|República Oriental del Uruguay|
|Republic of East Uruguay|
Motto : Libertad o Muerte
( Spanish for 'freedom or death')
|Official language||Spanish ( de facto )|
|Form of government||republic|
|Government system||Presidential Democracy|
|Head of state , also head of government||President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou|
(Uruguay Statistical Institute)
3,360,148 (July 2017)
(CIA World Factbook)
|Population density||19 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 0.27% (2016)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.804 ( 54th ) (2017)|
|currency||Uruguayan Peso (UYU)|
|independence||1825 (internationally recognized 1828)|
Orientales, la Patria o la tumba
|National holiday||August 25 (Uruguay's declaration of independence on August 25, 1825)|
|Time zone||UTC −3 (UYT)|
|ISO 3166||UY , URY, 858|
Uruguay ( Spanish ; officially República Oriental del Uruguay [reˈpuβlika oɾjenˈtal del uɾuˈɣwaj] "Republic of East Uruguay") is a state in the southern cone of South America. It is the smallest Spanish-speaking country in South America . Uruguay borders on Brazil to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Río de la Plata to the south and Argentina (separated by the Uruguay River ) to the west .
After the arrival of European settlers, the horses and cattle released by the Spaniards developed into large herds on the wide grasslands of the pampas , which formed the basis of the country's economic wealth. Uruguay is one of the most stable, democratic and prosperous countries in Latin America today .
origin of the name
The full name of the country of Uruguay is "Republic of Eastern Uruguay". In the Guarani language , from which the name comes, Uruguay has different meanings depending on the interpretation:
- "River of colorful birds" according to Juan Zorrilla de San Martín
- " Snail river " ( arugua "snail", y "water")
- "River of the Uru Land" to Félix de Azara . Urú = bird name, gua "land", y "water"
- “River of the Mealbringers” according to an old document by the Jesuit Lucas Marton.
Uruguay is the second smallest state in South America after Suriname . With an area of 176,215 square kilometers (of which around 2,600 square kilometers are water) it is as big as Austria and Hungary combined or about half the size of Germany. Uruguay has a 985 km long border with Brazil in the north and a 579 km long border with Argentina in the west . The coast is 660 kilometers long.
The center is a low plateau, which is in ridges up to 514 m above sea level. M. increases. Levels of layers and hardships give the country an overall hilly character. The coast is strongly indented in the southeast by shallow beach lakes and lowlands. In the north, the country is covered with chains of hills, such as the Cuchilla de Haedo in the north or the Cuchilla Grande in the east, but these only slightly exceed the height of 500 m. The highest point in Uruguay is the Cerro Catedral at 514 m above sea level. d. M., other elevations are the Cerro de las Ánimas (501 m), the Cerro Ventana (420 m) and the Cerro Colorado (299 m), the lowest point is at sea level. Overall, the country is very flat, only ten percent of the land area is higher than 200 meters above sea level. The soil is generally fertile and is therefore used almost everywhere for agriculture . Forests only make up a small part of the country's area at around five percent.
The climate is subtropical in the north and temperate in the south . In the coastal regions, the temperatures are similar to the climatic conditions of the coastal regions of southern France , northern Italy and northern Spain, with clearly defined thermal seasons. The annual average temperature there is 16.5 ° C. The warmest month is January with around 22 ° C, while June is the coolest month with an average of 10 ° C. In the interior of the country, the mean annual temperature is slightly higher, mainly because of the higher summer temperatures.
The absolute temperature extremes in Montevideo are 43 ° C and −5 ° C, frost can occur there - albeit rarely - from May to October.
In the whole country - in contrast to the Mediterranean region - precipitation falls all year round ( east side climate ), an average of 1,000 mm / year, and up to 1,400 mm / year in the wettest areas in the north. Only the region around Punta del Este has a little less rainfall with just under 1,000 mm / year.
The winter half-year is generally a little drier than the summer half-year with overall great seasonal equilibrium, the wettest month is March. Measurable precipitation falls in Montevideo on around 100 days a year.
The mean annual total sunshine duration in Montevideo is 2,800 hours.
The relative humidity fluctuates between 70 and 75 percent nationwide and temporally with 80 percent in July and 65 percent in January. It's common for humidity to drop from 90 percent at sunrise to 45 percent in the afternoon.
In winter, the country is frequently hit by very strong, cold southwest winds known as the Pamperos , which devastate the country's coastal regions. Cold air inrushes are often accompanied by southeast winds, the so-called sudestadas , which can cause widespread flooding in the La Plata region. Overall, easterly to northeasterly winds predominate.
Although the precipitation is distributed relatively evenly over the year, extreme irregularities can be observed again and again. Again and again there were long dry periods, such as 1891–1894, 1916–1917, 1942–1943, 1964–1965 and 1988–1989, on the other hand the years 1914, 1959, 1983 or 1992 were extremely rainy. Since there are no mountains to act as a natural barrier, the country is very susceptible to rapid weather changes, especially when a prolonged dry spell is followed by heavy rains.
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Montevideo
Montevideo , the capital, is the only large city and also the most important port city in the country with almost 1.5 million inhabitants. It not only concentrates almost half of the population, but also the country's industry and trade, which is why Uruguay is often jokingly referred to as "a city with a few farms in the hinterland"; it represents a primate city . Montevideo is also a center of Latin American politics (Montevideo is the seat of ALADI and the Mercosur Secretariat ). The city is also considered to be very safe by Latin American standards.
The cities of Salto (104,028 inhabitants) and Paysandú (76,429 inhabitants) , located on the border with Argentina on the Uruguay River, vie for the title of the second most important city by far . Both cities are characterized by the agricultural industry, Salto also has a share in the important hydroelectric power station Salto Grande . Other cities are Las Piedras (71,268 inhabitants), Rivera (64,485 inhabitants), Maldonado (62,592 inhabitants), Tacuarembó (54,757 inhabitants) and Melo (51,830 inhabitants). The most famous seaside resort in the country is Punta del Este , about 140 km east of Montevideo. In the high summer months of December to February, the city is the meeting point of the sophisticated South American world. During these months the population swells from 30,000 to over 200,000 people. International sailing regattas , fashion shows and marathons take place.
Rivers and bodies of water
The country is very rich in water. The water network can be divided into two large basins: the indoor and the Atlantic basin. The Atlantic Basin is fed by relatively short rivers that flow into the sea. In turn, it can be divided into two basins: the Rio de la Plata (in the west) and that of the Merin lagoon (in the east). The indoor pool consists of watercourses that flow into the Uruguay. Its tributary with the most water, the Rio Negro, flows through the country from east to west and in turn forms a large basin.
The largest river is the Río Uruguay , which is 1790 kilometers long, has its source in the southern Brazilian coastal mountains and, together with the Río de la Plata, forms the western border of the country. The most important tributary is the Río Negro , which crosses Uruguay from northeast to southwest for 750 kilometers and is dammed in the middle of the country to form the 1140 square kilometer lake Rincón del Bonete . This reservoir was created through the construction of the dam on the Río Negro to generate electrical energy. It lies halfway down the course of the river, behind the Dr. Gabriel Terra Dam , which was completed in 1945 .
The Río de la Plata flows into the Atlantic Ocean . It is the largest estuary in the world. The Uruguay River is navigable along the entire western border of the country. Like the two large reservoirs on the Río Negro ( Rincón del Bonete and Paso del Palmar ) in the center of Uruguay, it supplies the entire country with drinking water. Other important lakes are the Laguna Merín in the east of the country, the Embalse de Salto Grande (area: 783 square kilometers) on the Río Uruguay and the Baygorria reservoir on the Río Negro. In addition, the Laguna del Sauce , the Laguna José Ignacio , the Laguna Garzón , the Laguna de Rocha , the Laguna de Castillos and the Laguna Negra are located on the southeast coast .
The abundance of water in Uruguay is not only to be found above ground. The Acuífero Guaraní , which extends under the soil of Uruguay, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Brazil, contains an estimated 37,000 cubic kilometers of groundwater, making it one of the world's largest freshwater reservoirs.
In October 2004, a referendum in Uruguay won, thereby enshrining the right to water in the constitution. This had to be changed and from now on contain a guarantee that access to drinking water and sanitary facilities is a fundamental human right and must be guaranteed by the state as a public service. Uruguay is the first country in the world in which the right to water was given constitutional status by plebiscite .
