livestock, and which is barely produced in Mexico. HP Pavilion dv7-4060eo CPU Fan

Agriculture, as a percentage of GDP, has been steadily declining, and now resembles that of developed nations, in that it plays a smaller role in the economy. In 2006, agriculture accounted for only 3.9% of GDP,[14] down from 7% in 1980,[58]and 25% in 1970.[59] Nonetheless, given the historic structure of ejidos, it still employs a considerably high percentage of the work force: 18% in 2003,[14Toshiba Satellite M70-252 CPU Fan

] mostly of which grows basic crops for subsistence, compared to 2–5% in developed nations in which production is highly mechanized.

In spite of being a staple in the Mexican diet, Mexico's comparative advantage in agriculture is not in corn, but in horticulture, tropical fruits, and vegetables. Toshiba Satellite A100-455 CPU Fan

Negotiators of NAFTA expected that through liberalization and mechanization of agriculture two-thirds of Mexican corn producers would naturally shift from corn production to horticultural and other labor-intensive crops such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, coffee and sugar cane.[60] While horticultural trade has drastically increased due to NAFTA, it has not absorbed displaced workers from corn production (estimated at around 600,000).[57] HP Pavilion dv5-2112br CPU Fan

Moreover, corn production has remained stable (at 20 million metric tons), arguably, as a result of income support to farmers, or a reluctance to abandon a millenarian tradition in Mexico: not only have peasants grown corn for millennia, corn originated in Mexico. Even today, Mexico is still the fourth largest corn producer in the world. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

The area dedicated to potatoes has changed little since 1980 and average yields have almost tripled since 1961. Production reached a record 1.7 million tonnes in 2003. Per capita consumption of potato in Mexico stands at 17 kg a year, very low compared to its maize intake of 400 kg.[61] On average, potato farms in Mexico are larger than those devoted to more basic food crops. HP Pavilion dv6-3299en CPU Fan

Potato production in Mexico is mostly for commercial purposes; the production for household consumption is very small.Approximately 160,000 medium-sized farmers grow sugar cane in 15 Mexican states; currently there are 54 sugar mills around the country that produced 4.96 million tons of sugar in the 2010 crop, compared to 5.8 million tons in 2005.[63]SONY Vaio VGN-NW11Z/T CPU Fan

Mexico's sugar industry is characterized by high production costs and lack of investment. Mexico produces more sugar than it consumes.[64] Sugar cane is grown on 700,000 farms in Mexico with a yield of 72 metric tons per farm.

The industrial sector as a whole has benefited from trade liberalization; in 2000 it accounted for almost 90% of all export earnings. Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan

Among the most important industrial manufacturers in Mexico is the automotive industry, whose standards of quality are internationally recognized. The automobile sector in Mexico differs from that in other Latin American countries and developing nations in that it does not function as a mere assembly manufacturer. The industry produces technologically complex components and engages in some research and development activities, HP Pavilion dv7-4183sf CPU Fan

an example of that is the new Volkswagen Jetta model with up to 70% of parts designed in Mexico.[31][66] The "Big Three" (General Motors, Ford andChrysler) have been operating in Mexico since the 1930s, while Volkswagen and Nissanbuilt their plants in the 1960s.[67] Later, Toyota, Honda, BMW, and Mercedes-Benzjoined in. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

Given the high requirements of North American components in the industry, many European and Asian parts suppliers have also moved to Mexico: in Puebla alone, 70 industrial part-makers cluster around Volkswagen.[31] The relatively small domestic car industry still is represented by DINA Camiones S.A. de C.V., a manufacturer of trucks, busses and military vehicles, HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

which through domestic production and purchases of foreign bus manufacturers has become the largest bus manufacturer in the world; Vehizero that builds hybrid trucks[68] and the new car companies Mastretta design that builds the Mastretta MXTsports car and Autobuses King that plans to build 10000 microbuses by 2015,[ HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

nevertheless new car companies are emerging among them CIMEX that has developed a sport utility truck, the Conin, and it is to be released in September 2010 in Mexico's national auto show,[72] And the new electric car maker Grupo Electrico Motorizado.

Some large industries of Mexico include Cemex, the worlds largest construction company and the third largest cement producer[74] HP Pavilion dv7-3190ei CPU Fan

the alcohol beverage industries, including world-renowned players like Grupo Modelo; conglomerates like FEMSA, which apart from being the largest single producer of alcoholic beverages and owning multiple commercial interests such OXXOconvenience store chain, is also the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world; Gruma, the largest producer of corn flour and tortillas in the world; and Grupo Bimbo, HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

Telmex, Televisa, among many others. In 2005, according to the World Bank, high-tech industrial production represented 19.6% of total exports.[75]

Maquiladoras (Mexican factories which take in imported raw materials and produce goods for domestic consumption and export on behalf of foreign companies) have become the landmark of trade in Mexico. ASUS A6000R CPU Fan

This sector has benefited from NAFTA, in that real income in the maquiladora sector has increased 15.5% since 1994, though from the non-maquiladora sector has grown much faster.[30] Contrary to popular belief, this should be no surprise since maquiladora's products could enter the US duty free since the 1960s industry agreement. Other sectors now benefit from the free trade agreement, and the share of exports from non-border states has increased in the last 5 years while the share of exports from maquiladora-border states has decreased. HP Pavilion dv7-6011sg CPU Fan

