Waste Reduction Week: What’s on in Monaco?

The European Waste Reduction Week is underway for the fourth consecutive year and Monaco is a keen participant, with numerous awareness-raising activities and events organised to encourage residents in the Principality to waste less and reuse more.

Waste Reduction Week is a Europe-wide event aimed at getting people to think harder about the three Rs: reducing, reusing and recycling. Monaco will champion the event up until 27th November and this year has set the theme of “Circular and Sustainable Textiles”.

The textile industry has a big impact on the environment, from the production and distribution phases all the way through to after-use, where many pieces end up in landfills. The Monegasque government is therefore asking people to consider what to do with clothes, shoes, towels, bedding and other textile products before mindlessly dumping them in the bin.

To help, they have set up a series of terrific events to discover sustainable solutions that are both informational and fun.

The creative ways the government and other associations in the Principality are getting involved range wildly from a treasure hunt to “Textiles in Bloom”, a weeklong programme by the Department of Urban Development that uses an original process for reusing used textiles and transforming them into a personalised and reusable tote bag.

Other events include sewing workshops, a charity work clothes collection for people trying to re-enter the job market, a raffle (for every three clothing items donated, a ticket to win prizes is offered), and the community creation of an XXL textile fresco made from used clothes, bed and table linen, and scraps of fabric.

There are so many more incredible ways to be a part of this year’s European Waste Reduction Week – far too many to be listed. The complete schedule can be found here.

Get inspired and get involved, Monaco!



Photo source: Lucas Hoang for Unsplash

Red Nose Day returns with new eco-friendly angle

Red Nose Day, put on annually by local charity Les Enfants de Frankie, returns to Monaco this year with a new, eco-friendly angle. Rather than a foam ball, organisers are handing out red reusable shopping bags that can be used year-round as a show of support.  

There are few things sadder than a child who is stuck in hospital. Being sick is bad enough but staring at the same four walls with little in the way of variety to the day is definitely not what anyone wishes for their kids. 

Les Enfants de Frankie have dedicated themselves to finding ways to cheer up and support sick and disadvantaged children in the Principality of Monaco as well as the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region since 2005. As part of their many good works, the association puts on a yearly Red Nose Day to raise funds that can provide these children with special educational, cultural and therapeutic days out as well as help to pay for medical equipment that would otherwise be out of reach. 

This year, though, Les Enfants de Frankie’s Red Nose Day is deviating from selling its usual red foam ball to selling reusable red bags, which are better for the environment and can be used year-round as a reminder of the support and care needed – and provided – for children in hospital.  

The bags are on sale now and at only €2.50, they are a steal. The bright red bags can be purchased at post offices in Monaco, certain pharmacies and partner businesses, as well as at a dedicated stand in the Condamine Market on 25th November. Additionally, they can be found in the Fontvieille shopping centre on 3rd and 14th December, and every day until 6th December at the checkout stands of Carrefour Monaco.   



Photo source: Artem Kniaz for Unsplash

Japanese Night at the Condamine Market

From traditional crafts to the nation’s celebrated cuisine, the upcoming Japanese Soirée in the Marché de la Condamine will champion all that Japan has to offer. 

Planned for the evening of Tuesday 29th November, Japanese Night is being organised by the activities branch of the Monaco town hall in conjunction with the department responsible for commerce, halls and markets in the Principality.  

Head down to the Condamine Market any time from 4pm for a range of cultural offerings: ikebana, the art of Japanese floral arrangement; origami, creative paper folding; kintsugi, the art of repairing broken pottery by mending the broken sections with precious metals; and calligraphy. 

Japanese cuisine is, of course, on the menu, and visitors can expect tastings of sake, matcha tea and takoyaki. A dinner service will take place later in the evening, accompanied by traditional Japanese music.  

Entry is free and access open to all.  



Photo source: Mgg Vitchakorn for Unsplash

Covid circulation rises as fewer residents take on booster shots

There were 94 new cases of Covid detected in the Principality last week as an unpredictable virus season begins to take hold. Meanwhile, new weekly figures show that vaccination rates have dropped off significantly in Monaco.

According to the latest figures from the health department, 19.5% of all PCR and antigen tests conducted in Monaco during the week ending Sunday 20th November came back positive, compared to 16% the previous week. The incidence rate has also crept up to 240, compared to 230.

