Uruguay

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 3.4
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 93%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 0.6%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 176,220


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Native European88
Half-caste8
African4



Main Cities Population
Montevideo 1 269 552
Salto 99 072
Paysandu 73 272
Las Piedras 69 222
Rivera 64 426
Maldonado 54 603



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Montevideo (GMT-3 in winter, GMT-2 in summer).
Summer time from October to March



Languages
Official language: Spanish
Most people can speak Italian.
Business languages: Spanish, English.
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Free translation tools

Babel Fish
Free English-Spanish-English translation of texts and web pages

Systran
Free French-Spanish-French translation of texts and web pages

Dictionarios.com
Free Spanish-Catalan-English-French Dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Catholics 66%
Jews 2%
Protestants 2%
Others 30%.


Political context

Uruguay is a republic state based on parliamentary democracy with strong presidential form of government. Uruguay (official name: Oriental Republic of Uruguay) is known for its advanced education and social security systems and liberal social laws among other South America countries.
President is both chief of the state and head of the government and is elected by a popular vote for five-year term. President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and enjoys all the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs.
The legislature in Uruguay is bicameral. The parliament called General Assembly consists of: Chamber of Senators (the upper house) having 30 seats with members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, vice president has one additional vote in the Senate; and Chamber of Representatives (the lower house) having 99 seats with its members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. President has the power to veto acts of the legislature, and in turn a supermajority (two-third) of legislators may act to override the veto. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament. The people of Uruguay have considerable political rights.
The judiciary is largely independent, but has become increasingly inefficient in the face of escalating crime and backlog of cases. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1967 (modified in 1989 and 1997). The legal system is based on Spanish civil law system. Uruguay accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. Spanish is the judicial language used in the country, having an interpreter is possible.
Uruguay is largely ruled by law; however discrimination against the country’s black minority and violence against women is a problem. Foreign nationals cannot be always guaranteed an impartial trail from the country’s judicial system. Though a certain degree of corruption exists in the corporate sector and the government departments; but government is taking necessary measures to curb it. It is one of the least corrupt nations in Latin America.


Major political parties

Uruguay has a multi-party system, with three dominant political parties. It has been extreme difficulty for any other political party to achieve electoral success. However, Uruguay’s first coalition government has come to power in 2005. The three dominant parties are:
- Colorado Party - a liberal and social-democratic party, the most elected party in Uruguayan history;
- National Party - a liberal conservative party also called ‘White Party’;
- Independent Party - a social democratic and Christian socialist party, advocates ‘Third Way’ - an alternative to the traditional left- and right-wing politics.


Major political leaders

President: Tabare VAZQUEZ Rosas (since March 2005) – EPFA (Broad Front-Progressive Encounter-New Majority) which is a coalition comprising of about a dozen small left-wing political parties.


Next political election dates

Presidential: October 2009
Chamber of Senators: October 2009
Chamber of Representatives: October 2009




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Uruguay 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 1,756 1,808 1,749
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
The arts center (museums...) of the capital, Montevideo, attracts a lot of tourists.

For more information about tourism in Uruguay , check out the following web site(s) :
Ministry of Tourism of Uruguay



Food


Traditional dishes
Most restaurants in Uruguay are Grill restaurants: indeed Beef is the main ingredient for the preparation of all dishes in Uruguay.
The asado: barbecued beef
The asado de tira: beef ribs
The lomo: fillet of beef
Costillas: sheep
Milanesa: veal chops
Chivito: sandwich with beef, salad and eggs.
The puchero: beef meat with vegetables, bacon, beans and sausages.
the cazuela: home made stew
Desserts: The dulce of leche
Drinks: The caña, the grappa
Beers are excellent in Uruguay.


Food-related taboos
There are no culinary taboos.

Last modified on December 2006

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