Currently Mexico is focusing in developing an aerospace industry and the assembly of helicopter and regional jet aircraft fuselages is taking place. Foreign firms such as MD Helicopters,[76] Bell,[77] Cessna[78] and Bombardier[79] build helicopter, aircraft and regional jets fuselages in Mexico. Although the Mexican aircraft industry is mostly foreign, as is its car industry, Mexican firms have been founded such as Aeromarmi,[80] Toshiba Satellite L300D-01P CPU Fan

which builds light propeller airplanes, and Hydra Technologies, which builds Unmanned Aerial Vehicles such as the S4 Ehécatl, other important companies are Frisa Aerospace that manufactures jet engine parts for the new Mitsubishi Regional jet and supplies Prat&whittney and rolls Royce jet engine manufacturers of casings for jet engines[and Kuo Aerospace that builds parts for aircraft landing gear and Supplies bombardier plant in Querétaro[84] Compaq Presario CQ60-409CA CPU Fan

As compared with the United States or countries in Western Europe a larger sector of Mexico's industrial economy is food manufacturing which includes several world class companies but the regional industry is undeveloped. There are national brands that have become international and local Mom and Pop producers but little manufacturing in between. HP Mini 110-3010sf CPU Fan

The electronics industry of Mexico has grown enormously within the last decade. Mexico has the sixth largest electronics industry in the world after China, United States, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Mexico is the second largest exporter of electronics to the United States where it exported $71.4 billion worth of electronics in 2011.[85] The Mexican electronics industry is dominated by the manufacture and OEM design of televisions, Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

displays, computers, mobile phones, circuit boards, semiconductors, electronic appliances, communications equipment and LCD modules. The Mexican electronics industry grew 20% between 2010 and 2011, up from its constant growth rate of 17% between 2003 and 2009.[85] Currently electronics represent 30% of Mexico's exports. Toshiba Satellite M70-142 CPU Fan

The design and manufacture of flat panel plasma, LCD and LED televisions is the single largest sector of the Mexican electronics industry, representing 25% of Mexico's electronics export revenue.[85] In 2009 Mexico surpassed South Korea and China as the largest manufacturer of televisions,[86][87] with Sony,[88] Toshiba,[89] DELL Inspiron E1505 CPU Fan

Samsung,[90] Sharp (through Semex),[91][92]Zenith[93]LG,[94] Lanix,[95] TCL,[96] RCA,[97] Phillips,[98] Elcoteq,[99] Tatung,[100] Panasonic,[101] and Vizio[91][102] manufacturing CRT, LCD, LED and Plasma televisions in Mexico. Due to Mexico's position as the largest manufacturer of television it is known as the television capital of the world[91] in the electronics industry.HP 532613-001 CPU Fan

Mexico is the third largest manufacturer of computers in the world with both domestic companies such as Lanix,[103] Texa,[104] Meebox,[105] Spaceit,[106] Kyoto[107]and foreign companies such as Dell,[108][109] Sony, HP,[110] Acer[111] Compaq,[112] Samsung and Lenovo[113][114] manufacturing various types of computers across the country. HP Envy 14-1080eo CPU Fan

Mexico is also home to a large number of OEM and ODM manufactures both foreign and domestic. Among them include Foxconn,[115]Celestica, Sanmina-SCI,[116][117] Jabil,[118] Elcoteq,[119][120] Falco,[121] Kimball International, Compal,[122] Benchmark Electronics,[123] Plexus, Lanix[124] and Flextronics.[125][126] ACER TravelMate 5230 CPU Fan

These companies assemble finished electronics or design and manufacture electronic components on behalf of larger companies such as Sony or Microsoft using locally sourced components, for example the ODM, Flextronics manufactures Xbox video games systems in Guadalajara, Mexico[127][128] for Microsoft using components such as power systems and printed circuit boards from a local company, Falco Electronics which acts as the OEM. Lenovo 3000 G430 CPU Fan

The success and rapid growth of the Mexican electronics sector is driven primarily by the relatively low cost of manufacturing and design in Mexico; its strategic position as a major consumer electronics market coupled with its proximity to both the large North American and South American markets whom Mexico shares free trade agreements with; ASUS EEE PC 1215N CPU Fan

government support in the form of low business taxes, simplified access to loans and capital for both foreign multinational and domestic startup tech based firms; and a very large pool of highly skilled, educated labor across all sectors of the tech industry. For example, German multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate Siemens has a significant Mexican base, which also serves as its business and strategy hub for Central American countries and the Caribbean region.[130] Dell Vostro 3750 CPU Fan

There are almost half a million (451,000) students enrolled in electronics engineering programs[131] with an additional 114,000 electronics engineers entering the Mexican workforce each year[85] and Mexico had over half a million (580,000) certified electronic engineering professionals employed in 2007.[87] From the late 1990s, Toshiba Satellite L500-018 CPU Fan

the Mexican electronics industry began to shift away from simple line assembly to more advanced work such as research, design, and the manufacture of advanced electronics systems such as LCD panels, semiconductors, printed circuit boards, microelectronics, microprocessors, chipsets and heavy electronic industrial equipment and in 2006 the number of certified engineers being graduated annually in Mexico surpassed that of the United States.[132COMPAQ Presario CQ42-116TU CPU Fan

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The Steering Group on the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technologies Plan (SET Plan) on 26 June 2008 will set the agenda for an EU energy technology policy. It will enhance the coordination of national and European research and innovation efforts to position the EU in the forefront of the low-carbontechnologies markets. Toshiba Satellite M70-122 CPU Fan

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA)[16] is founded by the leading research institutes in the European Union (EU), to expand and optimise EU energy research capabilities through the sharing of world-class national facilities and the joint realisation of national and European programmes. SONY UDQFWPH22FQU CPU Fan

This new Research Alliance will be a key actor of the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) and will contribute to accelerate the development of new low carbontechnologies for EU to move toward a low carbon economy.

