State of Montecara
Stado de Montecara
Motto: Virtus nostrum tutamen
Virtue is our safeguard (Latin)
Anthem: Inno dei Populi
"Hymn of the People"
and largest city
• Head of Government
|Legislature||Senate and Popular Assembly|
• City founded
|28 April 1944|
|851 km2 (329 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
• 2015 census
|2,540.71/km2 (6,580.4/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2015)|| 30.7|
|HDI (2017)|| 0.924|
|Currency||Montecaran libra (MCL)|
|Date format||yyyy-mm-dd (official)|
dd-mm-yyyy (common use)
|ISO 3166 code||MC; MTC|
Montecara, officially the State of Montecara, is a city-state of approximately 1.7 million people located on a 689 square kilometer main island and scattered islets located in the Aurean Straits between Euclea and Coius. It lies at the meeting point of the Solarian Sea and Gulf of Assonaire at the narrowest point of the world's most important sea trade route. Montecara is noted for its unique government and deep-rooted Latin culture, and is one of the smallest and richest nations in the world.
Montecara has been governed under a collegial system and unwritten constitution for centuries, setting it apart from almost all modern states. There are no political parties; instead, every citizen aged 21 and older is a member of the legislature, either in the Popular Assembly (Senblèa Popolà), the lower house, or the Senate (Senàt), the appointed upper house. There are no individuals who can be said to rule Montecara; the entire citizenry is considered sovereign and head of state and the Colegio, technically a committee of the Popular Assembly, is the collective head of government. This commitment to civic virtue is offset by the fact that Montecara has a large population of non-citizen residents, over 20% of the population, who do not enjoy the full rights and privileges of citizenship.
The Montecaran economy is highly developed and specialized. The state is a major financial center and offshore banking hub, and maintains an open ship registry with a large fleet of Montecaran-flagged merchants. The state controls a large number of corporations under the umbrella of Montepietà, the sovereign wealth fund, which feeds dividends back to the public treasury. Montecara's tax policy is famously straightforward and simple, as it has no income, capital gains, estate, or dividends taxes, which has made it an attractive location for multinational firms to incorporate but has also led critics to label it a tax haven. The currency, the Montecaran libra, is one of the most traded in the world.
Because of its considerable age and natural limits to growth as an island state, as well as its rugged terrain, Montecara boasts a dense and walkable urban environment surrounded by well-preserved areas of natural beauty. The state discourages car use, and private vehicles are banned from many urban areas. These factors have contributed to making Montecara one of the world's premier tourist destinations, with an estimated 7.1 million visitor arrivals in 2017.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Infrastructure
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Education
- 9 Health
- 10 Culture
"Montecara" comes from the Latin roots for "mountain" and "face." This quite clearly comes from the striking rock formation that dominates Montecara's skyline.
|Part of a series on the History of Montecara|
|Historic rulers of Montecara|
|542 BCE – 415 BCE|
|415 BCE – 259 BCE|
|259 BCE – 15 CE|
|15 CE – 426 CE|
|Commune of Montecara|
|426 – 1380|
|1380 – 1478|
|Republic of Demora|
|1478 – 1643|
|Duchy of Montecara|
|1643 – 1711|
|1711 – 1729|
|Duchy of Montecara|
|1729 – 1810|
|1810 – 1936|
|State of Montecara|
|1936 – present|
Archaeological evidence indicates that there was human settlement in present-day Montecara by no later than 16,000 BCE. Mounds of shellfish litter, stone cutting tools, and talismanic objects have all been found on the main island, indicating a small and intermittent human population that was most likely made up of fishers who visited the island to take advantage of its sheltered location and prepare their catch. Little is definitively known about the first humans in the region, though it is speculated that they .
Civilization reached Montecara some time in the sixth century BCE when Coian tribespeople founded a permanent settlement there; the exact year is traditionally given as 542 BCE. Traces of early Coian civilization can still be seen in certain place names and in the influence of their religion on the later Solarian religion.
Montecara, along with much of the rest of eastern Euclea, came under the rule of the Solarian Republic by the late first century BCE. Montecara would remain part of the republic for nearly six centuries, with Solarian civilization leaving a profound mark on Montecaran government, language, art, and culture that endures to this day.
The Latins wasted little time in recognizing Montecara's economic value. The expansive natural harbor offered protection for seafarers and made it easy to harvest abundant stocks of shellfish. Perhaps even more importantly, the Lacùna da sel (Salt Lagoon) was a readily accessible source of sea salt thanks to its vast, shallow expanse and Montecara's warm climate, which allowed for easy and inexpensive solar evaporation. Early trade was organized around fishing, salting the catch, and then exporting it to other parts of the Latin Republic. Archaeological records indicate that the salted fish trade was being exploited on an industrial scale by the middle of the first century CE.
Central authority in the Republic began to crumble in the early fourth century CE, and after a series of civil wars exhausted the state's resources, the last Republican troops withdrew from Montecara in the late 500s.
Dark Ages, 600–1100
By the early seventh century, Montecara had been left to fend for itself. Emulating the government of the old Republic, it formed a Senate of prominent family chiefs who chose a leader from among themselves. This official was called the Doxe (from Latin dux, "leader"), and he served for life as primus inter pares.
The population dwindled as Latin civilization receded, drying up trade and leaving infrastructure to crumble. From the seventh to eleventh centuries, Montecara was a minor fishing settlement and trading post that fought off occasional seaborne raids, only surviving thanks to its sheltered location and Latin-built defenses. It existed amid a patchwork of other city-states, feudal holdings, and petty kingdoms that had been left behind as civilization faded. It differed from them, however, by its advantageous geography and stable governance. Because the city's leading families recognized their need to band together in a world of hostile pirates and barbarians but were also determined not to let any one family grow too powerful, they maintained the city-state's Latin civic republicanism. This in turn strengthened the state's identity and gave its rulers a sense that they had a stake in the common good, and that they could not simply rule for their own profit and power.
During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Montecara grew considerably in might as its fleet grew from fishing boats to powerful galleys. The city-state's newfound naval power enabled it to negotiate treaties with other states that granted it trade concessions in exchange for naval protection. Montecara's stores of salt and preserved fish made it an important trade destination, and the salt tax (gabèla) became a major source of state income. As the merchant fleet reached far-flung ports, mariners set up colonies and trading posts around the Nerean Sea that reached deep into the hinterland. Citizen-soldiers were augmented by large numbers of mercenaries recruited from abroad. This colonial thalassocracy became known as the Stado Ultramarìn (Ultramarine State).
