First big names of Monte-Carlo Summer Festival announced

Music legend Sting and ‘Grace Kelly’ singer Mika are among the headline acts at this year’s Monte-Carlo Summer Festival.

While the full schedule of the 16th edition of the Monte-Carlo Summer Festival is still to be unveiled, organiser Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer on Monday gave us a teaser. It revealed that pop music elites will once again come together in Monaco in the exceptional open-air settings of the Place du Casino and Salle des Étoiles. Confirmed so far this year are Sting, Mika, Tarkan, and tribute performer Michael ‘The Magic of Michael Jackson’.

Fight Aids Monaco chose Michael ‘The Magic of Michael Jackson’ as an ambassador for its cause this summer, with a concert on 21st July.

After his last concert in Monaco which sold out in just a matter of days, Sting will return to the Principality on 23rd July with his ‘Sting, My Songs’ tour at the Place du Casino.

On 4th August, the iconic Lebanese-American-British singer-songwriter and musician Mika will also return to the Sporting Monte-Carlo. The artist, known for his eccentric outfits is due to release his sixth album soon.

Finally, Tarkan, the “megastar” of Turkey, will close the Monte-Carlo Summer Festival season on 19th August.

SBM will soon release the full schedule of performers for this year’s biggest music festival in the Principality.


Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

What changes in France on 1st March?

changes in france

Like every first of the month in France, a laundry list of new changes will come into force on 1st March. Here’s what to expect.  

From energy to food and housing, there will be some changes to the daily lives of French residents starting 1st March. Some will be beneficial, some not-so-much, but all will be in effect when the clock strikes midnight.  

First up is the announcement that Total Energies will cap the cost of diesel and SP95 at €1.99. This may come as a relief to the populace, with roughly four out of 10 stations currently displaying fuel prices over the €2 per litre mark, making filling the tank a struggle for many vehicle owners. 3,400 stations will be affected, and the cap will remain in place all of 2023.  

This next change may partly offset the benefits of the last, with the decision to make March the last month for people to claim monthly government fuel allowances up to €100. This one-off payment has been paid out to workers in the first five income bands who need to use a vehicle to get to work.  

As of 13th February, the government said that almost half of the 10 million households eligible for this benefit had yet to claim it. To check eligibility, visit here.

Navigo passholders who have had a pass for at least three months over the last four months of 2022, for example between September and December, can request a refund of half a month of their subscription, a saving of €37.60 until 14th April. Some RER B and RER D users may be eligible for a full month’s reimbursement due to service issues. A Navigo pass number or proof of payment will be needed to receive the refunds.  

On another note, say goodbye to those annoying weekend and public holiday phone sales calls. From 1st March, cold calling rules will change, limiting the callers to Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 8pm. Additionally, the caller cannot ring the same person more than four times in a month. If the sellers violate these rules, they can be fined between €75,000 and €375,000; an excellent deterrent for rule-breakers.  

Consumers should brace themselves for some price rises in March starting with the supermarkets. Popularly being touted as “Red March”, this month sees distributors and suppliers negotiate on the wholesale prices of goods sold on shelves. This year, the costs of items are expected to go up by 10%, making the cost of food significantly more expensive.  

In addition, interest rates are set to increase for the Action Logement loan scheme holders from 0.5% to 1.5%. The financial aid package for real estate project financing is capped at €40,000.  

Meal vouchers, which expire at the end of February, can be exchanged free of charge for new ones until 15th March. For those with cards, funds will need to be transferred from 2022 to be used this year.  

Finally, for companies with 50 or more employees, equality indexes must be made public, as every year, by 1st March. The tool must reflect gender equality in a business, calculated by a set score out of 100. Since 2022, depending on the score obtained, companies must act. Below 75, they must publish corrective and catch-up measures. If the score is below 85, companies are asked to set and publish progress goals. 

For the full breakdown of changes, click here.  



