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Principality of the Banat
Fürstentum Banat (de); Principatul Banatului (ro); Bánáti Hercegség (hu); Банатска Књажевина (srb)
Flag of the Banat Principality
Coa of Banatian Principality
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Si Deus nobiscum quis contra nos ("If God is with us, then who is against us")
Anthem: Mein Treuer Prinz ("Mine Faithful Prince")
Imperial Anthem of the Russian Empire (1833-1917)
Banatmap
Capital
and largest city
Temeschburg
45°45′N 21°13′E
Official languages Banat German (lingua franca), Romanian, Hungarian, Serbian
Recognised regional languages Yiddish, Slovak, Croatian, Czech, Krashovan
Ethnic groups (2011)
Demonym Banatian
Government Federal constitutional monarchy
• Prince
Johannes von der Bellen
• Chancellor
Nicolae Robu
Legislature National Diet
Senate
National Congress
Independence from Austria-Hungary
• Declaration of Independence
November 1, 1919
November 15, 1918 – July 21, 1919
• Recognition by the Tripartite Powers
July 11, 1919
June 12, 1941 - August 15, 1944
December 12, 1989 - December 18, 1989
• Restoration of the Monarchy
November 1, 1990
Area
• Total
38,885 km2 (15,014 sq mi)
Population
• 2016 estimate
4.950.000 (118th)
• 2011 census
4.791.921 (120th)
GDP (PPP) 2016 est. estimate
• Total
$339.960 billion (51st)
• Per capita
$32,436
GDP (nominal) 2016 est. estimate
• Total
$191.364 (50th)
• Per capita
$20,998
Gini (2015) positive decrease 26.4
low · 19th
HDI (2016) Green Arrow Up Darker 0.869
very high
Currency Euro (€) (EUR)
Time zone Central European Time (UTC+1)
Date format dd/mm/yyyy
Drives on the right
Patron saint Saint Gerard and Saint Sava
Internet TLD .bt

The Banat, officially known as the Principality of the Banat (Banat German: Fürstentum Banat), is a sovereign state located in Central Europe. It consists of the historical regions Banat and Batschka. A federal constitutional monarchy, it is comprised of five constituent states; each labeled as a canton. The Banat is one of five remaining principalities in Europe, along with Monaco, Andorra, the Ionian Islands and Liechtenstein.

The country shares borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, and Croatia to the west. With an area of 38,885 km² (15,123 sq. mi.), the Banat is 133rd largest country in the world, making it slightly larger than Bhutan, but smaller than Switzerland. In 2011, the Banat had a population of 4.791.921, making it 122nd most populous country in the world, putting it with a population greater than New Zealand, but less than Costa Rica.

Human development in the Banat has existed since the times of antiquity. During the early Middle Ages, the Banat came under the control of the Avars, a nomadic people of indeterminate origins. After the Avar Khaganate dissolved, the country was subject to Bulgarian rule. After a little more than a century of rule, by the 11th century, Hungarian forces threatened the political integrity of the Banat. After intensive conflict, the several duchies of the Banat became tributary states of Hungary. When Achtum, a Banatian duke, consolidated more power, in the region, he chose to convert to Christianity from paganism, and accept Roman rule. These actions helped Christianize the Banat, and helped increase interaction with other European powers. After experiencing a golden age under the rule of Hungarian King Matthias the Just, the Banat was conquered by the Ottoman Empire before the Ottomans were ultimately repelled during the Austro-Ottoman War.

During Austrian rule, the Banat experienced substantial demographic changes. The arrival of the Swabians greatly altered the country's ethnic markup and politics. By the early 20th century, the Banat moved towards independence, finally obtaining it after World War I when the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed. Full autonomy and independence was short-lived however, when the neighboring Serbians occupied the Banat. In an effort to maintain peace and stability, the international powers restored independence for the Banatians at the Versailles Conference. The Banat was established as a buffer state between the Serbo-Croats and the Romanians. Shortly after independence, the Banat formally became a monarchy, with Alexander von der Bellen, a noble from the lower Russian gentry, named Prince. Ethnic tensions and economic instability plagued the Banat, and by World War II, the country fell under the occupation of the Nazis. Following liberation, the Banat came under communist rule with the backing of Yugoslavia. The Banat remained communist up until the peaceful 1989 Banatian Revolution, which saw the restoration of the monarchy, and rapid liberalization. The Balkan Wars cemented the Banat's role as a mediating power in the region, and by the 21st century, the Banat had partnered with NATO and the European Union.

