Embrea

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Embrean Directorate
Diretorio Embreano
Flag Directorate Coat of Arms
Motto: "Força, Trabalho, Unidade"
(Embrean: "Strength, Work, Unity")
Anthem: Hino da Vitória
CapitalEvora
Official languages Embrean
Ethnic groups Embrean, Flamaguayan, Prekovar
Demonym Embrean
Government unitary single party Directivist state
 •  Director-General Bernardo Garcia Mendes
Establishment
 •  Kingdom of Embrea 1724 
 •  Directivist rule established 1919 
Area
 •  535,488 km2
206,753 sq mi
Population
 •  census 30 million
GDP (PPP) estimate
 •  Total $465 billion
 •  Per capita $15,500
Currency Embrean Lire (EBL)
Date format mm-dd-yyyy
Drives on the left
Calling code +32


Etymology

The name Embrea derives from the Embrean word breu (Praetannic tar), cognate with the Flamaguayan brea and derived from the proto-Wallasean *bræða. Central Embrea has numerous formations of bituminous tar, which has been used since prehistory as a sealing agent and widely traded; the area thus became known as the "land of the tar," rendered as Embreu from the early 11th century CE with present spelling and pronunciation first attested from the early 17th century.

Alternate hypotheses

Magyar nationalist scholar Erdős Gyula proposed in 1988 that the etymology of Embrea derives from the Magyar emberek, singular ember meaning "people; society." This prospective etymology was proposed as part of a broader thesis arguing that Magyar tribes were among the original settlers of the Embrean Basin and thus held historically-based claims to present-day Embrea. This theory has not been widely accepted by mainstream scholars, who point out a clear point of divergence in genetics between present-day Embreans and Magyars, and has been characterized as "scientific irredentism" by the Academy of the Embrean Language.

History

Prehistory

The area of present-day Embrea has been inhabited by H. Sapiens since approximately 12,000 YBO[1] when hunter-gatherers of the Proto-Romance culture first arrived in southern Wallasea during the most recent ice age. Regarding this culture little is known with certainty, as their nomadic nature left little permanent record; discovery and excavation of cairns suggest they may have practiced burial of the dead and held complex views regarding an afterlife. The Proto-Romance culture bisected into two distinct cultures around 5,000 YBO: the Comb culture (also known as the proto-Embro-Flam culture or the Lower Embrean culture) and the Vase culture (also known as the proto-Embreo-Slav culture or the Upper Embrean culture). Archaeological record indicates that the Upper Embrean continued to practice a nomadic lifestyle until approximately 2,500 YBO while the Lower Embrean developed agriculture from approximately 3,000 YBO and began constructing semi-permanent settlements in the valley of the Tagus River and later in its delta.

Antiquity

Settlements develop in size and complexity, feudalism develops. Cities near coast (Evora, Braga, Porto de Frontera) develop maritime tradition and become increasingly prosperous. Expansion causes petty conflict between city-states, polities expand and contract due to war/dynastic marriage. From around the time of Oswin's birth, Evora is largest polity in Embrea controlling about 1/3 of present-day Embrean territory

Middle ages

Oswinism is introduced but not immediately embraced by all Embrean polities; Evora converts in 1050 and begins ambitious series of religious-military campaigns to unify and convert the rest of Embrea. While mostly successful by 1100, the death of King Whatever of Evora in battle without issue threatens to fracture the kingdom and a series of religious rebellions rocks the 12th century as a series of weak kings sees much of Whatever's work undone. Oswinist noble Sancho de Pallar is offered the crown in 1172 following yet another royal council, accepts and goes on campaign to unify Embrea under the Oswinist faith. Unlike his predecessor's he's actually competent at war and diplomacy and completes the unification. The monarchy he builds is an elective one in concession to the nobles whose conversion he brought about, despite this, is relatively stable with few conflicts with neighbors until the Council of Trogg.

Following the Council Embrean nobility splits about 50/50 between the Reformist Covenant of Fraternal Faith and the Apostolic faith. Reformists backed by the Covenant make war against the Apostolic nobility and succeed, subsuming Embrea into the covenant in personal union with its leadership. Lots of failed Apostolic risings. Competing propaganda makes beautiful works of art.

