Monaco Opens Up Finances
Decades after becoming Europe's number one tax haven, Monaco is to start collating and publishing figures showing it's GDP for the first time.
YourMonaco.com , who produce an independent travel guide for Monaco and Monte Carlo, say that those who are considering moving to Monaco because of her zero income tax policy have nothing to worry about.
'This is much more about Prince Albert pushing ahead with his agenda on the environment and world affairs than it is Monaco's tax policy', they claim.
Prince Albert became ruler of Monaco just over a year ago, after the passing of his father Prince Rainier, who transformed the Principality into the world's best known tax haven in the fifty years he was in charge.
'Prince Albert is much more interested in world affairs as he knows the future of Monaco as a tax haven is safe', Henri Boulanger, YourMonaco's spokesman, adds. 'The last year has seen him going to the North Pole to try to show other world leaders that the environment is one of the top issues they should be addressing, and the publishing of Monaco's GDP and Gross National Income statistics will allow him to have Monaco play a full and active role at the United Nations. For example Monaco will know how much they should be contributing to the United Nations Millennium for Development project, and other overseas projects'.
Recognising that collecting financial information could put off wealthy individuals moving to Monaco, the government has told those businessmen taking part that all information will be kept confidential, and will not be used for fiscal purposes.
Monaco and The EU
Political analysts might see the beginning of information gathering in Monaco as the start of a process to join the EU.
'This is highly unlikely,' contend YourMonaco.com, 'There are influential figures in the EU who have been pushing for tax harmonisation across EU countries for some time now, and while it is unlikely to happen as Britian would veto any move towards this, it would kill the goose that lays the golden egg for Monaco, and far from leading Monaco to the world stage on important issues like the environment and the Third World, it would lead Monaco to being little more than a European backwater with the Grand Prix and casino as her main attractions'.
Due to her tax status property prices in Monaco are among the highest in the world.
Typical of Monaco real estate prices are a one bedroom apartment without views of the Mediterranean at 880,000 Euros - after closing costs nearer to a million - 1,950,000 Euros for a two bedroom apartment, and expect to pay between three and four million Euros for a good three bedroom apartment with sea views and parking space.
Buyers from the UK have increased significantly in the last couple of years, and demand from them has helped push property price inflation to close to ten per cent a year.
For the future, YourMonaco predict that prices will continue to rise for the short and medium term, but are keen to state that real estate, like any other commodity, can dip in value on occasion as well as rise.
Aside from the obvious tax advantages Monaco residents enjoy, the Monaco Grand Prix in May draws ten of thousands of tourists to the Principality at the end of May on an annual basis, while the Monaco Yacht Show in September is an increasingly popular event.
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