Uruguay is relatively poor in mineral resources, has no oil deposits of its own , and mineral deposits are only found sporadically. However, various bulk raw materials are mined , such as limestone for the production of cement , or (especially in the south of the country) clays and clay-rich silts for bricks . In addition to dolomite and marble , so-called “black granite” is also mined as a natural stone , particularly in the southeastern departments . However, this is only a real granite in the Anticline of Soca (with a porphyry structure and a dark, gray-green matrix). Otherwise, basic dike rocks such as medium to fine-grained dolerite and micro gabbros are marketed under this (misleading) name.
The industrial minerals feldspar , beryl and quartz are extracted from pegmatite veins in the departments of Colonia and Florida . The latter is particularly important for the manufacture of glass . In Blanquillo you can find kaolinite for porcelain , in Bañado de Medina also montmorillonite . In the Colonia department, talc is even mined underground; gypsum is found in the department of Rio Negro . Soap deposits of the important titanium ore ilmenite have accumulated on the coast of the Rocha department .
In the north-east of the country there are extensive basaltic lava ceilings , the bubble spaces of which are often filled with agate and amethysts . However, since 1972 they have only been extracted and processed into jewelry in the Department of Artigas.
In the area between Minas and Pan de Azúcar (Lavalleja) there are some small, mostly insignificant deposits of lead and zinc ores (also copper ). La Oriental was exploited by these in the years 1850 to 1870 and 1936 to 1939. The iron ore magnetite and hematite are to hochmetamorphes in granitic gneisses switched on, banded iron formation bound, but only for Valentines were reduced (Florida). Further strip ore (partly containing manganese ) can be found in Isla Cristalina de Rivera , in the north of the country, but has never been used before. However, there, at Minas de Corrales , is the only producing gold mine in the country.
Only a few remnants of the once mighty, impenetrable bush forests have survived. The forest, mostly on the lower reaches of the rivers, today only takes up 5 percent of the national territory. High prairie grasses are characteristic of the predominant form of vegetation in Uruguay. Native hardwood trees include urunday , lapacho , carob , quebracho , jacaranda, and acacia . Other flowering plants are mimosa and kapok trees . Palm trees thrive in the southeast and in the valleys of the central region and in northern Uruguay. Pine and eucalyptus trees have been planted in the coastal areas to protect against further penetration of the sand . The widespread cypress , oak , cedar , mulberry and magnolia trees have also been imported from outside.
The holdings of Pumas , seals , tapirs , Tschahas and rheas fell sharply today. Deer , wild boars , otters (including the giant fish otters up to 2.2 m long and threatened with extinction), foxes , armadillos , anteaters and various rodents are among the most common mammals. Among the birds are vultures , burrowing owls , turkeys , parakeets , cardinals , hummingbirds , swans (including the very rare schwarzhalsigen swans) and wild ducks worth mentioning. The reptile fauna includes lizards , turtles and rattlesnakes . The range of the caimans is limited to the upper Uruguay river. Uruguay has the second largest colony of seals and sea lions (after Alaska) , which is native to the Isla de Lobos (= seal island , located in front of Punta del Este). Even whales and dolphins are sighted; Sharks on the high seas, but never near the coast.
The inhabitants of Uruguay are called Uruguayans in German. Uruguayans call themselves Uruguayo .
Quantitative population development
While around 31,000 people lived in Uruguay in 1796 (including 15,245 in Montevideo), in 1852 there were between 130,000 and 140,000 inhabitants in the national territory. The population continued to rise to around 400,000 (including 100,000 in Montevideo) by 1880. The population broke the million mark for the first time in 1905. As early as 1937 Uruguay had more than two million inhabitants. In 2010 the total population of the country was 3,510,386.
Increased recent European immigration to Uruguay began around the middle of the 19th century at the time of the civil war in North America that began in 1861. Unlike in neighboring Argentina, Uruguay did not actively recruit immigrants. Only at that time a law was passed that aimed to promote the "material and moral welfare of the country" by means of immigration of farmers, and in 1865 an immigration office was founded. In the population, however, indifference rather than reluctance to such endeavors predominated. In times of the Great Depression, in order to protect jobs occupied by locals, immigration was made more difficult from 1930 onwards by enacting regulations. After the Second World War, the issuing of immigration permits was restricted to certain professional groups. Nevertheless, from the 1830s to the end of the 1950s, Uruguay achieved a surplus of around 800,000 people from migration movements, of which around 650,000 in the period from 1836 to 1926. The most frequented immigration period was the last decade before the outbreak of the First World War . The years 1873, 1889 and 1913 also provided statistical highs with an immigration surplus of 24,339, 27,349 and 28,504.
Ethnically, the population is made up of descendants of European immigrants (88 percent), mestizos (8 percent) and descendants of African slaves (4 percent) who, depending on the sources, predominantly come from today's Angola or the Bantu areas of East and Central Africa and Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, Sierra Leone and present-day Ghana came together.
The European immigrants came from Spain and to a large extent also from Italy , as well as from Croatia and German-speaking countries. The Indian, Guaraní- speaking natives ( Charrúas , Guanaes , Yaros , Chanaes ) who lived as hunters and gatherers have been exterminated within a few decades since the mid-18th century.
In the context of more recent European immigration in the mid-19th century, the proportion of immigrants in terms of origin was composed as follows:
After Waldensians first came to the country at the end of the 1850s , the Swiss were represented from 1861 to 1863. In the period that followed, the influx of Italians, especially Neapolitans from the lower classes of society, gained in importance. From 1866 to 1868, the Italian share of immigration was around 50 percent. However, at first it was largely a matter of commuting. This means that the immigrants came as seasonal workers (golondrinas) to help with the harvest, who then returned to Europe to accompany the transport of cattle. The Italians increasingly appeared in urban trade, especially in Montevideo. The proportion of Italian colonists, on the other hand, was low. During the second strong wave of immigration from 1880 to 1913, agricultural workers and colonists who were willing to settle came to Uruguay. Here, too, Italians played an important role, for example they made up 42.6% of all immigrants in the period from 1890 to 1894, followed by a 17.7% share of Spaniards. The influx of German speakers was comparatively low at 3.2% during this period. Regarding the population composition in Uruguay, for example, an estimated 65,000 Italians were assumed for 1930, which meant a 3.5% share of the total population. The number of people of German origin in the country was estimated at around 15,000 in the early 1960s.
In the second half of the 20th century, immigrants also came from neighboring Brazil and Argentina, the main reasons for emigration being the repressive regimes and the poor economic situation in both countries.
Socio-economically, Uruguay is one of the Latin American countries with the largest proportion of the middle class in the population. A largely European-influenced welfare state ensured a relatively balanced standard of living until the early 1960s, after which the gap between rich and poor began to widen further.
Although migrants played an important role in the history of Uruguay, only 2.3% of the population were born abroad in 2017. The largest groups of these came from Argentina (30,000 people), Spain (20,000) and Brazil (10,000).
Most of the population, namely 92 percent, lives in cities, over 40 percent of them in the capital Montevideo (almost 1.5 million). Around 75 percent of the total population live in Montevideo and the southern half of the country.
Due to a falling birth rate (1.81 children per woman), increasing life expectancy (77.2 years) and emigration (0.9 emigrants per 1000 inhabitants), the average age of the population is increasing. This is 34.7 years (men: 33.0 years / women: 36.4 years). The population growth rate is 0.27.
22.9 percent of the population are under 15 years old (399,409 male / 386,136 female), 63.9 percent are between 15 and 64 years old (1,087,180 male / 1,104,465 female) and 13.3 percent are 65 and older (thereof male 185,251 / female 269,491). The average life expectancy is 77.2 years (men: 74.1 years / women: 80.5 years). (As of 2016)
Article 40 of the General Education Act (Ley General de Educación) defines Uruguayan Spanish , Uruguayan Portuguese and Uruguayan sign language as the three "native languages existing in the country" (lenguas maternas existentes en el país) . De jure , Uruguay has no official language, but Spanish is de facto used as the national official language.
