Prince Rainier III took office in 1949 and
put the Principality on the map internationally when in
1956 he married American movie star Grace Kelly. Monaco
was given a new constitution in 1962. The traditional
text that the prince's power was given by God was
removed, and women were also given the right to vote. In
2002, the Constitution was amended again; an enlarged
parliament gained greater influence, the voting age was
lowered and female consecration was introduced.
List of most commonly used acronyms containing Monaco. Also includes historical, economical and political aspects of the country.
Important relations with France deteriorated in 1962,
and for a short time French police and customs officials
blocked the roads at the border. The background was
various financial disputes, including the control over
the broadcasting companies. The disagreement could only
be resolved by the signing of new treaties and
conventions governing cooperation in 1963. A Customs and
Currency Union was formed. The most significant change
that the Principality must accept was that French
citizens living in Monaco would no longer enjoy the tax
benefits that other residents have. In the following
years, Monaco's relationship with neighboring countries
From the 1963 election, the National
Democratic Union (UND) election list, which
represents Monaco's traditional elite, was often alone
in holding a seat on the National Council. UND did not
stand for election in 1993, when most of the mandate
went instead to a group led by Jean-Louis Campora. In
the 1998 elections, UND, which is now led by Campora,
took part again and won all the seats. Campora therefore
remained as President of the National Council.
During the 1990s, the Principality's position as a
"tax haven" with far-reaching banking secrecy was
increasingly questioned by the outside world. Monaco was
pressured by France and the EU who wanted to make sure
that Monaco's banks were not used by criminal groups for
so-called money laundering. Although Monaco agreed with
France in 1994 on an official exchange of financial
information, money laundering continued, not least with
the help of the casino in Monte Carlo. Following a
French investigation in 1998, Monaco's authorities were
accused of not adequately addressing the problems.
In 2002, the economic cooperation organization OECD
put Monaco and 34 other territories on a list of "tax
havens" that conducted harmful tax competition.
That same year, the Constitution was amended to make
it easier for Monaco to become a member of the Council
of Europe. Several of the prin- cipal's executive powers
were transferred to the National Council.
The election to the National Council in 2003 was a
severe setback for the previously so dominant UND. A new
electoral list, an alliance of several groups that
called themselves the Union of Monaco (UPM)
took 21 seats while only 3 went to UND. New President
became UPM's leader Stéphane Valeri, who was previously
on UND's list.
One reason for UND's defeat is believed to have been
a scandal involving allegations of money laundering. UND
leader Campora had stated his support for a proposal to
sell the football team AS Monaco, for which he chaired,
to a Russian investment company. After allegations that
the investment company was involved in money laundering,
Prince Rainier banned the sale.