|State Motto||Πρόοδος και ενότητα|
|• Ingliz||Progress and unity|
|State Anthem||Jewel of the coast|
|Official language||South Heloan|
• % water
• Growth Rate
• Growth Rate
|Time Zones|| Miotan Standard Time|
Up until secession in 2094, the history of Zophos is part of the history of Lindossë. In its pre-independence history, Zophos stood out as the largest province of the country, in terms of population, area, and economic production. Much of the secular movement of the twenty-first century was centred in Zophosian institutions, such as the University of Henekos (see Keleuthism).
Opposition to the Reformist movement in Lindossëan politics, and in particular to the proposed constitutional reform of 2094, was strongest in Zophos. In contrast to the dominant mood in the country as a whole, which was pro-reform, pro-free enterprise, and pro-Keleuthism, the majority opinion in Zophos in the mid-2090s was anti-reform, socialist, and secular.
As it became increasingly clear that the reform would achieve the necessary support from the federal parliament and the provincial governments, the Social Progress Party (SPP) and a large bloc of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the Zophosian legislature, with support from some of their federal counterparts, formed the Coalition for Zophosian Independence (CZI).
First in the provincial legislature and subsequently in a province-wide referendum, the CZI obtained support for secession. The premier (or first minister) of Zophos refused to sign the new constitution, and presented a formal request for secession to the federal House of Laws. In keeping with the federal principle of Lindossë (and ironically, opposed by the federal SPP, which feared losing much of its electoral base), the federal government accepted the request for secession in principle and entered into negotiations with the CZI to set the terms of secession.
The result was the peaceful secession of Zophos from Lindossë on November 17, 2094, and the founding of the Republic of Zophos.
With the establishment of the independent republic, the CZI was disbanded and new elections were held in early 2095. The SPP was victorious in these elections, and it embarked on an ambitious program of socializing the economy. In the most important change, the government nationalized the key sectors of the large rubber industry, from the rubber plantations to the tire manufacturing plants. Another key change – seen by some observers as a swipe at the Lindossëan Reformist government – was the nationalization of private Keleuthist schools and their mandatory integration into the public secular system of education. Both moves led to an exodus of some citizens to Lindossë, but both moves also thrilled the SPP’s political base. With the exception of the current (2112-2117) government, which is led by the UDP, the SPP has dominated Zophosian politics since independence.
Zophos is a republic with a parliamentary system. The president, who is directly elected every five years, is head of state. Although formally he (or she) signs bills into law, appoints judges, and commands the army, in practice these decisions are all made on the advice of the prime minister. The prime minister, who is the leader of the governing party, is head of government. The legislature is unicameral and is elected by proportional representation.
Since independence, the government has taken a strong role in the economy, particularly in the rubber industry which is entirely state-owned. Subsidies, taxes, protective tariffs and direct government ownership are widespread.
In recent years, the Rubber Workers' Union (RWU) and other public sector unions have taken an increasingly direct role in politics. It is now common for even the UDP government to run its budgets past the bosses of the major unions before submitting them to the legislature for approval.
People and Culture
Like their neighbors in Lindossë, most Zophosians are Heloan by heritage and language. South Heloan is the official language, although there are some differences in vocabulary and pronunciation with the South Heloan spoken in Lindossë.
Official government statistics show the following:
Secularist or “none” (77%)
Sam’thuman Old Faith (7%)
Zophos is a lowland nation on the coast of the Topal Sea. Most of the country is naturally covered by tropical forests and swamps, although many of these have been replaced by rubber and banana plantations. The northern edge of Zophos has a slightly more temperate climate. A large percentage of the population is concentrated in the major industrial cities such as the capital, Henekos.
Zophos has a largely socialist economy which ranks at the top tier of second-world nations. Heavy government intervention has led to massive expansion of certain export-oriented agricultural sectors, especially rubber and bananas, as well as the rapid growth of heavy industry in the main cities. This has created comfortable jobs in these sectors of the economy and maintained stable tax revenues.
On the other hand, heavy tariffs on imported goods that might compete with local industry, subsidies to the rubber and banana sectors, and heavy taxation have led to high prices for many basic consumer goods. Unemployment is also high. Getting a good job in one of the favored sectors of the economy increasingly depends on political or union connections. Both economic growth and non-government investment have ground to a near standstill since independence.
Reorganization of the military after independence and political influence have led to low morale and various inefficiencies. Nevertheless, Zophos maintains a moderately strong army and a small but well equipped navy. The air force exists mostly in theory since its Zophosian-made aircraft are dangerously unreliable and spend most of their time getting repaired. Since Zophos has peaceful relations with both Lindossë and the Grand Communality of Sinoptikon, however, it is not overly concerned with its modest military capabilities.