Your 14-minute Tuesday report in 3589 words.
Pashinyan about pre-war negotiations and "avoiding" the war:
The idea that a flexible foreign policy could have avoided this war is being constantly circulated. Those [former officials] who believe in this thesis must answer at least one question: as a result of their "flexible" policy, why was it not possible to avoid the war of 2016, which was preceded by the unprecedented escalation of 2015 and 2014?
The "flexible" policy adopted by Armenia for many years led to the introduction of Russian proposals in January 2016, which proposed the return of 7 territories (5 + 2) without any legal status for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Why did Russia make such an offer? For one simple reason, as a result of Armenia's "flexible" policy, the Madrid process had come to a standstill because Artsakh could receive a Status outside Azerbaijan only with the consent of Azerbaijan.
It was obvious to Russia and everyone else that Azerbaijan would not agree to this, so it was necessary to find ways to break the deadlock.
And, by the way, if certain people claim that Armenia's foreign policy after 2018 was not sufficiently pro-Russian and this was the reason for the war, then why in the conditions of the "sufficiently pro-Russian" policy of 2016 were Russian proposals born and why did the April war take place?
There was only one way to prevent this war: return the regions and forget about Artsakh's legal status. Now, after the war is over and we know the outcome, the number of supporters of [giveaway of 7 regions] is growing. What they forget is that if we gave away the lands to avoid the war, we would have the same situation in Syunik borders. They used to accuse us of "selling lands" [he means the contradictory statements like Nikol sold the lands, and why didn't Nikol sell the lands earlier to avoid the war].
The biggest failure by the supporters of the "flexible policies" is that they spent years trying to avoid a war instead of preparing for it. Our biggest failure is that we weren't able to recover enough embezzled public property in the past 2.5 years to help us better prepare for the war. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039231.html
businesses owned by opposition leaders
What are the known businesses owned by some of the famous people you might have seen in the public square lately?
20% share in Lorva Amrots Ltd
which plans to operate two hydro-power plants on Dzoraget river. Manukyan purchased the shares in 2011 after being appointed by Serj as the head of the Public Council.
In 2015-2016, he owned 30% shares in Vanavka Group
. In 2015-2017 he had 30% shares in Jermakunq Group
. These companies extracted and bottled water. At the time, the director of these companies was charged with illegal bottling and causing ֏55 million in damages to the state. The corruption case was sent to the IRS, which terminated the investigation after "not finding a crime". The companies export the products mostly to Russia.
Vanetsyan is a poor boy, according to the public declarations database. But if you have time, take a look at
the investigative report I covered in Ap29/2020 news, according to which Vanetsyan's family allegedly used offshore firms and owns mining shares. More on that here.
Here is a Hetq investigative report
Vanetsyan's father owns AV Group
flower importing business. About a year ago, the police investigated several flower sellers near a stadium. An opposition outlet claimed that the sellers were "beaten and forced" to testify that Vanetsyan's father was running an underground business. This was never properly proven and the opposition's claim that Vanetsyan was about to be charged did not happen. The police confirmed that there was an investigation against several flower sellers. These flower sellers ended up hiring Vanetsyan's co-party-creator Arsen Babayan as a lawyer.
Vanetsyan's father owns 50% shares of A B Export
oil import company that began operating in 2017. It was a minor player that quit the market in 2019. Vanetsyan's father also owns 60% of A B Trans
In Nov/2019, CivilNet wrote
about Arthur Vanetsyan's cousins' possible involvement with Zangezur Copper factory (massive business)
. The same offshore firm in Cyprus, which purchased Zangezur shares, was tied to Vanetsyan's cousins' another business in the same offshore.
Vanetsyan's cousins also own a Switzerland-based Exoil
wholesale cooking oil and shipping company. In 2019 it had a revenue of $148 million (11 billion Rubles)
. The cousins don't do this business in Armenia.
Per 2019 registration, Arthur Vanetsyan himself owns one apartment, $10,000, and ֏1 million.
Media reported in May/2020 that Vanetsyan's cousin purchased a ֏300 million mansion in Yerevan, which was donated to then-new political party "Hayreniq", co-founded by Arthur Vanetsyan and Arsen Babayan (the guy who is accused of helping HHK to fabricate documents in 2018 to hijack the Constitutional Court by appointing HHK MP Hrayr Tovmasyan as a judge)
Arthur Vanetsyan's mother served as the chief of the personnel-management department in Serj and Pashinyan administrations, before quitting and working as Serj's aide.
