Aetolia

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Aetolia

Αιτωλία
Aitolía
Flag of Aetolia
Flag
Seal of Aetolia
Seal
Motto: Ελευθερία, Ισότητα, Δικαιοσύνi
"Freedom, Equality, Justice"
Anthem: Παιάνας των Ληδήνης
"Paean of the Ledenes"
Location of Aetolia in Adonia
Location of Aetolia in Adonia
Capital
and largest city
Palaiochori
Official languagesAetolian
Recognised regional languagesMesonjean
Sakalian
Varkan
Demonym(s)Aetolian
GovernmentUnitary constitutional semi-presidential republic
• President
Sofia Katsaros
Dimitrios Antoniou
Angelos Marinos
Mihail Stephanidis
Name person
LegislatureStates General
Senate
Assembly of Deputies
Constitutional history
• Empire
232 AD
1099
• Kingdom
1264
1840
1898
Area
• Total
150,992 km2 (58,298 sq mi)
Population
• 2020 estimate
53,672,676 (TBC)
• 2016 census
52,092,240
• Density
345/km2 (893.5/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2016 estimate
• Total
₭2.484 trillion
• Per capita
₭47,678
Gini (2016)33.00
medium
HDI (2016)0.925
very high · 7th
CurrencyDrachma (Δρ) (AED)
Time zoneUTC+0
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy CE
Driving sideright
Calling code+43
ISO 3166 codeAE
Internet TLD.ae, .αι

Aetolia (Aetolian: Αιτωλία, Aitolía), officially the Republic of Aetolia (Aetolian: Δημοκρατία της Αιτωλίας), is a unitary republic of roughly 40 million people in northwestern Illypnia. It is bordered by the Anemodian Sea to the north, Kandar, Kotcija and the Sea of Aetolia to the east, Sakalia to the south, and Varkana and the Iremian Sea to the west. The territory of Aetolia covers 150,992 square kilometres and has a hot-summer Mediterranean and humid subtropical climate. Aetolia's terrain is moderately mountainous, lying on the Ledennic Peninsula; and its highest point is 2,325 metres. The majority of the population speak various local dialects of Aetolian as their native language, and Aetolian in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local spoken languages are Varkan, Kasian, Mesonjean and Sakalian.

Aetolia is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising 25 regions. The largest city, with a population exceeding 8 million, is Palaiochori. Aetolia is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of ₭47,678 (June 2016 est.). The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2016 was ranked 7th in the world for its Human Development Index. Aetolia was a founding member of the Adonian Community in 1944, and is also a member of numerous other international institutions.

During the classical era, independent kingdoms became established in what is now Aetolia following the collapse of the ancient empire. The Histrian states consolidated the Aetolian peoples and languages through a unified Aetolian Empire in the late 3rd century BCE. The Empire, led by Alexander the Great, spread over much of the Near East and spread Aetolian culture and society across the region. The Mesogean invasion in 112 CE saw the only period in Aetolian history of foreign domination. Aetolian kingdoms began appearing in the 3rd century CE and eventually formed a second Aetolian Empire in 232 CE. In the 7th century, the Empire collapsed into a series of independent kingdoms, the start of what was the Aposyndetic period. In the early 11th century the smaller Aetolian realms had began to coalesce into several large kingdoms. At the same time, the emergent Kingdom of Varkana was growing in the West, taking many traditionally Aetolian lands from the Aetolian Kingdom of Tavros. Classical Republicanism also broke out in 12th century and saw many kingdoms rocked by peasant uprisings that installed the Insert burgher class Aetolians here class into power. The Republican period culminated in a unified Aetolian Republic in 1199. Poltical divisions in the Republic proved insurmountable and Monarchist elements swept to power in 1264, after a small civil war. The Kingdom of Aetolia was established and ushered in another Golden age of Aetolian technology and society. The territorial reach of Aetolia also expanded to cover most of the Dinarides region, including neighboring Varkana. During this period Aetolia became a dominant regional force. In 1428, Aetolia and Varkana unified and established the United Kingdom of the Dinarides a powerful monarchy, which signaled an era of direct rule which lead to unprecedented territorial and economic expansion. The 19th century was a period marked by political unrest in Aetolia and the Dinarides. In 1838, Varkan nationalists started a war for independence from the Dinarides and Aetolia, the Varkan Restoration War, and formed the First Republic of Varkana in 1840. Successive territorial losses and breaches of power, particularly when the parliament was dissolved by the monarch, led to rising discontent among officials and the populace. These events led to the August Revolution of 1840, when the monarchy was again disposed. A provisional republic was formed, who drew up a new constitution and decided on the nations structure and borders. Symbolic events in this period included the demolition of the Royal Palace in Palaiochori, and the execution of the remaining royal family. The Republic of Aetolia was established in 1849. The new republic became a strongly established parliamentary democracy, leading a period of economic and cultural prosperity after 50 years of war. The new republic was increasingly imperialist, engaging in many colonization wars around Adonia. The colonial empire reached its peak in the 20th century and experienced rapid decline following the independence of Doria, Fira and Zarkos. However, the global presence had left a large Aetolian-speaking legacy in several former colonies.