Currently, there are 11 Covid patients being cared for at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre – one more than the previous week – five of whom are residents, while no one is in ICU. 41 people with mild symptoms are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Throughout the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prince’s government released weekly results on its vaccination campaign together with the weekly infection rates. In January 2022, Monaco’s statistics group IMSEE took the baton and started delivering monthly figures instead.

On Tuesday, the government announced that it will once again make vaccination figures public each week, this time through the website: covid19.mc

According to the site, vaccination rates have significantly dropped off in Monaco. While 22,186 residents received their first mRNA dose, and similar figures were seen for the second dose, only 17,600 people followed up with a booster shot. That number plunged to 2,945 for the second booster (4th vaccine), and heading into winter, only 144 residents have had a third booster shot (5th dose).

The large majority of the population have therefore been immunised against the original version of SARS-CoV-2, not the Omicron variant. The latest BA.4 and BA.5 variants account for around 90% of cases today, while 10% are the earlier BA.1 and BA.2 variants.

According to researchers, protection against severe forms of Covid declines to 40% six months after vaccination. There is little research that shows how much protection someone has one year after their last vaccination.

Anyone who is a Monegasque national or resident, is a pupil or student educated in Monaco, or who works in Monaco can be vaccinated free of charge at the National Vaccination Centre in the Rainier III Auditorium (ground floor) by appointment.



Photo by Monaco Life 

French government to slash unemployment benefits

The French government has announced that the length of time jobseekers can claim unemployment benefits will be cut by 25% starting next year in an effort to fill job vacancies and get more of the out-of-work back into the labour market.  

Not many would argue with the French unemployment system’s reputation for leniency. Currently, anyone under the age of 53 can claim up to two years of compensation after a job loss, with that number going up to two and a half years for 53 and 54-year-olds, and three years for those over 55.  

In 2023, however, that system will change dramatically as the government slashes benefit times by 25%. The reasoning is to encourage up to 150,000 people back in the workforce sooner rather than later to fill the great number of vacancies currently on the French jobs market. This is despite unemployment in France sitting at a low 7.3%.  

This decision has caused quite a stir, but it is hardly a brutal reform.  

Announcing the plans, Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt argued that France is still “keeping one of the most generous systems in Europe,” before moving to reassure workers that their rights were not being “eroded”.  

Making the updates to this long-held system was made possible by a law passed in parliament earlier this month, which gave the French government the power to change unemployment laws by decree, depending on the health of the labour market. It reflects an idea put forward by President Emmanuel Macron to extend benefits in times of economic downturn and to cut them during labour shortages.

Unions are, unsurprisingly, opposed to the change. Those who are pro-business are all for it, including the right wing Les Républicains party, not a usual ally for Macron and his government.  



Photo source: Alexander Kagan

“You can change history” says women’s rights campaign in Monaco

In a new interactive campaign, Monaco’s Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Women’s Rights is upping the ante to end violence against women by urging the public to carefully consider their personal role.

“You can change history” is the title of the campaign, which was presented just days ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an annual event that takes place on 25th November.

The concept calls on its audience to consider how their own actions towards a victim of violence and abuse may help change the course of history. This is played out in three interactive films, each featuring an everyday character who could have a profound impact on the scenario before them with even the most simple of gestures.

“Acting against violence begins by no longer ignoring it,” said Céline Cottalorda, the Interministerial Delegate for Women’s Rights, at the launch. “[In the films] we discover Marc, a colleague of a victim of violence, Lucie, her neighbour Henri, and Manuel, an acquaintance of the perpetrator. All three have the potential to ‘change history’.”

Hosted at www.changezlhistoire.com, viewers choose whose shoes they would like to step into and then make choices to help the victim.

To raise awareness, a short film will be published via Monaco Info and on various social media platforms in the Principality on Friday 25th November, supplemented by a poster campaign throughout the territory.

“2022 was sadly marked by numerous acts of violence committed against women in the world,” said Cottalorda. “In Monaco, our responsibility is to be vigilant, well-informed and mature on the subject. As such, this year our desire [is] to involve men even more, and to encourage them to make a concrete commitment against violence.”

White ribbons, the symbol of the fight against violence against women, will also be made freely available to residents and visitors to the Principality on 23rd November (from 9am to 2pm at the Marché de la Condamine) and 24th November (from 9am to 5pm at the Fontvieille shopping centre), with representatives from the committee on hand at these locations to discuss the ongoing efforts in Monaco to help victims of domestic violence.

Further information can be found at www.dfm.mc.



Photo source: Monaco Communications Department