French and Riviera News Monday 14th August 2017


Forest Fires - An important forest fire broke out on Sunday in the middle of the afternoon at Mortisson, in the commune of Lucéram in the northeast of Nice. Some 310 firefighters were on site, as authorities reported that 70 hectares of land had been destroyed. The cause of the fire is thought to be accidental and no casualties were reported. Meanwhile 200 people have been evacuated as two fires broke out between Gordes and Venasque in the Vauclause region on Sunday, the blaze was reportedly started after a car caught fire. And hundreds of holidaymakers have been forced to flee Corsica as further blazes destroyed scrubland over the weekend.

Arrests - Six young women of Bosnian origin have been taken into custody, suspected of pickpocketing in recent weeks in the Nice region. The women who were arrested last Wednesday in Carros were found to be in possession of luxury bags and large sums of money after police carried out a search in their apartment.

Open letter - In an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron local officials have said that yacht owners are fleeing the French Riviera choosing Italy and Spain over France’s high taxes and regulations. According to reports published last week the iconic port of Saint-Tropez has lost 30 percent of its business since the start of 2017, while Toulon has lost a 40 percent. Meanwhile, France’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Antibes – Europe’s largest port, famous for its “quai des milliardaires” – has experienced a similar drop in business in the same time frame. Frank Dosne, director of Antibes’ Port Vauban described the impact of the national insurance tax changes as “terrible”, noting that “the rate for ship owners has gone from 15 percent to 55 percent.”

Birthday celebrations - François Hollande has celebrated his 63rd birthday at the Château d'Aiguines in the Var. The former head of state was joined by the actress Julie Gayet and several friends including Bernard Cazeneuve, former Prime Minister.

Summer Holiday – Meanwhile Emmanuel Macron is spending his first presidential summer holiday in Marseilles. Macron and his wife Brigitte, are staying in a villa located in the Prado area of the city. Locals reportedly spotted the President sporting an Olympic de Marseille football shirt much to their delight. It is the first time a French President has spent his official summer break in Marseille.


North Korea - French President Emmanuel Macron has warned against an "escalation of tensions" over North Korea amid a growing war of words between Washington and Pyongyang. In a statement, Macron voiced his "concern at the ballistic and nuclear threat coming from North Korea", saying the international community needed to work to get Pyongyang to "resume the path of dialogue without conditions".

Egg Scandal - French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert has said that nearly 250,000 insecticide-contaminated eggs have been sold in France since April, adding the risk for consumers was very low.  A first batch of 196,000 eggs, imported from Belgium, was distributed between April 16 and May 2, and was followed by a second batch of 48,000 Dutch eggs sold by the retailer chain Leader Price between the 19th and 28th July.  Contaminated eggs have been found in at least 11 countries since the scare went public on August 1, with millions of eggs and egg-based products being pulled from supermarket shelves.


Tesla expects to raise nearly $1.8bn (£1.4bn) by selling "junk" bonds to private investors - even more than the electric car-maker aimed for when it announced the offering this month. The firm said the money will keep its balance sheet steady as it ramps up manufacturing of its newest car. Tesla aims to make 5,000 of its mass market Model 3 a week by the end of this year. It has estimated it is already spending about $100m a week to hit that target. The fundraising is limited to major institutions and not private investors.

Clarks has been accused of "everyday sexism" for a calling a girls' school shoe "Dolly Babe", while the boys' equivalent is called "Leader". The girls' shoes carry a heart-patterned insole, while the boys' insoles are decorated with footballs. The shoe manufacturer has removed the Dolly Babe from its website following "customer feedback" about the name. Clark said "We apologise for any unintended offence caused." Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said the situation was unacceptable and "almost beyond belief" in 2017.

And – A Panorama investigation has suggested that arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year. A total of 387 people were arrested between February 2016 and February 2017 - up from 255 the previous year. Meanwhile, more than half of cabin crew who responded to a survey said they had witnessed disruptive drunken passenger behaviour at UK airports. The Home Office is "considering" calls for tougher rules on alcohol.


Football – Neymar scored on his Paris St-Germain debut following his world record £200m transfer from Barcelona. The Brazilian had a hand in all three goals as PSG beat Guingamp 3-0 to maintain their 100% start to the season and Monaco beat Dijon 4 – 1 in the French Premier league.

In the English Premier league this weekend Arsenal beat Leicester City 4-3, Liverpool drew against Watford 3-3 Burnley beat Chelsea 3-2 Huddersfield beat Crystal Palace 3-0 Everton beat stoke city 1-0 Southampton drew against Swansea 0-0 West Bromwich beat Bournemouth 1-0 Manchester city beat Brighton 2-0 Tottenham beat Newcastle 2-0 and Manchester United beat west ham 4-0

Athletics – The United States dominated the Championships, in London finishing with 30 medals - 10 of them gold. Kenya finished 2nd with 11 medals, South Africa finished 3rd with 6 medals France finished 4th with 5 medals and Great Britain finished sixth on the medals table.

Tennis – Germany's Alexander Zverev became just the third man to beat Roger Federer this year as the 20-year-old German won his fifth title of 2017 in Montreal.


Today's weather sunshine and clear skies with highs of 29 degrees in Menton and Antibes and 28 in Nice going down to 20 degrees across the Alpes Maritimes this evening with clear skies.

In the Var clear skies and highs of 29 degrees in Toulon and Saint Tropez going down to 15 degrees this evening with clear skies. A moderate south easterly wind across the region is forecast.

Tomorrow similar to today becoming increasingly cloudy and cooler on Wednesday.


A postcard sent from Nice on May 21st 1974 finally made it to its destination - a town in Brittany on July 22nd this year, a staggering 43 years after it was sent.

It was a local postal worker in the Breton town of Lorient who realized what had happened when, noticing that the name of the addressee didn't correspond with the address on her route, she came across the surprising postmark. 

The postcard had taken 43 years to travel the 1,300km from Nice on the French Riviera to Brittany in northwest France. 



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