Socialist Worker

Check their privilege—the lives of Monaco’s super rich

Issue No. 2708

Monika Bacardi with her Rolls Royce

Monika Bacardi with her Rolls Royce (Pic: BBC)


As Monika Bacardi—yes that Bacardi—says, “It is a bubble, a pink bubble.

“It is very small, very safe and what looks like a lot of candies. Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel whatever it is your heart wants.”

For decades, crooks and con artists—with and without titles—have been drawn to Monaco because of its famous casino and willingness to ignore banking regulations.

It is compulsory to mention that movie star Grace Kelly became Princess of Monaco in the 1950s. The hotel suite named after her costs £35,000 a night to rent.

Monaco is home to more multi-millionaires per square foot than any other country—one in three residents.

And the current His Serene Highness—yes, really—Prince Albert II, who rules the place, is letting the camera have a nose around.

One valet says as the royals wave from a balcony, “They look at us, we look at them, it is quite an emotional moment.”

People can only buy a property in Monaco if they have a spare £500,000 and you need a property to avail of the tax scams.

So a house without a seaview costs £30 million.

This slightly old fashioned documentary looks at those who serve the rich and powerful. But any gentle critique is in an occasional knowing look and a quiet smirk.

Access comes at a cost. The filmmakers are told, “The first rule of yachts is don’t ask who owns them.” So they don’t.

The documentary is made of up three hour-long episodes. But you get what’s wrong with the place before you’ve seen your first £18,000 white truffle.

As the harbour master says, “They are just like children they just want more and more, bigger yachts.”

Inside Monaco—Playground of the Rich is on BBC2, 9pm Monday 8 June, and then on BBC Iplayer

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Fri 5 Jun 2020, 17:25 BST
Issue No. 2708
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