The Spanish colloquial language is known as the Río-de-la-Plata dialect . It has some special grammar properties. Furthermore, the pronunciation differs greatly from Spanish (actually: Castilian). This is due to the great influence of immigrants from Italy. For this reason, the language in Uruguay sounds much calmer and softer than Iberian Spanish. In the entire northern half of the country, especially in the border area with Brazil, the influence of the neighboring country is clearly noticeable. This is where the mixed language Portuñol originated and spread. In general, Portuguese has a strong influence on Uruguayan Spanish. This is noticeable in the pronunciation, in a slightly changed grammar and in the vocabulary. Due to immigration, Italian and French are also somewhat widespread.
Until the middle of the 19th century, Germans only entered the country sporadically. From around 1850 they bought a number of estancias in the southern and eastern parts of the country , on which they ran cattle and agriculture. Small scattered settlements such as: San Juan (Departamento Colonia), Cardoso (Departamento Río Negro), Santa Teresa (Departamento Rocha), Nuevo Berlín, Alemannia, Nueva Germania formed around them . In 1857 a German Protestant parish with its own school was established in Montevideo. In 1862, Swiss people from the cantons of Bern, St. Gallen, Appenzell and Lucerne founded Colonia Suiza, which is now mostly called Nueva Helvecia and has grown into a small town. Baden and Alsatians also settled in Uruguay. After the Second World War , many Germans found a new home here again.
About 10,000 Germans currently live in Uruguay; around half of them are dual nationals, plus around 40,000 people of German origin. This makes the Germans one of the stronger groups of immigrants, albeit a long way from the Spaniards and Italians. German immigrants have made important contributions to the development of Uruguay since the second half of the 19th century. From 1935 onwards, Uruguay offered refuge to many German-speaking Jews.
In Uruguay there is a Goethe-Institut with a prominent program of events and German courses. The German School Montevideo is an encounter school (including kindergarten) that has existed for over 150 years and is now attended by around 1200 students. At the beginning of the 2002/2003 school year, in addition to the Uruguayan higher education entrance qualification, a joint university entrance qualification test after completing the 12th grade was introduced as a model, which entitles the holder to university entrance in both countries. Other important factors in cultural relationships are the union of former scholarship holders, concerts by German orchestras and musicians; small German-speaking Mennonite schools in the interior; the Waldorf School in Montevideo and German clubs. A cultural agreement has been in force since May 8, 1989.
Since 1916 there has been a separation between church and state, freedom of belief is enshrined in the constitution. The Roman Catholic Church as an institution has - atypical for Latin America - relatively little influence in society. According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (as of 2006), 47.1% of the population profess the Catholic faith, 23.2% are non-denominational believers, 11.1% are non-Catholic Christians, 0.3% are Jewish , 0.6% belong to the Umbanda religion or other Afro-American religions, 17.2% are atheists or agnostics and 0.4% belong to other religions. About half of the population does not practice the religion. The national saint of Uruguay is James, son of Alphaeus .
It is believed that what is now Uruguay has been around since around 7000 BC. Was settled by people who lived nomadically in small groups. The first people to emerge as such were the Charrúas .
The Spanish explored the country around 1516 . The first permanent settlement in what is now Uruguay was founded in 1624 by the Spanish in Soriano (on the Río Negro). The next few years were a constant battle against the Portuguese , who also claimed the area. Montevideo was founded in 1726 .
The early 19th century was mainly characterized by fighting against the Argentines and Brazilians who wanted to annex the country. In addition, the last charrúas were killed during this time. During the 19th century, Uruguay had limited male suffrage.
After the country became independent, a period of civil war began between the Colorados under José Fructuoso Rivera and the Blancos under Manuel Oribe . When the Blanco government of Uruguay, which was allied with Paraguay, was overthrown by the Colorados with the help of Brazil, Paraguay's President Francisco Solano López declared war on Brazil. The result was the " Triple Alliance War " ( Guerra de la Triple Alianza ) , which ended five years later with Paraguay's defeat. At the same time as these developments, there was a large flow of immigrants , mainly from Europe, who settled in Uruguay. There was a modernization of the agricultural sector and, with the help of European capital, an improvement of the infrastructure, especially the transport and service sectors.
The 20th century began with a phase of democratization and prosperity. The politically most important man was José Batlle y Ordóñez , who created the Uruguayan welfare state during his presidency from 1911 to 1915.
At the local level, the first woman ever to exercise a woman's election in South America took place in Uruguay: the referendum in the city of Cerro Chato in 1927. In the course of the constitutional amendment of 1932, both chambers of parliament passed the active and passive right to vote for women with a two-thirds majority . The Chamber of Deputies debate in October 1932 became a kind of competition between political leaders who demonstrated to each other and the nation their longstanding belief in women's suffrage. The Senate accepted women's suffrage without debate. It was introduced on December 16, 1932. In the constitution of 1934, universal suffrage is guaranteed for all Uruguayans over the age of 18. Six years after receiving universal suffrage, in the 1938 elections, women were allowed to vote for the first time. Only after the reform of the Civil Code in 1946 could women be elected to Congress.
From 1959 onwards major economic problems arose, which led to the establishment of an urban guerilla known as Tupamaros . On June 27, 1973, in the midst of an economic crisis with high inflation, the military decided to close Congress and take power (→ coup d'état in Uruguay 1973 ). The country did not return to democracy until twelve years later, when presidential elections were held in February 1985. The election winner was Julio María Sanguinetti of the Colorados.
On October 31, 2004, Tabaré Vázquez Rosas was elected as the first president for over 150 years who is neither a member of the Partido Nacional nor the Partido Colorado. He was in office from March 1, 2005 to March 1, 2010. From 2010 to 2015, José Mujica , known as "El Pepe", was President of Uruguay, who had spent fourteen years in prison for his political activities with the Tupamaros and who stood out for his modest lifestyle.
With the constitution of 1967 a democratic, constitutional presidential republic was anchored. The state structure is centralized, the 19 provinces ( Departamentos ) have only little self-government. However, each department has a parliament called Junta Departamental , each consisting of 31 members ( Ediles ) as a legislative body. Like the executive director of each department, this is elected by direct election every five years. The capital Montevideo, in which almost half of the Uruguayans live, dominates the economic and cultural events. Uruguay is a parliamentary democracy in which party pluralism prevails.
In the Democracy Index 2019, Uruguay ranks 15th out of 167 countries with an average score of 8.38, which means that it is considered a “complete democracy”. The country achieved the best ranking in Latin America.
The Constitution of Uruguay, modeled on the Constitution of Spain, was adopted on November 27, 1966 and came into force in February 1967. On June 27, 1973, the military government suspended the constitution, but failed with the implementation of a new constitution by referendum on November 30, 1980. Since then, there have been two constitutional amendments, each adopted by plebiscite , on November 26, 1989 and on January 7, 1997.
The constitution is divided into 332 articles in 19 sections, plus a special section that regulates transitional and exceptional periods ( Disposiciones transitorias y especiales ) .
Important cornerstones of the constitution are:
- Sovereignty ( Soberanía ) : Uruguay is a unitary state that does not depend on any foreign power, is pacifist and participates in the organizations of Latin America (especially of an economic nature). There is laicism ( laicismo ) .
- Rights and duties ( Derechos y Deberes ) : All citizens are free, have a duty to vote (from the age of 18) and have the right to honor, freedom, security, work and private property ( honor, libertad, seguridad, trabajo y propiedad ) . All citizens are equal before the law. There is freedom of the press , assembly and freedom of speech .
- Citizenship ( Ciudadanía ) : Anyone born on the territory of Uruguay receives citizenship of Uruguay. Any family who has been living in Uruguay for more than three years and has a minimum capital can apply for citizenship. People who are distinguished by special honors ( méritos relevantes ) or services to the nation ( servicios notables ) can also apply for Uruguayan citizenship. Citizenship may be withdrawn from persons who are not free to think, are guilty of a serious crime, are sentenced to exile, are guilty of dishonorable and unlawful activities, or are members of organizations that seek to violently destroy the foundations of the state.
There is a separation of powers in Uruguay:
- The executive branch is limited to the President of the Republic. This is elected for a period of 5 years. Immediate re-election after a term of office is not possible. He is both head of state and head of government (prime minister). Its powers include the appointment and dismissal of ministers and the dissolution of parliament.
