Monaco to auction off seized vehicles

As every year, Monaco’s State Property Authority (the Administration des Domaines) is putting a number of seized vehicles under the hammer as a way to raise money for public coffers.

The list of cars, which was published via Monaco’s Public Service branch on Monday 14th November, includes a Jaguar X6 and a BMW M4 as well as a number of more family-friendly vehicles such as a Renault Megane, Renault Scenic and two VW Polos. Additionally, there are over 40 motorbikes, scooters and bicycles of all types up for grabs.

Not all of the vehicles are forfeited assets; some are public service vehicles from the Principality that have been replaced by newer models.

The auction is an intriguing one that often flies under the radar of the public, with many auctions being non-starters. Nevertheless, it offers an excellent purchasing opportunity; the minimum amount for four-wheeled vehicles stands at 50€ and 30€ for two wheelers (such as bicycles and motorbikes). That said, Monaco itself reserves the right to impose a reserve price or refuse a sale if the winning bid is deemed “insufficient”.

All those listed for auction can be visited at Monaco’s impound facility, which can be found at 3 Rue des Guelfes, between 21st and 25th November from 12pm to 3pm.

Only those residing in Monaco or the Alpes-Maritimes are eligible to participate. The deadline for the submission of offers is Friday 2nd December at noon.

Further information can be found here.



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Seafood delights abound at the Monte-Carlo Market

The series of special market days at the Marché de Monte-Carlo continues on Saturday 26th November. This time, it is dedicated to the glorious realm of seafood.

Monaco’s mairie has been on a mission to promote the Marché de Monte-Carlo this autumn, enticing shoppers with everything from truffles to fine wine and cheese. Now it’s the turn of seafood, and the “Market of the Sea” will feature a variety of products as well as tastings of cuttlefish and grilled oysters.

The event, which was organised by the Domaine for Commerce, Halls and Markets and its delegate, Marjorie Crovetto, will be held from 8am to 2pm on 26th November.

Come hungry and ready for a chance to sample some of the best the sea has to offer at 7 Avenue Saint Charles in Monaco. Access is free for all.


Photo source: Edoardo Cuoghi for Unsplash

Interview: “We want to win the World Cup,” says Minamino

Takumi Minamino is beginning to hit his stride after a difficult start at AS Monaco, but his focus now shifts to the World Cup and the Japanese international has lofty ambitions. 

The forward signed from Liverpool for a reported €15m this summer. Despite coming from one of the most renowned clubs in the world, he didn’t manage to hit the ground running, but as Minamino’s understanding of his new surroundings has improved, so have his performances.

Days before his departure for Qatar, Monaco Life was invited for a roundtable interview with Minamino to talk about his start to life in the Principality, and his ambitions for the upcoming World Cup.

“I wanted to show my best side from the beginning.”

By his own admission, Minamino’s integration hasn’t been as seamless as he had hoped. For a player highly reliant on automatisms, and who thrives in tight interchanges with his teammates, constructing new understandings naturally took time.

“I wanted to show my best side from the beginning, but I feel as though it wasn’t easy. Lately, and I can’t put my finger on why, I feel as though I’m improving every week. At the beginning of the season, the team was struggling as well. We were knocked out of the Champions League and we received lots of red cards. We were unlucky. Now I try to focus on how I can help the team more and more. I’m getting better,” said Minamino.

Naturally, a big part of that integration is learning the language, and his linguistic improvement is bearing fruit on the pitch.

“My communication is getting better. At the start, it was difficult because it’s always difficult moving to a different country and a different league with a different language. Now it’s okay. I have improved and I’m feeling good,” he explained.

Nonetheless, Minamino is still relishing the chance to link up with his international teammates, where the eradication of the linguistic barrier helps his overall game: “With the national team, it is easier to play, because we can speak our [own] language.”

“Of course, we want to win the World Cup.”

A few months ago, the World Cup break would have constituted a welcome distraction, but feeling more comfortable in his club football, Minamino now feels in a good position to accomplish his “dream”.

“Here in Monaco, I feel as though I’m getting better every week. That gives me the confidence to play in the World Cup. I feel as though a dream has come true,” said the former Liverpool forward.

But Minamino and his Japanese teammates aren’t just going to make up the numbers.

“Of course, we want to win the World Cup. This is also my dream. If we want to do something big, we just need to focus on the next game each time. This is the most important thing. It’s a difficult group: Germany, Spain, Costa Rica… But in football, everything is possible. We trust ourselves to show our best side,” he said.

Japan may not go into the tournament as one of the favourites. Simply getting out of the group sounds like an uphill task. However, in Minamino, Japan have a playmaker who is beginning to refind his golden touch. International football is defined by such small margins, and a player of his quality is certainly capable of proving the difference.


Photo by Monaco Life




Algae: Could it change your life for the better?

The European Union hopes to “harness the potential of algae in Europe” with a new initiative to create a market for this superfood, which can also act as a fertiliser, a cosmetics and pharmaceutical ingredient, a type of biofuel, and even a tool against harmful emissions.  

Algae… Who knew it had so many possibilities? The slimy stuff found on the surface of stagnant ponds or in the form of seaweed has uses well beyond its humble appearance, and the European Union (EU) is now looking at ways to harness it in some interesting and exciting ways.  

It’s a little-known fact, but the EU is one of the world’s biggest importers of seaweed products, with demand expected to reach nine billion euros in 2030, notably in the making of food, cosmetics, medicines and energy production.  

Within the framework of the new initiative, the EU says it has identified “23 actions, which aim to improve business environments, increase social awareness and acceptance of algae and algae-based products by consumers, and close the knowledge, research, and technology gaps”.   

