GERMANY

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Country Description: Germany is a stable democracy with a modern economy. Tourist facilities throughout Germany are highly developed with the exception of some areas in eastern Germany.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: Information on entry visa and passport requirements may be obtained from the German Embassy at 4645 Reservoir Road N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007-1998, tel. (202) 298-4000, or the German Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco or Seattle.

Medical Facilities: Good medical care is widely available with some facilities in eastern Germany more limited. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate payment in cash for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that, in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proven to be useful. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559 or by visiting CDC's Internet home page at http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Violent crime is rare in Germany, but can occur, especially in larger cities or high risk areas such as train stations. Most incidents of street crime are, however, not confrontational, consisting mainly of theft of unattended items or pick-pocketing. There have been a few reports of aggravated assault against U.S. citizens in higher risk areas so caution is appropriate. American travelers are advised to take the same precautions against becoming victims of crime as they would in any moderate sized city.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" contains information on safeguarding valuables and promoting personal security. It can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Extremist Activities: Anti-foreigner sentiment in Germany, which had been focused on refugees, has declined in recent years. There have been a few incidents of incendiary attacks against U.S. commercial connections over the past two years, such as car dealerships. Extremist protests and demonstrations of both the left and right sometimes lead to street violence and clashes with the police. Although Americans have not been specific targets, individual Americans have, in exceptional cases, been assaulted for appearing "foreign."

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Road Conditions and Traffic Safety: Road conditions in general are excellent, except when affected by poor weather. Still, the high rates of speed permitted on the German "Autobahn" and unfamiliar road markings (especially with respect to right-of-way and speed limits) can pose significant hazards to American drivers. Driver error is a leading cause of accidents involving American motorists in Germany.

Registration and Embassy and Consulate Locations: Americans may register and obtain updated information on travel and security within Germany from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or any of the U.S. Consulates. The U.S. Embassy's toll-free 24-hour hotline in Germany on crime, security, and information on demonstrations may be accessed by dialing 0130-826364.

U.S. Embassy Bonn: Deichmanns Aue 29; tel. (49)(228)3391

U.S. Embassy Office Berlin: Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse 4-5; tel: (49)(30) 238-5174; its Consular Section is located at Clayallee 170; tel. (49)(30) 832-9233.

U.S. Consulates are located at:

Duesseldorf: Postal Address: Kennedydamm 15-17, tel. (49)(211) 470-6123.

Frankfurt: Siesmayerstrasse 21, tel. (49)(69) 75350;

Hamburg: Alsterufer 27/28, tel. (49)(40) 4117-1351;

Leipzig: Wilhelm-Seyfferth-Strasse 4, tel. (49)(341) 213-8418; and

Munich: Koeniginstrasse 5, tel. (49)(89) 288-8722;

The U.S. Consulates in Duesseldorf and Leipzig offer only emergency services to U.S. citizens.

When calling another city from within Germany, persons should dial a zero before the city area code (for example, when calling Bonn from Munich, the city area code for Bonn is 0228).

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