Evening Update Monday 18 May 2020

A decision of the French Council of State has brought a halt to the use of drones to enforce deconfinement. A decison today forbids the use of drones for such purposes in Paris. According to reports, a lawyer for the League for Human Rights, which brought the case, said that the decision is applicable to the whole of France. The League successfully argued that there is currently no leagal framework for the processing of personal data collected by drones used by the authorities to control deconfinement. Drones have been used in recent weeks by police in several areas of France including Nice.

Coronavirus testing is set to get underway for Monaco residents tomorrow. The tests are voluntary and are being carried out in alphabetical order by surname. Testing is open from 8:00am to 6:00 pm tomorrow at the Espace Leo Ferré for people whose names begin with the letter A, and at the Grimaldi Forum for people whose names begin with the letter B. The person is required to fill out a document confirming their agreement to be tested. As part of the sanitary measures in force it is requested to bring your own pen. In order to facilitate the screening of families living under the same roof, members of the same family, one of whose parents bears the name beginning with the appropriate letter, may go at the same time with their spouse and children. The wearing of a mask is compulsory. Details of this and other measures can be found at www.covid19.mc

The Palace in Monaco has confirmed that the Minister of State Serge Telle will be leaving office on 31 August and will be replaced by Pierre Dartout on 1 September. M. Dartout is currently the Prefect of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region.

The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard has announced an action plan of 13.4 million euros to relaunch the Cannes tourism  industry. The two main features of the plan announced this afternoon are economic aid of 10.1 million euros, including 2 million euros in exemptions, and 3.3 million euros to be spent on advertising campaigns to relaunch Cannes as a tourist destination.

President Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have proposed the creation of a European investment fund of 500 million euros in response to the coronavirus crisis. The two leaders held a video confererence meeting this afternoon followed by a media conference. President Macron and Chancellor Merkel stated that the fund would be aimed primarily at helping the economic recovery in those countries and sectors worst affected by the pandemic. The two leaders also called for the creation of a new EU health taskforce and an increase in medical research and development in relation to vaccines and treatments. They said that the fund would "strengthen the resilience, convergence and competitiveness of European economies" and would "increase investment, particularly in ecological and digital transitions and in research and innovation". President Macron said the health of Europe "must become our priority".

The public prosecutor's office in Amiens in northern France has opened an investigation into the staging of a football match over the weekend. Reports say that about 100 to 150 people came together to take part in and watch the match in a stadium. Collective sports are still prohibited by the French government.

A French marine organisation has said that no traces of Covid-19 have been detected in shellfish or sea water analysed from the French coast. The French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea took samples at 22 sites around the coast, including three on the Meditteranean coast.

Two radio and mobile telephone relay masts in the Isere department suffered serious fire damage in the early hours of this morning. It's thought that anarchist groups may have targetted the facilities operated by transmission provider TDF. There have been several other such cases in the Isere and Drome departments in recent months.

Meteo France have a Yellow weather warning for storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until 9pm this evening.

 

BUSINESS

Ryanair has announced profits of just over €1bn for the financial year to the end of March, which is an increase of 13% from the previous year. However, it said that it expects to operate less than 1% of its flight schedule in its first quarter this year, from April to June, leading to a first quarter loss of over 200 million euros. Chief executive Michael O'Leary said Ryanair still planned to increase flights in July and said it would weather the pandemic and emerge stronger.  

Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, has said that an economic recovery is underway as lockdown measures are gradually eased in the country. However, it also said that a new measure of economic activity recently introduced by the bank has shown a fall of 4.6% in April.

A new survey of UK businesses says that over a quarter of employers intend to make staff redundant over the 3 months to July. The number of businesses intending to hire new employees is at its lowest level in 15 years according to the survey.

French hotel operator Accor has said that almost one third of its hotels in France are now open, with health protocols in place. The company announced that it's secured an additional credit facility of 560 million euros.

Goldman Sachs has forecast that the economy in India will cotract by 45% in the second quarter from the previous quarter after one of the world's most wide-ranging lockdowns. However, it said that the economy is set to grow by 20% in the second quarter.


SPORT

Football.... Premier League clubs have unanimously agreed to stage one of the return to training protocols which allows teams to start training in small groups as from tomorrow. The decision was taken at a meeting held today to discuss "Project Restart". Players will be required to observe social distancing rules and contact training isn't permitted.

Celtic have been confirmed as Scottish champions and Hearts have been relegated after the SPFL ended the season. The decision was taken at a board meeting today. "Average points per game played" has been used to determine final placings. The only change to the table from when matches were halted is that St Johnstone go into sixth place, above Hibernian.

The UK government is looking at the possibility of Premiership matches being broadcast on free to air TV. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC that "it would be a good thing to do...so people wouldn’t be tempted to leave their homes to watch it".

Everton have said that they will refund tickets for the club's final five home matches of the season. The club said it had made the decision because of "the increasing expectation"  that remaining games may be played behind closed doors.

In Spain, it's been announced that La Liga clubs will be able to train in groups of up to 10 players as from tomorrow. La Liga president Javier Tebas said that the return is another step towards the restarting of the competition. La Liga is aiming to restart the season in June.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has said that the organisation is planning a charity football match to raise funds to help fight the virus outbreak. No further details of the event have been made available at this stage.

Cricket....Former Kent and England batsman Rob Key has revealed that he's recovering after suffering a 'mini stroke'. The 41-year-old is being treated at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

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