Monaco re-elects Georges Marsan for sixth term as mayor

monaco mayor

The long-time mayor of Monaco, Georges Marsan, has secured a sixth term in an entirely uncontested election. 

Not one candidate stood in the way of 66-year-old Marsan, who has led the Mairie de Monaco since 2003, and neither did anyone outside of his L’Evolution Communale group put their name in the hat for an official post at the townhall.  

Marsan’s sixth term represents an unprecedented tenure of the top spot in the history of Monaco.  

Voter participation at the election, which took place on Sunday 19th March, was noticeably low at less than 40%. In all, 7,605 Monegasque citizens were eligible to vote, but just over 3,000 made the trip to the polling station. 

In the last election of 2019, almost 46.5% Monegasques cast their vote. The number was higher again in 2015, at more than 60%.  


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Photo credits: Mairie de Monaco



CFM Indosuez partners with SCM to fund the “Noah’s ark for coral”

CFM Indosuez Wealth Management and its subsidiary CFM Indosuez Gestion have entered into a partnership agreement to support the conservation activities of the World Coral Conservatory (WCC), a collaborative programme between the Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM – Centre Scientifique de Monaco) and the Oceanographic Institute.

“We are in a race against time to save coral reefs,” says Dr Didier Zoccola, co-coordinator of the World Coral Conservatory and researcher at the Scientific Centre of Monaco. “In the global context of global warming, ocean acidification and anthropogenic pollution of all kinds, the IPCC, based on indisputable data, is predicting that coral reefs will disappear by the end of the century. The scientific community, through the organisation of an international network of aquariums and research institutes initiated in Monaco, is deploying in-depth action to safeguard these jewels of the ocean for future generations. The long-term commitment and essential support of partners such as CFM Indosuez are enabling the WCC to deploy its strategy to achieve this Noah’s Ark for coral.”

The work of the WCC is organised around the collection, cultivation under controlled conditions, and scientific study of almost a thousand species of coral. Each species is harvested according to a strict protocol and is divided into three different nurseries for safety reasons, to avoid its disappearance in the event of a technical problem. The corals are propagated by cuttings to enable them to be reintroduced into the natural environment under scientific supervision.

At the same time, the results of programmed genomic studies (DNA, RNA) should form an international and open database. Among other things, it will enable studies to be carried out on the assisted development of corals, to help them better cope with climate change and changes in their environment.
Under the leadership of Dr Zoccola, and supported already by CFM Indosuez, Océanopolis and Explorations de Monaco, an initial WCC assignment was undertaken in October 2022 in the Indian Ocean to confirm the working method: 21 species were collected.

A new assignment is now scheduled to take place in the Philippines early next winter.

“Our company is committed to protecting the oceans through the responsible investments and financing it offers its clients, as well as by supporting key players such as the Oceanographic Institute and the Scientific Centre of Monaco and their high-impact projects,” explains Mathieu Ferragut, CEO of CFM Indosuez. “This is why we support the World Coral Conservatory in preserving these vital coral reef ecosystems.”

Its subsidiary CFM Indosuez Gestion will make an annual donation of €30,000 to the CSM for the World Coral Conservatory, an amount that corresponds to the management fees from the company’s investment fund CFM Indosuez Environnement Développement Durable.

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Can coral help solve the mystery of childhood cancer?


By Monaco Life with press release. Photo by Monaco Life

Basketball: Roca Team advance to Coupe de France final


Despite an early scare against Le Mans, AS Monaco Basket reached their first cup final of the season with a win on Sunday (87-78).

After a disappointing exit in the LNB Pro A Leaders Cup in February, the Roca Team were on the hunt for silverware in Trélazé this weekend. The Principality side comfortably dispatched Pau-Lacq-Orthez on Saturday (78-98) to make it through to the semi-finals the following day.

Mike James-less Monaco to face Asvel in the final

Monaco set up a semi-final against Le Mans on the Sunday, with a place in the grand final in the AccorArena in Paris on 22nd April up for grabs. Le Mans gave the Roca Team a scare in the first quarter (26-15), but Monaco woke up in the second; Alpha Diallo levelled the scores (28-28) with an unreplied 10-point streak.

Nonetheless, Monaco went into the break with a narrow deficit and, without the suspended Mike James, had to find the solutions to construct an advantage. Matthew Strazel (17 points), Jordan Loyd (17 points), Chima Moneke (11 points) and Elie Okobo (11 points) were all pivotal in a solid collective second-half performance.

Monaco wrestled back control of the match in the fourth quarter in a game blighted by poor discipline and a mammoth 89 free throws. Ultimately, however, the victory was secured (78-87), and the Roca Team advance to a final against arch-rivals Asvel, who beat Strasbourg later that evening.

“Despite the circumstances, (66 fouls, 89 free throws), we found a way to win. I am happy with the qualification. It was an objective at the start of the season,” said Sasa Obradovic post-match.

Fourth successive success in the Euroleague

Prior to the weekend’s cup action, Monaco won their fourth Euroleague match on the bounce against Virtus Bologna (81-68) at the Salle Gaston Médecin. With all the talk pre-match revolving around James’ absence, the Roca Team did their talking on the court and produced some brilliant sequences to beat their Italian rivals.

Sasa Obradovic and Matthew Strazel by AS Monaco Basket

Okobo (21 points), Loyd (15 points) and Donta Hall (13 points, seven rebounds), who has forged a good understanding with John Brown III (six points, seven rebounds), were all key in a controlled match on Monaco’s part.

Crucially, the victory allows Monaco to take fourth place in the Euroleague standings, which ensures a home-court advantage in the end-of-season playoffs.

