Industrial action against proposed pension reforms is set to resume this week. A day of national action has been announced for this Thursday 9th January. Union leaders have called for a show of strength from workers in the public and private sectors and a blockade of refineries. There will be no tramway service in Nice on Thursday and many bus lines will either have a disrupted service or not run at all. Air France pilots have called for industrial action today and tomorrow. Industrial action across many professions is also expected to take place next Saturday, the 11th. The Nice Bar Council and the equivalent body in Grasse have called for a strike by local lawyers lasting a complete week. Meanwhile, the head of the SNCF Jean-Pierre Farandou has said that the industrial action by railway workers has resulted in a shortfall in revenue of 600 million euros since the 5th of December. Locally, a larger number of train services are expected to run during this evening’s rush hour than has been the case in the past few weeks.
There’s been severe traffic disruption in central Nice this afternoon after one carriageway of the Voie Mathis was closed to traffic. Authorities took the decision to close the side of the road going towards the Acropolis because an overhanging tree was in danger of falling onto the carriageway. The Voie Mathis is now open again but the closure has had a knock-on effect on traffic on other roads in the centre of the city.
The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has denounced slogans sprayed onto street furniture in central Nice last night. The graffiti, in protest at air pollution and which was apparently carried out by Greenpeace activists, appeared on tramway stops, parking exits and other areas. The Mayor also said he was going to file a complaint.
Four hooded individuals were arrested at the Bandol motorway payage over the weekend. According to reports, they were part of a group of about 20 people who were in the process of damaging the toll booths on Saturday evening. The CRS motorway police intervened to stop the attack.
Seven tonnes of contraband cigarettes have been seized in Arles in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Customs officers found the haul when they intercepted a lorry travelling from Spain to Italy at the motorway toll booths.
The association “Citizens for the climate 06” and the "ecological" candidate for the municipal elections in Nice has appealed for the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi to introduce a ban on heaters used to heat terraces of bars and restaurants in the name of the climate emergency. As the debate continues amongst officials in our region the French city of Rennes already introduced a ban on the use of heaters on January 1st.
New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that new car registrations in the UK fell to their lowest level last year since 2013. It was the third consecutive year of decline, and the organization expects that trend to continue in 2020. According to the SMMT's chief executive, Mike Hawes, the fallout from Brexit remains the biggest "clear and present danger" to the sector in the UK.
Optimism in the UK services sector has risen, according to a widely watched survey. New orders in the sector rose at the sharpest rate since July.
Oil prices rose sharply early today in light of the increasingly bellicose threats being issued against each other by the United States and Iran. However, oil prices have fallen back slightly during the course of the day today.
Cricket…It’s been day 4 of the second Test England against South Africa in Cape Town. At the close of play today, South Africa were 126 for 2, meaning they need 312 runs to win.
Meanwhile, Australia have won the third Test in Sydney by 279 runs to complete a 3-0 series victory. Nathan Lyon took 5 for 50 as New Zealand were bowled out for 136.
Tennis… British number one Johanna Konta is out of the Brisbane International after losing in three sets to Barbora Strycova in the first round. Final score was 6-2 3-6 6-3. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has led Serbia to the quarter-finals of the inaugural ATP Cup by winning both his singles and doubles matches against group rivals France.
Football.. Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has said that the club have to take the FA Cup "very seriously" and become "addicted" to winning. He was speaking ahead of the Gunners’ third round FA Cup tie against Leeds this evening. Arsenal have won the FA Cup a record 13 times, three of which have been in the past six years.