Testimonio II given permission to extend

Monaco’s National Council has announced that 30 additional apartments will be built at the Testimonio II site after its developers were given government permission to raise one of the towers by five storeys.

A landmark development in the Principality, as reported by Monaco Life, the Testimonio II construction site has just been granted permission to build 30 more state housing units to help ease housing shortages in the Principality.

The Réséda Tower, formerly known as Testimonio II Bis, will now have a total of 197 state-owned units made up of 15 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom flats.

Leading the charge on the expansion efforts was National Council President Brigitte Boccone-Pagès who asked the minister of state, Pierre Dartout, to push through permission to raise the Réséda Tower by five storeys.

The public housing shortages in Monaco are chronic, but the government has taken several steps to eliminate the problem via the construction of not only Testimonio II, which is being built by the Groupe Marzocco, but also the Palais Honoria, Villa Carmelha and Grand Ida developments. This, the National Council hopes, will reduce the shortages as the fruits of their labours will bear more than 600 new flats by the end of 2023.

Additionally, after the examination of the Initial State Budget for the 2023 financial year, it is expected that the government will soon announce at least one more state accommodation-motivated operation.


Exclusive interview: Daniele Marzocco on building Monaco’s landmark skyscrapers



Photo source: Groupe Marzocco

Michelin-starred Mauro Colagreco to take on new UN role

Mauro Colagreco, the three-starred chef from local restaurant Mirazur, now has another hat to wear as a new UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.  

He’s got three Michelin stars to his name and his Menton restaurant was voted Best in the World in 2019. Now, through his interests in biodiversity and ecology – Mirazur became the first restaurant in the world to achieve a plastic-free certification in 2020 – 46-year-old Colagreco has become a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The appointment did not happen overnight. In fact, it has been two years in the making, and started when the famed chef contacted UNESCO to set up a biosphere-related project involving circular restoration. The project, a working farm in every sense, is set to be up and running next year.  

“It is a circular restoration program,” Colagreco told France 3. “It will be a farm with three poles: agricultural (second half of 2023), catering and training (from 2024). It was while participating in several conferences that UNESCO discovered our work and offered me the job. I am very happy, very honoured.”  

The Italian-Argentinian will hold this unpaid position for two years, with the possibility of renewal. The job is offered only to those whose lives and values reflect those of UNESCO. He is the 99th ambassador and the first chef to hold the title.  

The choice is not unwarranted. Colagreco’s Mirazur uses produce grown in his own garden, has eliminated single-use plastics, and has a fish maturation room he uses when the daily catch is not as strong as it could be. His efforts prove he is an ardent advocate of finding better and more environmentally-friendly ways of doing things.  

In a press release, UNESCO said, “As Goodwill Ambassador, Chef Mauro Colagreco will have the role of promoting the organisation’s actions in favour of biodiversity. As part of [its] mandate for science, UNESCO notably created the ‘Man and the Biosphere’ program in 1971, which aims to restore a balance between human beings and their environment. There are today 738 UNESCO biosphere reserves throughout the world, which represent more than 1.3 million km² of protected areas.” 



Photo source: UNESCO

South of France steps up action to combat bronchiolitis epidemic

The regional health agency for Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur is activating the next level of an action plan in its hospitals to help ease the strain brought on by the bronchiolitis epidemic.

The Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (PACA) region is overwhelmed by cases of bronchiolitis, a respiratory illness that affects babies and young children under two, which, when left untreated, can become very serious.

To cope with the rising caseloads, the region has activated the first level of internal mobilisation in healthcare establishments, known commonly as a white plan or plan blanc. Prior to the white plan, the region had a lower grade scheme in place.

“For five weeks, PACA has been facing an epidemic of bronchiolitis,” says a spokesperson for the Regional Health Agency (ARS). “The epidemic indicators exceed the level of all the epidemic peaks of the previous winter seasons.”

According to the agency, there were 730 emergency room visits last week for the illness, compared to 502 the previous week. Hospitalisations were also on the rise, going from 196 to 259 in the same time frame. The only département in PACA not to see a rise of cases is Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

The alarming increases spurred the decision to trigger the white plan, which gives health care facilities increased ability to take care of its young patients. It includes the activation of hospital crisis units, adding more paediatric staff, and increasing reception capacity by rescheduling non-urgent surgeries. The hope now is that the white plan will be sufficient to steady or decrease the number of patients.

Bronchiolitis does not require hospitalisation in 95% of cases and can usually be treated by a doctor. Slowing the progress of the disease can be helped by regular hand washing, airing rooms 10 minutes a day, making sure toys are cleaned, and not sharing drinking vessels or cutlery.

Go to hospital if serious signs emerge, such as difficulty breathing, a respiratory rate of greater than 60 breaths per minute, or a 50% drop in appetite compared to usual intake.



Photo source: Michael Bar Haim for Unsplash