Evening Update Friday 17 March 2023

Two motions of censure have been filed in the National Assembly this afternoon in protest at the government’s use of article 49.3 of the French constitution to pass pension reform legislation without a vote in the National Assembly. If the motions pass when a vote takes place on Monday, the government will fall, although commentators say that this is unlikely.

Unions have continued to criticize the government's use of the article. The inter-union have denounced the move, calling it "a real denial of democracy" and are planning a day of demonstrations next Thursday, 23 March.

Education unions are calling for industrial action. Several unions are calling for supervisors to strike during the Baccalaureate speciality exams which begin on Monday and go through until Wednesday.

Line 1 of the Nice tramway was suspended early this afternoon after protestors sat on the tracks. The protest, which blocked services for about half an hour, took place near the Saint-Jean d'Angely university.

Rail services across France are still affected by ongoing industrial action today and are also expected to be affected all day tomorrow and Sunday.

Police used tear gas during a demonstration in Marseille last night. Reports said that the demonstration was mostly peaceful. However, several shop windows were smashed and garbage cans set on fire.

Meanwhile, after last night's protests across France, the Central Directorate of Public Security has today instructed the police to introduce reinforced surveillance of sensitive places and public buildings. The directorate said that such buildings included prefectures and town halls as well as places with an impact on the economy such as oil refineries.

In other news, firefighters in the Alpes-Maritimes have said this evening that a failure at SFR may affect the reception of certain calls to 18 randomly. If you have trouble getting through on 18, they advise you to dial 112.

The Cannes Lérins conurbation is making its Klaxit carpooling service permanent until 2024. The agglomeration has been experimenting since March 2022 with a free carpooling service with its partner Klaxit. Initially offered to companies, it was extended to the general public from June last year. In order to benefit from free travel for passengers and remuneration for drivers, and to find all the terms and conditions, see the Klaxit application.



The euro area annual inflation rate was 8.5% in February 2023, down slightly from 8.6% in January, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat. The highest contribution to the inflation rate came from food, alcohol & tobacco, followed by services, non-energy industrial goods and energy.

UK retailer Frasers Group has acquired The Mall shopping centre in Luton for £58m. The company said that it was a "key retail destination" and that it has "confidence in the future of the UK High Street". The Mall, which has over 150 retailers, originally opened as The Arndale Centre in 1972.

Businesswoman Jacqueline Gold, the executive chair of Ann Summers has died aged 62. Her family said she died on Thursday evening after seven years of treatment for breast cancer. Ms Gold expanded Ann Summers from a firm with four shops into a multi-million pound business. She was made a CBE in 2016 for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.



Motorsports…It's been first practice for this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen was fastest ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, with Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin in third place.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is set for a grid penalty for Sunday's grand prix. Leclerc will take at least a 10-place drop as a result of a Do Not Finish in Bahrain.

Football... Manchester United will meet record six-time winners Sevilla in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. In the other last-eight ties, Roma face Feyenoord and Bayer Leverkusen meet Union Saint-Gilloise. Lech Poznan take on Fiorentina and Basel play Nice.

In the Premier League this evening Nottingham Forest are at home to Newcastle.



Henry Arundell will be having his first Test start tomorrow for England in their match against Ireland in Dublin. Ellis Genge said that England will "turn up and fight" as they look to recover from their defeat by France.

Ollie Smith and Blair Kinghorn will start in Scotland's final Six Nations home match against Italy which is also taking place tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Warren Gatland says it has been a challenge to keep his players focused during a troubled Six Nations campaign. After losing their first three games, against Ireland, Scotland and England, Wales have arrived in Paris for the tournament finale on the back of victory against Italy.

Ireland are aiming to secure their fourth Grand Slam. However, they have never clinched a Grand Slam in Dublin.





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