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H.E. the Minister of State's reaction to the statements made by Mr Stéphane Valéri, President of the National Council in Monaco Matin

16/04/2009-
I am disappointed and stunned by the irresponsible and, for the most part, inaccurate statements made by the President of the National Council and National Counsellors who are signatories of the text for the motion on managing the G20 dossier.

Disappointed, because we have been working together with Stéphane Valéri for almost four years, in accordance with the Institutions and following the guidelines fixed by the Sovereign Prince. We have had talks, looked for a consensus and we have nearly always succeeded: I think that our work has been productive because many dossiers have reached a successful conclusion for the good of the Principality, for its development, for the quality of life of all its inhabitants. The opinion poll carried out by the CSA which was made public is proof of this if one is needed.

These statements are inaccurate, and I stress, I informed Mr Stéphane Valéri at the time of all the negotiations undertaken by the Government during March.

Irresponsible, because at a time when strong international pressure exists through the G20, national unity should prevail. This is the time that Mr Valéri, probably to assert himself, chose to attack the Government of Monaco regarding its foreign policy to the detriment of the Principality’s image. I would like to point out that we were, quite unjustly, on a black list of three countries considered tax havens, with Liechtenstein and Andorra. We have been removed from this “black list” and feature alongside 42 other States on a grey list and we have initiated a negotiation process so that we are permanently removed from this list by the end of the year, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of our financial market.

To denigrate the Government of Monaco, and thereby weaken the Principality, why is Mr Valéri only considering Monaco’s ranking at the same level of the Caiman and Bahaman Islands, when our country, the Principality of Monaco, now stands alongside Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria and other quite respectable States.

Last but not least, Mr Valéri also attacks us for our alleged lack of responsiveness in the face of the crisis, when the Government has increased measures to support companies in difficulty, to supplement aid for employees temporarily laid off, and has decreased charges, in particular, rents for traders.

The Principality of Monaco is, of course, affected by the economic and financial crisis, but to a lesser extent than other countries and has a greater ability to resist thanks to a return of budgetary equilibrium for the last four years. The President of the National Council is dramatising the situation and sowing doubt and concern, at the risk of irresponsibly fuelling the crisis.

The Government of Monaco, supported by the guidelines provided by the Sovereign Prince, in particular in the field of international relations, will continue its action in the interest of the Principality, Monegasques and the population as a whole.
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