The city-state's growing power made it an attractive prize for the ambitious, and wealthy merchant Piero de’ Malatesta seized control of the government in 1115 with the aid of an army of foreign mercenaries. His reign was to be short-lived, however; it ended on 16 April 1116 with his assassination by the city's burghers. This episode inspired the flag of Montecara, still in use today, and helped solidify the tradition of civic republicanism. To underscore the significance of the event, the burghers issued the Scarlet Bull early the following year, establishing the "eternal" status of Montecara as a republic. This law, still in effect, forms part of the city-state's uncodified constitution.
This period of growth and recovery also had a dark side. One of the most valuable cargoes in the sea trade was slaves, and Montecara became a hub of the slave trade. Captives from southern and southwestern Conitia along with those from Nautasia were brought in fetters to markets in Montecara to be sold off or shipped by Montecaran merchants directly to receiving ports elsewhere in Conitia and Nordania. The most common use for slaves was as agricultural labor; women, considered more useful for domestic purposes, fetched a premium, and eunuchs were some of the most valuable slaves of all. This meant that a lively trade in these castrati arose, and slave-trading houses often employed a professional castradòr to neuter prepubescent boys. The long tradition of castrati in Montecaran music is one of the curious legacies of this period. The slave trade would continue at some level until its total abolition in 1820.
Golden Age, 1300–1500
Montecara blossomed during its Golden Age, which lasted from the early fourteenth century to about 1500. It was by far the preeminent power in eastern Conitia in this era, and used its wealth to make great achievements in art and architecture, including the Pànteon Nova (completed circa 1290).
Montecara's trade links grew to reach lands as far away as Bahia and Asteria Superior. This period also saw the beginnings of Montecara's formidable banking sector as the process of financing trade became formalized. Lending money at interest was considered unholy until the seventeenth century, so Montecaran merchants skirted around the practice in various ways, for instance by lending in one currency or precious metal and requiring payment in another, higher-valued alternative. As these arrangements became common, the taboo against moneylending faded, and the forerunners of modern banks were founded in the 14th century.
Montecara reached the height of its territorial expansion around 1500. Its land holdings included vast areas of littoral southeastern Conitia and it was feared on the high seas as far away as the northern coast of Nautasia. During the two and a half centuries that followed its artistic and cultural Golden Age, Montecaran society became focused on an increasingly exploitative trade system that included plantation-grown coffee, spices, cocoa, sugar, and tobacco, and most notoriously, the Nautasian slaves who produced these lucrative cash crops. Slavery had been banned on Montecaran soil in 1508 under fear of potential rebellion, but the slave trade was vigorous and Montecaran merchants were all too happy to supply captives to slaveholding societies across Conitia and Borea. Merchant fleets were undergirded by an increasingly elaborate financial system that included some of the first joint-stock corporations by the early 1600s. But many senatorial families blanched at the acquisition of what they considered unseemly amounts of filthy lucre by petty members of the merchant class and made efforts to close off the Montecaran economy that only resulted in the loss of valuable government revenue from tariffs.
The Montecaran state soon found itself underfunded. Montecara's navy, which boasted over 3,000 vessels at its height, was made increasingly obsolete during the seventeenth century by the widespread adoption of large sail-powered vessels in place of sail-and-oar ships. Montecara, which had always favored large crews of oarsmen to power its warships, was hampered by intransigence and soon found its military edge dulling. It gradually lost many of its overseas territories to hostile neighbors throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Decline and stagnation, 1750–1820
By the mid-18th century, Montecara was clearly in the sunset of its time as a naval power. This period coincided with the decline of overseas trade by the Kingdom of Ainin, which was pressed by the massive cost of maintaining its empire. Montecara and Ainin found themselves fighting over the scraps of the Nautasian trade at a time when they were both in serious decline in a conflict that came to be known as the War of Twilight.
This period of rivalry and intermittent warfare ended only with the Aininian Revolution in 1795, which the Doxe and Senate supported as a means to weaken their chief rival. It also, however, laid bare the hypocrisy of the Montecaran ruling class, as though the state has always been nominally a republic, the Doxe was effectively a monarch overseeing an oligarchical Senate.
Adding to the state's woes was the fact that the Montecaran treasury had been virtually emptied by nearly four decades of naval warfare and suppressed trade. The Doxe found himself in a precarious position: he was overseeing what was by contemporary standards a wealthy and educated populace who were increasingly frustrated by misrule and disenfranchisement, all the while supporting a liberal revolution abroad, with no significant wealth to buy much-needed support.
Popular dissatisfaction with the incompetent rule of the Doxe reached a breaking point after the loss of so much wealth and territory and years of living under a virtual blockade. Living conditions improved after the end of the Aininian naval wars in 1795, which did nothing to quell citizens' rage at the city-state's leadership. But conservative backlash at the revolutions in Ainin and Aucuria meant that it would be another generation before Montecara's revolution would take root.
The summer of 1820 came to be known as the Summer of Liberty as citizens took to the streets to demand liberal reforms that would curtail the Doxe's power and put more control into the hands of the Popular Assembly. A group of liberal senators quietly began to plot the Doxe's overthrow, justifying their actions on the grounds that the Doxe had become a tyrannical menace to the welfare and republican rights of Montecarans.
The senators, working in conjunction with liberal citizens and with the complaisance of the Doxe's guards, accosted the Doxe in his bedroom on the morning of 7 January 1820, the start of the Liberal Revolution. After reading him a warrant of his crimes, the revolutionaries led him in shackles to the cellar of his palace. When word of the Doxe's arrest reached the streets, the mood in Montecara was one of general rejoicing.
While the Senate and most citizens supported the Doxe's arrest, certain quarters of Montecaran society feared what changes would occur if the Doxe were unable to exercise his power to rein in what they saw as liberal excesses. Some old aristocratic families began to plot a counter-coup and raise their own militias, and street fighting between the Liberals and Reactionaries broke out in mid-January. The period from 9 to 20 January became known as the Eleven Days and was resolved with the violent defeat of the Reactionary militias.
