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|United Meralan Socialist States|
Estados Unidos Socialistas Meralenses (Castrian)
Anthem: Himno Nacional Meralense
and largest city
|Recognized Regional Languages||Various|
|Government||Federal One-Party Socialist Republic|
|Jarlato Abdalá Meldon|
|Verónica Rueda Marcos|
|Ariel Vergara Lang|
|Lucas Aniés Jaca|
|Chamber of States|
|Independence from Verdesa|
|8 December 1786|
|28 January 1804|
|4 November 1824|
|5 February 1857|
|28 February 1916|
|4,769,248 km2 (1,841,417 sq mi)|
• 2020 estimate
|30.29/km2 (78.5/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
|Gini (2016)|| 21.1|
|HDI (2018)|| 0.847|
|Drives on the||right|
Merala, officially the United Meralan Socialist States (Castrian: Estados Unidos Socialistas Meralenses; EUSM) is a country in the southern portion of Antigonia, It is borded to the north by Temischa; to the south and west by the Cirenian Ocean; and to the east by the Gulf of Merala. Merala covers 4,769,248 square kilometers (1,841,416.95 sq mi) and has approximately 145 million inhabitants, making it one of the world’s largest countries by area and population, and the most populous Castrian-speaking nation. It is a federation comprising 42 states and Anochtepec, its capital city and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Yanga, Taovayzes, Caracapa, Tequesta, Cosoy, Atepe, and Monterayón.
Pre-Contact Merala traces its origins to 8,000 BCE and is identifies as one of the cradles of civilization; it was home to many advanced Notogonian civilizations, most well-known among them the Winic and the Totlecs. In 1517, the Verdesan Empire conquered and colonized their territories, which collectively became known as New Verdesa. The Catholic Church played an important role as millions of indigenous inhabitants converted. These populations were heavily exploited to mine rich deposits of precious metals, which became a major source of wealth for the Verdesans. Merala became an independent nation state with Acronian support after the successful Meralan War of Independence against Verdesa in 1804.
The nascent country established itself as a presidential federal republic, quickly forming trade relationships with major Elysian powers and it also signed the first equal treaties with Serican countries, with the Meralan Peso becoming one of the first global currencies. Despite this, Vazandian disputes over property led to the Princes’ War in which Vazandian nobles attempted to establish a puppet state using mercenaries, but were expelled thanks to a combined effort by Merala, Acronia and Temischa. The following years were marked by the rise of General Policarpo Díez, who became president in 1868 and consolidated power for himself and the Progressive Party, establishing a dictatorship characterized by rapid industrialization, modernization, political repression, corruption and widening economic and social inequality leading to the Meralan Revolution and the establishment of a socialist state under the control of the Front of National Liberation in 1920. Merala played a major supporting role in the Second Great War, and the Post-War era saw the creation of an information network designed to assist economic planning, and a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Verico Missile Crisis that also led to a protests.
Merala is a developed country, and has high human development, boasting the second-largest economy in Antigonia. Its large economy and population, global cultural influence, and technological innovations make Merala a regional and emerging power. It ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including health care and education, with government policies having largely eradicated hunger and poverty, with Merala boasting among the lowest malnutrition rates in the world as a result. However, Meralan authorities have been criticized by political dissidents and human rights activists for widespread human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, and mass surveillance of their citizens.
Merala ranks first in Antigonia and highly in the world for number of World Heritage Sites. Merala is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking highly in the world for its natural biodiversity. Merala receives a significant number of tourists every year, in 2019, it was the most-visited country in Antigonia and one of the most-visited in the world with 45 million international arrivals. Merala is a founding member of the Congress of Nations, the Vastava Pact, the Council of Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Community of Petroleum Producing Countries.
The term Merala originated from a typo made by Acronian explorer Jean-Marie de Blanquefort, who was hired by the Verdesan crown to explore and settle territories in its name. Whilst he originally named the land “Nueva Verdesa” (New Verdesa), a name that was adopted in a royal decree on September 16 1517, the origins of the term Merala surfaced from a typo he made on a letter to the court notifying them of his discoveries:
"La tierra es verde y fértil, cubierta de preciosas maderas y llenas de extraordinarias bestias. Los nativos son gente dócil y honesta, bien organizados. Es posible amaestrar estas nuevas tierras que he nombrado en honor a su reino con su ayuda, sin tener que caer en los excesos de previas conquistas. Es por la gracia de Dios que se nos ha bendecidos con estas tierras del mer [mar] allá."
"The land is green and fertile, covered of precious woods and full of extraordinary beasts. The natives are docile and honest people, very organized. It is possible to conquer these new lands I have named in honor of your kingdom with their help, without having to fall into the excesses of previous conquests. It is by the grace of God that we have been blessed with these lands from the mer [sea] beyond."