- The legislature is represented by a bicameral parliament called the ' General Assembly ' ( Asamblea General ) . The two chambers are called the Senate ( Cámara de Senadores ) with 30 senators and the House of Representatives ( Cámara de Representantes ) with 99 members . The members of both chambers are elected for a period of 5 years by direct and general elections ( proportional representation ).
- The judiciary is in the hands of the Supreme Court, whose members are elected for a ten-year term by the general assembly. The Supreme Court publishes the laws (or a new constitution) and is the highest legal authority in the country.
Uruguay has been ruled by President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou of the Partido Nacional since March 1, 2020 , whose father held this office from 1990 to 1995. Previously, the Frente Amplio led the fortunes of the country (Tabaré Vázquez from 2005–2010 and 2015–2020 and Pepe Mujica from 2010–2015). In addition to the Partido Nacional, the Partido Colorado is historically important, after all, these two parties have continuously provided presidents for over 150 years. Lacalle Pou achieved 51 percent of the vote in the runoff election on October 27, 2019.
After the founding of the state of Uruguay, a two-party system was established. The conservative Partido Nacional (formerly Partido Blanco 'White Party') was opposed to the liberal Partido Colorado ('Red Party'). The Communist Party was legalized in 1985. Since the early 1990s, new parties have emerged and revitalized the party landscape.
Uruguay is divided into 19 historically grown departments (including the autonomous city of Montevideo ). The department is headed by the Intendente Municipal , elected by the department parliaments ( junta departamental ) . Since the state structure is centralized, the 19 provinces (Departamentos) have little self-government.
On September 13, 2009, Law 18567 created another administrative level. With Law 18653 of March 15, 2010, 89 municipalities were finally established.
Uruguay has a legal system based on the Civil Code and the Spanish civil law system. The highest instance is the Supreme Court ( Corte Suprema ) . The judges (five members) of the Supreme Court are nominated by the President and elected by the General Assembly for ten years. Under the Supreme Court, appellate courts, departmental courts and courts of justice speak law.
The government does not intervene in the judiciary. The judiciary is independent and, unlike in neighboring countries, corruption in the judiciary is not a major problem. However, both citizens and foreign investors often complain that the judicial system in Uruguay is very slow.
Uruguay is an old (the country was one of the first welfare states in South America), densely developed bureaucratic welfare state based on the European model with a traditionally high level of demands, which has not been sufficiently efficient and impoverished for decades. In principle, equality of opportunity is given (albeit now at a comparatively low level). Social welfare claims are basically redeemed, but are devalued. A central task of politics - according to the neoliberal view - is the restructuring of the cumbersome mechanisms of the traditional welfare state (e.g. protection against dismissal and the tendency to early retirement, in the privileged and overstaffed public service) and the modernization of the systems. This applies in particular to unemployment and social insurance , also due to the demographic stagnation, the unemployment rate that has now risen again, at times fluctuating around 15%, and the increase in informal and legally insecure precarious and part-time jobs.
These reforms have begun, including partial privatization of social security, but have not yet made convincing progress from a neo-liberal perspective. The deeply rooted recognition of social claims, rights and obligations, the traditional welfare state consensus and practiced forms of social partnership are part of Uruguay's high and in Latin America unique endowment with “social capital”, which has favored certain mechanisms as well as the quick and convincing return to democracy. As in some European countries, however, the same achievements also reduce the ability of private and public actors to react in the crisis and slow down the pace of the neoliberal change of direction.
Recently, however, the framework data have improved significantly. In 2010, for example, with economic growth of over 8% and an inflation rate of 7%, a historically low unemployment rate of only 5.4% was recorded. At the same time, the qualitative situation of the employment situation in the country improved, since the illegal work could be clearly contained.
Health care and health care is better than most Latin American countries; however, the number of doctors in the interior of Montevideo is falling sharply. The public hospitals in Uruguay are free of charge, making medical care available to all strata of the population. The staff is very well trained, but the waiting times are very long. Private hospitals are financed by the monthly contributions of the insured. The monthly contributions are many times lower because, due to the direct insurance at the respective clinic, no health insurance company mediates between the insured person and the service provider. The monthly contributions for health insurance are between 30 and 60 US dollars, depending on the service package.
In 2013, Uruguay saw the highly controversial passage of a law legalizing limited cannabis trafficking . Uruguay is currently the first country in the world where the sale of limited quantities of cannabis in pharmacies to registered users is legal and cultivation is to take place under state control.
Even with the Ministry for Housing, State Planning and the Environment, which was founded in 1991, environmental policy has only made slow progress. Among other things, the pollution of the rivers, the increasing erosion of the soil and the lack of waste cycle are problematic . The planned construction of two paper mills on the banks of the Uruguay River led to violent demonstrations and diplomatic entanglements with Argentina.
Domestic and foreign policy
The most important issues of Uruguay's domestic policy are the credible lowering and stabilization of inflation , the lowering of unemployment and the reduction of foreign debt. There is a great need for reform in the organization of the state, in the financial system and in education. The country has to redefine its foreign policy position, and it needs impulses in research and development.
Uruguay is a member of numerous international organizations. The country is a founding member of the United Nations . Since 1991 Uruguay has been a member of the Mercosur Free Trade Area , which also includes Argentina , Brazil , Venezuela and Paraguay .
There are border disputes with neighboring Argentina over some islands in the mouth of the Río Uruguay.
With the aim of a stronger integration of Latin America, Uruguay has a stake in the satellite broadcaster telesur , together with Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba , which began broadcasting in July 2005.
Uruguay is a member of the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank , the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization of American States (OEA), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Latin American Integration Association ( ALADI), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) and Mercosur .
Montevideo is also the seat of ALADI and the MERCOSUR Secretariat.
The OECD , along with 41 other countries, puts Uruguay on the so-called gray list after being the fourth from last to be removed from the black list drawn up for the G20 summit in the fight against tax havens at the beginning of April 2011 . The countries on the gray list have promised to submit to international standards for the exchange of financial data, but do not yet have any double taxation agreements with at least 12 OECD countries.
Relations with the Federal Republic of Germany
There is no extradition agreement between Uruguay and the Federal Republic of Germany . Nevertheless, German citizens are extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany when they request legal assistance, as the case of Matthias Mönch showed in 2014. On the occasion of the visit by the German Foreign Minister on March 9, 2010, the two states signed a bilateral double taxation agreement that replaces the one of September 17, 1982 and eases banking secrecy. With regard to this agreement based on the OECD model agreement, which includes the avoidance of double taxation and tax reductions in the area of income and property tax law, the Federal Government introduced a draft law to the Bundestag on June 6, 2011, which is intended to create the conditions for ratification . The Federal Republic of Germany also ranks 7th among Uruguay's export markets and is the most important partner within the EU in this regard. On February 1, 2015, a German-Uruguayan social security agreement came into force.
The first official state visit by a German president to Uruguay dates back to November 26, 2003, when Federal President Johannes Rau met President Jorge Batlle and the Montevidean Intendente Mariano Arana . A visit to the Mennonite colony Colonia Delta was also on the agenda .
Further international relations
In total, there are double taxation agreements with twelve countries. In particular, these are Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and South Korea. In 2012, Uruguay became the first South American country to join the Organization internationale de la Francophonie (Spanish: Organización Internacional de la Francofonía ) (OIF) as an observer. Since 2016, the country has also had observer status in the Community of Portuguese- Speaking Countries (CPLP).