The Doxe was tried by the Senate from 20 January to 12 February 1820 and found guilty of treason. He was sentenced to exile and lived out the remainder of his life in the small Sjealandic city of Lusing. His exile lasted thirty-three years before he died at the age of 77 on 3 June 1853.
While the original intent of the revolution had been merely to remove one troublesome Doxe rather than eliminate the office entirely, the liberal wing of the Senate advocated for constitutional reform that would keep power out of the hands of one man in order to prevent another period of disastrous anti-republican rule. They were able to delay the election of a new Doxe by the Senate while calling on the Popular Assembly to meet and exercise its sovereign power to call for the complete abolition of the ducal office. These efforts succeeded, and by August of 1821 the Doxe's privy council was replaced with the new, elected Colegio.
With its territorial losses to Odissia making it clear that it would no longer be a major military power, Montecara's new leadership was forced to reevaluate the city-state's role in the world. Having lost the Odissian war, government and business officials became determined to "win the peace" by building on Montecara's mercantile tradition and modernizing its banking industry. New business ventures in insurance, ship registration, and finance proved extraordinarily lucrative, and state-managed investment in industry meant that the government was one of the first in the world that was able to afford a comprehensive welfare state. This period between the end of the Odissian Wars and the Second Great War has come to be known as the Silver Age both for the revival of Montecara's power and for its newfound wealth.
War of the Confederation
Fearing invasion by Cortoguay, Montecara made diplomatic overtures to the Allied side as the War of the Confederation began in late 1940. Strategically located between Cortoguay and Oelia, Montecara found itself in a precarious position as Cortoguayan troops moved east just dozens of kilometers from the border. Knowing that it could not make a lasting peace with Cortoguay but also aware that siding openly with the Allies would lead to invasion, the Montecaran government maintained its neutrality and allowed its port to be used by shipping of all nations.
This delicate state of affairs was further imperiled when the Cortoguayan government declared in 1941 that shipping in the Lazarene Sea was subject to unrestricted commerce raiding, and both the Montecaran merchant fleet and its trading partners suffered mounting losses through the end of the year.
Cortoguay declared war on Montecara and Ainin on 17 January 1942, and Cortoguayan troops invaded overnight. Seriously outnumbered and ill-prepared to repel an attack, the Montecaran Army was forced to surrender after less than a day of fighting. The city-state would remain occupied until the war's end surrender on 9 May 1943.
The Cortoguayan army murdered most members of the Senate and the entire Colegio, but the few Senators who managed to escape to Oelia were able to set up a government in exile that carried out diplomatic functions for the duration of the occupation.
After the initial shock of invasion, Montecarans organized resistance units. These units, initially engaging in uncoordinated acts of sabotage, eventually became renowned for their ruthlessness, assassinating Cortoguayan officers and firebombing the occupiers' requisitioned offices and homes. Most famously, guerrillas kidnapped the son of the military governor after he moved his family to the city-state in an effort to demonstrate that it was safely under control. The six-year-old boy was tortured and executed, and his mutilated body was hung from a lamppost before dawn on 8 October 1942. A makeshift Montecaran flag made from a bedsheet and the boy's blood was tied around his right leg. Although gristly, it served as a lasting reminder that Montecara was far from pacified and that its people would not cease resistance.
Open reprisals followed the Cortoguayan surrender. Dozens of collaborators were publicly beaten, shot, and lynched. Women who had sexual relationships with occupying troops had their heads shaved and were stripped, flogged, and dragged through the streets. Disarmed occupiers became prisoners of war, and some were held in Montecaran prisons as late as 1955. Many senior officers were tried after the war's end, and 18 who had been involved in offenses against the civilian population were sentenced to life in prison, where the last died in 1994.
The most serious crisis in Montecara during the latter half of the twentieth century was a fifteen-year period known as Il Stento, or "the Pains." Lasting in its most intense phase from June 1962 to late 1977, it was a sustained episode of low-intensity violent conflict among organized crime, corporations, trade unions, and the state that took the lives of an estimated 351 people. Sparked by the rise of the Bifàna crime family in the late 1950s and early '60s, the period was marked by assassinations (including those of judges and politicians), street battles, and bombings, most notably that of Montecara Pòrta Conìxia railway station in 1973, which killed 67 people in the deadliest single incident of the crisis. The conflict ended with the suppression of organized crime, the entrenchment of trade unionism into the political process, and the total ban on weapons that remains in effect to the present.
Recession of 1980
The Montecaran economy was badly shaken when, in May 1980, a liquidity crisis in Ainin spiraled into a global financial crisis. The Recession of 1980, as it came to be known, led to reform of the Montecaran banking industry, especially in regard to mixing commercial and investment banking.
Montecara consists of 689 square kilometers of land in the Nerean Sea. Almost all of Montecara's land consists of a single island, officially called the Island of Montecara but referred to locally as ia Isolòna ("the Big Island"), which is separated from the rest of Conitia by the Strait of Ino (Streto de Ino). The main island measures approximately 41 km from north to south at its extreme points. It is nearly cut in half by an immense natural harbor, the Bay of Montecara, which has sheltered vessels and provided food to local inhabitants for millennia. The bay is considered part of Montecara's integral territorial waters, as is the Lacùna da sel ("Salt Lagoon"), a natural area of shallow water that is so named because it has been exploited as a ready source of sea salt since prehistoric times.
Other islands adjacent to the main island include Lazarèt, a barrier island at the mouth of the Lacùna da sel, and Oçì, an islet in the Bay of Montecara that has hosted a small monastic community for over a thousand years.
Despite its small size, Montecara features dramatic changes in elevation. Its highest point is the peak of Il Coronèl at 1,231 meters above sea level, and parts of the island have cliffs of 30 meters or more that drop off into the sea.
Montecara's landmass was separated from the Conitian mainland by a series of earthquakes that likely occurred between 200,000 and 350,000 years ago. The islands and surrounding region have a karst topography of rugged cliffs and cavernous rock formations. This exposed stone has long provided locals with a readily accessible building material but has limited the island's arable land, one of the main factors motivating Montecara's long reliance on trade and emphasis on fishing.
