French and Riviera News.Thursday June 7th

Train strike(again) !- The latest two day strike by SNCF railway workers is underway and is due to last until 8am on Saturday.

A 50 percent service for both regional TER and intercity TGV trains with Eurostar services mainly unaffected.


Brits in Europe-Representatives from a number of pressure groups defending  the rights of the 1.3 million British residents in Europe including the estimated 150,000 in France have taken their grievances to Parliament in London.

Campaign leaders from British in Europe and Remain in France Together(RIFT) have told MP’s of their growing concerns about Brexit and its resulting effect on British citizens residing on the European mainland.

The Chair of British in Europe Jane Golding says that “UK Nationals living on the continent are still in a holding pattern with no clear landing path in sight”.

Among concerns expressed by the different groups are doubts over future rights to freedom of movement across the EU, whether people will be obliged to register or re-register with French authorities once Britain leaves the EU and future rights to benefits and health care.

RIFT is urging all British residents to apply for a Carte de Sejour residency permit now before Brexit happens and French authorities get swamped with demand.The RIFT coordinator Kalba Meadows told MP’s that the problem is a “ticking time bomb”.

There have been a number of complaints about conflicting document requirements at different Prefectures with Nice being singled out for criticism because of the amount of paperwork and long queues for appointments.


Plane crash-An investigation has been launched after a light aircraft crashed at La Mole airport near St Tropez on Wednesday.

Two people were injured after the Aeronef bi-reactor craft came down at 1pm on Wednesday en route from Figari on Corsica.

Witnesses report hearing a heavy thud as the plane hit the ground with smoke pouring from its engines.

Emergency services managed to prevent the plane from catching fire.It’s believed that three people were on board.


Police Cameras-An experiment involving the use of body cameras by Municipal Police forces has come to an end with a consultation in Parliament to follow to see whether the programme should be adopted nationwide on a permanent basis.

Several municipal police forces on the Cote d’Azur have taken part in the trial including in Nice,,Cagnes-sur-Mer,Saint-Laurent-du-Var and La Colle-sur-Loup and officers as well as local officials have said that they’ve been pleased with the results.

Police have been  recording all their daily operations on the cameras and the Interior Minister Gerard Collomb says that Parliament will debate the issue shortly once a government report has been compiled.


Drying out-More rain fell in Nice during the night of Sunday to Monday than would normally fall in the entire month of June.Official statistics published earlier this week show that Nice had the dullest and wettest May since 1947 and the bad weather has continued into June.To put it into context  more rain fell in 24 hours in the city on Sunday and Monday  than during the entire summer last year.


Hay Fever-If that wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits,the French National Allergy Network is warning that hay fever sufferers should be on their guard until the end of the week because of the amount of pollen in the air.The RNSA warns that the unsettled weather is concentrating the amount of pollen from oak trees olive trees and hay fever sufferers should watch out on sunny days when the risk of triggering allergies will be at its highest.The risk decreases when it’s raining or just afterwards.Rhinitis and conjunctivitis problems could be particularly bad.


Dental charges-A shakeup to dental charges promised by President Macron during his campaign for the Elysee Palace is due to come into force by 2020.

Agreement has been reached between the Federation of French Dentists and the social security department which will see the charges some treatment including crowns paid back 100 percent to the patient.

To pay for the boost to patient reimbursements the cost of other treatments including routine fillings will rise from 41 euros to 60 euros.

Some dentists are unhappy with the changes particularly in the fitting of crowns.

100 percent cover will only be offered for metallic and resin crowns and not for today’s advanced ceramic technology which opponents say puts treatment techniques back by 30 years.

Metal or resin crowns can often be uncomfortable and have a shorter shelf life than modern ceramics.


In National news.


Terrorists jailed-The Paris Appeal Court has jailed two men from Nice who travelled to Syria in 2013 to join Daesh.

The two,named only as Farid E. and Ridah C. were jailed for 5 and 6 years respectively after evidence showed that they had taken their wives and children to Turkey and then leaving them there to cross into Syria where they joined up with Islamic State fighters.

They later returned to France after becoming disillusioned but their names both later appeared on the “Daesh Leaks” document which identified some 4,600 foreign fighters who had joined the ranks of Islamic State.

Both men maintain that they did not take part in any combat operations but the claims were dismissed by the court.


Airport blues-An independent report into the quality of service at leading international airports has put France way down the list.The report,compiled by the online platform AirHelp found that the best international airport is Qatar’s Hamad Airport in Doha where passenger satisfaction was rated at 8.77 out of a score of 10.Athens airport was rated as second best with Tokyo’s Haneda Airport ranked third.French airports were rated as much worse with an average score of just 4.65 out of ten and among the poorest scoring were Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle,Toulouse and Lyon.A series of strikes by French air traffic controllers and ground staff is thought to be the main reason for the poor rankings.