Vanetsyan's wife owns Villa Montessori
preschool in Yerevan. She also runs the Young Education Center Ltd
ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan
Pashinyan appointed Saghatelyan as Gegharquniq governor for a brief period after the 2018 revolution, when Pashinyan created a unity-government, represented by all political parties. The honeymoon soon ended and each party went their way.
Saghatelyan owns shares in i-mega Service Ltd
. It's a tourism agency founded in 2006. It operates in Armenia, Artsakh, and Georgia.
Saghatelyan founded Navasar
company and serves as director. It's owned by his father.
Saghatelyan family owns the Tsovasar
hotel complex on Lake Sevan shores. It's 10,000 m2
As of 2018, Saghatelyan declared ownership of 8 pieces of land, 2 apartments, ֏18.5 million, $45,000, and €15,000.
Saghatelyan's father is the mayor of Gegharquniq's Geghamavan settlement. This municipality had recently sent a letter demanding Pashinyan's resignation.
Saghatelyan used to be a shareholder of Shiman Ltd
which is no longer active.
BHK leader Gagik "dodi gago" Tsarukyan
BUCKLE UP, KIDS! Overall, Tsarukyan runs 54 companies. Студент, комсомолец, спортсмен, u наконец, он просто красавиц.
His business empire was covered in details here
. Textile, gas stations, malls, Multi Group empire, Shangri-La Casino, Ararat Cognac & Wine Factory, BMW official office Euromotors (also Hyundai, Gazel, Niva), Multi Motors, Magas Invest, Multi Wellness, Olimpavan sports complex, Kotayk beer factory, TechnAlyumin door & window factory, Multi Rest House hotel chain, Paravon luxury restaurant, Onira Club, Zvartnot's airport's upper-level service company Avia Service, Farm Adama, Multi Pharm pharmacy, Multi Leon gas stations, Multi Solar solar panels.
He owns shares in Frank Mueller Yerevan watch company, Fortsa, Multi Gold, Multi Diamond jewelry firms, several fish-breeding businesses.
He also runs businesses in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czechia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia.
Per official declaration, he owns $168 million, €29 million, ֏675 million, 14 pieces of land, 6 houses, 2 public buildings, 1 apartment.
Details for BHK MP Mikael Melkumyan and HHK Vahram Baghdasaryan in the link below. https://fip.am/14388 https://hetq.am/hy/article/88755 https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/gagkyp/apr292020_wednesday_news_armenia_being_sued_fo
? www.civilnet.am/news/2019/11/01/Զանգեզուրի-պղնձամոլիբդենային-Մաքսիմ-Հակոբյանի-ու-նրա-որդու-փոխարեն-նոր-բաժնետերեր-Ժնևից-և-Աջափնյակից/369792 www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/01/29/Բենզինի-շուկա-Արթուր-Վանեցյանի-հայրը-դուրս-է-եկել-ոլորտից-Միքայել-Մինասյանի-մերձավորը՝-խոշորների-մա/182670
opposition continues the demonstrations
The street demonstrations, organized by the former regime and its allies, continue. They demand Pashinyan's resignation and the appointment of their candidate Vazgen Manukyan as the Prime Minister for the duration of a year, after which they agree to hold new elections.
ARF leader Artsvik Minasyan said they don't plan to discuss snap elections with Pashinyan. "Right now, our only demand is Pashinyan's resignation. We demand SIS to immediately hold every criminal accountable"
. The demonstrators gathered in front of the SIS building to present the demands. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039316.html
Pashinyan meets leaders of several opposition parties QP leader Lilith:
there is a possibility there will be a meeting between Pashinyan and the three Parliamentary political parties. They could discuss snap elections. The impression is that politicians who demand Pashinyan's resignation do not want snap elections in an attempt to bypass the citizen's right to form a government. Our political team reaffirms the position that none of us is clinging on seats. // LHK MP Gorgisyan:
we cannot hold snap elections now, under this chaotic situation. We will discuss snap elections if Pashinyan discusses his resignation and transfer of power. (LHK wants its leader Marukyan to be elected as Prime Minister by a Parliamentary vote)
Pashinyan met BHK leader Tsarukyan. The latter is against holding snap elections unless Pashinyan resigns now, and presumably, he wants Vazgen Manukyan appointed as PM.
