Monaco's land reclamation project has been suspended. According to reports, HSH Prince Albert II yesterday announced that it would be irresponsible to go ahead without sufficient environmental safeguards. In addition, the current economic climate requires much more secure guarantees for project financing, something we reported would be reviewed before announcing the winning team. More details are expected to be released this morning during a government press conference.
Monte Carlo SBM has brought a lawsuit against the MGM Mirage casino in Las Vegas, also called the Monte Carlo. The case revolves around the right to operate websites in the New York area that promote MGM Mirage's Monte Carlo brand and which have domain names similar to SBM's.
Monte Carlo SBM is hoping to extend its casino business into the virtual world of online gambling by taking a 50% stake in Mangas Capital Gaming (MCG). The Monegasque company, whose image is synonymous with the luxury and glamour of Monte Carlo, has been eager to start developing its brand on the Internet. However, this has proved difficult, primarily because of French gaming regulations.
The Monaco workforce of l'Oreal's Sofamo Biotherm factory returned to work this morning after two weeks of demonstrations and strikes. On Monday, in frustration at the stalemate in negotiations with local management, 100 employees made the decision to take their grievances to the organ grinders in Paris. Five directors met the delegation and gave assurances that worthwhile redundancy and relocation packages would be arranged. Workers have been persuaded to return to the Principality and to go back to work.
This week the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco is playing host to finance professionals from around the world who are trying to fight money laundering. The Joint Experts Meeting on Typologies is hosting a series of workshops to discuss current money laundering and terrorist financing trends and techniques, and to exchange experience and best practices.
Once young Monegasques have finished compulsory education, many choose to continue their studies at universities and colleges elsewhere in the world. At just over 8% of the population, the student age range of 15 to 24 years makes up the smallest number of residents in Monaco. Unfortunately, there aren't many opportunities for younger residents to continue their education close to home, but it's not completely impossible to obtain a university degree in the Principality.
New winter train timetables have been published and here at Monaco IQ we're very excited. From 14 December 2008, the trains financed by Monaco come fully into operation.
There's only one day left before Monaco finally introduces a ban on smoking in enclosed public places. On Saturday 1 November, office workers will no longer have the pleasure of sitting at their desks while they enjoy a cigarette break.
Several hundred ashtrays are being installed on the streets in an effort to avoid the pavements becoming littered with the fag ends of employees. Workers will now have to go outside for a smoke.
In addition, a special unit has been set up at the Princess Grace Hospital to help smokers quit the habit once and for all.
The Minister of State for Monaco announced in a press statement at the end of September that the planned land extension into the sea would go ahead.
Five plans have been short listed and financing is now being reviewed. It's expected that the winning team will be announced some time between Christmas this year and February 2009 and it's also hoped that a Monegasque company will be involved.
The Argentin restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel has come up with an interesting business model to entice more busy executives to lunch. Until recently, the restaurant, famous for its steak and beef dishes, was only open for dinner. But as the tourist season draws to a close, and with an eye on attracting a more loyal and regular clientele, chef Maryan Gandon has introduced a business lunch concept.