French and Riviera News Monday 9th December 2019

Local

Strike - As strike action continues in protest against the pension reform the French rail network the SNCF traffic has announced cancellation on the region network. Between 15 and 20% of trains will be in circulation today. There is no service between Les Arcs and Cannes, Nice and Tende and Cannes, Grasse.

As unions call for the strike to continue indefinitely French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe held another emergency meeting with ministers on Sunday insisting that his government would not abandon the reform.

French unions behind the December strikes hope that their action will pressure the government into backing down from its attempts to overhaul the pension system – just like they did in 1995. After bringing nearly a million people into the streets on 5th December, the unions are well on the way to increasing the pressure, with yet another demonstration planned for Tuesday.

Meanwhile Sunday saw “Citizens for the climate” protest in Nice. The march which started at Place Garibaldi came in protest against air pollution.

Weather alert - Météo France has placed the Var region on a yellow weather alert with strong winds forecast. Gusts of up to 80km/h are expected in and around Saint Tropez. The warning is in place until this evening. 

The Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry shows support for businesses hit by bad weather - The Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown its support to businesses which have been hit by the recent bad weather in the region. The ICC carried out an inventory and an economic report identifying 187 companies as victims of the bad weather estimating the the amount of damage at nearly 10 million euros. With an estimated loss of turnover at around 2.2 million euros affecting more than 1,000 employees. Businesses in the region can contact the helpline number 04.93.13.75.73 for more information.

Generous cash machine - A cash machine of the Caisse d'Epargne bank has been a little too generous. Customers making withdrawals at the machine in Marseille on Saturday were given double the amount requested. The incident let to a police intervention as people descended on the machine to take advantage of the technical fault which was later put out of service by a technician. Lucky customers will nevertheless have to repay any overpayment according to the bank’s authorities.

Don’t die on Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday - The mayor of La Gresle in the Loire region has issued a decree forbidding the inhabitants of his commune to die at their homes on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays condemning the shortage of doctors in the region.

It’s not the first time such a measure has been introduced in 2000 in Le Lavandou in the Var the mayor issued a similar decree which was even more restrictive forbidding anyone who does not have a cellar to die in the commune the reason was due to the overcrowding of the towns cemetery. The ban is not longer in force.

National

Centrist leader charged - French veteran centrist leader Francois Bayrou has been charged with "complicity in siphoning off public money" in a case related to the embezzlement of European Parliament funds.  The move followed a broader investigation into allegations that MEPs from Bayrou's MoDem party used cash intended to compensate parliamentary assistants to pay the salaries of people who were doing work for the political party. Several figures from MoDem, which allied itself with President Emmanuel Macron's party, have already been indicted or are being investigated in the scandal.

Christmas shopping - Three weeks before Christmas, Paris’s landmark department stores are virtually empty of shoppers as a result of the ongoing transport strike. Shopkeepers have announced their concerns for their future if it continues. Landmark department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, had few customers on Saturday, December 7. Three Saturdays before Christmas, it was also day three of a transport strike protesting the government’s proposed pension reform.

 

Business

Booming US employment is set to lead to the Federal Reserve sticking to its plan not to cut interest rates in the near future.

The Fed holds its monthly two day policy meeting in Washington this week with reports suggesting that the focus will be on next year and beyond.

The US central bank has made it clear that it intends to stick to its interest rate policy unless that there are exceptional circumstances with policymakers looking at how the three rate cuts made already in 2019 have fed through to the economy.

The three rate cuts have been characterised as a “mini boost” to the world’s largest economy to offset the effects of slowing global growth and the 17 month old trade war with China.

The cuts appear to be working with Friday’s non farm payroll numbers showing the biggest employment increase for 10 months and recent housing data and orders for big-ticket items offering a fairly upbeat assessment.

Traders are betting that the Fed will cut rates once next year  with growth predictions of between 1.8 and 2.1 percent.

 

A report by the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment has suggested that carbon-intensive firms are likely to lose 43 percent of their value because of policies designed to combat climate change.

The report also says that more progressive firms can expect to see a 33 percent increase in their value  and that major winners and losers will emerge between and within big sectors.

Fossil fuel and mining firms stand to lose the biggest sums while the car industry should do well after the initial investment into electric vehicle technology.

Electric utilities with the strongest strategy for renewables will also do well while those not properly prepared are likely to see their value fall by two thirds.

Agriculture firms will high exposure to biofuels and non-beef protein sources could increase in value by 10 percent while those firms exposed to under-pressure sectors such as cattle could loose between 15 and 43 percent.

 

And-China’s exports fell last month as shipments to the US slowed sharply as a result of the 17 month old trade war.

Exports to the US were down by 23 percent-the worst results since February and the 12th monthly decline in  a row.

Another round of tariffs on Chinese goods is due to kick in on Sunday as part of the ongoing trade dispute with the US.

On Friday ,the White House  confirmed that the 15th of December deadline to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods is still in place.

A potential deal to de-escalate the trade war is still on track but it’s not clear whether a preliminary agreement will be signed before next Sunday.

Sport

Football-There were 4 games in the English Premier League on Sunday with Leicester City extending their winning run and maintaining second place in the table with a 4-1 win at Aston Villa.

In the other results Newcastle beat Southampton 2-1.Norwich lost 2-1 at home to Sheffield United and Brighton and Wolves drew 2-2.

There’s one game tonight.West Ham play Arsenal.

In the English Championship on Sunday West Brom hammered Swansea 5-1 to go back to the top of the table and Celtic have won the first piece of domestic silverware of the season by beating rivals Rangers 1-0 in the Scottish League Cup Final.

In the FA Women’s Super League on Sunday Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1.Manchester United beat Everton 3-1.Liverpool and West Ham drew 1-1.Spurs beat Brighton 1-0.Arsenal were 3-0 winners at Reading  and Bristol lost 2-0 at home to Birmingham.

Arsenal lead the table with 24 points from 9 games with Chelsea in second on 22 points and Manchester City third on 21.

Rugby Union-There were three games in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.Exeter beat Sale 22-20 in the all English clash in Pool 2 while Gloucester beat Connacht 26-17 in Pool 5 while Toulouse beat Montpellier 23-9.

Boxing-Anthony Joshua says that he will welcome “all comers” after his unanimous points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight belts in a confident display and has now returned to London.

He is now expected to face the WBO’s mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk or the IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev but played down the chances of a unification bout against Deontay Wilder.

Joshua said that he would fight Wilder or Tyson Fury if and when the opportunity presented itself but said that he would focus on one “hurdle” at a time.

Weather

Mainly fine with a moderate to strong westerly wind developing across the region.

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with highs of 15-16 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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