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Riviera and French News Monday 24th April 2017

Local

French Presidential Elections - Centrist Emmanuel Macron has come first in the first round of the French Presidential election with nearly 24% of votes, Marine Le Pen came second with 21,4%. The two fought off both centre-right Francois Fillon and hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon. It’s the first time in French history that neither of the two main political parties are through to the second round with socialist leader Benoit Hammon scoring 6.3% of votes. Both Macron and Le Pen will be in a run-off for the French presidency on May 7th. In the Alpes Maritimes Marine Le Pen came out in the lead with 27,74% of votes followed by 27,39% for Francois Fillon and in third place came Emmanuel Macron with 19,04% . Meanwhile according to reports on France Info this morning some several hundred "anti-fascists" gathered at the Bastille in Paris on Sunday evening after the results of the first round of the presidential election were announced. Reports of clashes with the police led to three arrests and two protesters were injured.

Supermarket Attack - Blows have been exchanged between a customer and a cashier in a supermarket. The incident occurred at the store in Place Gambetta around 7 pm on Wednesday evening in Cannes. The cashier had allegedly asked the man to leave the store after suspecting he had stolen beer. But the customer denied the accusations and became violent. The Monoprix employee said that the customer was armed with a knife. Police were quick to arrive at the scene and the man  was taken into custody.

Elections in Seborga – Businessman and former speedboat champion Marcello Menegatto has won the Princely election in Seborga by a wide margin. Voting took place on Sunday between Menegatto and British born DJ Mark Dezzani. Seborga, a village overlooking the Italian Riviera declared its independence from Rome in the 1960’s.

Ski Season Ends - The ski resorts of Isola 2000 and Auron have announced a positive season with nearly 1.5 million skiers taking to the slopes this year. This year’s season which ended on Sunday have shown an increase compared to last year.

National

French Elections Abroad - From London to Berlin, Washington to Tel Aviv, French voters lined up at polling stations abroad at the weekend to cast ballots for one of the closest presidential elections in years back home. Around 1.3 million French people abroad are registered to vote -- representing around two percent of the total electorate. In London -- often called the sixth biggest French city -- hundreds of people queued up outside the two polling stations well before they opened on Sunday, with some waiting up to two hours to vote.

Champs-Elysees Attack – Following the attack on the Champs-Élysées that left one police officer dead, questions remain about the gunman, his ties to terrorism, and whether he had accomplices. The IS group claimed responsibility about two hours after the attack which took place on Paris’s Champs-Élysées avenue. However, French authorities are still investigating his connection with the IS. The attacker identified as Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old French citizen who lived in the suburbs of Paris and was known to French authorities had reportedly nourished a “hatred” of the police, and was “suffering psychologically”. French anti-terrorism researchers knew as early as the beginning of 2016 that Cheurfi was trying to buy weapons, and that he wanted to kill police in revenge for children killed in Syria.

Wind Farm - French authorities have authorised plans for France’s largest offshore wind farm. The company behind the project, Ailes Marines, will build off the coast of Brittany and has set the construction date for 2020. Producing 493 megawatts when at full capacity, it will provide enough energy for 850,000 people. This is over seven times the energy produced by France’s current largest wind farm, located just off the coast of Toulouse in southern France. 

Business

The euro has surged in Asian trade this morning as opinion polls suggested that Emmanuel Macron is likely to beat Marine Le Pen convincingly in the second round of the French Presidential election on May the 7th. Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen  came out top in the first round of the election on Sunday with 23.8 and 21.7 percent of the vote respectively based on 94 percent of the vote being counted. The euro jumped by 2 cents against the US dollar as the results were confirmed,pushing above 1 dollar 9 cents for the first time in 5 months. US treasuries fell back and gold opened lower as investors cheered the results and a sense of relief increased after earlier projections suggested that the Front National leader was in first place. Markets expect Mr Macron will come out as clear winner in the second round with several polls predicting that he’ll gain 62 percent of the vote against 38 percent for his opponent. Election tensions have been weighing on French bonds in recent months,pushing France’s borrowing costs to their highest in more than 4 years. Mr Macron is investors’ favoured candidate as he supports open markets and is committed to France staying in the European Union. His plans as President include market friendly policies of lowering corporate taxes and reducing the administrative burden on firms. Bookmakers also make Mr Macron the firm favourite to win the second round with both Ladbrokes and Coral offering odds of 1-6 and William Hill 1-8. Marine Le Pen is at 4-1,7-2 and 9-2 respectively.

In other business news today. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has fuelled expectations of a future EU-US trade deal after saying that she was “very encouraged” that talks were being looked at following her recent visit to Washington. Speaking at the opening of the Hannover Trade Fair on Sunday,Mrs Merkel said that Germany was “opposed to protectionism and trade barriers” and would “continue to work for trade agreements like the one signed between the EU and Canada”. She added that she had been “very encouraged” by her visit to the United States that “negotiations between the EU and the United States on a free trade agreement are also being looked at”. The German leader’s comments came following a report in the London Times newspaper on Saturday which said that US President Donald Trump had warmed to a deal with the EU after meeting Mrs Merkel in March.

Sport

Tennis-Rafael Nadal has won the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters for the 10th time after beating fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Nadal was dominant throughout the final and came out 6-1 6-3 winner. It was the former world number one’s first tournament title in almost a year and he becomes the first man in the Open era to win the same event 10 times. He’ll be bidding for a 10th French Open title as well next month. The Romania Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase has been suspended by the International Tennis Federation following a number of incidents at the match between Romania and Great Britain over the weekend. Nastase has been accused of making racial slurs against Serena Williams and also abusing a British Journalist,bringing Great Britains Johanna Konta to tears  and making inappropriate comments to the GB team captain Anne Keothavong. Nastase was banned from the match and escorted from the venue on Saturday but he returned on Sunday and was again sent away. The ITF says that the suspension is provisional pending a full hearing and that Nastase will not be able to participate in the Fed Cup in any capacity with immediate effect.

Football-The FA Cup Final in England will be between Chelsea and Arsenal. Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 after extra time at Wembley on Sunday while Chelsea beat Spurs 4-2 on Saturday.The Final at Wembley will be on Saturday the 27th of May. There were 2 games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Manchester United were 2-0 winners at Burnley and Liverpool lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace. In the English Championship Aston Villa beat Birmingham 1-0. Celtic are through to the final of the Scottish Cup after beating Rangers 2-0.They’ll play Aberdeen in the final.

Rugby Union-The final of the European Champions Cup will be between Clermont Auvergne and Saracens. Clermont edged Leinster 27-22 in the semi final on Sunday while Saracens beat Munster 26-10 on Saturday. Athletics-Mary Keitany of Kenya has broken Paula Radcliffe’s women’s-only world record to win the London Marathon. Keitany crossed the line in London in  a time of 2 hours 17 minutes and 1 second-the fastest time in history. The men’s event was won by Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 56 seconds.

Weather

Mainly fine with light,variable winds.

Top temperature 20 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with highs of 19-20 degrees.Rain to start on Wednesday,clearing later.

 

 

 

 

 

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