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Monaco decides to expand into sea

MONACO - Monaco plans expand its tiny territory by building a 6-hectare peninsula into the Mediterranean, the city-state's monarch Prince Albert announced Friday, March 29.

"I have decided to launch an extension into the sea to the east of the principality after having studied various proposals since 2008," Albert said in an interview in the daily Monaco Matin.

The affluent city-state of 2 square kilometers (0.8 square miles) has already extensively used land reclamation as its casino and its policy of no income tax on individuals has attracted the world's wealthy.

The project is to be located near the Grimaldi Forum congress center, and at up to 6 hectares (14 acres), would add 3% to the city-state's territory.

At the end of 2008, Monaco abandoned plans for a 12-hectare land reclamation project that would have provided residential space for 3,000 people.

The global financial crisis was the reason cited behind the move, but it would have also likely faced fierce opposition from environmental groups due to its proximity to a marine reserve.

"I will pay particular attention to ensure the project respects the strict environmental rules that I will impose, during the construction as well as during the use of the new surfaces created," said Albert. – Rappler.com