Evening Update Friday 01 March 2024

In the ongoing farmers protest, 66 people have been arrested in Paris for dumping bales of hay at the top of the Champs-Elysées blocking all access to the Arc de Triomphe during this morning’s rush hour. Locally, between Draguignan and Grasse, around 30 farmers conducted a snail protest on roads around Feyance, Tourrettes and Montauroux.

The womens group NousToutes has expressed anger after the death of a 44—year-old woman called ‘GiGi’ at the hands of her partner in Cagnes-sur-mer on Monday. They say since the start of this year alone, 31 women in France have been killed by their partner. That’s one every two days. The latest death in Cagnes is the second time it has happened in the town since a similar murder in 2019. 

From today, French supermarkets are banned from making ‘buy one get on free’ offers on non-food items such as personal hygiene or cleaning products. The move is designed to protect smaller businesses from multinationals who can offer deep discounts. However, opponents say that, limiting offers to no more than 34% discount, is bad for customers. Also today, the price of cigarettes increases once more, bringing most packs up to €12 or more. That’s twice the price compared to Italy or Spain. Despite battling a thriving market for counterfeit cigarettes, the French government plans a minimum price on a packet of cigarettes to reach €13 euro by 2026. 

Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi intends to sue French MP Christelle D’In-tor-ni for defamation after she questioned expenses linked to lavish private events such as birthdays and anniversaries. Monsieur  Estrosi labelled the claims as "lies and fake news," and provided photographs from social media at the times in question as alibis. 

The Cannes Film Festival has announced that Canadian Director Xavier Dolan will chair the Un Certain Regard jury this year. The €30,000 prize recognises young talent and encourages innovative and daring works. The Cannes Film Festival takes place from the 14th of May this year.

Local ski resorts are reporting a surplus of snow for the first time in three years. It’s thanks to bad weather last and this weekend on the coast, which falls as snow on the mountains. Isola 2000 say they already have 1.50 meters of snow at the bottom of the slopes and 2.20m at the top, making for excellent ski conditions. Meanwhile, festival organisers in Menton have said the final Corso des Fruits d'Or will go ahead rain or shine this weekend. The parade is the final event which wraps up the Fete de Citron on Sunday afternoon at 2.30.

BUSINESS NEWS

Inflation across the Eurozone has fallen to 2.6% according to Eurostat figures out today. The fall will come as a relief to the European Central Bank who is trying to tame inflation with higher interest rates. While the ECB are to meet next week to set rates, they’re not expected to make any cuts until at least June.

As China’s property crisis deepens, Deutsche Bank has opened a rare liquidation lawsuit in Hong Kong against a Chinese developer who has missed interest and principal payments for a $1 billion offshore bond. After that missed payment, the entire $11.7 billion worth of debt is deemed to be in default.

Markets
€1 will buy you;            STG    £ 0.85
US     $ 1.08
£1 will buy you;            EUR    € 1.16

Bitcoin is trading just under € 58,000 a coin
Forex Gold Index     is at    $ 2,048 oz
Brent Crude Oil on market    $ 83.27 barrel

SPORT

Football: It was just over eight years ago when a 16-year-old Kylian Mbappé made his first League One appearance playing for AS Monaco.   Tonight, playing for Paris St Germain he will step onto pitch at Stade Louis II for perhaps the last time, as he intends to leave French football for Real Madrid. The Parisians are in the Principality to defend their position at the top of the league. However AS Monaco, who are in third place, have an excellent track record against PSG, winning their last three home matches against the Parisians. Kickoff for the game in Monaco tonight is at 9pm.

In UK Premier League action tomorrow, Brentford are at home to Chelsea, Everton play West Ham, Fulham face Brighton, Newcastle are at home to Wolves, Nottingham Forest play Liverpool and Tottenham face Crystal Palace. The last match of the day with a 6.30pm kick off will see Luton at home to Aston Villa.

Formula 1: At the final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz set the benchmark with a time of 1m 30.824s to beat Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and reigning champion Max Verstappen. The race itself gets underway at 4pm tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is under pressure after hundreds of WhatsApp messages, apparently written by him to a female colleague, were leaked to 149 members of the F1 paddock plus member of the media. On Wednesday Horner was cleared of “inappropriate behaviour” with a female colleague by a Red Bull internal investigation. Horner has always denied the claims.

WEATHER

A normal evening ahead with overnight lows of 10d down to a chilly 4 degrees inland in the Var. The outlook for the weekend is ‘wet’.  Tomorrow we’ll start with some showers which will develop into rain and possibly thunderstorms on Sunday. A little cooler also with afternoon highs across the weekend of 13 degrees. 
 

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