Montecara is situated 28 degrees north of the equator at the point where two continents and two seas touch. This geography creates wind and sea currents that moderate the often hot climate at this latitude. Montecara has a subtropical semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh), with quite warm and dry summers and mild and relatively wet winter.
Because it experiences long periods with little or no rainfall, Montecara's people have developed inventive ways of supplying themselves with water for drinking and irrigation. The principal method is the levàda, a stone channel that carries water from the hills down to farms and settlements. Water condenses more readily at higher elevations and infiltrates the porous karst bedrock, where it pools and can then be channeled away. The levadà run both on the surface and in underground galleries, both of which also furnish popular hiking trails alongside their routes. There is also a local history of using greywater that goes back to the time of the Latin Republic. One technique that has been in continuous use since that time is to organize houses and apartment buildings around a central courtyard garden that is irrigated with wastewater from sinks and washing, which provides better air quality, cools the building, and naturally treats the water.
|Climate data for Montecara (1980–2010), Extremes (1920–2016)|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.4
|Average high °C (°F)||21.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.2
|Average low °C (°F)||15.4
|Record low °C (°F)||9.4
|Rainfall mm (inches)||31.5
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||4.2||3.8||3.8||2.4||0.9||0.2||0.0||0.3||0.9||3.1||4.7||5.4||29.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||178||186||221||237||282||306||337||319||253||222||178||168||2,913|
|Percent possible sunshine||52||60||59||61||65||73||78||79||70||65||54||54||64.2|
|Source: Secretariat of the Environment, Transport, and Urban Development|
Montecara is home to a diverse array of native plants and animals, including a wide variety of marine life, migratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
The native plant biome is dominated by hardy shrubs and grasses, collectively referred to as màçia, which tolerate hot and dry seasons well. An occasional fire season (inxendària) in mid-summer is an essential part of the regenerative process for this biome, which has created tension as human habitation can and often does come under the threat of wildfire. Though naturally occurring fires were suppressed from the advent of modern firefighting around the turn of the twentieth century through the early 2000s, current environmental policy allows fires to burn undisturbed until they threaten property or lives.
A population of pygmy goats lives wild in the countryside. These animals, which typically weigh around 35 kg when fully grown, were introduced as livestock in the eighteenth century and have since established a sizable feral population that has become a tourist attraction.
Montecara is a liberal democratic republic with a well-respected (albeit uncodified) constitution. Politics in Montecara are strongly influenced by its direct-democratic system, wherein every citizen can participate in the writing and approval of laws. All citizens are members of either the Popular Assembly or Senate and are accordingly entitled to vote on the laws that govern them. A committee system is in place for drafting and revising legislation, which draws on citizen input through various means, including sortition.
Citizenship is the basis of the Montecaran government, as citizens make up the legislature and govern largely by direct democracy. Montecara is a jus sanguinis state, in which birthright citizenship is only available to people with at least one Montecaran citizen parent at the time of birth. The only other way to acquire Montecaran citizenship is to have it granted by law, which is quite rare, with only 10 to 50 Montecaran citizens created through naturalization each year on average. The last step in the naturalization process is to take the Oath of Citizenship (see right), which commits the new citizen to giving sole and full allegiance to Montecara as his or her new homeland.
The Montecaran government does not recognize multiple citizenship; Montecaran citizens who acquire the citizenship of another country or who become members of a noble or royal house are considered to have renounced their citizenship. Similarly, naturalized citizens are considered to be solely citizens of Montecara. Montecarans can also lose their citizenship if they serve another country in a civil office or military capacity or formally renounce their citizenship before a Montecaran consul.
Montecara has an uncodified constitution, though some elements are written and considered more authoritative than ordinary laws. These include the Scarlet Bull of 1117, which established the "eternal" status of Montecara as a republic, the Declaration of the Rights of the Citizen of 1870, which provides for a range of political and civil rights for citizens, and the Charter of Basic Rights of 1990, which provides certain rights to non-citizens and modernizes other rights.
Montecara is traditionally divided into the city (çìta) and countryside (canpo). The dividing line between the two is known as the pomero in a tradition that goes back to the Latin Republic. While the so-called countryside was once almost entirely rural and sparsely inhabited, growth outside the bounds of the old city in the 19th and 20th centuries resulted in urbanization in many parts of the old canpo, and the vast majority of Montecara's population now lives there.
There are two types of local government unit in Montecara: sieteri and vilà. Collectively, these are known as communes (comùni). The two types are identical in function, the difference being that the çìta is divided into six sieteri, while vilà are found in the canpo.
Communes are the fundamental unit of government in Montecara's bottom-up, direct-democratic political system. They are governed collectively, with every citizen allowed an equal say. Communes operate on consensus (though, importantly, not unanimity) in their decision-making.
Communal meetings are typically held monthly, usually on the first Saturday afternoon, in a space large enough for everyone to take part in the discussion. This is usually a festive occasion, with participants contributing food and drink to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Citizens bring up any pressing issues, such as quality-of-life matters (street cleaning, noise, garbage collection, and so on) or ideas for making improvements to their neighborhood. Communes also have a say in decisions regarding the development, redevelopment, and demolition of buildings and in other matters materially affecting the community.
Aside from their main purpose of handling local concerns democratically, communes also use their collective voice to make contact with elected leaders and officials in the national government when necessary. Communes also serve as statistical areas and units for the distribution of public utilities such as water and electricity. Perhaps most importantly of all, communes are mutually supportive communities that citizens can turn to for help in situations as minor as needing care for a cat while on vacation to those as serious as a death in the family.
Montecara's political system is designed to distribute power as broadly as possible in order to maintain a powerful citizenry. Accordingly, it is governed principally as a direct democracy and directorial republic, with elements of sortition added to prevent corruption. Citizens of legal age who are not Senators are all members of the Popular Assembly, the lower house of the legislature. This body, along with the Senate, must pass all laws, ratify all treaties, and appoint all officials by majority vote. Voting was once done at mass meetings held in the fields outside the city, but since 1988 has been done exclusively by postal ballot during the last full workweeks of March, May, July, September, and November in order to minimize disruption to daily life.
Each year a Committee of Selection is randomly chosen from among members of the Popular Assembly and tasked with nominating public officials through a complex system of supermajority voting and sortition. The most important body appointed is the Colegio, the seven-member cabinet that functions as the collective head of government. Campaigning for public office is banned; Montecaran tradition holds that ambition in politics is a bad thing and sees holding public office as a civic duty that one must perform when called upon.
