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Friday, 31 October 2014 7:54 | Author: Ian Brodie

Wrong-way Monegasque avoids jail

PREMIUM - MONACO NEWS, MONACO CRIME: A young Monegasque woman has avoided serving jail time after being found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. The 27 year-old was stopped by police while driving her powerful 4x4 the wrong way on blvd. Kennedy. At the police station a sachet containing .52 grammes of cocaine was found in her bra…

Friday, 31 October 2014 7:50 | Author: Martina Brodie

Danziger's pictures give a voice

MONACO EVENTS: In 2005, World Vision sent renowned photographer and Monaco resident Nick Danziger on an assignment to some of the world’s poorest regions to document the effects of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on individuals and their families. Nick saw and photographed people who often do not have a voice, but are affected by changes in climate, policies and laws that are not of their making. These decisions have had a huge impact on their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities…

Friday, 31 October 2014 7:32 | Author: Ian Brodie

Mecaplast workers question lay-off plan

MONACO NEWS, MONACO BUSINESS: Workers at car parts maker Mecaplast are disputing the dismissal of almost 50 percent of the workforce. The 67 redundancies are too many, according to two representatives of employees speaking to local daily Monaco Matin. “We have seen that turnover at our site (in Monaco) has diminished little by little. We have been losing production to other sites of the group in eastern Europe and in China. But we don’t accept this plan to lose 50 percent of the workforce,” they said…

Thursday, 30 October 2014 22:05 | Author: Jeff Daniels

Buoy will send wave information

MONACO NEWS: A buoy to measure waves was installed on Wednesday one nautical mile - 1,852 metres - from the Port of Fontvieille at a depth of 90 metres. The operation was implemented by the Department of Public Works, in partnership with France’s CEREMA and the Directorate of Maritime Affairs…

Thursday, 30 October 2014 8:54 | Author: Ian Brodie

Hedge fund manager lies low in Monaco

PREMIUM - MONACO NEWS: Monaco’s financial authorities have issued a warning about an entity called Galbraith Capital, whose principle, Joseph Galbraith, is believed to be living in Monaco with his second wife. The warning said that Galbraith Capital “wrongly claims to have implanted offices in Monaco” and has been engaged in “cold calling” potential investors…

Thursday, 30 October 2014 8:34 | Author: Martina Brodie

A buyer's market for French property

MONACO NEWS, FRENCH NEWS: The top-end real estate market along the Cote d’Azur virtually froze in 2013, with only one property selling at more than 10 million euros on the fashionable Cap d’Antibes, guests at the Monaco Life Business Leaders’ Lunch heard on Wednesday…

Thursday, 30 October 2014 7:12

Work starts on harbour wall

MONACO NEWS: The Public Works Department has started work to improve the structure and appearance of the harbour wall at the port of Fontvieille work. Some of the steel reinforced concrete below the surface has become degraded and needs to be replaced...

Thursday, 30 October 2014 7:10 | Author: Jeff Daniels

Bacon Foundation 'unique in the world'

MONACO ARTS: Prince Albert has officially opened the new Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation at the Villa Elise, blvd. d’Italie. The non-profit private institution is dedicated to the study and research into the work of Francis Bacon in the new centre dedicated to presenting the artist’s work to the public...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 8:28 | Author: Jeff Daniels

Taxi drivers welcome reforms

MONACO TRAVEL: Monaco’s taxis have suffered from a very poor reputation for many years, but, if the taxi drivers themselves have their way, this is about to change. The head of the local taxi drivers’ association, Jeremy Bottin, says that the drivers are working closely with the Government to provide a better service…

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 7:26 | Author: Ian Brodie

Jail sentence for mountain guide

MONACO NEWS: A mountain guide has been given a jail sentence of 12 months, suspended, for his part in the incident that took the life of popular Monaco figure Odile Firmin-Guion last December. Olivier Bres was found guilty of involuntary homicide by the criminal court in Nice…

