Archive for January, 2007

Games of the small states of Europe

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The 12th Games of the Small States of Europe will take place in the Principality of Monaco from 4th to 9th June 2007. A number of volunteers are needed to welcome the delegations and to help manage the event.

Reforestation programme by the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

On Saturday 20th January, the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature organized a reforestation programme in the communities of La Turbie and Cap d’Ail. Around forty children took part in the operation covering 4 hectares of forest on the “Tête de Chien” massif, part of which was destroyed by fire in summer 2004. (more…)

The International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The crowning point of the 31st edition of the International Circus Festival was when the winning performers received their trophies during the gala evening on Tuesday 23rd January, which took place in the Fontvieille big top. The evening was held in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie who presided over the event. 

On Sunday 21st January the panel of judges, for the first time composed of performers who have won awards at previous festivals, publicly announced the list of winners, awarding the Gold Clown to the Casartelli Family for their “Pas de deux on horseback”, as well as their other performances. Five silver Clowns and five bronze Clowns were also awarded. For the first time this year, the public were given the opportunity to vote after seeing the performances. They selected tightrope walker Encho. In addition to this, the traditional International Junior Panel of Judges awarded a prize to the Shanghai Circus School for its “Flying Trapeze” act.

Ramoge Commission meets in Monaco

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

30 years of coastal protection programme celebrated by Ramoge. The 40th meeting of the Ramoge Commission took place recently on January 16th in the Principality of Monaco. The Ramoge Agreement, which was signed in 1976 and amended in 2003 binds France, Italy and Monaco to protect and control marine pollution along the coastal zones of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Monaco and the Ligurian Region.  

The zone is a controlled pilot zone for the integrated management of the littoral’s protection. The aim of the Ramoge Commission, which is at the heart of operations for the Agreement, is to discuss and implement strategies and activities. This recent meeting, presided by Monsieur Aldo Cosentino, Director General of the Italian Ministry of Environment, reviewed the 2006-2007 periods, activities, which took place last year and those, which are planned for this year. Celebrations of the 30 years of the Agreement, which took place last year, were also reviewed. In March 2006 the Principality of Monaco hosted the Ramoge Trophy; in May France undertook the Pollux exercise and Italy hosted a treasure hunt in October. The biggest and most prestigious event of the year took place in May in Monaco when a celebration ceremony took place at the Musée Océanographique in the presence of Prince Albert II, at which the member states affirmed their commitment to the agreement. The event welcomed guests from Monegasque, French and Italian schools as a way of making young people aware of the protection of the coastal and marine environment. In the battle against pollution, issues discussed included the reinforcement of work projects on the theme of macro-waste (collection campaign by fishermen, informing schools, efforts for joint solution, participation in the installation of a study control in Morocco with Med Pol. In the field of safeguarding the biodiversity issues raised included the mapping initiative to evaluate the expansion of Caulerpa taxifolia, extremely invasive seaweed, which is invading the coast between France and Monaco (Cap d’ Ail to Cap Martin). Results of the study will be available by the end of the year.

Prince Albert Visits Botanic Gardens, Talks about Climate Issues

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Prince Albert of Monaco enjoyed a visit to Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens earlier this week. The royal - who is an environmentalist - used the tour to learn about the important work the gardens do to battle global climate change. Albert - who was accompanied by horticultural director Dr. David Rae - was reportedly so eager to visit the Scottish site he made a personal visitation request. Albert has used his position to draw attention to climate issues on several occasions. Last year, the 48-year-old embarked on a four-day expedition to the North Pole to highlight global warming. The prince - who was following in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, who made four arctic trips in his lifetime - called on the world to find solutions to environmental problems. He said, “We must try to find solutions to global warming with scientists obviously, but also at the individual level. I think everyone by their behavior can make a small contribution to a global and extraordinary effort.”

MONACO: Three-time defending world rally champion Sebastien Loeb won the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Bidding for a fourth straight overall title, the Frenchman won at Monte Carlo for the fourth time in his career, beating Citroen teammate Daniel Sordo who was second. Ford’s Marcus Gronholm was third. “I like to start the season like this with 10 points,” Loeb said. “The car is really fast, my arm is much better. It was a good start to the season. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue.” More...Loeb, 32, won last year’s title despite missing the final four races after breaking his arm in a cycling accident. He is looking to equal the record set by Finland’s Tommi Makinen, who won four straight overall titles from 1996-1999. Loeb had little to do but drive safely in the final 2.8-kilometer (1.74-mile) drive around the harbor of Monaco, where he finished fifth fastest. Chris Atkinson of Australia won the 15th and final stage in 1 minute, 49.9 seconds. Gronholm of Finland was second in 1:50.4, and Mikko Hirvonen of Finland third in 1:50.9. Atkinson was delighted to break Citroen’s dominance, even though Loeb – who timed 1:51 – had no need to try and win on the final day. “We tried our hearts out, we really focused,” Atkinson said.

Monaco still the most expensive location to buy a luxury flat in Europe

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Monaco is the most expensive location to buy a super-luxury apartment in Europe, followed by Prime Central London, Paris and Amsterdam, say the experts from Global Property Guide, who maintain the world’s single biggest collection of house price indices. 