Aetolia is strategically located in the middle of Western Illypnia and remains a global power with significant cultural, economic, and political influence in Illypnia and around Adonia, particularly in its former colonies. Aetolia citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, civil liberties, and human development. Aetolia is a founding member of the Adonian Community and is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Adonian Council of Energy and Energy Standard Organization. It maintains political, educational, cultural and linguistic links with its former colonies and territories through the Dinaric Society.

Etymology

Aetolia took its name from its patron goddess Aetole in Armazism. U/C

In Varkan, Aetolia is known as saberdzneti (საბერძნეთი) since ancient times. Berdzeni (ბერძენი) was a name for people who lived in the various city states of the Aetolian peninsula. Later the name saberdzneti came to mean simply "Aetolia" and berdzeni "the Aetolians". Saberdzneti literally means "Land of the Berdzens" (i.e. "Land of the Aetolians). Berdzeni was coined from the Varkan word "wise" brdzeni (ბრძენი), thus saberdzneti would literally mean "land where the wise men live", possibly referring to the Ancient Aetolian philosophers.

History

Geography

Aetolia is located in Northern Illypnia, between latitudes ?° and ?° S, and longitudes ?° and ?° E. To the south, Aetolia borders Sakalia, and is roughly delimited by the Zeugma Gorge of the Sinora River, passing between the Kasus and Dalian Mountains and connecting to the Upper Sinora Basin. To the north, it consists of the entirety of the Ledennic Peninsula and several Anemodian islands including Eidos, Euboea and Avdira, in addition to many smaller islands.

The country's total area is 150,992 square kilometres (58,298 sq mi), of which ???,??? km2 (??? sq mi) is land and ???? km2 (?,??? sq mi) is water. Including the islands, Aetolia has a coastline and border of 13,156 kilometres (?? miles) on the Anemodian Sea, Iremian, Aetolian seas (?? km (?? mi)), and borders shared with Varkana (?? km (?? mi)), Kotcija (?? km (?? mi)), Sakalia (?? km (?? mi)) and Kandar (?? km (?? mi)).

The Serresian Mountains form the peninsula's backbone and the Kasus and Dalian Mountains together form most of its southern boundary, where Aetolia's highest point is located on Mount ???? (?? m or ?? ft). The Sinora, Aetolia's longest river (??? kilometres or ??? miles), flows from the border with Sakalia in the Zeugma Gorge and crosses the Dinaride plain on its way to the Iremian Sea, where is forms a large delta at Theodosia. The Sinora forms the western border with Varkana between Bakalraika and Theodosia. The five largest lakes are, in order of diminishing size: Veli, Rhodonnos, Axos, Xiros and Mesopotamia.

Islands

Environment

Aetolia is one of the highest ranking countries in the world for ecological sustainability. National parks cover about 7% of the country. Increasingly, Aetolia has become one of the world's leading producers of renewable energy, with installations of large hydroelectric schemes, and wind and solar farms. Renewable energies now make up about 50% of the total primary and final energy consumption in Aetolia.

Air pollution has been a severe problem in the past, with high levels of industrial and transport carbon dioxide emissions. Efforts made by the government during the 1990s and 2000s have led to drastically reduced carbon dioxide emissions. These largely came in the form of closing remaining coal and gas-powered electricity generation and enacting stringent regulations on industrial emissions. Traffic congestion and emissions were reduced by targeted investment and expansion of mass-transit systems across major metropolitan areas, coupled with incentives for electric vehicles. In inland cities such as Sozopolis, smog is still a major health and environmental problem during winter months, with many heating their homes using oil and wood fires. This combines with the topography and climatic conditions to trap bodies of smog over the city for many hours.

Many watercourses and coastal stretches have also been contaminated by industrial and agricultural activity, although harsher penalties have been introduced recently that has seen a reduction in this type of pollution. River floods cause damage to many lowland cities in Aetolia. Theodosia, in particular, is one of the worst affected cities due to its extremely low-lying land and being built over the Sinora Delta. The country has also operated several nuclear reactors since 1962, which have faced many efforts for their closure over the years. However, they have remained and continue to make up a significant part of Aetolia's sources of energy.

Aetolia has historically had strict land planning policies in place to protect from erosion of hillsides in mountainous regions. These policies were implemented after several landslide events, like the 1957 Likoui landslide, have largely prevented further major ecological disasters. These policies largely restrict development on hillsides identified as unsuitable, and deforestation of large areas of hillside. They were implemented as part of the Hillside Management Planning Act 1960.

