Evening Update Friday 2 December 2022

The French Ministry of Transport has announced that tolls on the main motorway networks will increase by 4.75% on average on 1 February. The Ministry pointed out that the increase is significantly lower than the rate of inflation.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has said that the government intends to introduce pension reforms from the summer of next year. Speaking to Le Parisien she said that proposals will be presented to social partners on 15 December and then to the council of ministers early next year, with them being discussed by parliament in the spring. She confirmed that it's still proposed to gradually increase the retirement age from the current 62 to 65 by 2031 but that the government will listen to other proposals. She also confirmed that it's proposed to retain the current system whereby those who started working at a young age will be able to retire before the normal legal retirement age.

Representatives of the Monaco government have visited the headquarters of Monaco Telecom and held a meeting with the company's management. Discussions mainly focused on the large-scale outage that occurred in the afternoon of Tuesday 29 November. The government said that the visit was an opportunity to better understand the causes of the incident linked to a fault in the power supply of an older generation switch. They also discussed the change to fibre for telephony and the internet, replacing the copper network.

The Principality of Monaco and the Principality of Andorra have signed a Bilateral Tax Agreement. The tax treaty is aimed at eliminating double taxation with respect to income tax and preventing tax evasion and financial fraud.

A reminder that industrial action by controllers is expected to affect train services this weekend. About 60% of TGV and Inter City trains are expected to be cancelled and some local TER services may be disrupted today, Saturday and Sunday. SNCF have said that about three out of four TGVs will run on Monday.  Information about specific local  trains can be found on https://www.ter.sncf.com/sud-provence-alpes-cote-d-azur

H.S.H. Prince Albert II will be visiting Paris next Tuesday and Wednesday to close the year of commemoration of the centenary of the death of Prince Albert I. Prince Albert I was born and died in Paris, and it was from there that he conducted political, diplomatic and scientific activities, notably through the creation of two foundations - the Oceanographic Institute and the Institute of Human Palaeontology. He also participated in many scholarly and academic institutions as well as in the universal exhibitions of 1889 and 1900.

 

BUSINESS

Baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport have voted to strike from 16 December. The 72-hour strike action will affect flights operated by 10 major airlines from Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4. The dispute centres around a pay offer made to cargo workers but which has not been extended to baggage handlers.

TotalEnergies has said it will cut its North Sea investment by 25% next year because of the UK  government's decision to extend the windfall tax on oil and gas companies. The French company, which is a major North Sea oil and gas producer, will cut £100m of spending on new wells in the region. The UK government raised the windfall tax from 25% to 35% in the Autumn Statement last month. It will take effect from January.

 

The John Lewis Partnership has announced a £500m joint venture with investment company Abrdn to build residential rental homes. It said that around 1,000 new homes will be built across three local communities. The retailer said that the deal marks a milestone in the Partnership’s plans to use its significant property assets to build much-needed residential homes and diversify its business. The joint venture will help it to reach 10 percent of its ambition to build 10,000 new homes over the next decade.

 

SPORT

Next April's Chinese Grand Prix has been cancelled by Formula 1 because of "ongoing difficulties" with Covid. The organization said that it would not be able to operate normally in China and cannot justify risks to staff involved in travelling.

 

WORLD CUP REPORT

In Group G this evening Cameroon play Brazil and it's Serbia against Switzerland. Kick off for both of those matches is 8pm our time.

This afternoon in Group H, South Korea beat Portugal 2-1 with a dramatic goal in injury time. They beat Uruguay to a last-16 place on goals scored. Portugal still finished top of the group. Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0 but went out of the tounament on goals scored.

 

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