The Senate (Senàt) is the upper house of the legislature, and is intended to provide experienced oversight to government functions. It is the court of last resort for administrative law and is empowered to conduct investigations.
Montecaran law applies the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy. Legislation may not be challenged in courts of law.
|“||The Senate and the People of Montecara agree and order thus:||”|
|— Enacting formula for Montecaran laws|
Laws are made according to the following process:
- Introduction: A legislative proposal can be introduced by either the Colegio, in which case it is called an Executive Proposal (proxèt executìva), by a private member of the Popular Assembly, in which it is called a Popular Proposal (proxèt populàr), or by a member of the Senate, in which it is a Senatorial Proposal (proxèt senatoriàl). Popular Proposals must be supported by the signatures of at least 1,000 members of the Popular Assembly to be considered.
- Deliberation: The proposal is put up for debate by the Popular Assembly and Senate.
- Senate approval: Proposals must be approved by the Senate to advance. The Senate may pass, pass with amendments, or reject proposals.
- Popular Assembly approval: The final version of every proposal must be passed by the Popular Assembly to become law.
Montecara is a civil law jurisdiction, basing its judiciary on Latin law. Trials are conducted using the inquisitorial system. Judges are appointed by law, and courts are organized into a three-tiered hierarchy with separate streams for civil, criminal, and administrative cases. In criminal and some civil cases, lay judges sit with one or more professional judges and contribute to resolving the case. Criminal cases are prosecuted by a procùrador, a state official. The Procurator General (Procùrador-Xenèr) is the state's senior prosecutor and is called on to represent the interests of the state itself in matters of national or international importance.
Because Montecara's judiciary is governed by civil law, judges are not empowered to make law; nonetheless, the doctrine of jurisprudence constante is influential, and courts will often cite similar cases where the same judgement was reached when making their decisions. The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty means that judges are not entitled to invalidate laws.
Criminal offenses are categorized into three tiers: the contravènxon, a minor offense which carries a maximum penalty of a Ł5,000 fine and no detention; the delito, which may be punished with a maximum fine of Ł25,000 and detention for up to twelve months; and the crìma, which is subject to an unlimited fine and imprisonment for life.
Administrative offenses, including petty traffic violations, are punishable only with fines or other remedies such as removal in the case of immigration violations, not detention.
The Gonfalonièr is one of Montecara's longest-standing public offices, with a history dating back to at least the 13th century. He was originally responsible for the maintenance and protection of those who could not provide for themselves: orphans, widows, the elderly, and the infirm. The office has evolved into that of an ombudsman for Montecarans. The Gonfalonièr can bring legal action against the state or its organs if a citizen's rights have been violated, and can order administrative remedies directly. He or she also works closely with the Court of Audit to combat corruption and maladministration.
The Vigìlia is responsible for day-to-day policing, and its members patrol unarmed. The Dragòni, by contrast, is an armed military force and is responsible for supporting the Vigìlia as necessary, policing the military, guarding Montecara's borders and ports of entry, protecting Montecaran diplomatic missions, staffing the city-state's prisons, patrolling the coasts, and serving as an anti-terrorism force. Its elite unit, responsible for protecting public officials and important public buildings, is the Brigàda di Coraçièri. There is a persistent problem with organized crime in Montecara which a dedicated section of the Dragòni is dedicated to combating.
Ambulance, firefighting, and search and rescue services are provided by the Spartòli.
Emergency and other public services are available at the following telephone numbers at all times:
- 110: Directory assistance
- 112: Emergency
- 113: Police non-emergency
- 114: Medical non-emergency
- 115: Mental health helpline
- 116: Municipal services
- 117: Roadside assistance and travel information
- 118: Services for the hearing impaired
Montecara has a moderate-to-low incarceration rate by world standards of 75 per 100,000 people as of 2018. This works out to a prison population of approximately 1,300 inmates on average for 2018. These inmates are held in one of three principal locations: the main, mixed-security prison at Molàro, the special unit for medical and psychiatric prisoners at the Ospedàl Marìn, or the military prison at Castèl Gerò. By far the largest and most populous of these is Molàro, which holds approximately 1,000 prisoners.
There are six to nine murders in an average year; the homicide rate as of 2017 is .51 per 100,000 people.
There is conscription for both men and women for a 24-month period beginning at the end of secondary education, with most serving from ages 17 to 19 or 19 to 21. Once off active duty, service members remain on the reserve list until reaching the age of 40, or 45 for officers.
Montecara's foreign relations strategy is based on four fundamental pillars: defense, diplomacy, economics, and culture. These four sources of power, used in concert, enable Montecara to exert an influence on international affairs that it disproportionate to its small size.
Montecara enjoys good relations with its immediate neighbors, Florena and Tsabara, and has no major transnational or territorial disputes. Illegal migration from less-developed nations is a persistent issue.
Foreign and signals intelligence services are provided by the Executive Directorate for Strategic Operations (DEOS). The investigation section of the Dragòni handles domestic intelligence.
Montecara has a highly specialized, developed, and advanced social market economy. It consistently ranks at or near the top of international surveys on the ease of doing business, low taxation, and per-capita foreign investment. Because its economy is so integrated into the global financial market and reliant on international trade, it is known as a bellwether for the financial health of the world at large.
Montecara's labor force is very heavily unionized. Closed shops are legal and indeed the norm, and over 90% of workers are members of a union. Labor and business interests are closely aligned with the government of Montecara and have an official voice through the Tripartite Commission, which consists of representatives of leading trade unions, employers, and the government. The Commission has many devolved regulatory powers, including the ability to set minimum wages, vacation time, worker safety policy, and pensions by sector. It also has the power to issue formal opinions on other areas of economic policy, including proposed trade deals.
Annual foreign trade flows are 200% of GDP and capital flows approximately 250%, making Montecara the most trade-dependent country in the world. Montecara relies on imports to supply most basic necessities for its citizens. Because Montecara is a free port and major entrepôt, the state directly profits on trade by assessing landing and docking fees and selling fuel and other supplies to ships, while allowing goods to be temporarily offloaded into the Port of Montecara and re-exported without assessing tariffs.
