One of Monaco’s main sources of income is tourism. Each year many foreigners are attracted to its casino and pleasant climate. It has also become a major banking center, holding over €100 billion worth of funds. Banks in Monaco specialize in providing private banking, asset and wealth management services. The principality has successfully sought to diversify its economic base into services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries, such as cosmetics and biothermics.
The state retains monopolies in numerous sectors, including tobacco and the postal service. The telephone network (Monaco Telecom) used to be fully owned by the state; it now owns only 45%, while the remaining 55% is owned by both Cable & Wireless Communications (49%) and Compagnie Monégasque de Banque (6%). It is still, however, a monopoly. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.
Monaco is not a member of the European Union. However, it is very closely linked via a customs union with France and, as such, its currency is the same as that of France, the euro. Before 2002, Monaco minted its own coins, the Monegasque franc. Monaco has acquired the right to mint euro coins with Monegasque designs on its national side.
The Monaco bus company (CAM) covers all the tourist attractions, museums, exotic garden, business centres, and the Casino or the Louis II Stadium.
Flag of Monaco:
The flag of Monaco is the national flag of the Principality of Monaco. It has two equal horizontal bands, of red (top) and white (bottom), both of which have been the heraldic colours of the House of Grimaldi since at least 1339. The present bicolor design was adopted on 4 April 1881, under Charles III.
Monaco’s original flag, which was similar to its current princely flag but bore an older version of its coat of arms, was in use from the principality’s early days (except during its annexation to France from 1793 to 1814) until the present, simpler design was adopted in 1881.
The flag of Monaco is graphically identical to the flag of Indonesia, with differences in their dimension ratios (Monaco’s at 4:5 and Indonesia’s at 2:3), and the shade of red is darker for the flag of Monaco. The flag of Poland is also similar to that of Monaco, but with the colours reversed – white on top and red on the bottom.