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The Chancellor of Germany is the political leader of Germany and the head of the federal government. The chancellor is responsible for selecting all other members of the government and chairing cabinet meetings. The office was created in the North German Confederation in 1867, when Otto von Bismarck (pictured) became the first Chancellor. With the unification of Germany and establishment of the German Empire in 1871, the Confederation evolved into a German nation-state and the office became known as the Chancellor of Germany. Originally, the Chancellor was only responsible to the Emperor. This changed with the constitutional reform in 1918, when the Parliament was given the right to dismiss the Chancellor. Under the 1919 Weimar Constitution the Chancellors were appointed by the directly elected President, but were responsible to Parliament. The constitution was set aside during the 1933–1945 Nazi dictatorship. The 1949 Basic Law made the Chancellor the most important office in West Germany, while diminishing the role of the President. (Full list...)

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Gentiana acaulis

Gentiana acaulis, also known as the stemless gentian, is a species of flowering plant in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to central and southern Europe, from Spain east to the Balkans, growing in mountainous regions such as the Alps and Pyrenees. It is a perennial plant, growing up to a height of 10 centimetres (3.9 in) tall and forming a "mat" up to 50 centimetres (20 in) wide. The leaves are evergreen, and can be lanceolate, elliptical or obovate. The trumpet-shaped terminal flowers are blue with olive-green spotted longitudinal throats. A depiction of the Gentiana acaulis flower can be seen on the obverse side of the one cent Austrian euro coin.

Photograph: Petar Milošević

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