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Photo source: Christian Dubovan on Unsplash 

Teen girls to receive ‘Speed Mentoring’ in Monaco on Women’s Rights Day

To mark International Women’s Rights Day this year on 8th March, local womens rights associations are once again bringing together female students and female entrepreneurs for a career-boosting ‘Speed Mentoring’ event.

The event is being organised by SheCanHeCan and Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises de Monaco, with the support of the Committee for Women’s Rights of Monaco on Wednesday 8th March from 2pm to 5pm at One Monte-Carlo. The aim is to support young girls to pursue their future dreams, regardless of their gender.

Speed Mentoring will give young girls aged 12 to 18 the opportunity to meet with female entrepreneurs from a range of professional backgrounds. The objective is to give the girls a chance to meet with women who can encourage, support and empower them as they progress in their studies towards a future, perhaps similar, career path. They will have the opportunity to ask questions, to learn more about how their studies will best impact their career choices, and get insight into both the challenges and successes of professional life.

The afternoon will be dedicated to ‘speed’ meetings between the women and young girls and each will get the chance for 1-2-1 style mentoring from up to four professional women. The hope is that these ‘speed mentoring’ sessions will give the girls the chance to ask questions they may have never had the chance to ask before and to feel more informed about the choices for their own studies and first job options.

Céline Cottalorda, interministerial delegate for the Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Women’s Rights, will open the event while Vibeke Thomsen, Director of SheCanHeCan and Johanna Houdrouge, President of AFCEM, will welcome the women and girls.

Over 35 female entrepreneurs from various professions, including trade, health, tourism, finance, logistic and digital marketing, will be present. High-ranking female public figures such as Céline Cottalorda, Chief of Staff of the Minister of State Laurence Garino, National Council member Christine Pasquier-Ciulla, and Benoite Rousseau de Sevelinges, Director of the CHPG, will be among them.

“Career guidance for young students in the Principality generally begins during their high school years without a focus on gender difference. Nevertheless, women are still underrepresented in leadership roles,” says Vibeke Thomsen, Director of SheCanHeCan. “Through this initiative, young girls will have the opportunity to see more than 20 women in leadership roles, to better understand the role and importance of women in the professional world and in all professional fields.”

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Haiti school rebuilt by Monaco after major earthquake turns 10

haiti monaco

After a catastrophic earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti in 2010, Prince Albert and the government in Monaco leapt into action, building a school to ensure that the future of local children’s educations didn’t get trapped in the rubble.   

In the aftermath of a magnitude seven earthquake that struck the impoverished Caribbean country of Haiti on 12th January 2010, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing millions, the children of the slums in the capital city of Port-au-Prince were among the worst affected.  

To help alleviate some of the suffering after the devastation, the Monaco Collectif Haiti was formed. It allowed the collaboration of the Prince’s government, the Monegasque Cred Cross and roughly 20 NGOs in the mobilising of funds and support to assist in reconstruction efforts.   

One of the biggest things to come out of the collective project was the building of the Prince Albert II of Monaco School or EPAM in Cité de Dieu, one of the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince. 

By September 2012, the doors had opened, welcoming the first students back into the new earthquake-resistant classrooms and on 15th February 2013, Prince Albert himself visited to officially inaugurate his namesake educational centre (pictured above). Since the first, the school has had accreditation from the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training of the Republic of Haiti.

Today, 350 children from low-income families are educated at EPAM each year. Despite the closure of the Monaco Collectif Haiti in 2016, an ongoing partnership between Monaco and a Haitian NGO, Les Centers Gheskio, has kept the school operational.   

For the 2023/24 academic year, 354 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds have been enrolled, with a 50:50 split between girls and boys.   

EPAM provides all students with medical monitoring and a daily meal, as part of the World Food Program school canteen programme, in addition to teaching materials and extracurricular activities. The level of education is excellent, with 90% success rates in end-of-school-year examinations.  

A fundraiser for the benefit of the children of EPAM has been initiated by students from a 3rd grade class at Charles III College in Monaco that seeks to raise awareness of the right to education in Haiti – and everywhere.   