This typo quickly became the subject of ridicule in the court and the general public, with the lands often being referred as Mer Allá rather than Nueva Verdesa. The term Merala properly appeared for the first time in a graffiti found in the port of Laguna del Borde a Verdesan city from which various expeditions originated:
"Se buscan marineros y soldados estúpidos para luchar contra enemigos notorios por comer corazones en las tierras de Merala"
"Stupid sailors and solders are wanted to fight against enemies notorious for eating hearts in the lands of Merala"
The name Merala became the colloquial name of New Verdesa. The official name of the country has changed as the form of government has changed. The declaration of independence signed on 8 December 1786 by the deputies of the Congress of Jumanso called the territory Antigonia Austral (Southern Antigonia); the 1804 Treaty of Odèneville also used Antigonia Austral. Both pre-revolutionary constitutions (1808, 1857) used the name Estados Unidos Meralenses, which have been translated as "United Meralan States". The 1916 Constitutional Convention, which created the current constitution, changed the named to Estados Unidos Socialistas Meralenses, United Meralan Socialist States in Cambrian.
Conquest of the Ancients
Viceroyalty of New Verdesa
War of Independence (1786–1804)
Early Republic (1804–1855)
Princes’ War (1855–1868)
Meralan Revolution (1910–1920)
Remnants War and the Second Great War (1926-1947)
Post-War Boom and Crisis (1947-1970)
Economismo and Contemporary Merala (1994-Present)
Meraka is located in the southern portion of Antigonia. Almost all of Merala lies within the Antigonian Plate, with the archipelago of Chichumel belonging to the Verico Plate. Merala also borders the Tiburones Plate to its southwest, and the Cirenian Plate as well the Barbosa Plate to its northwest.
Merala's total land area is 4,769,248 km2 (1,841,416.95 sq mi), making it the largest country in Antigonia by total area. It has coastlines on the Cirenian Ocean and the Gulf of Damiya, as well as the Gulf of Merala and the Verico Sea, the latter two forming part of the Fale Ocean. Within these seas, Merala possess a sizeable amount of island territory, and it covers an impressive amount of land from its farthest points.
On its northeast, Merala shares a border with Temischa. This border is defined by Lake Piapa, from which the Tomichi River flows from and delineate the Temischa-Merala border via a series of natural and artificial borders all the way to the Tomichi Delta. On its northwest, the border is defined by Lake Titsapa, from which the Timpanogos River flows into Lake Pahasu and from which the Awanga River flows into Gulf of Damiya.
Merala is crossed from north to south by two mountain ranges known as the Sierra Verde Oriental and the Sierra Verde Occidental both being extensions of the Asinwati Mountains from northern Antigonia. From east to west at the center, the country is crossed by the Sierra de Fuego, a volcanic belt, containing the Totlec Lakes. A fourth mountain range, the Sierra Verde del Sur, runs from Zuanga to Yoknal.
As such, the majority of the Merala central territories are located at high altitudes, and the highest elevations are found at the Sierra de Fuego: Iztactépetl (5,700 m or 18,701 ft), Mixtitépetl (5,462 m or 17,920 ft) and Sepayatépetl (5,286 m or 17,343 ft) and the Atictépetl (4,577 m or 15,016 ft). Three major urban agglomerations are located in the valleys between these four elevations: Nepintahihui, Anochtepec and Cuetlaxcoapan.
Government and politics
The United Meralan Socialist States are a decentralized federation whose government is representative, socialist and republican based on semi-presidential principles according to the 1916 Constitution. The constitution establishes four levels of government: the federal union, the state governments, the municipal government and the community government. A community is administered directly by its inhabitants via popular assemblies, and communities form federations in order to create a municipality, which is governed by a council composed of community delegates. States are treated as a federation of municipalities and are administered by a council composed of municipal delegates and have their own civil and judicial codes alongside their own supreme courts. Communities and municipalities with substantial indigenous populations are ruled by traditional and customary law. The Front of National Liberation is the country's sole legal party, which itself is decentralized into chapters correspondent to all four levels of government and governed by a Revolutionary Committee, composed of state delegates and represented by a Speaker, currently Alberto Barbosa.
The federal legislature is the bicameral People's Congress, composed of the Chamber of States and the Chamber of Deputies. Congress makes federal law, amends the constitution, elects the President and the members of the Council of Secretaries and the Federal Committee, appointing the First Secretary on the submission of the President, appoints the judges of the People's Supreme Court of Justice and the members of the Federal Electoral Commission, forms and disbands secretariats with the approval of the First Secretary, overrides presidential vetoes with a two-thirds majority vote, ratifies presidential declarations of war, impeaches the President, the First Secretary and the members of other bodies, defines the basic guidelines of domestic and foreign policies, creates and amends budgets and Six-Year Plans, ratifies international treaties and determines how to meet their obligations, holds nationwide referendums, defines and ratifies national and federal border changes, and determines basic measures for national security (including declarations of war and troop mobilization). The Federal Committee exercises most legislative powers with the approval of Congress when it is not in session and can call for extraordinary sessions between the three scheduled yearly sessions of Congress.
