|General background: Economic development was
spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup
to France and the opening of a casino. Since then, the
principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling
facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist
and recreation center.
About three times the size of The Mall in Washington,
Climate: Mediterranean with mild,
wet winters and hot, dry summers
Hilly, rugged, rocky
Population: 31,987 (July 2002 est.)
Ethnic groups: French 47%, Monegasque 16%,
Italian 16%, other 21%
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%
Language: French (official), English, Italian,
Government type: Constitutional monarchy
Legal system: Based on French law; has not
accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Economic overview: Monaco, situated on the
French Mediterranean coast, is a popular resort, attracting
tourists to its casino and pleasant climate. In 2001,
a major new construction project will extend the pier
used by cruise ships in the main harbour. The Principality
has successfully sought to diversify into services
and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries.
The state has no income tax and low business taxes
and thrives as a tax haven both for individuals who
have established residence and for foreign companies
that have set up businesses and offices. The state
retains monopolies in a number of sectors, including
tobacco, the telephone network, and the postal service.
Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those
in prosperous French metropolitan areas.
Communication/Telephone system: Modern automatic
Places of interest: Playground of the rich
Travel tips: Bring loads of money to survive.