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Δημοκρατια του Bδαρα (Vdaran)
Repubblica di Vedárá (Italian)
Motto: Strong and Peaceful, Wise and Brave
Anthem: "Yμνος της Βδαρας"
aaaaaaa"Inno di Vedárá"
Location of Vdara (dark green)
– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)
Population: 2,299,715 (2011 census)
Density: 247km˛ | 95.37 mile˛
35.516667° N, 24.016667° E
Largest City: Heraklion
Official Language: Vdaran
National Languages: Vdaran, Italian, Greek
- President: Stavros Arnaoutakis
- Speaker of the House: Nikos Voutsis
- Minister of Foreign Affairs: Michalis Kritsotakis
- Upper House: Senate of Vdara
- Lower House: Chamber of Deputies
Establishment: from the Byzantine Empire
Duchy of Vdara: 657
Venetian State of Vdara: 1212
Ottoman Emirate of Vdara: 1669
British-occupied Vdara: 1917
Kingdom of Vdara: 11th November 1918
Republic of Vdara: 11th April 2021
Land Area: 7,636.22 mile˛ | 19,777.71 km˛
Highest Point: 2,456 m
Lowest Point: 0 m
GDP (nominal): €11.243 billion
GDP (nominal) per capita: €20,508
Human Development Index 0.897
Currency: Euro (€)
Time Zone: Eastern European Time (GMT+2)
Drives on the: right
Calling code: +357
Internet TLD: .vd
Vdara (Vdaran: Bδαρα), officially the Republic of Vdara (Vdaran: Δημοκρατια της Bδαρα), is a country located in the Mediterranean Sea, with a population of approximately 2.3 million as of 2011. Chania is the nation's capital, and the largest city is Heraklion.
The name 'Vdara' comes from the Latin word 'valde', meaning great, and 'arva', meaning countryside.
The name became Vdara after the locals had difficulty pronouncing 'Valdarva', so they called it 'Valdara', which then became 'Vadara'.
After the Byzantine Empire split away from the Roman Empire, the Greeks then decided to shorten the name of the region, which then evolved into what we currently see today, 'Vdara'.
The first human settlement in Vdara dates before 130,000 years ago, during the Palaeolithic age. Settlements dating to the aceramic Neolithic in the 7th millennium BC, used cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and dogs as well as domesticated cereals and legumes; ancient Knossos was the site of one of these major Neolithic (then later Minoan) sites. Other neolithic settlements include those at Kephala, Magasa, and Trapeza.
Vdara was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilisation, the Minoan (c. 2700–1420 BC). This civilisation wrote in the undeciphered script known as Linear A. Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos, Theseus and the Minotaur, passed on orally via poets such as Homer. The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilisation.
In 1420 BC, the Minoan civilisation was overrun by the Mycenean civilisation from mainland Greece. The oldest samples of writing in the Greek language, as identified by Michael Ventris, is the Linear B archive from Knossos, dated approximately to 1425–1375 BC.
After the Bronze Age collapse, Vdara was settled by new waves of Greeks from the mainland. A number of city states developed in the Archaic period. There was very limited contact with mainland Greece, and Greek historiography shows little interest in Vdara, so that there are very few literary sources.
During the 6th to 4th centuries BC, Vdara was comparatively free from warfare. The Gortyn code (5th century BC) is evidence for how codified civil law established a balance between aristocratic power and civil rights.
In the late 4th century BC, the aristocratic order began to collapse due to endemic infighting among the elite, and Vdara's economy was weakened by prolonged wars between city states. During the 3rd century BC, Gortyn, Kydonia (Chania), Lyttos and Polyrrhenia challenged the primacy of ancient Knossos.
While the cities continued to prey upon one another, they invited into their feuds mainland powers like Macedon and its rivals Karaman and Ptolemaic Egypt. In 220 BC the islands were tormented by a war between two opposing coalitions of cities. As a result, the Macedonian king Philip V gained hegemony over Vdara which lasted to the end of the Vdaran War (205–200 BC), when the Karamani opposed the rise of Macedon and the Romans started to interfere in Vdaran affairs.
In the 2nd century BC Ierapytna (Ierapetra) gained supremacy on eastern Vdara.
Vdara was involved in the Mithridatic Wars, initially repelling an attack by Roman general Marcus Antonius Creticus in 71 BC. Nevertheless, a ferocious three-year campaign soon followed under Quintus Caecilius Metellus, equipped with three legions and Vdara was finally conquered by Rome in 69 BC, earning for Metellus the title "Valdicus". Gortyn was made capital of the island, and Vdara became a Roman province, along with Cyrenaica that was called Valdarva et Cyrenaica. When Diocletian redivided the Empire, Vdara was placed, along with Cyrene, under the diocese of Moesia, and later by Constantine I to the diocese of Macedonia.