Climate

The climate of Aetolia is highly diverse, owning in part to the distribution and moderately mountainous topography. In most of the inland southern and central regions, the climate ranges from humid subtropical to humid continental. In particular, the climate of the upper Sinora and Eresos Valleys is mostly continental, with harsh winters and hot summers.

The coastal areas of Hierkikon, Inachos and most of the north generally fit the Mediterranean climate stereotype (Köppen climate classification Csa). Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The coastal regions have mild, wet winters and hot and generally dry summers, and lowland valleys can get especially hot in summer.

Government

Aetolia is a unitary semi-presidential republic. The nominal head of state is the President of Aetolia, currently Tryfon Iordanou, who is elected directly by universal adult suffrage for a 5-year term. The President, together with the Government, led by the Prime Minister makes up the executive branch. The current Constitution was drawn up and adopted by the First Constitutional Council of the Hellenes and entered into force in 1794 after the election of Eleftherios Petraccas as President. It has been revised twenty-seven times since, in several amendments to the constitution. The Constitution provides for a separation of powers into executive, legislative, audit, and judicial branches, and grants extensive specific guarantees of civil liberties and social rights.

According to the Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President and the Government. The position of Prime Minister, Aetolia's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain a vote of confidence by the Parliament. The President formally appoints the Prime Minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses the other members of the Cabinet.

The Aetolian parliament is a perfectly bicameral legislature comprising a 320-seat Representative Assembly and a Senate, with both having the same powers. The Representative Assembly members represent local constituencies and are directly elected for 4-year terms. The Assembly has the power to dismiss the government, and thus the majority in the Assembly determines the choice of government. Senators are chosen by a direct party-list election for 6-year terms, and one half of the seats are submitted to election every 3 years.

Political parties

Aetolia has a diverse range of political parties represented in the Parliament of Aetolia. This has been the trend since the formation of the Second Republic. The major parties, that have held government in the 30 years, are the Progressive Party, Conservative Party, Democratic Party, and the Socialist Party.

There are generally two to three blocs in Aetolian politics: a Left bloc (Progressives, Labour and the Socialists), a Right bloc (Democratic, Conservative and National), and an occasional centrist block (Democratic and New Liberal). Since 1995, the centrist block has merged with the Right bloc, and has contested elections as the Democratic Alliance.

Many of the currently represented political parties in Aetolia have been formed by merged of previous parties. The most notable examples of this are the Democratic and Conservative parties. The current Democratic Party was formed from a merger of the Democratic Unity Party and the National Democratic Movement in 2005. This followed from a previous merger of the Liberal Party and the Reform Party to form the Democratic Unity Party, both former major parties that had led several governments between them, having been the two major opposing parties for much of their history. The Conservative Party was formed from a merger of the centre-right parties the Classical Party and the Liberation Party. These parties had played a relatively smaller role in government since 1794, but following the merger the Conservative and Nationalist Party became one of the three main parties in Aetolia.

Due to the nature of representation in Aetolia's parliament, it is often impossible for one-party governments to be formed with an absolute majority. This has meant that many coalition governments have been required throughout Aetolian history. In the past, there was often landslide victories that allowed for single-party government, but these have become much less common during the modern era. Alexandros Simos' first cabinet of the Reform Party in 1890, was the most recent single-party government to be formed.

Law and Justice

Aetolia has a civil law system that arises primarily from written statutes; judges only interpret law, not create it. The Supreme Court of Aetolia is the highest court in both criminal and civil appeal cases in Aetolia. The Judicial Council of Aetolia acts as the constitutional court, responsible for ensuring the conformity of legislation with the constitution, with power of judicial review. The court system consists of several tiers. At the lowest level, there is a Magistrates Court for minor civil and criminal matters, the next level is the District Court, which has a branch in the capital of each region. The district court handles most legal matters that exceed the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court, crimes such as murder however, are heard by the High Court. The High Court of Aetolia is the highest civil and criminal court which may hear cases deemed to require a higher level of judicial scrutiny, such as murder cases.

There are also two appeals courts in Aetolia. The first-level is the Court of Appeals, which hears the all cases that have been appealed from the District and High courts. The second the Supreme Court, which looks at extraordinary cases from the Court of Appeals that are being appealed.

Foreign relations

Aetolia's foreign policy is conducted through the Department of External Affairs and its head, the Secretary for External Affairs. The current secretary is Idomeneus Terzis. According to the official website, the main aims of the Department of External Affairs are to represent Aetolia before other states and international organizations; safeguarding the interests of the Aetolian state and of its citizens abroad; the promotion and protection of Aetolian culture; and the promotion of international cooperation.

Aetolia is a member of numerous international organizations, including the Adonian Community, of which it is a founding member, the Mesogean Cooperation Organization, the Energy Standard Organization, the Adonian Council of Energy, and the Dinaric Society, of which it is also a founding member.