Finance, tourism, and shipping are the three biggest industries. There is a small but high-value-added manufacturing sector which produces mainly niche products. The primary sector is quite limited given Montecara's small land area, and is focused on high-value agriculture and fishing.
The Bànca de Montecara is the city-state's central bank and issues the libra (code: MCL; symbol: Ł), the national currency. The Bànca, aside from issuing currency, also issues bonds and performs certain financial regulation duties.
The stock exchange, the Borse Mercànte de Montecara, is the oldest in the world and includes a large number of locally incorporated joint-stock companies as well as commodities and foreign currency exchange.
Controversially, Montecara is a well-known tax haven. It assesses no taxes on income, inheritances, dividends, or capital gains, and there is no VAT or sales tax. There is a small corporation tax with an exemption on income earned domestically, a withholding tax on temporary foreign workers’ income, hospitality services tax, and a land value tax. The government funds itself through these taxes and a combination of corporate investment through its sovereign wealth fund, excises on certain categories of goods, profits from state-owned enterprises, landing fees for ships and aircraft, registration fees for its merchant fleet, and user fees assessed for certain services.
The financial sector is the largest and most important pillar of the Montecaran economy. Montecara has a centuries-long banking tradition, and its tax and banking secrecy laws make it an attractive location for financial institutions to incorporate. Major financial institutions include:
- Bànca Ultramarìn, merchant, commercial, and private banking
- Borse Mercànte de Montecara, the stock, commodities, and foreign currency exchange
- Crèdit Montecarà, commercial and private banking
- De Craxi s.a.i., one of the world's largest insurance and reinsurance agencies
- Soçìeta per Finànxa Agrìcola (SpFA), investment and merchant banking
Retail workers account for approximately 12% of the Montecaran workforce, and consumer spending in the retail sector amounts to approximately one-third of Montecara’s annual GDP. The retail sector includes businesses ranging from the highest-priced couturiers to the simple neighborhood sfumerìa, a traditional convenience store, the licenses for which are preferentially distributed to widows and the disabled in a scheme that dates back to the mid-18th century.
Montecara is consistently one of the top-ten destination cities in the world for international tourism by number of visitors per year. Its high density of cultural, artistic, and entertainment attractions has helped to make tourism a major component of the economy. Some of the most popular destinations for visitors include the famous casino, the city-state's plentiful and legal brothels, and the sights of the old city. Cruise ship docks, a major international airport, and road and rail links to the rest of Conitia have helped the tourist sector to grow exponentially since the early 20th century.
Montecara has a modern telecommunications network, with all residents able to access broadband internet service as of 2012. Landline telephone, cable, and internet services are provided by Infotel de Montecara, a majority state-owned corporation. Montecara's country code for international telephone calls is +70, and the format for local numbers is +70-0000-0000. The international call prefix is 00. There are no area codes; individual numbers are randomly assigned, though it has been possible at various times to request a specific number if it is available.
Postal services are provided by the state-owned Poste de Montecara.
Montecara has no fossil fuel sources and has historically imported natural gas from mainland Conitia for electricity generation, along with direct electricity imports. Annual electricity consumption is approximately 14.35 billion kilowatt hours in total, at 8,194 kW·h per person per year, as of 2017. The electricity industry and imports are regulated by the Secretariat of the Environment, Transport, and Urban Development, and electric generation, distribution, and sales are handled by the cooperative Comega.
Because of its lack of fossil fuel resources, transitioning to renewable energy is a major focus, as is energy conservation. The government has the stated goal of making the city-state 100% free of fossil fuels by 2025. Leaded gasoline has been banned since 1963. The coastal shelf to the south of the main island has strong winds and currents which are now being utilized as energy sources. Montecara's first wind turbines were built there in the 2013, and there are currently plans to further develop sea-based wind power. A waste-to-energy plant which uses combustible non-recyclable waste to generate approximately 400 GW·h of electricity per year was completed in 1997. Montecara is a nuclear-free zone, though it allows allied nuclear-powered naval ships to make calls in its port. Comega has allowed net metering since 2006, which has encouraged the development of privately built and operated wind and solar systems.
Transport in Montecara is eased by the city-state's small size. Public transit is provided by VM, which operates tram, ferry, and bus networks and a bicycle share system. Trenalia, jointly state-owned with Desena, operates regional rail routes within Montecara and to nearby destinations in Conitia, as well as inter-city rail routes that connect with points beyond. The hub of the passenger rail system is Montecara Pòrta Conìxia railway station.
The Montecaran government strongly discourages private car ownership due to the dense nature of the city-state and a desire to avoid pollution. The number of license plates issued is capped and new plates are only issued through an auction system. Vehicles are banned in the old city with the exception of bicycles and certain electric vehicles due to the extreme narrowness of many streets and the often fragile pavements. This has preserved Montecara from destruction in the name of road expansion and keeps air quality high. The urban core of Montecara thus remains a very walkable and compact environment.
Montecara has some of the most arduous driver licensing requirements in the world. Licensees must be between the ages of 18 and 79 inclusive, and must pass a medical exam (including vision test), take a classroom-based driving theory course, complete an in-car course with a certified instructor, and then pass written and practical tests. First-time applicants, if successful, are granted a probationary license valid for two years which will be revoked if the driver accrues more than two violations of the traffic code. The medical and written exams must be passed again every other year for the license to be renewed.
All vehicles registered in Montecara must pass annual safety and emissions tests, and may not be more than ten years old. There is a high excise tax on petroleum fuel. Traffic drives on the right according to priority to the right, and only left-hand-drive cars are legal to operate in Montecara. There were 42 traffic-related fatalities in Montecara in 2017, a rate of 2.4 for every 100,000 inhabitants.
Montecara's transport network relies heavily on bridges, both to connect the city-state with the rest of Conitia and to provide connections across internal waters. The Pont Vespàxi carries road and rail across the Bay of Montecara, while the twin road and rail bridges of the Pont Calcària connect Montecara with the rest of Conitia.
Montecara's total fertility rate is 1.4. Its natural growth rate is -1.25% per annum. Its net migration is approximately 11,000 immigrants per year. On average, women have their first child at age 27.
If current trends continue, Montecara's population will peak at approximately 2.19 million in 2058. From that point, it will gradually decline until reaching an equilibrium of approximately 1.32 million around 2270.