Under the requirements of the Directive on Electricity Production from Renewable Energy Sources, HP Pavilion dv6-2150ei CPU Fan

which entered into force in October 2001, the member states are expected to meet "indicative" targets for renewable energy production. Although there is significant variation in national targets, the average is that 22% of electricity should be generated by renewables by 2010 (compared to 13,9% in 1997). HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

The European Commission has proposed in its Renewable Energy Roadmap21 a binding target of increasing the level of renewable energy in the EU's overall mix from less than 7% today to 20% by 2020.

At the Heiligendamm Summit in June 2007, the G8 acknowledged an EU proposal for an international initiative on energy efficiency tabled in March 2007, Toshiba Satellite P100-238 CPU Fan

and agreed to explore, together with the International Energy Agency, the most effective means to promote energy efficiency internationally. A year later, on 8 June 2008, the G8 countries, China, India, South Korea and the European Community decided to establish the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, ACER Aspire 5739 CPU Fan

at the Energy Ministerial meeting hosted by Japan in the frame of the 2008 G8 Presidency, in Aomori.Buildings account for around 40% of EU energy requirements and have been the focus of several initiatives.[24] From 4 January 2006, the 2002 Directive on the energy performance of buildings[25] requires member states to ensure that new buildings, IBM ThinkPad T40 2678 CPU Fan

as well as large existing building undergoing refurbishment, meet certain minimum energy requirements. It also requires that all buildings should undergo 'energy certification' prior to sale, and that boilers and air conditioning equipment should be regularly inspected.

As part of the EU's SAVE Programme,[26] aimed at promoting energy efficiency and encouraging energy-saving behaviour, IBM Thinkpad T43 CPU Fan

the Boiler Efficiency Directive[27] specifies minimum levels of efficiency for boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels. Originally, from June 2007, all homes (and other buildings) in the UK would have to undergo Energy Performance Certification before they are sold or let,[28] to meet the requirements of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2002/91/EC). IBM ThinkPad T43 2668 CPU Fan

Carbon dioxide emissions from transport have risen rapidly in recent years, from 21% of the total in 1990 to 28% in 2004.[30]

EU policies include the voluntary ACEA agreement, signed in 1998, to cut carbon dioxide emissions for new cars sold in Europe to an average of 140 grams of CO2/km by 2008, a 25% cut from the 1995 level. IBM ThinkPad T43 1871 CPU Fan

Because the target was unlikely to be met, the European Commission published new proposals in February 2007, requiring a mandatory limit of 130 grams of CO2/km for new cars by 2012, with 'complementary measures' being proposed to achieve the target of 120 grams of CO2/km that had originally been expected.[31][32] ACER Travelmate 8104WLMI CPU Fan

In the area of fuels, the 2001 Biofuels Directive requires that 5,75% of all transport fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) should be replaced by biofuels by 31 December 2010, with an intermediate target of 2% by the end of 2005. In February 2007 the European Commission proposed that, DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

from 2011, suppliers will have to reduce carbon emissions per unit of energy by 1% a year from 2010 levels, to result in a cut of 10% by 2020 Stricter fuel standards to combat climate change and reduce air pollution.

Beyond the bounds of the European Union, EU energy policy has included negotiating and developing wider international agreements, ASUS F80S CPU Fan

such as the Energy Charter Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, the post-Kyoto regime and a framework agreement on energy efficiency; extension of the EC energy regulatory framework or principles to neighbours (Energy Community, Baku Initiative, Euro-Med energy cooperation) and the emission trading scheme to global partners; the promotion of research and the use of renewable energy.[37] HP Pavilion dv5-1058eo CPU Fan

The EU-Russia energy cooperation will be based on a new comprehensive framework agreement within the post-Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which will be negotiated in 2007. The energy cooperation with other third energy producer and transit countries is facilitated with different tools, such as the PCAs, IBM 13N5182 CPU Fan

the existing and foreseen Memorandums of Understanding on Energy Cooperation (with Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Algeria), the Association Agreements with Mediterranean countries, theEuropean Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans; Euromed energy cooperation; the Baku initiative; IBM Thinkpad T30 2366-AA3 CPU Fan

and the EU-Norway energy dialogue.[37]For the cooperation with African countries, a comprehensive Africa-Europe Energy partnership would be launched at the highest level, with the integration of Europe's Energy and Development Policies.[6]

For ensuring efficient follow-up and coherence in pursuing the initiatives and processes, IBM Thinkpad T30 CPU Fan

for sharing information in case of an external energy crisis, and for assisting the EU's early response and reactions in case of energy security threats, the network of energy correspondents in the Member States was established in early 2007. After the Russian-Ukrainian Gas Crisis of 2009 the EU decided that the existing external measures regarding gas supply security should be HP 535438-001 CPU Fan

supplemented by internal provisions for emergency prevention and response, such as enhancing gas storage and network capacity or the development of the technical prerequisites for reverse flow in transit pipelines

The European Union is also active in the areas of energy research, development and promotion, via initiatives such as CEPHEUS (ultra-low energy housing), DELL Inspiron N3010 CPU Fan

and programs under the umbrella titles of SAVE (energy saving) ALTENER (new and renewable energy sources), STEER (transport) and COOPENER (developing countries).[40]Through Fusion for Energy, the EU is participating in the ITER project

The European Commission imposed anti-dumping levies on Chinese solar panel imports in June 2013.[39] HP Pavilion dv6-3070tx CPU Fan

As reported earlier China was selling solar panels under production costs that made the operation without return also for the Chinese solar power companies. Chinese government guaranteed the operation of Chinese solar power companies.