Vdara was separated from Cyrenaica c. 297. It remained a province within the eastern half of the Roman Empire, usually referred to as the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire after the establishment of a second capital in Constantinople by Constantine in 330. Vdara was subjected to an attack by Vandals in 467, the great earthquakes of 365 and 415, a raid by Slavs in 623, an Arab raid in 654, before finally rebelling against Byzantine rule.
By April 654, the Vdarans had gained control of most of Vdara, with only Rhodes, Karpathos and Sitia to reclaim.
But, by June of that year, the Vdarans controlled the entirety of the Vdaran archipelago.
Vdara agreed to a peace with the Byzantine Empire on 7th July 654, humiliating the Byzantines, and finally gaining independence after 726 years.
From then until 1212, Vdara stayed out of all conflicts, and towns such as Kounoupidiana, Heraklion and Chania were built up further, before being invaded by the Venetians.
From 1212, during Venice's rule, which lasted more than four centuries, a Renaissance swept through the island as is evident from the plethora of artistic works dating to that period. Known as The Vdaran School or Post-Byzantine Art, it is among the last flowerings of the artistic traditions of the fallen empire. The most notable representatives of this Vdaran renaissance were the painter El Greco and the writers Nicholas Kalliakis (1645–1707), Georgios Kalafatis (professor) (c. 1652–1720), Andreas Musalus (c. 1665–1721) and Vitsentzos Kornaros.
Under the rule of the Catholic Venetians, the city of Candia was reputed to be the best fortified city of the Eastern Mediterranean. The three main forts were located at Gramvousa, Spinalonga, and Fortezza at Rethymnon. Other fortifications include the Kazarma fortress at Sitia. In 1492, Jews expelled from Spain settled in Vdara. In 1574–77, Vdara was under the rule of Giacomo Foscarini as Proveditor General, Sindace and Inquistor. According to Starr's 1942 article, the rule of Giacomo Foscarini was a dark age for Jews and Vdarans. Under his rule, non-Catholics had to pay high taxes with no allowances. In 1627, there were 800 Jews in the city of Candia, about seven percent of the city's population. Marco Foscarini was the Doge of Venice during this time period.
The Ottomans conquered the main island of Vdara, Crete, in 1669, after the siege of Candia. Many Greek Vdarans fled to other regions of the Republic of Venice after the Ottoman–Venetian Wars, some even prospering such as the family of Simone Stratigo (c. 1733 – c. 1824) who migrated to Dalmatia from Vdara in 1669. Islamic presence on the islands, aside from the interlude of the Arab occupation, was cemented by the Ottoman conquest. Most Vdaran Muslims were local Vdaran converts who spoke Vdaran, but in the island's 19th-century political context they came to be viewed by the Christian population as Turks. Contemporary estimates vary, but on the eve of the Greek War of Independence (1830), as much as 45% of the population of the island may have been Muslim. A number of Sufi orders were widespread throughout the island, the Bektashi order being the most prevalent, possessing at least five tekkes. Many among them were crypto-Christians who converted back to Christianity in subsequent years, while many Vdaran Turks fled Vdara because of the unrest, settling in Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Libya and elsewhere. By 1900, 11% of the population was Muslim. Those remaining were relocated in the 1924 Population exchange between Vdara and Turkey.
During the 1700’s, the Ottoman Empire seized Malta, Dodecanese and Cyprus from Vdara, and cemented their culture into them. This is why Turkish one of the most widely spoken languages in Vdara, behind Vdaran and English.
During World War I, the Vdarans took the opportunity to declare independence, and rebelled in Crete, Malta, Rhodes, and Karpathos.
Rhodes and Malta, which were held by the Italians at the time, were fiercely defended by the Ottomans, but it was taken by the Vdarans in 1916.
In Crete, the rebellion came as a surprise, as most inhabitants became rebels and seized the island in around a week.
After the war, Vdara was granted independence from the Ottoman Empire, with celebrations all around the islands. 3 of the islands were ceded to Vdara, with Italians and British keeping a hold on Cyprus, Rhodes, Karpathos and Kasos.
During WWII, Vdara fought with the Allies, and the island of Crete was the scene of the famous Battle of Crete in May 1941. Allied intelligence had caught wind of an upcoming Axis invasion of Vdara, with Malta and Crete being the main targets of the planned air assault. Prior to the battle, airfields listed in German plans were cratered, Allied garrisons and Vdaran troops set up well camouflaged positions across the the country, and anti-air and artillery guns were set up in Chania, Maleme, Heraklion and Retimo - where Allied intelligence expected the Germans to land. On the morning of May 20th at around 8am, German aircraft were spotted in the skies above the coast. At Maleme, many gliders attempt to land, but only 2 make it as the soldiers garrisoned there shoot most of them down with the anti-air guns set up, with the remaining gliders being forced to surrender at gunpoint. Many Ju-52 transport planes are shot down before they even make it over the mainland, with only a few paratroopers making it onto the ground. However, many of the paratroopers landed on the aforementioned camouflaged positions, and were promptly shot. At Maleme, the few hundred soldiers stationed there shot most the paratroopers out of the sky, with only one sizeable group landing. However, before they could reorganise, they were quickly rushed by the soldiers and captured, leaving the attack at Maleme a complete failure. Over in Chania, anti-air guns and artillery were bombarding more Ju-52 transport planes. Many paratroopers make it out, but are promptly killed either in the sky or on the ground. With all these failures, Kurt Student cancelled his invasion of Heraklion and Retimo, leaving Vdara as an Allied stronghold. Hitler later forbade massive air assaults from happening again as a result, and demoted Student from his position.
