Voskia is a republic in southern Europe, bordering the Italian region of Calabria by land as well as Albania and Greece and the Italian region of Apulia by sea and centred around a deep passage between the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea. In history the country was mostly part of other realms, most importantly the Kingdom of Two Sicilies and subsequently the Kingdom of Italy, until it became an independent kingdom in 1946. In 1993, a military coup was staged by colonel Pāvus Kezimidz and the royal family was sent into exile, after which the country became a republic. After Kezimidz's sudden death in 1996, democracy was quickly restored. The impact of the worldwide financial crisis that started in 2007 has been severe in Voskia.
Geography and climate
Voskia consists of one mainland part (Voskia proper) as well as several islands, most of them lying south of the mainland parts.
The mainland part (Voskia proper) borders Italy at the easternmost point of Calabria (near Crotone). In the northwest Voskia borders the Bay of Taranto, it borders the Strait of Otranto (called the Strait of Divis in Voskia) in the east and the Voskian Sea in the south. Altitudes raise more than one kilometer above sea level and the country's highest mountain (the Arsēc of 1877 m) is located almost in the middle of Voskia proper. Voskia proper is separated from Gurdia, the country's largest island, by the Strait of Divis, which forms a deep passage between the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean. The Strait has been considered of enormous strategical value in history and was one of the main reasons that several other nations tried to dominate it.
Gurdia is an island bordering Albania in the northeast and Greece in the southeast by sea. Although the whole area is called Gurdia, the southwestern and southern parts have in fact been inhabited by Voskians proper for long. The central part of the area is the Gurdian Mountain Range, where the country's longest river, Veçe, originates; it flows meandering first in northeastern, then in southern direction, through the Lake of Neði, and finally flowing into the Ionian Sea near the town of Iōnika.
The three large islands in the south are the Isla Rumantscha, Evaģa and Ģāvziş.
Voskia has a mediterranean climate (Cs, according to the Köppen system) with an average temperature of 5°C in January and 25°C in July, and an average quantity of rain of 750 mm a year.
- Main Article: History of Voskia
In the history of the territory that is now the Republic of the Vosks and the Gurds, it was almost always part of another realm or divided between other realms, such as Epirus, the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and several Italian states, while parts also knew periods of independence. The most significant first period of shared independence was the Confederacy of Gurdia, Greater Voskia, Korfu, Avaza and Evaģa.
During the Vienna Congress in 1815 Voskia proper was allocated to the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, under which it enjoyed however some autonomy as a separate kingdom. The Kingdom of Two Sicilies was conquered by the kingdom of Sardinia in 1860, and it subsequently became the kingdom of Italy. In 1883, king Umberto I made Robert de Savoye-Voschi (1858 - 1939) duke of Voskia; his grandson became king Ferdinand III of Voskia in 1946 after the Italian rule of the country came to an end. Whilst Italy became a republic, Voskia prefered to remain a monarchy and after a first uprising and subsequent American mediation, the countries parted amicably.
Voskia became a modern western society and it had applied for membership of the European Union in the early '90s, when in 1993 a military coup was staged, which ended the monarchy and democracy. Only three years later however, democracy was restored, but the country remained a republic. The country's politics continued to be troublesome for some years, until in 2004 the Gurdian politician Başkim Arhali became prime minister and managed to stay in office since, apart from a small interruption in 2007-2008. Despite the economic crisis that has been harassing Voskia for some years now, Arhali is a popular figure in the country's politics, and he won the 2014 presidential election with great ease.
The Isla Rumantscha
A significant development in the history of Voskia was the arrival of a small Roman-Catholic order with a small entourage from the Swiss alps in the latter half of the 17th century, which settled on the southern island that is now called the Isla Rumantscha. Their number expanded in the decades that followed and they started to take care of the indigenous Voskian and Greek inhabitants, slowly turning the island in a giant fortress. The Isla Rumantscha remained neutral in most conflicts and had friendly relations with most parties that governed the rest of present-day Voskia. In 1935 it was however conquered by Italian forces, the secular authority of the order was abolished and the island was added to the autonomous Voskian administration in Divis.
In 1991 the Romansh language (or at least the local variant of it) was given official status in Voskia.
