Evening Update Thursday 23 June 2022

Marine Le Pen has been elected as president of the National Rally group in the French National Assembly. She was the only candidate for the position and was elected by acclamation at a meeting of the 89 deputies of the group.

The Alpes-Maritimes has officially closed it's vaccinodrome vaccination centres across the department. The repeal of the prefectoral decree designating the centres comes despite the recent increase in Covid-19 incidence rates. However, vaccinations are still available at various local health centres.

In the Var, the Artuby-Jabron and Argens areas have been placed on heightened alert for drought. The Prefecture said that 2 municipalities are now at crisis level,  79 municipalities are on heightened alert, 26 municipalities are on alert and the rest of the department on vigilance. Water restrictions in the Var and the municipalities can be found on the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

The Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture has reminded residents and visitors to be alert for forest fires. Nine out of ten such fires are of human origin. The Prefecture said that in case of fire call 18 or 112, or 114 for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Greenpeace activists have been carrying out a series of protests around the Cannes Lions Festival. The meeting for those working in creative communications, advertising, and related fields is taking place at the Palais des Festivals this week. The activists allege that some advertising agencies are involved in the so-called "greenwashing" of fossil fuel businesses.

Thirty seven French departments have been placed on a Meteo France Orange alert for thunderstorms. The warnings mostly cover departments in the north-east and central parts of the country. However, virtually all of the rest of France is under a yellow warning for storms.

 

BUSINESS

Hundreds of British Airways workers at Heathrow Airport have voted to take industrial action. Unite and GMB union members who are mostly check-in staff and ground crew backed the strike action over the summer. A total of 700 workers are involved. The unions said the strike was taking place because of a 10% pay cut imposed during the peak of the pandemic not being reversed.

The German government has triggered the "alarm" stage of an emergency gas plan to deal with gas shortages after a drop in supplies from Russia. German economy minister Robert Habeck said there would "hopefully never" be a need to ration gas for German industry, but he added that he couldn't rule it out.

The UK economy expanded modestly in June according to preliminary purchasing managers survey data, and also saw steady strong employment growth, according to a new survey. However, S&P Global who co