Military

The military in Aetolia is divided into six branches: the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, Coast Guard, and the Special Forces. The President of Aetolia serves as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and is responsible for appointing the Secretary of Defence and the Defence Council. The majority of the armed forces' operation is managed by the Department of Defense with some decisions being made by the Defence Council, which is made up of high-ranking officers from the armed forces and intelligence community.

There are currently 310,916 personnel on active duty for Aetolia, with a further 1,035,000 reserve personnel. Conscription has historically been employed in Aetolia, particularly during times of war and global conflict. Conscription was last used in Aetolia in 1987, but can be reimposed at any time by the Parliament of Aetolia and the President, usually upon recommendation from the Defence Council.

Aetolia operates several military bases around the world and has a presence on every continent. Most of Aetolia's military is stationed within Aetolia's territory, however.

U/C

Administrative divisions

Aetolia is divided into 25 regions. These regions each have a regional council, led by a head of government known as a Premier. Aetolia is asymmetrically devolved, meaning that each region has varying levels of responsibility. Some regions, such as Inachos are highly autonomous and have a large amount of government functions devolved to the region. Some regions have very little function, rather governance is divided between the central government and provincial government. This is the case in Central Aetolia, which functions as a weak grouping of highly devolved provinces. Some regions share devolved government in an autonomous community made up of several regions. The remaining regions have a lower level of delegation that is largely confined to secondary enactments. Each region is responsible for the management and provision of its own emergency services, transport, water and education. Currently, devolved government can only make decisions and policy on areas devolved to them by the Parliament of Aetolia. There are some residual areas where there is unclear jurisdiction (e.g. municipal oversight).

Regions are further divided into 98 provinces, which are the second-level administrative divisions of Aetolia. They generally consist of ten to fifteen districts, which are the third-level of administrative division in Aetolia. Districts are then further divided into communes, which is the lowest level of government devolution in Aetolia, and generally consists of a large town, or several smaller towns. They are governed by an elected municipal council, with the leader being the Mayor. There are approximately 7,500 communes in Aetolia, with the major cities consisting many suburban and urban communes. Districts and "Sub-districts" are merely administrative divisions and possess no local assembly or executive.

Larger urban areas have intercommunalities, made up of several urban communes that make up an urban area. Large cities have urban communities, while the largest cities have metropolitan communities, e.g. Palaiochori, Skopelos, and Theodosia.

There are three main types of devolved administrations in Aetolia: autonomous regions (Inachos, Avlonas, Pheres), provinces with devolved responsibility, autonomous communities (where devolved government is shared at a level between the central and regional level). The rest of Aetolia has no devolved government, and functions within the original regional government structure of limited delegated jurisdiction. These parts of Aetolia are known as Regional Aetolia.

Economy

A Trakas 408. Aetolia maintains an innovative automotive industry, and is a large exporter of manufactured goods.

Aetolia has a mixed economy, ranking as the ??-largest in Illypnia and the ??-largest in the world. The country is a founding member of the Mesogean Cooperation Organization and the Energy Standard Organization.

Aetolia is regarded as one of the world's most industrialized nations and a leading country in world trade and exports, owing to the country's strong mercantile history. It is a highly developed country, with the world's ?th highest quality of life and ranked ??th highest in Human Development Index. The country is well known for its creative and innovative business, a large and competitive agricultural sector (Aetolian is one of the world's largest wine and stonefruit producers), and for its influential and high-quality automobile, machinery, food, design industry.

Aetolia is Illypnia's ??? largest manufacturing country, characterized by a small number of global multinational corporations and a large number of smaller specialist industrial co-operatives, generally clustered in the industrial districts of major cities, which form the backbone of Aetolian industry. This has produced a manufacturing sector often focused on the export of niche market and luxury products. The competitiveness of Aetolian products is based on the high levels of quality and technical innovation.

The country is the world's ?th largest exporter. Aetolia's closest trade ties are with the other countries located nearby in Illypnia, with whom it conducts about ??% of its total trade. Its largest trading partners, in order of market share, are Breisland (13.9%), Echia (9.8%), Kandar (9.2%), Volisania (9.1%), and Varkana (7.3%). Tourism is one of the fastest growing and profitable sectors of the economy, it has had a long history but has experienced recent growth: with 58.4 million international tourist arrivals and total receipts estimated at ₭66.3 billion in 2016, Aetolia was one of the most visited countries in the world as well as on of the highest earners from tourism.

Aetolia is a user of the energy standard to back the national currency, the drachma. As such it is a member of the Energy Standard Organization, which regulates the system.

In 2016, the national unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.