Contemporary Banat has been at the forefront of international politics as a middle power, and has experienced rapid economic growth in due part to foreign investment (particularly from Sierra, a keynote ally). It has a high-income economy with a very high standard of living. The Banat is a member of the EU, the LN, the World Bank, WTO and the Council of Europe. It is also global partners with the NATO and the Conference of American States, as well as an observer in the Intermarium Alliance. Home to a rich history, the Banat is renowned internationally for its contributions to the sciences and technology, arts, music, literature, and sports. It is a popular tourist destination in Europe, and is home to Europe's homebred "Silicon Valley", which is backed by Sierran investment.

Etymology

Most Banatians choose to refer to their country as simply Banat, but in formal occassions, it is referred to as Banaterstaat (en.: Banatian State); meanwhile, they refer to themselves by their nationality and language.

The term Banat emanates from the Slavic term of Avar origin Banat, which refers to the territory ruled by a ban, a type of Slavic nobility. The term was first used in the region to name the Banate of Severin, which included parts of the Banat. The name officially became an administration name for the entire region after it's conquest by the Austrians.

History

Middle Ages

Avar and Bulgar Rule

The Avars under Khagan Bayan I took control over the territory of the Banat with Byzantine support. Wars between the two powers were fought on Banatian soil. However, not much is known of the history at that time. 

Battles were fought on the Banat during the Frankish-Avar war. However, the region came under the Bulgarian Empire after the dissolution of the Khaganate. However, the region only remained under direct Bulgarian control for little more than a century. The death of Boris I led to the semi-independence of the Duchies of Glad and Salan from the Bulgarian Empire, both gaining tributary status to the Bulgarian state. 

Magyar Conquest

The territory of the Banat was under the rule of the duke Glad, while the Baczka was ruled by Salan. When the Magyar tribes under Árpád conquered the Carpathian basin, they fought fiercely against local rulers, vassals of the Bulgarian Empire.

Salan's duchy fell first, after a great battle between the Magyar tribes and the defending Bulgarian forces with Byzantine support. Glad, however, fought a fierce battle against the Magyars. His army of Pechenegs, Bulgarians and Vlachs fought at the Ford of Föen, but the battle was lost to the Magyar warlords Zovárd and Kadocsa. Glad retreated to the great fortress of Kubin and tried to rally troops, but a siege cut this short and he surrendered, accepting vassal status under the Magyars of Árpád.

Hungarian Rule

The territory of the Banat remained semi-autonomous during the 10th century, with several dukes ruling from the region, paying tribute to the King of Hungary. However, the last autonomous duke Achtum (also called Ahtum, Ахтум or Ajtony) tried to assert more power in the region by taxing the salt travelling down the Mieresch from Transylvania. Originally a pagan, he was baptized to the Greek Orthodox rite in Vidin, Bulgaria, and officially accepted suzerainity of the Byzantines. 

Sensing treachery from his military commander, Czanad (also called Cenad, Чанад or Csanád), the nephew of King Stephen of Hungary, he ordered a warrant of arrest for his head. Czanad fled from Achtum to his uncle, and King Stephen prepared for the invasion of Achtum's duchy. 

Achtum's rule was broken at a battle at his stronghold Morisena. Achtum's duchy was granted to Czanad, who also renamed the stronghold to Czanad. As the bishop of the region was appointed Gerardo Sagredo, a monk out of Venice and the first bishop of Czanad.

During the time prior to the Mongol Invasion, the area was inhabited by settled Vlachs in the Banat Mountains and many tribes of Pechenegs and Magyars migrating around the vast plains. 

During the Mongol Invasion of Hungary, the lowlands of the Banat and Batschka were almost completely abandoned. 

