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Prince Albert II: ‘Dossiers du Rocher’ broke camel’s back

prince albert ii interview
The Sovereign has commissioned an audit from an independent body - © Gaëtan Luci / Prince's Palace

During the interview the Sovereign also spoke about the latest Moneyval report, the war in Ukraine and AS Monaco.

On Thursday 13 July, Prince Albert II spoke to Le Figaro about the “Dossiers du Rocher” affair and its subsequent fallout. This includes the recent departures of Laurent Anselmi, the Prince’s former Head of Cabinet, and Claude Palmero, formerly his Estate Administrator.

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“When the trust is broken and there are no clear answers to the questions that are asked, decisions have to be made,” said the Sovereign. “We need to move forward. What has become known as the “Dossiers du Rocher” was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The “Dossiers” brought to light, via the internet, certain activities of people who were working with me. As I said: if the trust is broken, it is impossible to continue working together.”

Stressing it is his mission to protect the Principality’s institutions, the Prince also told Le Figaro that his new team will be accountable to him. “The most important thing for me is expertise. I will, of course, give priority to Monegasques, but I am not ruling out the possibility of bringing in foreign talent,” said the Sovereign, adding that legal proceedings concerning the different parties involved are already underway: “two in France and two in Monaco, as far as I am aware. (…) It is now a matter for the justice system. We must let it do its job.”

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An independent firm is conducting an audit

The Sovereign also revealed that he had not only consulted Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie, but also commissioned an audit from an independent firm, with no ties to the Principality, “in order to get to the bottom of the matter.” According to the Sovereign, its findings should be submitted in a matter of weeks.

Another – complex – subject discussed during the interview was the latest Moneyval report, which pinpointed a number of shortcomings in Monegasque legislation in terms of preventing money laundering and the funding of terrorism. The Sovereign acknowledged that, while Monaco has come out of “the grey area,” and despite the Principality’s efforts, “[the] rules and legislation must constantly be updated to tackle the scourge of money laundering head-on.”

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“Those who were in charge of the matter within the Government and the various bodies concerned did not appreciate the urgent need to bring our regulatory arsenal into line with the new criteria required,” said the Prince. “I personally ordered that everything be done to comply with Moneyval’s recommendations in the timescales we set. Monaco is firmly committed to upholding the highest international standards in this regard.”

The environment, a criterion for construction

The national daily newspaper also broached the Sovereign’s environmental work, through his Foundation. The Prince mentioned his recent speech at the United Nations on the 30th anniversary of the Principality’s membership, pointing out that a large part of Monaco’s budget – estimated at two billion euros – is dedicated to the environmental cause. This is a commitment that the Sovereign, the only Head of State to chair an NGO, squares with the many property developments in the Principality, Mareterra in particular.

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“We need to build, and modernise at the same time. There will soon be 40,000 inhabitants (…) in an area of just 2 km2. Building out over the sea is therefore a necessity – and Monaco is not the only country to do so – but not just anyhow! (…) And I am personally mindful of the Posidonia, for example, a sea grass that plays a fundamental role in the balance of the aquatic environment,” says the Sovereign.

The Sovereign will be at the Paris Olympic Games

Le Figaro then turned to the war in Ukraine, pointing out that Monaco is a very popular destination for Russian and Ukrainian people. The Sovereign stressed his deep attachment to the principle of national sovereignty, and therefore his support for Ukraine.He revealed that, according to figures from the Monegasque Red Cross, a thousand Ukrainians have found shelter on Monegasque soil since the start of the conflict, and around fifty children have been enrolled in schools in the Principality.

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When asked about Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is a Russian citizen, the Sovereign immediately mentioned the AS Monaco President’s contributions to humanitarian aid for the Ukrainians. “I’m more concerned about the club’s results, as it won’t be in the European Champions League this year,” he said.

Concluding the interview on the subject of his excellent relationship with France and President Emmanuel Macron, and quashing rumours that Christophe Castaner would be the next Minister of State, Prince Albert II confirmed his attendance at next year’s Paris Olympics as a member of the International Olympic Committee and a former Olympian.