Germany: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
After the collapse of the Second German Empire following the defeat of German forces in the First World War, the Weimar Republic was founded. Its first elected president was Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg. Germany’s economic depression resulted in discontent within the masses and Adolf Hitler’s nationalistic views and calls for a Greater Germany fanned the flames. Hilter was made chancellor in 1933 by Hindenburg. After Hinesburg’s death in 1934 Hitler began rearming the military. His invasion of Poland was the precursor to the Second World War. Germany was split by the Allies and Soviets after their victory in 1945. The split resulted in the occupation of West Germany by Allied Forces and East Germany effectively being controlled by the Soviet Union.
The re-unification of Germany was achieved through the collapse of the East German communist government and negotiations between the West German and Soviet Governments.
The country was officially re-unified on 3 October 1990.
Today, Germany consists of over 82 million inhabitants, more than 7 million are foreign nationals. Its two main religions are protestant and catholic. Religious freedom is enshrined in Germany’s basic law (Grundgesetz). The official language is German and many dialects are spoken throughout the country that can be difficult to understand for those who speak standard German. Approximately 80% of the population speak at least one foreign language, the most popular being English.
German people generally take great pride in their neighbourhood and the streets are generally clean and free from litter. As a workforce, Germans have a reputation for being diligent, accurate, reliable and loyal.
The standard of living is generally high, with rental and retail purchase being comparatively cheap.
An OECD study for 2008 revealed that low earners pay some of the highest taxes and social security contributions in Europe – up to 52% of gross income.