“Reaching the playoffs is important for Monaco, for France, for French basketball. We must continue like this,” said Obradovic.

Monaco face Le Portel in the Betclic Elite on Tuesday before hosting Valencia Basket at the Salle Gaston Médecin on Friday.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket

Placido Domingo cancels for La Traviata, but promises a return in April

placido domingo

Spanish opera legend Placido Domingo has pulled out of his engagements at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo for “very personal family reasons”, but has eased the blow somewhat by announcing a special performance will take place in April.  

The Opéra de Monte-Carlo’s coup of landing the great Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo in the upcoming productions of La Traviata has been dashed with the announcement that he will not be able to attend.  

The opera, which will be performed on 17th, 19th and 23rd March, will have to go on without Domingo, who has cited “very personal family reasons” for pulling out last minute.  

To ease the blow, he has announced that he will return to the Opera’s Salle Garnier on 21st April for one exceptional night in a concert called Placido and Cecilia: A Grand Opera Evening, with Ceceilia being Cecilia Bartoli, the Opéra de Monte-Carlo’s director and a celebrated mezzo-soprano singer in her own right.  

“I have always felt closely attached to the Monte-Carlo Opera and its audience, and was eager to return to perform on the historic stage of the Salle Garnier, where I had not sung for over 40 years,” said Domingo in a statement, going on to add, “My desire to meet the Monegasque public again remains extremely keen. For this reason, I hope to mitigate your disappointment by creating a unique and exceptional event.”  

The concert will start at 8pm. For tickets and more information, please click here


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Photo source: Opéra de Monte-Carlo

Fuel shortages will “intensify” says union boss as pension reform wars wage on

fuel shortage france

Disruptions to fuel provisions will get worse before they get better, the Secretary General of CGT’s National Federation of Chemical Industries has declared, as union bosses try to force the government’s hand on pension reform. 

Protests against France’s pension reform are still in full swing, with unions telling motorists to brace themselves for fuel shortages in the coming days and weeks.  

Emmanuel Lépine, Secretary General of the National Federation of Chemical Industries (FNIC-CGT), told FranceInfo on Monday 20th March that widespread shortages were inevitable. 


This comes after an announcement by the CGT union on Saturday 18th March regarding the shutdown of the largest refinery in France, with others following suit, including several in the Bouches-du-Rhône. The ExxonMobil refinery in Fos-sur-Mer has already been shut down due to production and shipping stoppages. The neighbouring regions of the Gard and Vaucluse are also forecasting similar closures.  

“The port entry fuel depot in Marseille is also blocked,” says Lépine. “I have never seen such determination amongst oil workers.” 

In the Bouches-du-Rhône, 17% of service stations have neither Unleaded 95 nor diesel as of the morning of Monday 20th March, according to estimations by FranceInfo 


Meanwhile in Nice, protests on Sunday 19th March called by the CGT, FSU and Solidaires unions led to a violent reaction, which saw the offices of the president of the Republican party, Eric Ciotti, vandalised. The protestors graffitied the site and threw paving stones through windows.  

Reacting to the vandals, Ciotti tweeted, “I will never give in to the new disciples of terror.” 

Demonstrators also hit the streets the following day, with between 120 and 150 installed in front of the hospital in Cimiez.  

Another round of strike actions is set for Thursday 23rd March, which will affect transport and other sectors.  


All this fuss is over the French government ramming the controversial pension reform bill through and bypassing parliament. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is facing two no-confidence votes in the National Assembly’s lower house, with debates set to begin on Monday 20th March.  

While her allies have the largest number of MPs, they don’t have an absolute majority. This could mean defeat if the entire opposition unites in one of the votes.  

The level of anger over a two-year rise to the retirement age, one the government deems necessary for the fiscal health of the nation, has divided the country and turned it into a battle ground, disrupting the lives of the public and leaving much of Europe scratching their heads.  


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Photo by Monaco Life

Beausoleil Stair Race 2023: Mother and son take the win

beausoleil stair race

Athletes participating in the Beausoleil Stair Race over the weekend climbed an astounding 66 flights of stairs at top speed in a race against the clock. 

Anyone who has taken the stairs to the heights of Beausoleil knows it is not for the faint of heart, so imagine a scenario where you have to run!  

That is precisely what happened on Saturday 18th March, when 70 participants donned their running shoes to take on the Beausoleil stairs – all 427 of them – for the 23rd annual Beausoleil Stair Race.  


This unusual contest starts at the market at the bottom of the Riviera Palace and ends 66 flights later at the top of the town, using steam from the runner’s legs only: no escalators, no aids and no stopping.  

“This famous race can only take place here, the stairs of the city are an integral part of our daily lives and of the urban landscape,’ said Gérard Spinelli, Beausoleil’s mayor. 

The course is 350 metres, with a total elevation gain of 70 metres, which may not seem like much until being tasked to do it.  


The winners were, for the men, Quentin Raibaut from the Vésubie Trail Club, who made the grade in a super-fast one minute and 27 seconds. He was only one second shy of the all-time record.  

The women’s winner will sound familiar: Valérie Raibaut from AS Monaco Athletics, who shares a name with the men’s winner as she is his mother. She came in at one minute and 58 seconds.  

The race also featured two disabled participants: Valérie Hirschfield, who bravely raced with only one leg, and Aladji Ba, the blind sprinter who was a double bronze medallist at the Paralympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004.  

“Compared to athletics, it represents an effort of a runner of about 400 or 800m,” said Jean-François Piccini, creator of the Course des Escaliers, to demonstrate the difficulty level.  


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Photo source: Ville de Beausoleil