My(two)Million-A man from the Haut Savoie has scooped the ‘My Million’ jackpot on the Euro Millions lottery game twice in 18 months.

Experts say that the chances of winning a million euros twice in 18 months are 16 billion to 1 and the odds are much higher than for a normal lottery win.

The chance of winning  the jackpot in the French lottery is 19 million to one and for Euro Millions it’s 140 million to one.

The happy winner bought the winning tickets in the same establishment which is also highly improbable.




Volkswagen has warned that its main plant at Wolfsburg might face temporary shutdowns later this year as it struggles to meet new emissions test standards.

The German auto giant said that it’s planning “closure days” to prevent a build-up of vehicles that have yet to be approved for sale.

From September this year,more rigorous EU standards will be applied which are designed to replicate real driving conditions more closely.

VW says it doesn’t have enough testing equipment to manage and fears that a backlog of vehicles will ensue.

The firm’s chief executive Herbert Diess has admitted that meeting the new requirements and getting new cars approved for sale is proving to be a challenge.


Shares in the electric carmaker Tesla have had their best day in more than two years after chief executive Elon Musk said that the firm is now producing 500 of its Model 3 sedans a day and should achieve its target of 5,000 vehicles a week by the end of the month.

Mr Musk has been under increasing pressure following a series of production problems involving the Model 3.The firm’s shares have fallen by a quarter in value since September and there have been calls for the chief executive to be replaced.

He’s also been in somewhat of a standoff with the media and recently refused to answer questions from Wall Street analysts about Tesla’s capital requirements after saying that they were “boring”.



And-The editor of the Daily Mail newspaper is to step down after more than  a quarter of a century in charge.

Paul Dacre will become the chairman and editor in chief of Associated Newspapers  which is owned by the Daily Mail General Trust.

Mr Dacre has taken a staunchly pro-Brexit line in his editorials and general content since the EU referendum.

The former British Prime Minister David Cameron is widely reported to have called for him to be sacked in the run-up to the referendum after Mr Dacre refused to “cut him some slack” on Europe.




Tennis-Top seed Rafael Nadal will resume his battle to stay in the French Open later today after his quarter final against Diego Schwartzman was delayed by rain in Paris last night.

Nadal was trailing by a set to love and 5-3 down in the second when the heavens opened.The match will resume at noon.

Wednesday’s other quarter final was also delayed by rain with the third seed Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro tied at 5 points all in a first set tiebreak.


In the womens’ event the world number one Simona Halep is into the last four after coming from a set down to beat Angelique Kerber 6-7 6-3 6-2 while Garbine Muguruza thrashed Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-1 to move into the semi finals.


Football-The first set of the last international friendly games ahead of the World Cup are being played tonight.

England play Costa Rica in Leeds with coach Gareth Southgate warning his players that places in the starting line-up are still up for grabs.

In the other matches South Korea play Bolivia.Portugal play Algeria and Iceland host Ghana.



Formula 1-Mercedes have delayed the introduction of  new engine at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix because of reliability problems.

Mercedes say that “quality issues” mean that their second generation power unit will now be used at the French Grand Prix instead.

The delay to the new engine could cause problems for the team at the Giles Villeneuve Circuit where power is important.


Cricket-The new Australia captain Tim Paine has said that the team “won’t be silent” on the pitch during their one day series against England.

Paine takes charge for the first time since the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.

He says that the players have spoken about the difference between abuse and “banter” and there’ll still be plenty of chat around the stump microphone.

The first one day international between England and Australia is at the Oval on June the 13th.





Sunshine and showers with the chance  of  some thunder this afternoon and light variable winds.

Top temperature 23 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees with more showers about.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Sunshine and occasional showers tomorrow.Fine on Saturday with highs of 22-24 degrees.




An Edinburgh company has developed a process that turns whisky by-products into fish food.

MiAlgae, a student start-up, uses by-products from the distilling process to grow Omega 3-rich algae for feeding farmed salmon.

Founder Douglas Martin said he wanted to "revolutionise" the animal and fish feed industries with microalgae that come from whisky.

He has just received a £500,000 investment in his business.

Funding has been contributed from Equity Gap, the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) and the University of Edinburgh's Old College Capital.

The investment will help the company expand its team and increase its production. It also plans to build a new plant for its technology at a whisky distillery.

Aquaculture is worth about £1.8bn a year to the Scottish economy.



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