Brought to you by: Monaco Life
The EU is expected to fully open its Schengen borders by the end of June and ease restrictions for travellers outside of the bloc by early July in an effort to kickstart tourism and local economies.
EU member states, apart from Spain, have reportedly agreed to reopen their borders to internal travellers between now and 1st July, as well as and those from the EU-associated nations of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
At a press conference on Friday following a meeting of European interior ministers, the European Union’s Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said she expected to see the Schengen area operating again “by the end of June at the latest”.
She revealed that “almost all member states” had expressed “a strong preference for a further but short prolongation” of the ban beyond the 15th June reopening date proposed by the EU Commission.
“So that means that internal border controls are lifted by the end of June, I guess,” said Ms Johansson. “We should consider the gradual lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU in early July.”
Italy already opened its borders on 3rd June, while other countries, such as France, have opted for a 15th June lifting of the ban. While travel will be fairly easy, some restrictions will apply and some visitors will be subjected to quarantine measures depending on where they are going to or arriving from.
The European Commission is expected to present a list of guidelines to accompany the reopening based on epidemiological data from each country, which may add to confusion surrounding entry guidelines. But despite the possible hiccoughs the early days may bring, the news has been greeted with enthusiasm.
Over the past two weeks, statistics have shown there to be less than 100 new cases per 100,000 people inside the Schengen zone, with a few notable exceptions such as the UK and Sweden. The hope is that these encouraging figures will ease people’s minds and get them travelling once more, jump-starting faltering economies and bringing a much needed infusion of cash into tourist regions who are in desperate straits.
The non-essential travel ban was first imposed in mid-March at the height of the health crisis as a means to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Jeremy Williman, the man behind the retractable barrier system ‘Tensabarrier’, speaks about his new project, the ‘Dragonfly’, a hyperscooter bringing luxury to the future of micro-mobility.
The first half of 2020 has been the hottest on record for France, with a national average temperature of 12.5ºC according to Météo France.
Inflation unexpectedly rose in June in the Eurozone, prompting fear among experts that consumer price growth will be stunted for several years.
Public health conditions in Monaco are now favourable enough to see further lessening of restrictions on restaurants and live music events, says the Joint Monitoring Committee.
BillRun Technologies Ltd., a billing company based in Tel Aviv, specialising in open source and cloud solutions, has set up an advanced billing system for Monaco Telecom (MT). The financial scope of the project is in the order of several hundred thousand dollars.
The Principality welcomes more than 300,000 tourists per year, one-third of which are business tourists, i.e. those attending conferences and meetings. This demographic constraint is a challenge for MT, which chose BillRun to implement its new complete solution for billing and customer service, following the success of BillRun as part of the implementation of its billing system in Golan Telecom Tel Aviv.
Martin Péronnet, General Director of Monaco Telecom, says, “We are driving a profound transformation of our IT tools, moving from an inherited and complex system that was multi-operator and very expensive in CAPEX/OPEX with a simple, fully open-source system.”
Mr Pérronet, who was Marketing Director at Bouygues Telecom before joining MT in 2009, adds, “This is probably one of the very first times in the world an incumbent operator offering a complete solution for B2B and B2C telecommunication services for mobile, fixed, TV, voice, data and hosting has accomplished such a transformation. Our goal over time is to control all the developments internally to reduce our IT costs by 75 percent, and provide an effective, simple and flexible system to our customers.”
BillRun was chosen as a Monaco Telecom partner because “BillRun represents one of the best open-source billing systems, and we have achieved all B2C in a year and a half”.
Ofer Cohen, CEO of BillRun, says, “This is the first project carried out by Israel and this has involved a reassessment and full integration of the central system and ancillary systems MT BillRun.”
The first phase involved implementing the BillRun billing systems and CRM at MT for VoIP (Internet telephony) and broadband while the second phase implemented these applications in the mobile environment and VoD (Video on Demand), Mr Cohen goes on to explain: “The development was conducted in collaboration with IT and development teams at MT. BillRun team managed the migration of the obsolete proprietary system of the company to an open-source architecture, including training and knowledge transfer. This highly complex project of involved close collaboration between several teams of both companies, and the system has been fully operational since May 2015, to great customer satisfaction.”
“By using an open-source system,” explains Cohen, “it means that MT is no longer tied to a particular supplier. Further to our success with MT, we intend to develop BillRun’s international activities.”
A postman has been found guilty of stealing vouchers and gift cards while working inside the sorting office.
The Monaco Criminal Court heard how the 33 year-old, living in Menton, would check envelopes for their thickness before opening those he though might contain items of value.
His crime came to light after a woman in Monaco sent two gift vouchers to her daughter in Paris that never arrived. After she reported the disappearance to the postal authorities the culprit was discovered by an examination of footage from CCTV cameras.
One of the vouchers was cashed in a large shop in Fontvieille and this transaction was traced back to the individual working in the sorting office. Two of his victims were living overseas, prompting the court president to ponder if they had been chosen because they would be less likely to complain.
The prosecutor asked for a jail term of three months suspended, but after a plea for clemency by the accused the court fined him a total of 2,500 euros.