Evening Update Friday 29 May 2020

The Regional Health Agency has said this afternoon that one person has died from Covid-19 in the past twenty four hours in the Var and one person in the Alpes Maritimes. Two fewer patients are in hospital with the virus in the Alpes Maritimes since Thursday, meaning that 110 people are currently hospitalised. In the Var however, 141 are in hospital, which is seven more than yesterday.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi has announced that restaurants and bars will receive 1,000 euros each. The mayor said the funds were being distributed to help restaurants and bars with their cash flow and to help in reintegrating their staff. Financial support is also planned for various other businesses affected by the pandemic from a fund of 3.5 million euros released for the second half of the year.

The city of Cannes has launched a major new operation to disinfect public and private beaches. Disinfection operations are taking place between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m from today until Sunday and will use quad bikes to spray the disinfecting solution as well as a barge positioned on the water. Municipal police officers evacuate the part of the beach to make room for the disinfection officers. Once the treatment has been carried out, the beach reopens a few minutes later. Private beaches are being disinfected, at their own expense, at the same time as the public beaches and to the same standards as public beaches.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced finacial aid for local municipalities across France. Up to approximately 750 million euros will be paid to a total of 12,000 to 14,000 municipalities to compensate them for lost revenues during the crisis. He also said that one billion euros would be allocated for the green investments of municipalities.

New data published today by statistics agency INSEE shows that there has been a 26% rise in "excess mortality" in France compared to 2019 and a rise of 16% compared to 2018. However, the agency cautions that the rise cannot completely be attributed to Covid-19 as the number of deaths normally fluctuates from year to year.

The French government has announced an increase in aid for the wine industry. Aid of 140 million euros was announced earlier this month, a figure which has now been increased by 30 million euros.

In the first quarter of this year the French economy contracted by the largest amount since records began in 1950. New data released by INSEE today shows that French GDP fell by 5.3% in the January to March period compared with October to December last year. Consumption expenditure by French households also recorded an unprecedented drop of 5.6%.

The French Minister of Labour, Muriel Penicaud, has encouraged people to go out and spend the money they have saved during confinement in order to restart the economy. In an interview this morning the Minister said that the French had saved sixty billion euros during the confinement period.

Meteo France still have a Yellow weather warning in operation for storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until 8pm this evening and also from 2pm to at least 3pm tomorrow.
 

 

BUSINESS

Renault has announced that it's cutting about 4,600 jobs at its French operations. The job losses are part of a reduction of 14,600 jobs worldwide and are being made as part of a €2bn cost-cutting plan unveiled today. The company said that six sites are under review but it intends to close only one site in France. Renault is 15% owned by the French state.

The Italian economy contracted in the first quarter by the largest amount since comparable records began in the mid-1990s. The Italian government statistics agency Istat today released final figures for the January to March period which showed a 5.3% fall in GDP.

Eurozone inflation fell to just 0.1% in May from 0.3% in April. The inflation figure was negative in twelve of the nineteen countries in the Eurozone, with France recording a 0.2% increase but prices in Spain falling by 0.9%.


SPORT


Football... ... In Spain, it's been announced that La Liga matches will resume on 11 June. The next season is now scheduled to start on 12 September. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gave permission last weekend for Spain's top two divisions to start playing again from 8 June.

New dates have been announced for the FA Cup. The quarter finals are now scheduled for the 27-28 June, the semis on 18-19 July and the final on Saturday 1 August. Venues are still to be decided and the matches are dependent on all safety measures being met.

English Football League clubs are set to meet on 8 June to give their final confirmation of proposals to end the season early. The EFL board agreed on a framework involving promotion, relegation and play-offs at a meeting earlier this week but final approval from clubs is still required.

Poland has announced plans to reopen football stadiums from 19 June. Under the plans, stadiums would only be allowed to accept fans up to one quarter of the stadium's capacity in order to allow for social distancing measures to be observed.

Motorsports... The head of Renault has said that the company intends to remain in Formula 1. The company announced large scale job cuts as part of a company-wide cost savings plan earlier today. However, interim chief executive Clotilde Delbos confirmed the company's intention to continue with Formula 1.

Meanwhile, the Williams Formula 1 team and wider company group have said that they are considering various strategic options for the business. In a statement today Williams said that options included the raising of "new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in Williams Grand Prix Holdings, or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole company". Managing director Mike O'Driscoll said there were "no prescribed outcomes" and that a "whole sale is just one option".

Tennis... Andy Murray is set to play in a charity tournament organised by his brother Jamie. The tournament will take place behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre in London from 23-28 June and will raise funds for National Health Service charities. Other players taking part include Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans.

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