Modern period

1728 dissolution of the Covenant sees Apostolics make one more final, successful uprising and reassert the independent Kingdom of Embrea under Flamaguayan-Embrean nobleman Juan Manuel de Mirandela. The elective tradition is not revived, but a religious settlement allows for free practice of both the Reformed and Apostolic faiths while setting the Apostolic as the state religion. Relations developed with other Apostolic states in Wallasea, Polacekia and Saratovia; relations with Flamaguay strained over contested provinces until settlement reached in 1807.

19th century is basically the zenith of Embrea's development: industrialization brings a new wave of urbanization and prosperity, also a liberal constitution creating a constitutional monarchy and a universal male franchise (1874). Another explosion of artistic expression makes Evora a cultural hub on par with Prvni or Petrograd.

1850s war with Cockay settlers results in Embrean victory, fixes border between the Kirk and Embrea(?)

Great War happens, it's Bad. Embrea overrun in all directions, majority of industry destroyed, millions killed or displaced. Embrea on winning side but considered a "minor belligerent" in negotiations, doesn't get any indemnities only some mostly useless land from Prekovy inhabited by thousands of Prekovars. Bankrupt kingdom tries to make it work amid protests, hyperinflation, general instability. Directivist protest march turns into a coup, Directivists seize power.

Contemporary

Geography

Embrea sits upon a fertile region of south-central Wallasea and enjoys a humid subtropical climate, slightly offset on the coastal regions by cold-water currents from the Arentian Sea. The geography of the Commonwealth consists of broad plains with rolling hills inland, and small mountainous regions near the Flamaguayan border. Much of the country, especially near its numerous rivers, lies at or slightly below sea level; numerous dikes and polders have been developed over the centuries to mitigate flood risk inherent to these regions. Embrea lies in the watershed of several rivers, the longest of which, the Maran, roughly bisects the country. In the south, the river Tagus splinters into a delta around which the city of Evora has been extensively built up through land reclamation.

Politics

Since 1919, Embrea has been a single-party Directivist state ruled by the Movement of the National Directive (Movimento de Diretiva Nacional). The Embrean constitution of 1919 created a Director-General who runs the country's executive and is tasked with carrying out a National Directive, which can be altered in substance and philosophy by the Presidium of the National Directive, a deliberative body convened every 10 years. The Supreme Popular Council serves as the sitting legislative body, though it (like all Directivist political organs) practices democratic centralism and thus serves as a rubber-stamp for the Movement's leadership. All other political parties and political organisations are banned. Local and municipal government is managed by legislatures known as Popular Councils (trans. conselho popular). Suffrage is universal for males aged 17 and older, but only Movement members may stand for office. Membership of the Movement is considered essential for success in life, but only dedicated Directivists can gain access. As of 2018 Party membership was 3,355,000.

The Party came to power after the Great War, which caused the deaths of more than a million Embreans and crippled the country's economy. An alliance of the Embrean military, clergy, and right-wing intelligentsia blamed the Great War, and the damage it inflicted on Embrea, on the rise of liberalism, and the rejection of traditional Oswinist social teachings in Wallasea. Following a bloodless coup d'etat, the Directivists seized power, wrote their own constitution, and reversed the rise of social and classical liberalism in Embrea, instituting a dictatorship.

Today, Embrea is considered an authoritarian country, in which political dissent is outlawed and cultural expression critical of the regime suppressed. Its economy is broadly corporatist and its social policies can be described as authoritarian or religious conservative. Embreans are subject to national service, some of which is military conscription, and their travel outside the country is restricted. The Party allows and supports Oswinism, but actively removes membership of the clergy opposed to the regime.

