PRINCE ALBERT II of Monaco is planning to reclaim land from the sea with a scheme that will allow the tiny population to expand.
He wants to build into the Mediterranean to create an area of about 12.5 acres -- roughly the size of five football pitches.
It would extend from the Fontvieille district at the western foot of the 'rock', where Monaco's palace and historic centre are situated. The €11bn plan was first put forward last year, but was dropped because of the financial crisis and the 'green' prince's concerns that it would damage the marine environment. But the prince has decided the time is right to try again and is planning a smaller development.
Monaco rates as the world's most densely populated country -- currently just over 32,000 people live there.
The land reclamation will be made fiendishly complex by the eco-conscious prince, who has insisted that the entire extension should be built on stilts, like an oil rig, in order not to disrupt the marine life beneath.
The prince, who drives an electric car and travelled to the North Pole to measure the effects of global warming, said he wanted the vast project to be an eco-showcase.
In an interview in 'Le Parisien' newspaper, Prince Albert said the new project must be a "model of sustainability". He has pledged to reduce Monaco's greenhouse gas emissions by 30pc before 2020, and 80pc before 2050. (©The Daily Telegraph, London)