A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords. Banking in its modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the prosperous cities of Renaissance Italy but in many ways was a continuation of ideas and concepts of credit and lending that had their roots in the ancient world. In the history of banking, a number of banking dynasties – notably, the Medicis, the Fuggers, the Welsers, the Berenbergs, the Rothschilds – have played a central role over many centuries.
The oldest existing retail bank is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while the oldest existing merchant bank is Berenberg Bank. The concept of banking may have begun in ancient Assyria and Babylonia, with merchants offering loans of grain as collateral within a barter system. Lenders in ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire added two important innovations: they accepted deposits and changed money. Archaeology from this period in ancient China and India shows evidence of money lending. More modern banking can be traced to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, to the rich cities in the centre and north like Florence, Siena and Genoa; the Bardi and Peruzzi families dominated banking in 14th-century Florence, establishing branches in many other parts of Europe. One of the most famous Italian banks was the Medici Bank, set up by Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici in 1397; the earliest known state deposit bank, Banco di San Giorgio, was founded in 1407 at Italy. Modern banking practices, including fractional reserve banking and the issue of banknotes, emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Merchants started to store their gold with the goldsmiths of London, who possessed private vaults, charged a fee for that service. In exchange for each deposit of precious metal, the goldsmiths issued receipts certifying the quantity and purity of the metal they held as a bailee; the goldsmiths began to lend the money out on behalf of the depositor, which led to the development of modern banking practices. The goldsmith paid interest on these deposits. Since the promissory notes were payable on demand, the advances to the goldsmith's customers were repayable over a longer time period, this was an early form of fractional reserve banking; the promissory notes developed into an assignable instrument which could circulate as a safe and convenient form of money backed by the goldsmith's promise to pay, allowing goldsmiths to advance loans with little risk of default. Thus, the goldsmiths of London became the forerunners of banking by creating new money based on credit; the Bank of England was the first to begin the permanent issue of banknotes, in 1695.
The Royal Bank of Scotland established the first overdraft facility in 1728. By the beginning of the 19th century a bankers' clearing house was established in London to allow multiple banks to clear transactions; the Rothschilds pioneered international finance on a large scale, financing the purchase of the Suez canal for the British government. The word bank was taken Middle English from Middle French banque, from Old Italian banco, meaning "table", from Old High German banc, bank "bench, counter". Benches were used as makeshift desks or exchange counters during the Renaissance by Jewish Florentine bankers, who used to make their transactions atop desks covered by green tablecloths; the definition of a bank varies from country to country. See the relevant country pages under for more information. Under English common law, a banker is defined as a person who carries on the business of banking by conducting current accounts for his customers, paying cheques drawn on him/her and collecting cheques for his/her customers.
In most common law jurisdictions there is a Bills of Exchange Act that codifies the law in relation to negotiable instruments, including cheques, this Act contains a statutory definition of the term banker: banker includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking'. Although this definition seems circular, it is functional, because it ensures that the legal basis for bank transactions such as cheques does not depend on how the bank is structured or regulated; the business of banking is in many English common law countries not defined by statute but by common law, the definition above. In other English common law jurisdictions there are statutory definitions of the business of banking or banking business; when looking at these definitions it is important to keep in mind that they are defining the business of banking for the purposes of the legislation, not in general. In particular, most of the definitions are from legislation that has the purpose of regulating and supervising banks rather than regulating the actual business of banking.
However, in many cases the statutory definition mirrors the common law one. Examples of statutory definitions: "banking business" means the business of receiving money on current or deposit account and collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers, the making
Infrastructure is the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function. Infrastructure is composed of public and private physical improvements such as roads, tunnels, water supply, electrical grids, telecommunications. In general, it has been defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions". There are two general types of ways to view infrastructure, soft. Hard infrastructure refers to the physical networks necessary for the functioning of a modern industry; this includes roads, railways, etc. Soft infrastructure refers to all the institutions that maintain the economic, health and cultural standards of a country; this includes educational programs, official statistics and recreational facilities, law enforcement agencies, emergency services. The word infrastructure has been used in English since 1887 and in French since 1875 meaning "The installations that form the basis for any operation or system".
