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  #41  
Old 04-03-2006, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paca
I was just thinking of this today. A lot of people use MC for tax evasion. The normal procedure is, that you have bring your rental contract (if you don't own) etc. and the note the size of the app. plus the number of people living there. Whether you are actually there is controlled by your electricity bill, which is why you see in some app. the bathroom lights burning 24/24. Others use timers or sublet to friends, familiy etc. But I also know of people who actually live in across the border in France, work in MC and use their parents address in MC to avoid paying taxes (why a son of over 40 would still live in his parents 3 or 4 bedroom app. is a question apparently not asked by the authorities). Since his presence for the requested number of days can not be denied by the EDF bill, I don't see how this sort of tax evasion can be prevented, unless unexpected controls take place, where you can tell by inspecting the app. whether someone is living in a place or only using it for tax purposes. ( in the particular case I mentioned the presence or absence of his own room and things could be taken as proof)
People are the same everywhere. Here in Massachusetts, there are many people with license plates from the other New England states depending on where the auto insurance is cheaper. It's called "border jumping." Many of these people use the addresses of other family members or a summer/winter home address. Many people who live in New Hampshire or Rhode Island work in Boston, and with the student population, it's hard to prove where people work.
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  #42  
Old 04-03-2006, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
I suppose there is a part of me that is still a dreamer. I believe in the theory, in spite of the fact that it doesn't work the way it should. Smaller nations have the ability to compete as equal partners in the EU for the very reason that they are small and can move and change with the times faster than the larger nations. The wealthy small nations can make the fullest use of technology available to them, to grow their economies - but you're right, the hard commodities, unless in very small units, they cannot produce en masse.
But for a lot of these smaller nations, they have neither the facilities to convert to more technologically advanced factories, nor do they have the space to build them. In theory, they could do what many Japanese car firms did in the automotive industry and build/convert in places like the United States, but I could see Africa or Asia as a more viable economic alternative. However, you have to add political instability and European backlash about "outsourcing" jobs that could go to Europeans particularly with such high unemployment rates in places like France. If they tried to do this on the European continent, the unions and wage structure would diminsh their capacity to compete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
No, but the dream started then. It's valid and it's do-able.

I wouldn't say impose the US model (pre-Bush administration nonsense) on Europe, but there are valid ideas that Europe can use in the unification process. The Constitutional process, because it's conducted by Europeans, would ensure it is uniquely European and works just for them.
Interestingly enough, the ideas from the Constitution originally came from European philosophers such as Voltaire and Montesquieu. But the Constitution as a tangible source of governance is an uniquely American creation; it was crafted for the birth of a completely new nation. Most European countries have a governance structure and laws that work for them and I think the difficulty will be determining how much influence a particular country gets without imposing their laws on another sovereign state. Think of it this way: it would be like Massachusetts forcing some of its laws on Connecticut or South Dakota.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
I still think the Prince has a unique perspective and could sieze the opportunity to make some real changes on the European stage. I'm not sure he will. And, if he did, I'm not sure how much he could influence European governance. But you don't know until you try
I think he could be more influential in behind-the-scene deals than trying to be a driving force.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
You have more faith than I do on that score.
Barack Obama...
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  #43  
Old 04-04-2006, 09:06 AM
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paca

Quote:
An interesting sideline to the interview given by M. Deslandes a few days back: todays paper printed another interview (first question was exactly the same, though the answer was completely different). In this interview there was no mentioning of PR or PA and he kept himself strictly to question regarding his job. It was underlined that during these years, he was among other things responsible for the education national, thus an explanation to his answer in his previous interview ... I wonder what was the purpose of this second interview, especially since it was to the same paper...
Ah, spin control Gotta love it.

pink's answer was the one I had on the residency issues. The reality is, no matter how hard they try, the government will never get rid of money laundering. Too much cash flows through Monaco to be controlled. They'll never admit it, fully, but every nation has this problem. Unless the laws are changed to make living in Monaco conditional on being Monagast (having been born there to parents who were born there), there's not much to be done about the problem of restricting residency. Where there's a will, a human mind will find a way to get around all laws.

