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The French Republic of Charbagnia, officially known in French as République française de Charbagnia, is a unitary semi-presidential republic in the Southern Sea. Its geography is dominated by the large northern Grandes Dents mountain range, with a hilly landscape in the center of the country with relatively flat coastal land. It borders Vancouvian Agnion and the Oster Occupation Zone in the south, and shares a maritime border with the Wellsian Protectorate of the Sultanate of Kachee, which is not recognized by French Charbagnia. French Charbagnia's culture is dominated by its French roots, with nearly the entire population speaking French as their first and only language, with English and German being notable languages spoken by the bilingual population of the Republic. French Chabagnians can be considered radical republicans, and see any form of monarchism or authoritarianism as an affront on human nature, and views the ARRF as illegal occupiers of their homeland.
Situated in the middle of the Southern Sea, Charbagnia has always been a hotspot for tensions between the various powers of the Western Isles, the powers that be always in flux and always at war. For a time, a nation where Frenchmen and Germans alike lived in relative harmony on the surface existed, propped up by Noronica in the years after the Imperial War. However, the reality of French oppression reared its ugly head near the end of 2017 when the League of the Western Isles began to investigate the heavy-handed response the Charbagnian Federation made in response to Francophone protestors, leading to a revolution and invasion by the Argean Rapid Reaction Force in early 2018. Now, long after the fighting has ceased, the Frenchmen have finally united into the first vestiges of a government, declaring the French Republic of Charbagnia to the world.
French Charbagnia is minimally recognized in the international scope of the Western Isles, only receiving its first official recognition from Dormill and Stiura in early 2019. Given the conditions both before, during, and after the War, Charbagnia is not considered to be even remotely a minor power in regional affairs as it attempts to recover and reassert what little power the Federation, now reduced to a rump state in the eastern islands.
The etymology of Charbagnia has unclear roots, but most scholars point to early descriptions by Khas-Kiriat explorers as a potential origin point, with the modern concept being developed subsequently by Wellsians and Noronnicans.
When speaking about French Charbagnia, or Charbagnia in general, it is customary to prefix the origin of the person in question (i.e. French or German Charbagnian). The term "Charb" used in some foreign contexts, is considered a slur evenly by all Charbagnians.
French Charbagnia was once a part of the Noronnican Empire and was a site of major French immigration from nations such as Dormill and Stiura, and Vibor. This history with the Noronnicans has resulted in a somewhat close tie to the Noronnicans. Following several conflicts, the German and French halves of Charbagnia united into the Charbagnian Federation, evoking a similar situation to Dormill and Stiura in Gael. However, this union was not meant to last as the southern Germans soon began to outgrow their French counterparts, rendering them little more than second-class citizens as the 21st century began. Protests began to come to a head in mid-2017 as the French Separatist movement Liberté pour les Gens and the socialist People's Socialist Democratic Party clashed in the streets of major cities in Charbagnia.
The tension reached a boiling point when on 08 October 2017, the city of Harelbeke was brutally attacked by elements of the Charbagnian Government armed with Sarin-loaded Rocket Artillery. This attack, in particular, garnered the attention of the International Community, who through the League of the Western Isles, passed two resolutions to condemn the Charbagnian Federation and to assemble an international task force, consisting mostly of the Argean Rapid Reaction Force (ARRF), to invade the Federation and remove its government.
On 23 January 2018, several days after the French Republic of Charbagnia was declared, Noronica declared the creation of the ARRF-led "Allied Task Force - Operation Swift Resolution", and began operations shortly thereafter. For the following seven months, the ARRF-lead Task Force managed to cripple the Charbagnian Federation, focusing its attention mostly in the German southern half, allowing the French Republic to establish itself in the core of French Charbagnia. After encounters with the Magarati Army in Tafort, Vagueux, and Montamount, the two nations tacitly agreed to allow French Charbagnia to control the mainland, while the Magarati set up the Sultanate of Kachee in Frébonne. After over a year since "Swift Resolution" began, the French Republic has finally gained official recognition, putting the island back on the map when it comes to international attention. Their mission now is simple, unify all French speakers of Charbagnia and reclaim Frébonne and Soignane from their occupiers.
The physical geography of the Charbagnia is varied. The islands are mostly mountainous and hilly, with pockets of flat terrain mostly seen in the center of the country or by the coast. The north of the island of Charbagnia contains the Republic's biggest mountain range called the 'Grandes Dents' mountain range, home to the mineral wealth of the nation. The tallest mountain in the Republic, and all of Charbagnia, is Mont Gris, in the Grandes Dents mountain range. The river with the highest volume of water is the River Dieudonné in the North West of the country. The largest lake by surface area and volume is Traub in Altges.