Energy

Electric energy production in Aetolia is largely dominated by the state-owned State Power Corporation (known mostly by its acronym MEH). In 2015, MEH supplied for 85.6% of all electric energy demand in Aetolia, a slight increase from 80.7% in 2010. Forty-two percent of MEH's power output is generated from hydroelectric dams, while nuclear and other renewable sources make up the remainder.

The remaining electricity production in Aetolia is undertaken by private firms, 78% of this comes from hydroelectric schemes, while the rest is from sources such as wind and solar. Since 2001, private firms are not permitted to use non-renewable sources to generate electricity in Aetolia, unless during a state of emergency.

In 2012, renewable energy accounted for 61.4% of the country's total energy consumption, a rise from the 58.9% it accounted for in 2011. Recent efforts from the government have led to the share of renewable energy rising to 76.8% in 2016.

A significant portion of Aetolia's electricity comes from nuclear power. This comes primarily from the largest such station, the Kondovanzaina Power Station. A new experimental power station has been completed at Skovpa, which focuses on nuclear fusion energy. Results from this facility have so far failed to yield effective quantities of electricity, but it is hoped fusion power could provide a clean source of energy for Aetolia.

Between the Aetolian mainland and the Myran exclave there is a HVDC electricity cable that connects the grids of the two areas. The line also connects several of the Anemodian Islands as well. The Lmyrna HVDC cable also provides an important link between Aetolia and Kandar, allowing for energy to be traded between the two countries.

Agriculture

There are 1.8 million farms in Aetolia in 2015, a significant decrease of 23% since 2005. They cover an area of 8.2 million hectares (most of which are located in Southern Aetolia and the Dinarides area). The vast majority (89%) are family-operated and small, averaging only 10 hectares in size. Of the total surface area in agricultural use (forestry excluded), grain fields take up 31%, olive tree orchards 8.2%, vineyards 5.4%, citrus orchards 3.8%, and horticulture 3.4%. The remainder is primarily dedicated to pastures (25.9%) and feed grains (11.6%).

Aetolia is one of the world's top wine producers, as well of the leading in olive oil, fruits (apples, olives, grapes, oranges, lemons, pears, apricots, hazelnuts, peaches, cherries, plums, strawberries and brownfruitss), and vegetables (especially artichokes and tomatoes). The most famous Aetolian wines are probably from the regions of Dionysos and Valahia.

Aetolia also produces high-quality regional cheeses which, alongside the wines mentioned, are often protected under geographical indication assurance labels, issued by the Department of Agriculture, and attributed by the Mesogean Cooperation Organization. These designations considered important in order to avoid confusion with low-quality mass-produced products.

Maritime industry

The shipping industry has been key element of Aetolia's economic activity dating back to ancient times. Today, shipping is still one of the country's most important industries. It accounts for 5.5% of GDP, and employs about 230,000 people.

The Aetolian merchant navy is the largest in the world at ??% of the world's total capacity. The total tonnage of the country's merchant fleet is ??? million dwt, ranked first in the world.

In terms of total number of ships, the Aetolian Merchant Navy stands at 2nd worldwide, with 4,561 ships (4,005 of which are registered in Aetolia while the rest are registered in other ports). In terms of ship categories, Aetolia ranks first in both containers and dry bulk carriers, second in the number of tankers, and fifth in other ships.

The total number of ships worldwide flying an Aetolian flag (includes non-Aetolian fleets) is 7,025.

Tourism

Aetolia is the fifth most visited country in the world, with a total of 60 million international arrivals in the year 2015. This makes the sector one of the country's most important, with the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) at ₭193.7bn in 2016 (11% of GDP).

Aetolia is well known for its cultural and environmental tourist routes. Palaiochori is the 4th most visited city in Illypnia and the ??th in the world, with an average of 9 million international arrivals in 2016. Additionally, many other cities are among the top destinations in the world. The most popular regions for tourists included Central Aetolia, Inachos, Thynia and the Anemodian Islands.

Thyrasa is a popular destination as a party-town and is famed for its nightlife, with the city consistently ranked as one of the best such destinations in Northern Illypnia by travel guides. Palaiochori also has a rich drinking culture, with many bars devoted to traditional Aetolian spirits and Weinhaus that carry large collections of Aetolian wines. Northern destinations such as Ioannina, Kalergo and Erisso are famed for their large white beaches and warm climate.

Astakos is also regarded as a ski resort during winter months, due to its proximity to the Kasus. However, it is less well regarded internationally compared to those in neighbouring Varkana.

Aetolia's most-visited landmarks include the Pantheion (Palaiochori), Leviathos Ancient City, the Congress, Megaza Aqueduct, Kavala Castle, Pantheion Theodosia, Dinaric Palace, and the Temenos of Zeus.

Transport

ΣAK EMR Class high speed train, with a maximum speed of 400 km/h (249 mph), is the fastest train in Aetolia and the Dinarides.