Montecaran society is split between ethnic Montecarans, who comprise approximately three-fifths of the population, and foreigners, who are usually non-citizens and come temporarily to work.
Montecarans are a Latin people, related to many other ethnicities in Conitia. They trace their lineage back to the population that lived in Montecara at the time of the Latin Republic and speak Montecaran, a Romance language, as their common tongue. Saturnism is the dominant religion.
Solarian Catholicism is followed by the vast majority of Montecarans and many immigrants from neighboring Euclean countries. There are minority populations following Salam, Atudaism, and non-Catholic Sotirianity.
Education in Montecara is divided into five stages: preschool, primary, lower secondary, upper secondary, and tertiary. School attendance is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. There are public and private schools at the upper secondary level and below.
A student's prior academic record and teacher recommendations determine whether he or she may advance from the lower secondary level to the liçeo, the university preparatory form of upper secondary school. The alternatives to liçeo are scuol generàl (general-education school), which places a greater emphasis on life and workplace skills and does not have a specifically preparatory curriculum, or scuol tecnicàl, which provides a vocational education in addition to a foundational academic curriculum.
Aspiring university students may take the Matùra at the end of their secondary education. Performance on this test determines whether a student may even apply to the University of Montecara, and is also used by foreign universities and colleges to determine admissions qualifications. The Matùra covers Montecaran language and literature; mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and logic; science, including physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science; civics and government; and history, including Montecaran, Latin, and world history. A qualifying score consists of at least a 3 out of 5 on a majority of the test's five sections.
The standard grading system, used for students from primary school through the graduate level, is on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Cases of academic dishonesty may be dealt with by assigning the special grade of 0.
Stages highlighted in yellow below are compulsory.
|Preschool||Crèxe||3 years (age: 3 to 6)|
|Primary education||Scuol primàr (Primary school)||5 years (age: 6 to 11)|
|Lower secondary education||Scuol segònd (Lower-grade secondary school)||3 years (age: 11 to 14)|
|Upper secondary education||Liçeo (University preparatory school)||5 years (age: 14 to 19)|
|Scuol generàl (General education) or
Scuol tecnicàl (Technical or vocational education)
|3 or 5 years (age: 14 to 17 or 14 to 19)|
|Tertiary education||Làurea (Bachelor's degree)||3 years|
|Magistrà (Master's degree)||1 or 2 years|
|Dotoràt (Ph.D.)||3, 4, or 5 years|
|Dotoràt medicinàl (M.D.)||6 years|
Higher education is only provided through the state. There is one university in the city-state, the University of Montecara, founded in 1291. The university is organized into 21 colleges, which are themselves divided into 38 faculties.
Colleges of the University of Montecara:
Matriculating students apply to one or more specific colleges within the University and take only courses within their given college when enrolled. Students may, at the discretion of the instructor, audit courses from outside their college, but no credit is given.
Officers in the Montecaran military can receive additional military education at the Academìa militàr de Tornèa, and officer candidates are often co-enrolled at Tornèa and the University of Montecara.
Healthcare is provided by the state free of charge to all legal inhabitants in and visitors to Montecara. The state health program, Sànita Montecara, owns public hospitals and clinics, buys drugs wholesale, pays medical staff salaries, and covers all other expenses associated with patient care. Montecara enjoys the highest life expectancy of any country at 83.5 years overall, 85.4 years for women and 81.4 years for men. Healthcare spending amounted to 9.5% of GDP in 2017.
Montecara has the highest ratio of physicians per inhabitants in the world, at 7.21 per 1,000. As with all university education in Montecara, medical education is free of charge, and there is significant competition to work in the domestic healthcare sector. This promotes both a high number of trained clinicians and a high standard of expertise.
Prescription drugs are free of charge. Over the counter drugs must be paid for out-of-pocket. Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs may only be sold at licensed pharmacies (apotecà), which except in the case of those at public hospitals are privately owned. Elective treatments such as cosmetic plastic surgery are conducted only by private physicians and must be paid for out-of-pocket.
The Ospedàl Marìn (Naval Hospital), founded in 1680 to meet the needs of ill sailors, is one of the world's leading research institutions for tropical diseases and nutrition. The University of Montecara Hospital, which is owned by the University of Montecara but jointly operated by the University and Sanità Montecara, is the main teaching hospital.
Montecara has a Latin culture that highly values aesthetics, a rich social life, and liberality, among other ideals. It is personified by Dòna Cara, depicted as a woman wearing a mural crown representing the city's walls. It is her face that the country's namesake mountain is supposed to resemble. Other national symbols include the cormorant, the national animal, and the xinòta tree, which bears the sour citrus that is a common flavoring for drinks and sweets. The pygmy goat, though unofficial, is widely thought of as symbolic of Montecara as well.
Montecara has a strong fine-art tradition, particularly exemplified by the paintings produced during its Golden Age. Montecaran art was known in this period for its use of vivid color and majestic subject matter, including classical themes and rich interiors. Tixàn Vecèlo is perhaps Montecara's most famous painter, and his masterpiece, Neptune Offering the Wealth of the Sea to Montecara, hangs in the Palaço Pùblico and is depicted on the 50-libra banknote.
The Palaço dei Doxi, the former palace of the Doxe of Montecara, is now a museum with a collection ranging from ancient times to the present day. The Galerìa Sufrèxi, one of the world's most visited museums, houses one of the world's finest collections of Latin, Medieval, Renaissance, and Neoclassical art. Begun as the private collection of a wealthy merchant, it is now publicly owned.
The Montecaran architectural tradition stretches back to the Latin Republic, which brought its expertise in engineering to the city. Traces of Latin architecture, including extensive brickwork, arches, vaults, stucco exteriors, mosaic floors, and wall frescoes can still be seen in contemporary buildings.
Montecaran architecture developed its own style beginning in the late 12th and early 13th centuries under the influence of the master Arnòld di Buçhe, whose treatise Principia architecturae (Principles of Architecture) is still recognized as a world masterpiece in itself. The main body of his work consisted of villas for Montecara's senatorial and patrician class, most of which are still standing.
Architecture has generally been well-preserved. It is illegal to demolish or substantially alter historic structures, and building designs must be approved by the state architectural review board before construction. Except for in industrial areas, Montecara has a remarkably coherent architectural vocabulary that remains true to its Latin traditions.
