Evening Update Friday 22 July 2022

French Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt has been in Nice and Saint-Laurent du Var this afternoon. He was accompanied on his visit by Minister Delegate in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises, Trade, Crafts and Tourism, Olivia Gregoire and the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes Bernard Gonzalez. They met with various business and social representatives including owners of restaurants in Saint-Laurent du Var who are experiencing difficulties with recruitment.

An elderly woman trapped under the rubble of her house in Pourrieres has died. The single storey dwelling collapsed early this afternoon. The woman was conscious and communicating with rescuers when they arrived at about 2pm but passed away during the process of rescuing her from the rubble. Late this afternoon firefighters were still attempting to ascertain if anyone else was trapped beneath the remains of the house.

The Route de la Madone has been reopened in its entirety today on its original route. Storm Alex destroyed much of the road in October 2020. A temporary diversion had been in place since last July. President of the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropolis, Christian Estrosi, said that the work on the Route de la Madone represents a significant financial commitment for the Metropolis of up to €21 million, with a State contribution of €13.8 million.

70 municipalities in the Argens area of the Var have been elevated to drought "crisis" level. Almost half of the municipalities in the Var are now in drought crisis, the highest level of severity. The Prefect called on residents and visitors to save water and respect the restrictions in force, which can be found on var.gouv.fr

There was no change in the areas burned last night by the fires in the Gironde department. Firefighters continued to treat the edges of the areas affected by the fires, hot spots and a few areas where the fire had reignited. The local prefect said that "significant resources" remained committed. Meanwhile, the French government has called on insurance companies to ensure that compensation for victims of the fires is made as soon as possible. It also said that it wants those affected to have sufficient time to lodge claims with their insurers.

 

BUSINESS

Strike action by British Airways workers at Heathrow has been called off, after staff accepted a new pay offer. A total of 700 workers, mostly check-in staff, had been set to strike during the summer over a 10% pay cut imposed during the pandemic. The GMB Union said 75% of its members had backed the new pay deal.

The Port of Dover declared a "critical incident" after travellers faced queues of up to six hours earlier today. The port blamed French border controls for the delay saying that it was "deeply frustrated that