The Council of Secretaries is responsible for formulating and executing federal budgets, administering the institutions subordinated to the secretariats, implementing foreign policy, crime fighting, maintain defence and social security, working alongside the state governments to develop financial and credit policy, administer fuel and power supplies to the transport system, and developing welfare and social programs. In addition, it is also responsible for coordinating federal policy on science, technology, patents, use of airspace, prices, general economic policy, housing, environmental protection and military appointments. It also has the right to issue decrees and resolutions.
The President of the United Meralan Socialist States, currently Jarlato Abdalá Meldon, is the head of state, and commander in chief of the armed forces and has the power to propose and veto legislation, appoint the First Secretary (which has to be approved by the Federal Congress), fire the First Secretary if necessary, appoint and dismiss government secretaries and officials, declare states of emergency or martial law within the country, act as the nation's top representative abroad and sign international treaties, call for national referendums on matters of importance, award military ranks and honorary titles, grant and revoke citizenship if required, and overrule government decisions that violate the constitution or endangers the rights and freedoms of citizens. The Vice-President, currently Verónica Rueda Marcos, becomes Acting President if the President dies in office or is unable to be in office.
The First Secretary, currently Ariel Nuñez Lang, is the head of government and is in charge of the Council of Secretaries. The First Secretary manages the meetings of the Council of Secretaries, distributes responsibilities among secretariats, represents Merala abroad if needed, make decisions that do not require Council meetings, impose disciplinary measures on secretaries if required, firing secretaries if necessary, report Council activities to sessions of Congress and its committees and question Congress on the confidence in the Council. The First Deputy, currently Lucas Aniés Jaca, becomes Acting First Secretary if the First Secretary dies in office or is unable to be in office.
Members of the People's Congress, as well those of state legislatures, municipal and borough governments, serve non-renewable three-year terms with no possibility of re-election (the President and First Secretary for a six-year term with no possibility of re-election). The electoral system is pyramidal. Municipal delegates are directly elected and nominated (no political party or organization can nominate or campaign for a candidate) by citizens over 18 who have not committed a criminal offense and higher levels from the State Legislature up to the People's Congress are indirectly elected by delegates of the level immediately below. The results from these indirect elections are then approved by the population via vote.
The highest organ of the judicial branch of government is the People's Supreme Court of Justice, the national supreme court, which has eleven judges appointed by the People's Congress. The People's Supreme Court of Justice interprets laws and judges cases of federal competency. Other institutions of the judiciary are the Federal Electoral Tribunal, collegiate, unitary and district tribunals, and the Council of the Federal Judiciary.
The Meralan Constitution describes the country as a federation of socialist states, but the government has further rejected and defied further political classification. The Meralan interpretation of socialism can be traced back to the writings of Bejo Jea, a Meralan indigenous politician and founder of the Worker's Party who lived from 1806 to 1872 and was a contemporary of Mark Krauss. Jea's writings explored indigenous political practices and philosophies, which primarily revolved around communal property and direct democracy. He was also influenced by Krauss' works and theories, and was the one to translate and introduce them to Merala. These ideas culminated in his book, A Life's Reflection on Meralan Reality published in 1867, shortly before his death. Jea's work influenced many in Merala, particularly the Maxil Brothers, sons of an anti-Díez dissident, who further expanded Jea's ideas and complimented them with those of foreign socialists and anarchists. Their work was mostly published on the Revolución newspaper since the 1890s, and they also published translations of the works of Vesperian socialists, particularly those of Nikolai Moskvin.
The Maxil Brothers quickly rose to prominence during the Meralan Revolution, and where tasked alongside other surviving intellectuals to write the Meralan Constitution and develop an ideology for the recently-established Front of National Liberation, which they led until 1934. As such, the Meralan interpretation of socialism synthesizes various indigenous traditions with elements of libertarian socialism, anarchism, Kraussism and Moskvinism. Another key element of Meralan Socialism is the use of participatory democracy, by imposing strict term limits and rules on public servants, emphasizing on council rule rather than individual rule, and constantly referring to the people for major decisions, strategies, and conceptual visions. In accordance to these principles, the Front of National Liberation does not function as a traditional Vastava Pact political party, with government and party leadership remaining separate and the FNL being extremely decentralized and with no singular leader.
The foreign relations of Merala are directed by the President and managed through the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. The principles of foreign policy are constitutionally recognized and include: respect for international law and legal equality of states, their sovereignty and independence, trend to non-interventionism in the domestic affairs of other countries, peaceful resolution of conflicts, and promotion of collective security through active participation in international organizations. Since the 1920s, the Estala Doctrine has served as a crucial complement to these principles.