LHK leader Marukyan also wants Pashinyan to resign now so a new Prime Minister can form a new government cabinet "consisted of experts". https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039261.html
felony case: ex-HHK MP charged with armed attack on ex-IRS official
In August of this year, Russia extradited a former HHK MP Alraghatsi Lyovik to Armenia. He was wanted for allegedly burglarizing and shooting at a senior IRS official a decade ago. At the time, his case was "frozen". It was relaunched in 2018. (magic wand) NSS says:
suspect Lyovik, with the help of citizens AK and AN, organized an armed burglary against IRS Chief (?) Avetisyan in 2008.
AK was in the United States. In 2004, he stole $150,000 from jewelry shops in Los Angeles. He got caught but managed to flee to Armenia.
Once in Armenia, AK colluded with policeman AN to organize a similar criminal ring in Armenia.
[MP] Lyovik personally knew AK, and learned about their burglaries. Since Lyovik had bad relations with the IRS chief (victim)
, he decided to punish the victim by urging AK to burglarize his house. Lyovik revealed the plot to his brother-in-law, who happened to be the victim's personal aide. The latter gave all the personal habits and details about the victim to the burglars.
[read the article for the full story, or wait for a Hollywood movie in theaters near you]
The burglars and organizers are charged with felonies. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835
Russian Orthodox chapel will be built
... in the Armenian settlement near Nakhijevan where Azerbaijan had earlier shut down a Russian helicopter, which killed and wounded Russian pilots. It'll be on a hill in Yeraskh. Construction starts on January 6th. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039259.html
Russian peacekeepers conducted training
... to stay in shape. A report by WarGonzo's Semyon Pegovn who returned to Artsakh to meet the New Year there. https://youtu.be/-c1BSTkC-a8
Russia and Turkey comment Russian MFA:
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh should not be used for the infiltration of foreign mercenaries into the region. Here we have exactly the same position as our Turkish partners. Turkish MFA:
we see that a ceasefire has been established. We hope to establish the joint RU-TR monitoring center soon. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039281.html
Vitalik Balasanyan will return the lands, kicks junkies, and restrict Facebook
Artsakh President Arayik earlier announced that he will allow his opponents to take jobs in the new coalition government. Kocharyan-ally Vitali Balasanyan became the Security Council chief. Vitalik:
we will return Hadrut and Askeran region with the help of Russian and Armenian military-political efforts. We are in a better situation now to solve territorial issues.
We will soon create border guard forces. It will report to MoD, which will report to the Security Council (his office)
Drugs have no place in Artsakh. Drug users must quit or leave Artsakh now.
We need to return to traditional values of giving women as wives after asking if the man had served in the army.
No public official will be allowed to use Facebook during work.
More: https://youtu.be/DceHyi4AB5g https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/289056/
search operations are paused / the "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign
Azerbaijan received criticism for refusing to allow search teams to enter the Hadrut region yesterday. They also prevented UNESCO from checking the status of several Armenian cultural sights, after complaining that UNESCO was "biased" against Azerbaijan during the war. HR Ombudsman:
Any untrue information can not be a reason to disrupt the humanitarian process [referring to unconfirmed rumors on social media that Armenians opened fire at Azeris in Hadrut. An unofficial Iranian social media channel claims 3 Azeris were killed but due to an internal fight.]
The Human Rights Ombudsman also criticized the Azeri troops for installing a provocative "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign on part of a road that went under Azeri control near Syunik borders. The Ombudsman says it's meant to intimidate the locals. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039233.html
Parliament votes: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan's chairmanship Context: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan referred to the majority of Armenian voters as human trash *(or as she says: impure)
, and called for the establishment of forced re-education camps so people won't vote for a "wrong party" again. The ruling QP party launched a process to terminate her chairmanship in Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. Read yesterday's thread for more details
.* QP MP Arthur:
the law states that the Parliament can appoint and terminate the chairman. The termination of this seat does not require the same procedures as in the case of MPs and Judges. Armenian Constitution states that in Armenia, human beings are of the highest value, and inalienable human dignity is the inseparable basis of their rights and freedoms. MP Zohrabyan's public conduct is against it. //
The law gives the second-largest political party the mandate to appoint the chairman of this particular Committee. BHK, being the second-largest party, said they wouldn't appoint a replacement if Zohrabyan is voted out. QP MP Arthur:
per rules, if BHK refuses to appoint a new candidate, the largest (QP) party will receive the mandate. //
Parliament voted 78-4 to terminate Zohrabyan's chairmanship. BHK and LHK did not vote. BHK MP Zohrabyan:
this termination was a Constitutional crime. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039245.html
Parliament votes: registering parties becomes easier / ideology instead of person / financial transparency
The goal of this reform is to have political parties that are more about ideology and less about an individual. The reform will boost internal democracy within parties; it will expand the powers of the Party Assembly.
