News - Friday, November 18th

News

Monaco’s response to the energy crisis - The Monaco government has announced a €30 million euro plan to cap energy prices for businesses and individuals. The solution comes in the form of a variety pack of tariffs that differ between individuals, small businesses and the country’s largest consumers. 

The Minister of State Pierre Dartout believes this policy will safeguard residents' purchasing power and the competitiveness of companies in the Principality, insisting that without the caps consumers would have had to suffer an increase of 75% on average for electricity prices. Gas is not concerned by these measures in so far as the national operator, SMEG, has provisioned all purchases for the year 2023.

Heating in public buildings in Monaco will now be set at a maximum 19°, although there will be a 2° tolerance in schools, old people’s homes and in the hospital. Lights in bus shelters and public buildings will now be switched off at 10 pm.

The government is also making recommendations to the private sector, putting the emphasis on good sense rather than imposing laws.

  • Heating should be set to a maximum of 19°
  • For shops, illuminated signs and shop windows should be switched off from 11 p.m. 
  • Lighting, heating and air conditioning should be turned off in unoccupied spaces in shops, offices or at home. Portable heaters should be avoided. 
  • There’s a reminder that household devices on standby, like computers, account for 10% of home electricity consumption and should be turned off at all time.
  • As much as possible, walking, cycling and public transport should be prioritised over use of cars. 

The government will also be reintroducing subsidies for energy efficient appliances. Yesterday, we reported that the traditional winter ice rink has been cancelled, but there will still be Christmas illuminations although most of these will be switched off at 11pm.

Migrants fleeing - 26 young migrants have run away from their reception centre in the Var following their arrival on the Ocean Viking ship less than a week ago. According to Le Figaro, most of these minors are Eritreans who have chosen to illegally join family or friends in Germany. The remaining 18 minors are staying at the hotel and are being supported medically and socially by the department’s social services.

Cash compulsory - Two of France’s largest supermarket chains are being forced to accept cash at all times following attempts to fully automate certain stores on Sundays with self-service check-out tills that do not accept cash and notes. Carrefour and Casino have been reminded by the Banque de France that it is still against the law to refuse a payment in cash. The only exception is for when the banknotes are counterfeit, but these are considered very rare. Of every million banknotes in circulation in the euro zone last year, only 12 were counterfeit.

Hunter sentenced - A hunter, who shot dead an Anglo-French man after allegedly mistaking him for a wild boar, has been sentenced to 6 months of prison having been convicted yesterday of manslaughter. 25 year old Morgan Keane was hit in the chest as he was cutting wood outside his home close to Toulouse two years ago.

The case has amplified calls for a crackdown on hunt safety and growing anger over the perceived impunity of France’s powerful hunting lobby, which has the backing of Emmanuel Macron. Since Keane’s killing, two other civilians have been shot by hunters. Official figures show that last year there were 90 hunting accidents, eight leading to deaths.

Antibes cinema project delayed - The urban development project in central Antibes, which includes a multiplex cinema, has been delayed once again. The Marenda-Lacan multiplex was originally scheduled to open in 2020 and more recently targeted a launch next month in time for the new Avatar movie. Now the mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti is getting impatient and is imposing heavy penalties on the promoter in a bid to get the project finished as soon as possible. BNP Paribas RealEstate explained that the delay was due to a fire that broke out in August and delivery delays. It is hoped now that the first film will be shown in January.

Antibes smoke without fire - A large amount of smoke was seen at the Port Vauban shipyard in Antibes yesterday morning, leading many to believe a boat was on fire. However, it was actually just a fire simulation so that firefighters can train to rescue victims and manage fires by preventing a chain reaction on the other boats. The operation also consists of port agents training to clean the water in the event of pollution after an incident.

Training scam - Two investigations have been opened into a widespread scam which involves receiving a phone call or a text claiming to be about a "compte personnel de formation" or professional training account. Fourteen people have been taken into custody on suspicion of involvement in the scam which is thought to have caused a total loss to victims of 8.2 million euros.

Eden Roch residence inaugurated - Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has officially opened the Eden Roch residence in the east of the city, describing it as a "new stage in the urban renewal of the historic district of Saint-Roch" with 1,000 square metres of green spaces. Next Saturday, the city will also deliver the large Saint Jean d'Angely tree-lined garden, where the mayor said "a vast area of breathing space and greenery" replaces the 4,380m² of old car parking and a degraded spaces.

Carrefour strike - Employees at Carrefour Monaco will be going on strike for 24 hours this Monday to defend their demands and increase their purchasing power. The 24-hour strike is susceptible to be renewed until the end of December, unless demands are heard, meaning potential disruptions for the holiday season. The union representatives are demanding, among other things, a 5% increase in wages and a bonus of 500 euros to cope with the rise in the cost of essentials.

Monaco’s newest arts association - A new cultural association in the Principality is providing a platform for local talent and a potential path to becoming a professional in the entertainment world. That’s the pitch of MIMA, the Monaco International Music & Arts Club which is hosting a launch party at Stars’n’Bars on November 26th. It’s open to all ages and levels, both professionals and non-professionals and will offer various activities for those interested in theatre and acting, including workshops, masterclasses, summer campuses, filming, plays, Q&A conferences, and career counselling. The introductory presentation will be followed by a free show featuring Jil Aigrot, the voice of Edith Piaf in the Oscar-winning film La Môme, along with several other star performers. Everyone is welcome and you can get more information on the MIMA club website. 

Blood donations - Yesterday, we reported on an appeal by the Princess Grace Hospital for blood donors. One of our listeners pointed out that if you are considering becoming a blood donor, that neither France nor Monaco are accepting blood from people who lived in the UK for a period of more than one year inbetween the 1st January 1980 and the 31st December 1996, due to BSE.  