On 1 January 2013, Voskia had 2,349,079 inhabitants (est.). 57% of those consider themselves Voskians proper, 33% Gurdians and 6% Romansh. 4% have other nationalities, such as Italian, Greek or Albanian. 35% are Roman Catholic, 31% Greek Orthodox and 25% are Islamists. The estimated population growth in 2012 is 0.34%. Life expectancy is 74.3 years (male) and 80.2 years (female).
Eight cities have more than 100,000 inhabitants: Rāģidz (210,049), the capital Divis (205,728), Dzāvuniģis (190,347), Kvēvuste (161,543), Turitg (138,222), Pādģiōrs (132,199), Màjmal (117,398) and Todģekc (104,827). Universities can be found in Turitg (founded 1771), Kelvius (1824), Divis (1948) and Màjmal (1960).
Voskia is divided in three regions (Voskia, Gurdia and the Isla Rumantscha) and a residential district (Divis). The three regions are divided in sixteen provinces. The regions are called resp. redģūniz (sing. redģūz), rajona (sing. rajon) and regiuns (sing. regiun) in the three official languages; the provinces are called resp. pronīkis (sing. pronīdz), provincà (sing. provinc) and provinzias (sing. provinzia); the residential district kavpūvikud distret Divde, ţark i kapital i Divse and il district da la chapitala Divis. Each administrative division is lead by a 'head' (kaffus, drejtor resp. schef).
|#||Province/Regio/District||Part of Region||Capital||Inhabitants||Head||Party|
|Divis||Residential District||Divis||205,728||Lukas Dòdziĕvs (2016)||Piratiĕ|
|A||Voskia||Rāģidz||1,528,441||Luvidz Katūz (2009, 2015)||PD|
|B||Gurdia||Màjmal||463,327||Kastryt Prekpalaj (2010, 2016)||K-ĢP|
|C||Isla Rumantscha||Turitg||151,583||Claudia Janom (f) (2007, 2013)||PD|
|1||Jūşkē Ruģiā (South-Rugia)||Voskia||Rāģidz||242,133||Pēneupē Liçus (f) (2016)||V-ĢP|
|2||Būģiakē Ruģiā (North-Rugia)||Voskia||Kvēvuste||191,958||Uskars Zaşpuzic (2014)||V-ĢP|
|3||Idacia||Voskia||Ēdeza||140,337||Şazvus Pançottis (2008, 2013)||K-ĢP|
|4||Eledia||Voskia||Hygis||113,506||Envars Bāvkc (2010, 2015)||PA|
|5||Pādģiōrs||Voskia||Pādģiōrs||146,692||Anna Mançini-Muvia (f) (2016)||V-ĢP|
|6||Lukazia||Voskia||Kelvius||99,053||Bautasars Rōc (2015)||V-ĢP|
|7||Mesē Kūģe (Central Lands)||Voskia||Ģozas||113,142||Ģiōģia Kelviuvs-Çedizd (f) (2016)||PD|
|8||Vezide||Voskia||Dzāvuniģis||237,881||Petrus Vetruçus (2008, 2013)||PA|
|9||Isla Rumantscha||Isla Rumantscha||Turitg||151,583||Giusep Schanter (2007, 2012)||PD|
|10||Gyrdja a Pryndim (West-Gurdia)||Gurdia||Màjmal||169,833||Melpomenì Çepa-Manuşi (f) (2016)||V-ĢP|
|11||Todģekc||Voskia||Todģekc||108,825||Vincent Vetsch (2009, 2014)||K-ĢP|
|12||Evaģa||Voskia||Evaģepūvis||56,747||Aleksander Fraşyr (2014)||MV|
|13||Ģāvziş kē Iōnika||Voskia||Iōnika||78,167||Maģia Çūziavs-Artekc (f) (2012)||V-ĢP|
|14||Gyrdja a Lind (East-Gurdia)||Gurdia||Korv||122,604||Suzana Ştylla (f) (2012)||V-ĢP|
|15||Gyrdja a Meridjòn (South-Gurdia)||Gurdia||Neði||80,031||Perikli Hajadragi (2015)||V-ĢP|
|16||Gyrdja a Varior (North-Gurdia)||Gurdia||Çerte||90,859||Fatmir Ngjela (2008, 2013)||PA|
- Main Article: Voskian politics
Voskia is a parliamentary republic. The unicameral parliament (called Bōvēa in Voskian, Kuvendi in Gurdian and La Dieta in Romansh) has 229 members who until recently originated from a large quantity of small parties, but since before the elections of 2010, the election threshold has been raised to 3%.