Law

The Embrean legal system is delineated in the 1919 Constitution, which provides for civil and political rights and freedom of expression while defining Directivism as "the supreme force and primary guide of society," and providing that all provisions for personal freedom are subordinated to pursuit of the National Directive. Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Directorate for Public Safety, which oversees the Polícia Internal e de Defensa do Estado secret police organization as well as the Polícia Nacional for criminal law enforcement and the establishment of the civil and criminal courts. Proceedings of the courts are closely guarded, being considered a matter of internal party discipline and not for public consumption; independent reports from dissidents and defectors have characterized the court system as a kangaroo court designed to extract confession through coercion and enforced self-criticism, in contrast to the provisions of the Constitution providing for open court, presumption of innocence and access to counsel. Directivism considers that "all crime is political crime," as crime by its nature involves an element of instability within broader society; in that line, sentences for have been characterized as draconian and typically involving extensive use of forced labor. Embrea maintains capital punishment for murder, rape, offenses considered to be sabotage, and political crimes which rise to the level of "endangering the national unity." Executions are carried out by hanging via the long-drop method. Prison statistics, including those concerning persons awaiting execution, are classified as state secrets. Defectors living outside Embrea have alleged that the state practices organ harvesting on the condemned, with extracted organs being used to supplement donor needs or exported internationally via the grey market.

Foreign affairs

The foreign policy of the Directorate has the preservation of the regime as its supreme aim. Embrean politics are characterized by the pursuit of self-reliance, maintaining a stance of limited participation in world affairs, with the country maintaining a very tight entry and exit visa regime, though the trend has been toward gradual opening and liberalization since the late 1980s. In spite of its reduced profile, Embrea may not be defined as a pariah state, as it has accredited diplomatic missions around the globe and is an active member of the CNF, although it has displayed consistent delays in the adoption of common norms and standards. Embrea does not have formal relations with the Commonwealth, particularly with Cockaygne, which it borders and distrusts. Relations with Prekovy are strained due to the treatment of the Prekovar minority within the country, but both nations enjoy limited and growing commercial ties. The pillar of Embrean foreign policy is its cordial relations with the Flamaguayan state, with both countries bound to their mutual defense through the Embrean-Flamaguayan Treaty of Mutual Assistance. Flamaguay is Embrea's main supplier of high-technology goods and arms, with Flamaguayan corporations providing goods in exchange for reduced-cost labour, permitting the Directorate to limit expenses in hard currency.

Military

An Embrean SEPA Ilusión 2000.

The Embrean Security Forces (Forças de Segurança) are constituted by four branches: Land Command, Air Command, Naval Command, and the national guard. The armed forces maintain a defensive posture, with the majority of its forces arrayed for deployment along its northern frontier. Defense expenditure is a priority of the Directorate, which counts on the support of the armed forces, particularly the Guarda Nacional Embreana, as a pillar of its rule. Party membership is widely regarded as being unofficially required for advancement within the officer corps. The National Guard, in addition to its role as a border guard, is the sole force carrying out military police duties across all branches. National military service is compulsory for all men between 18 and 24, with conscripts serving sixteen-month to twenty-one-month tours of duty depending on the branch of the armed forces they serve in.

Embrea co-operates militarily with Flamaguay, permanently fielding one joint division which operates at their border with Prekovy. Flamaguayan support of the Embrean Armed Forces is exemplified by the supply of arms, often of second-line systems being phased out or replaced by the Flamaguayan armed forces but still capable of service. Embrean troops are deployed in limited quantities in CNF training exercises, but do not participate in deployments outside of Wallasea.

Economy

An Estrela 101-1, one of several brands of Embrean manufactured car protected by bans on the import of certain types of foreign vehicles.
The Millenium Bridge (Ponte do Milênio), which was the tallest bridge in the world when completed in 2016, exemplifies Embrean public infrastructure programs.

Embrea operates a corporatist market economy worth $465 billion, making it the 31st-largest economy in the world by GDP PPP and, at $15,500 per capita PPP, the 28th-largest per capita. This makes Embrea's economy the smallest in Wallasea and the second-poorest by per capita GDP in the region. Government spending is 55% of GDP. Services make up 57% of the economy, manufacturing 41%, and agriculture 2%. Unemployment is very low at 1%. Embrea experiences relatively high inflation, averaging at 7.5% for the 21st-century.

The Embrean economy combines a social market economy for small enterprises with state capitalist policies on large, but privately owned enterprises. Representatives of the Directorate of Economic Development (trans. Direcção do Desenvolvimento Econômico) must sit on the boards of all privately owned companies and can veto financial and operating decisions. The Ministry also must approve any foreign investment in Embrean firms. Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and public transport are owned by the state.