The transport sector in Aetolia generated a turnover of about 80.9 billion krone, employing 723,600 people in 62,900 different enterprises. The national road network, as of 2015, has 589,123 km (366,064 mi) of serviceable roads in Aetolia, including 5,978 km (3,715 mi) of motorways, state-owned and operated by the Aetolian Transport Agency. In 2015, about 23,382,120 passenger cars (580 cars per 1,000 people) and 4,419,500 goods vehicles circulated on the national road network.

The national railway network is state-owned and operated by Aetolian State Railways. In 2015 the network consisted of 13,023 km (8,092 mi) of track, of which 10,027 km (6,230 mi) is electrified, and on which 4,538 locomotives and railcars run. Connections between major urban areas are operated by a high speed network which extends across much of Aetolia and connects with neighbouring Varkana, Sakalia and Koticja. SAK operates a regional network that connects most smaller communities in Aetolia with a major hub station. The Aetolian government has made efforts in recent years to prioritise rail transport as the primary mode of urban and inter-regional mobility for Aetolians. Expansion of the high speed and electrified network has supported this work, alongside 10 kilometres of new tunnels in 2019, and 230 kilometres of newly laid railways.

Most major Aetolian cities are also home to extensive networks of underground metros, commuter rail and trams. Greater Palaiochori possesses the largest and most dense network of transport, with the Palaiochori Metro (the oldest underground in Illypnia), Palaiochori Suburban Rail and Palaiochori Tram collectively having 50 ?lines across the wider urban area.

The national inland waterways network comprised 1,532 km (952 mi) of navigable rivers, canals and channels in 2015. Ferries are a primary mode of transport used by several lakeside communities in Aetolia. Palaiochori, Perdika, Thyrasa, Kavala, Itanos, Kriovrisi all have extensive commuter ferry services.

In 2015 there were approximately 20 main airports (including the three major hubs of Palaiochori Juktas Theodosia Antoninus and Skopelos International Airport) and 30 major seaports (including the Port of Skopelos, the country's largest and largest on the Mesogean Sea). In 2015 Aetolia had a civilian air fleet of about 529,000 units and the second largest merchant fleet in the world of 4,561 ships.

The islands of Aetolia are linked by a network of ferries that are operated by respective regional governments and private operators. The major ferry hub is located at Erimanthia, located at the northern tip of mainland Aetolia. From there, ferries depart to the Anemodian Islands of Avdira, Eidos, Euboua and to Fortopos in Elis. Fortopos is a major ferry hub on serving the northern exclave of Elis, connecting to the city of Myra to the mainland road and rail network. Inachos Regional Ferries, is the largest operator in the country. The major route operated is a RoRo rail/road ferry between Erimanthia and Fortopos.

Aetolia is also embarking on an ambitious programme of constructing fixed links between Aetolia and Echia as well as Aetolia and Elis/Kandar. The Trans-Iremian Tunnel was the first of these, which provided a high speed rail link under the Iremian Sea to Echia. The second is currently under construction and will link Erimanthia on the northern tip of the Aetolian mainland to the islands of Eidos, Euboea and onward to Elis. This high speed rail link will connect Myra and Kandar with the Aetolian mainland.

Telecommunications

Aetolia has a fully developed digital information and communication network, which reaches to all areas of the country. Since 2008, a fibre-optic broadband network has been implemented, which reaches 99 percent of urban areas as of 2020. The existing copper network has been maintained and offers ADSL and VDSL connections to other areas. There is estimated to be 80% broadband penetration within Aetolia.

Cellular connections are available across the country, with widespread coverage of 3G/4G-LTE networks. Several large cities now have public Wi-Fi networks available in their CBDs, some with prepayment methods while others are free. It is estimated that up to 90 percent of Aetolians have access to a 3G/4G connection. Aetolian operators have also began to construct a 5G network in the country, expected to be operational in several major Aetolian cities by 2020.

The communications sector in Aetolia has been liberalized since 1980, with a large array of firms offering broadband and mobile services. Copper and fibre cables are owned by state-owned Aetolian Telekom, which maintains the lines and sells bandwidth to the service providers. Mobile networks, including cell towers and stations, are owned by service providers. Permitting and designations for cables and mobile networks are both managed by the Broadband and Cellular Authority.

Internet-service providers (ISPs) are regulated by the Aetolian Communications Commission, and enforcement is undertaken by the Digital Information and Communications Enforcement Agency. This agency is also responsible for online copyright enforcement, and monitoring for illegal activities (such as piracy or terrorism).

Science and technology

Demographics

As of 2016, Aetolia had a population of 40,314,864 inhabitants. The resulting population density, at 267 inhabitants per square kilometre (691/sq mi), is higher than that of most Illypnian countries. Population distribution is widely uneven. The most densely populated areas are the Axos Basin, the Parisata Valley and the Lower Sinora Valley, while vast regions such as the Kasus and Kotvisan highlands, and the island of Thynia are very sparsely populated.

