Prince Albert II thanked departing minister Jean Castellini for his "dedication and loyalty"
Nice (France) (AFP) - Monaco on Friday named a new finance and economy minister, following a rebuke from the Council of Europe earlier this year over shortcomings in the principality’s anti-money laundering efforts.
New treasury chief Marco Piccinini, 71, returns to the job after a stint in 2011-12, following a career in finance and motorsport.
He will be tasked with “efforts to strengthen Monaco’s economic position on the global scene and to promote an environment supportive of prosperity and innovation,” the office of Monegasque head of state Prince Albert II said in a statement.
In a second statement, the monarch thanked departing minister Jean Castellini for his “dedication and loyalty” over almost 18 years in government.
But a source close to Monaco’s business community told AFP that Castellini “is paying the price for his inaction or ineffectiveness in the Moneyval affair”, which had “created confusion and doubts on the international scene”.
Moneyval, the anti-money-laundering arm of the Council of Europe – a separate body from the EU that includes 46 member states – called on Monaco in January to intensify its efforts in the investigation and prosecution of money laundering.
Monaco’s National Council legislative assembly had already passed several laws in late 2022 in areas including international judicial cooperation and seizures of the proceeds of crime.
This year, a Monegasque government source told AFP the state planned to increase staff at its financial intelligence and audit authority.
Monaco, a two-square-kilometre (0.8-square-mile) microstate close to France’s border with Italy, heaved itself off a so-called “grey list” of uncooperative tax havens established by the OECD following the 2009 G20 meeting in London.
Since 2016, the principality has struck tax cooperation deals with more than 60 countries.
The change at the finance ministry comes after Albert II replaced his chief of staff earlier this month.
An inspection team from the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) are set to visit in November.