Our emigration: life in Monaco
Russian-born 27-year-old Kirill Logachev has been living in Monaco for three years, where he works in Formula 1 and develops his marketing agency in Europe. He told how life is organized in the small principality. Tinkoff magazine.
Logachev says that in 2014, he decided to change his place of residence, was looking for an English-speaking country in Europe and decided to move to Monaco. He collected a package of documents and sent them to the embassy in order to obtain a residence permit in France, which can then be exchanged for a Monaco resident card. I was preparing to wait a few months, but the answer was given after four days.
Monaco is a small principality in the south of France, on the Cote d'Azur. The main district is Monte Carlo. The whole principality can be walked along on foot, its area is 2 km². Several thousand people live here, most of whom are visitors. Locals call Monegasques.
Monaco is known for its casinos and the Formula 1 Championship - the Monaco Grand Prix. The Principality is popular with world celebrities and rich people.
From France you can come here without a visa, there are no physical borders between countries. The territory of the state is divided only legally, the house can stand in one half in France, and the other in Monaco. But formally there is a state: a constitutional monarchy headed by a prince.
Passport of the Principality
To get a passport of the Principality of Monaco, you must be on good terms with the prince, as well as an outstanding person: a world-famous athlete, artist or legendary musician. Monaco citizens with a passport - less than seven thousand people. The rest live on a residence permit.
Banks and accounts
It is impossible to live in Monaco if you do not have an account at a local bank. No account can not rent an apartment or issue a sim card. In order for you to open an account in a bank, you need to deposit at least 100 000 euros (about $ 124 thousands).
Citizens of Russia are required to provide a bunch of documents for opening an account. I had to collect inquiries about the purity of my savings and convince the bank that I am not sponsoring terrorists. However, the Americans are collecting even more paperwork.
There are no banks in our customary understanding, there are no branches with polite tellers. It is impossible to just enter the bank from the street: the door is always closed. To get inside, you need to go up and ring the bell.
For clients, only private banking works - this is when you have a personal banker, he is your financial advisor. The personal banker actually manages your account. I can write him a letter: “My friend, pay for the apartment” - and he will make a transfer. A personal banker is convenient, but you need to get used to it.
The banks in Monaco have mobile apps, but nothing can be done in them, you can only see the balance, card limits and recent transactions.
There are no SMS messages about transactions. I started the card, made several purchases and asked my banker to connect an SMS alert. But he did not understand me. In Monaco, there is simply no such service, because the cancellation occurs with delays of up to several weeks.
Cards are accepted here, but not everywhere. Often the card is allowed to pay for purchases from 10 — 15 euros. Many pay in cash.
Here you can not just come to the casino and lose a million euros. You need to apply in advance and tell them that you are going to lose a large amount. It is also necessary to provide a lot of documents that this is your legal money.
The bank is the same. If someone sends 1000 euros to my account, the money will not be credited immediately. I will need to provide information on where they come from, what for, how the sender earned them. Sold the car - show the document on the sale. You get a salary - attach the contract. Paying for an apartment - provide a lease agreement.
In Monaco, real estate is rented through an agency. Good rental offers are few. The tenant does not communicate with the landlord; most likely, he does not even recognize his name. All questions are decided by the agency.
On average, rental housing costs from 3000 — 3500 euros per month per studio. You will have to pay about 500 euros for utility payments, this amount includes electricity, water, a concierge and so on.
It is difficult to rent an apartment without an account in a European bank, and the account will not be opened without a permanent residence. Vicious circle! To break it, you have to spend thousands of euros in cash.
Rent an apartment in Monaco is very expensive. The agency will charge up to 3 monthly fees for its services, it will still need to make a deposit for three months. An apartment is usually paid a year in advance. Sometimes you can negotiate and pay once a quarter. No one pays monthly here.
Repairs in the apartment can not be done, any changes need to be coordinated. Most likely, it will not be possible even to hang a picture without coordination.
Buying a home
It is almost impossible to find housing for buying a million euro. For a million, you can buy an unkempt small apartment with an unfortunate location. A decent studio with an area of 30 m² is from 2 — 2,5 million euros. To buy an apartment, you need to again prove the purity of money.
Mortgage in Monaco give under 2 — 3% per annum, the minimum contribution - 20% of the value of the apartment. If you buy an apartment for 2,5 million euros, then the account should be at least 2 million. Why then take a mortgage - a big question.
I pay for the connection order of 100 — 120 euro per month along with the Internet. The Internet usually comes as a mobile application. You can separately set yourself home Internet, but in Monaco there is only one mobile operator and Internet operator - “Monaco-telecom”.
Business in Monaco
Doing business in Monaco is beneficial due to the lack of taxes. To open a business, you need to get permission from the local administration. This requires proving that the business will be useful for the economy of the principality. You also need to remove the office in advance and register the address. Some people buy a ready-made business with all permissions and registrations, but this is expensive - from 300 thousands of euros.
Opening your store in Monaco is also expensive. Renting a box will cost 30 thousands of euros to a foreigner, while Monegasque would take it off for 500 euros. But for Monegasques, there is a restriction: they cannot rent the same property for several years. This is done so that people do not inherit their profitable premises by paying the minimum rent.
How much do local people earn
The average salary of a local resident is about 2000 euros. For the money in Monaco, you can not even rent a house. Therefore, many people who work in Monaco in the service sector and simple line staff go to work from neighboring Nice.
Any citizen of Monaco is exempt from taxes, but is not allowed to visit the casino.
Taxi and transport
There is only one taxi company here. It seems that there are ten cars working in it, I already know their drivers. “Uber” is forbidden here, you can come here from France, you cannot leave.
The minimum taxi waiting time is 20 minutes. The car will not wait. If the car is filed, but you did not get out, then the taxi will just leave and you will have to order it again. If you want to take a taxi to the airport, it is better to book it in advance in a day or two. If there is an event (tennis tournament, Grand Prix or an evening of hot parties), then you can forget about a taxi.
It should be understood that Monaco is a country two kilometers long, and there are few who travel by car. Many go on foot or use public transport, ride their own or public bicycles. The terrain is mountainous, so the bikes here are electric.
There is a car sharing, but outside of Monaco on it can not go. It’s more profitable to rent a car than to buy it, because the average cost of an insurance policy is two to three thousand euros per year and expensive parking. Gasoline costs 1,6 euro per liter, this is the average European price.
In Monaco, there are 13 bus routes. The trip costs 2 euros, you can buy a travel card for a year for 200 euros.
Products in Monaco are cheaper than in France, because France has high taxes. A sandwich in Monaco will be cheaper than a sandwich a hundred meters away, in France. There are 3 — 4 supermarkets: one big and a few small ones.
There are two types of entertainment: sports and alcohol. There are clubs, bars, restaurants, gyms, promenade and mountains, where you can run. There was one big cinema, but it was demolished a year and a half ago.
In Monaco, you can leave your MacBook unattended on a Starbucks table for an hour and no one will touch it. Almost the entire territory of the state is monitored by video cameras. There are no pickpockets here, and even bar fights don't happen.
Monaco is a paradise for millionaires and celebrities. You can meet movie and sports stars who go home in their flip-flops with shopping. At the same time, no one around them runs and asks for a selfie. There is an unspoken law of respect for privacy.
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