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Falkland Islands
Falkland flag by Hellerick
Flag
Motto: Desire the Right
Anthem: "Onwards the Falklands"
Provinces of Falkland
Map of the Falklands and its Provinces
Capital
and Largest City
Stanley
Official languages English
Recognized languages French, Scottish Gaelic Scots, Spanish
Ethnic groups Falkland Islander, British (English, Scottish, Welsh), French, Hispanic, Others
Religion 90% Christianity
5% Islam
5% Others
Demonym Falkland Islander
Falklander
Falklandic
Government Nation of the United Kingdom
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
• Prime Minister
Vernon MacQuarie
• Deputy Prime Minister
Edwin D'Orleans
Established
• Referendum on Independance
20 April 1992
Population
• 2011 estimate
343,000 (174th)
Currency Falkland Islands Pound (FKP)
Time zone Falkland Island Standard Time (UTC-5)
• Summer (DST)
 (UTC-6)
Falkland Islands Summer Time
Calling code 500
Internet TLD .fk
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The Falkland Islands (pronounced /ˈfɔːlklənd/; Spanish: Islas Malvinas) are an archipelago in the South Atlantic. Ever since the re-establishment of British rule in 1833, Argentina has claimed sovereignty. In pursuit of this claim, which is rejected by the islanders, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982. This precipitated the two-month-long undeclared Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom and resulted in the defeat and withdrawal of the Argentine forces. It is currently a nation of the United Kingdom. Atlantic Ocean, located about 250 nautical miles (460 km; 290 mi) from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago, consisting of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands, was formerly a self-governing British Overseas Territory. The capital Stanley is on East Falkland along with the second city Darwin, and the fourth city Port Louis, which is contains the largest Francophone community in the East. There are cities in the West as well: Fox Bay and Port Howard (county seat of East Falkland, later Howard-Pebble), third and fifth, respectively.

Since the war, the referendum on integration was carried out, and in 1992, 10 years after the War began, the Islands were declared a nation of the UK. The military protection of the islands is currently controled by the British Armed Forces and a small local force made up of the Police of the islands and armed volenteers. After integration, the Islands began a period of economic revolution making profits from Oil, Timber, Gas, Fishing and Banking.

History

Pre-Independence

Main article: History of the Falkland Islands

Post-Integration

The Falkland Islands shed its' overseas territory status, and became a nation of the United Kingdom after a referendum in 1992, which led to a 70% pro-integration vote, and then over the next 18 months they set up the Government. The Falklands officially became a nation of the UK on the 14th June on Liberation Day, 10 years after the Argentine Forces Surrendered. After the first elections the Liberal Party won, instating Derrick Hutton as the Prime Minister of the Falkand Islands. He began by setting out a 10 year plan for economic prosperity, which included foresting several large sections of the country, introducing immigrants to the nation and extracting the untapped sources of oil off the coast of the country.

During that time, French settlers began to arrive from the Metropolitan and its overseas territories (such as those in the Caribbean) in Port Louis in the East, and Port Howard in the West. They built hospitals, and community markets in those towns, which make them future cities.

The plan began to work. Most people had sour feelings at the beginning, but as it gained pace and became more successful people began to favour Hutton's ideas. The Capital, Stanley, was becoming a large town equal to Reykjavik and was a banking and fishing centre. Meanwhile the settlement of Fox Bay on West Falkland was growing as an oil port with many rich investors buying homes to be closer to the Oil Port.

In 1996, the election led to Hutton being re-elected, and he continued with his plan. The massive Pine Forest over islands were becoming havens for sports enthusiasts who would flock annually for the Island Springfest where some of the up and coming sports stars would display their talent.

In 2000, the islands went through a massive infrastructure improvement scheme, in which many new roads were built and existing mud tracks were tarmaced, making it easy to travel across the country. Plus, the first Dual-Carriage Way connecting Darwin and Stanley was built, signifying a major step forward in the nation's history. At the exact same time, the Francophone and Anglophone communities of Port Howard and Fox Bay agreed to build a second Dual-Carriage Way for the West. However, this first exiting period of growth was overshadowed by the Deepwater Colossus Crisis in which a controversial oil rig was claimed by the Argentine Government. This first incident since the War led to major international attention with warnings by the UN making sanctions on the Argentine government if it didn't leave the rig plus a stand off between the FIS Duty (Falkland Islands Ship Duty) and ARA Columbus (Armada de la República Argentina Columbus) which led to the edge of war. The 14-day crisis came to an end with a joint Anglo-Falkander force retaking the ship in Operation Fortune Dawn. This mission wasn't without loss, as Captain Richard Forks was shot dead by an Argentine officer plus 3 other men were injured. In the 2000 election the, third and final term of Derrick Hutton was instated after his several major successes. The 2001 terrorist attack in USA led to the war on terror with Falklands sending 200 men to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight under the guidance of the British Army and the French Navy.

