Evening Update Thursday 13 April 2023

Another day of demonstrations and industrial action has taken place today in protest at the French government's pension reforms. It's the twelvth day of action. Marches took place across our region incuding in Nice and Marseille. Estimates of the numbers taking part varied between unions and the authorities. In Nice authorites estimated less than 3,000 people marched today, but unions put the number at 15,000. In Marseille authorities said that 6,500 protestors were on the streets, but unions put the number at 130,000. The French government said that about 5 per cent of teachers who are not on vacation were taking part in industrial action today. Many train and bus services are disrupted but trams are running in Nice. Tram line 1 was briefly disrupted because of the demonstration around lunchtime but has now resumed. A march has also taken place in Paris today, with numbers estimated at 42,000 by the police but 400,000 according to unions. Protestors briefly occupied the lobby of luxury goods company LVMH in Paris, letting off smoke bombs. Today's industrial action comes on the eve of the decision of the Constitutional Council on the government's pension legislation. It's thought unlikely that the Council will strike out the whole legislation, but changes may be made.

Drought conditions are certain in several regions of France this summer according to French geological and minerals organization BRGM. It said that 75% of groundwater levels nationwide are at moderately low or very low levels after insufficient rainfall in March.

There were five separate shooting incidents in Marseille last night, mostly in neighbourhoods which have a high level of drugs trafficking. Four people were injured. One of the victims is in hospital in a serious condition.

The Artists who will be playing at the Monte-Carlo Summer Festival have been announced. They include Ricky Martin with the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norah Jones, Seal, Sting, Mika and Eros Ramazzotti. The Festival takes place over the summer from 10 July to 19 August. Tickets can be booked on www.montecarlosbm.com

The Principality of Monaco has appointed a new ambassador to Poland. HE M. Lorenzo RAVANO, presented his Letters of Credence to HE Mr Andrzej DUDA, President of the Republic of Poland, during a ceremony held at the Belvedere Palace, the Presidential Residence, in Warsaw.

 

BUSINESS

The UK economy saw no growth in February after being hit by the effects of strikes by public sector workers, according to the Office for National Statistics. It said that a rise in construction activity had been offset by walkouts by teachers and civil servants. It follows growth of 0.4% in January. Despite February's flat performance UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the economic outlook was "brighter than expected". But the opposition Labour party said the UK was "lagging behind on the global stage with growth on the floor".

Supermarket operator Tesco has reported a rise in sales. It said that sales grew by 7.2% in the year to 25 February. However, profits dropped sharply to 753 million pounds in what the company described as "an incredibly tough year for customers".

Factory production in the eurozone has increased. EU statistics body Eurostat said that industrial production grew by 1.5% in February compared to January. It was up by 2% compared to February last year.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... Irish driver Craig Breen has died after an accident during a pre-event test for the Croatia Rally. His racing team, Hyundai Motorsport, said that it sent its most sincere condolances to his family, friends and fans and would be making no further comment for the moment. Breen's co-driver James Fulton was unharmed in the accident.

Football... Premier League clubs have agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of their matchday shirts by the end of the 2025-26 season. The move follows a consultation between the league, its clubs and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport. However, after the deadline, clubs will still be able to continue featuring gambling brands in areas such as shirt sleeves and LED advertising.

 

MONTE CARLO TENNIS MASTERS REPORT

Poland's Hurkacz was defeated by Sinner 3-6, 7-6, 6-1. Ruud was beaten by Struff 6-1, 7-6. Rublev defeated Khachanov 7-6, 6-2. Holger Rune is through to the next round after being awarded a walkover in his match against Matteo Berrettini. This afternoon Tsitsipas defeated Jarry 6-3, 6-4 and Lehecka was defeated by Fritz 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

 

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