Parties will be required to add more anonymous voting mechanisms.
The law also requires more financial transparency.
The required membership to register a party is lowered from 800 to 300.
Some of the public funding given to political parties will depend on the % of female members in the administrative boards.
Parliament voted 99-1 to approve it. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039270.html
Parliament votes: monthly fees towards soldiers' recovery are raised
Most workers pay a monthly 1000 Dram towards the Soldiers' Fund, which takes care of wounded soldiers and families of those who died. The govt found it necessary to raise the fee to cover thousands of new recipients. Here are the new fees and salary brackets:
֏1,500 for < ֏100k/month
֏3,000 for < ֏200k
֏5,500 for < ֏500k
֏8,500 for < ֏1 million
֏15,000 for > ֏1 million
Parliament voted 89-0 to approve it. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039296.html
Parliament votes: ban on public smoking is delayed until 2022
The govt had adopted a law to ban smoking in public cafes and the public display of cigarettes in grocery shops. The ruling party wanted to delay parts of the bill that were set to go into effect in January, citing possible financial issues for businesses caused by the pandemic. QP MP:
the cigarette industry pays $383 million to state coffers. Healthcare Ministry:
it will be a mistake if you delay this bill for the sake of $10 million in tax revenues.
Parliament voted 86-0 to delay the anti-smoking bill until 2022. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039295.html
Parliament votes: no tax on goods donated to Armenia QP MP:
When you donate a charitable product to the Republic of Armenia, you are exempt from customs duties and other tax payments, except for one payment, which we are trying to exempt with this bill as well. //
Parliament voted 80-0 to approve it. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039297.html
how is the Judicial Branch doing?
The Supreme Court protects or punishes judges. It also handles complaints. It's separate from the Constitutional Court. bad boys
19 complaints against judges were heard, 14 of which were petitioned by Justice Ministry and 4 by Judicial Ethics Board. 10 judges ended up receiving disciplinary penalties, 3 received a warning, 3 were reprimanded, 2 were terminated, 4 were cleared. the system is overloaded
61 judges are handling 6470 felony cases.
86 judges handle 175,940 civil cases.
24 judges handle 17,390 administrative cases.
The number of Arbitration cases rose from 3100 to 9900. finances
This year, Supremes appointed 20 new judges. Supreme's budget remained the same this year. They returned ֏607 million in savings back to state coffers. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039249.html
anti-corruption: SIS busts an IRS agent SIS says:
IRS border inspector took a bribe from a citizen to help him avoid paying Millions of ֏ in import taxes by splitting a large load into smaller pieces, so each piece would fall below the taxable threshold. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039293.html
IRS wants you to file less paperwork
IRS says the latest reforms will help the exporters and simplify the process in which Armenia is used as a transit country for trade. Some tasks can be done online.
update: electricity prices
...won't go up for low-income families or those using less than 400 kWh. That's 90% of consumers. The rest will pay 3 Drams more. The rates are presented (6-10¢): https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039285.html
police to guard Lake Sevan against poachers
Police and Nature Ministry have set up additional checkpoints as part of measures against whitefish poaching in Sevan. 24/7 monitoring on all alleys leading to the lake. They will also travel across markets to catch contraband whitefish.
Why? It's the egg-laying season. Fishing is banned for now. The legally-allowed fishing tools were temporarily removed from the lake. https://youtu.be/8ZyRGpEazMQ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039339.html
rare Caucasus Leopard is spotted by cameras again https://youtu.be/2nidC5QJaIg
"only 10% of villagers should do agriculture"
...the rest should have access to other jobs. There is an opportunity now because many businesses operate remotely. Call Center workers don't have to visit an office. Businesses would rather pay less to hire a rural remote worker than more to hire someone in a Yerevan office.