The word was imported from French, where it means subgrade, the native material underneath a constructed pavement or railway. The word is a combination of the Latin prefix "infra", meaning "below" and many of these constructions are underground, for example, tunnels and gas systems, railways; the army use of the term achieved currency in the United States after the formation of NATO in the 1940s, by 1970 was adopted by urban planners in its modern civilian sense. A 1987 US National Research Council panel adopted the term "public works infrastructure", referring to: "... both specific functional modes – highways, streets and bridges. A comprehension of infrastructure spans not only these public works facilities, but the operating procedures, management practices, development policies that interact together with societal demand and the physical world to facilitate the transport of people and goods, provision of water for drinking and a variety of other uses, safe disposal of society's waste products, provision of energy where it is needed, transmission of information within and between communities."
The American Society of Civil Engineers publish a "Infrastructure Report Card" which represents the organizations opinion on the condition of various infrastructure every 2–4 years. As of 2017 they grade 16 categories, namely Aviation, Dams, Drinking Water, Hazardous Waste, Inland Waterways, Parks & Recreation, Rail, Schools, Solid Waste and Wastewater. A way to embody personal infrastructure is to think of it in term of human capital. Human capital is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “intangible collective resources possessed by individuals and groups within a given population"; the goal of personal infrastructure is to determine the quality of the economic agents’ values. This results in three major tasks: the task of economic proxies’ in the economic process. Institutional infrastructure branches from the term "economic constitution". According to Gianpiero Torrisi, Institutional infrastructure is the object of economic and legal policy, it compromises the grown and sets norms. It refers to the degree of actual equal treatment of equal economic data and determines the framework within which economic agents may formulate their own economic plans and carry them out in co-operation with others.
Material infrastructure is defined as “those immobile, non-circulating capital goods that contribute to the production of infrastructure goods and services needed to satisfy basic physical and social requirements of economic agents". There are two distinct qualities of material infrastructures: 1) Fulfillment of social needs and 2) Mass production; the first characteristic deals with the basic needs of human life. The second characteristic is the non-availability of infrastructure services. According to the business dictionary, economic infrastructure can be defined as "internal facilities of a country that make business activity possible, such as communication and distribution networks, financial institutions and markets, energy supply systems". Economic infrastructure support productive events; this includes roads, bridges, water distribution networks, sewer systems, irrigation plants, etc. Social infrastructure can be broadly defined as the construction and maintenance of facilities that support social services.
Social infrastructures are created to increase social act on economic activity. These being schools and playgrounds, structures for public safety, waste disposal plants, sports area, etc. Core assets have monopolistic characteristics. Investors seeking core infrastructure look for five different characteristics: Income, Low volatility of returns, Inflation Protection, Long-term liability matching. Core Infrastructure incorporates all the main types of infrastructure. For instance. Basic infrastructure refers to main railways, canals, harbors and
Porto-Vecchio is a commune in the Corse-du-Sud department of France on the island of Corsica. The city hosted the start of the first stage of Tour de France 2013 It is the seat of the canton of Porto-Vecchio, which it shares with Sari-Solenzara and Lecci. Porto-Vecchio is a medium-sized port city placed on a good harbor, the southernmost of the marshy and alluvial east side of Corsica; the inhabitants are called Porto-Vecchiais in French, Portivechjacciu in Corsican. The canton of Porto-Vecchio has a population of about 12,900 living in four communes making up a total of 34,787 hectares, it is divided in two by the commune of Zonza, which holds a section of the coast around the Gulf of Pinarellu. Porto-Vecchio has two communes to the north, Sari-Solenzara and Conca, two to the south, Porto-Vecchio and Lecci; the commune of Porto-Vecchio is 64 kilometers east of Sartène. The north shore of the gulf has many resorts, such as Benedettu, Marina di Fiori, others of the commune of Lecci; the east coast, a shore with cliffs, is less habitable.
