Pierre Dartout, in the presence of Ministers has just given a press conference at which he spoke on the outlook for 2023 where on balance there are notes of optimism.
2022 represented hopefully a turning point after the difficult era of Covid.
There’s a lot of tumult in the world what with the Ukraine war and worries about the climate but Monaco’s tourism was buoyant with the hotel and luxury trade in very positive shape.
The latest statistics underscore the health of the economy especially tourism but indeed in all sectors of the economy in the Principality. Optimistically statistics reveal the Principality has the opportunity in 2023 to surpass its prior records of 2019 in the economic performance of all business sectors.
Covid and the Flu
Monaco and Europe are well placed but China is a worry where their zero Covid policy has left a population with less immunity.
While the fight against the Covid virus is not completely over locally it is flu that we have to be vigilant about at the moment.
The Ukraine war
Monaco has a program to welcome displaced Ukrainians including the schooling of their children here.
Inflation has been exacerbated because of the war; it presents a real challenge eroding the purchasing power of families … food prices have increased and especially of bread and cereals due to the war in Ukraine… noting that both Russia and Ukraine are the world’s first and fifth exporters of cereals. Energy prices are on the rise across all Europe too. Pierre Dartout has noted measures taken to alleviate the pressures on families including limiting an increase in electricity prices to families to 15% (on businesses somewhat greater, from 33% to 45%) and removing social charges on some income.
There are short term measures to help mobility and they do cause points of tension over the priority bus lanes and their impact on parking but essentially the buses must be able to move freely.
In the medium and long term access routes into the Principality require planning to resolve complex challenges there. Necessary measures are often linked to negotiations or agreements with France.
National Plan for Housing
Since the 2019 “call to arms” by the Prince to solve the housing shortage, programs in the large are positioned well with respect to the 2024 goals. Importantly as noted before, the first lease in the new Elsa Tower was signed. This is only the beginning of hundreds of housing unit allocations which will continue throughout 2023. Pierre Dartout notes 280 million euros are allocated this year to priorities.
2023 will also be marked by national and municipal elections. “An important moment for democratic life”. The government is ready to organize a debate if necessary and if requested between the lists of candidates for the National Council.
An attractive and modern Principality also requires the development of digital technology which will also help public accounting and the Minister of State recalls that Monaco is 95% equipped with fiber optics. Connections though are not always made.
Internationally in 2023 there are important discussions with the European Union.
“The objective is not to sign by the end of 2023” but the Principality should know what is possible to agree to or not. Pierre Dartout indicated that “discussions were carried out in compliance with the red lines set by the Sovereign”. and contacts were frequent with Andorra and San Marino.
To sum up for 2023 there is “a spirit more imbued with optimism than pessimism”.