The adoption of the new programme to create a sustainable algae sector is pioneering in many ways. People and organisations active in the algae sector will be key partners for implementing the proposed actions, which include making an algae farmer’s toolkit, finding new potential seaweed farm sites, developing and exploring the efficiency of algae in biofuels and fertilisers, and conducting studies on seaweed climate change mitigation.   

“Stronger EU algae farming and processing sectors can respond to demand in a wide range of industries, starting with food and animal feed to bio-based plastics to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biofuels,” says Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. “Algae biomass can serve as an alternative to raw materials that now are usually fossil-fuel-based, which is very much in line with the European Green Deal’s decarbonisation ambition. With this initiative, we approach the EU algae sector in such a holistic way as never before.” 

The European Commission is currently looking at ways to implement the practices amongst member states and has created a special platform called the EU4Algae forum so interested parties can learn more.  



Photo source: Selina Bubendorfer for Unsplash

From Leclerc to the World Cup, Prince Albert talks sport ahead of National Day

monaco repechage

From Charles Leclerc to the renovation of the Stade Louis II, and even the Qatar World Cup, Prince Albert II has reflected on a wide range of pertinent sporting topics ahead of National Day. 

Speaking to Monaco Matin, the Prince of Monaco divulged his thoughts on sporting issues both inside and outside of the Principality’s borders.

“Even for Liberty Media, it was unthinkable not to have Monaco on the calendar”

Following months of tough negotiations, the Monaco Grand Prix was finally renewed for three years. However, as Prince Albert revealed, the contours of the accord are yet to be fully established, with talks ongoing.

“I have the certainty and the assurance that the owners of F1 won’t pressure us. They know very well the situation of the Monaco Grand Prix and that they can’t apply to the letter all of the expectations that are applied to other circuits. I don’t think there will be an issue. Even for Liberty Media, it was unthinkable not to have Monaco on the calendar,” he said.

“We had to talk about certain things. It is a big change, but we kept some of our prerogatives. The dialogue is continuing and we will see the details, but they won’t bother us with specificities. They will take control of the communication, the TV production, the brand, but not of all the sponsors for now,” he continued.

“Charles Leclerc has had a beautiful season”

Staying on the topic of Formula 1, Prince Albert II reflected on Leclerc’s season with Ferrari. After starting the season strongly, a mixture of poor tactical decisions from the team and a lack of car development relative to the Red Bull saw his title charge wither in the midseason. However, the Prince of Monaco believes that the Monégasque driver should be proud of his efforts.

“Leclerc has had a beautiful season, that could have been even more beautiful. He is a boy that is very objective with himself and expects a lot and that’s good. He has nothing to be ashamed of. He should finish the season vice-champion and that in itself is formidable.”

Leclerc must better Sergio Perez’s result at Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in order to secure second place in the championship, behind world champion Max Verstappen.

“I hear the fans’ frustration.”

Remaining within the Principality, Prince Albert II addressed AS Monaco fans’ discontent at the state of the Stade Louis II. Protests have been held, decrying the current state of the iconic stadium, and last month the government confirmed further work would take place. AS Monaco themselves have also confirmed a desire to see the stadium updated.

“I hear the fans’ frustration. The Stade Louis II isn’t only a football stadium, but also a sporting complex, completed in 1985, and which doesn’t necessarily satisfy its current requirements. That doesn’t mean that we can’t welcome sport in good conditions, but I even note myself that certain parts of the stadium have aged poorly. The building is undergoing a gradual renovation. Undoubtedly, we will have to increase this renovation programme. We’re in the process of updating it, whilst avoiding a complete closure,” said Prince Albert.

He continued, “I think we have to speed up improving little things before thinking about changing everything.”

“We now have a great hall in line with the club’s ambitions.”

The Stade Louis II houses within it the Salle Gaston Médecin, home to AS Monaco Basketball, which has been recently renovated to allow it to comply with Euroleague standards. Last year was the Roca Team’s debut year in the highest level of European competition. Having made their playoffs, Sasa Obradovic’s team have made a strong start to this year’s campaign.

“Everything happened very quickly. A renovated hall was a requirement of the Euroleague, which forced us to find innovative and interesting solutions to increase the number of seats. The bet paid off, even if we couldn’t reach the 5,000 figure. What the managers of the Euroleague wanted us to do was an effort to go the maximum of our possibilities. We now have a great hall in line with the club’s ambitions,” he said.

Prince Albert II won’t boycott the Qatar World Cup

Since the controversial awarding of the World Cup to Qatar, many have called for the competition to be boycotted on ethical grounds. The country’s human rights record, its non-tolerance of homosexuality and the environmental impact of the competition have all been called into question. Whilst Prince Albert II shares those concerns, he said that he won’t be boycotting the competition.

“We should have listened to those who raised their voices and called for boycotts a few years ago when Qatar was chosen. Now that the choice has been made, and without going over once more how it was chosen, it’s a bit late. On the environmental question, the energy needed to build and air-condition the stadiums is considerable. That doesn’t mean that you have to boycott it, I’m sure it will be a great tournament,” he said.

“These Olympics promise to be spectacular”

Staying on the topic of the environment, a key policy point of the Principality’s government, Prince Albert II praised the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games for their prioritisation of sustainable development.

“These Olympics promise to be spectacular and to be the first to have a real plan for sustainable development. It will be a window for all of these problems. There will need to be a lot of innovation to have the opening ceremony on the River Seine,” he said.

“As for our athletes, they are preparing. 2023 will already be filled with competitions for them. They will then have to qualify for the Olympics in their various disciplines. We’re beginning to determine the details of a delegation. There could be a few surprises from now until then,” he concluded.


Photo by Monaco Life