Off the southeast shore are the four îles Cerbicale, protected by a nature reserve of 36 hectares, which are part of the larger reserve of Bouches de Bonifacio. From north to south are: Forana. Hills to the northwest are included in the national park, it never continues as a health center employing about 150 people. Nearby is a reservoir, the Lac de l'Ospedale, created with a dam at the foot of punta di Corbu in the forest of Ospedale; these hills culminate at the 1,314 meters "peak of the dead cow". The heights of Ospedale are noted for their forest of Corsican Pine. Between them and the coast extends a plain drained by the Stabacciu, which flows into the end of the Gulf of Porto through salt marshes, where Cork Oak and Eucalyptus grow; these marshes were a barrier between the Roman settlements along the Via Corsicana of the eastern plain and the Roman ports of the south. Some marshland was filled to make the modern city and commercial salt pans were constructed on other parts. Crossed by Highway N198 south, it is no longer a barrier.
Porto-Vecchio is accessed through FigariSud Corse Airport, 24 kilometers away. It has a public high school and two community colleges, a private hospital of 107 beds, a medical school, a cork industry and extensive tourist facilities; the port includes moorings for commercial facilities and a ferry station. The population expands to 50,000 in the summer, predominantly Italian; the beaches are well-populated Palombaggia Beach 3 kilometers to the south-east. In 1983 it acquired a Film Institute. List of recent mayors: Since March 2004 Georges Mela 1997–2004 Camille de Rocca Serra –1997 Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra To the north of the commune is to be found the prehistoric site of Torré, which has given its name to the Torréen Culture. Dated to the Corsican Bronze Age, it features semi-circular citadels of stone. In the direction of Figari, the hamlet of Ceccia has prehistoric remains, not far away is another Torréen site, Castellu di Tappa. Castellu d'Araghju is at 45 meters, just above the village of Araggio.
It has a circuit wall 4 meters high. West of the commune is the prehistoric site of Tivulaghju. Porto-Vecchio is placed in a region that in earlier times was marshy and suffered from malaria; the name means "Old Port". Subsequently the region was more or less abandoned because of the malarial marshes but became part of a large Christian parish; the city was refounded in 1539 by the Bank of Saint George at Genoa on a 70 meters hill overlooking the gulf. They had a presence in Bastia; the Genoese were careful to preserve the Roman port within the walls, which are trapezoidal and enclose the main square, place de la République, near the church, Église St.-Jean Baptiste. The Genoese intended a colonia, or replacement of the population, but malaria soon assassinated most of the Genoese settlers. Another colony in 1546 suffered the same fate and subsequently the colony became a conurbation instead. Sempiero Corso occupied the city for a few months in 1564; some of the population began to return with the drainage projects instituted under the Second Empire but they were minimally successful.
World War II brought the presence of allies who were determined to eradicate malaria for the health of all concerned, but the soldiers and airmen. Through drainage and spraying they succeeded, making the region newly attractive because less pestilential; the current population derives from an expansion that started about 1950. This town is a terminus of a branch line of the now closed metre gauge Corsican Railways, which junctioned off the main system at Casamozza. Former railway station INSEE "guide de porto-Vecchio - site officiel". Archived from the original on 2001-07-06. Retrieved 2008-05-22
National Liberation Front of Corsica
The National Liberation Front of Corsica is a militant group that advocates an independent state on the island of Corsica, separate from France. The organisation is present in Corsica and less so on the French mainland. A Conculta Naziunalista is considered to be the political wing of the organisation. Typical militant acts by the FLNC were bombings aimed at public buildings, tourist infrastructures, military buildings and other perceived French symbols, in addition to aggravated assault against civilians, armed bank robbery, extortion against private enterprises through so-called "revolutionary taxes"; the attacks were performed against buildings and the island's infrastructures, but it was not uncommon for the FLNC to have individual people as targets. The overwhelming majority of their attacks on the French mainland took place in or around the cities of Nice and Avignon. In 2014, again in 2016,the militant organisation announced the cessation of its armed struggle. A number of splinter groups have so far emerged and are still active.
