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Monaco welcomes you

The Principality of Monaco is an
independent and sovereign country located on the northern coast
of the Mediterranean Sea.

With a cosmopolitan population and economic structure made up of small and medium sized companies, highly profitable businesses and high-rise industrial workshops, Monaco’s economic reality sets the example for originality and ingeniousness.

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No Finish Line presents 24th edition donations
February 26th

The €315,561 raised on 19 November were allocated to a number of different projects concerning sick or disadvantaged children. 

1 km =  a €1 donation. With 315,561 km covered at the 2023 edition, the No Finish Line was again a huge success. The significant funds raised have made it to possible to finance many iniatives to help children in distress. Whether for equipment for a school in Nepal, tandem skiing for children with disabilities, or prevention initiatives in schools, the donations cover care that is not reimbursed by social security agencies.

Donations handed over to Thomas Rodier, president of the Wink Monaco charity, for eyesight and hearing prevention © No Finish Line Monaco

“Our motivation comes from seeing the happiness it brings them”

The 10,500 participants ran or walked their socks off on the Fontvieille circuit, over 183 hours – 8 days! They all had the same goal: to help children in need. For Ariane Favaloro, President of the Children and Future charity: “Our motivation comes from seeing the happiness it brings them.”  The donation ceremony was held on February 21, in front of the athletes, volunteers and partners who were part of the project.

Save the date – the 2024 edition will be held on November 16.

Meanwhile, the Nice No Finish Line will take place from April 3 to 7 on the Promenade des Anglais.

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Young talents? Bring out your inner artist on the Fort Antoine stage
February 26th

On July 19, 18-30 year olds can come and perform at Fort Antoine, at the second edition of the Open Stage, ‘Les Talents du Fort’.

Given the success of its first edition, the Open Stage will be back in 2024. Organised by the Cultural Affairs Department, as part of its youth initiatives, the event aims to promote the discovery and emergence of young talents.

From music to dance to theatre, all artistic disciplines are welcome. All you have to do is to apply by April 20, 2024, by completing the online registration form.

© Prince’s Government

The event is open to all young Monegasques (attending school, resident, or having a link with the Principality), aged 18 to 30.

For further information, please contact fortantoine@gouv.mc.

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What are Charles Leclerc and Ferrari’s ambitions this season?
February 26th

The Monegasque driver and the Italian team are approaching this new season with cautious ambition, aware that the gap with Max Verstappen and Red Bull is still wide. 

Charles Leclerc makes no secret of it. “Red Bull is the benchmark.”  As he approaches this new season, his seventh in motorsport’s premier category and  his sixth at Ferrari, the Monegasque driver wants to be optimistic, but realistic.

Pre-season testing seems to confirm the strong potential of the new Ferrari SF-24, however the Red Bull car, by Charles Leclerc’s own admission, already seems to be the absolute reference, as in previous years.

Promising winter tests

“They have a very, very good car again this year,” he told Canal+. “So far, everything is going according to plan (for the Scuderia Ferrari), in the sense that there are no nasty surprises in terms of the car’s handlingIt handles like in the simulator, so that’s a pretty good sign. It’s too early to talk about its competitiveness. But we’re making good progress.”

With a new long-term contract and restated ambitions, Charles Leclerc is more than ever a man with a mission at Scuderia Ferrari: to take the team back to the top in Formula 1.

But with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s much heralded arrival at Ferrari next year, the Monegasque driver and tifosis’ darling needs to score points this year to establish himself as the leader in the Maranello firm.

Often among the fastest, if not THE fastest in qualifying, Charles Leclerc will need to replicate his one-lap domination over the whole race.

A well-designed Ferrari SF-24

Although he took 5 pole positions and 6 podiums last season, Leclerc also had all sorts of mechanical problems and DNFs, leaving it to his teammate Carlos Sainz to win in Singapore, the only race Red Bull did not dominate in 2023.

So while the title would appear to be something of an impossible dream, Charles Leclerc will be looking to get back on top of the podium this year, as often as possible. His last victory was on July 10, 2022 at the Austrian GP in Spielberg.  An eternity for a driver of his calibre.