Rennaissance and Baroque

Hungarian Golden Age

Ottoman Invasion

Austro-Ottoman War

Austrian Rule

Colonization of the Banat Swabians

Austrian Golden Age

The Decline

The Dual Monarchy

World War One

Independence

Declaration of Independence

On November 1st, 1918, representatives of the Hungarian Social Democratic Party, under the leadership of Dr. Otto Roth, declare independence of the Banatian Republic following the chaos after WW1. 

A Banatian military guard was created and established. However, due to instability and nationalism between the different ethnic groups, this was not to last.

Serbian Occupation and the Alba-Iulia Accords

On November 15th, a contigent of the Serbian army invaded the Banat and swiftly occupied the region. Continued rule of the Serbocroatia happened until the 1919 Alba-Iulia Accords, which divided the Banat between Romania and Serbocroatia. 

Versailles

A contigent of Banat Swabians, under the leadership of the liberated Dr. Roth, arrived at Versailles for the accords. They proposed the creation of a buffer state between Serbo-Croatian and Romanian interests, based on the fact that the region was promised to both countries during the war. 

While the French delegation quickly dismissed the idea, the NU and Portuguese contingents quickly bid their support for the nation, which was followed by Britain in an attempt to weaken Hungary's interests in the region. The French delegation relented, and thus the nation was allowed to be formed. Both newly-formed Yugoslavia and Romania were ordered to retreat from the Banat and the Baczka. 

Institution of the Princes

After independence was set up again, the question of rulership came up. A plebiscite in 1920 showed that the population by a vast majority wanted to keep a form of monarchic rule. With the Habsburgs disallowed to rule on the territory, several noble families came into question. However, an underdog in the race succeeded: white Russian politician and noble Alexander von der Bellen. As the government searched for a solution, von der Bellen stepped up as a candidate. Due to his non-affiliation to the country, him and his family were finally given the title Princes of Banat and the Republic turned into a principality. 

Ethnic and Economic Instability

The nation was not a paradise, however. Nationalism tore through the country and divided the country. This era is called the Five-Capitals Era, due to the different ethnicities setting up their own ethnic programme, while paying minimal lip service to the government in Temeschburg. 

The Romanian contigent in Lugosch, which was and still is a cultural centre for the Romanians of the Banat, was a hub of the Iron Guard contingents during this era. The Romanians in this region voted much more for the Iron Guard than those in mainland Romania. A visit by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the founder of the Legionnaire movement, in Lugosch in the summer of 1933 sparked controversy and outrage in the other ethnic groups, including the Banat Swabians, who have previously felt aligned with the Romanians.

The Banat Swabians became more and more anti-Hungarian, with a German Nationalist party dominating in the National Diet. Influenced by Adam-Müller Guttenbrunn's writings, they became more and more anti-Hungarian, calling for their expulsion from Banatian territory, along with the Serbians, who they saw as major enemies. Their policies on Romanians were to accept them, but not allow them to oppose them in the upkeeping of the Banatian state. Their centre was Hatzfeld, the Banat Swabian cultural capital. 

Both Hungarian and Serbian contigents were based in the Baczka, with Theresiopel being the base of the Hungarian Reunification Movement, while the Serbian Yugoslavian Party had it's base in Neussatz. Both were actively seeking reunification with their mother state and the destruction of the Banat Swabians completely. 

This continued until 1941, when the unthinkable happened and Banat Swabian culture was shattered into pieces: Bekebelezés

World War 2

Bekebelezés

The Banat pursued a policy of neutrality throughout the beginning of World War 2. However, the weak country was prone to the machinations of it's neighboring countries. However, on April 6th, 1941, Hungary officially invaded the Banat with Nazi German approval and became an autonomous province of Hungary. 

This created a cultural shock for the Banat Germans so deep, it forever shaped the Swabian mindset: The Germans in Germany betrayed them and gave them up to their arch-enemy, the Hungarians. 

This alienated the Banat Swabians so much, that riots happened in all major cities with Danube Swabian presence within both Hungary and the Banat. This was, in turn, responded with brutal suppression and a large response from Berlin to lay down their arms. However this didn't happen, and developed quite to the contrary. 