The High Tech Ministry has an ongoing program to teach IT to 5,000 citizens. We must help workers to expand their skillset. We're working on a program to allow a worker to quit the job, not worry about the food on the table, and have enough time for education and learning new skills.
The villagers should ideally lease their smaller lands to large agricultural producers," said Economy Minister Qerobyan.
Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039319.html
State regulators bust another price-fixing ring: fruit mafia
Yesterday, the Economic Competition Committee busted the egg industry's alleged price-fixing and anti-competitive practices. Today they say a similar collision was observed in the orange, mandarin, kiwi, lemon industry.
The companies Best Fruits, Art-Fruits, and Promout were slapped with a ֏39 million in penalties for colluding to raise the prices for the products that had an increased demand during the pandemic period. http://www.competition.am/.../resources/Vo370_17_12_2020.pdf https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039269.html
Lenovo slapped for "anti-competitive practice"
The Economic Competition Committee heard a petition filed by Oazis Computer
company against Lenovo. The latter was issued a warning for anti-competitive behavior. Public Regulator:
"Lenovo" company had the ability to influence the process of importing Lenovo computers to Armenia from non-EAEU trade bloc countries. "Lenovo" took steps to reduce the import of Lenovo computers from non-EAEU states, by discriminating against Oazis Computer
importer. Lenovo is given a month to correct the issue and fix the requirement and standards related paperwork. (Facebook next?) https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039333.html
Artsakh will also increase childbirth benefits
First child: ֏300k instead of ֏100k
Second child: ֏300k instead of ֏200k
(or ֏500k if one parent is disabled)
As for monthly child care subsidy payments, it goes from ֏15k to ֏27k until the child turns 2. https://factor.am/325487.html
year wrap-up: births in capital Yerevan
girls 2019: 10173
girls 2020: 10489
boys 2019: 11251
boys 2020: 11430 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039278.html
year wrap-up: tax revenues
2018: ֏1.257 trillion
2019: ֏1.458 trillion
2020: ֏1.379 trillion https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203846
+2483 tested. +348 infected. +22 deaths. +1267 healed. 13881 active. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039240.html
Levon Aronyan has advanced to the Airthings Masters
quarter-finals where he will play against Hikaru Nakamura. He is 1pt behind the leaders. The winner receives a $60,000 prize. https://www.chess.com/news/view/airthings-masters-chess-day-4 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039228.html
French city of Valence to name a street
... after Artsakh capital Stenapakert. It already had Ijevan Park, Armenia Street, and Yerevan Street. Stepanakert Street will be located in a newly built district. There will be Toros Street as well. https://youtu.be/EuQV5bt4Ytc https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203833
Italian city of di Lovere has officially recognized the Artsakh Republic https://www.facebook.com/HayastaniDespanutyun/posts/3499573803472410 https://factor.am/325379.html
Kapan Medical Center has a new CT scanner
... thanks to generous diasporan donors like you. The first one was installed during the war in Goris city. https://factor.am/325090.html
Artsakh children receive New Years' gifts Focus on Children Now
charity organization distributed gifts to hundreds of Artsakh kids residing in Gegharquniq province. Backpacks, clothing, items of basic necessity, money, and postcards written by kids living in the United States. https://www.focusonchildrennow.org/ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039302.html
Himnadram donates to refugee families
700 Artsakh families continue to live in 40 settlements of Gegharquniq province. The All Armenia Fund (HimnaDram.org) has provided food and household items to 241 families ahead of New Year. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039313.html
daily life in Syunik bordering villages Shurnukh and Vorotan https://youtu.be/E1UJd4NtLLs https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/12/29/Շուռնուխ-Որոտան․-կյանքը-անկոչ-հարևանների-հետ/414772
donations for Artsakh & recovering soldiers www.1000plus.am
(recovering soldiers & their families) www.HimnaDram.org
(for Artsakh & Armenia) www.ArmeniaFund.org
archive of older posts
Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads: http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports
All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.
So, I live in a mining town in Northeastern Nevada. We have several Casinos, and a small airline to bring in tourists into town play the slots, and free casino shuttles (important later) to drive customers around town. We also get a lot of contractors, drillers, tramp miners, and such that will stay at the Casinos and enjoy the night life. submitted by
This happened to my mother-in-law about 16 years ago right before my wife and I met.