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 7:15 | Author: Jeff Daniels

Shop assistant stole phone, camera

MONACO CRIME: A shop assistant at the Metropole Centre has been found guilty of stealing a telephone and camera from a customer who left them on a counter. The criminal court was told that the forgetful customer returned to the shop after a few minutes but found the items had gone…

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 7:11 | Author: Ian Brodie

Monaco removed from Colombia's list

MONACO BANKING: Colombia’s Ministry of Treasury and Public Credit issued Decree 2095 on October 22, modifying the tax haven list in Article 1 of Decree 1966 of 2014 by removing Barbados, Panama, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Principality of Monaco from the list, Ernst & Young reports...

Monday, 27 October 2014 22:10 | Author: Ian Brodie

Transport strike to hit all sectors

PREMIUM - MONACO TRAVEL, FRENCH NEWS: France's former-Communist CGT transport workers union has issued a national strike warning for early November, claiming that the ‘mobilisation’ of protesters is aimed at improving the quality of service for travellers in France. The one-day strike is likely to have a major impact on all sectors, including air and rail travel…

Monday, 27 October 2014 21:53 | Author: Ian Brodie

Drug charges Monegasque walks free

MONACO CRIME: A Monegasque has been given a suspended sentence by the Monaco Criminal Court after being charged with importing, transferring, acquiring, possessing and using cocaine and cannabis from 2011 until  2013…

Monday, 27 October 2014 21:44 | Author: Jeff Daniels

World of travel meets in Monaco

MONACO EVENTS, MONACO TRAVEL: The sixth edition of APG World Connect will take place from October 29 - 31 at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco, Travel Daily News reports. This year’s theme is: Air Transport Industry - 2020 Vision...

Monday, 27 October 2014 21:35 | Author: Ian Brodie

India's home minister at Interpol

MONACO EVENTS: India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh will represent India at Interpol's 83rd General Assembly next month in Monaco, one of hundreds of political leaders and senior police officials who will attend, 100 years after Prince Albert 1 hosted the first Interpol session...

Monday, 27 October 2014 8:38 | Author: Jeff Daniels

Monaco micro-brewery wins top award

MONACO BUSINESS: The "Monaco White" ("Blanche de Monaco") has won the Gold Medal in the "Europe's Best Belgian Style Witbier 2014" category, as well as the "Europe Gold" award for the best European White Beer...

Monday, 27 October 2014 8:22 | Author: Jeff Daniels

Hall fails in bantamweight title bid

MONACO SPORT: Randy Caballero of the United States improved to 22-0 after beating Stuart Hall of Britain in a unanimous decision in Monaco on Saturday to win the IBF bantamweight title. The judges scored the bout 116-111, 116-111, 118-110 in favour of the 24-year-old Caballero after an aggressive contest where both boxers landed heavy punches.

Monday, 27 October 2014 7:34 | Author: Victoria Thompson

Monaco's own X Factor

MONACO LIFESTYLE: If you missed out on the X Factor or the Voice, you can still be a pop star in Monaco. On Tuesday, November 11 the King of Soul Fat Cat Hackett will host an OPEN MIC NIGHT on the Star Deck at Stars’n’bars...



Monaco Life Events


Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of in association with Boyarkin & Partners. More info:


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Wednesday, 22 October 2014 0:02
Author: Louise Simpson

Monaco Foodie...