The FLNC was created from a merger of Ghjustizia Paolina and the Fronte Paesanu Corsu di Liberazione, the two largest Corsican armed organizations. It is an offshoot of the political party A Cuncolta Independentista which had members in the Corsican Assembly and some support among the locals; the FLNC carried out its first attacks on the night of 4 May 1976 with 21 bombs exploding in Ajaccio, Sartène, Porto-Vecchio and other Corsican towns. The majority of the targets were public offices of estate agents. On 5 May the FLNC formally announced its existence when it issued a bilingual manifesto which claimed responsibility for the previous night's attacks; the manifesto contained six demands: The recognition of the National Right of the Corsican people. The removal of all instruments of "French colonialism" – including the French Army and "colonists"; the setting up of a popular democratic government which would express the will and the needs of the Corsican people. The confiscation of "colonial" estates.
Agrarian reform to fulfill the aspirations of farmers and intellectuals and rid the country of all forms of exploitation. The right to self-determination of the Corsican people. Corsican nationalist website in French, with a lot of information about the FLNC
Corte is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France on the island of Corsica. It is the fourth-largest commune in Corsica after Ajaccio and Porto-Vecchio. Corte is a subprefecture of the Haute-Corse department. Corte was the capital of the Corsican independent state during the period of Pasquale Paoli. During World War I, German prisoners of war were kept in the Citadel. Sites of interest include the Fortress, the Museum of Corsica, the University of Corsica. National roads lead to Bastia. Corte is linked to Ajaccio and Calvi by the Chemin de fer de la Corse, is served by trains running between Ajaccio and Calvi, Ajaccio and Bastia. Corte has a mediterranean climate, sometimes alpine during the winter, with 52 summer days and 56 frost days. Corte has become a major university town in Corsica since the Pasquale Paoli University opened up again in 1980s. Corte was the birthplace of Joseph Bonaparte, the eldest brother of the French Emperor Napoleon I, who made him King of Naples and Spain. Communes of the Haute-Corse department INSEE Official website Tourist office website University of Corsica
Sartène, is a commune in the Corse-du-Sud department of France on the island of Corsica. Its history dates back to medieval times and granite buildings from the early 16th century still line some of the streets. One of the main incidents in the town's history was an attack by pirates from Algiers in 1583, after which 400 people were taken away; these attacks continued into the 18th century. The town is centred on the Place de la Liberation, at the edge of, the church of Sainte Marie; the town allows good views across the valley. Sartene wine is appreciated by wine connoisseurs for its good quality. Sartene has given its name to one of the southern Corsican dialects a variety of, the Gallurese spoken in North Sardinia. Genoese towers in the commune of Sartène: Torra di Roccapina Torra di Senetosa Torra di TizzàThere are numerous archaeological sites in the commune or Sartène: A Figa Apazzu Cardiccia Casteddu di Puzzonu Cauria Funtanaccia Paddaghju Rinaghju Stantari Communes of the Corse-du-Sud department INSEE A page on the history of the town Corsican Dolmens
Bonifacio is a commune at the southern tip of the island of Corsica, in the Corse-du-Sud department of France. Its inhabitants are called Bonifaciens, feminine Bonifaciennes; the commune is the largest commune of Corsica. Bonifacio is the setting of Guy de Maupassant's short story "Vendetta"; the French leg of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series takes place in Bonifacio. Bonifacio is located directly on the Mediterranean Sea, separated from Sardinia by the Strait of Bonifacio, it is a city placed on the best and only major harbour of the southern coast and is a commune covering a somewhat larger region including the offshore Isles Lavezzi, giving it the distinction of being the southernmost commune in Metropolitan France. The commune is bordered on the northwest by the canton of Figari and has a short border on the northeast with the canton of Porto-Vecchio; the combined border runs from the Golfe de Ventilegne on the west to the mouth of the Golfu di Sant'Amanza on the east. The coastline circumscribed by the two points is about 75 kilometres.
