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French and Riviera News Wednesday 27th June 2018

Local 

Strike action - The last days of unified SNCF rail union strikes are taking place today and tomorrow with 4 out of 5 TGV’s operating and 3 out of 5 regional trains running.  Further strikes are planned by some unions starting on the 6 of July as schools break up for the summer.

Police presence in schools - The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has expressed his desire to see more schools in Nice introduce a police presence. The measure which has already been tested since mid-April in three schools in Nice has, according to Estrosi, been a success and he hopes to see it expand to other establishments with schools able to opt for a police presence as of September. Speaking to French media he added that in order to ensure the new security measures an additional one hundred municipal officers will be hired.

Meanwhile it has been reported on Tuesday that Christian Estrosi, has signed a new law prohibiting begging at certain times in various parts of the city centre. Begging is already prohibited in the area of vending machines, tram stops and car parks. The order is in force until the end of September.

Tramline - There are traffic diversion as of today in Nice due to the opening of part of the new tramline. The first part of Line 2 will be in circulation as of 1pm on Saturday, ahead of which festivities marking the opening start today, with some streets closed. From 9pm to 11pm today access to the Promenade des Anglais will be closed from the Magnan junction with traffic closed intermittently at the junction on Thursday and Friday from 9pm to 2am.

Place Saint-François - A petition has been launched online requesting that the fishmongers return to Place Saint-François in Old Nice. The fish market was relocated during the renovation of the square which was reopened on June 10th after eight months of work. Locals are now calling for the market to return to its original location.

Monaco abroad - The Monegasque Government has announced plans to adopt a common strategy by all those who help to convey Monaco’s image outside its borders appointing Guillaume Rose, a senior official, to oversee the image of Monaco abroad. According to reports the objective is to develop common interests with target countries maximising the returns on public spending and the impact of the image of Monaco abroad. Rose is former head of the Principality’s Tourism and Conventions Office.

Football – It’s been reported that AS Monaco have concluded a €3 million including bonuses agreement with Chelsea for 17-year-old centre-half Jonathan Panzo. Panzo turns 18 in October and was part of the England Under-17 World Cup winning squad winning the FA Youth Cup and Premier Academy League with Chelsea last season.

National

French couple sentenced - A French couple living in Britain who tortured and murdered their au pair and tried to dispose of the body in a back garden have been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years. The Old Bailey  in London sentenced Sabrina Kouider, and Ouissem Medouni for the September 2017 killing of 21-year-old Sophie Lionnet. The victim's mother called the duo "monsters" in a statement read out in court.

Universal national service - Plans for a universal national service in France are to be presented to the French cabinet today. According to French media the plan will consist of two phases -the first being a “one month” compulsory period carried out after the third grade for those aged between 15 and 18 for both girls and boys. The second will be voluntary work lasting from 3 to 6 months and must be completed before 25 years of age.

French butchers - French butchers have written to the government asking for protection against militant vegans, accusing them of trying to shut down the country's traditional meat-eating culture. Farmers' groups have appealed to President Emmanuel Macron's government in recent weeks to prevent measures that they perceive as anti-meat. Meanwhile a proposal to require schools to introduce a weekly vegetarian meal was rejected in parliament.

The Pope - Pope Francis welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron in the Vatican on Tuesday in the longest interview of his papacy to date. For French Catholics, the visit is seen as an important step in Macron’s stated efforts to improve relations between the Catholic Church and the French Republic. In April, Emmanuel Macron told a gathering of French bishops that he wants to repair the links between the Church and the State, a sensitive topic in France, where religion in politics has been banned for more than a century.

Business

BMW has said that car prices may rise depending on the cost of new customs arrangements post Brexit.

In an interview with the BBC,the firm’s special UK representative said that new border systems and warehousing would add to the costs of making new cars including the Mini.

Ian Robertson said that it was a potential risk that BMW would like to avoid and that without clarity,the firm would be forced to prepare for a hard Brexit and customs delays by August or September.

He added that BMW had no plans to move its manufacturing outside of the UK but that the current impasse was a burden on industry and was forcing carmakers to look at ways around it.

 

President Trump has said that Harley-Davidson motorcycles should “never” be manufactured abroad and that the firm’s new plant in Thailand was “the beginning of the end “.

The firm has said that it will shift some manufacturing overseas to get around new EU import tariffs on US goods.

Mr Trump has accused the firm of making the decision to shift some production to Thailand before the current trade dispute erupted and of using the EU tariffs as “an excuse”.

Harley-Davidson says that the increased costs are a substantial burden but that it will continue to operate four factories in the US.

 

And-The operator of London’s Heathrow Airport has announced that its moving its international headquarters to Amsterdam because of Brexit.

Ferrovial which is Spanish owned says that it needs to keep within EU legislation after the UK leaves the EU.

The firm currently runs its UK,Canadian,Polish and US operations from a base in Oxford.

Ferrovial is the largest shareholder in Heathrow with a 25 percent stake.It also owns Aberdeen,Glasgow and Southampton airports.

 

Sport

Football-There were 4 games at the World Cup in Russia on Tuesday as the final matches in Groups C and D were played.
In Group C France and Denmark shared a drab 0-0 draw to end first and second in the group respectively while Peru beat Australia 2-0.Both sides are eliminated.
In Group D Croatia beat Iceland 2-1 to top the group while Argentina grabbed a late winner to beat Nigeria 2-1 and make second place.

In the last 16 France will play Argentina  and Denmark will face  Croatia.


The final games in Groups E and F are being played today.Serbia play Brazil  and Switzerland play Costa Rica in Group E while Germany play South Korea and Mexico play Sweden in Group F.
A number of possibilities remain for the outcome of both groups with Germany facing elimination if they fail to beat South Korea and Sweden beat Mexico.

Cricket-Jos Buttler will open for England in today’s Twenty20 international at Edgebaston.
Coaching staff say that the way he’s playing it makes sense for him to open the batting.
Play starts at 7.30 French time this evening.

Rugby Union-Eddie Jones will meet with RFU bosses at Twickenham to prove that he can stop England’s sharp decline in form in recent games.
England beat South Africa in the final Test in Cape Town last Saturday but its understood that the RFU wants Jones to explain how he intends to turn their fortunes around after losing 5 of the last 6 games.
An RFU spokesman insisted that Jones still has the full confidence of the board.

Weather

Mainly fine in coastal areas,some showers inland later with light to moderate westerly winds.

Top temperatures 27 degrees on the coast and 29 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 19 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with the chance of some showers in the afternoon.Fine on Friday.Highs of 25-27 degrees.

 

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