Montecara must import nearly all of its basic foodstuffs because of its lack of arable land. It does, however, harvest a great deal of seafood, which is reflected in traditional dishes. The limited farmland is devoted to high-value crops suitable to the climate, mainly grapes (mainly for wine production), citrus, coffee, saffron (zafràn), and flowers.
Montecara's access to the sea and long culinary tradition has led to a great variety of specialties making use of local ingredients. Cuttlefish braised in ink, fried sardines, and bixàto, or roast eel, are all typical dishes. Fowl is also a traditional favorite, especially duck and other water birds, and duck eggs are still more popular than their chicken-borne counterparts. Songbirds were also eaten in large numbers up to the 1980s, when their capture was banned by environmental legislation. Montecara is on a major flyway, so stakes covered in birdlime (vignòla) were used to catch birds for culinary use. Though illegal, it is reportedly still possible to find some chefs who will prepare songbirds in the traditional manner. Meat from land animals is a small part of the diet and consists mainly of goat and pork, though cheese (mainly goat-based) is ubiquitous. The principal cooking fat is duck fat, with olive and sunflower oils assuming lesser roles.
Historically, rice (rixo) was the supreme staple food for Montecarans. There was always some domestic production, but Montecarans have relied on the sea trade for the bulk of their rice import for centuries. This is reflected in traditional dishes such as rixoto, a soupy preparation of rice simmered in broth, and rixi e bixi, rice and peas cooked together. In modern times, corn (biàva) is even more popular than rice, and is used to make bread, polènta, and many other dishes.
Montecarans generally have a light breakfast on the way to work or school at cafés or stalls located throughout the city. This often consists of a pastry, sandwich, or fruit accompanied by coffee or juice. There is a traditional mid-morning break for coffee around 11:00, and shops and offices often close briefly to allow for this. Lunch, usually the largest meal of the day, is eaten around 14:00 to 15:00, and workers generally take a full hour to do so, often eating at home. Dinner is eaten at about 21:00.
Montecara produces wine in a range of styles and varietals, but by far the most popular type, and the one most closely associated with Montecara's culinary identity, is xàca, a fortified wine made from white grapes. Three varietals enjoy protected status as heirloom crops in Montecaran law, all white grapes: Garganèga, Verdùxo, and Spaiòl. Garganèga is used to make still wine noted for its lemon and almond notes, Verdùxo is favored for the sparkling white Caràxa, and Spaiòl is used to make both a golden dessert wine with notes of honeysuckle and apricot and a light, acidic still wine. All three are used to make xàca, which can range in color and sugar content from nearly clear and dry to almost black and very sweet. Under Montecaran law, only wine that is produced from 100% domestic grapes can be sold as "Montecaran wine" (vin Montecarà). Montecara has high per-capita alcohol consumption rates, and in addition to wine, beer and spirits are popular.
Montecara is known for its sweets, notably xinòta-flavored marmalade and hard candy and formàxo giàço, a frozen dessert and snack similar to ice cream that is flavored with soft cheese and usually served in a split-open sweet bun (brioxa).
Special foods are eaten around Saturnalia. These include galani, a rum-flavored fried pastry served with lemon zest, and pandòr, a sweet egg bread. Dinner on the last day of Saturnalia traditionally includes a feast of seven different types of fish, the exact components of which vary but which generally include clams, scallops, salt cod, anchovy, and sea snails.
Montecara's state-owned television and radio broadcaster is Telèradio Montecara. It operates three television and two radio channels and is supported by a license fee applied to cable television, Internet service, and cellular data bills.
Of Montecara's four domestic newspapers, the most circulated is Il Finansiér, which publishes financial news. Its international French-language edition is distributed worldwide.
Montecara has a strong operatic and orchestral musical tradition dating back to the first operas written in the early 17th century. Indeed, because the arts in republican Montecara were supported by public funds rather than by wealthy patrons, it was until the late 18th century the only place in the world where opera could be seen by the general public, who were able to simply buy tickets.
The main venue for opera performance is the Càxa da Òpera, a 19th-century house that premiered the works of Montecara's most famous composer, Giacopò Verxì. It still hosts regular operatic performances throughout the year.
The city-state's classical music conservatory is the Academìa da Mùsica, which fosters young musicians and maintains its own orchestra, the Sinfònia da Academìa. The youngest of Montecara's orchestras is the Orxèstra di Radio Montecara, best known for its live performances on Radio Montecara. It performs at the Sàla de Mùsica di Radio Montecara.
The major sports in Montecara are, in approximate order from most popular to least, association football, rugby union, cycling, tennis, track and field, polo, and sailing. The major stadium, host to rugby, football, and track and field events, is the Arena de Montecara, with a seating capacity of 35,000. Montecara is also host to an indoor velodrome and swimming facility, gymnasiums, spacious polo grounds, and the historic grass tennis courts at the Club Raquèt de la Croxa.
Every Sunday is a public holiday in Montecara in addition to the other declared holidays. Public holidays are mandatory in Montecara, with shops, businesses, and public institutions required to close. Workers in Montecara typically receive at least four weeks' paid vacation time per year in addition to public holidays.
|1 January||New Year’s Day||il Capodàno||Also the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.|
|6 January||Epihpany||ia Epifània|
|The Friday before Easter||Good Friday||Sànta veneri|
|Movable Sunday between 22 March and 25 April||Easter||Pàscua|
|The day after Easter||Easter Monday||Pasquètta|
|10 February||Victory Day||Fèsta da vitòria||Commemorates victory ending the First Great War.|
|18 April||Regicide Day||Fèsta di rexeçìdo||National day. Commemorates the assassination of dictator Piero de' Malatesta on this date in 1116.|
|28 April||Liberation Day||Fèsta da liberaxòn||Commemorates the end of the Gaullican occupation.|
|1 May||International Workers' Day||Fèsta dei lavoratòri||Commemorates the achievements of workers and the labor movement.|
|15 August||Assumption of Mary||Fèsta da asunxòn de Marìa|
|1 November||All Saints' Day||Ognisànti|
|8 December||Feast of the Immaculate Conception||Fèsta da conxeptimènt inmacolàda|
|26 December||Saint Stephen's Day||Fèsta di San Stefàno|