Zrenjanin's Partisans

Many parties started opposing the Hungarian occupation of the Banat. The biggest group was the Communist partisans rallying around central figure Žarko Zrenjanin, whom they called Uča. Many local Banat Swabians, seeing no other alternative than the fascist Romanian Iron Guard, rallied around him. This was added by a large number of Romanians.

While Zrenjanin was caught and executed in 1942, his Partisans lived on, with Tito's support from his Partisans.

Help from the Yugoslav Partisans

During the Axis offensive into Yugoslavia, the Banatian branch of the Partisans, now headed by Romanian-born Petru Groza, operated more clandestinely than Zrenjanin ever did. In the surprise move of many Banat Swabians and Romanians joining the Partisans, Tito declared the Banat Swabians as 'eternal friends to Communism and all people suffering fascism'. 

The 1944 Partisan campaign marked the begin of the Partisans taking over large parts of the Banat in it's liberation. Lead by the calculating Petru Groza, he used guerilla tactics to retake the entire Banat, with only Yugoslav support. At the end of World War Two, the Soviets recognized the Banat Germans as having 'fought against the Fascist Menace' and they were represented in the Peace Accords.  

Communist Era

Early Years

Petru Groza lead the nation into rebuilding from the war, with support from Tito's Yugoslavia. This new alliance of Romanians, Germans and Serbians lead to a more stable nation than it ever was during it's early years. However, a population exchange with Hungary happened. With many Hungarians evicted from the Banat, Danube Swabians from Hungary emigrated into the Banat as well, making the German population grow. Due to this, ties to Hungary dropped severely, and people feared it might lead to war.

However, this never happened. The Banat entertained several diplomatic missions to Romania, where they convinced the Romanian government to not expulse or discriminate the German population of the country, as to keep them loyal to them. 

Stalin-Tito Split

Petru Groza, though a firm supporter of Muscovite power in his early years, was now an old man who had not received any support from Moscow during the war. This made him much more independent-minded than before the war, and made him a steadfast and important ally of Tito, as it did in the Partisan Campaign.

When the split became clear in 1948, and it became clear that Groza would support Tito, not the Muscovites, Thus, the Banat and Yugoslavia were expelled from the Cominform, but not without protest from Romanian leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. 

Liberalization

Groza would take the path of Tito, towards liberalization and decentralization, though not as far as the Yugoslav state. This would bring much prosperity to the country and help the country through it's economic development. 

During the Hungarian uprising of 1956, the Banat announced to do nothing about it, as the political climate was very biased against Hungary. Petru Groza was reported to smile during this incident, and it was said he laughed at the invasion of Hungary. 

The climate stabilized and the Banat began prospering, leading to it co-founding the Non-Aligned Movement. After the death of Petru Groza in 1961, he was succeeded by Vasile Botezatu as leader of the Banat. Continued prosperity and unity in the nation continued, with detaining Muscovite supporters being the biggest issues until 1968. 

In 1968, during the Czechoslovakia Crisis, President Botezatu, along with Tito and their Romanian counterpart, Nicolae Ceausescu, protested the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and in response, Romania quit all military intervention in the Warsaw Pact and sought closer ties with the West, which the Banat and Yugoslavia were quick to provide. 

Late Communist Era

In 1980, both Presidents Botezatu and Tito died, earning a national mourning in Banat for both of the leaders, one as a father to the country, the other as a close friend and ally. Marianna Schmidt succeeded as the President, but her rule saw the rise of anti-Communist sentiment. This was partly due to the instability that began rising in Yugoslavia on matters of ethnicity. 

The Serbians in Banat, being isolated from events in Yugoslavia, now were given the choice between a Serbian state or Banat, which lead to a decade of instability within the Banat. Several protest movements were put down by Marianna Schmidt's troops. 

Banatian Revolution

On December 12th, 1989, the people in Temeschburg rose in protest against the Communist government, due to Western influences and the population increasingly seeing Marianna Schmidt as a tyrant. This largely peaceful revolution saw the fall of Marianna Schmidt's government and the establishment of a provisional republic, until a decision was to be made. 

Contemporary Era

Reinstating the Monarchy

The head of House von der Bellen, Senator Johannes von der Bellen of the Gold Coast, visited the country for New Year 1990. He was welcomed with interest by the official authorities and oversaw the New Year's procession. Monarchist sentiments rose as a result, as he was seen as a unifying symbol against Communism during the previous decades before the Revolution. 

