Monaco to cap energy prices in face of crisis

With temperatures beginning to drop and electricity prices continuing to rise, the Monaco government has revealed a plan to cap energy prices for businesses and individuals.  

The energy crisis is on the minds of many with cooler temperatures fast approaching, and worries about how to pay for the huge increases in cost have spurred the government to step in with a programme to cap energy prices.   

Minister of State Pierre Dartout and Céline Caron-Dagioni, Government Advisor-Minister for Equipment, the Environment and Town Planning, explained the system at a press conference, which is based on variations in usage requirements and need.   

A plan to protect residents, businesses and public finances

“Given the increase in energy prices, and in particular the price of electricity, this crisis forces us to take a number of measures,” said Dartout. “We are faced with two objectives that are not easy to reconcile: to protect residents and businesses by reducing the impact of their energy bills, and to spare public finances.”  

The solution comes in the form of a variety pack of tariffs that differ between individuals and small businesses, the institutions that use the most energy, and the country’s largest consumers.  

“For individuals and small businesses, the rate of increase in the electricity tariff will be the same as that of France, that is to say 15%,” said Dartout. He also explained the other two tariff rates: “The yellow tariff, concerning the most consuming institutions, will increase by 33%, while the green tariff, which includes large consumers such as the Société des Bains de Mer, the government administration and the Princess Grace Hospital Centre (CHPG) will take 45%.” 

Additional costs are expected to be incurred from 1st January 2023. This is because the nation’s energy provider, SMEG, had purchased supplies lasting through the end of the year, but will need to adjust once that period is over and new, higher prices come into effect.   

Without government intervention, which will absorb just under 30 million euros in 2023, individuals and small businesses would have seen their bills rise by 75%, medium-sized businesses by 65% and heavy consumers by 90%.   

When asked why the 15% rate was not applied across the board, the minister’s sensible answer was: “It would be expensive for the state budget and we must have a system that should encourage companies and institutions, including us, to save money.” 

Monaco’s government urges action to reduce energy usage

The government is taking its part seriously and has implemented actions to reduce consumption. Public buildings heating systems are set at 19°C, with a 2°C allowance for schools and the CHPG. Public buildings and bus shelters will not be lit past 10pm, and Christmas lights will not be on all night. Finally, the ice rink, a staple of the Monaco Christmas season, will not be installed this year in a huge disappointment to many.  

Additionally, a poster campaign will soon be launched to raise awareness and show people how little things can make a big difference where energy consumption is concerned. Individuals and companies will be encouraged to turn off or put on standby appliances, turn off lights in a room where no one is, and buy low-energy household equipment. 

The government believes that instilling good habits now will benefit all in future.  

Céline Caron-Dagioni added, “Let’s not forget that in a Mediterranean country like ours, we often benefit from rather favourable conditions in winter. Habits must be taken now because it is in summer that the energy consumption peaks are strongest with air conditioning. Hence the importance of taking all the right steps now in order to be able to take on the new challenge that is in front of us, which will be that of next summer.” 



Photo source: Stéphane Danna, Monaco Communications Department

No ice rink for Monaco this Christmas

People skating on the Monaco ice rink

The Monaco Government has made the difficult decision to cancel the ice rink at Port Hercule this winter due to rising energy costs.

“Following consultation with the Monaco town hall, we have decided that there will be no ice-skating rink this year,” the Minister of State, Pierre Dartout, announced at a press conference on Wednesday 16th November. “The rink is too energy-intensive, particularly when it is open-air and often in full sun.”

It was only last year that the Principality invested in a new way of managing the ice rink in order to mitigate its energy usage. Previous to 2021, the cooling system was active from the day of installation to the day the ice rink was taken down. Last Christmas, however, a Swiss ice rink specialist called La Pati was brought in to install probes that would identify if and when the cooling system needed to be turned on. It was managed remotely from the company’s headquarters in Fribourg.

Even this, unfortunately, was not enough to counteract rising electricity and, more generally, energy costs that not even the well-off Principality can ignore.

The rink has been an essential part of Monaco’s Christmas Village for over 20 years and many will be sad to see it gone from the programme. In its place, the Monegasque government has promised an activity that will be “just as fun” but “less energy-consuming”.

“It would be unthinkable to shut down the rink and not provide another recreational activity for children over the holidays,” said Céline Caron-Dagioni . That replacement is yet to be revealed, but Monaco Life reported recently that Société des Bains de Mer had already made the decision to introduce in Place du Casino the Principality’s first roller skating rink during the festive period.

Nearby in Nice, residents await to hear if its popular outdoor ice rink will open this Christmas. If not, there’s always the Jean Bouin facility to the north of the Palais Acropolis!

Monaco Scientific Centre expands childhood cancer research

The Scientific Centre of Monaco’s Stem Cells and Brain Tumours team is expanding, forming collaborations with other well-known facilities to learn how to better treat and manage childhood and adolescent cancers.

Cancer is major killer that strikes indiscriminately: young, old, rich or poor. As such, research into treatments and potential cures have been high on scientists’ lists, with many breakthroughs being made in recent times.

Back in May, Monaco Life reported on new research being studied at the Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM) aimed at reprogramming brain cancer stem cells to better respond to treatments.

According to the research, cancer stem cells show all the characteristics of embryonic nerve stem cells that support brain development. Their capacity for self-renewal and resistance to therapies are central in the phenomena of relapses, which are fatal in almost all cases. The objective, therefore, is to reprogram these tumour cells to make them more vulnerable to treatment and thus reduce the risk of recurrence of the disease.