Highway N198 runs north along N196 along the west. The islands are part of the French portion, 794.6-square-kilometre, of the international Bouches de Bonifacio marine park, a nature reserve, signed into legal existence by France and Italy in 1993 for the protection of the strait against passage of ships bearing dangerous chemicals, implemented in France by a ministerial decree of 1999 detailing the land to be included in the réserve naturelle de Bouches de Bonifacio for the preservation of wild birds, other fauna and flora and nature in general. The southern coast in the vicinity of Bonifacio is an outcrop of chalk-white limestone and sculpted into unusual shapes by the ocean. Further inland the limestone adjoins the granite of which the two islands and Corsica, are formed; the port of Bonifacio is placed on the Bay of Bonifacio, a drowned ravine of a fjord-like appearance separated from the ocean by a finger-like promontory 1,500 meters long and 200 meters wide. In prehistoric post-glacial times when sea levels were low and the islands were connected, the ravine was part of a valley leading to upland Corsica.
The maximum draught supported by the harbour is 3.5 meters, more than ample for ancient ships and modern small vessels. The city of Bonifacio is split into two sections; the vieille ville, or la Haute Ville, on the site of a citadel, is located on the promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The citadel was built in the 9th century with the foundation of the city; the Citadel has been reconstructed and renovated many times since its construction and most was an administrative center for the French Foreign Legion. Today it is more of a museum. Most of the inhabitants have resided in the Haute ville under the immediate protection of the citadel; the harbour facilities and residential areas below, la marine, line the narrow shelf of the inlet and extend for some distance up the valley, giving the settlement a linear appearance and creating a third residential section limited by St. Julien on the east; the city and its fortifications extend for some distance along the cliff-tops, which are at about 70 meters elevation.
The cliffs have been undercut by the ocean so that the buildings, which have been placed on the lip of the precipice, appear to overhang it. The appearance from the sea is of a white city gleaming in the sun and suspended over the rough waters below. Bonifacio has two prehistoric sites of some importance: the ancient cave shelter of Araguina-Sennola near the village of Capello on Route N96 just north of the city and a chambered tomb of Vasculacciu further north near Figari; the first is the site of the notable Lady of Bonifacio, a female burial carbon-dated to about 6570 BC, either late Mesolithic or Early Neolithic, the second belongs to the Megalithic Culture and is dated to the Middle Neolithic. The alignment of the two and the extensive use of chert from Monte Arci in Sardinia shows that the Bay of Bonifacio was a route to inland Corsica from the earliest times; the only record of southernmost Corsica in Roman times comes from the geographer Ptolemy. He reports the coordinates of Marianum Promontory and town, plotted on a map, turn out to be the farthest south of Corsica.
After listing the peoples of the east coast he states that the Subasani were "more to the south." The people do not appear subsequently and the town and promontory have not been identified, nor do any Roman roads point to it. The only official road, the Via Corsica, ran between the Roman castra of Mariana and Aleria on the east coast and further south to Pallas, according to the Antonine Itinerary. Ptolemy places Pallas unequivocally on the east coast north of Marianum. Although unrecorded tracks and paths to the far south are possible, it is unlikely they would have carried any significant Roman traffic. Maritime traffic through the strait however was significant and it could hardly have neglected the fine harbour at Bonifacio; the most popular choice for Marianum Promontory therefore is Cape Pertusato, southernmost point of Corsica island, about 9 kilometers east of the harbor, with Bonifacio itself as Marianum town. A second possibility would be the first century AD Roman ruins adjoining Piantarella Beach near the village of Ciappili and next to the grounds of Sperone golf course, a recreational suburb to the west of Bonifacio, but those ruins appear to represent a Roman villa and the beach though eminently suitable for recreat