Compared to its South American neighbors, Uruguay has a relatively low crime rate. According to police statistics from the Interior Ministry, however, there has been an increase in Montevideo in recent years. The main crime areas in the capital are the poorer districts in the northern part of the city, Ciudad Vieja, Pocitos and the northern edge of the Barrios Carrasco. Tourist police are deployed seasonally in both Montevideo and Punta del Este. In December 2011, the Ministry of the Interior announced the installation of 108 surveillance cameras at various points in the capital, especially in the barrios Ciudad Vieja and Centro , as well as another 214 cameras in seven different prisons in the country to monitor prisoners there. A control center manned around the clock with a staff of 25 will use the images provided. Such cameras already exist in Maldonado (6 cameras in 4 different locations), Punta del Este (9/9), Rivera (9 cameras), Salto (37 cameras) and Colonia (14/12).
|2018||23 (of 180)||70|
|2017||23 (of 180)||70|
|2016||21 (of 176)||71|
|2015||21 (of 168)||74|
|2014||21 (of 175)||73|
|2013||19 (of 177)||73|
|2012||20 (of 176)||72|
|2011||25 (of 183)||70|
|2010||24 (of 178)||69|
|2009||25 (of 180)||67|
|2008||23 (of 180)||69|
|2007||25 (of 179)||67|
|2006||28 (of 163)||64|
|2005||32 (of 159)||59|
|2004||28 (of 146)||62|
|2003||33 (of 133)||55|
|2002||32 (of 102)||51|
|2001||35 (of 91)||51|
Uruguay has very strict laws regarding corruption and bribery. According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) developed by Transparency International , Uruguay is in 19th place, together with the USA and in the middle of the EU-15 countries. This is the best ranking in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world . According to the index, Uruguay has made great strides in the fight against corruption over the past decade. Despite this relatively good rating, citizens complain about corruption in the public sector, and several senior officials and a judge have been prosecuted for corruption in recent years. However, foreign firms do not see corruption as a major obstacle to investing in Uruguay.
- The CPI's point scale went from 0 to 10 with one decimal place until 2011, and since the CPI 2012 the scale has been from 0 to 100. Here the scale has been standardized
Uruguay defines itself as a peaceful country whose armed forces (the Fuerzas armadas del Uruguay ) only exist in case of defense. The military has a strength of around 23,500 men, which is divided into an army , a navy and an air force . Uruguay spent almost 2.1 percent of its economic output or 1.2 billion US dollars on its armed forces in 2017.
1,754 Uruguayan soldiers are currently involved in eleven UN peace missions. The largest contingent is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), namely 1549 men, where soldiers control a sector of the country. There are also 60 soldiers stationed on the Sinai .
The army ( Ejército Nacional ) has a manpower of about 14,500 men and is divided into four divisions .
The Navy ( Armada Nacional ) including the Coast Guard ( Prefectura Nacional Naval ) has a manpower of almost 5000 men. She is equipped with three frigates , three patrol boats , three mine clearers and other small boats. The Navy also includes a Marine Corps ( Cuerpo de Fusileros Navales ) , which is divided into four brigades ( company strength). The Navy uses the following helicopters and aircraft: Beechcraft T-34C Mentor , S-2 Tracker , Westland Wessex , Beech King Air 200 and BAe Jetstream .
- air force
The Air Force ( Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya ) has a manpower of 3000 men and is equipped with FMA IA-58 Pucará and Cessna A-37B Dragonfly . The following are used as training aircraft: the Aermacchi SF-260 , Beechcraft B-58 Baron and Pilatus PC-7 . The following transport aircraft are used: the Lockheed C-130B Hercules , Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante , Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia , Casa C-212-200 Aviocar , Cessna 206H Stationair and Cessna T-41D Mescalero . The Air Force uses the following helicopters : Bell UH-1H Iroquois , Bell 212 , Eurocopter AS-365 N2 Dauphin and Westland HC-2 Wessex .
Uruguay has 2073 kilometers of railroad tracks, 8983 kilometers of roads (8081 kilometers of which are paved or paved), 1600 kilometers of navigable waterways (most of which are on rivers) and 9 ports (the most important of which are Colonia del Sacramento , Fray Bentos , Montevideo , Paysandú and Punta del Este ). There are 64 airfields, 14 of which have asphalt runways.
In general, the Uruguayans drive a bit unconventionally compared to German conditions. Although there is a right-before-left rule, the right of the stronger or the faster is more applicable. Even on the freeway-like expressways, children, mopeds and gauchos driving cattle occasionally cross the road, because many small towns near the autobahn are given access to the autobahn or to the towns behind them via a kind of dirt road. There are still many unpaved gravel roads in the country, some of which are very difficult to drive on.
In Uruguay, especially in the poorer rural regions, there are still a lot of old motor vehicles on the road. There is not an overly strict general inspection and the condition of many motor vehicles is accordingly. Many vehicles are also not insured against liability.
There are plans for a 40 kilometer long bridge that will connect the city of Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay with Buenos Aires in Argentina. This bridge, which would be one of the longest in the world, is to be built through private investment. A motorway link between the city of São Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires, which will also run through Uruguay, is at an even earlier stage of planning . This road connection is also to be financed privately, and private investors are given the right to collect tolls .
So far, the Uruguayan road network has been connected to neighboring Argentina via three international bridges crossing the Río Uruguay. These are the Puente Libertador General San Martín between Puerto Unzué and Fray Bentos, the Puente General Artigas connecting Colón and Paysandú , and the Puente Salto Grande from Concordia to Salto. On the northern border with Brazil, in addition to the Puente Internacional de la Concordia (Quaraí-Artigas) which runs over the Rio Cuareim, there are numerous border crossings into the neighboring country. This includes the Puente Internacional Barón de Mauá across the Río Yaguarón on the western border.
The main mode of transport is the omnibus. Several bus companies (including COT, COPSA, TURIL, CITA, CUTSCA and UCOT ) operate nationwide, connecting all cities in the country and the border crossings to Brazil. There are also a large number of regional bus companies such as Cota, Minuano, Nuñez, Sabelín and Intertur. The bus companies have modern and air-conditioned vehicles for overland transport. Montevideo has an extensive bus network. Some trolleybuses operate in the city and in the suburbs.
There are metered taxis in all cities and at airports, and drivers have a price list. Taxis can be hired for a flat rate by the hour within the cities.
The railroad network has deteriorated over the past few decades, with the exception of a small network of suburban trains in Montevideo that was reactivated in 1993, all passenger trains ceased in 1988. The very little passenger traffic plays only a subordinate role, the extensive freight traffic is the main task of the railway today , since the road network of Uruguay is poorly developed. However, in 2006 the Uruguayan Ministry of Transport put out a tender for a revitalization project for the railway network. As none of the suppliers could meet the government's demands, the tender was ultimately unsuccessful. However, it is to be expected that a new attempt will be started. The entire rail traffic of Uruguay is currently operated by the Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado .
To the east of Montevideo is the international airport Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco ; the state-owned airline PLUNA ( Primera Línea Uruguaya de Navegación Aérea ) operated domestic air traffic and offered international flights to neighboring countries and Spain ; it has been in liquidation since July 5, 2012. (The airline PLUNA was partially privatized in 1995, 49 percent of the capital was held by the Brazilian airline VARIG , which has meanwhile been incorporated into the Brazilian GOL.) There is another international airport near Punta del Este , and the airports in Colonia are also located and Salto partially connected to international air traffic. There are also local or regional airports in Paysandú, Florida, Rocha, Rivera, Tacuarembó and Artigas, among others.
Shipping is concentrated on the Río Uruguay and the Río de la Plata ; Navigable waterways cover a distance of around 1,600 kilometers. Numerous ferry and ship lines operate between Buenos Aires and the Uruguayan ports in Montevideo, Colonia and Carmelo. There are also a large number of smaller sports harbors and marinas in Uruguay.
Together with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, Uruguay is involved in a project to connect the Río Paraguay and Paraná rivers with the Atlantic Ocean. The aim of this largest regional integration project in Latin America is to be able to transport the products of these countries more easily to the ports of Argentina and Uruguay. This transport system will have a length of around 3500 kilometers.
Telecommunication and Post
The number of Internet users is estimated at 400,000, there are 996,701 telephone lines and 599,768 mobile phones. The telecommunications network was liberalized in 2001, with only domestic long-distance calls remaining in the state monopoly. Mainly due to its political influence, the state telephone company ANTEL dominates the market to this day with a market share of 77%.
Uruguay is one of the very few countries with a digital telephone network. Optical data lines have even been laid in all places with more than 2000 inhabitants . The number of telephone and Internet connections per inhabitant is the largest in all of Latin America. Uruguay is Latin America's leading country in information technology .
With regard to digital radio and television reception, the Uruguayan government decided in 2010 to introduce the Japanese ISDB -T system and thus decided against the European DVB-T standard.
The post in Uruguay is relatively expensive and not always reliable. Important mail should be sent as registered mail ( certificado ) .