The population of Aetolia grew rapidly during the 20th century, but the pattern of growth was extremely uneven because of large-scale internal migration from the rural interior to the industrial cities on the coasts. High fertility and birth rates persisted until the 1970s, after which they started to dramatically decline, leading to rapid population ageing. At the end of the 2000s, one in five Aetolians were over 65 years old. In recent years Aetolia has experienced a significant growth in birth rates. The total fertility rate has also climbed from an all-time low of 1.21 children per woman in 1995 to 1.8 in 2016. This is expected to grow even further and reach 2.2–2.6 by 2035.

During 18th and 19th centuries Aetolia experienced large levels of emigration, with the vast bulk of this being made up of colonists moving to Aetolian colonies. Peak migration occurred in 1901 and 1910, with the level gradually decreasing as the Aetolian economy improved and tensions with other powers such as Breisland dampened the pull to the colonies. The legacy of this emigration has been a large community of ethnic Aetolians, the majority of which speak Aetolian and are Armazists, around the world, particularly in Name, Name, Name, and Name.

Cities

Approximately 85 percent of Aetolians live in urban areas. The largest and most influential metropolitan centres are those of Palaiochori, Skopelos and Theodosia, with metropolitan populations of approximately 10 million, 7 million and 5 million inhabitants respectively. Other prominent cities with metro populations above 1 million inhabitants include those of Lefki, Thyrasa, Itanos, Sozopolis, Myra, and Volos.

The table below lists the largest cities in Aetolia, by population contained in their respective contiguous built up urban areas, which are either made up of many communes, evident in cases such as Palaiochori, Skopelos and Theodosia, or are contained within a larger single municipality, evident in most of the moderate to smaller cities of the country.

According to ANSA, an urban area is a contiguous built up area centred around one traditional urban core. In contrast, metropolitan areas include can include several urban cores and often include several cities. An example of this is the Central Aetolia metropolian area, which includes Palaiochori, Fraxos, Itanos and Leviathos.

Migration

Immigration to Aetolia had historically been made up of Aetolian migrants returning from the colonies, especially following the independence of several of these colonies, and Aetolians from historically Aetolian-controlled areas around the Mesogean Sea and Sea of Aetolia, such as Kandar, Kotcija, Varkana, Sakalia and Tirginya.

In 2016, Aetolia had approximately 3.8 million foreign residents, making up 9.4% of the total population. In the same year, about 180,000 people acquired Aetolian citizenship. These figures also exclude illegal immigrants, that were estimated in 2010 to number at least 350,000.

Aetolia has historically largely been a linguistically and culturally homogeneous society, with small flows of foreign immigrants beginning in the late-1980s and 1990s following Mesogean integration, mostly from Kandar, Sakalia and Volisania. Recent economic stability in Aetolia has attracted a larger number of migrants from around the world, with numbers from Fosia and Kaftia increasing in recent years.

Currently, approximately one million Varkan citizens are officially registered as living in Aetolia, representing thus the most important individual country of origin, followed by Kotcijans and Echians with about 500,000 people each. The distribution of immigrants is largely uneven in Aetolia: the majority of immigrants live in the major cities close to respective borders (Skopelos, Lefki and Theodosia), with the remainder concentrated in Palaiochori.

Illegal immigrants generally enter Aetolia via the Kandari border with the Myran exclave, with most of these people coming from countries in Northern Kaftia.

Religion

Religion in Aetolia
Religion Percentage
Paradosian Armazism
  
75.24%
Homeric Armazism
  
7.07%
Judaism
  
6.91%
Orthodox Armazism
  
0.64%
Magdalenan Christianity
  
1.4%
Atheism or Agnosticism
  
6.96%
Muslim
  
3.32%
Others and unspecified
  
3.28%

Paradosian Armazism is, by far, the largest religion in the country, although since 1975 it is no longer officially the state religion. The Aetolian Constitution recognizes Armazism as the 'prevailing faith' and the only religion, while guaranteeing freedom of faith. In 2015, the proportion of Aetolians that identify themselves as Paradosian Armazist was 75.2%. The proportion of Aetolians who identify as having faith has steadily been declining since 1987.

Minority Armazist faiths in Aetolia include Homeric, Orthodox and minor Armazist communities. In 2015, 7% of the population identified as Homeric Armazists, and 0.6% as Orthodox Armazists.

There is a long-established minority Christian community in Aetolia, the majority of whom are Magdalenans. Only 1.4 percent of the population identified as Magdalenan Christian in 2015. There is also a significant minority of Jews in Aetolia, with 7 percent of the population identifying as such.

Rising immigration in the last two decades has been accompanied by an increase in non-Armazist faiths. In 2015, 3.2% of population identified as Muslim.

