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Реферат History. Geography and environment. Climate. Political system. Industry, economy and globalization: headquarters of Nokia, Finland's largest company. Culture: literature, visual arts, music, cinema, cuisine, public holidays.
Тип работы: Реферат.
Предмет: Ин. языки.
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The Moscow State Social- Humanitarian
The Faculty of foreign languages
The English Department
Developed by the student
Of the group PM-07
2. Geography and environment
4. Political system
5. Industry, economy and globalization
Geography and environment
Detailed map of Finland.
Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands; 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m?) and 179,584 islands to be precise. One of these lakes, Saimaa, is the fifth largest in Europe. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills and its highest point, the Halti at 1,324 metres, is found in the extreme north of Lapland at the border between Finland and Norway.
The landscape is covered mostly (seventy-five percent of land area) by coniferous taiga forests and fens, with little arable land. The most common type of rock is granite. It is a ubiquitous part of the scenery, visible wherever there is no soil cover. Moraine or till is the most common type of soil, covered by a thin layer of humus of biological origin. The greater part of the islands are found in southwest in the Archipelago Sea, part of the archipelago of the Aland Islands, and along the southern coast in the Gulf of Finland.
Finland is one of the few countries in the world whose surface area is still growing. Owing to the post-glacial rebound that has been taking place since the last ice age, the surface area of the country is growing by about 7 square kilometres (2.7 square miles) a year.
The distance from the most Southern point - Hanko - to the most northern point of Finland - Nuorgam - is 1,445 kilometres (898 miles) (driving distance), which would take approximately 18.5 hours to drive. This is very similar to Great Britain (Land's End to John o' Groats - 1,404 kilometres (872 miles) and 16.5 h).
Flora and fauna
All terrestrial life in Finland was completely wiped out during the last ice age that ended some 10,000 years ago, following the retreat of the glaciers and the appearance of vegetation.
Today, there are over 1,200 species of vascular plant, 800 bryophytes and 1,000 lichen species in Finland, with flora being richest in the southern parts of the country. Plant life, like most of the Finnish ecology, is well adapted to tolerate the contrasting seasons and extreme weather. Many plant species, such as the Scots Pine, spruce, birch spread throughout Finland from Norway and only reached the western coast less than three millennia ago. Oak and maple grows in nature only in the southern part of Finland.
The Archipelago Sea, between the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, is the largest archipelago in the world by number of islands; estimates vary between 20,000 and 50,000.
Similarly, Finland has a diverse and extensive range of fauna. There are at least sixty native mammalian species, 248 breeding bird species, over seventy fish species and eleven reptile and frog species present today, many migrating from neighbouring countries thousands of years ago.
Large and widely recognised wildlife mammals found in Finland are the Brown Bear (the national animal), Gray Wolf, elk and reindeer. Other common mammals include the Red Fox, Red Squirrel, and Mountain Hare. Some rare and exotic species include the flying squirrel, Golden Eagle, Saimaa Ringed Seal and the Arctic fox, which is considered the most endangered. The Whooper Swan, the national bird of Finland, is a large Northern Hemisphere swan. The most common breeding birds are the Willow Warbler, Chaffinch and Redwing. Of some seventy species of freshwater fish, the northern pike, perch and others are plentiful. Salmon remains the favorite of fly rod enthusiasts.
The endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal, one of only three lake seal species in the world, exists only in the Saimaa lake system of southeastern Finland, down to only 300 seals today. It has become the emblem of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.
Due to hunting and persecution in history, many animals such as the Golden Eagle, Brown Bear and Eurasian Lynx all experienced significant declines in population. However, their numbers have increased again in the 2000s, mainly as a result of careful conservation and the establishment of vast national parks.