Uruguay has a market economy with a very large state sector - 25 percent of all employees work in the public sector. For example, the government operates monopoly companies such as the state railroad, energy supply, telephony, national airline, and state broadcasting companies. Unlike its neighbors, Uruguay only recently started privatizing state property. Uruguay's economy rests on relatively solid foundations, but the small country is prone to being drawn into the economic crises of its larger neighbors Argentina and Brazil. In addition, Uruguay is rather unknown to foreign investors.
The Uruguayan economy relies heavily on agriculture , especially livestock . Food production is particularly important in industry. Up until the 1950s, Uruguay had an economic competitiveness comparable to that of European countries. In the 1960s, however, the country fell into a crisis from which it has not come out since. Even if the country has recorded growth rates averaging 3.6 percent since joining Mercosur , 23 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line.
In addition, the severe Argentine economic crisis of 2002 also spread to Uruguay. The country has been slowly recovering from it since then, but continues to struggle with high inflation and is still a long way from its former status as a model country in South America.
In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Uruguay ranks 76th out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2017, the country was ranked 38th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
(purchasing power parity)
|12.46 billion||14.41 billion||20.33 billion||27.81 billion||33.33 billion||38.42 billion||41.23 billion||45.09 billion||49.28 billion||51.76 billion||56.48 billion||60.62 billion||63.92 billion||67.96 billion||71.42 billion||72.47 billion||74.45 billion||78.15 billion|
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
Agriculture generated 9.5 percent of GDP in 2003 . Livestock breeding, especially sheep and cattle, represents the largest share; Meat, wool and leather are the country's most important agricultural exports, with Uruguay being one of the world's most important wool producers (fifth).
In addition to cattle breeding, sugar cane and sugar beet, wheat, rice, sorghum , tomatoes, maize, linseed and sunflower seeds are grown . Other agricultural products from Uruguay include, to a lesser extent, potatoes, peanuts, barley, oats and tobacco. Every year around 130,000 tons of fish are caught and more than 4 million cubic meters of wood are extracted. In addition, around 1.1 million hectoliters of wine are produced in Uruguay each year, the majority of which is consumed in their own country.
A characteristic of agriculture in Uruguay is the very extensive cultivation ( extensive in the sense of little tillage, little use of chemical plant protection, fertilizer etc., generally little use of capital and technology). In cattle farming and beef production, the following prevail: grazing on natural pasture, large paddocks, no additional feeding. In terms of agricultural productivity (meat / ha, grain / ha), Uruguay lags behind similarly agricultural export-oriented countries such as Australia , New Zealand and Brazil . On the other hand, the country is looking to occupy a niche right here in the future and to market its agricultural products under the aspect of naturalness.
The traditional, partly folkloric appearance of the livestock industry ( gauchos , horses etc.), plus the remaining historical estancias as architectural witnesses of Uruguay's heyday around 1900, have for some time created a new interface between agriculture and tourism, the Turismo Rural or Estancia- Tourism. State-sponsored advertising campaigns in international media Uruguayan Grass Fed Beef , Uruguay Natural advertise Uruguay as a travel destination and Uruguayan (organic) agricultural products in this context.
A downside of extensive agriculture is that the sector creates fewer jobs and is less of an engine of the economy than its potential if intensified.
Only five percent (2000) of the total area of Uruguay is forested. Logging is mainly used for the production of fuel. The majority of the fish industry's products are exported and bring in five percent (2000) of the export proceeds. Viticulture also takes place in Uruguay on around 14,000 hectares . Uruguay is thus the fourth largest wine producer in South America. An estimated 25 to 30% of Uruguay's farmland is foreign owned.
With regard to the distribution of agricultural use, the following structure arises. Montevideo is surrounded by the country's arable farming zone, which extends as a comparatively narrow strip mainly on the coastal edge of the Río de la Plata. While there is also intensive fruit and vegetable cultivation in the immediate vicinity of Montevideo, areas for dairy farming, cattle fattening and poultry farming follow, followed by wheat cultivation in particular up to the Río Negro, but also corn, sunflowers and flax cultivation. Maize cultivation, for example, has less territorial concentration comparable to that of wheat and is also widespread in the north. The main focus of sheep farming is in the central departments of the country, while around 1860 it was concentrated in the southwestern part of Uruguay (Colonia, San José, Soriano and Flores). Extensive cattle breeding, on the other hand, is dominant in the northern departments bordering on Brazil.
In 2003 the industry generated around 27 percent of the gross domestic product. The most important branch is the processing of agricultural products, especially wool and meat. There is also quite modest mining, which mainly extracts clay minerals, sand, granite, marble and gold. Other branches of industry of importance are petroleum processing, cement, steel and aluminum production, as well as the manufacture of clothing, electrical appliances and chemical products.
Uruguay is also well positioned in the IT sector and has a good chance of expanding this position in the medium term thanks to the country's comparatively high level of technology and well-trained IT engineers. Uruguay also has good resources to fall back on in the rapidly growing field of biotechnology, and the Business and Technology Park in Montevideo is an ideal location for the development of this area.
Tourism and services
The tourism is an important source of income for Uruguay, this industry is because even actively encouraged. Most of the foreign visitors in 2006 came from Argentina. This was followed by guests from Brazil, Chile and the United States. The most visited places are by the sea, including the largest and most famous tourist destination Punta del Este. Every year around 2.5 million tourists visit Uruguay.
The banking system consisted of four state banks, including the central bank, 12 private banks and other financial organizations. The state banks dominate the market, the largest bank is the Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay (BROU). In 2002 there was a banking crisis due to the Argentina crisis, as a result of which several banks had to be restructured and some were closed. Uruguay is still considered a safe haven for Argentines who do not want to invest their money in Argentina. Before the banking crisis, Argentinians held around 40 percent of all deposits in banks, and this figure is around 30 percent after the banking crisis.
The unemployment rate was 7.3% in 2017. In adolescents, the rate is 24.5%. In 2010, 13% of the workforce worked in agriculture, 14% in industry and 73% in the service sector. The total number of employees is estimated at 1.75 million in 2017.
Alongside the political parties, the trade unions are traditionally an important social group. The umbrella organization PIT-CNT ( Plenario Intersindical de Trabajadores - Convención Nacional de Trabajadores ) shows great willingness to strike. Around 200 trade unions with around 900,000 members are united in it.
According to a study by the International Trade Union Confederation from 2014, Uruguay, along with 17 other countries, including Germany , Norway , Sweden , Iceland , Togo and Barbados, tops the list of countries with the best working conditions for workers in terms of respect for workers' rights rule worldwide.
Currency and foreign trade
The currency unit in Uruguay is the peso (= 100 centésimos). For one euro you get 35.97 pesos (as of May 11, 2016).
Foreign trade plays a major role in the country's economy. Uruguay was one of the first Latin American countries to open up to globalization . Even today, Uruguay has a relatively high degree of openness at 43 percent . It has become a major financial center in the region because of its policy of total freedom of movement of capital.
In 2004, Uruguay's exports were € 2.5 billion, with 20 percent of exports going to the United States . 60 percent of it was meat. Imports in the same year amounted to 2 billion euros, with each 26 percent coming from Brazil and Argentina. Other important trading partners at the time were Germany , the USA and China . By 2015, China had become the most important trading partner.
The most important export goods are meat, fish, rice and textiles. The main import goods are food, chemical and pharmaceutical products, plastic products, synthetic resins and vehicles.
Energy supply and energy policy
Uruguay has no fossil fuel resources of its own . Consumption is mainly covered by hydropower and wind energy . However, the potential for further expansion of electricity production with hydropower plants is very low because most rivers are already regulated with dams and because the country is affected by frequent dry periods, which in the past also affected the electricity supply. Uruguay's power grid is linked to the Argentinian grid. After Uruguay was a net importer in the past, it is now exporting around a third of its electrical energy due to the change in energy policy.