My in-laws had 9 kids, they didn't own a tv or something. My wife is the second oldest, and her youngest sister was about 2 when this happened.
My father-in-law would take his paycheck down to one of the casinos to cash it on payday. Not because he gambled or drank, but for the coupon for the buffet. After all, they had 9 kids.
So one payday, they loaded up the kids in the 15 passenger van (you're probably guessing where this is going) and my mother-in-law drove my father-in-law down to the casino to cash his pay check.
She pulled up, under the awning at the front door and dropped him off. She stayed parked under the awning in the shade with the kids, like 7 of the 9. She was just reading a book while she waited, not really paying attention.
All of a sudden, not one, but both the passenger door and side sliding door opened and a group of men with drinks and cigarettes in hand started climbing in.
The guy who jumped in the passenger seat started giving her directions on where they wanted to go, while the guys climbing in the back seats just froze.
As they were climbing into the side door, they came face to face with two little girls in toddler seats, and five other little cherubs looking over the seats at them.
My mother-in-law was just sitting there with a shocked look on her face, as the guy in the passenger seat was still cussing up a storm and still hadn't realized what was going on.
I don't know if it was my mother-in-laws shocked and confused look, or not hearing his friends laughing in the back seat, but he realized something was up.
He slowly turning around to see a whole gaggle of confused, and slightly scared kids.
His gaze, turned back to my mother-in-law, "This isn't the Casino Shuttle, is it?" He asked
"Nope" she replied, "it's not!"
All of the men were very apologetic, and really felt bad. They weren't "bad" men, and they didn't throw a fit. All in all, it was a pretty happy ending, aside from a little scare to the kiddos. But they all still laugh about it to this day.
Moral of the story; If you drive a big white van, don't sit parked with the engine running outside of the front door of a casino.
Prince Rainier III (1923-2005) submitted by
Rainier’s mother, Princess Charlotte, was actually illegitimate. Her father Louis II, getting older and with no legitimate children, legitimized her and made her his heir. She never took the throne, and in fact renounced her rights to her son, Rainier, the day before his 21st birthday.
Rainier became the Sovereign Prince of Monaco upon the death of his grandfather in 1949.
During WW2, Rainier served in the Free French Army. During the 40s and 50s he was in a long term relationship with the French film actress Gisele Pascal. Rainier’s sister, Princess Antoinette, wanted her own son to ascend to the throne, and spread rumors that Pascal was infertile. The rumors along with her treatment by the press and public ended their relationship.
After the war Monaco, a country who made its money primarily as a gambling origin, was in crisis as wealthy Europeans found their funds diminished after the war. To restore Monaco’s treasury Rainier decided to promote Monaco as a tax haven, and he personally took control of SBM (the company who owns the Monte Carlo Casino, Opera, and Hostel de Paris) in 1964. Prince Albert still retains a large share of the company and profits from it today. Marriage:
Everyone knows this one. Rainier married American film star Grace Kelly in 1956.
Their marriage is rumored to have been turbulent. It is said that Grace struggled with adjusting to royal life, regretted ending her film career, and that Rainier had extramarital affairs. Her children have stated that though she was a loving mother, they spent more time with nannies than with their parents.
Grace's dress is iconic, but here you go if you want to revisit some photos from that day.
Rainier smoked up to 60 cigarettes per day, and in the last years of his life his health steadily declined. On March 8th, 2005 he entered the hospital for a lung infection and by the end of the month he was on a ventilator suffering from renal and heart failure. On March 31st he officially announced his son Albert, as regent, and on April 6th he died. The Constitution
Monaco’s constitution stated that Monaco is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the hereditary princes of the Grimaldi. If the reigning prince were to die without leaving a male heir, Monaco, according to the treaty, would be incorporated into France. In 2002, realizing he had a 43 year old bachelor son, Rainier amended the constitution to allow the crown to pass to his daughters should Albert not marry. Grace, Princess of Monaco (1929-1982)
Grace was born in Philadelphia to an affluent and influential family. Her father was an Olympian and a Democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia and was appointed by President Roosevelt as National Director of Physical Fitness. Her mother taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania and coached women’s athletics at Penn.
