Evening Update Friday 1 October 2021

The French Ministry of Education has said that there has been a reduction in the number of classes closed because of Covid-19. In a situation update issued today, which gives data as at 1pm yesterday, the ministry said that 1,692 classes were closed, including 78 in Nice. The national figure represents just 0.32% of all classes, which is down from the 0.45% a week ago. Eight schools were closed nationally, none of which were in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d Azur region.

A union leader has said that an appeal will be filed against the French government's reforms to unemployment insurance. The changes, which come into effect today, will see about one million jobseekers receive less unemployment benefits. The head of the Force Ouvriere union said that an appeal against the measures will be filed with the Council of State early next week.

A major day of industrial action is planned by several unions for next Tuesday, 5 October. Demonstrations are planned across France. Many sectors are likely to be impacted, including train, tram and bus services. The SNCF normally publishes timetables for days of industrial action on the previous day on their website sncf.com

The bin collectors strike in Marseille is over after unions reached and agreement with the management of the Aix-Marseille metropole. The strike had lasted eight days and resulted in bins across the area not being emptied. The new agreement, which was announced this morning, includes a 9.5% reduction in working time and training to help in the reduction of accidents during collections.

Municipal and National Police have been involved in the evacuation of two squats in Nice. More than 20 people were removed from the squats on the avenue des Arènes de Cimiez.

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune has attended the official opening of the Europe Direct information centre in Nice. Nice mayor Christian Estrosi and deputy mayor Magali Altounian were also present at the ceremony this morning at 14 rue Paganini. The centre, which has been open since May, holds regular meetings and events connected with the European Union at its premises. The mayor said that Nice and Europe are working closely on countless projects and "it is through this link that we have been able to build a Smart City at the forefront of innovation, committed to digital and ecological transformation and strongly involved in the area of security".

As from today, 1 October, most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will need a valid passport to enter the UK as the UK government stops accepting national identity cards as a travel document. The UK government said that the measure is being taken on security grounds and almost half of all false documents detected at the border last year were EU, EEA or Swiss ID cards.

It's been announced that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Paris next week. It's expected that meetings will centre on repairing diplomatic relations between the US and France after recent tensions regarding the cancellation of a French submarine contract by Australia.

There's a chance to have your say in the proposed introduction of a new bus line in Nice. As part of the 2040 transport master plan, the creation of the High Service Level Bus line in Nice city centre will lighten the load on tram line 1 and reorganize a sector which has reached its maximum capacity. From the north of Nice, the line will link Place Fontaine du Temple to the Palais des Expositions. A public consultation is taking place until October 28. You can find out more information at https://projets-transports.nicecotedazur.org/bhns-nice-centre-ville/concertation-publique-du-29-septembre-au-28-octobre-2021/

The French national suicide prevention number is active as of today. The confidential service is free of charge and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. It is staffed by trained nurses and psychologists. The number, which is available throughout France, is 3114.

The Antibes SNSM sea rescue station is running a recruitment campaign. Tomorrow, Saturday October 2 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the SNSM station in Antibes is inviting potential new recruits to meet at Port Vauban, at the cruise line quay, opposite the Ferris wheel. If you are between 17 and 65 years old, physically fit, motivated, ready to help and get involved even without sea experience, you're invited to come and meet the SNSM Antibes teams. You can get more information on 06 13 32 33 49.


BUSINESS

Inflation in the Eurozone is expected to be at its highest level in 13 years in August according to an estimate from EU statistics body Eurostat. It said that Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 3.4% in September, up from 3.0% in August. Energy prices are expected to show an increase of 17.4%.

Business confidence in the UK has fallen dramatically according to a new survey. The Institute of Directors Economic Confidence Index fell in September to levels last seen in February this year. The organization also said that 75% of its members expected their costs to be higher in the next 12 months compared to the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, the latest survey of purchasing managers in the UK by IHS/Markit has show a slowdown in growth in the manufacturing sector, with the purchasing managers index falling to 57.1 in September, down from 60.3 in August.


SPORT

Cricket... Australia captain Tim Paine has said the Ashes will go ahead in December, even if some England players decide not to travel because of Covid restrictions. Five Tests are due to take place in five different Australain states, which each have their own Covid-19 rules. The England and Wales Cricket Board has recently asked for clarification in a number of areas.

Football...In the Premier League this weekend, on Saturday Manchester United play Everton, Burnley play Norwich, Chelsea face Southampton. Leeds are at home to Watford, Wolves play Newcastle and Brighton play Arsenal. On Sunday Crystal Palace play Leicester, Tottenham play Aston Villa, West Ham play Brentford and Liverpool are at home to Manchester City.

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