Still under the guidance of Frédéric Vasseur, who has sparked a minor revolution in Maranello since his arrival last season, the Scuderia Ferrari hopes to be back in winning ways, on the way to challenging for the constructors’ grail in 2026, when the new engine regulations come in.

With a 95% remodelled SF-24 that already seems more promising than the ill-fated SF-23, even if it was the only car to have managed to win a 2023 Grand Prix apart from Red Bull, the Italian team seems in a better position, along with Mercedes and McLaren, to challenge the world champion team this year.

Definitely on the up, the Scuderia Ferrari is perhaps not ready to aim for a title yet, but seems to have what it takes to finish vice-champion, not only in the constructors’ championship, but also the drivers’ through Charles Leclerc, as in 2022. While waiting for the much anticipated arrival of Lewis Hamilton next season..

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Formula 1: Leclerc, Ferrari, Verstappen, Hamilton – 5 questions about the 2024 season
February 26th

The new F1 season kicks off in Bahrain on March 2. Let’s take a look ahead to what promises to be a fascinating vintage!

1. Title n° 4 for Max Verstappen?

It’s hard to think of new superlatives to describe Max Verstappen’s 2023 season, given that the Dutch driver won 19 of the season’s 22 Grand Prix on the way to his third world championship crown.

An unassailable domination that brings the triple world champion to within a length of Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel.

He has already won 54 races in his career, at only 26, and he knows he has a target on his back this year. But while Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren promise more powerful cars than last season, the Dutchman remains the favourite to take title n° 4.

Why? Because his stable is built around him, because he is impressively consistent and because there seems to be no ceiling to his talent.

Only Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and to a lesser extent Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso seem capable of challenging him this season. But over 24 legs? That seems less likely.

Max-Verstappen-min
Max Verstappen just keeps breaking records (Photo © Red Bull)

2. Charles Leclerc be back on winning form?

With a new long-term contract and restated ambitions, Charles Leclerc is more than ever a man with a mission at Scuderia Ferrari: to take the team back to the top in Formula 1.

But with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s much heralded arrival at Ferrari next year, the Monegasque driver and tifosis’ darling needs to score points this year to establish himself as the leader in the Maranello firm.

Often among the fastest, if not THE fastest in qualifying, Charles Leclerc will need to replicate his one-lap domination over the whole race.

Although he took 5 pole positions and 6 podiums last season, Leclerc also had all sorts of mechanical problems and DNFs, leaving it to his teammate Carlos Sainz to win in Singapore, the only race Red Bull did not dominate in 2023.

So while the title would appear to be something of an impossible dream, Charles Leclerc will be looking to get back on top of the podium this year. His last victory was on July 10, 2022 at the Austrian GP in Spielberg.

Charles-Leclerc
Charles Leclerc hopes for better success this season (Photo © Scuderia Ferrari)

3. Can Scuderia Ferrari be a red rag to the Bull?

Still under the guidance of Frédéric Vasseur, who has sparked a minor revolution in Maranello since his arrival last season, the Scuderia Ferrari hopes to be back in winning ways, on the way to challenging for the constructors’ grail in 2026.

With a 95% remodelled SF-24 that already seems  more promising than the ill-fated SF-23, even if it is the only car, thanks to Carlos Sainz, to have managed to win a 2023 Grand Prix apart from Red Bull, the Italian team seems in a better position, along with Mercedes, to challenge the world champion team this year.

Definitely on the up, the Scuderia Ferrari is perhaps not ready to aim for a title yet, but seems to have what it takes to finish vice-champion, not only in the constructors’ championship, but also the drivers’ through Charles Leclerc. And then there will be Lewis Hamilton in 2025…

arthur-leclerc-sf-23
The SF-23 turned out to be a disappointment, but fortunately, its successor seems set to shine (Photo © Scuderia Ferrari)

4. How will Lewis Hamilton handle his last season at Mercedes?

The announcement sent shockwaves through the world of F1. Before the 2024 season even started, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton announced, by mutual agreement with Ferrari, that he would be joining the most legendary team in Formula One.

An obvious match, which definitely shuffles the cards, and leaves only one season for the British driver to bring a crown to his beloved Mercedes stable as a parting gift. The car is gradually coming back into contention for podiums, so Lewis Hamilton can legitimately hope for a better season than the last two, where he finished sixth then third.

