Evening Update Friday 21st October 2022

Tourism professionals on the Riviera say fears that the recent fuel shortages would have an impact on holiday bookings this autumn appear to be unfounded. According to the union representing the hotel industry, UMIH, many French people had cancelled their Toussaint holiday plans because of the fuel crisis. But, with the situation gradually returning to normal, the hotel sector here on the Riviera says bookings are looking good for the half-term holidays - and it promises to be a successful period. The Nice-Cannes marathon has helped drive bookings and many hotels are annoucing occupancy rates around the 90% mark. Foreign visitors are also back in big numbers - representing 80% of hotel customers, compared with 65% in recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic. A strong US dollar is encouraging American tourists back to the Riviera. Gîtes de France is also happy with booking rates for the Toussaint break. 

Firefighters in the Bouches-du-Rhône have been busy today trying to control a fire at the mineral port in Fos-sur-Mer. Several tonnes of wood chips were on fire, near the western basin of the Port Maritime. More than 100 firefighters worked on trying to stop the fire and prevent it spreading to nearby homes and vegetation.

A Marseille football supporter has been charged with attempted murder following an incident at the Vélodrome during a Champions League match against Eintracht Frankfurt in September. Violence escalated before and during the tense match. Three members of the security forces were injured and 17 people were arrested on the sidelines of the match after projectiles and fireworks were thrown by Marseille supporters. A German supporter was hit in the neck by one of these projectiles. The 65-year-old man was seriously injured and signed off work for four months. His partner also suffered burns. The Marseille public prosecutor's office launched a judicial investigation for attempted murder, wilful violence and the possession of fireworks within an enclosed sports environment. Investigators managed to identify a suspect, a 26-year-old man from Marseille. He appeared in court yesterday and has been placed in pre-trial detention.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has given evidence at the trial in Paris over the 14 July terror attack in Nice in 2016. He said he had not been given any information in advance about how many national police officers would be patrolling the French national holiday celebrations on the Promenade des Anglais. Estrosi was also asked how Nice's 1,800 CCTV cameras had not captured any images of the truck in the 40 minutes leading up to the attack. The lawyer representing the various civil parties in the trial, Virginie Le Roy, said she was disappointed with the mayor's answers.

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