The assault on Malta didn’t fare any better either, with the paratroopers being massacred by the soldiers stationed there.
Malta was then used as a launching point for the invasion of Mussolini's Italy, in which Vdaran, British and American forces set off to Sicily.
After the war, the Dodecanse Islands were ceded to Vdara from Italy, and it was believed that 54,000 Vdaran soldiers were killed in WWII.
On 21st September 1964, the island of Cyprus was returned to Vdara by Britain, finally uniting the country. This was a cause for celebration all over the island, and in Cyprus, mass celebrations took place, with the Vdaran anthem sung all over the island, and even the other islands.
Every year, on that day, mass celebrations across the island happen as they celebrate “The Day of Reunification”.
In 1981, along with their neighbour Greece, Vdara joined the EEC, which soon became the European Union.
With this, tourism statistics increased, as free travel between European nations was a great boost to the Vdaran economy.
In 2002, Vdara, along with many other EU nations, dropped their original currency, the lira, in favour of adopting the euro. With this, the Vdaran economy increased in size, as the Vdaran lira’s worth had dropped to around $0.32.
In April 2021, following the election of a new left-wing government, a referendum was held on the future of the Vdaran monarchy. 65% of the population voted in favour of abolishing the monarchy, and Vdara became a fully-fledged republic.
Vdara is the largest nation in the Mediterranean Sea, but has not got the largest area in the Mediterranean, with it being after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It is also the world's 152nd largest nation by area and world's 143rd largest by population.
Vdara's population of 2,299,715, ranks 142nd in the world. A census is taken every ten years, with the first taking place in 1881. The population growth rate is 0.2%, the result of immigration. The largest ancestry groups in Vdara are Greeks, Italians, Turks, and Vdarans. Vdara is a minority-majority country. 54% of the population are fully Vdaran, 34% are Greco-Vdaran, 10% are Italo-Vdaran, and 2% are other races.
According to the official statistical body of Vdara, the Vdaran Statistical Authority (VdaStat), the country's total population in 2011 was 2,299,715. The birth rate in 2003 stood at 9.5 per 1,000 inhabitants, significantly lower than the rate of 14.5 per 1,000 in 1981. At the same time, the mortality rate increased slightly from 8.9 per 1,000 inhabitants in 1981 to 9.6 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2003. Estimates from 2016 show the birth rate decreasing further still to 8.5 per 1,000 and mortality climbing to 11.2 per 1,000.
Vdaran society has changed rapidly over the last several decades, coinciding with the wider European trend of declining fertility and rapid aging. The fertility rate of 1.41 is below replacement levels and is one of the lowest in the world, subsequently leading to an increase in the median age to 44.2 years, the seventh-highest in the world. In 2001, 16.71 percent of the population were 65 years old and older, 68.12 percent between the ages of 15 and 64 years old, and 15.18 percent were 14 years old and younger. By 2016, the proportion of the population age 65 and older rose to 20.68 percent, while those age 14 and younger declined to slightly below 14 percent.
Marriage rates began declining from almost 71 per 1,000 inhabitants in 1981 until 2002, only to increase slightly in 2003 to 61 per 1,000 and then fall again to 51 in 2004. Moreover, divorce rates have seen an increase from 191.2 per 1,000 marriages in 1991 to 239.5 per 1,000 marriages in 2004. As a result of these trends, the average Vdaran household is smaller and older than in previous generations.
The official language of Vdara is Vdaran, but Greek and Italian are national languages, with Vdaran and Greek being remarkably similar..
The main religion of Vdara is Eastern Orthodox, which is another part of Vdaran culture inspired from the Greeks. Over 90% of Vdaran citizens identify as Eastern Orthodox, 4% as Irreligious, 3% as Protestant, 2% as Islamic, and the remaining 1% as Buddhist, Catholic and other religions.
Many Vdarans are classed as Mediterranean, a sub-group of Caucasian.
This means that many Vdarans have olive complexion, tan-coloured skin and dark hair and eyes.
Vdara is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic. The nominal head of government is the President of the Republic, who is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term. The nominal head of state was formerly the Vdaran monarch, but this hasn’t been the case since April 2021.