But being up against Max Verstappen and Red Bull, Hamilton has a lot to do and will have to stay focused on the present, even if he expects to experience one of the greatest challenges of his already immense career: to hand Scuderia Ferrari the championship in 2025.

This will be Lewis Hamilton’s last season at Mercedes (Photo All rights reserved)

5. A 24-race calendar, yes or no?

Twenty-two legs last season, twenty-four this year. The Formula 1 calendar has never been so full“When will they stop? Personally, I feel that a 24 Grand Prix schedule is not tenable, it’s too much,” said Bernie Ecclestone a few weeks ago.

“In my opinion, they would do better to remove some of the races, even though I am happy to see that the sport is continuing to grow worldwide.”

Whether the former Formula 1 CEO likes it or not, it is rumoured that the next few seasons could involve up to 25 races, with the addition of a Grand Prix in South Africa…

Meanwhile, this year, the legendary Monaco, Belgium, Great Britain, Japan and Brazil Grand Prix  will be the season’s flagship races, as well as the Las Vegas event, on the calendar again after its return in 2023.

grand-prix-2022
The Monaco Grand Prix will be one of the highlights of a long season (Photo © Communication Department / Michael Alesi)

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Winter blues? Put a spring in your step at the Nice Half Marathon!
February 26th

On 21 April, thousands of runners will be heading to the Riviera capital for the 32nd edition of its International Half Marathon.

21.1 km. Not bad, eh? Runners from all over the globe will be able to stretch their legs at the upcoming Nice Half Marathon. The route starts on the legendary Promenade des Anglais, skirting both the city and the sea and passing through the port. It’s an ideal setting for a race! But the event’s flagship race is not the only one on the programme. There are also 10 km and 5 km routes, as well as family and children’s races.

What’s new for this edition?

Each runner will be asked to contribute €1. The money raised will then be donated to the Alpes-Maritimes Food Bank. This year, an optional collector’s t-shirt, made in Europe, can also be bought when registering. An environmentally responsible approach, to reduce the impact of mass production. And the good news is that the marathon is offering you the chance to order the official 2024 event T-shirt!

As every year, a gift will be handed out to all participants when they pick up their bibs, plus a medal at the finish line.

More information on the official race website.

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Monaco Life

Football: AS Monaco back in the top three after victory over Lens
February 26th

With the team’s president, Dmitry Rybolovlev, watching on, AS Monaco clinched an important victory against RC Lens over the weekend that has propelled the Monegasque side back into the top three of the Ligue 1 rankings. 

After a disappointing defeat at home to Toulouse, Monaco was eager to bounce back and demonstrate the fighting spirit that saw them triumph in the Derby against Nice earlier in the month.  

The match against Lens, a team just eliminated from the Europa League by Fribourg, but still a formidable opponent in Ligue 1, was seen as a perfect opportunity for redemption. 

Match highlights 

Monaco quickly took control, with Folarin Balogun opening the scoring in the 19th minute. Despite doubling their lead thanks to a Takumi Minamino goal minutes later, Lens narrowed the gap soon after.  

The second half saw Lens land an equaliser, but Minamino came through with a final third goal for the Rouges et Blancs to finish the game 2-3.  

Coach Adi Hütter praised his team’s performance, saying, “It was a hell of a game between two teams that fought hard… It’s fantastic to come here and win, everyone enjoyed it, even the Lens fansm who must be disappointed.”  

Mohammed Salisu, an AS Monaco defender, reflected on one of the match’s most climactic moments, saying, “It’s very difficult to score in this stadium, so when Taki [Minamino] did it, everyone exploded.”  

AS Monaco’s ability to secure points against top-half teams has been a real strength this season, with only Paris Saint-Germain outperforming them in this regard.  

As the season progresses, Monaco’s sights will be set on maintaining – or improving – their podium position and continuing their challenge for the highest honours in French football.  

The next League 1 match is scheduled for 1st March against Paris Saint-Germain at home in the Stade Louis II. 