Lazy Lunches

The Mediterranean quest for a healthy diet dates back to the ancient Greeks. Homer wrote about wild herbs growing in the countryside, while his philosophical compatriots sought a panacea (named after the goddess of Universal remedy) to cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. Coast-hugging ancient Greek communities ate plenty of fish, yet little meat as domestic animals were eaten as part of a sacrifice to God. They grew many grains, vegetables and fruit including olives, figs and grapes. Herbs such as thyme, sage and garlic were used to flavor foods. The preponderance of fruit and vegetables was further underlined by the ancient Greek religions of Orphism and Pythagoreanism that both advocated a vegetarian diet. Over the centuries, Mediterranean coastal regions from Southern Italy to Spain developed their own versions of this healthy olive-rich fare. During the 20th century, the Mediterranean diet (that conveniently includes a daily glass of red wine) became famed for its health-giving properties in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Yet this much-hailed diet is fast disappearing from the region that created it. With the Mediterranean now boasting the highest child obesity rates in Europe, I wonder what went wrong. With daily fruit and vegetables and twice-a-week fish beyond many pockets, modern-day consumers often seek cheap comfort in pre-packaged foods. More than that, a faster-paced working environment has taken its toll as lunchtime snacks at the desk have become the norm. In previous generations, lunch was a more important meal than dinner and digestion was aided by an afternoon siesta. The traditional lunchtime closure, where shopkeepers and other businesses would shut up shop and return home for a home-cooked meal and a little rest, has diminished in the face of international pressure for a frenetic 24-hour pace.

With this in mind, here are some places where you can laze over lunch for under 20 euros:

At My Way 2 (7 rue du Berceau; +377 97 70 21 38) near the Novotel, you’ll be won over by the full-bodied red wines by the glass at shop prices that accompany the simple daily-changing menu (main courses around 13 euros).

In the Galerie du Park Palace, no-nonsense Italian Valentin (27 avenue de la Costa; +377 93 50 60 00) serves a lunch menu including main course, water and coffee for 17 to 19 euros.

At Mozza (11 rue du Portier; +377 97 77 03 04) near Larvotto Beach, you can opt for the lunch menu with a starter, fish of the day and a glass of wine for just 18 euros or choose from myriad mozzarella varieties for the same price.

Louise Simpson is a food and travel writer based in Monaco. Since studying French literature at Cambridge University, Louise has written for The FT, The Times, Condé Nast and The Independent in the UK and for Zagat, Google and Frommer’s in the US. Her new Frommer’s travel guide to France is out this month:

To read previous Monaco Foodies, please click on MORE


Sunday, 12 October 2014 0:10


FOR SALE: Fletcher 19 Sportscruiser with 115 hp Mercury outboard. Year 2000, one owner and regularly serviced from new. Dry berthed near Cannes and berth available. End season reduced price €4,500. Tel. 06 78 63 73 56.

PUPPIES: Spectacular collie puppies with sweet dispositi

on. Pedigree with multi-champion British and American bloodlines. Available three females and one male. Family or show home.

MOVING: Many items for sale, including lamps, chairs, tables, white goods: +33 6 78 63 24 75

SERVICE: Computers, IT, Internet, BBC reception - Philip - 06 1542 3824

FOR SALE: We have one blank 40 inch dome and 1 Seatel 4003 VSAT with cross pol and Co pol and a 6 watt Buc , 2003 model.
Material in storage in Antibes for collection by buyer , all offers considered. Contact

FOR RENT:  3 Bed / 3 Bathroom beautiful modern townhouse in the centre of St Jean Cap Ferrat's fishing village. Approx floor space 90m2 over 3 floors. Patio 16m2. On street parking. Air-con/heating throughout. Priced at €3000 PCM +33 6 01 43 55 89 

FOR SALE: A collection of 46 works by Adriano Maraldi, the famous Italian artist. Call Olga for details +393480891547 or e-mail:

ANGLAIS: Parfaire votre communication écrite et orale en anglais. Cours d'anglais et/ou  accompagnement sur mesure pour groupes ou en individuel. Rédaction et révision de tous type de documents (CV, lettre de présentation, offres d'emploi, thèses académiques). Professeur de langue maternelle anglaise, Formation Berlitz, MBA et expérience professionnelle. Flexible et disponible - se déplace à domicile si souhaité. Téléphone:  0678635709   Email:

LANGUAGE SERVICE: Improve Your Communication in English — Written and Spoken. English language training, coaching and consultancy tailored to your needs. Group or individual. Help with Documents, CVs, Cover Letters, Academic Theses, Writing and Editing. English mother tongue teacher. Berlitz trained, MBA, professional background. Flexible availability. tel:  0678635709   email:

To see our terms and conditions, please click on MORE

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 8:38

Letters to the Editor

Seeking memories of Diana...