The president is elected by popular vote once every four years. Parliamentary elections are equally held once every four years. The current president is Başkim Arhali, who was elected in 2014. The current prime minister is Luçia Apavia who has been in office since 15 April 2013.
Voskia's main partner is the European Union and it is Voskia's intention to join at some point in the future. Despite this, Voskia remains one of the last non-EU countries in the region without a visa agreement with the EU, so EU-citizens wishing to enter Voskia require a visa and vice versa. The Voskian government itself didn't want an agreement for the time being, out of fear that Voskia would turn into an extension of EU-territory without receiving the benefits that bordering EU-countries do receive. A ten days visa isn't expensive however and easily obtainable at the borders. People who want to stay longer pay a lot more.
In June 2012 it was announced that a Voskian delegation will attend a FICT summit in the Yukkish capital of Ísðor at the end of the month, but the ministry of foreign affairs didn't confirm that a membership application will be done. During the summit, the foreign minister mrs. Eveline Riedi-Capaul applied for membership, which was granted. After the Voskian parliament ratified the Treaty of Ísðor, mr. Sali Fraşyri became the first Voskian Ambassador to the Conference of Ambassadors of FICT.
Also in June 2012, Voskia applied for AGL-membership. A Voskian delegation attended the 50th AGL-Conference in the Kronenburg city of Portus Regius on 8 July 2012, where it was granted associated membership; before applicant member states become full members of the AGL, they have associate status for at least one year. Despite hesitation expressed by the Voskian government, Voskia was granted full membership in July 2013.
Although slightly booming between 2000 and 2007, the Voskian economy has more or less the same problems as other countries in the Mediterranean, such as Greece and Italy. Increasing interest ratings make it difficult for the Voskian government to get money and to boost the economy. Being not a member of the eurozone however, Voskia is able to adjust its currency to the quirks of the market and although unemployment is sky high at the moment (more than 10%) and things look gloomy in general, not all hope is lost yet.
In 2011, the GDP was US$ 26,445.29 million (US$ 11,297 per capita). The working population is divided in 43.4% agriculture, 25% industry and 31.6% services. The main export products are fruits and vegetables, wine, dairy products, clothes and textile, metals and asphalt. The main import products are machinery, chemicals and alimentary products.
The Voskian currency is (ill-fatedly) called the Krisis. 1 Krisis (plur. also Krisis) is divided in 40 Petis (sing. 1 Pec). 1 Krisis = €0.63 (1 January 2012). There was 4.3% inflation on 1 January 2012 (est.)
Voskia's main partners are the EU and Turkey; its main industries are telecom (VosTelecom) and clothes and carpets (PēvAr).
Roads in Voskia are below standard in comparison to neighbouring countries and urgently need maintenance, for which the Voskian government has little money. A four lane motorway connects Kvēvuste, Rāģidz and Dzāvuniģis, but otherwise roads are narrow and of poor quality, so displacement by car can be quite dangerous. Travelling by boat is therefore a wise alternative, at least of course for the coastal towns and villages. Ferries exist on a regular basis and otherwise depending on how much money one offers.
There are two railway companies: the Voskian Railway Company (VŞS, Voşkikud Şidezodurmoded Sinerģēmeto) and the Gurdian Railways (HG, Hekuruðat þò Gyrdişc). The first main line of the VŞS follows the coast from Ēdeza to Rāģidz and Dzāvuniģis to Pernādepūvis. The second one leads from Dzāvuniģis to the west via Arvūzo, Vazāzvĕ and Hibēzvĕ to Kelvius. A separate VŞS line exists between Hygis and Pādģiōrs, from where there is a connection with the Italian railway system. HG operates one line between Màjmal and Korv. The latter needs urgent maintenance, and there are plans to expand it to Divis.
The international airport of Divis was built in the '60s on the same spot as a small airfield. The former international airport of Rāģidz has been in decline since then. Several smaller airfields can be found throughout the country, the most important of which are those of Kelvius, Pādģiōrs, Turitg, Todģekc and Korv.
Despite the fact that Voskia has many languages and religions, the Voskian culture is in general considered quite homogeneous, although some claim that this is a false homogeneity, imposed by an aspect of the political system that has been in force since 1953, which involves some kind of quota to ensure a certain amount of Voskians and Gurdians (and to a lesser extent, Romansh) in e.g. national politics, television and radio, cultural events, army commanders, etc., and which considers emphasising the differences between the country's ethnic groups a taboo.