In a poll carried out for the European Commission in October and November 2005, IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan

47% of the citizens questioned in the 27 countries of the EU (including the 2 states that joined in 2007) were in favour of taking decisions on key energy policy issues at a European level. 37% favoured national decisions and 8% that they be tackled locally.[42]

A similar survey of 29 220 people in March and May 2006 indicated that the balance had changed in favour of national decisions in these areas (42% in favour), ASUS A8H CPU Fan

with 39% backing EU policy making and 12% preferring local decisions. There was significant national variation with this, with 55% in favour in the Netherlands, but only 15% in Finland

The Gini coefficient (also known as the Gini index or Gini ratio) (/dʒini/) is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation's residents. SONY UDQFRZH13CF0 CPU Fan

It was developed by theItalian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper "Variability and Mutability" (Italian: Variabilità e mutabilità).[1][2]

The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution (for example levels ofincome). A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, HP COMPAQ 2510P CPU Fan

where all values are the same (for example, where everyone has an exactly equal income). A Gini coefficient of one (or 100%) expresses maximal inequality among values (for example where only one person has all the income).[3][4] However, a value greater than one may occur if some persons have negative income or wealth. APPLE 661-4951 CPU Fan

For larger groups, values close to or above 1 are very unlikely in practice.

Gini coefficient is commonly used as a measure of inequality of income or wealth.[5] For OECD countries, in the late 2000s, considering the effect of taxes and transfer payments, the income Gini coefficient ranged between 0.24 to 0.49, with Slovenia the lowest and Chile the highest.[6] HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan

The countries in Africa had the highest pre-tax Gini coefficients in 2008–2009, with South Africa the world's highest at 0.7.[7][8] The global income inequality Gini coefficient in 2005, for all human beings taken together, has been estimated to be between 0.61 and 0.68 by various sources.[9][10]

There are some issues in interpreting a Gini coefficient. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

The same value may result from many different distribution curves. The demographic structure should be taken into account. Countries with an aging population, or with a baby boom, experience an increasing pre

The Gini coefficient is usually defined mathematically based on the Lorenz curve, Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan

which plots the proportion of the total income of the population (y axis) that is cumulatively earned by the bottom x% of the population (see diagram). The line at 45 degrees thus represents perfect equality of incomes. The Gini coefficient can then be thought of as the ratio of the area that lies between the line of equality and the Lorenz curve (marked A in the diagram) SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan

over the total area under the line of equality (marked A and B in the diagram); i.e., G = A / (A + B).

If all people have non-negative income (or wealth, as the case may be), the Gini coefficient can theoretically range from 0 to 1; it is sometimes expressed as a percentage ranging between 0 and 100. In practice, both extreme values are not quite reached. HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan

If negative values are possible (such as the negative wealth of people with debts), then the Gini coefficient could theoretically be more than 1. Normally the mean (or total) is assumed positive, which rules out a Gini coefficient less than zero.

A low Gini coefficient indicates a more equal distribution, with 0 corresponding to complete equality, SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan

while higher Gini coefficients indicate more unequal distribution, with 1 corresponding to complete inequality. When used as a measure of income inequality, the most unequal society (assuming no negative incomes) will be one in which a single person receives 100% of the total income and the remaining people receive none (G = 1−1/N); HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

and the most equal society will be one in which every person receives the same income (G = 0).

An alternative approach would be to consider the Gini coefficient as half of the relative mean difference, which is a mathematical equivalence. The mean difference is the average absolute difference between two items selected randomly from a population, HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan

and the relative mean difference is the mean difference divided by the average, to normalize for scale.

Given the normalization of both the cumulative population and the cumulative share of income used to calculate the Gini coefficient, the measure is not overly sensitive to the specifics of the income distribution, but rather only on how incomes vary relative to the other members of a population. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan

The exception to this is in the redistribution of wealth resulting in a minimum income for all people. When the population is sorted, if their income distribution were to approximate a well known function, then some representative values could be calculated. Some representative values of the Gini coefficient for income distributions approximated by some simple functions are tabulated below. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan

While the income distribution of any particular country need not follow such simple functions, these functions give a qualitative understanding of the income distribution in a nation given the Gini coefficient. The effects of minimum income policy due to redistribution can be seen in the linear relationships above. Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan

Gini coefficients of income are calculated on market income as well as disposable income basis. The Gini coefficient on market income – sometimes referred to as pre-tax Gini index – is calculated on income before taxes and transfers, and it measures inequality in income without considering the effect of taxes and social spending already in place in a country. Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan

The Gini coefficient on disposable income – sometimes referred to as after-tax Gini index – is calculated on income after taxes and transfers, and it measures inequality in income after considering the effect of taxes and social spending already in place in a country.[6][16][17]

The difference in Gini indices between OECD countries, on after-taxes and transfers basis, ASUS G2P CPU Fan

is significantly narrower.[ For OECD countries, over 2008–2009 period, Gini coefficient on pre-taxes and transfers basis for total population ranged between 0.34 to 0.53, with South Korea the lowest and Italy the highest. Gini coefficient on after-taxes and transfers basis for total population ranged between 0.25 to 0.48, with Denmark the lowest and Mexico the highest. Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan

