La Rochelle



France is a country in Western Europe with coasts on the Bay of Biscay, English Channel and Mediterranean Sea. The French Republic consists of (Metropolitan) France, and the overseas regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion.

The country is a senatorial semi-presidential republic, performing well in most economic and lifestyle metrics. It plays an influential global role as one of only five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as belonging to NATO, the G-7, the G-20 and the EU. It was one of the first countries to use the Euro. 

Its economy is diverse and combines extensive private enterprise with substantial state intervention in key area of infrastructure, such as the railways, electricity, aircraft, nuclear power and telecommunications. Financial services, banking and the insurance sector are an important part of the economy, as are agriculture and tourism. France is the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe and the most visited country in the world (83 million foreign tourists in 2016).

The capital, Paris, is by far the largest city, with Lyon ranked a distant second, followed in order of size by Marseille-Aix-en-Provence, Lille, Nice-Cannes and Toulouse. Paris is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower.

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