The next 3 years were dominated by growth and expansion by the government, which led to the 'Greening' of the islands and the connecting between cities. Currently the Western islands group, which suffered fairly lightly in the Economic Crisis, is beginning to negotiate the handover of South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands along with 2 Antacrtic research stations.

In 2007, the Francophone community, supported by the French consulates in Port Louis and Stanley, celebrated the 243rd anniversary of the foundation of Port St. Louis in addition to the Silver anniversary celebration of the Falklands War, in where France supported both sides.

In 2012, the 30th year anniversary of the Falklands War led to much controversy between the Falklands and Argentina. However the celebrations, which included candlelight vigils, reenactments and a minute of silence, went practically undisturbed. However there was much protest from Argentina, who said that the Falkland government was being insensitive to the Argentinians who died in the war.

In 2014, the Francophone community celebrated the 250th anniversary of the settlement and foundation of Port St. Louis, with support from the French Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Paris. The festivities are mainly held in Port Louis and Port Howard, but they even held celebrations in the three main cities in the archipelago.

Geology

Main article: Geography of the Falkland Islands

Politics

The Islands Parliament meets every week in the House of Commons, where they discuss political issues and issues about the island. It is currently ruled by the Liberal Party, or the 'Righters', which have ruled since integration. However, the Falklanders Party, or 'Kelpers', made gains in the more rural areas wishing to establish a government for native Falklanders, whereas the Parti pour les Malouines, or the 'Archers', made gains in Port Louis and Port Howard wishing to do the same for the Francophone community. The current Prime Minister (which serves the Anglophone community) is Vernon MacQuarie, who is a son of a Scottish RAF pilot who settled after the war while the Deputy Prime Minister (which serves the Francophone community) is Edwin D'Orleans, who is a direct descendant of Jacquemin, brother of Joan of Arc and a support of the British during the War. Both MacQuarie and D'Orleans have begun to extend the 10-year plan, plus make the nation more stable and stronger in the global market. The Islands are split into 14 Counties, the largest being Albermale on West Falkland, but the most populated is Stanley. Each County has a representative, which speaks both English and French, in the Senate who each vote on decisions in the Parliament.

Transport

There are 3 train lines that cross the country, the Stanley to Darwin Line, Stanley to Fox Bay Line and Port Carlos to Stanley Line. These Train lines are planned to be expanded from Lively Island to Stanley plus North Arm to Darwin. Stanley has planned to build a very short tram line from Christ Church Cathedral to Government House which would strech from one end of old Stanley to another. The Dual Carriage Way from Stanley to Darwin is the largest road in the country with frequent use. The other roads of the island have been expanded and reformed in recent years, making the island widely connected and easily accessable apart from the desolate interior. The Hutton Bridge connecting West Falkland with Lafonia is currently under construction and is predicted to open in 4 years. It will be 3.4 Miles long from East Falkland to West. This project will cost around F£16. Million (F£: Falkland Pounds) which will be the first connection between the islands. The Bridge will be 3.4 miles long. It will establish the fastest route between Fox Bay and Stanley, plus it will be the 2nd Dual Carriage way in the country and the only rail link between the islands.

There are four main Airports on the Island, one in Fox Bay (West Falkland Airport), Stanley (Stanley International Airport), Mount Pleasant Air Base (East Falkland Airport), Darwin (Lafonia Airport). Flights are mainly opperated by Falkland Air, LAN and Brittish MoD. Filghts can be taken from RAF Brize Norton, London Heathrow, Buenos Aires, Montivideo, Cape Town, Asuncion, Santiago, Punta Arenas and Rio Gallegos. Some of these flights have stop off points half way such as the Brize Norton flight stops at Ascention Island, and the Punta Arenas flight stops at Rio Gallegos.