pink

Quote:
But for a lot of these smaller nations, they have neither the facilities to convert to more technologically advanced factories, nor do they have the space to build them. In theory, they could do what many Japanese car firms did in the automotive industry and build/convert in places like the United States, but I could see Africa or Asia as a more viable economic alternative. However, you have to add political instability and European backlash about "outsourcing" jobs that could go to Europeans particularly with such high unemployment rates in places like France. If they tried to do this on the European continent, the unions and wage structure would diminsh their capacity to compete.
China is already an enormous manufacturing center and yes, if the rest of Asia and Africa get their act together, they're next.

If Europe was facing the outsourcing we have, there'd have been a revolution in Paris already.

Quote:
Interestingly enough, the ideas from the Constitution originally came from European philosophers such as Voltaire and Montesquieu. But the Constitution as a tangible source of governance is an uniquely American creation;
Exactly. To a certain extent we could repay the favor

FWIW, I'm more of a States Rights person than Federalist.


Quote:
it was crafted for the birth of a completely new nation. Most European countries have a governance structure and laws that work for them and I think the difficulty will be determining how much influence a particular country gets without imposing their laws on another sovereign state. Think of it this way: it would be like Massachusetts forcing some of its laws on Connecticut or South Dakota.
My point is that Europe can use the same structure to add cohesion to the notion of United Europe. From this side of the pond it appears that most of the European States don't seem to completely grasp that they can have both an overall government as well as State government; that they do not have to lose their individual sovereignty. France will always be France, but as a part of a United Europe they are just one of many creating the whole.

Quote:
Barack Obama...
Exactly who I was thinking of, even when I wrote what I did. I would like to see him make a run for President in '08, but I'm not sure the US is ready for him right now. It's not just the issue of him being African-American (as much as I want to believe we're all beyond the nonsense of race, I know we're not), it's more about his moderate to liberal politics. The further this nation goes to the right the more I look north and think about moving to Canada. Of course, that solves nothing. Which is why I'm campaigning for Ned Lamont here in CT. You have to work within the system to change it. It's just that, most of the time, I wonder if it does any good.
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  #44  
Old 04-04-2006, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
China is already an enormous manufacturing center and yes, if the rest of Asia and Africa get their act together, they're next.

If Europe was facing the outsourcing we have, there'd have been a revolution in Paris already.
In many ways Europe has its own issues with outsourcing -- the Polish plumbers that EU nations are always complaining about. BTW, there are enough issues with the job market in France...100,000 in the streets yesterday. Add that to the aging population and declining birthrates in many countries (Italy, for example, is nearing a crisis), there are going to be economic issues that need to be addressed and I have a feeling that a unified Europe will create more squabbling than harmony.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
FWIW, I'm more of a States Rights person than Federalist.
I really can't generalize that way; for me it depends on the issue. But major things like personal rights and education, I favor federal regulations/standards. Goes back to that "...pursuit of happiness..." clause in the preamble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
My point is that Europe can use the same structure to add cohesion to the notion of United Europe. From this side of the pond it appears that most of the European States don't seem to completely grasp that they can have both an overall government as well as State government; that they do not have to lose their individual sovereignty. France will always be France, but as a part of a United Europe they are just one of many creating the whole.
I feel that there is still a basic philosophical difference between the US and Europe and it goes back to emigration. People left their home country for another new country not a particular state (I know for my grandfather the first ship out of Naples headed west was good enough for him). European nations will have an extremely difficult time watching the whole ahead of its individual parts. When push comes to shove, the US can do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth
Exactly who I was thinking of, even when I wrote what I did. I would like to see him make a run for President in '08, but I'm not sure the US is ready for him right now. It's not just the issue of him being African-American (as much as I want to believe we're all beyond the nonsense of race, I know we're not), it's more about his moderate to liberal politics. The further this nation goes to the right the more I look north and think about moving to Canada. Of course, that solves nothing. Which is why I'm campaigning for Ned Lamont here in CT. You have to work within the system to change it. It's just that, most of the time, I wonder if it does any good.
You're right...the US is divided by its politics. I still can't believe how far to the right we've drifted...and I have a feeling that we're due for a seismic shift to the left in the next few years. Obama isn't ready for '08...too soon...hasn't proven himself in Senate (which could be in his favor if he runs). Right now, the ideal candidate for the Democrats would be a moderate Southerner (John Edwards).