Sofia is at the bottom of the ranking with prices averaging EUR 1, 042 per sq. m. Other less expensive locations are Slovakia’s Bratislava (EUR 1,292 per sq. m.); Warsaw, Poland (EUR 1,175 per sq. m.); Skopje in Macedonia (EUR 1,125 per sq. m.) and Chisinau in Moldova (EUR 917 per sq. m.). Luxury apartments pricing levels average EUR 24, 900 per sq. m. in the top scorer Monaco. Closely on its tail is Prime Central London, where 120 sq. m. super-luxury apartments can cost EUR 1,742,656 or EUR 14,522 per sq. m. Paris and Amsterdam follow London. A 120 sq. m. apartment in either of these cities has an average purchase price of EUR 800,000 (EUR 6,667 per sq. m.). Moscow is Europe’s sixth most expensive capital for buyers of residential property. Dublin makes an appearance among Europe’s most expensive cities in 10th place, with a high end 120 sq. m. apartment on average costing around EUR 600,000. Sofia is among the four Eastern European capitals, which earn above 10% rental returns on owning apartments: Chisinau, Moldova (14.13%); Warsaw, Poland (13.28%); Sofia, Bulgaria (10.56%); and Bratislava, Slovakia (10.06%).

CLEANOVA: Monaco in the forefront

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

The bench test for CLEANOVA new generation electric vehicles, manufactured by the « Société des Véhicules Electriques » (SVE), a subsidiary of the Dassault Group, continues after several months of use and approximately 10,000 kilometres covered in total within Monaco. A meeting to co-ordinate and share experiences took place in Sophia Antipolis on Friday 19th January within the premises of the Agency for the environment and energy management (ADEME) which supervises and gives financial support to this operation. During the meeting, representatives from Monaco were able to make their contributions and certify that the features of such cars have been globally satisfactory.

As a reminder, four cars are being tested in Monaco by: the Post Office, the Monegasque Gas and Electricity Board (SMEG), the Department of Public Car Parks and the “Société des Bains de Mer” (SBM). Over twenty vehicles are being used by some of the most important French organizations such as “Electricité de France” on various sites, the Post Office in Paris and Bordeaux, the towns of Saint Etienne and VEOLIA in the Paris suburbs. The driving comfort and gain in engine power compared to that in previous generation electric cars were particularly underlined by all testers. The Cleanova II vehicles that are currently being tested are small commercial vehicles transformed from the KANGOO car, and thanks to lithium-ion batteries, boast a range of approximately 150 kilometers of actual usage in Monaco with its steep slopes. It should be noted that one of the testers (SMEG) lives in the Roya Valley and uses the car daily to go to work (a round trip of 100 km) and that the car tested by the SBM is a “Hybrid-series” of a particular type known as an «EV range extender» so journeys of more than 400 km are possible. In view of its great success, the “Société des Véhicules Electriques” concluded the meeting by communicating the next stages to be implemented in the experiment. Consequently in 2008, pilot production vehicles, based on the chassis of various car manufacturers will be introduced to equip the fleets initially. Monaco has already positioned itself amongst the candidates to continue equipping its departments and companies with this type of technology, and these vehicles should soon be available to the general public. The upcoming EVER exhibition, which is taking place in Monaco in March, will give everyone the opportunity to become better acquainted with this high-performance technology which will prevent pollution and reduce greenhouse gases. The CLEANOVA bench test will continue throughout 2007 and Monegasque public services will be even further equipped with “ecological” vehicles with the purchase of several electric, hybrid, “dual-mode electric diesel” and “flex-fuel ethanol” vehicles. These initiatives and programmes, in addition to the promotion of car sharing, the reinforcement of pubic transport and financial aid for buyers - proof of the combat against pollution, both locally and globally - together with the development of clean and soft mobility, constitute strong priorities for the Principality.

A convention for co-operation signed as part of the combat against climate change

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Within the framework of action undertaken on the initiative of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince in the field of sustainable development and the conservation of the environment, a convention for co-operation has been signed today between the Monaco Government, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the French National Forest Office. 

This document constitutes the extension of a partnership instigated in 1979 between the Principality and the ONF (National Forest Office), which has resulted in various reforestation programmes, as well as the planting of approximately 340,000 trees over several hundred hectares of natural green area destroyed by fire in the neighboring region. It also falls within the scope of the implementation of undertakings made by the Principality regarding the Kyoto Protocol concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Last but not least, it also constitutes the implementation of the “Plant for the Planet: billion tree” campaign (that H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince sponsors together with Wangari Maathaï, Nobel Peace Prize Winner).Prior to the signing of the convention, and on the initiative of the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature, a tree planting operation took place with the participation of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince in the communities of Cap d’Ail and La Turbie. School children from Monaco and the French communities concerned also took part in the operation. The convention proposes implementing forest sequestration projects in the department of the Alpes Maritimes and on an international level through ONF International. In addition to the environmental interests, such collaboration will also take on a scientific dimension with the financing, by the Principality, of a research programme in France on the potential of Mediterranean forests concerning the storage of carbon.  

The Sainte-Dévote celebration in Monaco

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Each year on January 27, the Principality celebrates Sainte-Dévote, saint patron of Monaco and of the princely family. This year, the mass will be pronounced on Friday, January 26 at 9.30am in the monegasque language at the Saint-Dévote Church. Later, at 8.15 pm a ceremony will be held to revive the memory of Saint-Dévote with the entrance at the Herculum Port of Monaco of a symbolic (more…)