Dear Sir,
I am putting together a professional scrap-book of pictures and articles from all my many film mags and books about Diana Dors. Plus a Memories and Tributes section about her in the second half of my book.
I wondered if anybody has any memories of Diana Dors coming to Monaco during her life and career, which spanned the late 1940s right up to the early 1980s. She sadly died in 1984, after a brave fight with cancer. Did you meet or see her at a fete or shop opening, perhaps you saw her from a distance in the Principality, or at a show in the area or even met her backstage somewhere? If so, I wondered if anybody would like to share/add any of these memories/anecdotes into my non-commercial professional scrap-book? This book will be donated to various Library Archives around the country, where Diana lived and worked, her birthplace town of Swindon being one of a few.
I prefer Diana Dors serious roles in acting and in particular her role as the condemned woman in YIELD TO THE NIGHT [1956] and I have had a contribution from her co-star in that film, Michael Craig. It is true to say that YIELD TO THE NIGHT helped to abolish the death penalty in the UK during the 1960s.
There is no doubt in my mind she was one of the most loved and diverse entertainers Britain produced during the 20th century and she certainly earned that status all her life. She was the precursor of the modern day celebrity in every way. She could put her mind to serious and comedic studies on TV, in film and on stage. In 1960 Diana even started a singing career, which eventually produced her SWINGIN’ DORS album, still available on CD I’m told.
In essence I am hoping my project will be one of the most comprehensive collection of Memories relating to Diana Dors’ life and career to date. I look forward to any memories your readers may have
Best wishes, Ian Payne

8 THORNBURY RD, WALSALL, ENGLAND, WS2 8JL T : 01922 – 627522 M : 07511759209

(PHOTO: A very young Diana Dors)

Incomparably curvaceous...

Sir John Gaul, a Monaco resident, made a gift of this unique Delahaye classic to Diana Dors when she was just 17. The car has since won several concours competitions in Europe and the US and was sold to a private collector for $3.3 million by RM Auctions in 2010. The young actress’s motoring career continued with a gift of a Rolls-Royce when she was 20, although she didn’t hold a driving licence.

PHOTO: The magnificent 1949 Delahaye Type 175 S Roadster


A regular reader comments on the operation escargot in mid-September

Dear Sir, I was myself caught up in the loathsome  “Operation Snail” as I tried to make my way painfully into Monaco on Monday. The VTC drivers managed to slow us all down and thereby miss important meetings. They also managed to convey their objection (of which I had no knowledge). I might have had some sympathy with them, had they not engaged in “Operation Snail”. Given however that they resort deliberately to buggering up our day I hope the miserable and wholly nominal tariff they are subjected to is greatly increased from 1,800€ to a much higher figure, and we should all campaign for the Government to impose a higher figure in light of this primitive and damaging protest.
We do not wish to be subject on our borders to the selfish actions of hooligans in smart cars and ill-fitting uniforms
Are your readers, like me, asking that we wage our own contest against these people since they thought fit to ruin our day? It is time we ruined theirs, I believe.

Sincerely, Anon (name and address supplied)


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CAN BE SENT TO Please include a telephone number.

Previous letters can be found at MORE

Sunday, 11 August 2013 10:17
Author: Ian Brodie

Iceberg rescues Titanic*

MONACO MEDIA: The media world has been stunned this week by news that the founder of Amazon - the online shop - has bought the iconic Washington Post newspaper at what seems to be a knockdown price. The $250 million Jeff Bezos paid is just a little over one percent of his personal wealth of $23 billion, making a very small dent indeed in his bank account. Never mind that since its founding Amazon has lost money more than it has made, making Bezos a virtual billionaire in charge of a virtual empire. Perhaps he bought the Post because he yearned for something real.