Do you wonder how amused our European friends are watching two Americans debate the future of Europe? I mean, really, a country that elected Dumbya twice...and we think we know what's best for the rest of the world.
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  #45  
Old 04-05-2006, 07:39 PM
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A delegate for the handicaped has been nominated. He is supposed to help improve the living conditions in Monaco for the disabled. http://www.gouv.mc/304/wwwnew.nsf/19...enDocument&1FR
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  #46  
Old 04-05-2006, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paca
A delegate for the handicaped has been nominated. He is supposed to help improve the living conditions in Monaco for the disabled. http://www.gouv.mc/304/wwwnew.nsf/19...enDocument&1FR
Good news!!!
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  #47  
Old 04-17-2006, 11:52 AM
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Another goal achieved.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...7/ixworld.html
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  #48  
Old 04-17-2006, 12:08 PM
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I hope this trek does re-focus attention on protecting and preserving the environment and global warming.
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  #49  
Old 04-18-2006, 08:07 AM
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If the press can get off his companions (especially Ms Bond) on the trek, his companions elsewhere (Ms Whittstock) and his [possible] children (Eric Alexandre, Jazmin, Andrew).

Albert needs to do something big, like shut down the incinerators or require electric car usage within Monaco borders.

Ann
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  #50  
Old 04-18-2006, 03:37 PM
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Here are some of the latest news
http://www.gouv.mc/304/wwwnew.nsf/19...enDocument&2FR

Fernand Bertrand is btw a local composer, who celebrated his 90th birthday with a mass in the cathedral last year ( which almost made me a murderess because the soprano soloist caused me terrible physical pain - soooo many wrong notes. my only consolation was that my expressions of pain made everyone else laugh and endure until we were reliefed... )

http://www.gouv.mc/304/wwwnew.nsf/19...enDocument&2Fr
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  #51  
Old 04-18-2006, 03:51 PM
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Here is another one on the new nomination on the interior.
http://www.gouv.mc/304/wwwnew.nsf/19...enDocument&2Fr
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  #52  
Old 04-18-2006, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for the links paca. The National Council opens tomorrow as well. I'm going to try following it online.

[off-topic response deleted - Elspeth]
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  #53  
Old 04-18-2006, 04:33 PM
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[off-topic response deleted - Elspeth]

At present I am going through some articles about the Hobbs Melville trial, where M Proust raised some eyebrows in writing a letter to the judge for the opening of the trial. Lawyers (apparently from all concerned parties) voiced their disapproval and considered this an attempt of the state to influence the trial, when the state was not even involved in it. I'll give you a summary when I am done (though you might find sth on the net as well; I didn't have time to look yet)
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  #54  
Old 04-18-2006, 07:47 PM
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Biotechnology, Medical and Environmental research?

Here's an excerpt from an article about Albert's plan's for Monaco's future that was published last summer. Everyone seemed to have high hopes for Albert. "Albert said, he would like Monaco to become a laboratory for biotechnology, medical and environmental research." Does anyone know what he has done in these areas? I was hoping to hear more about the North Pole Expedition in the reserach area.