Aetolia has an open attitude to other religions, despite its history as fiercely Armazist. Officially, Armazism is the only religion recognised by the Constitution of Aetolia, but it guarantees the rights of anyone to practice any other faith. Accordingly, Aetolia has high levels of religous tolerance and in recent years has become a key destination for Jews emigrating from Varkana and its anti-Semitic policies. Minority Armazist groups (such as Homerics) are highly incensed at other religions existing in Aetolia. They have led efforts for law change for several decades, being successful on occassion in denying freedom of religion in commune of Ioannina, Thynia. This was soon quashed by the Supreme Court.

Languages

According to the Aetolian Constitution, Aetolia's official language is Aetolian. It is estimated that there are about 75 million native Aetolian speakers while the total number of Aetolian speakers, including those who use it as a second language, is about 90 million, while some estimates have it as high as 100 million. Aetolia has numerous regional dialects; however, the establishment of a national education system has led to a decrease in variation in the languages spoken across the country from the 19th century onward. Standardization was further expanded in the 1950s and 1960s thanks to economic growth and the rise of mass media and television. The Aetolian Language Authority set the official standard Aetolian in 1952.

Three minority languages are legally recognized: Sakalian, Varkan and Mesonjean. Mesojean is co-official in the region of Valahia and several communes in Pheres. It is administered by the Mesojean Language Authority. Varkan is recognized by some communes along the Varkan border, while Sakalian is recognized in the region of Eresos.

Recent immigration has led to larger numbers of non-Aetolian speakers in the country. Citizenship and residency law in Aetolia require applicants to be fluent in at least one of the legally recognized languages, so most can speak Aetolian.

Education

Education in Aetolia is free and mandatory from ages five to seventeen, and consists of five stages: kindergarten, primary school, intermediate school, secondary school and university.

Primary education lasts six years. The students are given a basic education in Aetolian, Breislandic, mathematics, natural sciences, history, geography, social studies, physical education and visual and musical arts. Secondary education lasts for five years and generally involves two stages. There is three years at a general secondary school, after which students move into either a final school preparing them for university study, or a technical school preparing students for vocational training. In smaller centres however, there is often only one secondary school that covers all of these areas. Aetolian education generally ranks well in global comparisons, although there are weaknesses in certain subject areas.

Tertiary education in Aetolia is largely consists of prestigious public universities, with a smaller number of private universities. Several Aetolian universities rank highly in global tables, and they are well respected institutions that have a high research output.

Health

The Aetolian government has run a universal public healthcare system since 1950. The majority of healthcare is provided through this public system, although there is a small number of private facilities. Healthcare management is to the provincial governments in Aetolia, each deciding how to deliver the services for their respective jurisdiction. Primary care is provided through a grant scheme, and low-income earners are eligible for fully-subsidized primary care at National Primary Health Corporation facilities. Other citizens use a variety of local private clinics and receive a subsidy for their care. The healthcare service is coordinated by Department of Health. Healthcare spending in Aetolia accounted for 9.5% of the national GDP in 2015. Aetolia is ranked as having the world's ?? best healthcare system, and the world's ?? best healthcare performance.

Life expectancy in Aetolia is 80.8 for males and 85.1 for females, placing the country ?? in the world for life expectancy. In comparison to other developed countries, Aetolia has a relatively low rate of adult obesity (below 10%). The proportion of daily smokers was 22% in 2015, down from 24.4% in 2010 but still slightly above the Illypnian average. Smoking in public places including bars, restaurants, night clubs and offices has been banned completely since 1999. Aetolia has one of the highest rates of perceived good health, at 98% in 2015. Infant mortality is currently at a rate of 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births

Culture

Theatre

Philosophy

Literature

Cinema

Cuisine

Music and dances

Sports

Sport is generally popular in Aetolia, both for spectators and players. High percentages of the population participate in social sporting teams for a variety of sports. Some of the most popular sports include football, hockey, tennis, rugby and cricket.

There is a national professional association football league, the Prémier Link (Premier League), which is the most popular league (by viewers) in Aetolia. Teams represent most major cities, with some cities having several teams. The Aetolian national association football team represents Aetolia at AIF events and international fixtures, and has had a high degree of success in international tournaments in through history.

The men's and women's hockey teams both enjoy large levels of success in international fixtures, having won the highest number of Hockey World Cups of any nation. Club Hockey is popular in Aetolia and the second most popular league in the country is the Hockey Linka.

Mythology

Public holidays and festivals

Aetolia's holidays largely follow Armazist custom and tradition, with several harvest festivals being public holidays throughout the year. In recent years, the government has been trying to promote secular holidays and reduce the reliance on the Armazist holiday calendar.

Aetolia marks several important events with public holidays, including Republic Day, Unification Day (formerly King's Day), Constitution Day, Suffrage Day, and Workers' Day.