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French and Riviera News Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Local

Protests and Strikes – Nearly 1,500 public service workers have demonstrated in Nice against government reforms. The gathering at Place Masséna on Tuesday was part of a national demonstration against President Macrons pledge to reduce public spending, trim jobs and overhaul large parts of the French state.

In a rare show of unity, that hasn’t been seen in a decade, over nine unions backed yesterday’s strike action which included schools, postal services, and air traffic controllers.

Today train drivers will continue one of their longest strikes, with another two day walkout, affecting rail services with 3 TGV’s out of five running and one out of five regional trains operating.

Airports - The number of private flights on the Côte d'Azur has seen the airports in the region rank second in Europe after Paris-Le Bourget. Business aviation is once again flourishing  after a difficult period in 2008 with figures showing an overall growth in Europe of 7% since 2017.  The Côte d'Azur airports Nice, Cannes and St-Tropez recorded 64,000 arrivals and departures in 2017.

Meanwhile helicopter traffic has also become more important with its own terminal in Nice. New projects are reportedly under way to meet the reception of more and bigger planes in Nice.

Monaco Grand Prix - The Monaco Grand Prix starts tomorrow and figures published by the Monegasque Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (IMSEE) on Tuesday have shown that last year the event, which saw Sebastian Vettel win with Ferrari, attracted 228,000 people over four days generating 90 million euros.

OGC Nice - According to reports the arrival of Patrick Vieira at OGC Nice is just a matter of days. The former Arsenal player and current coach of New York City has been, for several weeks the priority target of Jean-Pierre Rivère the president of OGC Nice.

National

Frenchman sentenced to six years in jail - A Ukrainian court has sentenced a Frenchman to six years in jail after finding him guilty of planning a terror attack in France during the Euro 2016 football championship. 27 year old Grégoire Moutaux was detained on the Ukrainian border with Poland in May 2016 in possession of illegal weapons, ammunition and explosives. Ukraine's SBU security service said the alleged far-right extremist intended to stage 15 strikes against mosques and synagogues in France.

President Emmanuel Macron calls on France’s biggest companies - French President Emmanuel Macron has said he would not announce a new plan to fix the country's poor suburbs but rather called on France’s biggest companies to do their part to combat discrimination and poverty. The French president said the country’s top corporations and vast state sector would be scrutinised for their employment and diversity hiring in the next three years.

Business

President Trump has said that he may lift an export ban on the Chinese technology firm ZTE and instead levy a fine of 1.3 billion dollars.
Mr Trump’s willingness to strike a deal over ZTE which faces an export ban for violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran is proving to be controversial in Washington owning to concerns about national security.
The President has said that the export ban hurts US firms that sell to ZTE but a leading Democrat Senator,Chuck Schumer has called Mr Trump’s proposal a “wet noodle”.
Mr Schumer said that a fine would be a punishment “in name only” and warned the President about taking a softer stance on ZTE in exchange for promises of increased purchases of US goods.

The US Congress has given final approval to measures to relax banking rules which came into force following the financial crisis.
The House of Representatives voted by 258 to 159 to approve the measure which means it will now be sent to President Trump to be signed into law.
The bill,which has some bipartisan support,reduces the oversight requirements for banks with less than 250 billion dollars in assets.
Supporters say that it will help banks to grow but opponents say that it could mean a return to reckless behaviour among lenders.

And-A new survey has suggested that the average British tourist pays around 5,000 pounds in hidden foreign exchange fees over the course of a lifetime.
A survey of 8,000 people carried out by 3 technology firms including the currency business Transferwise highlighted failings in the foreign exchange market that had already been flagged up by the UK government’s own research.
Fewer than half of those surveyed were able to pick the best of four foreign exchange deals using the information typically provided by suppliers such as banks,post offices and bureaux de change.
Most suppliers impose a fee or commission charge as well as an exchange rate.However,their profits tend to come from offering a poor exchange rate and not from commissions and fees.


Sport

Football-The new England captain Harry Kane has said that the side can “win the World Cup” and that anything else “is not good enough”.
Kane was appointed as captain by manager Gareth Southgate a few weeks ago but the news was only confirmed on Tuesday.
The 24 year old Spurs striker says that everyone in the team wants to do well and England should set their sights high.


Formula 1-Everything is ready to go for Monaco Grand Prix weekend with teams and drivers arriving in the paddock today for briefings.
First practice is at 11 am tomorrow morning with the weather looking good.Second practice is at three.
Four time world champion Lewis Hamilton has described Monaco as “one of the most beautiful places on earth” adding that he can’t believe “how lucky” he is to live here.
Around half the current drivers on the circuit live in the Principality along with many former stars and world champions of the sport so the feeling is that Monaco is very much the “home” Grand Prix of the season.


Cricket-Andrew Strauss is to step back from his role as director of England cricket while his wife undergoes cancer treatment.
Ruth Strauss was diagnosed in December and is about to undergo another round of treatment.
The former England coach Andy Flower is to assume the role for the next three months.
The first Test between England and Pakistan starts at Lords tomorrow.

Rugby Union-The Scotland captain John Barclay will be out of action for 6 months after rupturing his Achilles tendon.
Barclay sustained the injury during last Friday’s Pro 14 semi-final between Glasgow and his side Scarlets and he’ll miss the final against Leinster on Saturday as well as next season’s autumn internationals.
Cycling-Simon Yates goes into the final 5 days of the Giro d’Italia as clear favourite after coming through Tuesday’s individual time trial unscathed.
Yates finished down in 22nd place in the stage which was won by Rohan Dennis of Australia but he managed to preserve a 57 second lead over Tom Dumoulin in overall second.
Today’s 17th stage is 155 kilometres between Riva Del Garda and Iseo with a couple of minor climbs and a series of tricky roundabouts to negotiate before the finish.


Weather

Partially cloudy with the risk of the odd shower and light south westerly winds.

Top temperature 22 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees on the coast and 12 degrees inland with some mist and fog forming towards dawn.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies with highs of 22-24 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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