Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 HelloMonaco #05 Winter 2018–2019 - Page 89

History Pages the French tax code. The French presi- dent got what he wanted. Nevertheless, Rainier III was able to bring his country out of the crisis with dignity. There were some other changes in the Constitution. In 1962, the ruler of Mona- co and the National Council divided their responsibilities. From that moment the Minister of State, appointed by the Prince, dealt with all the current issues and rep- resented the interests of Monaco on the international scene. Legislative power was divided between the Prince and the Na- tional Council. The latter had the right to approve the budget, discuss and vote for laws, but the members of the Council had no executive power. Unusual Song for an Exceptional Place J oe Dassin is well known not only in France. His albums were released all over Europe and in the USSR. Many of his songs stayed atop the music charts for several weeks. The first half of the 70’s was not very fruit- ful for Joe. Problems in family life and the lack of new songs that could become summer hits led the singer to think about ending his career. However, everything changed with the release of a new album. In 1976, Le Costume Blanc, which included Il Faut Naître à Monaco, was a resounding success and helped the singer regain his confidence. There was one song that stood out among the lyrical ballads. Humorous lyrics, toe-tapping melody and the title featuring the Principality of Mo- naco were a successful combination. Nevertheless, the foreign audience did not pay much attention to this tune, lost among the hits. Unlike other songs, it was not translated into other languages. The lyrics, based on familiar sayings and cli- chés, were quite clear to those familiar with French culture. For them, no wonder the Principality was included in the lyrics for the song, reflecting another reality: to not pay taxes — one must be born in Monaco. Despite the humorous nature of the song, thirteen years before its release, the Prin- cipality was having a hard time struggling to maintain its tax policy. «Tax war» against France T he beginning of the 60’s was not the easiest time for the Principa­ lity and its ruler Rainier III. First, the Prince had to confront the Greek million- aire Aristotle Onassis in order to get con- «To not pay taxes — one must be born in Monaco», sang the legendary Joe Dassin. trol of SBM. Then, a «tax war» with France and its president Charles de Gaulle began. The fate of Monaco hung by a thread af- ter the French president decided that the Principality should revise its tax policy and impose a tax on income. When de Gaulle threatened to «cut off the oxygen to the Principality» and stop water and electri­ city supply, putting a patrol on the bor- der with Monaco, Rainier III had to make concessions. By that time, Monaco had become a mecca for businessmen, and de Gaulle began to oppose the fiscal policy of the Principality for a reason: French companies literally fled from France to the small state. In this confrontation, the main conces- sion of Monaco was that French citi- zens who lived in the Principality would be required to pay taxes, according to the French system of taxation. In addi- tion, all companies located in Monaco and receiving more than 25 % of sales outside the Principality, were subject to Per aspera ad astra D espite these issues of foreign policy, the Principality actively attracted the rich and famous. Hence, in the Café de Paris, customers were given the opportunity to play bowl- ing which was much in vogue at that time. King Henry II of France © 24smi.org Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 / 87