French and Riviera News Tuesday 17th April 2018


Strike action from Air France - Air France has announced strike action today. A reported twenty five flights are cancelled on the arrivals and departures from Nice International Airport. Today marks the 8th day of strike action from pilots, hostesses, stewards and ground staff as part of a pay dispute. Industrial action has gone ahead despite negotiations which resumed on Monday.

Meanwhile the rail network will be hit by strike action on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the SNCF’s ongoing strike action with delays and cancellations expected throughout the region and France.

Police operation in Nice this morning - A major police operation has taken place this morning in the Bon Voyage district of Nice. Ten days after a man suffered several stab wounds and a week after a shooting injured another man nearly 50 police officers entered a building as part of the investigation targeting what is believed to be a drugs ring.

Beaches in Menton closed - The beaches in Menton have been closed to the public until at least midday today due to suspected pollution. A strong smell of oil was reported at around lunchtime on Monday.

The Epi-plage in Ramatuelle sold to American Frank McCourt - The American Frank McCourt, owner of the Olympique de Marseille football team has reportedly purchased, for 27 million euros, the Epi-Plage in Ramatuelle in the Var. The hotel-restaurant was created in 1960 and has been owned by the same person since 1972 welcoming a string of VIP guests from Bardot to Madonna. McCourt, who made his fortune in real estate is best known in France for being the majority shareholder in the club after investing 45 million in 2016.

Beaches to be demolished in Juan-les-Pins - A demolition date has been given to eight beaches in Juan-les-Pins with the operation taking place on June 27th. The owners of several beaches have been in a legal battle with the state for over four years and now have until April 23rd to apply for a “demolition permit” which will be carried out at the owner’s expense.

The Penetrante between Cannes and Grasse is going to be partially closed at various  times until 6am on Thursday for road resurfacing. For more details see the website

Toulon-Hyères AirportThe airport of Toulon- Hyères has announced on Monday two new destinations to Antwerp and Warsaw. According to airport officials the service, which will run from the 28th June to the 1st October, is to meet the demands of an increased number of travelers from both cities choosing the South of France as a destination.

“Riviera” - The series “Riviera” directed by Neil Jordan is to return to the Côte d’Azur and castings are taking place on Friday 20th and Saturday the 21st April at the Victorine studios in Nice from 9am to 6pm. Women and men aged over 16 are invited to take part for more information you can email


Macron backtracks - French President Emmanuel Macron has been accused of back tracking on remarks on President Trump and Syria. In a TV interview on Sunday, Macron appeared to claim he had steered Trump towards limiting Friday night's air strikes to alleged chemical weapons targets and persuaded him to stay engaged in Syria "for the long-term". The comments prompted the White House to respond that it wanted US forces there "to come home as quickly as possible". At a press conference on Monday, Macron insisted that both countries have the same goal, defeating the Islamic State (IS) armed group. But he went on to say that the air strikes showed that Washington accepts that there are other tasks to be accomplished in Syria.

Asylum law – Meanwhile France's parliament has started a week-long debate on a proposed immigration and asylum law with about 20 members of the ruling party threatening to vote against the bill or abstain because they judge it too tough. Despite some changes at committee stage, about 1,060 amendments are expected to be tabled, some of them by members of President Emmanuel Macron's Republic on the Move (REM) party.


The pound has continued its recent strong rally against the US dollar pushing firmly above 1 US dollar 43.
The pound has now risen against the greenback for 7 straight sessions meaning that in the G10 group of nations,the UK has the best performing currency this year.
Against the euro,Sterling has risen to 1 euro 15.7 cents with traders saying that the prospect of higher UK interest rates is making the currency more attractive to investors.
Analysts say that the recent strong run can be dated back to September last year when the Bank of England signalled that it was ready to start raising interest rates.
Most experts expect the Bank to make another move on rates next month.

Netflix has reported increased customer numbers of more than 7 million in the first quarter of the year as viewers were attracted by a raft of original content.
The online video-streaming service smashed analysts’ subscriber estimates bringing in an extra 7.4 million customers in the quarter between January and March on the back of new shows including “Altered Carbon” while the firm’s second quarter outlook soothed investor concerns about competition from Apple and Amazon.
Netflix shares rose by more than 7 percent in after-hours trading in New York to 330 dollars 30 cents.The stock is the best performing on the S&P 500 this year having gained more than 60 percent.

And-Shares in Whitbread have risen by more than 7 percent after it emerged that an activist investor has built a stake to become its largest shareholder.
Elliott Advisors has confirmed that it now holds a stake of more than 6 percent in the company with reports suggesting that it wants Whitbread split into its Costa Coffee chain and its Premier Inn businesses.
Whitbread shares closed up 7.2 percent on Monday at 42 points 18 pence.
Elliott Advisors is the second activist investor to build a substantial shareholding in Whitbread after the US hedge fund Sachem Head took a 3.4 percent stake in the firm and urged the company to consider breaking up the business.
Whitbread has declined to comment.



Play at the Monte Carlo Country Club starts again at 11am this morning with the weather set fair and large crowds expected for what’s expected to be another day of exciting tennis.
On Monday there was controversy when the world number 51 Jared Donaldson of the United States confronted the umpire on court after he disagreed with a line call.
Donaldson shouted in the face of umpire Arnaut Gabas who’d come down to the court to deal with the incident.Replays showed that the player was right but there was no Hawkeye being used so the original decision stood.Donaldson lost the first round match against Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-3 and refused to shake the umpire’s hand afterwards.
Novak Djokovic breezed into round two after beating fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic 6-0 6-1 while there were also first round wins for Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal will be in action today in his second round match against Aljaz Bedene while Grigor Dimitrov will also make his entrance to the tournament having received a first round bye.He’s up against Pierre-Hugues Albert of France.


If you’re driving in for the tennis then use one of the numerous car parks on the Port area at La Condamine,La Digue or Parking des Pecheurs and then take the free bus service from the Port to the Monte Carlo Country Club.Many car parks are offering a 5 euro flat fee for the day on presentation of your tennis ticket.
The most convenient way in though is by train, with the SNCF operating special services throughout the tournament to  the Monte Carlo Country club and calling at all major stations along the line to and from Nice and Cannes.
You are advised that there may be some disruption to services on Wednesday and Thursday owing to strike action by SNCF rail employees.
For more information on the tennis go to

Football-West Ham and Stoke shared a 1-1 draw last night in the Premier League relegation battle.The point is more useful for West Ham as they edge away from the bottom while Stoke are still 5 points adrift of safety.

There’s one game in the Premier League tonight.Brighton play Spurs.

Formula 1-McLaren have said that they’re struggling to understand why the car lacks pace this season especially in qualifying.
Both McLaren cars have failed to make the top 10 shoot out in qualifying in the first three races of the season and team racing director Eric Boullier says that they need to work out why that is and why they are behind the other teams with Renault engines.
Race pace has been better with Fernando Alonso currently 6th in the drivers’ championship having picked up points at all three races.


Clear skies  with light variable winds.

Top temperature 21 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with highs of 21-23 degrees.


Women are more likely to have fair hair – because men prefer blondes. Scientists have identified 124 different genes which play a major role in determining hair colour.

Researchers discovered more women are fair haired after the DNA analysis of almost 300,000 people identified 124 genes that play a major role in determining colour.

Prof Tim Spector of King’s College London said it may be because men prefer blondes, while women will opt for a man with darker hair — so this combination were more likely to pass on their genes.

He added: “It could be for evolutionary reasons, as blonde women are more likely to be successful with men and dark-haired men are more likely to be more successful with women.”






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