Evening Update Friday 24 June 2022

A people smuggling network in southern France has been dismantled by authorities. The network allegedly organized the illegal transport to France, via Serbia, of Turkish nationals, who would then be given false Bulgarian papers to remain and work in France. Eight people have been charged with various offences.

Several railway unions have called for a national strike on Wednesday July 6. The CGT, UNSA rail, SUD-Rail and CFDT trade unions are protesting at the cost of living, saying that the post-pandemic and international context is leading to a spike in prices "unmatched for nearly 40 years". Rail workers have been on strike today in the Ile-de-France to protest at last minute scheduling changes. The industrial action has affected some Transilien, RER and RATP services.

The municipal police in Nice have arrested an individual who had affixed posters on the road signs in the Magnan district. About sixty posters had been put up offering to tow away vehicles that were out of service because of having being involved in accidents.

From September Gendarmerie reservists will be involved in helping to ensure the safety of TER trains in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region. The proposal was agreed by the national gendarmerie who accepted a proposal by President of the region, Renaud Muselier.

The Chief of Staff of the Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture has   attended the presentation to emergency services of a beach surveillance and drowning prevention device in Nice. The presentation was followed by a rescue exercise. In France, drownings are responsible for 1,000 deaths per year and 40% of those deaths take place at sea.

A new stamp has gone on sale across France today aimed at raising funds to help Ukranian refugees. The stamp, featuring the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine, is sold by La Poste for two euros, 84 cents of which goes to the Red Cross to help the refugees.

 

BUSINESS

UK households are cutting back on food shopping as the rising cost of living bites into budgets, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics. Retail sales volumes fell by 0.5% in May because of food stores, which fell by 1.6%. The ONS said that reduced spending in food stores seems to be linked to the impact of rising food prices and the cost of living. Nearly half of adults surveyed said they had bought less food in the past two weeks due to higher prices.

A widely watched survey of consumer sentiment in the UK has fallen to a record low. GfK's consumer confidence index fell by one point in June from May, which is its lowest since the survey began almost fifty years ago.

Robinsons squash will no longer sponsor Wimbledon. The decision, announced today, ends a partnership which goes back to 1935. A spokesman for Britvi