*******************************************************
The Independent (London)
July 13, 2005, Wednesday

Inside The House Of Grimaldi: The Secret Life Of Prince Albert;
Monaco's Ruler Is Facing A Test Of His Leadership Now He Has Been

By: John Lichfield

In an interview last week with Le Monde magazine, Albert said: 'The [old palace] system was very heavy. Because they knew that my father didn't like meeting people, and because they were afraid of his temper, his advisers overprotected him.'


In the interview, Albert came over as an intelligent, well-intentioned man. Rainier would meet criticism of Monaco's lax banking laws with a bark or a shrug. Not Albert. He said that: a) the principality was never as bad as people claimed; b) that much had already been done to clean things up; c) that he would do much more. 'I will place morality " honesty, ethics " at the centre of ... all decision-makers in the principality,' he said.

This came close to suggesting that Rainier's government had not been bothered with such moral questions. The rise of Monaco in the past 20 years from a casino-with-state-attached to a micro-country with a EUR10bn (£6.9bn) annual turnover has largely been achieved by opening the door to mysterious foreign banks. More than half of the national income comes from financial transactions.

The OECD and French parliament suggested five years ago that Monaco had become a 'pariah state', welcoming dirty money from drugs barons and terrorists as well as tax evaders. Albert said that this was exaggerated but ... 'Nothing is engraved in stone. For me [ending banking secrecy] is not a taboo. Secrecy gave us an advantage over other places but it must not be an obstacle to our insistence on ethics and openness.'

Instead, Albert said, he would like Monaco to become a laboratory for biotechnology, medical and environmental research. All palace advisers have been ordered to hand in their resignations by Wednesday. It is clear that some of the older flunkies will not be re-appointed.

Royal romances apart, Monaco has always been a difficult place to comprehend. The public searchlight turned permanently on the escapades of Stephanie and Caroline left much else that happened on 'the rock' in shadows. The bonking distracted the world from the banking.

Financial Monaco-watchers have been divided in recent days. Some believe Prince Albert means what he says. Frederic Laurent, a writer on Monaco, said: 'When his father was alive, Albert had the right to shut up. No more ... but he is a profoundly liberal man and a believer in social justice ... he is determined to make a difference.' On the other hand, Roger-Louis Bianchini, a French investigative journalist who has written about the secretive business world of Monaco, said: 'The whole of Monaco's prosperity depends on its banking rules which allow money to flow in from doubtful sources ...' Will Albert, he asks, repeal the law which makes it impossible for foreign governments to take action against Monaco residents suspected of financial wrong-doing?
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  #55  
Old 04-18-2006, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAdia

*******************************************************
The Independent (London)
July 13, 2005, Wednesday

Inside The House Of Grimaldi: The Secret Life Of Prince Albert;
Monaco's Ruler Is Facing A Test Of His Leadership Now He Has Been

By: John Lichfield

Instead, Albert said, he would like Monaco to become a laboratory for biotechnology, medical and environmental research. All palace advisers have been ordered to hand in their resignations by Wednesday. It is clear that some of the older flunkies will not be re-appointed.
I'd like to see him succeed in this but I then a more immediate need would be to strengthen the quality of post-secondary education in MC...barring that it may mean paying for the best and the brightest to go abroad and then come back and use their knowledge to MC's advantage. He would also have to make the area affordable for any scientists and research associates/ assistants. I hope he would reach out to American universities and research institutions...many are starting to do exciting things but are facing government constraints. MC has the money to underwrite some of the most important studies (i.e, stem cell research) or create partnerships to begin in areas that need further exploration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAdia
Royal romances apart, Monaco has always been a difficult place to comprehend. The public searchlight turned permanently on the escapades of Stephanie and Caroline left much else that happened on 'the rock' in shadows. The bonking distracted the world from the banking.
And currently it's Albert's turn to have his private life overshadow anything he wants to accomplish. No wonder certain officials are a little perturbed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAdia
Financial Monaco-watchers have been divided in recent days. Some believe Prince Albert means what he says. Frederic Laurent, a writer on Monaco, said: 'When his father was alive, Albert had the right to shut up. No more ... but he is a profoundly liberal man and a believer in social justice ... he is determined to make a difference.' On the other hand, Roger-Louis Bianchini, a French investigative journalist who has written about the secretive business world of Monaco, said: 'The whole of Monaco's prosperity depends on its banking rules which allow money to flow in from doubtful sources ...' Will Albert, he asks, repeal the law which makes it impossible for foreign governments to take action against Monaco residents suspected of financial wrong-doing?
This is where Albert needs to be a master politician. Granted he doesn't have to worry about an election to push through his agenda, but he has to do it in such a way that he doesn't alienate any of the interests of those who have invested and could heavily invest in MC's growth particularly in the areas outlined above. The trick is to figure out which battles to fight and when to fight them.
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  #56  
Old 04-23-2006, 09:10 PM
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a new Monaco investment fund

