Russia-Ukraine War: Monaco targets those with undisclosed links to Russia

The names of thousands who have had their assets and funds in Monaco frozen due to their possible links with Russia have been made public. 

The Prince’s Government announced on Monday that the Budget and Treasury Department, in collaboration with the Digital Services Department, has launched a new website called Gel des Fonds or “Freezing of Funds”.

The digital platform, published in English and French, lists all the people or entities that are subject to a procedure for freezing funds and economic resources in the Principality, in line with international economic sanctions.

The Minister of State has currently identified 3,675 such persons, entities or bodies. As of 11th November 2022, they must report the funds and economic resources belonging to them or that they own, hold or control within the territory of the Principality, to the government.

They are suspected of “compromising or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”, according to the government, and have until 1st December to contact the Budget and Treasury Department via the website.

The national list was created by Sovereign Ordinance No. 8.664 of May 26th 2021 and is updated each time entries are added, deleted or modified. It is the first time the list has been made public, and allows professionals to access the information and receive notifications any time the list is updated.

“The new digital platform is in line with recommendations formulated within the framework of the evaluation of the Monegasque system for the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (MONEYVAL) and attests to the commitment of the Principality of Monaco to maintain the highest level of international standards,” said the Prince’s Government in a statement.



Photo credit: Hani Agha




Motorists head for the pumps as France winds down fuel subsidies

Queues have returned to France’s fuel stations as drivers rush to capitalise on the last few days of the top tier fuel subsidy. 

A 30 cents per litre subsidy (all taxes and VAT included) on diesel, petrol, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas has been in force since 1st September, but will come to an end at midnight on Tuesday 15th November.  

After this, the subsidy will fall to 10 centimes per litre; less than the 15 cents per litre break that the French government handed down to consumers from April until the end of August.

The subsidies were introduced by the former French prime minister, Jean Castex, in early 2022 “given the sharp rise in fuel prices and as part of [France’s] economic and social resilience plan”. The price reduction was universally available and applicable to every form of vehicle, from family cars to tractors and fishing boats to construction machinery.  

After eight months of financial relief, the subsidies will come to an end on 31st December, a date confirmed by France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, in mid-October.  

The 20 cents reduction per litre offered by TotalEnergies remains in place for the moment, with no deadline for the end of the company’s “solidarity measures” announced as yet.  

For real time information on where to find fuel and at what price, drivers can consult the official online portal managed by the French government by clicking here.


FPA2 sends out “urgent” call for coral reef protection

The Prince Albert II Foundation has sent an open letter to world leaders and policymakers, urging them to take “urgent action” to protect the Earth’s coral reefs.  

With COP27 driving the world’s attention to environmental matters, the Prince Albert II Foundation (FPA2) has taken definitive action by sending an open letter to the leaders of nations and businesses across the globe, asking them to quickly address the concerning state and future of coral reefs.  

In it, the FPA2 asks for the fast-track implementation of coral reef protection mechanisms, including restoration projects to save and shore the remaining reefs as well as larger scale programmes aimed at mitigating the underlying problems causing the reefs to disappear in the first place.  

“Policy, plans, and funding specific to coral reef restoration are needed to accelerate implementation at global, regional, and local scales,” says the FPA2. “Funding and support for research and development, harnessing science, technology and innovation, and leveraging technologies towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is critical.” 

Healthy coral reefs are a lifeline for more than a billion people worldwide, supplying food, jobs, storm protection, income and medicinal properties. They are, according to the letter, “essential to the security and climate resilience of many nations, including the most vulnerable nations on Earth.” 

Naturally formed reefs can be found in over 100 countries and territories and, whilst only 0.2% of the seafloor, they support at least 25% of marine species and provide ecosystem services valued at over 9.5 trillion euros each year.  

Despite their importance, the world’s coral reefs declined by 14% between 2009 and 2018, with 90% of the world’s remaining coral reefs now classed as “threatened”. The worst estimates suggest that they will disappear completely by 2050.  



Photo source: Ishan for Unsplash

AS Monaco’s World Cup plans outlined

“We’re specifically not calling it a mini pre-season,” AS Monaco performance director James Bunce tells Monaco Life, as he lays out the club’s plans for this unique mid-season break.  

Whilst the specificities of AS Monaco’s mid-season plans are yet to be revealed, Bunce gave a rough outline of the programme in an exclusive interview with Monaco Life.  

Like every club, Monaco is taking a step into the unknown this winter. Due to the meteorological conditions in Qatar, the World Cup was this year moved to the winter – a first for the most important international competition in world football. 

The competition gets underway on 20th November and concludes on 18th December. Ligue 1 action then gets back underway for Monaco on 28th December with a trip to Auxerre. 

Players swap the Principality for Qatar

The performance staff at the Principality club now have the task of maintaining fitness levels throughout this break. Youssouf Fofana (France), Krépin Diatta (Senegal), Ismail Jakobs (Senegal), Takumi Minamino (Japan), Guillermo Maripán (Chile) and Breel Embolo (Switzerland) will all go away with their respective national teams and compete in this year’s competition. 

For those not competing, they will be following a tailored programme to maintain their levels without allowing fatigue to seep in, in what is an intense, condensed season of football. 

“When we found out the World Cup was going to be in this period, we, like everyone else, have never dealt with that before. So we’ve had lots of conversations on this, lots of tweaks, lots of meetings with the physical staff, the medical staff [and] the technical staff to build what we believe is the best scenario. For us, we actually look at it in terms of what advantages we can take from it,” Bunce tells Monaco Life.  

