Fire - A burning car in a tunnel has led to the closure of the A8 motorway between Nice l’Ariane and Monaco this evening. Motorists are suffering traffic chaos with tailbacks of 10km and more to Cagnes-sur-mer. Authorities say it will be a number of hours before traffic returns to normal. Meanwhile, over forty firefighters are tackling a brush fire near Ramatuelle. The fire broke out just after lunchtime and has spread to over 5,000 square metres. This afternoon four Canadair water bombers were over the scene with several villas under threat.
Recovery - Tourism in Nice is beginning to recover with new figures today revealing hotel occupancy rates touching 80% in April. The city is planning a full return to normal, after July 14th, with events such as the arrival of the world’s largest aircraft, the A380, beginning daily service to Nice Airport, and summer fireworks which are planned for Assumption Day on August 15th.
Cannes - Midem is back in full swing in Cannes with 4,400 delegates from 85 countries visiting, including some of the world’s biggest music companies; Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and China’s Alibaba and Tencent. Performances will include former Fugee’s frontman, Wyclef Jean, who is playing on the Majestic beach this evening at 11.30.
Spanish bank Banco Popular has been rescued from the brink of collapse by rival Santander who bought the bank for one euro. Banco Popular has struggled, after billions in property investments turned sour, leading to the ECB to declare the bank as ‘failing or likely to fail’. However, Santander say the purchase is a good deal for them, as it strengthens their geographical diversification at a time of improving economic conditions. Shareholders appear to disagree with Santander shares falling 3% in early trading.
The OECD has predicted the global economy is set to grow 3.5% this year, its best performance since 2011. It said increased trade and investment flows had offset a weaker outlook in the US. Despite the positive stance, the OECD Secretary General warned that this is not a reason to celebrate, it’s simply that fact we're moving from very bad to mediocre.
Tennis - Novak Djokovic is out of the French Open today after the defending champion fell in a straight-sets defeat by Dominic Thiem losing 7-6 6-3 6-0. Dominic Thiem will now play Rafael Nadal in the last four after Nadal’s quarter final opponent withdrew from their match with an abdominal injury. This afternoon, in the women’s quarter finals, third seed Simona Halep has taken out second seed Karolina Pliskova after a cracking 3-6 7-6 6-0 game.
Football - Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has signed a new contract with the champion side until 2020. In the last three years Allegri has brought Juventus to three successive Italian league titles, two Champions League finals and three Coppa Italia triumphs. In a statement today the club said the new agreement extends a working relationship that has seen them consolidate their position as Italy's top team and also evolve into one of European football's major forces.