On November, 1st, 1990, the Princely Family was reinstated and the Banat became a monarchy, again a Principality of the Banat. 

Balkan War

The Balkan Wars were a shaping moment for the Second Principality. Fighting broke out in the vicinity, and the Yugoslav government tried to ensure friendly relations with Temeschburg to avoid bombings on Belgrade. The Banat declared neutrality in the war, but warned any side that entering Banatian territory will incur retribution from the Banatian army. 

In December of 1992, the Banatian government reported Serbian soldiers entering the Banat in the Baczka region from Vukovar. This prompted the Banat to invade the Serbian areas around Vukovar, taking the Serbs by surprise and occupying the region under the Syrmian Security Area. Any military troops proven to be involved in the Vukovar massacre were brought to Temeschburg to await trial for humanitarian crimes. 

The Yugoslav government protested this, but the LN sided with the Banat and put the Banat in charge of Vukovar's area, in the LN Vukovar humanitarian zone. Serbian soldiers who participated in the Vukovar massacre were charged with genocide and given life sentences, which they serve in an undisclosed location within the Banat. 

When intelligence found out that Croatian prisoners from Vukovar were held in Sremska Mitrovica, across the river from the Banat, the Yugoslav government was given three days to liberate the civilian and military prisoners, or face retribution. Several prisoners were released and brought to humanitarian centers within the Banat, to help the poor souls. Refugees from Croatia and Bosnia entered subsequently in the Banat, but they were explicitly told that they will have to return to their homes, and that the Banat will help them out as much as they can. 

The Banat was a key ally of the NATO intervention within the Yugoslav Wars and was given command to keep the LN Peace Zone until 2004. After the wars, the Banat helped as much as they could in the rebuilding of homes of the refugees in Croatia and Bosnia and began encouraging jobs within the respective countries. 

Sierran Influence

Due to the current monarch, Johannes, being born and having been raised and grown to power in Sierra, relations with Sierra bloomed during this period. What began as a small friendship began the sponsoring of the 'Silicon Plains' of Baczka, where the new center of technology within Central Europe is laid. 

EU Membership

In 2000, talk with the EU leadership in Brussels began over joining the EU. Due to Sierran investment during the late 90's and early 2000's, the Banat met the criteria of joining the EU, with plans to include them within the Eurozone in 2010 at the latest.

On January 1st 2004, the Banat joined the EU as a member state along with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Malta. It adopted the Euro on January 1st, 2009.

Refugee Crisis

Starting in 2015, many refugees coming from Syria and Iraq began passing through the Banat in hopes of reaching Germany and Sweden. The Banatian government was skeptical of this and criticized the actions of Chancellor Faymann of Austria.

In the summer of 2016, a coalition made of the Banat, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Hertegovina closed the Balkan Passage of the refugees, and the Banat offered to take these refugees temporarily within their borders, but with the strict stating that they would need to either return to their country or find a sponsor (usually a job) to ensure they stay in the Banat as legal residents and later citizens.

Geography

The Banat is a mainly flat land. It is bordered by Hungary to the north, Romania to the east, Croatia to the west, and Serbia to the south. The Banat has an area of 38,885 km² (15,123 sq. mi.)

The highest point in the Banat is Mt. Kahlan; located in the Zarko Mountains, it measures up to 2,186 meters (7171 feet) above sea level. The longest river is the Danube which runs between historical Banat and Baczka and on the South-Western and Southern border. The largest lake is Lake Ferde, with a surface of 460 hectars. The Banat is dominated by plains, with the notable exemption of Karasch-Severin (which is dominated by mountains and high plains). The mountains have a high amount of zinc, iron, nickel, copper, tin and coal. The city of Reschitz was a steelworker's paradise, with most steelworking companies based there.

Government and politics

The Banat features a federal multi-party constitutional monarchy. The monarch is the head of state, but wields little actual political power and serves more as a ceremonial figurehead, whose role is to embody the Banatian citizens. The majority of real political power is held by the Chancellor, who also leads the executive branch; he or she is appointed by the monarch, but designated by people through a popular vote. Although the monarch appoints the Premier, its constitution explicitly states the monarch must appoint whoever the majority of voters designated in the elections.

