Prince Albert II is currently dealing with a character assassination campaign. Princess Charlène of Monaco, on the other hand, is struggling with psychological problems.
Monaco – The Prince on the “Rock” – Monaco’s nickname – has had happier national holidays. The onlookers of the drone show, with which Albert II wanted to underline the new start-up image of his city-state on Friday (November 19, 2021), asked themselves once again: Where is Charlène von Monaco? Albert’s wife was absent, although she had recently returned from South Africa. She had spent half a year in her mother country, and her husband, father of their twins, explained this with a “medical problem”.
Now he had to correct himself. Without disclosing Charlène’s whereabouts, the 63-year-old son of Rainer III. and Grace Kelly said on Friday that Charlene needed psychological help above all else. “There is a kind of fatigue that is not only physical, that can only be treated with a period of rest and care,” he said in an interview on the national holiday.
Charlène of Monaco: Royals plagued by character assassination campaign
You can empathize with Albert that he wants to remain as discreet as possible to protect his wife. It merely reinforces the impression, which is always present in Monaco anyway, that much remains in the dark behind the dazzling jet set backdrop with the marina, casino and Ferrari mile. And not only when it comes to the affairs of the heart of the Grimaldis. But power, money and politics.
The principality is currently being hit by an extremely aggressive character assassination campaign. Four high dignitaries – including the President of the Supreme Court, Didier Linotte, and Foreign Minister Laurent Anselmi, both close to Albert II, are accused of corruption and illegal activities by strangers.
The allegations hit the prince very directly, who is currently trying to free his mini-empire from the reputation of an opaque, clientelist refuge for tax evaders and financial jugglers. In an interview with the local newspaper Monaco-Matin, Albert condemned a “defamatory and anonymous rumor campaign” and announced that he would turn on the Monegasque and French criminal police.
Principality of Monaco: Who is sawing Albert’s chair and how is Charlene?
What is certain is that professionals are at work. According to police circles, the defamation attack is said to have mobilized dozens of people and has already cost five to ten million euros. The website dossiers-du-rocher.com (“rocher” means rock) and the account [email protected] supplied numerous journalists and editorial offices with false information. These were sent from Russia, India, Iceland and the USA.
Insiders estimate that two groups of authors are sawing Albert’s chair or at least want to give him a little warning. Local real estate sharks don’t like to be disturbed in their businesses, which are flourishing thanks to an unbelievable density of housing – 40,000 people live on two square kilometers of national territory. “It is rumored that very powerful real estate and financial interests are behind the attack,” writes Monaco insider Stéphane Bern in Paris Match magazine, according to which the name of a local real estate tycoon “appears frequently”. Albert tries to alleviate the real estate pressure in Monaco by allowing six hectares of land to grow out of the sea in the porter’s bay. However, the two billion euro project also attracts unwanted investors.
The second trace, the so-called Russian interests, does not necessarily lead to Mediterranean sunlight either. Rather to Monegasque companies that help Russian oligarchs with or without Kremlin connections with money laundering, as the “Pandora Papers” recently revealed.
Albert II .: Prince wants to transform Monaco into a “Smart City”
The first thing that suffers is Monaco’s image, which Albert tries to polish up with a lot of effort. Today the mini-state even practices the automatic exchange of information with other fiscal administrations and has thus disappeared from the black lists of tax havens. In addition, the open-minded prince has filled central positions with people of integrity who have the task of transforming Monaco into an open and modern “Smart City”.
However, the Monegasque perestroika does not go too far either. The examining magistrate Edouard Levrault, dispatched by the French protecting power, was fired in 2019 because he showed a little too much curiosity on the rock. He also launched an investigation into billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Trump friend who cannot be ignored in Monaco. The owner of the soccer club AS Monaco – first fan: Albert II – sat in the nettles when he entertained the Monegasque Minister of Justice Philippe Narmino in his chalet in Gstaad. That did not fit well with the simultaneous investigation by a French judge. Albert reacted promptly and dismissed the minister. That was a sign that a new era should dawn in Monaco. And that’s exactly what not everyone likes, as the character assassination campaign shows. (Stefan Brändle)