Merala is a founding member of several international organizations, most notably the Vastava Pact, the Council of Nations, the Organization of Western States, the Council of Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Council of Petroleum Producing Countries. Merala is a major contributor to OCN operations and administration. In addition, Merala is the only member of the Vastava Pact in Antigonia and the only VP member of the Global Trade Organization.
After the War of Independence, Merala quickly sought relationships with various countries around the world, becoming the first country to grant equal trade agreements to countries in Serica. Following the Meralan Civil War, Merala sought a policy of peaceful coexistence with Temischa, its northern neighbor, with it becoming one of Merala's largest trading partners and with many Meralans working in Temischa temporarily. After the Second Great War, Merala embarked itself in a decolonization policy, supporting various independence movements and guerilla fighters around the world. The country later changed this approach, after Meralan arms were used in various massacres in Calfuguey in the 1970s, leading Merala to focus instead on humanitarian and medical aid, with tens of thousands of Meralan medical and humanitarian personnel working abroad. The country is notorious for openly trading with non-socialist economies, primarily to export its consumer goods and petroleum products.
The People's Revolutionary Army is notorious for being under civilian control, a transformation brought about by civil war generals from the 1920s to 1940s, following the demise of the Federal Army after its complete defeat in the Meralan Civil War.
The PRA has three branches: the People's Revolutionary Army Ground Forces, People's Revolutionary Army Air Force, People's Revolutionary Army Naval Forces. The People's Revolutionary Army maintain significant infrastructure, including facilities for design, research, and testing of weapons, vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels, defense systems and electronics; military industry manufacturing centers for building such systems, and advanced naval dockyards that build heavy military vessels and advanced missile technologies.
Merala is known for being self-reliant in supplying its military by designing as well as manufacturing its own arms, missiles,aircraft, vehicles, heavy weaponry, electronics, armor, heavy military industrial equipment and heavy naval vessels, which it also offers for export. Since the 1990s, increasing importance has been placed on developing airborne surveillance platforms, unnamed aerial vehicles, digital war-fighting technologies, urban warfare equipment and rapid troop transport.
The United Meralan Socialist States have the capabilities to manufacture nuclear weapons, and reserves the right to develop these in a state of emergency, but primarily uses its nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. During the Verico Missile Crisis, Merala successfully refined weapons grade uranium, but has since used low-enriched uranium for its energy needs.
Historically, Merala supplied arms and military equipment and advisors to independence movements and guerrillas in the second half of the 20th Century, but it stopped this practice in the 1970s. Nevertheless, the PRA participates in VP military exercises when these are called.
Public security is enacted at the four levels of government, each of which has different prerogatives and responsibilities. Local and state police departments are primarily in charge of law enforcement are in charge of law enforcement, whereas the Federal Revolutionary Guard is in charge of specialized duties. All levels report to the Secretariat of Safety, which acts as Merala's chief intelligence agency and carries out secret police duties. The Secretary of Defence operates its own intelligence agency, the Main Intelligence Directorate (Directorio Principal de Inteligencia, DPI), which is the foreign military intelligence agency of the PRA Ground Forces General Staff of Merala.
While the government generally respects the human rights of its citizens, serious abuses of power have been reported in security operations involving dissidents. The Federal Human Rights Commission has had little impact in reversing this trend, as it is believed that this is a show organization with no real power or authority. By law, all defendants have the rights that assure them fair trials and humane treatment; however, the system is harsh on political dissidents.
In 2008, president Jaen proposed a major reform of the judicial system, which was approved by the People's Congress, which included oral trials, the presumption of innocence for defendants, the authority of local police to investigate crime—until then a prerogative of special police units—and several other changes intended to speed up trials.
The Meralan government has been accused of numerous human rights abuses including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and unfair trials. The International Human Rights Monitor has stated that the government "represses nearly all forms of political dissent" and that "Meralans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law".
In 2003, Vazandia accused the Meralan government of "continuing flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms". It has continued to call regularly for social and economic reform in Merala, along with the unconditional release of all political prisoners. Vazandia continues to accuse Merala of these violations, "so long as it continues to refuse to move toward democratization and greater respect for human rights". Merala considers the accusations slanderous, routinely attacking the International Human Rights Monitor for being a Vazandian-based organization and accusing Vazandia of funding and directing opposition movements.
Merala had the among the highest numbers of imprisoned journalists of most nations in 2008 according to various sources, including the Committee of Journalist Protection and the International Human Rights Monitor.
Meralan dissidents face arrest and imprisonment. In the 1990s, the International Human Rights Monitor reported that Merala's extensive prison system, the largest in Antigonia, consists of 19 federal prisons, 309 state prisons, and over 300 work camps. According to the International Human Rights Monitor, Merala's prison population is confined in "substandard and unhealthy conditions, where prisoners face physical and sexual abuse".
