Evening Update Wednesday 8 May

A large number of flights are set to be cancelled or delayed because of industrial action by air traffic controllers and engineers. They’re planning to stop working from 7pm this evening until 6am on Friday. Flights to non-French destinations may also be affected if they travel through French airspace. The strikes are part of a national day of action being held tomorrow to oppose civil service reforms and job losses.

It’s been announced that the Moyenne Corniche at Cap d’Ail will remain closed until the 17th of May. The road was closed after a landslide two weeks ago. It had been hoped to reopen the road on the 10th of May but the Mayor of Cap d’Ail Xavier Back said this afternoon that it would remain closed for an additional week because of the complexity of the works involved. Works are expected to last 3 months in total with an aletrnating traffic system set up after the 17th.

One person has been arrested on the sidelines of a gathering of Yellow Vests in Toulon today. Yellow vest protestors were meeting to welcome several leaders of the movement in Le Cannet-des-Maures. Various local reports put the number of protestors at between 500 and over 1,000. The protestors then headed to Toulon where reports say a paving slab was thrown at police, who responded with tear gas.

Over 500 people gathered in Marseille today to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the armistice in Europe. Known in the UK and US as Victory in Europe Day or VE Day, the 8 May 1945 marked the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. The gathering, which included local officials and dignatories, took place at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe at the Porte d'Aix in Marseille.

The French army minister, Florence Parly, has confirmed that France will be building a second aircraft carrier.  Currently, France has only one aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle which is based in Toulon and is currently on operations in the Indian Ocean after its recent extensive refit in Toulon.


BUSINESS


German industrial output rose by 0.5% in March, beating expectations of a fall. The German economy grew by 1.4% last year but this year the government forecasts the economy to grow by just 0.5%.

Ferrovial, which owns the operator of Heathrow Airport, has reported a loss of €98m, in its first quarter. The loss is due a €345m provision for possible losses on construction contracts in the US. The company said its underlying business is performing well, with profits up 0.7% at Heathrow.

Commerzbank has reported pre-tax profits of €225m verses €301m a year earlier while net profits were 54% lower at €120m.

Australian competition authorities have blocked a proposed merger between Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom. The deal, which was announced last summer, was aimed at creating a company which could better compete with Telstra and Optus.

 

SPORT

Cricket...England play Pakistan in the first one day international today. Play at the Oval started at 2pm French time.

Football...Chelsea have lost their appeal against Fifa's decision to ban the club from signing players during the next two transfer windows. The only change to the terms of the ban is that Chelsea can sign under-16 players from the UK during the suspension period. Fifa took action after an investigation into the club’s signing of foreign under-18 players. Chelsea can now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

Tennis….Simona Halep is through to the Madrid Open quarter-finals after beating Viktoria Kuzmova 6-0 6-0. The match lasted just 45 minutes. Halep is aiming to win the title for a third time after victories in 2016 and 2017.

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