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Evening Update 23 May

Rail - An unofficial poll of approximately 60% of rail workers, shows that almost all of those who voted, oppose reforms within the SNCF. On the Cote d’Azur, 444 workers, of a possible 718, took part in the cross union poll. Although it has no legal standing, the CGT union say the direction of the SNCF is completely discredited by the vote. Meanwhile, drivers continue their strike action today and tomorrow, in the latest of their rolling two day strikes.

Court - The Court of Appeal in the Var has sentenced a man to 30 years in prison, for the murder of 21 year old Jérémy Labrousse with a broken bottle. The sentence is an increase of nine years on the original sentence, for the murder which took place near Marseilles St Charles train station in the summer of 2013.

Air France - Four former employees of Air France, have received sentences of 3 to 4 months for violence, following protests three years ago, where two airline executives were attacked and their shirts torn from their backs. The Paris Court of Appeal also imposed a fine of €500 on eight other defendants.

Post - La Poste in Monaco are warning customers mail and parcel pick-ups will change slightly over the next few days due to the Grand Prix. Pick-up times at post offices are different between now and Saturday, while mailboxes along the circuit itself, will not be serviced until Monday.

BUSINESS

INSEE figures out today, show a slight increase in unemployment numbers, which are up two percentage points to 9.2% nationally. It remains the lowest unemployment rate in almost ten years.

Meanwhile the EU has officially recommended, that France be removed its “excessive deficit procedure” which was first opened at the start of the eurozone debt crisis. The European Commission forecasts France will hit a deficit of 2.3% of GDP this year, well below the EU's three percent limit. Eyes are now turning to Italy, whose populist and euro-sceptic government, has promised to flout EU budget rules.

SPORT

Football - In his first press conference as the new Arsenal coach, Unai Emery said he wants the team to be among Europe's elite once more. Arsenal’s CEO said Emery was the clubs first choice, out of eight possibles, to succeed Arsene Wenger.

Rumours are rife that OGC Nice are on the verge of announcing Patrick Vieira as their new head coach to replace Lucien Favre. Vieira started his career playing for Cannes in 1994, before his famous run at Arsenal, where he captained the team to three Premiere League titles. More recently he has been head coach at New York City.

Formula 1 - Monegasque Institute of Statistics says last year’s event attracted 228,000 people over four days generating 90 million euros for the Principality. All the teams and drivers, about half of whom live here, are set for first practice tomorrow between 11am and 12.30, with an afternoon F1 practice between 3 and 4.30.  The track will officially close to traffic and the public from 6am tomorrow and re-open at 7.30

Swimming - Niçoise Charlotte Bonnet has been crowned French champion, after winning the 50 metres freestyle at St Raphael last night. It means that Charlotte will now represent France at the European Championships, to be held in Glasgow during the summer.

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