In July 2010, the Human Rights Commission of Merala, an organization run by overseas dissidents, said there were is a steady decline in the population of political prisoners. The head of the commission stated that long prison sentences were being replaced by harassment and intimidation. It is believed that an estimated 200,000 people had been imprisoned or deprived of their freedoms for political reasons since the end of the Meralan Civil War.
The United Meralan Socialist States are a federation of 42 free and sovereign socialist states, which form a union with its capital on Anochtepec.
Each state has its own constitution, judiciary and legislature composed of municipal delegates elected for a non-renewable three-year term.
Anochtepec became a federal entity with its own constitution and congress after the Revolution, formerly being an entity that belonged to the entire federation and had a limited autonomy as part of the Federal District.
The states are divided into municipalities, governed by a municipal council composed of directly-elected community delegates. Municipalities are further divided into Communities, the smallest administrative political entity in the country, governed by popular assemblies.
Merala maintains a state-controlled planned economy, whereby production and distribution of goods were centralized and directed by the government, managed through the Sistema de Administración Económica Automatizada. This means that resource allocation is managed by a interlinked computerized system composed of a five-tier network with computer centers in Anochtepec, Yanga, Caracapa, Atepe, Guamachil and Kaminaljuyú with various midlevel and local centers spread throughout the country. The economy is directed by six-year plans, carried out by the Secretaries of Planning, Finance, Economy, Environment, Energy and Development; which are reviewed and adjusted or modified every three years. Allocated resources and plan targets are denominated in physical goods and set by the government, although how these plan targets are met is left up to the producers. Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government and most of the labor force is employed by the state, although cooperatives and family-owned businesses exist. Foreign companies are also allowed to operate in the country, but they must comply with Meralan labor laws and pay the government directly, which in turn pays the employees.
Colonial Merala primarily relied on mining (particularly silver), farming, ranching and trading, as many trading routes to Serica were established in Merala. After independence, agriculture and ranching became far more predominant as powerful families created massive estates in south and central Merala and the government gave immigrants land in the north. The discovery of gold in Damiya led to a massive wave of immigration in Northwestern Merala and a surge in mining across the country. During the Tasoyato, factories and railways were built en masse, and an export-oriented economy developed, fueled by the discovery of oil fields in Damiya, Taisha and the Gulf of Merala. Following the Civil War and the Remnants War, the post-revolutionary governments were tasked with repairing and reconstructing damaged infrastructure throughout the country, after this, the country prioritized the development of consumer goods and the creation of strong logistic networks to ensure availability country-wide. The development of SAEA spurred the government to foster a strong electronics sector.
A number of basic services are state-funded, such as education and health care. Every Meralan household has a ration book entitling it to a monthly supply of food and other staples, which are provided at nominal cost. There is virtually no homelessness in Merala, thanks to almost 60 years of innovation in urban planning and construction under Marcos Palla, with 95% of Meralans owning their own homes, paying no property taxes or mortgage interest.
Mining in Merala is one of the economic activities with most tradition, practised since pre-contact, and is regonized in history as a factor in the advancement and economic development in the country. Mining is primarily concentrated in North and Northcentral Merala, with it being the largest sector in Vientoarenas.
Merala is the world's largest producer of silver, and one of the world's largest producers of gold. The country is also a major producer of bismuth, boron, copper, iron, lead, lithium, nickel, rare earth metals, and uranium.
Agriculture employs a large amount of the population, due to the structure of ejidos. Whilst agricultural production is primarily geared towards domestic consumption, the country is the largest exporter of agave, avocados, chili peppers, chocolate, papaya, tomatoes, and vanilla in the world, as these crops originated in Merala. The country currently disputes the title of largest maize exporter with Elesar, and is also a top exporter of beer, coffee, cotton, limes, grapes, oranges and pineapples.
The country is known for developing and promoting new agricultural technologies and techniques, such as organopónicos, a system of urban agriculture making use of organic gardens. Merala also invest heavily in vertical farming, sustainable agriculture and free range animal husbandry. Despite these practices, Merala also invests in the production of GMOs, such as Sukin Rice which was developed in collaboration with Saegya. The government actively promotes vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and funds the development of meat analogue products in order to reduce the carbon footprint produced by the meat industry.
Merala has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced production facilities of motor vehicles, aircraft, ships, consumer electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Since the 1940s, the government sought the developed of high-quality consumer goods, which are valuable in foreign markets. As a result, the industrial sector makes up a substantial part of the economy.
The country is among the largest automobile producers in the world as of 2020 and is home to Mermotores, one of the world's largest automobile manufacturers. The Meralan automobile industry faces competition from Vazandia in the development of electric vehicles, and the 2018 Six-Year Plan identified this sector as a target for increasing exports.