For United States, the country with the largest population in OECD countries, the pre-tax Gini index was 0.49, and after-tax Gini index was 0.38, in 2008–2009. The OECD averages for total population in OECD countries was 0.46 for pre-tax income Gini index and 0.31 for after-tax income Gini Index.[6][18] DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

Taxes and social spending that were in place in 2008–2009 period in OECD countries significantly lowered effective income inequality, and in general, "European countries — especially Nordic and Continental welfare states — achieve lower levels of income inequality than other countries."[19] HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan

Using the Gini can help quantify differences in welfare and compensation policies and philosophies. However it should be borne in mind that the Gini coefficient can be misleading when used to make political comparisons between large and small countries or those with different immigration policies (see limitations of Gini coefficient section). Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan

The Gini index for the entire world has been estimated by various parties to be between 0.61 and 0.68.The graph shows the values expressed as a percentage, in their historical development for a number of countries.For the late 2000s, the United States had the 4th highest measure of income inequality out of the 34 OECD countries measured, after taxes and transfers had been taken into account.[21] Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan

The table below presents the Gini indices for household income, without including the effect of taxes and transfers, for the United Statesat various times, according to the US Census Bureau.[22][23][24][25]The Gini values are a national composite, with significantvariations in Gini between the states. HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

The states of Utah, Alaska and Wyoming have a pre-tax income inequality Gini coefficient that is 10% lower than the U.S. average, while Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico 10% higher. After including the effects of federal and state taxes, the U.S. Federal Reserve estimates 34 states in the USA have a Gini coefficient between 0.30 and 0.35, with the state of Maine the lowest.[26] ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan

At the county and municipality levels, the pre-tax Gini index ranged from 0.21 to 0.65 in 2010 across the United States, according to Census Bureau estimates.

According to UNICEF, Latin America and the Caribbean region had the highest net income Gini index in the world at 48.3, on unweighted average basis in 2008. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan

The remaining regional averages were: sub-Saharan Africa (44.2), Asia (40.4), Middle East and North Africa (39.2), Eastern Europe and Central Asia (35.4), and High-income Countries (30.9). Using the same method, the United States is claimed to have a Gini index of 36, while South Africa had the highest income Gini index score of 67.8. Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan

The table below presents the estimated world income Gini index over the last 200 years, as calculated by Milanovic.[30] Taking income distribution of all human beings, the worldwide income inequality has been constantly increasing since the early 19th century. There was a steady increase in global income inequality Gini score from 1820 to 2002, SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan

with a significant increase between 1980 and 2002. This trend appears to have peaked and begun a reversal with rapid economic growth in emerging economies, particularly in the large populations ofBRIC countries.

Education Gini index estimates the inequality in education for a given population.[34] SONY VGN-BX197XP CPU Fan

It is used to discern trends in social development through educational attainment over time. From a study of 85 countries, Thomas et al. estimate Mali had the highest education Gini index of 0.92 in 1990 (implying very high inequality in education attainment across the population), while the United States had the lowest education inequality Gini index of 0.14. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

Between 1960 and 1990, South Korea, China and India had the fastest drop in education inequality Gini Index. They also claim education Gini index for the United States slightly increased over the 1980 – 1990 period.

Similar in concept to income Gini coefficient, opportunity Gini coefficient measures inequality of opportunity.[35Toshiba AB7805HX-GB3 CPU Fan

The concept builds on Amartya Sen's suggestion[38] that inequality coefficients of social development should be premised on the process of enlarging people’s choices and enhancing their capabilities, rather than process of reducing income inequality. Toshiba Satellite L500-208 CPU Fan

Kovacevic in a review of opportunity Gini coefficient explains that the coefficient estimates how well a society enables its citizens to achieve success in life where the success is based on a person’s choices, efforts and talents, not his background defined by a set of predetermined circumstances at birth, such as, gender, race, place of birth, parent's income and circumstances beyond the control of that individual. HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

In 2003, Roemer reported Italy and Spain exhibited the largest opportunity inequality Gini index amongst advanced economies.

In 1978, A. Shorrocks introduced a measure based on income Gini coefficients to estimate income mobility.[40] This measure, generalized by Maasoumi and Zandvakili,[41] Toshiba Satellite P100-444 CPU Fan

is now generally referred to as Shorrocks index, sometimes as Shorrocks mobility index or Shorrocks rigidity index. It attempts to estimate whether the income inequality Gini coefficient is permanent or temporary, and to what extent a country or region enables economic mobility to its people so that they can move from one (e.g. bottom 20%) income quantile to another HP Pavilion dv7-3114eo CPU Fan

(e.g. middle 20%) over time. In other words, Shorrocks index compares inequality of short-term earnings such as annual income of households, to inequality of long-term earnings such as 5-year or 10-year total income for same households.

