Evening Update Thursday 16 February 2023

Demonstrations against pension reform have been taking place in Nice and many cities across the country today. However, the number of demonstrators is down significantly.

In Nice police say participation was about half of last Saturday’s protest, with 2,000 people taking part. Today’s strike is still causing significant disruption to transport though, with a reduction on train services and no busses or trams running in the city.

Meanwhile, progress of the reform is picking up pace in the French parliament, where dozens of planned amendments have been dropped, to allow deputies to move rapidly onto the key part of the reform which handles the actual age at which people will be able to draw a pension.

Unions remain defiant and are calling for a complete shutdown of France, after mid-term, on Tuesday 7th of March.

A restaurant in the Madeleine district of Nice has been shut after it was discovered it was not a restaurant at all.  Security authorities, who raided the premises this morning, found no food in the fridges but instead 42,652 kg of cannabis resin and 1,470 kg of herbal cannabis. The restaurant owner, who was in possession of a large amount of cash, was arrested on the spot.

Societe des Bains de Mer have announced the Casino in Monte-Carlo has won not one but two prestigious awards in London.  The awards for Best Casino Operator and Best Casino Restaurant received at the ICE international trade fair, are a double mark of recognition from the gaming industry, for the Casino de Monte-Carlo and its position as a benchmark in the international gaming sector.

Protests are expected in Cannes tomorrow against the Zavatta circus which arrived last week. A condition of the circus licence to perform was that it would come without animals.  However, an inspection by the DDPP on Monday found a hippo, lions and tigers were being kept by the circus in cramped conditions. The organisation One Voice is planning a protest against this before the circus leaves Cannes on Sunday.

In Nice, three people were injured after falling from a scaffolding this morning. The three workers fell from the Ambassador Hotel, on Avenue de Suède. This is the second accident in just one week after another worker fell next to the future Park Hotel. All the injured are recovering at Pasteur Hospital.


Airbus says it is slowing down the production ramp-up of its top-selling model, as it tries to build a more robust platform for serving jet demand after Covid. The world's largest aircraft manufacturer also announced a second attempt to reach 720 total annual deliveries, after abandoning the goal last year.

Pernod Ricard is planning more price increases in the second half of the year in China and the USA to protect its profit margins against the high costs of freight, energy and glass. The French company, which is the world's second-largest spirits group after Diageo, has already reported forecast-beating first-half profit and sales, helped by price hikes of around 10%. Pernod shares are up 5%.


Football - AS Monaco is in action tonight in the first leg of the Europa League knockout clash with Bayer Leverkusen. The Germans are only in the Europa League because of a disappointing Champions League campaign where they picked up just one win from the group stages. They will be hoping to make amends with Monaco tonight. However, Monaco is in impressive form, coming into the game unbeaten in their last 6 matches across all competitions. In particular, they’ve just picked up a 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain and will be confident of grinding out a positive result here. The game kicks off in Germany at 8pm this evening.

The UK Football Association has launched an investigation after Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne had plastic beer cups thrown at him during their 3-1 win at Arsenal last night. A Gunner's spokesman said the behaviour was unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Meanwhile, the Belgium international posted a picture on social media of himself at the  Emirates Stadium with the caption 'beer anyone?'

Rugby - Members of Wales’ Six Nations squad have walked out of an event hosted by the Welsh Rugby Union today. They say they have had enough of ongoing delays over new contracts.  For their part, the Rugby Board says there is no room for manoeuvre when it comes to budgets for player contracts. The players are considering strike action as Wales continues preparations for their Six Nations match with England in Cardiff on February 25th.

Meanwhile, Ireland lock Tadhg Beirne will miss the remainder of the Six Nations after being ruled out for up to 12 weeks with an ankle injury. Beirne, who has started in Irelands’ last 14 tests, left the Aviva Stadium on crutches following the win over France.

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