Tárrases

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Sovereign Duchy of Tárreses
Ducado Soberano de Tárrases
[[File:File:500px tarrases flag.png|125px|alt=Bandera Tarrasense]]
Flag
Motto:
"Pues, se lo hizo"
"Well, it was done"
CapitalTárrases
Official languagesSpanish
 • National languagesSpanish, Mahhalian, Greek
DemonymTarrasean (Tarrasenese)
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
 • DuchessCleopatra II (House of Carapreta)
 • PremierDimitrio Angelopoulos
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
Area
 • Total186 km2
72 sq mi
Population
 • Estimate (2014)390,100
 • Census (2009)403,555
 • Density2097.3/km2
HDIDecrease 0.77
high
CurrencyTarrasean Dinar DT$ (DTD)
Internet TLD.dt

Tárrases, officially The Sovereign Duchy of Tárrases (Spanish El Ducado Soberano de Tárrases, Mahhalian Tarrasetarak) is a very small island country that is a self-governing protectorate of the Mahhalian Alliance. It is located about 2 km off the northeast shore of the Mahhalian island of Lyr. Its land area is 186 sq km, and its population (2014 estimate) is 390,100.

Historically, the Tarrasean economy was mostly focused on trade and arbitrage relative to the "closed" economy of its single, much larger neighbor, Mahhal. This was because of the island's unique status as a former Northern-people's colony, culturally un-Mahhalian, that was nevertheless in a feudal relationship to one of the Mahhalian kings. Thus it occupied positions both "inside" and "outside" of the Alliance. Now that Mahhal itself has "opened up" to the world, however, Tárrases has had to find other opportunities. Increasingly, the tiny nation has focused on international banking, tourism and cultural production as keys to continued prosperity. Recent decades have seen a decline in living standards as the Duchy struggled to adapt to its new political circumstances, and there has been a steadily growing movement for "reunification" with the Mahhalian mainland among some citizens. The main contravening issue is religious freedom, which is notably lacking within the Alliance, and would be a serious problem for the Christians, Buddhists and Muslims of Tárrases, who collectively outnumber those of the Mahhalian faith within the duchy, and many of whom are descended from religious refugees from Mahhal. This is because each of those religions is proscribed to some degree within the Alliance.

The Mahhalians, too, have on occasion attempted to abrogate aspects of the free-association treaty that exists between the Duchy and the Alliance, and some nationalist groups in the Alliance periodically press for a resolution of what they call the "Tárrases Question." In each instance, however, the Lyrian king (one of the seven kings who collectively rule the Mahhalian Alliance), in his titular role as feudal overlord to the Duchess of Tárrases, has taken his title of "Protector of Tárrases" seriously and has served as guarantor of the Duchy's continued self-governing status. Further, the presiding Duchess has herself proven adept at international politics, winning seats for the Duchy within international bodies such as the United Nations (making it a de facto equal of Mahhal despite its persisting de jure feudal relationship), and recently the Duchy signed a free-trade agreement with the Ardispheric Federation, drawing on their shared history as culturally diverse, Spanish-speaking former colonies.

Government

The current head of state is the Duchess Cleopatra II, of the Carapreta dynasty which was founded by the pirate-turned-landowner, Omar Carapreta, when the colony's original masters abandoned the outpost (due to an inability to fend off increasing attacks of piracy) over 200 years ago. Since the 1920's, the government has had a unicameral General Assembly elected by universal sufferage, and the winning party or coalition chooses a premier, who serves until the Duchess dissolves the government, at which point new elections are called.

Unlike many constitutional monarchies, the Tarrasean head-of-state participates actively in politics, advocating for her party (The Partido Soberano, the so called "Negros" ["Blacks"]). Because of her charisma (and that of her father, José III, before her), that party has had a "lock" on the Duchy's political culture for nearly half a century. Therefore, most political battles are fought, and decisions are made, at the level of party congresses and conventions.

The current premier is Dimitrio Angelopoulos.

Language and People

Demographics
Spanish Speakers Mahhalian Speakers Greek Speakers
58.1% 22.9% 9.0%
English Speakers Amharic Speakers Other
3.7% 1.3% 5.0%

Religion

Religious Affiliation
Derakassy Catholic "None" Orthodox
30.8% 24.2% 19.7% 6.3%
Muslim Buddhist Protestant Other
5.0% 2.0% 1.9% 10.1%

Climate

Like the rest of the Mahhalian Archipelago, Tárreses has a cool-to-cold maritime climate, but despite the high latitude, the surrounding sea remains ice-free year-round, due to the strong warm current that thrusts down from the tropics along Antarephia's east coast. In fact, the Lyr coast where Tárreses is situated is one of the warmest regions in the archipelago, due this current - the Lyr coast is warmer than the parts of Puh that extend much farther north, for example.

Nevertheless, snow is common and winters are long, with monthly average temperatures at or below freezing from May until October. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 20 degrees Celsius even on sunny days, and sunny days are not that common - more typically a midsummer December or January day is overcast and 15 degrees, with light drizzle. The grey light of summer lasts a very long time, however, since because of the latitude this is a land of midnight sun.