There is however a traditional view among some Voskians that the entire current realm is originally Voskian; they consider both the Gurdians and the Romansh as intruders and argue that Voskia should do more to emphasise its proper Voskian heritage. Especially since 2004, this idea has gained interest as a reaction to prime minister Arhali being of Gurdian origin.
The Voskian national anthem is called Kūzā Metēz (Voskian), Pàjsi i Nemyj (Gurdian) or Il Noss Pajais (Romansh), meaning 'Our Country'. It is a wordless hymn that was composed in 1947 by the Voskian composer Rubertas Pudģavs (1894 – 1968). Although many have proposed lyrics to the hymn, no government has wanted to add them to the anthem officially, so as to keep it as neutral as possible.
Voskia has three official languages: Voskian, which also serves as the country's administrative language, Gurdian and Romansh. All three are Indo-European languages, but from different branches. Voskian is most closely related to Greek, although both languages are not mutually intelligible; Gurdian considers itself an independent language, but most linguists treat it like a dialect of Albanian. The Romansh spoken in Voskia is very closely related to the Romansh dialects of Switzerland, but there are some minor differences. The Romansh of Voskian has no standard variant (apart from some official state and government notifications, such as the official name of the country in Romansh), and some favour creating such a variant or joining the standard Romansh or adopting the standard variant of the Swiss Romansh.
Other languages that have been spoken in Voskia for over a century are Italian, Greek, Albanian, Turkish, Arumanian and some Venetian Italian dialects. Family names of foreign origin are often given a Voskian appearance, to better fit in the Voskian declension of nouns. Family names of one of the other Voskian ethnic groups are only given Voskian versions to be used in e.g. newspapers; names that aren't originally from one of the official languages in Voskia, are permanently turned Voskian when a family decides to live in the region of Voskia.
There are many local newspapers in Voskia, enjoying various levels of popularity. Among the (semi-)national newspapers, there is only one trilingual newspaper, the Voşkiko Ģorniĕ/Kogat þò Vuştişc/Ils Temps Vuostgs (Voskian Times), which is principally bought by the high educated. Among popular newspapers in the Voskian language are Epēmèdza ek Voşģioş (Bulletin from Voskia) and Voşkiko Loģuzvĕ (The Voskian Word). Botimi i Màjmalse (Màjmal Publication) is the most popular newspaper in the Gurdian language, followed by Socialisti (The Socialist). Il Currier Quotidian is in the Romansh language and is mainly sold on the Isla Rumantscha (Turitg and vicinity) and in Divis; elsewhere single copies are very hard to get, and even when you would have a subscription, it is often delivered several days after the official publication date.
Religion normally doesn't interfere much in the country's politics, but generally follows the ethnic groups: the Voskians in Voskia proper and the Romansh are generally Roman-Catholic; the Voskians in Gurdia and on the southeastern islands, but also some Gurdians, are generally Eastern Orthodox and a majority of the Gurdians are muslim. Although there are political parties that are based on religious ideas and ideals, most of them exhibit more secular policies in the present, while others in general don't get enough votes to make it into parliament. Since 1998, there has been a ministry of Voskian-Gurdian integration, which, among other things, prevents other ministries from favouring one ethnic group above others. As a result, Voskians keep their religious experiences mostly to themselves, making it one of the least discussed subjects.
On the other hand, there are a lot of religious buildings in Voskia, the province of Vezide having the highest number of them per resident. The country's largest religious building is the Amet Beg mosque in Màjmal, the highest is the Saint Ursula cathedral in Kvēvuste.
- Main Article: Voskian music
A Voskian identity in music has been on the rise since the second half of the 19th century, in the wake of popular forms elsewhere. Classical music of Voskian origin before 1946 is however extremely rare and only in the '60s of the 20th century a significant rise in Voskian composers can be noticed. Most notable composer is the aforementioned Rubertas Pudģavs (1894 – 1968), whose 56 Voskian Tone Poems especially enjoy considerable popularity in the Voskian concert halls. He is however also known for the first Voskian symphonies ever written and, as mentioned, for composing the national anthem. Later composers adopted contemporary ideas and techniques, and seeing as it was the '60s in which many Voskians composers flourished with experimental avant-garde music which was hard to understand for the general public, classical music still is not very popular in Voskia.