 

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Photo credit: AS Monaco Foot

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc “cautiously optimistic” after strong pre-season testing
February 26th

Days out from the first race of the 2024 Formula 1 season, Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc wound up a successful few days of testing feeling positive about the changes made over the winter, but admitted, “It is still difficult to assess [the car’s] level of competitiveness right now.” 

Preparations for the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship, which begins this coming weekend, stepped up a notch last week as the grid headed to Bahrain for three intense days of testing on the track the drivers will race on come 2nd March. 

For Monegasque Charles Leclerc and his Spanish teammate at Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, the Sakhir track provided an opportunity to put to the test the new SF-24 and experiment with their cars’ potential by trialling various fuel loads and tyre compounds. 

In total, the pair completed 432 laps to cover more than 2,250 kilometres, the equivalent of over seven Grands Prix. It was the second highest total of all the teams.  

“Our first morning of testing was quite productive. As for the performance, it’s just too early to comment or draw conclusions,” reported Leclerc. “We ran all the tests we planned to and things are going ahead as expected, which is a positive.” 

The Monaco-born driver’s confidence seemed to grow as the testing sessions continued, despite a red flag causing some delays on Day 2.  

“The first two days have gone well as we have run our full programme, although at this stage, we can’t say how competitive we are. I think the first time we will get an idea of where we stand will be in qualifying next week,” he said. “We made some general changes to the car today and yesterday, with our focus shifting to fine-tuning our set-up on the last day of testing.” 

Monegasque Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc recorded the second fastest lap of the testing sessions. Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre

By the end of testing, Sainz had recorded the fastest lap, with Leclerc just behind him. Trackside F1 commentators described the pair as seeming “cautiously optimistic about how the team had carried out their programme”.  

“We achieved our goals without a hitch, gathering extensive data and ensuring the SF-24’s predictability and ease of handling,” said Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur. “These were three productive days, with no technical problems, which is what you want most, especially when it’s the only session before the start of the season. Looking just at our own performance, we have got off on the right foot.” 

The team’s thoughts will now shift to the upcoming opening stage of the season in Bahrain.  

“It’s full focus on the race and I can’t wait to be back on track next week,” said Leclerc. 

Read related:

F1: Charles Leclerc reacts to Scuderia Ferrari’s new SF-24

 

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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre

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Moneyval compliance: Parliament approves new law on trusts
February 26th

Monaco has completed another step towards its Moneyval compliance, this time with the adoption of part four of bill no.1084 by the National Council relating to trusts.

During an Extraordinary Session on Thursday 22nd February, the National Council voted on bill no.1084, adapting the legislative provisions relating to the fight against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (part IV).

“The vote on bill no. 1084 allows us to have legislation that is fully compliant with the recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force),” said Thomas Brezzo, President of the Legislation Commission.

Part IV is in addition to law no. 1.549 of July 2023 relating to central preventative measures, law no. 1.550 Pt.2 of 10th August 2023 on transparency of legal entities, and bill no. 1080 pt.3 passed in November on repressive measures.

The provisions of the law primarily relate to trusts and deals with certain aspects that could not be covered by the previous legislative reforms, and makes further amendments to laws already reformed.

The text includes the addition of the concept of the trustee’s “domicile”, of keeping updated information on the beneficial owners of trusts for control considerations in Monaco, of the need to keep updated information on professionals who enter into a business relationship or carry out a transaction with the trust that’s been set up or transferred to Monaco, to give authorities access to information on trusts, and the mandatory registration of trusts with the Economic Development Department.

“On this major issue for the image and reputation of the Principality, the elected representatives of the National Council respected their commitments to provide the Principality with effective legislative texts, meeting the best international standards in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism,” said the National Council in a public statement.

SEE ALSO:

Civil societies given new legal obligations to follow

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The cost of fast fashion: France to consider adding a dissuasive surcharge to cheap imported purchases
February 26th

Fast fashion might be a cheap way to keep up with the trends, the industry is a major source of pollution and may even be harmful to human health, which is why one young French politician has launched a campaign for change.  

According to Antoine Vermorel-Marques, a 31-year-old member of the Les Républicains party, the inexpensive and often sweatshop-sourced clothing sold by fast fashion brands the world over is not only damaging the environment and causing untold harm to biodiversity, but also seriously threatening human health.  

