Evening Update Thursday 25 January 2024

The President of the Provence-Alpes Cote d'Azur Region Renaud Muselier has said that aid for farmers in the region will be made available after another day of widespread action. The payments are in the form of an advance on European Union credits. Farmers are expected to stage a demonstration in front of the Prefecture in Nice tomorrow. Meanwhile, farming unions have called for a blockade of Paris from 2pm tomorrow. The unions have said that many of the motorways in the area of the capital will be blocked. Protesting farmers are still blocking many roads across France. A demonstration took place in Toulon in front of the prefecture this lunchtime and in the centre of Draguignan this afternoon. The A8 was blocked this morning at Aix-en-Provence by an operation go-slow. In the Vaucluse department, the Prefecture said this afternoon that around a hundred trucks were blocking  the N7 in the North - South direction. In the Haute-Alpes, demonstrators blocked a payage station on the A51 with dozens of tractors. Local elected officials joined the protest. The A54 motorway was closed in places as convoys of tractors converged. The A7 motorway was once again closed in places. Details of motorway disruptions can be found in real time on the website https://www.vinci-autoroutes.com/fr/

Farming unions have called for a blockade of Paris from 2pm tomorrow. The unions have said that many of the motorways in the area of ​​the capital will be blocked. Protesting farmers are still blocking many roads across France, including in our region. A demonstration took place in Toulon in front of the prefecture this lunchtime and in the center of Draguignan this afternoon. The A8 was blocked this morning at Aix-en-Provence by an operation go-slow. In the Vaucluse department, the Prefecture said this afternoon that around a hundred trucks were blocking the N7 in the North - South direction. In the Haute-Alpes, demonstrators blocked a payage station on the A51 with dozens of tractors. Local elected officials joined the protest. The A54 motorway was closed in places as convoys of tractors converged. The A7 motorway was once again closed in places. Details of motorway disruptions can be found in real time on the website https://www.vinci-autoroutes.com/fr/

French Prime Minister Gabrial Attal has said that he will announce measures addressing farmers' complaints during a visit to a farm tomorrow. He held meetings with several government ministers this morning to discuss the protests and proposed measures. Locally, the Prefect of the Var received a delegation from the federation of farming unions and young farmers today to discuss the demands and concerns of farmers in the department. The problems of breeders, horticulturists and wine growers were discussed, including administrative simplification, adaptation of the law, as well as drought and water measures.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has requested what he called "an emergency meeting" with the CEO of motorway operator Vinci regarding the motorway operator's increase in toll prices from 1 February. In a post on social media, the mayor said that "it is unthinkable, in this period of high inflation, to accept an increase of 2.7% which will impact the purchasing power of the people of Nice". The mayor has been calling for the removal of the tolls at Nice Saint-Isidore which he said "constitutes a major pollution zone".

The French Ministry of Labor has said that there were just over 5.4 million job seekers registered with France Travail, which was formerly Pôle Emploi, in categories A, B and C in the fourth quarter of 2023. It was a rise of 1.0%. The number of Category "A" jobseekers rose by 0.2% in the fourth quarter, to just over 3 million people.

Meteo France have said that the current period of mild weather is likely to extend beyond January 31. It said that yesterday mildness records were equaled or broken from Hérault to the Var. Le Castellet, Arles, Nimes and Montpellier all recorded record temperatures in excess of 20 degrees. Meteo France said that such mildness is "remarkable" for the month of January but it's not unprecedented to experience temperatures above 20°C in winter.

 

BUSINESS

The European Central Bank has kept its three key interest rates unchanged. The Bank's Governing Council said that incoming information has broadly confirmed its previous assessment of the medium-term inflation outlook. It added that aside from energy-related effects, the declining trend in underlying inflation has continued.

New data released by the US Department of Commerce today showed that the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.3% in the last quarter of 2023. The rate was higher than expected by many economists but was down on the 4.9% of the previous quarter .

 

SPORT

Cricket... It's been the first day of the England against India First Test in Hyderabad. England were all out for 246, with Stokes hitting 70. In reply India ended the day on 119-1.

Tennis... Aryna Sabalenka is through to the Australian Open final after beating Coco Gauff. The final score was 7-6 6-4. Sabalenka will face Chinese player Zheng Qin-wen in Saturday's final after beating Ukrainian qualifier Day-ana Yas-trem-ska.

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