Monaco, a very small geographical existence is ranks as the second smallest independent country. But this country when it comes to population, Monaco stands on top of the ladder. It is also a city-state besides being one of the European microstates. Essentially a Princedom, Monaco sits in a pivotal position with the Mediterranean Sea and France on its two sides. The French Riviera is also close to Monaco, which is on the border of France and Italy. The name of Monaco is a direct derivative of the nearby Greek colony, Monoikos (single house) founded by the Phoceans in the 6th Century AD. Monoikos was named as per the ancient myth of Hercules, who led the Phoceans to build the temple of Hercules Monoikos.
Being the second-smallest independent state in the world after Vatican City, Monaco comprises of seven sections (quartiers), namely Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte Carlo, Fontvieille, Moneghetti, Larvotto - Tenao and the Saint Roman, which also happens to be the extreme point of Tenao on the east.
A beautiful natural scenery and a mild, sunny climate to boast, the narrow strip of Monaco lies along the coast reaching the bottom of the Lower Alps.The temperature in January and February is 8°C (47°F) whereas in July and August it is 26°C, approximately.
View of The Principality of Monaco
Re-founded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa, Monaco was under the rule of the House of Grimaldi since 1297. History claims it is François Grimaldi who captured the fort that protected the famous rock. His attire was that of a Franciscan monk/monaco (in Italian), that gave the country its name. From 1793 to 1814 Monaco went under French control, until the country was granted the protection of Sardinia in 1815. The new system was in practice till 1860, after which, Monaco was granted sovereignty by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861 and the Princes ruled until the introduction of the new constitution in 1911. July 1918 saw a treaty being signed for providing limited French protection over Monaco, and was a part of the Treaty of Versailles. As per the Treaty, Monegasque policy matched the French political, military, and economic interests.
Rainier III, one of the Princes of Monaco was enthroned after Prince Louis II, in 1949, giving rise to a new constitution that came into effect in 1962. As per the new constitution, capital punishment was abolished, female suffrage was introduced and a Supreme Court was established for guarantying the fundamental liberties. 1993 saw Monaco becoming a member of the United Nations. Monaco thus gained its full voting rights.
The new treaty between France and Monaco in 2002 agreed to grant the country an independent status in the absence of heirs to the throne, though France shall continue taking care of Monaco's military defence.
Monte Carlo Casino
Tourism being the backbone of Monaco’s economy, the country earns huge profits every year from its casinos and the cruise ships. Apart from these, Monaco has diverse services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries to support its economy. With the burden of income tax taken away from its citizens, Monaco has a large concentration of wealthy "non-tax paying" residents from European countries that has shot up the standards of living to quite a height, almost equal or sometimes equal to the residents of the prosperous French metropolitan areas.
The state holds monopolies in numerous industry sectors, which include the tobacco industries and the postal services. The telecom industry used to belong to the state earlier; the current Monaco Telecom is 49% owned by Cable and Wireless, 45% by the state and 6% by Compagnie Monégasque de Banque. Monaco earns heftily through exports, out of which the ceramics industries, metal works, textiles, plastics and instruments require a special mention.
Though not a member of the European Union, Monaco is still very closely linked to it. The customs union with France allows it to use the French currency which is the Euro, and has the authority to mint euro coins with the Monegasque designs on them.
A constitutional monarchy since 1911, Monaco has the Sovereign Prince as the head of state, with the Minister of State (usually of a French origin) under him to control the four-member Council of Government or the Cabinet. The Minister of State is appointed by the Prince himself and chosen from a list of candidates provided by the French Government. The 1962 constitution allows the Prince to share his power with the unicameral National Council (i.e. the parliament). The Communal Council hands the local issues and comprises of 15 elected members under the Mayor.