Evening Update Friday 29 October 2021

A day of tribute is being held in Nice today one year after the attack at the Notre Dame Basilica in which three people lost their lives. The churches of Nice rang their bells at 8.45 this morning, the time of the attack, in homage to the three victims. A ceremony is taking place early this evening in the Basilica with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, in the presence of Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, followed by a concert. Bishop André Marceau is presiding over a mass in memory of the three victims. Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin is also attending the ceremony.

Heavy rain and storms are expected to affect south-east France this weekend. Meteo France have said that a so-called "Cevenol" episode will affect the area. A Cévenol episode is a phenomenon that mainly occurs in the Cévennes and surrounding areas and produces violent and highly localised storms, accompanied by torrential rain and flooding. Meteo France have already placed the Gard, Lozere and Ardeche departments, to our west, on Orange alerts for heavy rain and flooding.  The rain is expected to move across the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur Region as well as Corsica on Saturday and Sunday. Meteo France have a yellow alert for heavy rain and flooding in the Var until 7pm this evening and then again tomorrow, Saturday, from 6am to at least 4pm.

Traffic is expected to be very busy on French motorways this weekend because of it being the second Toussaints holiday weekend, heavy traffic is expected mainly this evening, on Saturday morning and on Monday in the afternoon. Driving conditions may be difficult at times because of the heavy rain expected in our region and in other areas of France over  the weekend. You can find lots of information about travelling by motorway, including a map of real-time traffic jams on motorways throughout France on the website https://www.vinci-autoroutes.com/ and about weather conditions and warnings on meteofrance.com

The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has issued a decree banning the sale, use and transport of combustible products and hydochloric acid this weekend. The ban, which came into force at midday today, is designed to prevent disturbances to public order around Halloween.

The Prefect of the Var has issued a decree extending compulsory mask wearing in the department until November 15 inclusive. Wearing a mask remains compulsory for anyone over 11 years old in all the municipalities of the Var in outdoor food and non-food markets, flea markets and garage sales, unpacking sales, fairs and fun fairs and for any public event generating a large gathering of the population. For establishments subject to the health pass, wearing a mask remains compulsory, including on all public transport. Wearing a mask also remains compulsory in all establishments open to the public not subject to the health pass, such as shops. Full details can be found on the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

The French Ministry of the Interior has ordered 90 new armored law enforcement vehicles. The first vehicle will be supplied for evaluation purposes in the first half of 2022. The vehicles, which will be assembled in Alsace,  will gradually replace the wheeled armored vehicles of the gendarmerie and will allow officers to conduct law enforcement operations in "degraded environments", as well as operations when they are under fire.

A new scuba diving reef has been inaugurated at Monaco's Larvotto nature reserve. The reef was dedicated at a special ceremony to the late Albert Falco who was one of the longest serving diving companions of Jacques Cousteau and a champion of sea conservation. The reef, which weighs over ten tons and is at a depth of eighteen metres, has been designed to provide a suitable habitat for numerous species, such as fish, crustaceans, moray eels and octopus.


Annual inflation in the Euro area is expected to be 4.1% in October, up from 3.4% in September according to an initial estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in October at 23.5%, compared with 17.6% in September.

Eurostat also released an initial estimate today suggesting that GDP increased by 2.2% in the euro area and by 2.1% in wider the EU in the third quarter  compared with the previous quarter. France recorded one of the highest growth figures in the bloc. Austria recorded the highest increase compared to the previous quarter at 3.3%, followed by France at 3.0%.

UK energy regulator Ofgem has said it will review how the price cap on gas and electricity bills is calculated following a series of energy company failures. In an open letter to energy suppliers it said that the "unprecedented and unexpected rise" in gas and electricity prices over recent months has put energy markets under severe strain. Ofgem will examine if the price cap reflects the costs, risks and uncertainties facing energy suppliers.