Evening Update Monday 29 August 2022

The French government has reaffirmed its commitment to curb energy costs for the country, as the war in the Ukraine is set to continue throughout the winter. The government has announced the current 18-cent discount on petrol, will increase to 30 cent a litre for September and October. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has said measures to soften the rise in gas and electricity prices would be maintained as they will not allow energy prices to skyrocket. She has also called on companies across the country to make plans to reduce their energy usage by 10%.

More fighter jets have been spotted over Nice today. The eight jets, were part of a display team returning from an event in Italy this morning. The journey required a technical stop at Nice airport, so the jets put on an impromptu display including smoke trails above the city as a sign of thanks. The visit from the jets was in stark contrast to the two French jets which broke the sound barrier across the Riviera ten days ago, causing a huge sonic boom.

Over 30 million people visited the Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur during July and August according to tourist figures released today. The numbers exceed pre-Covid figures from 2019 which was already a record year for the region. The surge has resulted in 20 billion euro in tourist spending for the area. 40% of visitors came from France, followed by holiday-makers from the UK and in third place visitors from the United States.

In Monaco, the Housing Department has announced that any Monegasque citizens wishing to rent subsidised state-owned apartments can now apply online at MonGuichet.mc   While Monaco is famous for its uber-rich exotic lifestyle, not all citizens are millionaires. Under the protection of the Prince, the State subsidises housing where required for Monégasques, so that they can stay in their country.

The Mayor of St-Etienne has been accused of blackmail after releasing pictures of his former first deputy Gilles Artigues with a male escort in a Parisian hotel room. M Artigues filed the complaint in court today saying that Mayor Gaël Perdriau used the pictures for political gain and to control the town council.

Tax authorities have confirmed that the use of aerial images to detect undeclared swimming pools, will be expanded to all of France from next year. Since the system was trialled in nine departments, including the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, over 20,000 pools have been detected, raising an additional 10 million euro in taxes.

BUSINESS

Asian markets reacted this morning to Friday’s comments by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who said he will continue to raise interest rates to tackle soaring inflation in the States. Japan's Nikkei was down 2.7%, Australia's ASX down 2% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong down almost one per cent. Across Europe, most markets are down 1% or higher. On Friday, after Mr Powell's remarks were first made, US markets dropped by 3% and are expected to drop further today.

Elon Musk says Tesla aims to have self-driving cars on the road in Europe by the end of this year. Speaking at an energy conference in Norway today he said the launch was subject to regulatory approval of the cars.

SPORT

Tennis - The US Open gets underway today with three major stories in play. Eyes are on defending teenage champion Emma Raducanu who is defending her surprise title win last year. Rafael Nadal is looking to notch up a 23rd Grand Slam win, which would take him two ahead of Novak Djokovic who is not playing as he has not been vaccinated for Covid 19. Finally, the world will be watching and paying tribute to Serena Williams who plays her final games at the Open before retiring.

Golf - Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will get an early look at Europe’s next Ryder Cup venue, after announcing he will play his first DS Automobiles Italian Open next month. The competition will take place at Marco Simone Golf Club on the outskirts of Rome from September 15th.

Formula 1 - Ferrari has questioned the sport's budget caps. Team principal Mattia Bin-otto said the cap may not be enforced, as there are very few people monitoring it. He added that it could be bad for the future if a championship was dictated by financial regulation and not technical or sporting.

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