Evening Update Monday 6 March 2023

A day of industrial action against pension reforms by unions is still planned for tomorrow, with strikes in some sectors beginning this evening. The stated aim of unions is to bring France to a standstill. Teaching unions have said they expect 60% of primary school teachers to take part in the industrial action. Action by truck drivers, which has already begun, will have consequences on logistics operations at French supermarkets, according to unions. As far as transportation is concerned, trains are expected to be badly affected, with some services beginning to be cancelled from early this evening. Only one in five TGVs and Ouigo services nationally are expected to run. In our region its expected to be one in three. One out of five TER local trains are expected to run on average nationally, with significant local variations. No inter-city trains will operate, with just a handfull of exceptions. Information is available on the SNCF Assistant App and on sncf.com Demonstrations are planned across our region, including tomorrow morning in Nice, starting at the Place Garibaldi, at the sub-prefecture in Draguignan and at the Place de la Liberte in Toulon.

French economy minister Bruno Le Maire has announced what he has called an "anti-inflation quarter" in supermarkets, which will be in operation until June. The low priced items will be chosen by distributors but will all bear a logo consisting of the French flag and the words "trimestre anti-inflation". The minster said that the initiative will be finaced by distributors from their margins and will cost them several hundred million euros. However, according to a representative of consumer group UFC Que Choisir who spoke to French media today, there is no definition of a low price in the government's agreement with the distributors and goods could have already been sold at those prices.

Meteo France have said that the winter was relatively mild with an average temperature above normal of 0.8°C.  It ranks 15th among the warmest winters since 1900. Meteo France said that there was a rainfall deficit of about 25% on average and this winter ranks 9th among the least wet since 1959. The rainfall deficit exceeded 75% last month, which ranks 4th among the driest months of February since 1959.

Cannes Town Hall has presented its new Urban Cleanliness Plan. The town hall said that the plan is based in particular on the integration of artificial intelligence devices such as sensors, cameras, software, and smartphones to optimize waste collection rounds, quantify the waste collected and adapt to variations in occupancy and event activity. The municipality's objective is to increase the quality of service, to protect taxpayers by controlling costs and to facilitate the working conditions of its employees.

 

BUSINESS

Starbucks has said that it plans to open 100 new stores across the UK this year and to upgrade existing cafes. The company also plans to open 300 new stores in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. However, Duncan Moir, who lead's firm's business in that area, said he remained "cautious" about the economic outlook. He said that like many other businesses, Starbucks had faced challenges including shortages of HGV drivers, rising supplier costs and shipping delays.

UK new car registrations grew by just over 26% in February as almost 75,000 new cars joined Britain’s roads, according to the latest figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. February marked the seventh month of consecutive growth. However, the market was still down 6.5% on the same month in 2020 before the pandemic. Hybrid electric vehicles recorded the most significant growth of all fuel types, up by 40.0%, followed by petrol, which was up 35.8%. Combined, plug-ins accounted for almost a quarter of all deliveries in the month.

 

SPORT

Cricket... England have lost the third one day international against Bangladesh by 50 runs. England were 54 for no loss at one point but were then all out for 196. However, they have won the series 2-1.

Rugby Union... Scotland's Grant Gilchrist will miss the rest of the Six Nations after being banned for three weeks for his red card for a high tackle during the match against France. The ban was reduced from six weeks after he admitted his mistake and because of a lack of intent. Gilchrist still has the right to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, Italy full-back Ange Capuozzo will miss the rest of the Six Nations because of a shoulder injury he sustained in the game against Ireland. He had been named in Italy's squad for the remaining two matches against Wales and Scotland.

 

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