Monte-Carlo Circus Festival makes grand return to the stage

The world’s biggest circus festival – the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo – will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a breath-taking display at the iconic Big Top in Fontvieille.

After a forced pause of two years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the circus festival is returning from 20th to 29th January 2023 for a joyous and excitement-filled celebration.  

Some of the unmissable artists set to participate in the anniversary celebrations include Peter Marvey, a world-famous magician who will amaze the audience with mind-blowing illusions, and an American artist on the tallest unicycle in the world… It’s 8.8 metres high! The festival is also welcoming back the Cassellys, the award-winning German family who proudly present a sensational three-person horseback routine, as well as acclaimed juggler Kris Kremo, who this year returns with his son for a unique and synchronised juggling performance.  

The 10-day affair will also combine with the 10th edition of the New Generation Festival, which champions young and emerging talents from the circus world.  

The Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo was born in 1974 thanks to Prince Rainier III, a passionate lover of circus art. In a bid to support the traditions of the circus and its families, he created the now-famous festival. This love for the circus was also shared by his daughter, Princess Stéphanie, who in 2005 was named President of the world’s largest circus festival. Passing the passion on through the generations, Stéphanie and her daughter Pauline Ducruet then created New Generation in 2012. 

Ticket prices start at €20 euros, with a discount for children under 12 years, and are available to purchase now. You can reserve your place in person, by phone, or online.  

For more information, please click here.  


Photo credit: F. Nebinger/Facebook. This article was originally published on 23/12/22.

Monaco town hall shares the spirit of Christmas

Children from across the Principality rejoiced last week as the Monaco mairie held its three-day Arbres de Noël gift-giving event with one very special visitor… 

Organised by the Mairie de Monaco and taking place each December, the event themes each of the three evenings around a beautifully decorated tree. Created specifically for the children of the Principality, it has evolved into a much-loved Christmas festivity, and this year’s event from Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th December was particularly special, as it marked the end of a two-year hiatus following the global Covid-19 pandemic.  

Welcomed by an impressive crowd of nearly 800 delighted children in total, Santa Claus made his much-awaited entrance accompanied by his elf helpers and a mountain of gifts with which to shower the awaiting youngsters.  

Following the same process as in previous years, the first day saw the youngest children welcomed by Santa to the Nativity Scene Christmas Tree, followed by the Town Christmas Tree for older children on the second day. Finally, the children of mairie staff enjoyed the closing event.  

The festivities were lovingly and carefully prepared by the Seniors and Social Action Service and the Early Childhood and Family Service of the town hall, with no detail left forgotten.  

The result, as always, was a warm and joyful atmosphere with colourful Christmas decorations and an alley of fir trees as well as the familiar entertainment that families have come to expect and love.  

Every child left with their hands filled with a gift, their bellies filled with popcorn and pancakes, and their hearts filled with the joyful Christmas spirit. 



Photo source: Mairie de Monaco/Ed Wright


Monaco backs decision to shore up protections in the Med

Among issues tabled at the recent International Maritime Organisation meet was a move to protect the Mediterranean as a “particularly sensitive sea area” as well as reduce sulphur dioxide emissions from vessels in its waters.    

At the recent Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting, a part of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which was held in London between 12th and 16th December, Monaco once again proved itself to be a strong proponent of protection for the Mediterranean Sea.  

While the crux of discussions focused on climate change-related changes and a reduction of emissions, represented by Isabelle Rosabrunetto, a permanent representative of the Principality to the IMO, and Armelle Roudaut-Lafon, Monaco’s director of maritime affairs, the Principality’s pushed forwards a number of important points from other areas.  

Monaco’s delegation reaffirmed its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and joined France in bringing to the fore concerns about the “consequences of the military conflict on international maritime transport, the maritime environment and the safety of seafarers”. 

Monaco also helped bring about the designation of the north-western Mediterranean Sea as a “Particularly Sensitive Sea Area” (PSSA), an important classification if the zone is to improve the protection of cetaceans in its waters.   

The biggest outcome of the event was an decision to designate the entire Mediterranean Sea as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and Particular Matter, joining four other international bodies of water already under the restrictions. The changes, which enforce a “limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships [to] 0.10% mass by mass (m/m), while outside these areas the limit is 0.50% m/m”, will come into force in 2024.  

The IMO says these regulations will “ensure cleaner air for populations in the Mediterranean Sea area”. 



Photo source: IMO

Week-long doctors strike rounds off tense December

From Boxing Day, a large number of doctors of médecins généralistes and libéraux in France will be closing their offices as part of a week-long general strike. At the top of their demands: an increase of the consultation fee of €25 to €50, and to do away with remuneration-based objectives. 