To decry the sale of the Post is not just to indulge in unworldly sentimentality. Its disposal marks another milestone on the way to the cemetery for printed newspapers as we have known them for the centuries since the Times of London first appeared in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register, changing its name three years later. In the ever-evolving world of media, print is in its death throes.

If it's almost all over for ink except the burials, and the standouts are disappearing fast, should we be surprised? No. Disappointed, sorry? Yes. The great newspapers of the past, including the Post, the New York Times, the Times, the UK's Daily Telegraph, are empty imitations of their former selves thanks to cost-cutting. The greatest loss as these titles decline and disappear is the quality of the journalism that called them home..

FOUNDATION: FRIDAY OCTOBER 31 - Presided over by HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover, the Princess Grace Foundation made 600,000 euros in donations in humanitarian aid to suffering children during 2013. A total of 1,785 children in 55 French hospitals were helped by having their parents near them while in hospital.

MORE SPACE: THURSDAY OCTOBER 30 - Monaco's cemetery will soon have 198 new places to satisfy demand over the next 20 years. Work on preparing the space has taken eight months, and the plots yesterday received a church benediction.

WARMEST OCTOBER: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 29 - Temperatures on the Riviera were 2.5 degrees higher than average during the month, extending the holiday season and giving the tourist industry some comfort after a poor July. According to climatologist Pierre Carrega, October's weather on the Cote d'Azur was typical of North Afrida at the same time of year.


Monaco Events & Announcements

Property in France: The next Monaco Life Business Leaders’ Lunch will be on the topic: “The Pleasures and Pitfalls of owning property in France,” with Brian Groocock of Brian Groocock Real Estate. Wednesday, October 29, Pacific Restaurant, ave. des Spelugues, Monaco. 12:30. 95 euros, includes welcome drink and 3-course lunch. To book, please email Ian Brodie at

British Association: Celebrate Guy Fawkes with a Night Out Bowling... Another evening of bowling has been organised at the NiBox Centre in Monaco on Wednesday 5th November. The evening will begin at 6.30 pm for a prompt start at 7 pm. This gives plenty of time to change into 'bowling shoes', provided by NiBox. The price includes hire of shoes, two sessions of bowling and one free drink.  Prizes will be given for the winning team and also for the most original team name to do with Guy Fawkes! The setting up of teams will be done on the night unless you come with a ready-made team (6 in a team)  Price for members €15 and for non-members €20.  Booking forms can be found on

Monaco’s ‘X Factor?’ If you missed out on the X Factor or the Voice, you can still be a pop star in Monaco. On Tuesday, November 11 the King of Soul Fat Cat Hackett will host an OPEN MIC NIGHT on the Star Deck at Stars’n’bars. Open to amateur and professional singers, the event is not karaoke and participants must inscribe in advance, indicate their singing style (pop, jazz, hip hop, country,etc)  and supply backing music. It is the third OPEN MIC evening at Stars’n’bars. and previous participants have included lawyers, doctors, yacht brokers, students and stay-at-home moms. The concert will be open to the public free of charge with Happy Hour 18:00 - 20:00. If you're interested in taking a spot on stage, register before Novenber 3, by sending your name, age (18+), phone number, photo, two songs you'd like to sing with MP3 backing track to

Marta Grigorieva, painter and art historian, is giving workshops for children every Friday at the Munchkins Club 4:30 – 5:30 pm, age 5+. More info: Additionally, Marta is offering Art Group lessons offered every Wednesday, 4:00 – 5:00 pm, 5:00 - 6:30 pm. For more information  +33 (0)7 60 97 59 98, email,

The Tasting Room would like to invite you to come and enjoy the “Last Taste of Sporting D’Hiver” before sadly it closes later this year. La Maison D’Ecosse has taken the opportunity of using this beautiful space in one of the world’s most prestigious locations, to allow you to taste and buy exquisite whisky. La Maison D'Ecosse, Galerie Sporting D'Hiver, Place du Casino. T: +33 (0)6 43 91 27 00 E:

Tuesday to Saturday from 15:00 to 21:00 or by Appointment - Centre of Excellence for Rare and Collectable Whisky - Taste and Buy Exceptional Whisky - Meet the Experts and Book a Master Class - Private Whisky Tastings - Whisky Gifts. Taste the original Monaco Blend - Whisky Apero
Tuesday to Friday from 18:00 to 20:00. Our selection from €10 to €2000 per glass.