Radical plans for an intense season of football

“There will be a moment of rest and recovery because, again, this time is unique and we’d like to take this opportunity to allow the players to have some refreshment because we’ve been going since 14th June. Then we’re going into, and we’re specifically not calling it this, a ‘mini pre-season,’ because there isn’t the same basis, as they already have their fitness; they’ve already got that base. But now it’s about tweaking that and keeping that fresh,” says Bunce.  

“We go on camp to Spain for 10 days, before running a one-game per-week schedule for each player. Sometimes that will mean playing two games on the same day so that every player can have 90 minutes. We have some big teams that we’re going to be playing in that period,” he continues.  

Bunce concludes, “From the start of the season until the November window, it’s basically three months’ worth of games and then when we come back, until the next international window, it’s four months. So actually, it’s going to be a bigger, harder period. If everyone thought that the period from the start of the season was tough, it’s actually going to be tougher. If we finish second in Europa (League), nine of those twelve weeks will include two games a week. It’s a big, hard run. It makes a big difference. That’s why we’re looking at it in terms of a refresh, get some energy, get some recalibration because the next period after that will be hard for everyone.” 

At the beginning of the season, Philippe Clement referred to the opening run of games as “a sprint within a marathon”. But in reality, the sprint is a marathon, with the pre-World Cup relentless scheduling preceding an equally tough post-World Cup schedule.

The way that this unique break is managed by clubs could have a significant bearing on the rest of the campaign. 



Photo by Monaco Life 


Ocean Viking: migrants disembark safely in Toulon

The 234 migrants who had been stuck aboard the Ocean Viking rescue ship for 20 days have now safely landed in the port city of Toulon after Italy refused them entry.  

A nightmare that has finally come to an end: the 234 migrants, among them very young children and unaccompanied minors, are now on solid ground after nearly three weeks living aboard the rescue boat Ocean Viking, which is run by humanitarian association SOS Méditerranée. The boat spent much of that time sat adrift the Italian coast in a long and fruitless wait for the Italian authorities to admit the vessel.  

Disagreement came about as the new prime minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, refused to let the boat dock, eventually forcing it to look for safe harbour elsewhere. The Ocean Viking turned its sights on France, who protested, citing EU law which states that migrants should be not refused safety.  

In the end, the French relented and allowed the ship to dock in Toulon where 189 of the migrants were sent to a holiday village on the Giens peninsula in Hyeres. The site has been transformed into a temporary “waiting area” where the passengers are being processed before it is decided if they have valid reasons to seek asylum. Whilst here, the migrants are not considered to be in France, but in a sort of international zone, living in yet another limbo land and unable to leave until they have been assessed.  

One passenger has been hospitalised and the remaining 44, many of them unaccompanied minors, have been taken into the care of social services.  

Countries across Europe step forward

Several European countries have stepped forwards as future hosts, including Germany, who will house 80, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Ireland, Finland and Norway. 

SOS Méditerranée is already back out to sea on the lookout for more people in need.  

“There have been more than 20,000 deaths since 2014 in the Mediterranean Sea and we do not accept that this sea becomes a cemetery,” says a spokesperson for SOS Méditerranée.  

Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières) has also announced that its rescue vessel, the Geo Barents, will resume rescue missions. Since the beginning of the year, 1,891 migrants trying to get to Europe have been claimed by the Mediterranean Sea, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). 



Photo credit: Anthony Jean/SOS Méditerranée

Leclerc leapfrogs Perez after impressive comeback drive in Brazil

Charles Leclerc recovered from two huge setbacks at this weekend’s Brazil Grand Prix to secure fourth place and move back above Sergio Perez in the drivers’ standings.

However, the Monégasque driver was left frustrated with his Ferrari team post-race, with a lack of team orders depriving him of the race win on Sunday. At the front, George Russell registered a maiden win at Interlagos, sealing a British one-two, with teammate and honorary Brazilian citizen Lewis Hamilton close behind.

It was the same old story for Ferrari. A strategic error saw Leclerc start Q3 on the wrong tyres and his lap on the intermediates was only good enough for 10th. However, he managed to fight his way back up to fifth during the sprint race.

The Ferrari driver was dealt another setback on the seventh lap. After an early safety car, Lando Norris attempted to overtake Leclerc, but made contact and sent the Monegasque into the barriers. He managed to limp back to the pits for repairs, but came back out isolated at the back of the grid.

There was also contact between last year’s title rivals Max Verstappen and Hamilton, which seemingly ended the Briton’s hopes of recording his first victory of the season.

From there, under the radar, Leclerc made his way back through the grid. However, with just a few laps remaining, it looked like he would only get a smattering of points. But a mechanical failure on Norris’ McLaren brought out a dramatic late safety car.

Leclerc made further gains, crucially overtaking Perez, who dropped back on his set of old tyres. He then came onto the back of Carlos Sainz, who occupied the final podium spot. Leclerc repeatedly pleaded with his team to execute team orders and let him through, but those requests fell on deaf ears.

Despite Hamilton’s best attempts, he couldn’t get within striking distance of Russell, who took the chequered flag, with his teammate and Sainz completing the podium.

There was frustration for Leclerc, but also for the Red Bull duo. In order to help Perez in the fight for second in the championship, the team ordered Verstappen to let Perez back through, after the Mexican had ceded his place to allow the Dutch driver to attack Fernando Alonso.

Verstappen didn’t follow the order and was annoyed that the request had even been made. Perez then lashed out at his teammate, saying, “It shows who he really is.”

A respondent Leclerc is, at this point, just looking forward to the season concluding next Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

“It was a frustrating weekend, especially after what happened with Norris. I want to go to Abu Dhabi, run the last race, finish it and that’s it,” said Leclerc.



Photo by Scuderia Ferrari