(pronounced "ZHOCK sheer-ROCK")
"I would like all fellow citizens, more at ease about their future, to feel they are part of a collective destiny,…more patriotic and at the same time more European."
The French Republic is the largest west European country, encompassing 551,670 sq km (220,668 sq mi), including the Mediterranean island of Corsica. It is bounded to the west by the Atlantic Ocean; to the north by the English Channel; to the east by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy; and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and Spain. The Republic also includes overseas territories and departments. The capital is Paris.
The population of almost 60 million is overwhelmingly nominally Roman Catholic (approximately 88%); fewer than 2% are Protestant, 1% are Jewish and 1% Buddhist; and recent immigration trends have created a Muslim community that is an estimated 8% of the total population. The language is French, which has several significant regional dialects; Breton and Basque are spoken by some as well.
The fourth-largest Western industrialized economy, France has a gross domestic product (GDP) of US $1.54 trillion. Per capita income is US $25,700. Inflation is low at 1.8%, but unemployment has reached 9% in the general population and stands at nearly twice that for younger workers. France is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of dairy products, wheat, and wine; industrial output includes aircraft and engines, electrical equipment, cosmetics, and pet care products. The currency is the franc .
Palais de l'Élysée
55–57 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré
75008 Paris, France