Charbagnia has a warmer, Tropical climate. Average temperatures are around 15-25° Celsius. Charbagnia experiences short periods of heavy rain and damp weather, mostly experiencing dry periods throughout the year, especially in the summer with extremely low precipitation. Summers are usually very warm and winters are usually no different, maintaining a steady average temperature throughout the year.
Following the revolution, the French Republic's population grew from just over 1.5 million to 1.85 million, predominantly from immigration between the former states of the Federation and from abroad, especially other Southern Sea nations. Population growth across all of Charbagnia has stabilized since the 21st Century following a major period of growth that began in the 1980s, and the Republic faces an increasingly aging population. According to official statistics, the country's population are mostly descended from immigration, with 70% being from France and Germany, an additional 5% from people of French descent but who originated in the Western Isles, such as Segentova, Thromsa, and Dormill and Stiura, and additional sources such as Noronica, the Western Magrati Federation, Wellsia, and others. Approximately 3% of the population derives their heritage from those who lived in Charbagnia prior to Noronnican colonization, mostly tracing their roots to the Ipachi of Biaten or the Khas-Kiriat of Athara Magarat or Townside.
Since 2010, there has been an increasing concern over Xenophobic attitudes in Charbagnia, despite the nation's population deriving from immigration. Several occurrences of racial violence have sparked, causing division within the country. While these have subsided since the revolution, these attitudes remain especially prevalent among the older classes of the Republic, who see immigrants increasingly as threats to French Charbagnia's soverignty.
The Charbagnian Federation has two official languages: French and Charban, the extant but dying language of native Charbagnians. Though Charban is an official language of the Republic, all government business is conducted in French as it is the dominant language among the population. There is additionally a population of German speakers in French Charbagnia, accounting for the second-largest minority language group after Charban and leading ahead of English in terms of speakership.
Metro area population (defined by MSA)
Main Article: Government of French Charbagnia
French Charbagnia is a Unitary Semi-presidential Constitutional Republic, with elements of social democracy in a mostly multi-party system of governance. In all official capacity, French Charbagnia is a capitalist nation, but has practiced some aspects of socialism and centralized economic planning as a means to maintain the country.
Though a Unitary State, French Charbagnia grants considerable amounts of autonomy to subnational units, with Parliament purposely designed to only handle issues of national importance as a safeguard against overreach.
French Charbagnia has defined three branches to its government:
The Legislature: Vested in the Parliament
The Executive: Vested in the co-offices of President and Prime Minister
The Judiciary: Vested in the Supreme Court
In French Charbagnia, the President is defined as "the Head of the French Charbagnian State in all official functions, the Chief Executive, Commander-in-Chief of all Armed Forces, and Arbiter of the will of the Parliament". The President is not officially the Head of the Charbagnian Government, but does have the power to appoint or remove all Ministers of the Parliament subject to a vote by Parliament or approval by the Supreme Court.
The President of French Charbagnia, who has no official style, is elected via national election every 5 years and are limited to 2 terms excluding instances where a Vice President has served as President for more than half of their predecessor's term, in which case they are limited to a single term. The Prime Minister, by contrast, is an appointed position by the President, typically reserved to the person who can "command the confidence of more than two-thirds of Parliament". This means that party bosses of the largest party (or leading party of a coalition) is usually appointed by the President. A Prime Minister's term is only subject to the President and their ability to command the confidence of the Parliament, and thus has no explicit term limit and can even serve under multiple Presidents.
As a Unitary State, French Charbagnia has no subnational territory that exercises independence from Parliament, though in practice the Constitution of French Charbagnia has granted significant autonomy and power to subnational units as a method of preventing an overreach of power from Parliament so soon in the country's existence. Therefore, the Republic is first divided into "Regions" that carry over the old state borders of the Charbagnian Federation. The Republic lays claim to four regions, Clermont, Maibeaux, Frébonne, and Soignane; although the Republic only is in de facto control of Clermont and Maibeaux. Regions have no local government and are only used by the Republic to organize the administration of its territory. Under regions are "Departments", which do have local governments, these are followed by Municipalities and Communes.
