Evening Update Monday 05 September 2022

France has vowed to keep its price caps on electricity and gas in place into next year. This is despite wholesale gas prices soaring today after Russia announced it would not reopen its main pipeline to Europe. Thanks to its nuclear energy resources, France is one of the least reliant countries on Russian gas. However, an aging system has forced EDF to temporarily shut down 32 of its 56 nuclear reactors. To prevent problems this winter, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has warned businesses to drop energy consumption by at least 10% or face rationing. Businesses will also have to appoint an energy officer and present blueprints to the government for cutting their electricity consumption.

The trial of the Nice attack has got underway in Paris today with the first testimonies of victims’ families being heard in court. Seven men and a woman are in the dock in connection with the attack, which killed 86 people in 2016. The trial is expected to last up to three months.

There is a resurgence of strike action across the Riviera today. Bus drivers in Hyères continue their five-day protest as they seek better pay and conditions, while many school canteens in Nice were closed due to strike action seeking the same. Across the country, postal workers have walked out in Rennes while creche workers in Paris also plan to strike later this week.

In Brignoles, the Aquavabre swimming pool has closed its doors today. Management say that due to the cost of energy, the complex could no longer provide service to the public. The shutdown will put twenty people on partial unemployment.

In Monaco, a new report shows the principality has met its Kyoto Protocol target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report from the Department of the Environment shows emissions dropping to an all-time low, with a massive 31.8% decrease compared to 1990.

The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has requested the city be allowed to use recycled but non-drinkable water to water plants and clean streets. Currently, after the water has been treated at the sewage plant, it’s released into the sea. The measure is part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in the next eight years and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

This summer was the sunniest on record on the Riviera, breaking the previous record from 1991 with the sun shining for 1,065 hours and 51 minutes.  However, Nice was not the sunniest place in France this summer. That honour goes to Montpellier which clocked up 1,070 hours of sunshine.

BUSINESS

Gas prices are soaring this afternoon after Russia announced it would not reopen its main gas pipeline to Europe. The Dutch ‘month ahead’ wholesale gas price, a benchmark for Europe, was up as much as 30% in early trading today. Russia says the pipeline is closed due to a leak it cannot fix, due to its suppliers being sanctioned by Europe. Meanwhile, Germany has announced a €65bn package of measures to ease the threat of rising energy costs, while France says it will stick with its cap on energy price rises until next year.

In New York, the Chief Financial Officer of Bed Bath and Beyond has taken his own life by falling from a Manhattan skyscraper. Bed Bath & Beyond has seen its share price fluctuate wildly recently, after being viewed as a ‘meme’ stock, whose value was dictated by buzz on social media, rather than by economic fundamentals.

SPORT

Tennis - At the US Open, Rafael Nadal will headline the Labour Day line-up again number 22 seed Frances Tiafoe. The American has had a solid season so far, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, the semi-finals in Atlanta, and so far at the US Open, his huge serve and punishing game means he has yet to drop a set. However, today he comes up against a seemingly unstoppable Nadal. The champion has won a staggering 14 titles at Roland Garros, where this year’s win made him the oldest man ever to claim the title. A win at Flushing Meadows would also make him the oldest man to win the US Open title since 1929.

Rugby - The RFU faces legal action against its ban on transgender women playing female contact rugby in England. In July, the governing body's council voted to only permit players in the female category if the sex originally recorded at birth is female. Transgender player Julie Curtiss has mounted a legal challenge against the decision which the RFU says it will robustly defend.

Formula 1 - Red Bull has said they want to sign IndyCar star Colton Herta to replace Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri and could confirm a deal before this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Gasly, who has been part of the Red Bull stable since his debut five years ago, is Alpine's preferred candidate to fill the vacant seat left by Fernando Alonso.

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