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Saint Barthelemy (2008)

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Saint Barthelemy 2008 year

 Saint Barthelemy
Airports 1
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

under 914 m: 1
Area 21 sq km
Area - comparative less than an eighth of the size of Washington, DC
Background Discovered in 1493 by Christopher COLUMBUS who named it for his brother Bartolomeo, St. Barthelemy was first settled by the French in 1648. In 1784, the French sold the island to Sweden, who renamed the largest town Gustavia, after the Swedish King GUSTAV III, and made it a free port; the island prospered as a trade and supply center during the colonial wars of the 18th century. France repurchased the island in 1878 and placed it under the administration of Guadeloupe. St. Barthelemy retained its free port status along with various Swedish appelations such as Swedish street and town names, and the three-crown symbol on the coat of arms. In 2003, the populace of the island voted to secede from Guadeloupe and in 2007, the island became a French overseas collectivity.
Capital name: Gustavia

geographic coordinates: 17 53 N, 62 51 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight savings: +1 hour, starts 20 March and ends 17 October
Climate tropical, with practically no variation in temperature; has two seasons (dry and humid)
Constitution 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Country name conventional long form: Overseas Collectivity of Saint Barthelemy

conventional short form: Saint Barthelemy

local long form: Collectivite d'outre mer de Saint-Barthelemy

local short form: Saint-Barthelemy
Dependency status overseas collectivity of France
Diplomatic representation from the US none (overseas collectivity of France)
Diplomatic representation in the US none (overseas collectivity of France)
Economy - overview The economy of Saint Barthelemy is based upon high-end tourism and duty-free luxury commerce, serving visitors primarily from North America. The luxury hotels and villas host 70,000 visitors each year with another 130,000 arriving by boat. The relative isolation and high cost of living inhibits mass tourism. The construction and public sectors also enjoy significant investment in support of tourism. With limited fresh water resources, all food must be imported, as must all energy resources and most manufactured goods. Employment is strong and attracts labor from Brazil and Portugal.
Elevation extremes lowest point: Caribbean Ocean 0 m

highest point: Morne du Vitet 286 m
Environment - current issues with no natural rivers or streams, fresh water is in short supply, especially in summer, and provided by desalinization of sea water, collection of rain water, or imported via water tanker
Ethnic groups white, Creole (mulatto), black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East Asia)
Exchange rates euros per US dollar - NA (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007), represented by Prefect Dominique LACROIX (since 21 March 2007)

head of government: President of the Territorial Council Bruno MAGRAS (since 16 July 2007)

cabinet: Executive Council; note - there is also an advisory, economic, social, and cultural council

elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the Territorial Council is elected by the members of the Council for a five-year term

election results: Bruno MAGRAS unanimously elected president by the Territorial Council on 16 July 2007
Flag description the flag of France is used
Geographic coordinates 17 90 N, 62 85 W
Independence none (overseas collectivity of France)
International organization participation UPU
Land boundaries 0 km
Languages French (primary), English
Legal system the laws of France, where applicable, apply
Legislative branch unicameral Territorial Council (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 1 and 8 July 2007 (next to be held July 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - SBA 72.2%, Action-Equilibre-Transparence 9.9%, Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy 7.9%, Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy 9.9%; seats by party - SBA 16, Action-Equilibre-Transparence 1, Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy 1, Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy 1
Location located approximately 125 miles northwest of Guadeloupe
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Military - note defense is the responsibility of France
National holiday Bastille Day, 14 July (1789); note - local holiday is St. Barthelemy Day, 24 August
Natural resources has few natural resouces, its beaches being the most important
Political parties and leaders Action-Equilibre-Transparence [Maxime DESOUCHES]; Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy [Benoit CHAUVIN]; Saint-Barth d'Abord! or SBA [Bruno MAGRAS]; Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy [Karine MIOT-RICHARD]
Population 6,852 (1999 March census)
Religions Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witness
Suffrage 18 years of age, universal
Telephone system general assessment: fully integrated access

domestic: direct dial capability with both fixed and wireless systems

international: country code - 590; undersea fiber-optic cable provides voice and data connectivity to Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe
Terrain hilly, almost completely surrounded by shallow-water reefs, with 20 beaches
Transportation - note nearest airport for international flights is Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) located in Sint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles)
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