In 2008, the energy policy was changed and measures to develop renewable energy and the energy revolution started, which proved to be very successful. Within a few years, the share of renewable energies rose rapidly: in 2015 they provided 95% of electrical energy and 55% of total energy demand. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 , Uruguay announced one of the most ambitious reduction targets of all countries: By 2017, carbon dioxide emissions should be 88% lower than the average for the years 2009 to 2013. An important goal was to reduce dependence on energy imports. In particular, the generation of electrical energy with wind turbines is preferred. Due to the good wind prospect , the electricity production costs for electricity from wind energy are 63 $ / MWh below the cost of fossil power plants, which is why the expansion is worthwhile even without subsidies. It is to be expected that the share of wind energy will increase significantly in the next few years. By 2015, 1,100 MW of wind energy is to be installed, which could cover about half of the electricity demand.
By coupling wind power with hydropower, the susceptibility to droughts was reduced by 70%, and the electricity production costs fell overall, with wind energy costs falling by more than 30% within three years. The use of natural gas instead of oil is also being promoted. This can be imported via pipelines from Argentina, which is relatively gas-rich. The first such pipeline (length: 192 kilometers) was inaugurated in 1998.
In March 2015, the contract was awarded for Uruguay's largest wind farm to date. In the Pampa wind farm , 59 Nordex N117 / 2400 wind turbines are to be built by mid-2016 , which together will produce around 640 million kWh of electrical energy. This corresponds to a very high capacity factor for onshore wind farms of approx. 51% or 4500 full load hours .
The mains voltage is 220 volts (50 Hz). For European devices, socket adapters are sometimes necessary due to the range of socket types used . On the estancias in the interior of the country there is usually no connection to the regular electricity network. There the supply takes place over island networks , the z. B. be fed with diesel generators and small wind turbines.
The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditure of the equivalent of 15.9 billion US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 14.3 billion US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 2.9% of GDP .
The national debt in 2016 was 60.9% of GDP.
In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:
In 2007 a tax reform was carried out in Uruguay; the purpose of this was to simplify the tax system and to strengthen domestic consumption. While the territorial principle previously applied and thus only income, assets, etc. that are located in Uruguay were taxed, there is now a general income tax based on world income. The wage tax is a maximum of 6 percent. The value added tax (VAT.) Is 22 percent (reduced 10 percent). Some basic items are exempt from VAT.
Furthermore, the existence of several free trade zones such as Floridasur , which are largely exempt from taxation, should be mentioned. There are double taxation agreements (DTA) with Germany and Hungary .
The cultural life of Uruguay is shaped by European traditions, above all by the Spanish culture , since Uruguay was colonized by the Spaniards, and also by the Italian culture , since many Italians emigrated to Uruguay. The culture of the indigenous people , on the other hand, plays almost no role, as these ancient peoples have been decimated and their culture destroyed. More recent influence comes from Argentina , especially when it comes to music and dance.
The Law No. 14,040 of October 20, 1971 regulates the monument protection of buildings.
The Uruguayans eat very little for breakfast and lunch, but dinner takes up a very important place.
The national dish is the asado . This means all types of (beef) meat that are grilled over an open wood fire. In addition, offal such as kidneys, beef intestines and sweetbreads are prepared on the parrilla (the grill).
A typical Uruguayan fast food is the chivito . This is a burger made with a thin slice of beef sirloin.
A Uruguayan dish has traditionally been accompanied by a sweet dessert, preferably prepared with dulce de leche . This is a milk caramel that is used in all types of cakes, pastries, pies and ice creams. This is also used to fill desserts called alfajores . It is a kind of small round cake.
A very popular soft drink, especially on the beach and at festivals, is the clericó , a mixture of sparkling wine , white wine , fruit juice and chopped pieces of fruit such as oranges, peaches and grapes.
The Gauchos , who guard the herds have developed the habit Mate campfire in large drinking vessels (mostly gourds brew), which are then passed from hand to hand, so that everyone with a special straw ( bombilla ) can drink.
The main holidays are New Year (January 1), Carnaval (see Carnival), Easter (including Maundy Thursday and Good Friday), the day of the landing of the 33 Patriots (April 19), Labor Day (May 1), the day of the Constitution (July 18), Independence Day (August 25) as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (December 24 and 25). In Catholic parishes, celebrations and parades are held in honor of the local patron saint.
|date||Spanish name||German name||Remarks|
|January 1st||Año nuevo||New Year||off work|
|6th January||Día de los niños||Epiphany||is colloquially referred to as Reyes ('kings').|
|February March||Carnaval||Rose Monday and Shrove Tuesday||moving holidays|
also: Semana de turismo
|Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday||moving holidays|
|April 19th||Desembarco de los 33 Orientales||Landing of the 33 Orientals||will be made up on Monday if it falls on a Sunday|
|1st of May||Día de los trabajadores||Labor Day||day off.|
|May 18||Batalla de las Piedras||Battle of Las Piedras||will be made up on Monday if it falls on a Sunday|
|June 19th||Nacimiento de José Artigas||Birthday of José Artigas||constant holiday|
|July 18th||Jura de la Constitución||Oath on the Constitution||day off|
|August 25||Declaratoria de la Independencia||independence Day||day off|
|October 12th||Día de las Americas||Discovery of America||will be made up on Monday if it falls on a Sunday|
|November 2||Día de los Fieles Difuntos||All Souls||constant holiday|
also: Día de la familia
The most important festivals are the Carnival , Easter and the Semana Criolla ('Rodeo week'), during which the gauchos show off their acrobatic riding skills. The carnival, which always takes place on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday , is celebrated with passion in Uruguay. Elaborately designed and seemingly endless parades of costumed people move through the streets of Montevideo during these two days and are accompanied by various music bands. The day of the Treinta y Tres Orientales , on which Juan Antonio Lavalleja and his 33 volunteers started the rebellion against the Portuguese in 1825, as well as the commemoration day for the Battle of Las Piedras in 1811, when José Gervasio Artigas defended the Spaniards, are particularly Uruguayan struck near Montevideo. Race Day commemorates the day Columbus discovered America. Independence Day is celebrated on August 25th.
Because of the separation between church and state, all religious holidays have been given secular names. Christmas is called z. B. "Family Day".
Among the most important painters in the country are Juan Manuel Blanes , who painted pictures depicting the life of the gauchos and moments in the country's history, as well as Joaquín Torres García , the founder of constructive universalism, Pedro Figari , of everyday scenes from Montevideo and the Country has represented Carlos Sáez , Rafael Barradas , Carmelo de Arzadum , Ernesto Laroche , Felipe Seade or José Cúneo .
José Belloni is the most important sculptor in Uruguay, his works, which depict scenes from everyday life, decorate many public places in Montevideo. Besides are Manuel Pena , Juan Manuel Ferrari , José Luis Zorrilla de San Martín , Carlos Moler de Berg , G. Fonseca or G. Cabrera worth mentioning.
music and dance
The Tango and the deduced Milonga are not only the music of Argentina, but also in Uruguay. The first piece of music to be defined as "Tango" was composed in Montevideo in 1886. La Cumparsita , internationally recognized as the “anthem” of tango, was written by the Montevidean Gerardo Matos Rodríguez , who, for want of more suitable writing utensils, scribbled the first version of the song on a napkin in the Montevidean restaurant La Giralda in Plaza Independencia. The play premiered in 1917 in a Montevidean black and workers barracks.
Montevideo and Buenos Aires have always been fighting over the status of the birthplace of tango, which has also led to some diplomatic entanglements.
A special Uruguayan music are the candombe and the murga , both of which are carnival rhythms. The candombe is almost even more Uruguayan than the tango, which has a tradition that goes back over 150 years and reaches its climax every year in the three-month carnival. The Candombe Parade that crowns the Uruguayan Carnival is a kind of mini version of the Rio Carnival.
Uruguayan literature is influenced by Spanish and Argentine literature; many authors lived at times in exile.
Ariel by José Enrique Rodó is considered to be one of the greatest literary works in Uruguay. The book was written in 1900 and addresses the need to maintain spiritual values in a world of material and technological progress.
The stories and short novels by Andressen Banchero (1925–1987) deal with everyday life in the modest suburban barrios of Montevideo ( Triste de la calle cortada , 1975). He received various awards for his literary work and was the leading head of the group around the magazine Asir (1948-1959).
Many authors fell silent under the dictatorship from 1973 to 1985.
The narrator Sylvia Lago (* 1932) is a literature professor at the Universidad de la República Montevideo. She has received several awards for her work and has also published anthologies, including in German. Her subjects are the lives of women and young people.
