Heated debate over 2009 budget

Odeon Tower causes problems for amending the budget.

Earlier this week, the National Council met to discuss amendments to the 2009 budget. Generally considered to be simply a process of adjusting the accounts, this year's debate was stirred up by the Odeon Tower project.

The session started well enough, with compliments for Government external communication, achieving Monaco's removal from the OECD grey list, and the regular exchange of accounts information. Following this, Alexander Bordero on behalf of the Finance Committee questioned the budget deficit and the Government's ability to pay, and this opened the floodgate to more parliamentarians raising their voices in dissatisfaction.

The most heated debate concerned the Odeon Tower project. Problems arose because some banks refused to fund the project due to the economic crisis. This meant that the Government had to resort to using the Constitutional Reserve Fund, but had not told the National Council in advance. In addition, a change was made to the amount of space in the tower that is allocated to Monegasque housing and offices.

The National Council: the Odeon project on fire!