Evening Update Friday 7 May 2021

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has paid tribute to the police officer killed in Avignon earlier this week, saying that "the whole of France is in mourning once again". He said that 10 million euros will be released in order to strengthen the security of police stations. Speaking during a visit to a police station in the Val-d'Oise department today, he added that individual cameras for pedestrian police officers will be introduced throughout France this summer. A minutes silence was observed at the end of the press conference. The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet police unions next week along with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said that in order to further accelerate vaccination, from May 12th he is giving all adults registered on the Nice vaccination platform the opportunity to access an appointment. Those who have registered will be informed by email and SMS for their appointment. The vaccination website address is https://vaccincovid19.nice.fr/VC19/  The mayor said that they will also upload 7,000 slots to the doctolib.fr website for anyone who wants a vaccination during the Ascension bridge weekend of May 13, 14 and 15. He added that  some vaccination slots will be reserved for those working in the restaurant sector.

An interministerial decree recognising several municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes as states of natural diasaster because of Storm Alex has been published in the official journal of the French Republic today. The municipalities of Le Bar-sur-Loup, Sospel and La Tour-sur-Tinée have been recognized as beneficiaries of the state of natural disaster for land movements (excluding drought) for the period from October 2 to October 3 last year and Utelle has been recognized for the period from October 2 to October 4. The town of La Roquette-sur-Siagne has also been recognized for the period from December 1 to 2, 2019. Victims have 10 days from the publication of the decree to submit an estimated statement of their losses with their insurance companies in order to benefit from the legal compensation scheme.

An Italian court has authorised the extradition to France of a suspect in the Nice attack on 14 July 2016. Reports say that the Albanian national is suspected of having supplied a weapon to the perpetrator of the attack. He was the subject of a European arrest warrant and was arrested near Naples last month.

Ceremonies will take place throughout France tomorrow to commemorate the end of the Second World war in Europe in 1945. President Macron will attend a ceremony in Paris under the Arc de Triomphe in the presence of a reduced number of civil and military personnel because of health restrictions. The national ceremony will be broadcast live on television. Departmental Prefects and many municipalities are expected to hold ceremonies but they won't be open to the public.

Amelie de Montchalin, the Minister of Transformation and Public Service has been in the Var today. She has been taking stock of the progress of government reforms.

 

BUSINESS

Airline company IAG has said that passanger capacity in the quarter to the end of March was only 19.6 per cent of the 2019 figure and continues to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, together with government restrictions and quarantine requirements. It said that current passenger capacity plans for the second quarter are for around 25 per cent of 2019 capacity, but remain uncertain. The company, which owns airlines including British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia reported an operating loss for the quarter of just over one billion euros and revenues of €968m, down from €4.6bn for the same period last year.

China has recorded a surge in exports in April. In dollar terms China's exports increased by more than 32% from a year earlier to almost $264bn. Imports rose by 43% from a year ago. However, analysts point out that the new figures are being compared to a period last year when China was undergoing strict lockdown measures.

 

SPORT

Motorsports.... Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took first place in first practice for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona this morning. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were second and third. This afternoon in second practice, Mercedes took first and second place, with Lewis Hamilton in first followed by Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in third place.

Formula E comes to Monaco tomorrow with the cars racing on an adapted version of the Formula One circuit. The circuit is closed to traffic from 5.30am. The various qualification and practice sessions take place throughout the day, with the race itself from 4.03 to 5pm.

Football.... In the English Premier League this weekend, there’s one game tonight. Leicester play Newcastle. On Saturday Leeds play Spurs. Sheffield United host Crystal Palace. Manchester City play Chelsea and Liverpool play Southampton. On Sunday Wolves play Brighton. Aston Villa host Manchester United. West Ham play Everton and Arsenal play West Brom. Fulham play Burnley on Monday.

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