French Charbagnia is not widely recognized by the international community, only recently receiving recognition by the United Republics of Dormill and Stiura in early 2019. Presently, the French Charbagnian military is purely a land force, consisting of around 100,000 total personnel divided into local units. These units are supplemented by militias, police, and other groups of armed civilians. The French Charbagnian economy is driven mostly by mineral extraction and exportation, with some level of the local agricultural industry that has been directed by the government to ensure that the nation can be self-sustainable in the aspects of food, there is a small tertiary sector mostly vested in tourism and related industries, but these have been severely curtailed since the ARRF invasion.
At present, the French Republic's primary foreign policy goal is to continue gaining international recognition as a distinct and separate state from the Charbagnian Federation and assert its sovereignty over the remaining predominantly French territories of Charbagnia, vested mostly in the former states of Frébonne (now the Wellasian protectorate of Kachee) and Soignane (presently under Noronnican occupation). Some international observers consider French Charbagnia to be ultimately subservient to the foreign policy objectives of Dormill and Stiura, a claim both nations have denied and framed as "a mutual bilateral partnership for the good of both nations and the region as a whole".
The Unified National Defense Forces of French Charbagnia comprises the primary fighting force of French Charbagnia. Formed from several militias that fought in the revolution against the Charbagnian Federation, the FDNU is not presently a professional force, and the organization of the various militias that compose it is lacking. Enshrined into the French Charbagnian Constitution, the FDNU is meant to be a professional force aimed to defend the sovereignty of the Republic. Due to the continued claims on the Sultanate of Kachee and in the Noronnican Occupied Zone, the FDNU is not explicitly a defensive army, and French Charbagnian leaders maintain that it is their sovereign right to take every legal action to end the illegal occupations of French territories, up to and including War.
In addition to its domestic military, the French Republic of Charbagnia has also relied on the aid of the League of the Western Isles and the Ahnslen Regional Stability Force to supplement the defense of the nation.
Currency: New Charbagnian Franc (N₣)
Fiscal Year: Calendar Year
GDP (nominal): $6,657,250,000
GDP (nominal) per capita: $4,295
Labor Force: 281,958
Unemployment (as a Percentage of Population): 7%
The French Republic has a lower-middle income mixed economy with larger reserves of natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas. It has a small economy with an emphasis on primary sectors. The government plays a defined role in the country's economy, overseeing quite a lot of resource planning. Nearly half of the Republic's population lives below the poverty line, and 7% are unemployed entirely, mostly thanks to the destruction of industry and property that resulted from the War and the disconnection of the major industrial centers of the south by the various occupations.
Dominating the Republic's exports abroad are oil, natural gas, metals, and timber, among refined items such as machinery and appliances, hardware, processed minerals, jewelry, and foodstuffs. Since 2005, the exports of natural resources started decreasing in economic importance as the internal market strengthened considerably. As of 2016, the primary sectors accounted for 20% of GDP and 64% of the Government budget.
International indicators show that corruption is still rife within the economy, with several sectors being dominated by monopolies or state-run enterprises such as the National Mining Cooperative, FedLine Internet Services, and others. National and International pressure to crack down on the Republic's economic corruption remains the most prevalent problem to the present government, which has made overtures to stamp down on corruption. However, internal reports indicate the government does not have the money or power to effectively combat this corruption, with many of the same monopolies having a great range of control in public and private life alongside their dominance of the economy in general.
In terms of energy use, nearly 75% of all energy consumed in the French Republic of Charbagnia comes from non-renewable sources, predominantly Natural Gas with supplementary oil and coal in the mix. While the Republic, by the Constitution, dedicates itself to the protection of the environment and the abandonment of fossil fuels, plans to that effect have been slow to implement. The relative cost to establish sources of renewable power has made the transition painfully slow, with only the first solar power plant in construction so far scheduled for completion by the early 2030s.
Charbagnian culture is deeply intertwined in the dynamic relationship between the component demographic groups of the nation, with the Republic as a whole resembling a kind of "ethnic and cultural mosaic" as opposed to a "melting pot" that is common in the Isles. This is most especially evident in the stark division between French Charbagnians, who are predominantly Catholic and conservative, and German Charbagnians, who are Protestant and liberal. These divisions have caused bouts of ethnic, cultural, and sectarian strife throughout Charbagnian history, but was brought to its height in 2018 when the German-dominated Federation used Chemical Weapons in an effort to crack down on pro-Francophone movements across the nation, prompting the ARRF's intervention.
The same is also true of the present Republic, which has spent an inordinate effort on trying to prevent the now German minority from counter-revolting against the French-dominated government.