The work of Mario Levrero (1940–2004), some of which was published in Argentina and Spain, is stylistically very isolated and yet influential . In La ciudad (1970) he describes a Kafkaesque dream world.
Mario Delgado Aparaín (* 1949) is a narrator and novelist whose works have been translated into several languages. His most important novel is La balada de Johnny Sosa , for which he received the Premio Municipal de Literatura in 1987.
The plays of Florencio Sánchez treat social problems and are played today. The poet Juan Luis Zorrilla de San Martín is the author of epic poems about the history of the country, such as Tabaré . Poets like Juana de Ibarbourou or Delmira Agustini are representatives of feminine poetry.
Notable contemporary writers are Juan Carlos Onetti , Mario Benedetti , Eduardo Galeano , Mario Levrero and Jorge Majfud . Carlos María Domínguez , born in Argentina in 1955, now lives in Montevideo , and his works are also known in Germany.
Uruguayan films could only celebrate successes towards the beginning of the 21st century. En la puta vida (2001), El último tren (2002) and El viaje hacia el mar (2003) received several awards. The 2007 produced film El baño del papa (Eng. Subtitle The Big Business ) was also awarded at several festivals and in 2008 was Uruguay's film submitted for the Oscar award. The country's most important directors are Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll , whose films are mostly set in Montevideo, including their two award-winning tragic comedies 25 Watts (2001) and Whiskey (2005). The film Mal día para pescar , released in 2009, also achieved success
The most important museums in the country are located in Montevideo, such as the National History Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Natural History. The Museo del Indo y del Gaucho in Tacuarembó exhibits art collections of the Indians and the gauchos as well as collections of weapons and hand tools. In Solymar, 24 km from Montevideo, is the Museo del Pan ('the Bread Museum'); the only one of its kind in Latin America.
The country is liberal towards homosexuals ; Same-sex marriages have been possible since 2013. There is an institutional center for working with the older adult .
Uruguay has one of the highest literacy rates in South America at 98 percent . In addition, the proportion of those entering higher education is 50% higher than the Latin American average. This goes back to the nine years of compulsory schooling, which existed in Uruguay from 6 to 14 years of age from 1877. The school system is three-tiered: there is elementary school education at the age of 6 to 12. Between the ages of 12 and 15, students go to secondary level, with students who do well in the state exams being given the right to enter the “diversified secondary level” where they can take a bachillerado , the bachelor's degree , which entitles them to study at university. Students can also go to technical secondary school to earn a technical bachelor's degree. Uruguay is one of the few countries in which school attendance as well as that of universities and further education institutions are free of charge. This has been the case since the reforms of José Batlle y Ordóñez at the beginning of the 20th century. Uruguay is said to be the first country in the world to provide every child with an XO-1 laptop from the “One Laptop Per Child” initiative. Over 380,000 such laptops have been given to the children so far (as of September 2009). In Uruguay, the initiative is called Plan Ceibal and aims to improve and disseminate education. All children and teachers who attend public schools should get a laptop, also known as a ceibalita , through this initiative . This should also enable access to current information and news inland.
Foreign languages in education
Uruguayan schools have offered the opportunity to learn foreign languages since the mid-19th century. In addition to Latin, French lessons were initially established in education. In the following years, English and, from 1906, Italian were also taught within the Uruguayan education system. While the foreign language education, in which the French language dominated at this time, initially extended to the area of secondary schools, this changed in the course of the 20th century as a result of several reforms. Both the weighting of the individual languages, the optional or compulsory teaching, as well as their teaching already in the primary level were the subject of these changes. For example, German, which was partly taught within the Uruguayan education system, initially played no role since the school reform in 1976, but was offered again at some Montevideo grammar schools between 1989 and 1995 as part of a pilot project. With the school reform in 1996, the English language was made a six-year compulsory subject from the first year of secondary school, the so-called Ciclo Básico . All other foreign languages have been outsourced from schools as optional subjects for teaching in language centers . There it is possible to acquire a diploma after the planned three-year training with two 90-minute weekly teaching units each. In the late 1990s, four of these language centers existed in Montevideo and five in the rest of Uruguay. As a result of the 1991 Mercosur Agreement between the neighboring countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the alliance partners have had the opportunity to study Brazilian-Portuguese as an optional subject since 1998. At the end of the 1990s, this language was preferred by Uruguayan students among foreign language electives.
Among the universities, the Universidad de la República founded in 1849 , the Universidad Católica del Uruguay Damaso A. Larranaga and the Universidad ORT Uruguay are worth mentioning. For those with a technical bachelor's degree, there is the Universidad del Trabajo , or UTU for short. There are also around 40 universities of teacher education.
All of the major libraries are located in the capital, Montevideo , indicating the imbalance between Montevideo and the hinterland. The National Library and especially the Library of the National History Museum are known for their collections of engravings and letters. Other important libraries are the National Congress Library and the State Archives.
According to the press freedom ranking of the NGOs Reporters Without Borders , Uruguay was ranked 19th out of 180 countries. It is also the country in South America that has the greatest freedom of the press.
Radio and television
The media landscape is diverse. There are more than 200 radio stations and 23 television channels in Uruguay. Television and radio are financed by advertising income and use materials made available free of charge. The state broadcaster SODRE does not produce radio and television programs commercially.
Important radio stations are for example:
- Radio Monte Carlo
- Aire 100.3
- 810 Espectador
- Radio Urbana
- Radio Sarandí
- Radio carve
According to a survey from the spring of 2009, Radio Monte Carlo is the most listened to radio station from morning to noon, while Aire is the most popular radio station in the afternoon and evening. The programs of the state SODRE, on the other hand, are rarely heard.
Important TV channels are:
- Canal 5 Televisión Nacional de Uruguay
- Canal 4 Montecarlo
- Canal 10
- Canal 12 - Teledoce Televisora Color
- Canal Once
Newspapers and magazines reflect a wide range of opinions. 36 daily newspapers appear daily with a total circulation of around one million copies, the most important of which are: El País (affiliated with the Blanco party), El Observador (independent - tends towards Colorado), La República ( close to the government), as well as some weekly newspapers: Búsqueda (economically liberal ), Brecha (left), Revista Tres .
The Spanish-language newspaper El País appears daily as a morning paper and, with 25,000 copies, is Uruguay's daily newspaper with the highest circulation. If the edition counts between 20,000 and 25,000 copies on weekdays, one can expect up to four times higher print runs on weekends. On average, the Sunday edition has 150–180 pages, while the weekday editions are usually 20–44 pages. The newspaper with the highest circulation outside of Montevideo is El Telégrafo .
The top-level domain ".uy" has existed since 1990 .
As in almost all of Latin America, football is the most important sport of all. The two dominant clubs in the league are Peñarol Montevideo and Nacional Montevideo , both playing at the Estadio Centenario .
The Uruguayan national football team was one of the dominant teams in the interwar period. She won the Olympic football tournaments in Paris in 1924 and Amsterdam in 1928, as well as the first football World Cup , which was held in her own country in 1930. In 1950 Uruguay became world champions for the second and so far last time; In addition, the team reached the semifinals at the World Championships in 1954 , 1970 and 2010 and finished in 4th place.
Uruguay is also one of the multiple winners of the Copa America . This trophy for the South American national teams was won in 1916 , 1917 , 1920 , 1923 , 1924 , 1926 , 1935 , 1942 , 1956 , 1959 , 1967 , 1983 , 1987 , 1995 and 2011 . With a total of 15 trophies, Uruguay is the record winner of the Copa America.
In addition to soccer, basketball is a sport that is quickly gaining supporters. Also Rugby enjoys a certain popularity in Uruguay. The "Los Teros" national team is one of the 20 best teams in the world and took part in the 1999 World Championships in Wales and 2003 in Australia . Equestrian sports such as show jumping or polo are particularly important to the wealthy. The gauchos play a riding game called pato , in which two teams on horses battle over possession of a ball with a handle. There is also a criolla (a kind of rodeo ) where a rider has to stay on a wild horse for as long as possible. Criollas are held all year round, the most famous of which is held at Easter in Montevideo. The Boccia game came to Uruguay from Italy.
Uruguayan athletes also managed to achieve international success in other sports. A total of 10 medals were won at the Olympic Games between 1924 and 2008.
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