It’s a hive of activity and even a little noisy inside the Conseil National as the representatives express themselves. Compared to the vote on the future budget for Public Works which went awry earlier this month and failed to pass, this following session of the Conseil National to amend the current 2019 budget went a little bit more smoothly. The Public Works budget in the prior session had triggered the airing of grievances over all the building taking place in the Principality and the impact of noise on the quality of life. The debate on the amendment of the 2019 budget, passed in its initial form last December, did at least garner sufficient votes this last week. But the same vociferous debate played out before the majority of representatives even as they supported the amendment.
The speeches of the twenty-three elected representatives present revealed their dissatisfaction with, in their view, the deterioration in the quality of life: interminable delays in projects, rising costs of the construction sites, continuing excessive noise from both building and traffic – and reservations about how the accounting of the state uses its Constitutional Reserve Fund. There are also concerns about a lack of creation of an independent pension fund for civil servants.
On construction sites and the quality of life, Stéphane Valeri takes up the charge. He comments that the balance is not optimal and exhorts the Minister of State to change direction and do something courageous to deal with the noise issues in particular.
He points to what he sees as the current inertia and that the State needs to be more proactive on some issues.
Monegasques and residents face daily problems with noise and congestion. Stephane Valeri asserts the government still responds too often that the subject is being studied, that it is considering the issues. Stéphane Valeri urges for actions and solutions rather than continued analysis.
He illustrated, as an example, the noise pollution of two-wheelers and pointed to the same speech, almost identical, of two government advisers several years apart. And the subject of the shelter for abandoned animals was dragging on without solution.
When the Conseil National meets in December to conclude the Budget debate for 2020 this whole debate about noise and congestion and the quality of life will come to the fore again – perhaps with some positive developments given how much focus there is on it. On the good side the Amendment of the 2019 Budget did pass with 14 votes “for”, 8 abstentions and one vote “against”.