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Curacao

The largest and most populous of the five Leeward Antilles islands; Curacao and Bonaire are located off the north coast of Venezuela, and St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius lie east of the US Virgin Islands

Country Fact Sheet
Capital Willemstad
Surface 444 sq km
Currency The Netherlands Antilles Guilder or Florin (ANG or NAFl). 1 ANG = 0.56 USD = 0.31 GBP. US currency is accepted
GDP Purchasing power parity - $1.6 billion
GDP/Capita Purchasing power parity - $11,500
Language Papiamento (mixture of African, Spanish, Dutch and English), Dutch is the official language, English and Spanish are spoken
Religion Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Jewish
Government

Curacao is an autonomous state within the kingdom of the Netherlands. Governor: Frits Goedgedrag

Time Zone GMT -4 hours 
Telecom Code +599
Airport

Curacao Airport (CUR)

Driving On right hand side of the road, license required
Electrical 110~130 volts, 50 Hz
Political Climate Stable country
Population 150,000 people
History

The Arawaks are recognized as the first human civilization to inhabit the Netherlands Antilles. A Spanish expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda discovered the island of Curaçao for Spain in 1499, and it remained under the Spanish until the Dutch took control in 1634. Curaçao was a strategically important point for Dutch military advances against the Spanish and as the center of the Caribbean slave trade. Curaçao became the host of the Netherlands Antilles Government in 1954.

Island rivalries are at least as important as ideological ones in Netherlands Antilles politics. The most recent election in January 2002 returned no party with more than five seats (out of 22) in the Staten. The present Government is a six-party coalition led by the FOL under the premiership of Mirna Louisa-Godett. Of the main parties, only the PAR, still led by the veteran politician and former Premier Miguel Fournier, is excluded. In the referendum held in April 2005 on Curaçao, the citizens of the island expressed themselves in favor of an autonomous status for Curaçao in the Dutch Kingdom. The Island Council of the Island Territory of Curaçao formally ratified the results of the referendum a week later. Efforts will be made to realise the status of an autonomous state for Curaçao by July 2007.

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» Curacao Chamber of Commerce & Industry
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