Here is an article in a U.S. publication about eight overseas funds that are socially responsible. A new fund in Monaco that Prince Albert is initiating is one of the eight. Below is an excerpt of the article describing the Monaco fund and the link to the entire online article.
**********************************************************************************

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0424/p14s02-wmgn.html
The Christian Science Monitor
from the April 24, 2006 edition


How to invest in foreign firms that do good

Fund companies based overseas are quietly opening their doors to US investors seeking ethical companies.

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Some investors, impatient with years of sluggish returns from US stocks, have found they can get a bigger bang for their buck in foreign markets. In addition, those who want their overseas investments to have a social impact are dipping into mutual funds geared toward socially responsible investing (SRI).
….
Fund fit for a prince

To make SRI international investing easier for Americans, Prince Albert of Monaco will launch a product especially for them in September. For a $1,000 minimum contribution, investors will gain a stake in a fund of funds, similar to a three-year-old fund now available only to Europeans. The idea: Find the best fund managers who in turn find profits in industries that inherently generate social benefits, such as natural foods, renewable energy, and water-resource development.

The fund is in the works for Americans because they have indicated a desire to broaden their influence as environmentally minded investors, says Jerome De Bontin, founder and president of Sustainability Investments LLC, a Northbrook, Ill. firm commissioned to bring Prince Albert's fund to the American market.

"We've received the phone calls" from Americans wanting to invest in the fund for Europeans, known as Monaco Environment Development Durable, Mr. De Bontin says. Those who call increasingly recognize "we're dealing with global issues and global answers. It is not possible to deal with global warming, with rising sea levels, with pollution of the air, and try to focus on a domestic company. You have to deal either with companies that have international reach or you have to deal with companies that deal with technology that can be applied worldwide."
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  #57  
Old 04-23-2006, 09:52 PM
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Well this is good news. Traditionally, socially conscious funds haven't had the returns that you see in funds that invest in alcohol, tobacco, and oil and to keep their 401(k)/403(b)'s afloat, Americans have been loathe to invest in them. Since the Enron scandal that may be changing but since most Americans invest through mutual funds through their employers this may not hit the mass market for a while. As I mentioned in the North Pole post, this could be PA's first step in raising the capital needed for some of his projects. Good news...I'll have to keep an eye on it. (Sad but true, I always seem to forget about the Christian Science Monitor as a newspaper...especially since I live in Boston.) Thanks for the info.
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  #58  
Old 04-24-2006, 07:50 PM
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lea lea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paca
From my immediate knowledge he has made some improvements for children living in MC ad he is also seeing that the situation for disabled people will change. We have now a busline with a hostess who will assist people in wheelchairs (unfortunately it doesn't run very often and is not one of the busiest lines). they have given out 100 wheelchairs as well. Yes he has signed the treaty, but in contrast to this stands the fact that MC has an inciniary plant which is substandard and will not be closed before 2020 to warrant the millions that have been invested to modernize it (it was clear already then that it would not be possible to ever bring this plant up to standard and PA is very well aware of it. There is a petition of the habitants of Fontvielle who complain about nasty fumes especially on the weekends which makes it impossible for them to move outside).
Paca, I would never doubt what you tell us, you are the resident and understand the situation for what it really is. I do, however, find it odd that there could be such a situation in Monaco. In your midst you have someone lauded the world over for her work on behalf of children, who cannot themselves change the dangerous situations or hazardous conditions they are put in or exposed to.