Tourism initially developed in the 1940s, under the suggestion of Marcos Palla, who initially built holiday residences and resort towns for government officials. Palla designed hotels and more resort towns, promoting their construction for Six-Year Plans. Since then, the government worked on making tourism attractive to foreigners, making Merala among the most visited countries in the world and the most visited in the Western Hemisphere. The vast majority of tourists come from Temischa, followed by Stasnov and Gorbatov and other Elysian and Serican countries.
The coastlines of Merala harbor many stretches of beaches that are frequented by sunbathers and other visitors. According to national law, the entirety of the coastlines are "common ownership of the Meralan people", effectively making them public. In Southeastern Merala, the state of Nachabal hosts one of the most popular beach destinations, the resort town of Chocún, especially among university students during breaks. This states also possesses the scenic archipelago of Chichumel. Further south, the state of Yoknal is home to the Mayab Peninsula, including the beach town of Xaman Nojol and various ancient archeological sites and ecological parks. The government built a special passenger a cargo railway line throughout the region, the Winic Train, in order to facilitate tourism and cargo transportation in the region.
Southwestern Merala is home to the popular resort city of Tambuco, the largest city in the state of Iztapachocan, which was the first holiday destination Palla worked in. This led to the city to be dominated by multi-story hotels and for the beaches to be crowded during breaks. Another popular destination is the city of Xihutla, in the state of Jalatlaco, which is often visited on the weekends by citizens of Atepe.
The coasts of Northwestern Merala hosts the town of Yenecamu in the state of Damiya , which is renowned for its competitive marlin fishing, and the state of Holata in Northweastern Merala is renowned for its beaches and recreational venues.
The Meralan tourism history is heavily dependent on Temischan tourists, however recent Six-Year Plans have sought to attract more Elysian and Serican tourists in order to diversify Merala's foreign currency reserves, after the 1997 Temischan Economic Crisis heavily devalued Meralan reserves which were mostly in Deniers. The government is currently promoting sustainable tourism, and seeking to open more locations for geotourism and ecotourism. It is also investing in stronger tourism infrastructure, in order to minimize damages and losses during hurricane season.
Science and technology
Since Ancient Times, Merala has been home to various scientific and technological advancements, with the Totlecs and other peoples building elaborate palaces, pyramids and to plan and construct cities such as Anochtepec. The Ancient Winic where known for their astronomical discoveries and observatories, as well their developments in mathematics. The Kuamecs developed the compass, allowing them to become skilled navigators and explorers.
In 1868, Facundo J. Escarzaga established his research laboratory, which led to the development of the first dynamo capable of producing power on a commercial scale, the first long-lasting light bulb, and the radio. In 1908, Secretary of War Mario Montoya patented the world's first gas-operated semi-automatic rifle, the Montoya Rifle. The rifle was used by Meralan forces in the Meralan Civil War, making Merala the first nation to use a semi-automatic rifle in battle, in 1910.
The establishment of a socialist state in the 1920s led to the creation of massive research and development organizations and networks. These spawned further innovations, primarily in telecommunications, such as television and color television, and the handheld radio transceiver which became widespread in the Second Great War. Meralan scientists where instrumental in the development of Interkosmos, mostly focusing on transmissions from Earth to space, with the country's Lumpoc Air Force Base becoming a launch site for the Buran and space station missions.
The invention of the transistor in the 1950s, a key active component in practically all modern electronics, led to many technological developments and a significant expansion of the Meralan technology industry. This, in turn, led to the establishment of many new universities and technology laboratories throughout the country. Advancements by microprocessor manufacturer Merprocesadores and microprocessor designer Procemer, and in software and hardware by Mersistemas and Mergramas, created and popularized the personal computer. The Sistema de Administración Económica Automatizada was developed in the 1960s to meet Secretary of Planning requirements, and became the first on a series of networks which evolved into the global computer network.
The roadway network in Merala is extensive and all areas in the country are covered by it. The roadway network in Merala has an extent of 3,363,001 km (2,089,672 mi) the was majority of which are paved. Of these, 3,322,375 km (2,064,428 mi) are roads and 40,626 km (25,245 mi) are expressways.
Starting in the late nineteenth century, Merala was one of the first countries to promote railway development, and the network covers 306,625 km ( 190,528 mi). Meralan cities are known for their extensive public transport and are serviced primarily by buses and streetcars, although monorails and urban gondolas exist in other cities and major cities have metros. The high-speed trains that connect major cities are known for their safety and punctuality.
Merala has 3,844 airports, with most of these paved, but with a substantial amount being unpaved. Anochtepec International Airport is among the busiest in the Western Hemisphere, transporting 50 million passengers a year.