The climate in Southern Finland is a northern temperate climate. In Northern Finland, particularly in the Province of Lapland, a subarctic climate dominates, characterised by cold, occasionally severe, winters and relatively warm summers. The main factor influencing Finland's climate is the country's geographical position between the 60th and 70th northern parallels in the Eurasian continent's coastal zone, which shows characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate, depending on the direction of air flow. Finland is near enough to the Atlantic Ocean to be continuously warmed by the Gulf Stream, which explains the unusually warm climate considering the absolute latitude.
A quarter of Finland's territory lies above the Arctic Circle, and as a consequence the midnight sun can be experienced - for more days, the farther north one travels. At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer, and does not rise at all for 51 days during winter.
Eduskuntatalo, the main building of the Parliament of Finland (Eduskunta) in Helsinki.
Finland has a semi-presidential system with parliamentarism. The president is responsible for foreign policy outside of the European Union in cooperation with the cabinet (the Finnish Council of State) where most executive power lies, headed by the Prime Minister. Responsibility for forming the cabinet is granted to a person nominated by the President and approved of by the Parliament. This person also becomes Prime Minister after formal appointment by the President. Any minister and the cabinet as a whole, however, must have continuing trust of the parliament and may be voted out, resign or be replaced. The Council of State is made up of the Prime Minister and the ministers for the various departments of the central government as well as an ex-officio member, the Chancellor of Justice.
The 200-member unicameral parliament is called the Eduskunta (Finnish) or Riksdag (Swedish). It is the supreme legislative authority in Finland. The parliament may alter the Constitution of Finland, bring about the resignation of the Council of State, and override presidential vetoes. Its acts are not subject to judicial review. Legislation may be initiated by the Council of State, or one of the Eduskunta members, who are elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation through open list multi-member districts.
The judicial system of Finland is divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with responsibility for litigation between the individuals and the administrative organs of the state and the communities. Finnish law is codified and based on Swedish law and in a wider sense, civil law or Roman law. Its court system consists of local courts, regional appellate courts, and the Supreme Court. The administrative branch of justice consists of administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court. In addition to the regular courts, there are a few special courts in certain branches of administration. There is also a High Court of Impeachment for criminal charges (for an offence in office) against the President of the Republic, the justices of the supreme courts, members of the Council of State, the Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman of Parliament.
The parliament has, since equal and common suffrage was introduced in 1906, been dominated by secular Conservatives, the Centre Party (former Agrarian Union), and Social Democrats, which have approximately equal support, and represent 65-80 percent of voters. After 1944 Communists were a factor to consider for a few decades. The relative strengths of the parties vary only slightly in the elections due to the proportional election from multi-member districts but there are some visible long-term trends.
Like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Finland has no constitutional court, and courts may not strike down laws or pronounce on their constitutionality. In principle, the constitutionality of laws in Finland is verified by a simple vote in the parliament. However, the constitutional committee in the parliament reviews legistlation during the lawmaking process, and thus performs a similar role.
According to Transparency International, Finland has had the lowest level of corruption in all the countries studied in its survey for the last several years. Also according to the World Audit study, Finland is the least corrupt and most democratic country in the world as of 2006.
In its 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Finland (along with Belgium and Sweden) 5th out of 169 countries.
Industry, economy and globalization
Headquarters of Nokia, Finland's largest company.
Finland has a highly industrialised, free-market economy with a per capita output equal to that of other western economies such as Sweden, the UK, France and Germany. The largest sector of the economy is services at 65.7 percent, followed by manufacturing and refining at 31.4 percent. Primary production is low at 2.9 percent, reflecting the fact that Finland is a resource-poor country. With respect to foreign trade, the key economic sector is manufacturing. The largest industries are electronics (21.6 percent), machinery, vehicles and other engineered metal products (21.1 percent), forest industry (13.1 percent), and chemicals (10.9 percent). International trade is important, with exports equalling almost one-third of GDP. Except for timber and several minerals, Finland depends on imports of raw materials, energy and some components for manufactured goods.
Because of the northern climate, agricultural development is limited to maintaining self-sufficiency. Forestry, an important export earner, provides a secondary occupation for the rural population.