Since then, the CSM team, led by Vincent Picco, has renamed their work ‘Stem Cells and Brain Tumour Research’ and has extended its network of resources and support. The team has joined forces with the laboratory of Li Xiao-Nan of the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and teams from the Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris, who are leading the clinical research project on paediatric tumours called Molecular Profiling for Paediatric and Young Adult Cancer Treatment Stratification (MAPPYACT).

Also on board are the Researchers in Oncology Acting for Kids (REACT4KIDS) network, who promote exchanges between research scientists and others in the field. The organisation’s primary objective is simple: to provide a better understanding of the molecular bases of childhood and adolescent cancers, in order to be able to better manage and treat them.

For further information, click here.



Photo source: CSM

Watch La Damnation de Faust live this National Day

Opera de Monte-Carlo has announced that its latest production La Damnation de Faust, being performed in the Principality this month, will be broadcast live on 19th November to celebrate National Day in Monaco.

The Damnation of Faust, created by French composer Hector Berlioz, was first performed at the Opera-Comique in Paris in 1846. The Opera de Monte-Carlo first perfomed the opera in 1893 under the production of Raoul Gunsbourg, and again in 1969.

Today, it has been recreated by Music Director Kazuki Yamada and Choreographer Eugénie Andrin, with Pene Pati singing the role of Faust and Aude Extrém as Marguerite, together with the Opera de Monte-Carlo led by Gabriel Grinda.

In this opera, demons and damned spirits greet Méphistophélès in a mysterious, infernal language and welcome Faust among them. Hell has fallen silent after Faust’s arrival — the torment he suffers is unspeakable. Marguerite is saved and welcomed into heaven.

“It is this gradual shift from a harmonious aesthetic to a supernatural strangeness that is interesting,” says Choreographer Eugénie Andrin.

The opera was performed in Monte-Carlo on 13th and 16th November 2022, and the invitation-only performance on Saturday 19th November will be broadcast live on Mezzo TV.

Next on the Opera de Monte-Carlo schedule is Lakmé, with music by Léo Delibes, on 9th and 11th December.

Here is a teaser of the Damnation of Faust by the Opera de Monte-Carlo.

To watch Saturday’s performance live, visit the website by clicking here.



Monte Carlo Opera season 2023 unveiled by new director, Cecilia Bartoli


Photo above credit: Alain Hanel


Deadly shipwreck in Route du Rhum

Two people, including a 33-year-old who used to work at OGC Nice, have died in a shipwreck off the coast of Guadeloupe in the Route du Rhum. 

The arrival of the Route du Rhum flotilla in Guadeloupe was marked by tragedy on Wednesday 17th November. Charles Caudrelier won the 12th edition of the trans-Atlantic race, but his victory was overshadowed by a tragic shipwreck just off the coast.

One of the tailing boats, chartered by the race organisers, crashed off the coast of the Caribbean island. Two people are already confirmed to have died in the tragedy, whilst that number could rise further given that 12 were on board at the time of the accident. The cause of the accident has not yet been ascertained.

One of the victims, François Naveilhan was a former employee of OGC Nice. The club have responded to his death in a press release, which reads as follows:

“Involved in the life of the club, François proudly represented its colours every evening with his brothers from the FSGT team. He then continued his career with the Nice company MyCoach, a partner of the club, before moving to his native Brittany and the sailing structure OC Sport Pen Duick, organising company of the Route du Rhum in 2020… All of our thoughts are with them as well as their close ones.”

The prosecution has said that an investigation has been opened for manslaughter.

Monaco Yacht Club member Boris Herrmann, on-board Monégasque boat Malizia-Seaexplorer finished 26th, 985 nautical miles behind category winner APIVIA, sailed by Charlie Dalin.


Photo source: Ronan Potier

A breakdown in the Leclerc-Binotto relationship?

Charles Leclerc’s relationship with Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has reportedly broken down, according to L’Equipe, with the latter’s job in peril. 

Ferrari driver Leclerc has endured a tough season. Heading into the first race, he was earmarked as a strong favourite, but repeated strategic errors from his team and a lack of car development saw his challenge fizzle out before the mid-season break.

One such strategic error deprived him of victory at his home Grand Prix, where Leclerc is still looking for his first victory. However, the turning point in their now fractured relationship came at Silverstone.

Following a late safety car, Ferrari made the choice to leave the leading Leclerc out on a set of old tyres, whilst all those around him pitted. With just a handful of laps left, Leclerc was a sitting duck, and not only missed out on the win, but didn’t even make the podium.

After stepping out of his Ferrari, Leclerc was given a ticking off by Binotto for his post-race radio comments, right in front of the camera. Since that altercation, the pair no longer speak, according to L’Équipe. 

The breakdown of the pair’s relationship, as well as Ferrari’s results, or lack thereof, threaten Binotto’s role as team principal. Ferrari’s challenge next season is to launch a more lasting championship challenge, but Binotto may not be at the helm to lead it.

Ferrari have since reacted to the rumours surrounding Binotto’s job, stating: “In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto’s position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation.”

However, if rumours about Leclerc’s and Binotto’s fractured relationship are true, it is difficult to see how the team can effectively function with such discord between two such major actors in the Italian team. The off-season will likely provide more clarity.


Photo source: Alberto-g-Rovi