He argues that change is desperately needed and has suggested slapping a €5 supplementary charge on all fast fashion purchases. 

In a video posted on TikTok earlier this month, Vermorel-Marques hit home the seriousness with which he takes this issue.

In the clip, which can be found here, the young politician unpacks a series of items from the low-end and predominately online retailers with whom he takes umbrage in a style parodying social media’s community of fast fashion influencers and describes the pieces in detail.

 

@antoinevermorel42 ???? Les vêtements à 2€ qui arrivent en avion, contiennent des substances nocives pour la santé et finissent sur les plages en Afrique, c’est non ! Je dépose à l’Assemblée nationale une proposition de loi pour instaurer un bonus-malus afin de pénaliser les marques et pour encourager les démarches plus vertueuses ♻ #shein#sheinhaul#ecologie#fastfashion#stopshein#pourtoi#fyp @lookbookaly @menezangel_ @loufitlove @lila_drila @cilia.ghass @tifanywallemacq @veronika_cln @lia__toutcourt @iamm_mae.e@IAMM_MAE.E ♬ son original – antoinevermorel

Picking up a pair of shoes from Chinese online mega-seller Shein, Vermorel-Marques notes that they have been “treated with phthalate, a substance which is an endocrine disruptor that can make us sterile”. Then he chooses a set of “so cute, so classy” baby clothes, remarking on how they have been doused with formaldehyde, a substance that “potentially causes cancer in babies”. 

An estimated 92 million tonnes of clothing end up in landfill every year, with a large portion coming from online fast fashion titans such as the aforementioned Shein and its competitors, the likes of Temu and Boohoo.  

Vermorel-Marques’ concept is to add a €5 surcharge on purchases from these cut-price imported brands while offering a counter €5 rebate on domestically produced and sustainably made items.

“What is key here is that it’s not another tax,” he says. “We’re not here to take money from you. We’re just saying: ‘If you pollute, you pay. And if you don’t pollute, you win.’ It’s a win-win for both the consumer and the planet.” 

While opponents of the bill say it would penalise those on lower incomes, who can manage the minimal costs of fast fashion clothing – the average price of an item from Shein is €7 – but often cannot afford the more expensive but “better for the planet” pieces championed by Vermorel-Marques and are reluctant to buy second-hand items.  

The bill is expected to be brought before France’s National Assembly for debate in the next few months. 

 

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Photo source: Rio Lecatompessy, Unsplash

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Princely couple in Courchevel for charity gala benefitting Princess Charlene Foundation
February 26th

Over the weekend, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco headed to the glamourous Alpine resort of Courchevel, where they were the guests of a charity auction and gala organised for the benefit of the Princess Charlene Foundation and the Club des Sports Courchevel. 

The turnout for the second Courchevel Charity Gala, held under the Honorary Presidency of Prince Albert and British billionaire Sir James Ratcliffe, was impressive, with some 200 VIPs from the worlds of sport, business, the arts and European nobility, such as Prince Alexandre of Liechtenstein and his wife, Princess Astrid, coming together to support the event’s two chosen beneficiaries.    

Held in the Crystal Globe Room of the Ineos Club House on 24th February, it was an evening filled with great food and music.  

Before dinner, the attendees were treated to a concert by three extraordinary young musicians: 17-year-old Monegasque piano virtuoso Stella Almondo, French-South Korean violin prodigy Léo Couralet and France’s Gabriel Guignier, who has been playing cello since the age of five and is a student of Paris’ prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse. 

Monegasque piano virtuoso Stella Almondo performed at the prestigious event. Photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

The highlight of the night was, no doubt, the exceptional auction that was headed up by auctioneer Olivier Valmier and French artist Richard Orlinski. The lots included spectacular works of art, exclusive culinary and touristic experiences, rare wines and sport merchandise signed by world famous athletes as well as a beautiful photograph of Princess Charlene. 

A glamourous black and white photograph of Princess Charlene was one of the coveted lots presented for sale during the auction. Photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

All of the proceeds from the sales will go towards programmes put on by the Princess Charlene Foundation, the primary focus of which is water safety and drowning prevention, and the Club des Sports Courchevel’s kids club.  

 

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All photo credits: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

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