Country of the World West Germany

About the country West Germany, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULERS

GERMANY

WEST GERMANY

Size: 95,976 sq. mi. (248,577 sq. km.).

Population: 62.5 million.

Who Rules: The Parliament has two houses. The Bundestag has 496 popularly elected members plus 22 nonvoting representatives from West Berlin, all of whom serve four years; the Bundesrat consists of 41 members appointed by the state governments and 4 consultative members appointed by the West Berlin Senate. The chancellor is chosen by the members of the majority party in the Bundestag.

Who REALLY Rules: Banks have considerable influence over what happens in West Germany; however, one bank is owned by the Federation of German Trade Unions, which has won places for workers on the supervisory boards of corporations, forced companies to consider the interests of workers, and helped the Germans achieve one of the highest standards of living in the world. (The average blue-collar worker in West Germany now makes more than $10,000 a year, owns a car, and has a color television set.) The Gastarbeiter--foreign workers from Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia--number 2 million and do the jobs the Germans don't want to do.

In a 1977 poll, West German youth were asked their impressions of Adolf Hilter; 56% had strong negative feelings, while 8% had positive feelings. The remaining 36% had mixed feelings.

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