Embrea's policy of import substitution industrialisation, which imposed heavy tariffs on many imported goods, was designed to build an autarkic national economy in line with the Movement for the National Directive's views on economics. The state also provides generous subsidies to major employers in national industries such as automobiles, white goods, steel, and telecoms and encourages Embreans to buy Embrean products with low interest loans, especially for Party members.

In addition to its state capitalist outlook, the Embrean government also provides social security, especially in the form of guaranteed work for male citizens between the age of 18 and 65. Generous subsidies to citizens exist, especially for utilities, public transport, social housing, certain foodstuffs, and products considered central to Embrean culture, such as wine, cured sausages, and football. Taxes are considered high. Embreans pay income tax, corporate tax, sales tax (including a high luxury tax), property taxes on private housing, and other minor taxes. The state collects around 50% of GDP in tax.

Since 1997, Embrea operates two specially administered industrial regions amounting to 65 km2 near the Flamaguayan border. Flamaguayan companies are permitted to carry out excise-free operations at industrial parks established within these areas. This arrangement allows Flamaguayan companies to access labour at extremely cheap rates. The workforce provided by the Embrean government is skilled, and the linguistic barriers between the Flamaguayan and Embrean languages are minimal, easing coordination. As of the 2016 fiscal year, more than 100 companies are involved in the employment of over 150,000 Embrean workers and low-level supervision staff. Flamaguayan companies fulfill the wages of the local workers directly to the Embrean government, either paying in kind or directly depositing hard currency in government accounts. The arrangement has been decried by some NGOs as a blatant profiteering exercise by predatory Flamaguayan companies and an unscrupulous Embrean state.

Public works

Public works are a major part of the Embrean economy, through which the government provides work to the unemployed. Public works are administered by the Vice-Directorate of Public Activities (trans. Vice-Direcção de Atividades Públicas), and ranges from public cleaning such as litter picking, to construction work in rural areas, to megastructures designed to project the accomplishments of the regime.

Transportation

Embrea's transportation infrastructure is considered to be well-integrated and fairly modern; extensively damaged cities were rebuilt after the Great War with accessibility as a key consideration. Embrea maintains a state-owned commuter and long-distance rail network, as well as a medium and long distance bus network, both heavily subsidized; together, these provide service to approximately 96% of the nation's populated areas. Local municipal authorities may also provide for inter-city commuter rail, bus or trolleybus services.

Motor vehicle ownership remains low in comparison to other Wallasean states, with 36% of Embrean households reporting ownership of a personal motor vehicle; early Directivist policy discouraged private vehicle ownership as wasteful and inefficient, promoting public transport as a more efficient and socially-desirable form of transit. From the 1950s, these policies began to be relaxed, allowing for limited growth in the personal automobile industry, though purchase was on a may-issue basis subject to a demonstrated need, and high luxury taxes were assessed. Since the 1980s, the demonstrated-need test has been eliminated, though costs remain prohibitively high for much of the population. The majority of motor vehicles produced in Embrea as of 2019 are export models, where they can be found throughout the world as low-cost economy vehicles.

Energy

Embrean energy policy is focused upon achieving total energy independence, providing continuous electricity to all households, and controlling costs. The majority of its power is derived from coal-burning power plants, and from the 1950s, hydroelectric damming projects in the interior. The 17 da Junho Nuclear Plant, completed in 1969 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Long March, supplies 17% of the country's energy output and approximately 86% of that consumed in Evora.

Household electricity is free at point of use, up to a set kWh allowance, with overages being charged on a sliding scale according to household income and extent to which the quota is exceeded. The proliferation of solar panels since the 1980s has been encouraged by the state, as renewable energy sources are increasingly pursued to meet heightened demand. Blackouts, once somewhat common in large cities and during summer months, have become rare as personal solar-generated electricity supplements state allotment and reduces overall grid load.

Culture

Sports

Embrea's national sport, by far the most popular, is association football; its national team is currently ranked first in the world by Haversham-based World Football Weekly and the Embrean Premier League is broadcast worldwide. Other popular sports include basketball, handball, athletics, and rugby league.

Food

Architecture

See also

  1. years before Oswin