During his annual well wishes to the press, National Council President Stéphane Valeri gave an optimistic message for 2022, saying that “there are reasons to hope that we can gradually get back to a quasi-normal life.”
Speaking to the assembled press including Monaco Life in the National Council on Thursday, Valeri, flanked by Vice-President Brigitte Boconne-Pages and President of Finance and National Economy Commission Balthazar Seydoux, began by acknowledging the health context in which he was giving his speech, while looking forward to the year ahead.
“Firstly, let’s hope that this New Year is the end of Covid-19. I’m sure for everyone, including ourselves, that this will be the most shared wish. There are reasons to hope that after this last wave of a more contagious, but much less dangerous virus, that we can gradually get back to a quasi-normal life.”
Valeri said that the National Council would not be passive in ensuring that this was the case, adding that the Council has asked the Government to implement an information campaign to encourage vaccination in order to improve the Principality’s low uptake. “Let’s remember that, with a vaccination rate of 68%, we are not well placed,” said the National Council President.
He did, however, state the importance of respecting personal choice, saying, “We mustn’t stigmatise anyone. I have always been personally opposed to it. You don’t convince anyone by stigmatising. On the contrary, you risk radicalising choices and positions.”
According to Valeri, the National Council is largely happy with the management of the crisis and the way in which it has protected the population, workers and economic life. However, he did add that, “We can sometimes reproach the government for not having been sufficiently reactive, for not taking sufficient measures in real time.”
Valeri also set-out what was on the agenda for 2022, notably announcing nearly 600 new accommodations by the end of 2023, which will “mark the end of the housing shortage.”
The conference struck an undeniably optimistic tone, as Monaco progressively moves past the pandemic and looks to the future of 2022.
Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life