The Banate's legislative body is the National Diet, seated in the capital city of Temeschburg. The National Diet is bicameral, consisting of two chambers; the Senate (with five elected from every constituent state) and the National Congress (a total of 300 seats). The members of the National Diet are elected through popular vote, and is dissolved once every six years. All adults eighteen and above have universal suffrage, with a secret ballot for all elected offices. The prime minister, elected, picks his ministers.

The judicial branch is headed by the Supreme Court of the Banat; while it is the highest court in the country, it only has appellate jurisdiction over appeals cases relating to general and criminal law. The Constitutional Court of the Banat has original jurisdiction surrounding any cases that involve constitutionality, having also additional powers on deciding cases regarding administrative law.

Monarchy

Being a constitutional monarchy, the Banat has a hereditary monarchy that assumes the role as the head of the state. Asides from practicing powers associated with the princely prerogative, the Banatian monarchy maintain a marginal role in every-day politics, making them mostly figureheads rather than actual leaders, a role assumed by the Chancellor. Wielding the diadema, the Banatian monarchy also represents the embodiment of the Banatian citizens.

The princely house of the Banat is the House of von der Bellen, which was established in 1801 by Johann van der Bellen, a man of Dutch descent, as a noble family around Pskov, in Tsarist Russia. They were invited to become the princely family of the Banat due to the need of a new monarch for the new principality. They were sent into exile during the Cold War, as the von der Bellens had to flee and go into exile in the Kingdom of Sierra during WW2 and the time of the Socialist Republic of Banat. They were restored in 1990, with Johannes I von der Bellen crowned as new prince.

Political parties

The Banat is best described as a multi-party, currently dominated by the conservative, centrist Conservative Party since the liberation, with the Socialist Party as coalition members. The coalition is largely conservative, but also very tolerant to other minorities.

Recently however, the refugee crisis has affected the Banat and it has taken part in the blocking of the Balkan route project along with Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary and Austria. The third largest party in Banat is the rightist Freedom Party of Banat. while the fourth largest party is the Forwards, Banat!, which advocates for climate protection and fairness is politics.

Administrative divisions of the Banat

The Banat is divided into four cantons (Kantone). These are further divided into counties (Bezirke) and component cities (Freistädte). These are further divided into communities (Gemeinden).

Each canton is led by the chairman, and he or she is tasked with enforcing both national and local law in their canton. Meanwhile, counties and component cities are led by the lead chairmen, which is the highest rank in the municipal council. As the Banat is a federal state, cantons enjoy partial autonomy in internal affairs and decisions. This autonomy is rather large, but is restricted in some measures by the government.

Military

The Banat wields the ?-most powerful military in the world according to the Military Power Index. The Banat spends annually about ~0.7 of its gross domestic product on the military.

The Ministry of Defense and Public Security is responsible for the coordination of The Banat's defence and military capabilities, and is based in the Burg district of Temeschburg. The armed forces of the Banat is divided into three branches; the National Banatian Army, the National Banatian Air Force and the National Banatian River Guard, all of which are collectively known as the Banatian Princely Armed Forces.

Military service is mandatory for all males from age 18, where they are drafted into the military for 9 months. Those who are unable to serve or refuse to train militarily may take part in civil service, where they do tasks to help the populace.

Civil rights

Gay rights

Gay rights in Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples Gays allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Flag of the Banat Principality Banat Yes check Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)
Yes check Yes check (since 2007) Yes check Yes check Yes check Bans all hate crimes and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity Yes check Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender

Women's rights

Females historically had not been given equal rights, but universal suffrage has happened in the 1930's. 

Foreign relations

The Banat holds political neutrality and doesn't ally with many nations. The EU is the only major political organization it is part of.

Economy

Economic indicators
Nominal GDP  ? (Q4 2013)
Real GDP growth  ?% (Q4 2014, annualized)
(Q4 2013)
CPI inflation 1.5% (November 2014)
Employment-to-population ratio 67.7% (December 2014)
Unemployment 3.3% (December 2014)
Labor force participation rate 65.6% (December 2014)
Total public debt  ? (?% of GDP) (Q4 2014)
Household net worth $? (Q4 2014)

The Banat has a partially regulated mixed economy and is the ? economy in the world. Sierra has a GDP of $? and ranks ? in the world in nominal GDP per capita. A developed country with a high-income economy, the Banat is one of the most industrialized nations in OECD.


