Evening Update Friday 30 October 2020

The French government is calling up 3,500 reserve gendarmes and is mobilizing 3,500 police from the gendarmes and mobile police after the attack in Nice yesterday in which three people lost their lives. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin made the announcement after a Defence Council meeting this morning and also said that 120 additional police will be sent to Nice. Armed Forces minister Florence Parly said that soldiers will carry out patrols, with particular attention being paid to places of worship and schools.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi and Alpes Maritimes Prefect Bernard Gonzalez held a meeting this morning with the municipal police officers who intervened yesterday at the Notre Dame Basilica. The mayor said that he wanted to "express our immense gratitude to them, on behalf of all the people of Nice".

Today flowers and candles have continued to be placed outside the Basilica. Christian Esrosi said this morning that it may be possible to return to worship at the church this weekend. He said he'd asked for an exceptional mobilization from service staff  "so that the faithful find their church as quickly as possible after this tragedy".

Reports say that 47 year old man was taken into police custody last night. It's believed that the person arrested had met the alleged perpetrator on Wednesday. In a press conference last night the anti-terrorism proscutor said that the attacker is a Tunisian national born in 1999 and was carrying Italian Red Cross papers.

In other news, at a press conference this afternoon the Monaco government has given further details of new coronavirus restrictions. A curfew will be in operation from 8pm to 6am starting this weekend from the night of Saturday to Sunday.  It will be in effect until 30 November at a minimum. Detailed measures regarding the timing of evening dining in restaurants are being introduced. Restaurants will be open until 9.30pm and the restaurant will issue an attestation to diners to show that they have been at the restaurant and are on their way home. Reservations will be obligatory and the maximum number of diners will be limited to six per table, with 1.5 metres between tables.  Also, with some exceptions, it will from now on be mandatory to wear a mask in all public spaces in the Principality and also in the communal areas of private spaces, except for children under five years old. The wearing of a mask won't be necessary for those practising a sport outdoors such as joggers but they must still carry a mask in their pocket for use if they interrupt their sporting activity. The government is also recommending the wearing of a mask when people from outside the household come to your home or a vulnerable person lives there. The detailed measures can be found on the Monaco government website www.gouv.mc

New figures released today show a record expansion in the French economy. GDP expanded by 18.2% in the July to September quarter. Despite the new figures, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said today that he expected the French economy to contract by 11% overall this year. The French economy and the wider eurozone economy are still smaller than a year ago.

There have been calls for French bookshops to be classified as "essential" businesses under the new lockdown restrictions. A French publishers association, a booksellers association and a group representing authors issued a joint statement asking the government to leave  bookstores open "so that social confinement is not also cultural isolation".

The Monaco town hall has said that the annual Christmas Village this year will go ahead but in a reduced format. The smaller than usual event will take place on the main port of Monaco from December 4 to January 3 and will feature several attractions and rides and a food chalet. The area will be decorated with natural trees. The outdoor ice rink is also scheduled to open on December 4. The program will take place subject to any changes in the health situation in the Principality.

The fifteenth edition of the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival has been cancelled because of the latest coronavirus measures introduced in Monaco. Ticket holders are invited to contact their resellers to obtain a refund.

SNCF have said that TGV INOUI, OUIGO, Intercités, international trains and regional trains will all run as planned this weekend to ensure the return of travellers over the All Saints holiday. All travelers must have their ticket, and the wearing of a mask continues to be compulsory upon entering the station and throughout the journey. Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that people returning from holiday this weekend will need to have a certificate of honour saying where they have been on holiday and where they are returning to, as well as the exceptional travel certificate. For more details see the French government website. Nice Cote d'Azur airport have said that journeys by plane must meet the travel requirements provided for in the travel declaration required by the authorities. They say that you need to bring this declaration with you and, if need be, documents proving that your travel is necessary, for professional, personal or medical reasons. Over the coming weeks, airlines may need to reduce their flight schedules and the airport asks travellers to consult the airlines’ websites to ensure that your journey is still going ahead.

 

BUSINESS

Consumer prices in the Eurozone have fallen in October according to preliminary figures from EU statistics agency Eurostat. Inflation in the bloc was minus 0.3% in October compared to the same month last year. Much of the fall was attributable to a change in energy prices, which fell by 8.4%, but food prices rose by 2%.

The unemployment rate in the Eurozone rose to 8.3% in September. The number of people unemployed in the area rose by 75,000 in the month to reach 13.612 million.

UK restaurant chain Pizza Express has said that it plans to cut 1,300 jobs. The job losses are in addition to the 1,100 already announced in August when the company also announced the closure of 73 of its restaurants.

 

SPORT

Football.... Liverpool have said that Virgil van Dijk has had  successful surgery on his knee ligament injury. He sustained the injury in the match against Everton on 17 October.

In the English Premiership tonight Wolves play Crystal Palace. On Saturday Sheffield United play Manchester City, Burnley host Chelsea and Liverpool play West Ham. On Sunday Aston Villa meet Southampton, Newcastle play Everton, Manchester United face Arsenal and Spurs play Brighton. Fulham play West Brom and Leeds play Leicester on Monday.

Motorsports.... Alfa Romeo have confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi will continue racing for the team in 2021. It will be Raikkonen's 19th season in Formula 1.

Rugby Union... The 6 Nations Championship will finally conclude tomorrow after a lengthy delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wales play Scotland, Italy host England and France play Ireland. France ,Ireland and England can all win the tournament depending on results.

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