Shorrocks index is calculated in number of different ways, a common approach being from the ratio of income Gini coefficients between short-term and long-term for the same region or country.[42] HP Mini 110-1125SA CPU Fan

A 2010 study using social security income data for the United States since 1937 and Gini-based Shorrocks indexes concludes that its income mobility has had a complicated history, primarily due to mass influx of women into the country's labor force after World War II. Income inequality and income mobility trends have been different for men and women workers between 1937 and the 2000s. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

When men and women are considered together, the Gini coefficient-based Shorrocks Index trends imply long-term income inequality has been substantially reduced among all workers, in recent decades for the United States.[42] Other scholars, using just 1990s data or other short periods have come to different conclusions.[43] Compaq Presario CQ60-210eo CPU Fan

For example, Sastre and Ayala, conclude from their study of income Gini coefficient data between 1993 and 1998 for six developed economies, that France had the least income mobility, Italy the highest, and the United States and Germany intermediate levels of income mobility over those 5 years. HP Pavilion dv7-2250sf CPU Fan

Gini coefficient has features that make it useful as a measure of dispersion in a population, and inequalities in particular.[45] It is a ratio analysis method making it easier to interpret. It also avoids references to a statistical average or position unrepresentative of most of the population, such as per capita income or gross domestic product. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

For a given time interval, Gini coefficient can therefore be used to compare diverse countries and different regions or groups within a country; for example states, counties, urban versus rural areas, gender and ethnic groups. Gini coefficients can be used to compare income distribution over time, thus it is possible to see if inequality is increasing or decreasing independent of absolute incomes. HP G60-230us CPU Fan

The Gini coefficient is a relative measure. Its proper use and interpretation is controversial.[49] Mellor explains[50] it is possible for the Gini coefficient of a developing country to rise (due to increasing inequality of income) while the number of people in absolute poverty decreases. This is because the Gini coefficient measures relative, HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

not absolute, wealth. Kwok concludes[51] that changing income inequality, measured by Gini coefficients, can be due to structural changes in a society such as growing population (baby booms, aging populations, increased divorce rates, extended family households splitting into nuclear families, emigration, immigration) and income mobility. HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

Gini coefficients are simple, and this simplicity can lead to oversights and can confuse the comparison of different populations; for example, while both Bangladesh (per capita income of $1,693) and the Netherlands (per capita income of $42,183) had an income Gini index of 0.31 in 2010,[52] COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

the quality of life, economic opportunity and absolute income in these countries are very different, i.e. countries may have identical Gini coefficients, but differ greatly in wealth. Basic necessities may be available to all in a developed economy, while in an undeveloped economy with the same Gini coefficient, basic necessities may be unavailable to most or unequally available, due to lower absolute wealth. IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

Even when the total income of a population is the same, in certain situations two countries with different income distributions can have the same Gini index (e.g. cases when income Lorenz Curves cross).[45] Table A illustrates one such situation. Both countries have a Gini index of 0.2, but the average income distributions for household groups are different. HP G62-110SO CPU Fan

As another example, in a population where the lowest 50% of individuals have no income and the other 50% have equal income, the Gini coefficient is 0.5; whereas for another population where the lowest 75% of people have 25% of income and the top 25% have 75% of the income, the Gini index is also 0.5. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

Economies with similar incomes and Gini coefficients can have very different income distributions. Bellù and Liberati claim that to rank income inequality between two different populations based on their Gini indices is sometimes not possible, or misleading.

A Gini index does not contain information about absolute national or personal incomes. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

Populations can have very low income Gini indices, yet simultaneously very high wealth Gini index. By measuring inequality in income, the Gini ignores the differential efficiency of use of household income. By ignoring wealth (except as it contributes to income) the Gini can create the appearance of inequality when the people compared are at different stages in their life. HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

Wealthy countries such as Sweden can show a low Gini coefficient for disposable income of 0.31 thereby appearing equal, yet have very high Gini coefficient for wealth of 0.79 to 0.86 thereby suggesting an extremely unequal wealth distribution in its society.[54][55] These factors are not assessed in income-based Gini. Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

Gini index has a downward-bias for small populations.[56] Counties or states or countries with small populations and less diverse economies will tend to report small Gini coefficients. For economically diverse large population groups, a much higher coefficient is expected than for each of its regions. Taking world economy as one, and income distribution for all human beings, Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

for example, different scholars estimate global Gini index to range between 0.61 and 0.68.[9][10] As with other inequality coefficients, the Gini coefficient is influenced by the granularity of the measurements. For example, five 20% quantiles (low granularity) will usually yield a lower Gini coefficient than twenty 5% quantiles (high granularity) for the same distribution. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

Philippe Monfort has shown that using inconsistent or unspecified granularity limits the usefulness of Gini coefficient measurements.[57]

The Gini coefficient measure gives different results when applied to individuals instead of households, for the same economy and same income distributions. Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

If household data is used, the measured value of income Gini depends on how the household is defined. When different populations are not measured with consistent definitions, comparison is not meaningful.

Deininger and Squire (1996) show that income Gini coefficient based on individual income, rather than household income, are different. ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

For United States, for example, they find that individual income-based Gini index was 0.35, while for France they report individual income-based Gini index to be 0.43. According to their individual focussed method, in the 108 countries they studied, South Africa had the world's highest Gini index at 0.62, Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

Malaysia had Asia's highest Gini index at 0.5, Brazil the highest at 0.57 in Latin America and Caribbean region, and Turkey the highest at 0.5 in OECD countries.