Free public transport - If you are coming to Monaco for the National Day celebrations this weekend, it’s useful to know that the buses are free of charge until November 27th. It's part of an ongoing experiment to improve traffic flow. This includes the bateau bus that will transport you from one side of the port to the other. No decision has been made yet on whether public transport will remain free beyond the trial period.

Pink flamingos in St Laurent du Var - Is St Laurent du Var turning into a little Carmargue? A dozen pink flamingos seem to have taken up residence at the estuary of the Var river. Jonathan Corjon, a nature expert and member of the League for the Protection of Birds in the department believes that, as they have been there for two months, they are now likely to stay there all year round.

Business

UK Autumn statement - The UK faces its biggest drop in living standards on record as the surging cost of living eats into people's wages. The government's forecaster said that household incomes would dive by 7% in the next few years, once rising prices were taken into account. It also expects the number of people who are unemployed to rise by more than 500,000. It came as the chancellor said the UK was already in recession and set to shrink further next year, but in his Autumn statement, Jeremy Hunt unveiled £55bn of tax rises and spending cuts, which he argues would lead to a "shallower downturn" with fewer jobs lost. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, said: "Surging global energy prices have made the UK a poorer country. The result is an official forecast that the next two years will see the biggest fall in household incomes in generations.

Positive economic figures for Monaco - There’s good news for the Monegasque economy. After a difficult 2020, impacted by the health crisis, 2021 GDP exceeded 2019 levels. According to the latest study by the Monaco Statistics GDP in 2021 reached 7.27 billion euros, compared to 6.6 billion in 2019, an increase of 5.8%. The good results differ from sector to sector. While scientific and technical activities, administrative and support services, the financial and insurance sector, and wholesale trade are doing very well, accommodation and restaurants are still struggling to return to their pre-COVID levels. Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance and Economy welcomed the figures with pride, describing Monaco as a “prosperous country” with “healthy public finances, a recovering economy and public authorities working alongside economic stakeholders.

Twitter - The Twitter saga continues as the social media giant has locked all staff out of it’s offices until next week. The announcement comes amid reports that large numbers of staff were quitting after new owner Elon Musk called on them to sign up for "long hours at high intensity" or leave. Ironically, they were also ordered not to use social media to discuss any internal issues. (So much for freedom of speech). Large numbers of workers have now also resigned as they have not accepted Mr Musk's new terms.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGES

€1 = £0,87 $1,04 SF 0,97

£1 = €1,15 $1,18 SF1,12

$1 = €96 cents, £84 pence, 94 Swiss centimes

BITCOIN down slightly to $16486

ETHEREUM also down slightly to $1202

 

COMMODITIES

An ounce of gold is $1783

Barrel of Brent Crude oil is $90,34

 

MARKETS

FTSE 100 stable 7346

CAC 40 down to 6576

DOW JONES stable at 33546

NASDAQ 11144

NIKKEI stable 27897

  

Sport

Football - Ahead of the World Cup, President Macron has spoken out insisting that The World Cup should not be a forum for raising political concerns. Gulf state Qatar has been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, its human rights record and treatment of migrant workers, but Macron believes these are issues to be addressed when hosting is decided not during the tournament itself. Fifa has also asked nations to "focus on the football" during this year's tournament, which starts on Sunday, following a controversial build-up.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino will stand unopposed to be re-elected for a third term in the post. The 52-year-old Swiss-Italian became head of football's governing body when he succeeded Sepp Blatter in February 2016, and was re-elected in 2019.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid has announced plans to launch its own theme park in Dubai to be inaugurated before the end of the year. The attraction will feature “Real Madrid-related attractions,” including “a museum, amusement rides and games of footballing skill” in addition to shops.

OGC Nice chairman and Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed that he is not interested in buying Liverpool, stating his ambition is to concentrate all his efforts on developing Nice so that they can become a serious rival to Paris Saint-Germain.

Motorsports - The Haas Formula 1 team have signed Nico Hulkenberg to replace Mick Schumacher. Hulkenberg will return to the grid for a full season for the first time since being dropped by Renault in 2019, while Mick Schuhmacher may be left without a Formula 1 race seat next season after failing to impress during his two seasons with Haas.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal beat Casper Ruud in straight sets to end the ATP Finals with victory despite not reaching the semi-finals. Nadal was the highest seeded player in the event with world number one Carlos Alcaraz injured, but lost his opening two Green Group games.

Female competitors at Wimbledon will be allowed to wear dark-coloured undershorts from next year. The All England Club has relaxed its all-white clothing rule to relieve a "potential source of anxiety" for women players.

Rugby - The World Rugby Awards are set to take place at the Salle des Etoiles on 20th November. Held under the High Patronage of Princess Charlene, the awards will celebrate the “on-field achievements of the calendar year and recognise those who made an outstanding contribution to the sport”.

Amongst the nominees are world-famous names of the sport such as Jonny Sexton, Lukhanyo Am, Antoine Dupont and Josh van der Flier. After France’s Six Nations Grand Slam success in the spring, French boss Fabien Galthié has been nominated for Coach of the Year, on the back of their Gland Slam success at this year’s 6 nations tournament.

Weather

Mostly sunny despite some high clouds this morning with light to moderate winds in the Alpes Maritimes. The winds are stronger in the Var with gusts of up to 60km/h from the north west. However, it’s starting to get a little colder with temperatures down a few degrees peaking between 15 and 17°. Increasingly cloudy this evening as temperatures drop to a low of 11°.

Tomorrow, there will be some cloudy spells, but weather will be mostly good all weekend with no rain.  

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