Evening Update Friday 10 December 2021

Nice is set to bring in new parking rules which come into effect in January. The main changes are a 10% reduction in on-street parking fees but an increase in parking fines from 16 to 25 euro. Also in Nice, the Liautaud Tunnel has reopened today after being closed for a number of weeks following an incident during works being carried out. The re-opening is expected to ease major traffic jams during rush hour.

In Monaco, Prince Albert has named Monsieur Laurent Anselmi as his new Head of Cabinet. Currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he will replace Monsieur Lisimachio who is taking retirement.

The French overseas territory of New Caledonia is voting on independence from France this weekend. The referendum is a result of the Noumea Accord negotiated by France which promised a three-vote process for independence. Previous votes have been close with less than 10,000 votes separating the two sides.

The main ski season opens this weekend with the main resorts at Auron, Isola 2000, La Colmiane and Valberg back in action. Full health protocols apply in all resorts including compulsory masks for all those over 11 years of age. Meteó France have also warned that snowfall is recent and a yellow warning is in effect for avalanche.

BUSINESS

Chinese buyers have been making large purchases of French wheat in the last week following a drop in price and continuing undersupply in China. 600,000 tonnes are expected to ship on between six to ten  vessels between January and March. The latest sales will bring total exports of French wheat to China in 2021/22 to 2 million tonnes, surpassing the last two seasons.

Elon Musk is continuing to offload Tesla stock. After selling almost $10 billion worth last month, new filings with the SEC show he has just disposed of another $963 million. The billionaire is taxed on stock options he holds in the company, so the sale is seen as method to pay a looming $15 billion tax bill.  

SPORT

Formula 1 - It is all to play for in Abu Dhabi this weekend as Max Vertstappen and Lewis Hamilton head into a winner-takes-all finale on Sunday. Whoever finishes ahead will be the champion, but if neither finish, Verstappen will take the title on the basis of having one more win. So the pressure is on Hamilton.

In second practice this afternoon, Hamilton set the pace with Verstappen in fourth place 0.641 seconds behind. This morning it was Verstappen who led the way, 0.196 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas, while Hamilton was third.

Football - France forward Anthony Martial wishes to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window.  His agent said the player is not satisfied with the amount of playing time he’s had this season and wishes to consider options elsewhere when the window reopens next month.

Leicester City are out of the Europa League after at 3-2 defeat by Napoli. They’ll now drop to the third level of European football, the Europa Conference League.  Speaking after the match, manager Brendan Rogers told reporters, he didn’t know what the Europa Conference League was until today.

Rugby - France scrum-half Antoine Dupont has been named World Rugby men’s Player of the Year for 2021. Dupont who captained les Bleus for an autumn series that included a thrilling win over New Zealand in Paris, is the third ever French player to have won the award which is voted on by the public.

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