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.



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 the resource at the French border overnight and early this morning has been woefully inadequate to meet our predicted demand". The port said that it had shared traffic volumes in "granular detail" with the French authorities in order that traffic volumes can be matched by adequate border resource but the French resource has been "insufficient".



Cycling... French rider Christophe Laporte has won stage 19 of the Tour de France today. Jasper Philipsen was in second place.

Motorsports... The French Grand Prix is taking place this weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet in the Var. It will be Lewis Hamilton's 300th Grand Prix. Max Verstappen leads the drivers' championship by 38 points from Charles Leclerc at the moment. Carlos Sainz will be taking a 10-place grid penalty this weekend for engine part usage. In first practice this afternoon Charles Leclerc was fastest followed by Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. In second practice, Carlos Sainz was fastest followed by Charles Leclerc.

Cricket... Rain delayed the start of the England against South Africa One Day International at Old Trafford today. Play only got underway early this evening.

Tennis.... It's been announced that Novak Djokovic will be playing for Team Europe in the Laver Cup. He'll be joining Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. The event, which takes place in London in September,  features six European players against six players from the rest of the world.

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