The Princely Bank of the Banat serves as the Banat's central bank and is charged with the responsibility of issuing coins and notes of the national currency, the Euro, along with the other members of the EU. The euro is the second largest reserve currency behind the British pound sterling.
Donau 200 Deluxe

The Donau 200 Deluxe, based on the iconic Donau 200, called 'the three-wheeled Käfer', is a 2008 throwback model adapted for inner-city travel and small parking lots, a major problem in the Banat

The leading exports of the Banat include petrol and electronic productsagricultural productschemicals and automobiles. Sierra has been largely responsible for the economic boom in the country, with the investment making them one of the richer countries in Europe and making the Neussatz region known as the Silicon Valley of Europe. Tourism is particularly strong in the capital region, Karasch-Severin (mountains, lakes, hiking), Baczka and the region around Zrenjanin. Agriculture is one of the Banat's strongest sectors, being coloquially called the 'breadbasket of Europe' with its exported produce, products being cerealsapplesmaizepotatoesgrapessoyastrawberries, and other vegetables. The Central and Western areas are the primary centers for all Banatian agricultural products with its fertile flatland and favorable weather conditions. The small town of Rekasch is renowned for its wine industry and is the top producer in grape products in the region. Beefchicken, and turkey are among livestock and game products that the Banat exports. Milk is the Banat's top dairy product followed by cheesebutter and yoghurt

Demographics

Population

Banat Ethnic Breakdown of Population
Ethnic composition 1990 2000 2010
Germans 34.0% 33.0% 32.3%
Romanians 30.6% 31.5% 32.2%
Serbians 17.2% 18.3% 20.1%
Hungarians 12.5% 9.9% 8.4%
Ashkenazi Jews 1.4% 1.3% 1.2%
Slovaks 0.9% 0.9% 0.8%
Other 4,5% 5% 5%

The 2010 Banat Princely Bureau of Census officially counted 4.783.431 Banatians. On November 1, 2016, the Census estimated that 4.950.431 people were living in the Banat—an estimation consistent with the continual positive population growth Banat has experienced in recent years due to immigration from Serbia and Romania.

The main source of immigrants have consistently come from Romania and Serbia. Others have also come from FYROM and Bulgaria. These immigrants have continued in lieu of the domestic workforce to meet the ongoing demand for more jobs in technology, medicine, and science.

Language

Languages spoken by more than 0.8% of Banatians at home
as of 2010
Language Percent of
population
Number of
speakers
German 40.7% 2,014,825
Combined total of all languages
other than German
59.3% 2,935,606
Romanian 28.2% 1,396,022
Serbian 18.7% 925,731
Hungarian 5.4% 267,323
Yiddish 1.2% 59,405
Slovak 0.8% 39,603

German (Banat German), Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian are the official languages at the federal level. All of the official languages are mentioned explicitly on the Constitution's Section IV of Article and receives an implied preference of usage in the Constitution.

4.950.431 All of the official language are recognized as languages with at least over 5% of Banatians using it at home. According to the 2010 census 40.7% of Banatians over the age of 5 spoke only or predominantly German at home. Romanian is the second most common language and is also the most taught school language in the Banat. Foreign language classes featuring the other official languages are also offered at all Banatian public school districts.

By default, despite there being four official languages, most government buildings, documents, and signs use only German, which is the lingua franca. This can be better observed in racial-specific majority areas or ethnic enclaves where a particular language is more prevalent. Subsection II of Article I, Section IV states that any level of government may use any of the official languages for official use so long as it reflects the area's linguistic community and that it include one other language, preferably German of the "Banatian variant". Regardless, as mandated by federal statute, all said government-operated facilities must provide a written translation in each of the official language and/or an active duty translator with fluent knowledge to the respective language. For that reason, the translation and language learning industry has been strong due to popular and legal demand. In addition, Subsection II of Article I, Section IV states that the government shall provide translations of official documents to citizens who do not understand any of the official languages fluently.