Expanding on the importance of life-span measures, the Gini coefficient as a point-estimate of equality at a certain time, ignores life-span changes in income. SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

Typically, increases in the proportion of young or old members of a society will drive apparent changes in equality, simply because people generally have lower incomes and wealth when they are young than when they are old. Because of this, factors such as age distribution within a population and mobility within income classes can create the appearance of inequality when none exist taking into account demographic effects. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

Thus a given economy may have a higher Gini coefficient at any one point in time compared to another, while the Gini coefficient calculated over individuals' lifetime income is actually lower than the apparently more equal (at a given point in time) economy's.[13] Essentially, what matters is not just inequality in any particular year, but the composition of the distribution over time. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

Kwok claims income Gini index for Hong Kong has been high (0.434 in 2010[52]), in part because of structural changes in its population. Over recent decades, Hong Kong has witnessed increasing numbers of small households, elderly households and elderly living alone. The combined income is now split into more households. HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

Many old people are living separately from their children in Hong Kong. These social changes have caused substantial changes in household income distribution. Income Gini coefficient, claims Kwok, does not discern these structural changes in its society.[51] Household money income distribution for the United States, HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

summarized in Table C of this section, confirms that this issue is not limited to just Hong Kong. According to the US Census Bureau, between 1979 and 2010, the population of United States experienced structural changes in overall households, the income for all income brackets increased in inflation-adjusted terms, household income distributions shifted into higher income brackets over time, while the income Gini coefficient increased.[59][60] Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

Another limitation of Gini coefficient is that it is not a proper measure of egalitarianism, as it is only measures income dispersion. For example, if two equally egalitarian countries pursue different immigration policies, the country accepting a higher proportion of low-income or impoverished migrants will report a higher Gini coefficient and therefore may appear to exhibit more income inequality. HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan

Arnold describes one limitation of Gini coefficient to be income distribution situations where it misleads. The income of poorest fifth of households can be lower when Gini coefficient is lower, than when the poorest income bracket is earning a larger percentage of all income. Table D illustrates this case, HP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

where the lowest income bracket has an average household market income of $500 per year at Gini index of 0.51, and zero income at Gini index of 0.48. This is counter-intuitive and Gini coefficient cannot tell what is happening to each income bracket or the absolute income, cautions Arnold.[61][62] COMPAQ Presario CQ42-401TU CPU Fan

Feldstein similarly explains one limitation of Gini coefficient as its focus on relative income distribution, rather than real levels of poverty and prosperity in society.[63] He claims Gini coefficient analysis is limited because in many situations it intuitively implies inequality that violate the so-called Pareto improvement principle. Toshiba Satellite A300D CPU Fan

The Pareto improvement principle, named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, states that a social, economic or income change is good if it makes one or more people better off without making anyone else worse off. Gini coefficient can rise if some or all income brackets experience a rising income. Feldstein’s explanation is summarized in Table D. HP Pavilion dv8397ea CPU  Fan

The table shows that in a growing economy, consistent with Pareto improvement principle, where income of every segment of the population has increased, from one year to next, the income inequality Gini coefficient can rise too. In contrast, in another economy, if everyone gets poorer and is worse off, income inequality is less and Gini coefficient lower. HP Pavilion dv9821ea CPU Fan

Some countries distribute benefits that are difficult to value. Countries that provide subsidized housing, medical care, education or other such services are difficult to value objectively, as it depends on quality and extent of the benefit. In absence of free markets, valuing these income transfers as household income is subjective. HP COMPAQ TC4200 CPU Fan

The theoretical model of Gini coefficient is limited to accepting correct or incorrect subjective assumptions.In subsistence-driven and informal economies, people may have significant income in other forms than money, for example through subsistence farming orbartering. These income tend to accrue to the segment of population that is below-poverty line or very poor, SONY Vaio VGN-NW228F CPU Fan

in emerging and transitional economy countries such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Informal economy accounts for over half of global employment and as much as 90 per cent of employment in some of the poorer sub-Saharan countries with high official Gini inequality coefficients. HP G62-b16ST CPU Fan

Schneider et al., in their 2010 study of 162 countries,[66] report about 31.2%, or about $20 trillion, of world's GDP is informal. In developing countries, the informal economy predominates for all income brackets except for the richer, urban upper income bracket populations. Even in developed economies, between 8% (United States) to 27% (Italy) of each nation's GDP is informal, HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

and resulting informal income predominates as a livelihood activity for those in the lowest income brackets.[67] The value and distribution of the incomes from informal or underground economy is difficult to quantify, making true income Gini coefficients estimates difficult.[63][64] Different assumptions and quantifications of these incomes will yield different Gini coefficients.[ HP Pavilion dv6-3049tx CPU Fan

Gini has some mathematical limitations as well. It is not additive and different sets of people cannot be averaged to obtain the Gini coefficient of all the people in the sets.Given the limitations of Gini coefficient, other statistical methods are used in combination or as an alternative measure of population dispersity. For example,entropy measures are frequently used (e.g. the Theil Index and the Atkinson index). HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

These measures attempt to compare the distribution of resources by intelligent agents in the market with a maximum entropy random distribution, which would occur if these agents acted like non-intelligent particles in a closed system following the laws of statistical physics.

Although the Gini coefficient is most popular in economics, it can in theory be applied in any field of science that studies a distribution. Toshiba Qosmio G30-167 CPU Fan

For example, in ecology the Gini coefficient has been used as a measure of biodiversity, where the cumulative proportion of species is plotted against cumulative proportion of individuals.[75] In health, it has been used as a measure of the inequality of health related quality of life in a population.[76] In education, it has been used as a measure of the inequality of universities.[77] HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

In chemistry it has been used to express the selectivity of protein kinase inhibitors against a panel of kinases.[78] In engineering, it has been used to evaluate the fairness achieved by Internet routers in scheduling packet transmissions from different flows of traffic.[79] In statistics, building decision trees, it is used to measure the purity of possible child nodes, Compaq Presario CQ40-408AX CPU Fan

with the aim of maximising the average purity of two child nodes when splitting, and it has been compared with other equality measures.[80]

The Gini coefficient is sometimes used for the measurement of the discriminatory power of rating systems in credit risk management.[81] HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

