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 appellation Embrea derives from classical antiquity and first appears in documents ca. 4th century BCE as Embria, referent to lands occupied by a tribe referred to as the Embri. Extant evidence for the existence of this culture, as described in manuscripts, is scarce and much of the surviving classical documentation is therefore assumed to be based upon myth.

History

Prehistory

Surviving megalithic structures and ancient artifacts support the existence of Homo erectus in present-day Embrea from approximately 1 million years ago, with advanced H. sapiens civilisations rising from approximately 3000 BC. Very little of their early culture is known as no written records were employed.

Antiquity

By the 300s AD Embrea had been settled by the eponymous Embri tribe, ethnically related to the Flamaguayan culture. The Embri dispossessed the previous inhabitants of the region and brought with them the city-state structure of their cultural forebears, establishing a number of petty kingdoms in existing settlements along the rivers and coasts. These would gradually lose their republican nature and become increasingly feudal in nature through the first millennium, being frequently at war with one another. Those kingdoms which enjoyed sea access plied the shallow coastal waters of the Arentian Sea, trading with and occasionally raiding coastal regions of modern day Cockaygne and Flamaguay. Contact with Praetonia was made from the beginning of the first millennium but minimal trade initially occurred due to the distances involved.

Middle ages

Modern period

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: the army, navy, air-force, 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