For more information, please click here


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Photo credit: Sylvain Péroumal 

New monthly warning sirens in Cap d’Ail and Beaulieu tested Tuesday

warning sirens

Thought you heard something earlier this morning? Two new warning sirens in Cap d’Ail and Beaulieu-sur-Mer were tested as part of a population alert system linked particularly to seismic activity.  

Cap d’Ail and Beaulieu-sur-Mer have joined the roughly 2,100 municipalities in France already equipped with early warning sirens. A test was conducted on Tuesday at 11.30am, which will be followed in the future by a monthly test on the first day of each month.  

Placed on the rooftop of the gendarmeries, these warning systems have been set up by the Ministry of the Interior as security devices, making it possible to alert the public of an impending serious threat or danger. These warning sirens have been going up in cities, towns and villages all over the country since 2013 for a variety of reasons, with Cap d’Ail and Beaulieu’s attached mainly to the risk of seismic activity.  The range of situations also includes things such as floods, chemical spills or seepages, and nuclear or technological threats. It does not include terrorist attacks.  

“It is a very important device, practical and essential, in the event of great danger,” said a statement from the town of Cap d’Ail.

These alarm tests take place on the first of each month at 12.15pm sharp in many of south-eastern France’s municipalities.   


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Photo source: Pujalin for Unsplash

Photos: Vieux Port in Cannes to receive stunning multi-million euro makeover

vieux port cannes

The future looks bright – and beautiful – for the historic Vieux Port in Cannes following an announcement by the city that more than €56 million euros will be invested in the city-centre marina over the next four years.

After years spent focusing on the modernisations and renovations over at Port Canto in the east of the city, now it is the turn of the Vieux Port.

It is the more famous of the two, owing to a prime location in the heart of the city and backing up to the Palais des Festivals on one side and the picturesque Le Suquet neighbourhood on the other.

Three areas within the Vieux Port have been selected for renovations: the Laubeuf wharf, the soon-to-be-built Village des Pêcheurs, and the Jetée Albert Edouard.

In total, €56.2 million euros will be invested in the project by Marina du Vieux-Port de Cannes (MVPC), which was granted a 30-year contract for the port’s management in March last year. MVPC combines the Fayat construction empire and IGY Marinas, the latter of which owns and manages numerous luxury marinas around the world.

Concession holders, the Fayat Group and IGY Marinas, will be hoping to boost Cannes’ appeal as a global yachting destination

Key elements include the partial demolition and rebuilding of the Jetée Albert Edouard, the superyacht quay, to allow berths for an additional nine yachts as well as the reinforcement of the sea wall to better protect the harbour in the years to come.

Given the other port projects in the region, such as in Antibes and Nice, Cannes is at pains to make itself an equally attractive sailing destination, and the building of a dedicated “crewhouse” and meeting space for mariners on the renovated Jetée Albert Edouard is one such ploy. These premises will also house the capitanerie and port authorities.

A much-needed three-storey carpark for more than 400 vehicles will also be built, partially underground, on the western side of the port. It will replace the ugly and inadequate parking facility currently on the Laubeuf wharf. Above the new carpark will be 4,500 square metres of “hanging gardens” with unbroken views out to the Lérins Islands and the Estérel mountain range.

The “hanging gardens” of the Laubeuf wharf and ferry terminal

The history of the port, which was built in 1838, gets a nod too with the creation of the Village des Pêcheurs or Fishermen’s Village. This was integral to getting the plans over the line and heralds back to a time when fishermen lined the marina. New facilities for the landing and sale of seafood will be installed in the zone by this summer.

Sustainability was another request of the city, and the port will enjoy the addition of nearly 130 trees and thousands of square metres of public gardens once the project is complete. A range of anti-pollution and water quality tools will also find a home in the port, alongside improved electrical power supply for docked vessels and the installation of solar panels for renewably-sourced energy.

Work is expected to be complete in early 2027.



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Photos courtesy of the Ville de Cannes