The discriminatory power refers to a credit risk model's ability to differentiate between defaulting and non-defaulting clients. The formula  , in calculation section above, may be used for the final model and also at individual model factor level, to quantify the discriminatory power of individual factors. It is related to accuracy ratio in population assessment models. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

A diversity index is a quantitative measure that reflects how many different types (such as species) there are in a dataset, and simultaneously takes into account how evenly the basic entities (such as individuals) are distributed among those types. The value of a diversity index increases both when the number of types increases and when evenness increases. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

For a given number of types, the value of a diversity index is maximized when all types are equally abundant.When diversity indices are used in ecology, the types of interest are usually species, but they can also be other categories, such as genera, families,functional types or haplotypes. The entities of interest are usually individual plants or animals, HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

and the measure of abundance can be, for example, number of individuals, biomass or coverage. In demography, the entities of interest can be people, and the types of interest various demographic groups. In information science, the entities can be characters and the types the different letters of the alphabet. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

The most commonly used diversity indices are simple transformations of the effective number of types (also known as 'true diversity'), but each diversity index can also be interpreted in its own right as a measure corresponding to some real phenomenon (but a different one for each diversity index). HP Pavilion dv7-4150ec CPU Fan

True diversity, or the effective number of types, refers to the number of equally-abundant types needed for the average proportional abundance of the types to equal that observed in the dataset of interest (where all types may not be equally abundant). The true diversity in a dataset is calculated by first taking the weighted generalized mean of the proportional abundances of the types in the dataset, and then taking the inverse of this. HP Pavilion dv5-1102tu CPU Fan

The denominator equals average proportional abundance of the types in the dataset as calculated with the weighted generalized mean with exponent q - 1. In the equation, R is richness (the total number of types in the dataset), and the proportional abundance of the ith type is . The proportional abundances themselves are used as the nominal weights. SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

he value of q is often referred to as the order of the diversity. It defines the sensitivity of the diversity value to rare vs. abundant species by modifying how the mean of the species proportional abundances is calculated. With some values of the parameter q, the generalized mean with exponent q - 1 gives familiar kinds of mean as special cases. HP Pavilion dv7-6011tx CPU Fan

In particular, q = 0 corresponds to the harmonic mean, q = 1 to the geometric mean and q = 2 to the arithmetic mean. As qapproaches infinity, the generalized mean with exponent q - 1 approaches the maximum   value, which is the proportional abundance of the most abundant species in the dataset. HP Pavilion dv5-1040eb CPU Fan

In practice, increasing the value of q hence increases the effective weight given to the most abundant species. This leads to obtaining a larger mean   value and a smaller true diversity (qD) value.When q = 1, the geometric mean of the   values is used, and each species is exactly weighted by its proportional abundance (in the geometric mean, weights are the exponents). ASUS F3Jv CPU Fan

When q > 1, the weight given to abundant species is exaggerated, and when q < 1, the weight given to rare species is. At q = 0, the species weights exactly cancel out the species proportional abundances, such that mean   equals 1/R even when all species are not equally abundant. At q = 0, the effective number of species (0D) hence equals the actual number of species (R). IBM ThinkPad R50p 2887 CPU Fan

In the context of diversity, q is generally limited to non-negative values. This is because negative values of q would give rare species so much more weight than abundant ones that qD would exceed R.

Richness R simply quantifies how many different types the dataset of interest contains. SONY VGN-CS36GJ/R CPU Fan

For example, species richness (usually notated S) of a dataset is the number of different species in the corresponding species list. Richness is a simple measure, so it has been a popular diversity index in ecology, where abundance data are often not available for the datasets of interest. Toshiba Satellite A215-S4807 CPU Fan

Because richness does not take the abundances of the types into account, it is not the same thing as diversity, which does take abundances into account. However, if true diversity is calculated with q = 0, the effective number of types (0D) equals the actual number of types (R).

The Shannon index has been a popular diversity index in the ecological literature, Toshiba Satellite Pro M10-SP405 CPU Fan

where it is also known as Shannon's diversity index, the Shannon-Wiener index, the Shannon-Weaver index and the Shannon entropy. The measure was originally proposed by Claude Shannon to quantify the entropy (uncertainty or information content) in strings of text.[5] The idea is that the more different letters there are, HP Pavilion dv4-1120us CPU Fan

and the more equal their proportional abundances in the string of interest, the more difficult it is to correctly predict which letter will be the next one in the string. The Shannon entropy quantifies the uncertainty (entropy or degree of surprise) associated with this prediction.

In ecology,   is often the proportion of individuals belonging to the ith species in the dataset of interest. Compaq Presario C550EM CPU Fan

Then the Shannon entropy quantifies the uncertainty in predicting the species identity of an individual that is taken at random from the dataset.

Although the equation is here written with natural logarithms, the base of the logarithm used when calculating the Shannon entropy can be chosen freely. Toshiba Qosmio E15-AV101 CPU Fan

Shannon himself discussed logarithm bases 2, 10 and e, and these have since become the most popular bases in applications that use the Shannon entropy. Each log base corresponds to a different measurement unit, which have been called binary digits (bits), decimal digits (decits) and natural digits (nats) for the bases 2, 10 and e, respectively. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

Comparing Shannon entropy values that were originally calculated with different log bases requires converting them to the same log base: change from the base a to base b is obtained with multiplication by logbaToshiba Satellite A305-S6837 CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv7-4087cl CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv5-1118es CPU Fan

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