Finland was one of the eleven countries joining the euro monetary system (EMU) on January 1, 1999. The national currency markka (FIM), in use since 1860, was withdrawn and replaced by the euro (EUR) at the beginning of 2002 (see Finnish euro coins).
The World Economic Forum has declared Finland to be the most competitive country in the world for three consecutive years (2003-2005) and four times since 2002. In recent years there has been national focus on innovation and research and development, with special emphasis on information technology. Nokia, the telecommunications company, is generally regarded as the single most significant cause of Finland's success.
Finnish trade relationships and politics were by large determined by avoidance of provoking first the feudally ruled Imperial Russia and then the totalitarian Soviet Union. However, the peaceful relationship with both the Soviet Union and Western powers was turned into an economic advantage. The Soviet Union conducted bilateral trade with Finland, but Western countries remained Finland's main trading partners. After the Second World War, the growth rate of the GDP was high compared to other Europe, and Finland was often called "Japan of the North". In the beginning of the 1970s, Finland's GDP per capita reached the level of Japan and the UK.
In 1991, Finland fell into a severe depression caused by economic overheating, depressed foreign markets and the dismantling of the barter system between Finland and the former Soviet Union. More than twenty percent of Finnish trade was with the Soviet Union before 1991, and in the following two years the trade practically ceased. The growth in the 1980s was based on debt, and when the defaults began rolling in, an avalanche effect increased the unemployment from a virtual full employment to one fifth of the workforce. However, civil order remained and the state alleviated the problem of funding the welfare state by taking massive debts. 1991 and again in 1992, Finland devalued the markka to promote export competitiveness. This helped stabilise the economy; the depression bottomed out in 1993, with continued growth through 1995. Since then the growth rate has been one of the highest of OECD countries, and national debt has been reduced to 41.1 percent of GDP (fulfilling the EU's Stability and Growth Pact requirement). Unfortunately, the unemployment has been persistent, and is currently at about 7 percent.
The 339 metres long M/S Freedom of the Seas and her sister ship M/S Liberty of the Seas, built at Aker Yards in Perno, Turku, are the largest cruise ships and passenger vessels in the world.
Notable Finnish companies include Nokia, the market leader in mobile telephony; Stora Enso, the largest paper manufacturer in the world; Neste Oil, an oil refining and marketing company; UPM-Kymmene, the third largest paper manufacturer in the world; Aker Finnyards, the manufacturer of the world's largest cruise ships (such as Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas); KONE, a manufacturer of elevators and escalators; Wartsila, a producer of power plants and ship engines; and Finnair, the country's international airline.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the main airport of the Helsinki Metropolitan Region and the whole of Finland.
Finland's transport network is developed. As of 2005, the country's network of main roads has a total length of 13,258 km, and is mainly centred on the capital city of Helsinki. The total length of all public roads is 78,186 km, of which 50,616 km are paved. The motorway network is still to a great extent under development, and currently totals 653 km. There are 5,865 km of railways in the country. Helsinki has an urban rail network, and light rail systems are currently being planned in Turku and Tampere. Finland also has a considerable number of airports and large ports.
The national railway company is VR (Valtion Rautatiet, or State Railways). It offers InterCity and express trains throughout the country and the faster Pendolino trains connecting the major cities. There are large discounts (usually fifty percent) available for children (7-16 yr), students, senior citizens and conscripts. There are international trains to St. Petersburg (Finnish and Russian day-time trains) and Moscow (Russian over-night train), Russia. Connections to Sweden are by bus due to rail gauge differences. It's possible to take the
· Silja Line and Viking Line ferries from Helsinki and Turku to Mariehamn and Lagans, Stockholm (Sweden) and Tallinn (Estonia),
· Tallink ferries from Helsinki to Tallinn (Estonia) and Rostock (Germany)
· Eckero Line ferries from Helsinki to Talli и т.д.................
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