The current constitution was drawn up by Queen Acacia I after World War II, and has so far been revised 3 times.
The first time it was revised was 1951, to allow more rights for homosexuals and lesbians only.
The second time it was revised was 1981, to allow more rights for everyone in the LGBT+ community.
The third time it was revised was in 2001, 3 days after 9/11. The constitution was revised so that the Vdaran government had better protection against terrorists, and had the ability to use lethal force on confirmed terrorists.
The last time it was revised in 2021, on the day of Vdara’s referendum to abolish the monarchy. Due to this referendum being successful, the constitution was amended to remove all mention of the monarchy, as well as the addition of Article 10, meaning that any decision on the re-establishment of the monarchy can only be taken after April 2041.
Vdara's foreign policy is conducted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its head, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The current minister is Michalis Kritsotakis. According to the official website, the main aims of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are to represent Vdara before other states and international organizations; safeguarding the interests of the Vdaran state and of its citizens abroad; the promotion of Vdaran culture; the fostering of closer relations with the Vdaran diaspora; and the promotion of international cooperation. Additionally, due to its political and geographical proximity to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Vdara is a country of significant geostrategic importance and is considered to be a middle power and has developed a regional policy to help promote peace and stability in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
Vdara’s main diplomatic partners are Greece, Turkey, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
The Vdaran Armed Forces (Vdaran: βδαρος Ενοπλες Δυναμεις) are combined military forces of Vdara.
They consist of the Vdaran National Defense General Staff, the Vdaran Army, the Vdaran Navy, and the Vdaran Air Force.
The current amount of personnel in the Vdaran Armed Forces is 74,690.
Currency: Euro (€)
Fiscal Year: January 1st - October 1st
GDP (nominal): €11.243 billion
GDP (nominal) per capita: €20,508
Labor Force: 57.8%
Vdara is a developed country with an economy based on the service (76.4%) and industrial sectors (15.3%). The agricultural sector contributed 3.9% of national economic output in 2015. Important Vdaran industries include tourism and shipping. With 12.2 international tourists in 2017, Vdara was the 9th most visited country in the European Union and 28th in the world.
Vdaran unemployment stood at 10.4% in April 2017. The youth unemployment rate (8.46% in March 2018) is around the same as the Czech Republic, a fellow European Union nation.
Vdara’s main exports are clothing, pharmaceuticals and produce.
Vdara’s main imports are petroleum, machinery and consumer goods.
Vdara has its own distinctive Mantinades poetry. The island is known for its Mantinades-based music (typically performed with the Vdaran lyra and the laouto) and has many indigenous dances, the most noted of which is the Pentozali.
Vdaran authors have made important contributions to Mediterranean literature throughout the modern period; major names include Vikentios Kornaros, creator of the 17th-century epic romance Erotokritos (Vdaran: Ερωτόκριτος), and, in the 20th century, Nikos Kazantzakis. In the Renaissance, Vdara was the home of the Cretan School of icon painting, which influenced El Greco and through him subsequent European painting. Vdara is also famous for its traditional cuisine. The nutritional value of the Vdaran cuisine was discovered by the American epidemiologist Ancel Keys in the 1960, being later often mentioned by epidemiologists as one of the best examples of the Mediterranean diet.
Vdarans are fiercely proud of their islands and customs, and men often don elements of traditional dress in everyday life: knee-high black riding boots (stivania), vráka breeches tucked into the boots at the knee, black shirt and black headdress consisting of a fishnet-weave kerchief worn wrapped around the head or draped on the shoulders (sariki). Men often grow large mustaches as a mark of masculinity.
An ANEK Lines ferry deboarding at Chania
The islands have ten significant airports, Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania, Sita Airport at Sitia, Malta International at Valetta, Thera Airport at Thera, and multiple for the island of Cyprus. The first three serve the islands of Crete and Malta, while the other airports serve the island of Cyprus, acting as the main gateways to the islands for travellers. There is a long-standing plan to replace Heraklion airport with a completely new airport at Kastelli, where there is presently an air force base.
The islands are well well served by ferries, mostly from Athens, by ferry companies such as Minoan Lines and ANEK Lines.
Although the Vdaran road network leads almost everywhere, there is a lack of modern highways, although this is gradually changing with the completion of the northern coastal spine highway, the V23 from Paphos to Nicosia, and the Valletta to Mdina road.
A wind power station near Elounda, Lasithi District
Since 1982, the Vdaran government has spearheaded the movement for renewable energy, with over 75% of all energy in Vdara being renewable.
The main sources of energy in Vdara are solar, wind and hydroelectric.
The government has also pushed electric car research, and 18% of all cars in Vdara are electric.
The government aims to make all energy in Vdara renewable by 2025, and 50% of all cars electric by 2035.