Telecommunications in Merala are provided by Telmer (Teléfonos de Merala), established in 1925. Because of Meralan orography, providing a landline telephone service at remote mountainous areas is expensive, and the penetration of line-phones in Central and Southern is low compared to Northern Merala, however, 90% of Meralans over the age of 14 own a mobile phone. Mobile telephony has the advantage of reaching all areas at a lower cost, and the total number of mobile lines is almost two times that of landlines, with an estimation of 85 million lines. Telecommunications are managed by the Secretariat of Communications, through the Federal Telecommunications Commission (Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones).
The Meralan satellite system is domestic and operates 500 earth stations. There is also extensive microwave radio relay network and considerable use of fiber-optic and coaxial cable. Meralan satellites are operated by Satélites Meralenses (Satmer). It controls broadcast, telephone and telecommunication services in Merala. Satmer provides high-speed connectivity to service providers and Digital Broadcast Services and it maintains its own satellite fleet with most of the fleet being designed and built in Merala.
Telesistema Meralense is the country's state television broadcaster, managed by the Secretariats of Communications, Education and Culture and content for it is produced by Grupo Telemedios a state-owned consortium that also produces radio and net content and is the country's sole publisher and editorial.
Petromer, the public company in charge of exploration, extraction, transportation and marketing of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the refining and distribution of petroleum products and petrochemicals. Merala is among the largest oil producers in the world, with oil accounting for a substantial amount of exports.
Several large solar thermal power stations have been built in the country. The largest of these solar thermal power stations is the SGES group of plants in the Hamakhaave Desert with a total generating capacity of 354 MW, making the system the largest solar plant of any kind in the world. As of 2015, the largest photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Antigonia is Madre Qsi, a 579 megawatt photovoltaic power station near Xas, Damiya. Tekenasonoma in Northern Damiya is the largest complex of geothermal energy production in the world.
Merala also operates 20 nuclear power plants, all of them being boiling water reactors, with a net capacity of 32.8 gigawatts (GW). In 2020, they produced a total of 95.64 terawatt-hours of electricity.
Water supply and sanitation
Because of the arid and semiarid nature of a vast portion of Merala's territory, particularly of Northern Merala, irrigation and water engineering are considered vital to the country's development. Large scale projects to desalinate seawater, direct water from rivers and reservoirs where available, make optimal use of groundwater, and reclaim flood overflow and sewage have been undertaken.
Whilst Merala's water demand does not yet outstrips available conventional water resources, the government has invested heavily in sourcing water from unconventional resources, including reclaimed water and desalination. Droughts have caused the government to promote large-scale seawater desalination.
Ethnicity and race
Castrian is the de facto national language spoken by the vast majority of the population, making Merala the world's most populous Castrophone country. Meralan Castrian refers to the varieties of the language spoken in the country, which differ from one region to another in sound, structure, and vocabulary. In general, Meralan Castrian does not make any phonetic distinction among the letters s and z, as well as 'c when preceding the vowels e and i, as opposed to Verdesan Castrian. The letters b and v' have the same pronunciation as well. Furthermore, the usage of vos, the second person singular pronoun, found in several New Worlds varieties, is replaced by tú; whereas vosotros, the second person plural pronoun, fell out of use and was effectively replaced by ustedes. In written form, the Verdesan Academy serves as the primary guideline for spelling, except for words of Native origin that retain their original phonology such as cenzontle instead of sinzontle. Words of foreign origin also maintain their original spelling such as whisky and film, as opposed to güisqui and filme as the Verdesan Academy suggests. The letter x is distinctly used in Meralan Castrian, which may be pronounced as [ks] (as in oxígeno or taxi), as [ʃ] particularly in Native words (e.g. mixiote, Xola and uxmal) and as the voiceless velar fricative [x] (such as Texas and Oaxaca).
The 20 largest cities in Merala as of the 2010 census. Amixtepec, Teskatepec and Metstlitepec are part of the Anochtepec Metropolitan area; Northwestern Merala is home to the large agglomerations of Yanga, Cosoy, Jumanso and Canales; whilst Northeastern Merala has Caracapa, Yanaguana and Taovayzes.
Largest cities or towns in Merala
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Religious influence had been strong in pre-1922 Merala. The Tacitarian Church enjoyed a privileged status as the church of the people and took part in carrying out official state functions. The 1916 Constitution contained secularizing sections that heavily restricted the power and the influence of the Church, but these measures were not enforced in order to prevent social unrest and an uprising against the war-torn socialist state. President Obarrio promoted the resurgence of Native folk religions as part of the Indigenización campaign.
This changed in 1928, when President Cosme enacted the Law on the Enforcement of the Constitution better known as the Cosme Law (Ley Cosme), following the assassination of President Obarrio by Joel de Luces Tapia, who saw Indigenización as a threat to Church power and Meralan culture. This law led to the expulsion of all foreign priests, the registration of all religious groups within the country, the seizure of Church assets and property, banned the wearing of clerical garb and closed monasteries, convents, and religious schools.