Monte Carlo Whisky Conference: Friday, November 21, 2014 and Saturday, November 22, Oceanographic Museum - St. Andrews gala dinner, Saturday November 22, Salle Belle Époque, Hermitage Hotel, The Monaco blend after party, Friday, November 21, Cafe de Paris -  Murrays fish and Chip, Street Party, Culture of Scotland, Friday, November 21, Place de Casino. MORE DETAILS:

Thursday 20th November: Murrays fish and chips arrives at Stars n bars, from Scotland. 5:30 pm till late, Fish supper 20 euros

Friday 21st November: The Monte Carlo Whisky Conference, Oceanographic museum,iIn the presence of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco. By invitation only 3pm.. Apply for an invitation

Friday 21st November: Whisky Master Classes with the Experts, Monte Carlo, 5pm. Tickets from €90

Friday 21st November: The Monaco Blend Party, Cafe de Paris, Scottish dinner and dance. Opening 6pm. Whisky kiss 8pm till late
Tickets from 90 euros

Friday 21st November: Murrays fish and chip van, Casino Square Monte Carlo, 5:30pm till late, Fish supper 20 euro

Saturday 22nd November: Book signing by author Charles Maclean, The Tasting Room 11am till 12 noon

Saturday 22nd November: La Maison D'Ecosse, The auction of rare and collectable whisky, Salle Excelsior, Hotel Hermitage. Apply for an invitation

Saturday 22nd November: The St. Andrews Gala Banquet and silent auction in aid of HSH Prince Albert II foundation, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert, Salle Belle Époque, Hotel Hermitage. 7 pm. Table of 10 persons €6000.

Handel's Messiah: The Monaco Chamber Music Association is presenting G.F. Handel's oratorio "Messiah" on Saturday 29 November 2014 at 20:00, in association with conductor Errol Girdlestone, his vocal ensemble Ristretto and the orchestra of the same name. The concert will take place at St Paul's Anglican Church in Monaco. Further information:  06 43 91 67 43.,

Global High Net Worth Conference: Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of Visit for more details.

Listings in Events & Announcements are free for non-profit associations, charged for commercial events and entities. To place listing email


Monte-Carlo Diary

Fearing the worst

Living as one does 50 metres on the French side of the border, one never knows what’s going to happen next. When I returned late in the evening last week after several weeks of R&R in eastern Europe I noticed a sign stuck to the door of the Art Deco building in which I live. My heart stopped. Surely this must be a summons to call in at the local police station, in Menton, to assist enquiries into crimes against humanity, unspecified. Or at least a reminder about an unpaid parking ticket even though I don’t drive a car. It was getting dark and I was so tired by this time I decided to wait until the morning to read the details.

Instead, I switched on the television and was glued to the leather sofa by a three hour programme about motorcycle cops in Paris. I noticed that 85 percent of the bad-doers, as the French like to call them, had suntans of one degree or another. I can’t help but think that such a depiction of France’s minorities plays into the hands of people like Marine Le Pen, who says the country is swamped by immigrants. Surely the producers of the programme could have looked for and provided a certain ethnic balance, otherwise we might all turn to the far right.

I stumbled down to the front door at dawn’s crack, or soon afterwards. No-one in the building is French. But the lingua franca is the local tongue, of course. The sign on the door said. “Would residents please not open the door by putting their hands on the glass!”
Another narrow escape.