Other commonly spoken languages that do not have official status include Yiddish, Slovak, Czech, Croatian, French, and Bulgarian.

Religion

Religious affiliation in the Banat
Affiliation % of the Banat population
Christian 87 87
 
Roman Catholic 38.715 38.715
 
Greek Catholic 28.5 28.5
 
Eastern Orthodox 24.15 24.15
 
Other Christian 2 2
 
Other Faith 4 4
 
Judaism 1.2 1.2
 
Unaffiliated 9 9
 
Total 100 100
 

The Banatian Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids the Diet from passing any law promoting religious law. Christianity has been the most practiced religion in the Banat since its founding with Catholics claiming the most adherents. In spite of this, weekly church attendance has been declining since the communist regime and currently stands at 56%. Irreligion has been growing particularly among younger Banatians.

Catholics remains the largest group in the Banat, Roman and Greek Catholic. The largest Christian non-Catholic denomination is Eastern Orthodoxy at 24.15%. 

Judaism is the largest non-Christian religion with 1.2% with the next 3.8 constituting Buddhism (1.1%), Asatru (1.1%), and Islam (1.1%). There also exists a diverse number of religious communities of minute populations: for example Hindu or Zalmoxian

Religion has influenced the Banat which has held a strong Catholic tradition. Although the government cannot pass any religious laws, the government has on many occasions been influenced or pressured by religious organizations and groups.

In regard towards the military, religious observers can opt to be a conscientious objector in times of a military draft and serve as a non-combatant in the forces. Such claims are taken seriously and rigorous background checks help determine whether an individual may receive such status.

While the Parliament of the Banat is constitutionally prevented from restricting the practice of religion, it does have the power to restrict religious activity that would violate the constitution or law such as murder and polygamy. It also can deem whether or not an organization claiming religious status can be eligible for tax exemption

Family structure and law

In 2014, 73% of Banatians over the age of 25 were married or cohabited, 1% were widowed, 8% were divorced, and the rest have never married or been involved in a long-term relationship. Marriage and the nuclear family are two important concepts which are deeply rooted into Banatian culture. Until contemporary times, marriage was defined a monogamous union between a man and a woman. Since at least the 2000s, this view has been challenged by pro-LGBT activists who helped push towards greater cultural acceptance in the Banat. Divorce is deeply frowned upon and discouraged in traditional Banatian culture although divorce rates have steadily rose to affecting 20 out of 100 marriages in 2014.

According to the 2010 census, same-sex marriages accounted for 1.2% of all marriages in the Banat. Same-sex marriages are legally recognized in all cantons. Marriage between first cousins is legal and polygamy is illegal in all of the cantons although adultery and extramarital laws are either non-existent or unenforced. Similarly, child pornography  is criminalized in all cantons and the distribution, ownership, or creation of such material is considered a felony at the federal law. 

The legalization of cannabis has been a debate in the country. The liberal and progressive fronts advocate it's legalization, but conservatives point to the cannabis tourism in the Netherlands as being 'not productive'. Currently, cannabis is decriminalized and legal for medical and spiritual purposes. 

Culture

Cuisine

Banatian cuisine is a mix of Serbian, Romanian, German and Hungarian cuisine. Banatian cuisine emphasises the freshness of ingredients and cooking skill of the chef. Wheat enjoys status as the staple grain and make up the basis of a Banatian diet. Pork, beef, chicken, and mutton are the most used meats, but Banatian cuisine readily makes use of any edible meats; including horse, lamb, rabbit and snails. Fruits such as apricots, berries, and apples are frequently consumed raw and are only sometimes added into dishes, while vegetables are typically eaten boiled or stewed.

Seasoning is used heavily to add additional flavour, for example, garlic is used heavily in many dishes, while peppers are used heavily in spicy dishes. Other seasoning (not including spices) include vinegar, salt, sugar, black peppers, spring onion, and wine. Spices that are commonly used are chili peppers, and powdered black pepper. With the exception of rosemary, which is used merely as garnish, there is little to no usage of fresh herbs.

Literature

Music

Sport

Footnotes