Evening Update Thursday 23 September 2021

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has called for restrictions to be put in place to control demonstrations against the health pass which have been taking place in Nice on Saturdays. The mayor said that he is asking the demonstrators and the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes to ensure that the demonstrations are static so that the impact is limited. He said that the demonstrators "penalize life in the city and take Niçois hostage as well as the traders who keep telling me their weariness". He added that for safety reasons, Line 1 of the tramway has to be partially stopped for most of the day on Saturdays and between 10,000 and 16,000 users are affected. Last Saturday Line 2 of the tramway also had to be interrupted for several minutes as a precaution. He said that what he called "this unacceptable situation" is seriously damaging the economic activity of Nice which is already complicated by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Over 35,000 fraudulent health passes are in use in France according to the Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie. The organization said that 300 enforcement proceedings have been started so far, including against 138 health professionals.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has presented his "grand plan" for the elderly and for independence in old age. He announced that 10,000 additional staff will be recruited for care homes within 5 years. Carers who look after the elderly in their own homes will receive a minimum of 22 euros per hour in pay from next year.

French Europe and Foreign Affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has held a meeting with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York this afternoon. They discussed the diplomatic crisis surrounding the cancellation by Australia of a contract for French submarines. After the meeting M. Le Drian said that "getting out of the crisis we are experiencing will take time and will require action". The two ministers agreed to remain in touch.

National and Municipal police have carried out a joint operation in the Saint-Augustin / Moulins area of Nice. 10 tons of bulky waste items were removed from the vicinity and in the Parking des Pins. 17 fines for incivility were issued and four people had their details forwarded to the judicial police.

One person has died in an accident involving a minibus carrying supporters of Olympique de Marseille football club. The accident happened in the early hours of this morning on the A85 motorway in the Loir-et-Cher department. Nine supporters were travelling in the minibus on the way back from the club's match against Angers. The other eight passengers suffered minor injuries. In a statement, OM sent its condolences to the family of the deceased and said that Pablo Longoria, the club president, is travelling to visit the survivors of the accident.

The Prefecture in the Var has issued a reminder to remian vigilant for forest fires. In particular, the Prefecture pointed out the danger in throwing cigarette butts on the ground. The daily map showing fire risks on the massifs in the Var is no longer being published after the end of the summer season, but people should still remain vigilant and call 18 or 112 if an outbreak of fire is witnessed. Only yesterday, firefighters in the Var were called out to a blaze in undergrowth on the Chemin du Plan in Brignoles.

Monaco is marking the one year anniversary of its carpooling initiative. A recent meeting brought together all the organizations concerned including state services and partner companies. The new carpooling system was officially launched in the Principality in September 2020.  It is based on the Klaxit carpooling app. It currently brings together 27 entities, all signatories of the National Pact for Energy Transition, which total around 13,000 employees. About 50,000 French and Italian employees travel to the Principality daily, most of them by car, with an average occupancy rate of 1.1 people per vehicle.



The Bank of England has said that it expects inflation in the UK to rise above 4% by the end of the year, fuelled by rising energy costs. It said that factors driving higher inflation are expected to moderate next year. It also revised down its growth forecast for the third quarter by 1% and said that there are signs the supply chain crisis was starting to hamper economic recovery. The Bank held interest rates at 0.1%.

A new survey has shown a slowing down of the UK private sector at the end of the third quarter. The latest purchasing managers data compiled by IHS Markit and CIPS showed that rates of expansion in both output and new orders were the weakest in seven months. Meanwhile, the survey suggested that inflationary pressures showed little sign of abating, with input costs up sharply. A similar survey in the Eurozone showed a marked slowdown in growth. Firms' input costs in the currency bloc rose at the fastest rate in 21 years.

Data from air traffic management organization Eurocontrol shows that flight numbers in the UK are still well below pre-pandemic levels. The seven-day average number of UK daily flights was 3,593 in the week ending 19 September, which is just 54% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019.



Cricket.... Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that there will be "no special deals" for families of England cricketers to be allowed to travel to Australia for the Ashes. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the issue with Morrison at a dinner in Washington last night.

Winter Olympics... The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has said that all US athletes competing at the 2022 Winter games in Beijng will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19. US athletes did not have to be vaccinated at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The Winter Olympics take place from 4-20 February next year with the Paralympics from 4-13 March.

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