Jeff Daniels

The Jeff Daniels column is published in the interests of editorial diversity, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publishers.

to read previous columns, please click on MORE


MOSCOW: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 - Vladimir Putin has boasted to European leaders that his forces could sweep into Kiev in two weeks if he wanted. The Russian president reportedly made the threat to the European Commission president during talks on the Ukraine crisis.
Mr Putin told Jose Manuel Barroso: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks,” Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper reported, implying this could be the result if the EU stepped up sanctions against Russia.

His comments, relayed by Mr Barroso to colleagues at last weekend’s EU summit, emerged as Nato announced it would build a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force of up to 4,000 troops that can be flown into eastern Europe in 48 hours to respond to possible Russian aggression.. SOURCE: Daily Telegraph, La Repubblica


Monte-Carlo Diary

Pushed to the Max

SATURDAY, JUNE 21: There will always be tensions when a large crowd of people are crammed into small spaces, especially when they take an instant dislike to each other or harbour long-term differences. I am not talking about the long-running opening ceremony of the splendid new Monaco Yacht Club attended by le tout Monaco - a splendid affair - but the lingering impact of the lengthy and tedious French rail strike.

Tasked with taking my youngest son to Nice for a Saturday rendez-vous with a schoolmate, I squeezed with him onto the 16:43 from Monaco - delayed for 18 minutes in Menton while the frazzled French border police sifted out the usual suspects, young Somalian males who, having crossed the inhospitable Sahara, are trying in considerable numbers to make their way to the economic paradise that is France. Or possibly the UK.

Most people were eminently sensible and moved down the train to occupy every available space to allow yet more frazzled and luggage-laden bemused first-and-last-time tourists onto the only TER regional express to visit Monaco for the previous three hours.
Someone sitting down said something to me. I assumed he was offering me a space to sit. I bent down to hear better. Translated from the French, what he said was: “Can you get your arse out of my face!”

To say I was astonished hardly covers it. A number of responses flashed through my hot head: “I am surprised you are bothered about my arse, since it resembles so closely your face,” was the most polite. I wanted physically to strangle him, and since I was standing up and he was sitting down I sure as hell had a good shot at it.

My nine year-old restrained me. “He’s an idiot Dad, don’t take any notice,” he said in a French that can only be described as impeccable. At the next available jolt in the tracks he managed to more or less fall onto the idiot’s mobile phone he was holding high in the air while playing what looked like patience, and make it look like an accident.

You can mess with me, but you can’t mess with Max.

Jeff Daniels

previous column at MORE

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Welcome, Mr President...

What on earth is the French President doing in Monaco? Well, there are a few things to see, such as the Oceanographic and Monaco's Scientific Centre. And a few bits of paper to sign. Lunch at the Palace should be good, and will not disappoint the Socialist President's champagne tastes. Otherwise, not much will be going on and the visit will be marked by an inconvenience to road traffic. That will be its high point, since it seems that the President won't be meeting any of the remaining 8,000 French residents - whose families have lived here for generations - to discuss the fact that they have to meet the high cost of living in Monaco while paying French taxes, an arrangement inherited from the treaty with France into which Prince Rainier was famously coerced in 1963.

If I were a Frenchman, or woman, I would wonder what my President was doing in Monaco. Perhaps he has come to open a bank account. Switzerland is certainly less attractive than it was for French savers. Or perhaps I would conclude that Mr Hollande fancied a day away from the office and a very unattractive in-tray.

Jeff Daniels

Jeff Daniels reviews

Mayhem in Monte Carlo

Long-term Monaco resident and former ad-man Mike Ferrier's second book in a trilogy, Mayhem in Monte Carlo, is at first sight a mixed bag of intelligent insight and mundane stereotyping. And as many new writers do, Mike has cut out the middleman. The book can be ordered on Amazon, to be read on a tablet or consumed in book form, a modern form of buying novels that appeals to some more than others...

(more and video)