Ferries are widely available across the islands. Services operate mainly from Stanley and Fox Bay, but they stop off at some of the smallest settlements. They are the main mode of transport around the islands.

Media

There are 7 official Falkland TV stations: Mercopress TV, Falkland News Network (FNN) 1, FNN 2, Brittish Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) 1, Falkland Islands TV 1 (FITV), Falkland Islands TV 2 (FITV) and Ici Radio-Malouines Télé**. These limmited local stations show a range of programming, but the outside world's TV is also accessible. TV stations such as BBC, Sky, France 24, CBC, Ici Radio-Canada, CNN, ESPN, etc. are broadcasted but only accessible via a satellite.

Radio is widely used throughout the islands, and the main 7 stations are the Falkland Islands Radio Service (FIRS) 1, FIRS 2, Ici Radio-Malouines Première**, Ici Radio-Malouines Musique**, Stanley Radio and Malvinas FM*. Other radio channels such as local stations are available, but these are the main channels listened to by the majority of the public.

There are 2 newspapers that were published pre-integration (marked in italic). But post-integration, 10 more have been made, they are: The Penguin News, Teaberry Express, Falkland Island Telegraph, Malvinas Press*, Stanley Fortnight, the Port Howard Times, the Warrah Press (Darwin), the Fox Bay Daily Mirror, the Usborne View (San Carlos), the Hill Cove Daily Tribune, the Berkley Sun and Journal Malouinaise**. Each of these news papers operate frequent services either Daily, Weekly or Bi-Weekly.

* - Any media outlets with the name Malvinas is sponsored by the Argentine Government. However, it is read mainly by the Hispanophone Population of the islands. The majority of people call the outlets 'Intruders' and many people deliberately boycott these outlets; however, they remain mainstream.
** - Any media outlets with the name Malouines is sponsored by the French Government, in support of the British claim. However, it is read mainly by the Francophone Population of the islands. The Anglophone communities call the outlets 'Neighbours' as they had began to understand the French language better. while those opposed to the French settlement call them 'Rogues' as they might be a bit skeptical on the issues involving nationality and sovereignty.

Demographics

There are believed to have 343,000 people on the islands at the last estimate in 2010. These people are believed to be 70% British (Mainly English, Scottish and Welsh), 18% Hispanic, 6% French and 6% Other (mainly Jewish, Arab and Black) each mainly believing in: 84% Protestant, 6% Catholic, 10% Other or None Stated. The Native Islanders called 'Kelpers' are beginning to be outnumbered by immigrants, but this is only in the three major settlements (five if counting Port Louis and Port Howard); and in the Interior of the islands, they are the majority. The official language of the islands is English (spoken in the regional Accent); however, Spanish and French are also popular, mainly used by Argentine/Uruguayan immigrants or Metropolitan or Overseas French immigrants. Scottish Gaelic is well-known with the elderly of Scottish descent, as well as the sheep-farmers. Falkland Islanders can apply for double, triple and even tetra-citizenship. Mainly, people opt for British-Falklander citizenship, Argentine-Falklander citizenship or French-Falklander citizenship.

In the 2015 estimate, the population nearly doubled to 680,000 people due to the return of French culture and the growth in population of the villages of Port Louis in the East and Port Howard in the West, as well as the resettlement of Port Egmont on Saunders Island by establishing a bird habitation center. Those people believes to still be 70% British. But in case of minorities, the ratio changes as the Hispanics are dropped down to 15%, while the French go up to 9% and the Others (mainly Jewish, Arab and Black) remain at 6%.

Culture

Although the Falklands haven't been independent for a while, their country has a set of stereotypes based around it. The majority of people see the Falklands as Sheep herders who drive around in 4x4's over empty land and constantly complain about the Argentinians and British.

Sport

The most popular sports in the Falklands is Field Hockey. There is the Hockey League of the Falklands (HLF) which has 9 teams; the largest four being Stanley Pythons, Fox Bay Hounds, Stanley Pirates and Darwin Shooters. This is the most popular sport; however, Cricket, Rugby, Football and Shooting are also popular. Horse riding, however, is the 2nd most popular sport with the annual Horse meet outside Stanley being a big event that is broadcast across the country.

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