In an interview published by a local newspaper, Prince Albert II of Monaco addressed several significant matters concerning the Principality. The discussion commenced with the Prince emphasizing his strong belief in the freedom of the press.
While distinguishing between journalism and media productions that adopt a certain tone to shape the debate, Prince Albert II expressed his concerns regarding the recent Dossiers du Rocher segment on France 2’s Complément d’Enquête program.
He condemned such operations as reputational lynching that unfairly tarnishes the image of Monaco. The Prince called upon those involved to take responsibility, and legal action has been initiated to ensure justice prevails.
Héli Air Contract Non-Renewal and the Adherence to Contractual Procedures
The interview also addressed the non-renewal of Héli Air’s contract, which has now been awarded to Monacair, a company owned by the Prince’s nephews, Pierre and Andrea Casiraghi. Prince Albert II acknowledged the potential frustration caused by the sudden change after Héli Air’s 35-year monopoly.
However, he clarified that a proper call for tenders was conducted in accordance with the contractual rules. Past performance, including previous infringements committed by Héli Air in France, was taken into account during the evaluation. The Prince stated that any concerns regarding due process would be determined by the courts, emphasizing that family involvement in Monacair did not influence the decision.
Monaco’s Commitment to International Standards and the EU Agreements
Discussing international matters, Prince Albert II mentioned the recent Moneyval recommendations concerning anti-money laundering and terrorism financing. He reassured the public that Monaco is actively working to comply with the best international practices in these areas, engaging in regular discussions with the Moneyval Committee.
Regarding agreements with the European Union, the Prince expressed reservations about significant progress before the year’s end. He emphasized that Monaco’s red lines have remained consistent throughout the negotiations, highlighting the Principality’s dedication to transparency, fairness, and adherence to its principles.
Lastly, the Prince touched upon the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) and its new leader, Stéphane Valeri. Acknowledging SBM’s ambitious roadmap, he emphasized the importance of gradual progress and exploring investment opportunities for the company in overseas hotels. The Prince underscored SBM’s commitment to excellence and its continuous efforts to compete globally in the hospitality industry.