Doctors are set to close their doors again this month following their earlier strike at the beginning of December. Among their demands, the Doctors for Tomorrow (Médecins Pour Demain) movement, which is leading the charge, is demanding an increase in wages to help young doctors gather the means to open their own practice.  

The strike among médecins généralistes and médecins libéraux will last for a minimum of one week from 26th December. The previous strike action earlier this month saw up to 70% of practices closed. 

Doctors are making two fundamental monetary demands: firstly, the request to increase consultation costs from the current €25 euros to €50, and secondly, to do away with remuneration-based objectives. 

Of the total monthly salary, up to a third is reportedly performance-based, with remuneration objectives that some are calling out as being “difficult to achieve and fanciful”.  

The difficulty of reaching the remuneration objectives to receive a bonus is further compounded by the constant increase in procedural and administrative tasks required per consultation.  

As reported by Monaco Life earlier this month, “The profession is tired, worn out by three years of Covid [and] disillusioned by the lack of recognition towards it. Doctors in the field are demanding better working conditions,” the Fédération des Médecins de France union explains.

“Now is the time to be heard,” says Doctors for Tomorrow. 


Photo credit: Philippe Pougetoux for CGT Santé 06

Handy grants available to residents of the Nice Metropolis

Are you thinking about buying an electric vehicle, converting your existing car to bioethanol fuel or swapping to a bicycle? Residents in the Nice area could be in line for some handy government subsidies.

The Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis covers 51 communes from the four geographical areas of the city of Nice and its surrounding towns and villages, the Vésubie and Tinée valleys, and a portion of the Mercantour.

Residents across this area are being given equal access to a range of subsidies put in place by the local government. Applications are open until 30th June 2023, but some are more limited than others.

Those wishing to buy a new 100% electric vehicle can obtain a grant of up to 3,000€, means tested. For new 100% electric two-wheelers – or electric conversion kits for existing vehicles – a subsidy of 100€ to 400€ is available.

Highly-polluting vehicles – those with a Crit’air 4 or Crit’air 5 evaluation – that are scrapped in favour of an electric or hybrid option come with a grant of up to 1,000€ depending on income.

The installation of electrical charging stations in copropriétés is subject to a 25% of purchase price subsidy, capped at 300€ per point. 500 requests will be answered.

50% of the price of converting an existing vehicle to bioethanol fuel (up to the price cap of 300€) will be reimbursed for the first 1,000 requests received.

The government is offering a 50% subsidy up to the limit of 200€ for bicycles adapted to the needs of people with reduced mobility, while standard bicycles come with a 50% grant up to 100€.

For further information on the scheme, please click here.



Photo source: Rishi Jhajharia for Unsplash

Princess Grace Irish Library honours James Joyce with musical tribute

HSH Prince Albert was in attendance as the Princess Grace Irish Library hosted ‘Joyce in Music’, an operatic tribute to James Joyce performed by some of Ireland’s “brightest” artists.

The Princess Grace Irish Library has rounded out the year with ‘Joyce in Music’ – a “superb opera performance” of Ulysses, James Joyce’s literary masterpiece. The event was organised as part of the library’s year dedicated to commemorating the centenary of the publication of the famous novel, and took place last Friday, December 16th.

Created thanks to the Princess Grace Foundation, The Princess Grace Irish Library was opened by Prince Rainier III in 1984 in a tribute to his late wife Princess Grace and her attachment to Ireland, the birthplace of her grandfather. The not-for-profit aims to share the heritage of Ireland and “foster a love of the country, its culture, people, history and present day” through a variety of events each year. The library houses the personal collection of Princess Grace’s books and historical items from Ireland, and includes a rare first-edition of Ulysses, printed on handmade paper.

Friday’s musical interpretation of Joyce’s famous work was the result of first-time collaboration between the Princess Grace Irish Library and the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF), Ireland’s Summer Opera Festival held at Lismore Castle in Blackwater Valley, Waterford County. Created thanks to the vision of DIeter Kaegi, BVOF’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director, ‘Joyce in Music’ was first performed in Ireland last June with the Irish artists then bringing the recital to Monaco at Friday’s performance. Eamonn Carroll, BVOF Festival Director, has praised the “spectacular fusion of spoken word and music” for providing “a vital performance opportunity for some of Ireland’s brightest and most outstanding emerging artists”.

HSH Prince Albert II was joined at the event by special guests including Peter Murphy – Princess Grace Irish Library Trustee, Dieter Kaegi – Co-Founder and Artistic Director Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF), Eamonn Carroll – Director Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF), and representatives from sponsors Stonehage Fleming Monaco. The performing artists were Caroline Behan – Soprano, Andrew Gavin – Tenor, Maire Carroll – Piano, and Barry McGovern – Actor.


Photo credit: Gaëtan Luci, Prince’s Palace