This must mean either that the situation with the inciniary plant is not deemed to be or admitted to be hazardous, or that Princess Caroline has no real influence in her own country. I would have thought she was one of the most influential people, being who she is, and also being someone who doesn't seem to be afraid to take on leaders of other nations for their part in creating hazardous or harmful environments.

Is it possible that she is not aware of the situation? Could you appeal to Amade?
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:38 PM
Serene Highness
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lea
Paca, I would never doubt what you tell us, you are the resident and understand the situation for what it really is. I do, however, find it odd that there could be such a situation in Monaco. In your midst you have someone lauded the world over for her work on behalf of children, who cannot themselves change the dangerous situations or hazardous conditions they are put in or exposed to.

This must mean either that the situation with the inciniary plant is not deemed to be or admitted to be hazardous, or that Princess Caroline has no real influence in her own country. I would have thought she was one of the most influential people, being who she is, and also being someone who doesn't seem to be afraid to take on leaders of other nations for their part in creating hazardous or harmful environments.

Is it possible that she is not aware of the situation? Could you appeal to Amade?
First of all thanks for the vote of confidence, though I don't mind at all if you would have your doubts. It is allways good to doubt given information and try and find out from other sources whether you can trust that information or not.

In this case unfortunetely information is scarce and you would probably need to be a professional to find out more. So the info about the incinery is from the local paper and since in recent months they have published several articles about it, I am thinking that they are trying to put some pressure on the government, by creating an awareness within the public. I suppose with his speech from July PA has also created a certain expectation level with the local journalists that sth would happen here and the numerous articles are an expression of a slight frustration, that things take so long. And possibly they expected some more courageous steps from PA as well.

As to PC getting involved (or Amade) I doubt that that it is going to happen. Unfortunetely in my experience within this world, people tend to point the finger much easier at others then cleaning up their own front steps. It is an age old human behaviour and even the bible refers to it. And unfortunetely we haven't evolved much since then.

Of course the government (like all governments) doesn't deem it that hazordous, because they hardly ever do until some independent scientist, journalist etc. shows them to be negligent. Governments in general do act mostly after the fact. They are reactive, not active. They respond to problems after they occurred instead of being proactive and preventing them from happening. At least that is my impression of modern governments and legislations. We are no longer in an age of creating and developping societies, so all that happens now is to prevent the ship from drowning. And MC is no different there then any other country. And it doesn't matter which political party you favour, politicians nowadays lack leadership and the capacity to anticipate things that are going to happen and take suitable measure to navigate their "ship" safely. This capacity of anticpation was sth that M deslandes admired and credited PR for. He imagined MC in a particular way and then he took measures to achieve it. He anticipated how people would react, what would attract people/tourists to MC, what would he have to do to accomodate them. What would he need to do to attract other businesses in order to balance a possible recline in the tourist industry etc etc. And that is why Rainier was a leader true to the word: he lead and governed his country. And I hope that PA will do the same. In his speech he explained what sort of country he imagined MC to be, I am waiting now to see how he is going to shape it ad I hope he will show himself to be a proactive politician like his father was.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:36 PM
Serene Highness
 
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Some good news. Todays paper announces that 6000square meters of terrasses of dominial buildings have been emptied in order to install sunreflectors to produce sun energy. It is not much, but it is a beginning. Maybe they can also manage to put some onto the facade and the roof of the Grimaldi forum so that its ugly outside would at least serve a purpose (they might even be able to operate the whole forum with the energy that they could produce...)
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