Her Uncle, George Kelly, was a Pulitzer prize winning dramatist, screenwriter, and director and used his influence to gain Grace admission to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Grace became one of the biggest movie stars of her generation.
In 1955 she was sent to the Cannes Film Festival and invited to appear in photos with Prince Rainier. After a year-long courtship, they were married in 1956.
Grace was not allowed to continue her acting career after her marriage. She instead devoted herself to her role as Princess, become heavily involved with the Red Cross of Monaco and the Rainbow Children Coalition.
On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco after spending time at her country home. During the drive she had a stroke, lost control of her vehicle, and drove off the mountainside. She died a day later. An article on their relationship Prince Albert II (b. 1958)
Prince Albert is one of the wealthiest royals in the world with a net worth at more than $1B. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, studying political science, economics, music, and English literature, and completed his education with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He toured Europe in 1979 as part of the Amherst College Glee Club.
Albert competed in the bobsleigh for five consecutive Winter Olympics on behalf of Monaco, and was their flag bearer at the 1988, 1994, and 1998 Olympics. He is also a judo black belt.
He became Prince of Monaco when his father died in 2005. Marriage:
Prior to his marriage his status as a bachelor was a hot topic of discussion. He was known to date well-known fashion models and actresses, however at age 53 had never married. It was rumored that Albert was gay, something he expressed great frustration with in the press. In 2006 he attended the opening ceremony of the Torino Olympics with South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. They were engaged in 2010, and married in 2011.
There are rumors that Charlene tried to flee the country the day before their wedding. It is reported that the future bride, after discovering Albert may have fathered yet another child during their relationship, attempted to flee as many as three times before their wedding, however was always intercepted at the airport. It is also said she attempted to seek refuge at the South African embassy, and that officials in Monaco ended up hiding her passport so she could not leave the country.
Moreover, during their wedding, Charlene openly cried at parts, and Prince Albert was caught on camera begging her to kiss him. Honestly, she looked pretty miserable the whole time. The palace has denied all of these claims.
During their honeymoon, they stayed in separate hotels Here's everything you ever needed to know about their wedding Watch it
Prince Albert is passionate about the environment and an avid sportsman. Prince Albert speaks French, English, German, and Italian. He speaks English with basically no accent thanks to his American mother. Illegitimate Children
In 2005, the day before Prince Rainier died, Albert publicly acknowledged he had fathered a son out of wedlock. In 2006, he confirmed he had also fathered a daughter. These children were barred from the line of inheritance because of a 2002 constitutional amendment requiring an heir’s parents to be married. Alexandre (b. 2003)
Alexandre’s mother (Nicole Coste) was a flight attendant for Air France and met Prince Albert when he was a passenger on a flight. He asked for her number, the beginning of a years-long affair. The relationship ended at the insistence of Prince Rainier. Albert visited Alexandre and Nicole often, however when he refused to acknowledge Alexandre publicly, Nicole sold an interview and pictures to the media. Albert was in mourning for his father and made no public comment, but later did acknowledge paternity. Alexandre and Nicole live in France at an estate given to them by Albert. Jazmin (b. 1992)
Jazmin’s mother, Tamara, met Albert while working as a waitress. Albert knew of Jazmin and visited her, however did not acknowledge her publicly until she was in high school to protect her identity. In 2006 the French magazine Voici published photographs of Jazmin and her mother on a visit to Monaco, outing her as Albert’s daughter. She has attended events with Albert and Charlene, and is listed as a sponsor for her father’s royal foundation. An interview with Jazmin Princess Charlene (b. 1978)
Born in Zimbabwe, Charlene’s family relocated to South Africa in 1989. She represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, finished fifth in the 4x100 meter relay.
Albert and Charlene met at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monaco in 2000, however were not seen together until 2006.
Charlene converted to Roman Catholicism for her wedding, and has learned French and Monegasque after her move to Monaco. She is an ambassador for the Special Olympics, patron of the South African Red Cross, and is passionate about sport. In recent news, she completed “the crossing” water bike challenge, a 180 kilometer water bike race for charity. An interview with Charlene and Albert on the 1st birthday of their twins
Albert and Charlene have 2 children: Hereditary Prince Jacques *twin* (b. 2014) Princess Gabriella *twin* (b. 2014)
Gabriella was born 2 minutes before her brother, however because of the constitution her brother will inherit the throne. They are super sweet together and you see them at events often. Princess Caroline of Hanover (b. 1957)
Caroline is the eldest child of Rainier and Grace Kelly, however because of the constitution her brother, Albert, sits on the throne of Monaco. She served as de facto first lady of Monaco until the marriage of Albert and Charlene.
