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Monaco Modern History

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.

  • ABBREVIATIONFINDER: 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 was calmer.

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.

Contemporary History of MonacoMoney laundering

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.

 
 

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