The widespread discontent caused by this law led to uprisings that were capitalized on by former Federales, the vast majority of which were given amnesty after 1922, leading to the Remnants War throughout Cosme's administration from 1928 to 1934. Following a costly government victory, the constitution was reformed to become state atheist, and an outlawing of Tacitarianism was planned, but ultimately stopped by the accession of Chasco in 1934 and the purge of Cosme and his supporters. The enshrinement of state atheism was maintained, and the constitution also guaranteed freedom of religious worship, but public displays of religion outside of religious buildings were banned and religious institutions were not allowed to express their views in any type of mass media. In 1943, a constitutional amendment allowed the government to appoint all religious clergy in the country, granting the government complete control of religious discourse in the country. In addition to Tacitarianism, there are also various Native Antigonian groups who maintain their traditional religions.
The 2020 census by the Instituto Federal de Estadística y Geografía Informática (Federal Institute of Statistics and Geography) reports that 60% of the population is atheist, 20% of the population is Tacitarianist, 15% of the population practices native religions and 5% practices other religions.
The Totlecs were the first civilization known to have introduced compulsory education for both boys and girls. This inspired the development of education after the Meralan Civil War. In the beginning, Meralan authorities placed great emphasis on the elimination of illiteracy and literate people were automatically hired as teachers, primarily to work in rural areas. By 1940, President Chasco announced that illiteracy had been eliminated. Following the Second Great War, the country's educational system expanded dramatically, which had a tremendous effect and by the 1950s, nearly all children had access to education. Citizens directly entering the workforce were given the constitutional right to a job and to free vocational training.
School attendance is compulsory from ages six to to the end of basic secondary education (normally at age 18). From ages 6 to 12, students are enrolled in primary education (primaria) with bilingual education being offered from the beginning, where half the day instruction is in Spanish, and the rest is in another language (indigenous languages are the primary language of instruction in areas where indigenous groups are the majority). From ages 12 to 15, students enter junior high school (secundaria) and are taught more specialized subjects or vocational training. From ages 15 to 18, students can enter either a preparatoria which "prepares" students with general knowledge to continue studying at a university, or a bachillerato which provides vocational training so the graduate can get a job as a skilled worker. All students, regardless of age or gender, wear school uniforms with the color denoting grade level.
Higher education is provided by universities, higher institutes, higher pedagogical institutes, and higher polytechnic institutes. The Secretariat of Education operates a distance education program that provides regular afternoon and evening courses in rural areas for agricultural workers. Education has a strong political and ideological emphasis, and students progressing to higher education are expected to have a commitment to the goals of Merala. The country is known for providing full scholarships for its universities to foreign nationals, particularly those of developing countries, with the government seeking to expand foreign enrolment and working on a plan to grant higher education free of charge for any foreign national that requests it.
Following the Meralan Civil War, an universal healthcare system was established, however, it was greatly challenged by the destruction brought about by the conflict and the lack of access rural areas faced to high-quality healthcare as identified by First Secretary Carrique (who himself was a rural doctor before the war). This and the exodus of the Meralan Red Diamond prompted the government to engage in a nationwide sanitation and health campaign, as well as the expansion of the Meralan White Diamond, the infirmary and relief service established during the Civil War to care for wounded revolutionaries.
This campaign was an astounding success, and led to the creation of various hospitals and clinics throughout the country, with a focus on rural areas. The government established the Secretariat of Health in 1925, in charge of planning and executing public healthcare policies, with the constitution granting citizens the right to health protection and free access to any health institution in the country. The government has sent thousands of White Diamond doctors to more than 40 countries around the world throughout the years, 100,000 as of 2020. Meralan physicians have played a leading role in combating epidemics in various parts of the world.
Merala has developed the successful lung cancer vaccine, Pulcanvax, and has been the first country to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
Women were historically oppressed before the Civil War, with domestic abuse embedded in Meralan gender and marital relations, alongside with dependence on husbands for subsistence and for self-esteem. During the Tasoyato women began working outside the home in offices and factories, and the gained access to education; but were still largely confined to the home and housekeeping duties.
After the Civil War, the new government granted women the right to work and to participate in government, and it liberalized divorce and abortion laws, permitted cohabitation, and ushered in a host of reforms. This new system however produced many broken marriages, as well as countless out-of-wedlock children, forcing the government to develop a network of orphanages and to ease divorce procedures. The invention of the birth control pill in 1951 by Lázaro Efraím Morterero was instrumental in easing these trends and facilitating family planning in the country.
As of 2020, women hold 48.9% of the parliamentary seats in the People's Congress, among the highest rates in the world.