Evening Update Thursday 07 March 2024

The Mayor of Mandelieu-la-Napoule has been setting social media on fire today with a video rant against social housing rules for the town. Mandelieu faces a fine of €1.8m for failing to meet France’s required 25% social housing quota. Mayor Sébastien Leroy criticized the unrealistic expectations, given the town's natural disaster risks and lack of available land. Neighbouring Nice is also struggling, with a fine of €7.23 million for their failure to meet the quota. The city plans to increase social housing by adding floors to existing buildings. France's SRU law mandates a 25% social housing rate in 1,100 towns nationally.

Lignes d’Azur has announced it will start random saliva tests for drivers this month. It follows an accident in January which saw one of its busses overturned on railway tracks between Provence and Plan-du-Var. In that instance, the driver tested positive for cocaine and cannabis. Lignes d’Azur was quick to point out there is no distrust towards staff who do excellent work, and the move has had the full cooperation of unions.

The marie in Menton has revealed figures which show this years Fete du Citron was one of the most successful ever. Overall, 200,000 people visited the town during February with all local hotels being completely sold out despite increased prices. Last weekends rain did not dampen festivities, as even though the final parade was cancelled, people still came to the town with cafes, restaurants and hotel bars all full with revellers. The town reports 63% of our visitors were French, followed by Italians, Swiss, Germans and English.

Shoppers are warned to be careful of salmon bought in the last ten days from Auchan Le Poissonnier due to a possible presence of salmonella. The warning affects products with use-by dates between now and March 13th.

Simone Veil, a rare iconic politician born in Nice, Josephine Baker and Marie Curie will all soon be appearing as new faces on the 10,20 and 50 centime coins in France. Euros coins has a European side and a national side, which changes just once every fifteen years.

Due to the Paris/Nice 2024 cycling race, traffic will be disrupted in the region this weekend as follows; Tomorrow Friday, the Sisteron to La Colle-sur-Loup, will take place between 8am and 6pm. Pont-du-Loup via Caille, Andon, Gréolières, Courmes, Gourdon, Pré-du-Lac, will be closed between 1.30pm and 5pm and access to the Colle-sur-Loup from Cagnes-sur-Mer will be  cut off between 8am and 6pm. On Saturday, the 7th stage from Nice to Auron will see rolling road closures 30 minutes before the start of the race from 10am to 3.30pm. However, the route may be changed depending on weather. Finally, on Sunday March 10th, the closing stage, roads will be closed 30 minutes before the start of the race between 12:30pm and 3pm from Contes to Eze via Berre les Alpes, l’Escarène-col de Nice, La grave de peille, Peille, Saint martin de Peille and La Turbie. For more information go to www.paris-nice.fr/fr

BUSINESS NEWS

A record was set this afternoon when the CAC40, the flagship index of the Paris Stock Exchange, crossed 8,000 points. Like many stock markets, the CAC 40 was propelled by company performance and a decline in inflation. It reached 8,007 points around 2.30 this afternoon. 

Economic problems in Germany have been highlighted today with strikes by train drivers and airport workers causing chaos for millions of travellers. The strikes are the latest, in a wave of industrial actions to hit Germany, where high inflation and staff bottlenecks have soured wage negotiations in several key sectors. 

Shares in Hugo Boss are down over 15% today after the fashion house warned of much slower sales growth this year. It expects growth of 3% to 6% which is below analyst expectations. 

In the UK Nationwide Building Society has reached an agreement to buy Virgin Money in a £2.9bn deal which would see the brand eventually disappear.  And Lloyd's of London's report underwriting profit jumped 127% in 2023 to 5.9 billion pounds. The information was released is an unscheduled trading update ahead of full results on March 28.

The EU has been investigating Tinder, and their practice of identifying users who show little interest in their premium services, and offering them personalised discounts. The practice is in breach of European law.

Markets
€1 will buy you;            STERLING    £ 0.85
US     $ 1.08
£1 will buy you;            EUR    € 1.17

Bitcoin    trading around    BTC € 61,000 a coin
Forex Gold Index     is at    $ 2,142
Brent Crude Oil on market    $ 82.73 

SPORT

Formula 1: The woman who accused Red Bull team principal Christian Horner of inappropriate behaviour has been suspended today on full pay. Last weekend, after an internal investigation cleared Horner of inappropriate and controlling behaviour, an anonymous email source leaked alleged text message conversations between Horner and the female employee to journalists and members of Formula 1 teams. The controversy has led to claims that Max Verstappen could sensationally quit Mercedes, while his father said the Mercedes team will explode if Horner remains in charge. The story continues to dominate headlines over the actual Grand Prix, whose next race is in Saudia Arabia this weekend.

Basketball: Euroleague is back in Monaco tonight as the Roca Team take on Red Star Belgrade. Asides from the game, it’s going to be a big night for Mike James who is only 12 points away from becoming the best scorer of all time. The game and the celebrations begin from 7pm at Stad Louis II.
 
Tennis: Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells before playing a single match. The champion player said he is not ready to play at the highest level just yet and 2024 will most likely be his final season. Later today former US Open champion Emma Raducanu takes on Rebeka Masarova at 8pm French time. Later, France player Diane Parry from Nice, is paired against Italy’s Martina Trevisan. That match is due around 10.30 tonight.

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