Until the birth of her niece and nephew she was heir presumptive to the throne, although she had only held that title since 2005 after the change of the constitution to include female heirs.
Caroline received her French baccalaureat in 1974, and received a degree in Philosophy from Sorbonne University. She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German, and Italian. Her hobbies include horseback riding, swimming, and skiing. Marriages:
- Marriage 1: Philippe Junot
Married Phillippe, a Parisian banker, in 1978. The couple divorced in 1980 with no children.
- Marriage 2: Stefano Casiraghi
Married Stefano in 1983, the sportsman heir to an Italian industrial fortune. The two had to marry in a civil ceremony rather than a religious ceremony because Caroline, a Catholic, was divorced. Caroline was 3 months pregnant at the time of their wedding.
They have three children:
- Andrea Casiraghi (1984)
- Charlotte Casiraghi (1986)
- Pierre Casiraghi (b. 1987)
Note: The Casiraghi’s are all very beautiful and very fashionable but I don’t want to go much into them here because they are so far down the line of succession. They’re fun to follow for their fashion if you have the time to check them out.
- Marriage 3: Prince Ernst August of Hanover
Married Ernst August, a Prince, in 1999. They have one daughter, Princess Alexandra.
Caroline is thus a Princess twice-over, through her family and through her husband. She and Ernst August have been separated since 2009 however are still legally married, thus she retains the title of Princess Caroline of Hanover. Read about all of her weddings here See her speaking in English around 12:00 here Princess Stephanie (b. 1965)
Stephanie was in the vehicle with her mother when Grace died. She suffered a fracture of the neck.
She has studied classical dance and piano, and competed in gymnastics and horse riding. She interned at Christian Dior and debuted as a model in 1984. She has a swimwear and perfume line, and owns cafes and stores in both Monaco and Barcelona. She also has sold more than 2 million copies of her song, Ouragan, and sold 1.5M copies of her album Besoin. She recorded “In the Closet” with Michael Jackson, however is listed as “mystery girl” in the credits. Marriages/Relationships:
- Marriage 1: Daniel Ducruet
Stephanie married her former body guard, Daniel Ducruet, in 1995. When Rainier learned of their relationship Daniel was not only still his employee, but had a pregnant girlfriend too. Stephanie gave birth to their two children “out of wedlock” because Rainier refused to grant permission for them to marry, however eventually relented. The two divorced a year later after Ducruet was photographed naked with a stripper. Read more
They have two children:
- Louis (b. 1992)
- Pauline (b. 1994)
- Relationship 2: Jean Raymond Gottlieb
Stephanie and Jean never married, however have a child together. He was Rainier’s Head of Security. She did not identify him on the birth certificate and it was not confirmed that he was Camille’s father until she confirmed it herself on her Instagram. More about Jean
Stephanie met elephant trainer (yeah, you read that right) when she presented him with the award for “best animal tamer” at the Monaco Circus Festival in 1997. Franco, a decade older than Stephanie, was married with two children at the time. Franco left his family for Stephanie, moving her and her three children into his circus caravan in Zurich. Marrying in 2001, their relationship lasted 18 months until their divorce. An interview with Stephanie in English in 1990 Why is he a Prince and not a King?
It goes back deep into the history of Monaco
. Monaco has always been a tiny nation, and, for protection, allied itself with (or, at some points, was flat-out annexed by) big powerful countries, with big powerful rulers—aka kingdoms, or, a nation ruled by a king or queen. So Monaco’s rulers styled themselves as prince and princess. That, by definition, made the nation a principality, or one ruled by prince or princess.
Regardless, Albert actually plays a bigger role in the day to day operations of the country than most of his European peers. Legislative power is divided between the Prince who initiates the laws, and the National Council who votes on them. Executive power is retained by the Prince, and he has full judiciary powers. Jewels See their tiara collection
I think the Ocean Tiara, gifted to Charlene for her wedding, is particularly interesting. You either love it or you hate it. The Grimaldi Curse What do you think?
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