This year’s budget will focus primarily on the National Housing Plan.
With a budget of 1.8 billion euros for the year, a Contingency Fund of 6 billion euros and a provisional surplus, the National Council has launched a series of ambitious projects. Balthazar Seydoux, Chairman of the Finance and National Economy Commission, agreed to answer our questions.
600 new homes for Monegasques
This was one of the key measures announced by the National Council: as part of the National Housing Plan. More than 600 state-owned homes will be delivered by the end of 2023, “in order to reduce the shortage” , explained Balthazar Seydoux, adding that “the call for tenders for the Testimonio building has been issued”. The building will contain 180 apartments and is scheduled for completion in the last quarter of 2022.
This topic gave rise to much debate between the National Council and the Government. “It became apparent that there would be a gap of almost three years between the last deliveries of the first phase [the Testimonio building], and the following phases. This situation was unacceptable to the elected representatives and the budget vote was made conditional on receiving proposals for housing developments during this period, in order to bridge this gap,” Balthazar Seydoux explained. “The Government therefore reworked a plan with developments being scheduled in such a way as to avoid the risk of a shortage recurring.”
A new middle school in the Principality
The first students should be able to start the 2024-25 school year in the new middle school situated on the îlotPasteur, “in a completely redeveloped neighbourhood, in what will be a state-of-the-art educational facility for all our adolescents,” Balthazar Seydoux maintained. The establishment should be able to accommodate 1,500 students, and is to have a swimming pool and a gymnasium.
The îlot Pasteur is also due to house a public car park and 7,560 m² of office space.
A more efficient waste treatment centre
Part of the 2022 budget will also be devoted to the Symbiose project: a new waste treatment and recycling centre on the îlot Pasteur, to replace the current incineration plant in the Fontvieille district, which is due to be decommissioned in 2026. “This project is intended to replace the current plant, but also to make use of all available technologies to make it efficient, in order to minimise emissions of CO2 in particular and harmful gases in general.”
A brand new hospital
The last item included in the 2022 budget is the pursuit of the new CHPG construction “which will provide Monaco with a healthcare facility of the highest level, enabling the Principality to pursue medical excellence in terms of equipment and patient care,” Balthazar Seydoux promised. Overall completion of the building works is scheduled for 2032, however the first premises should be put into service in 2026.
At the same time, the National Council is still waiting for approval of other projects, which could then be included in the budget. Among them, the much-anticipated maritime shuttle between Nice and Cap d’Ail, “in which Monaco is a stakeholder, and which is awaiting a new call for tenders”, but also free buses, with a confirmed two-month test period, but “whose objective is to introduce, in the long term, permanent free access for all.”