Evening Update Thursday 27 January 2022

Demonstrations have been held in our region as part of a national day of industrial action. Protestors gathered on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice as well as in Grasse and Toulon. Demonstrators, who included teachers and firefighters, were demanding wage increases and protesting at the rising cost of living. According to the government, the call to strike action by unions was being observed by 8.52% of teachers as at midday today. Transport is disrupted because of the industrial action, with tramlines 1,2 and 3 not running in Nice and bus and local train services also being disrupted. As usual on days of industrial action on transport networks, on-street parking in Nice is free of charge until 8pm this evening.

The French Vaccine Strategy Council has said that the available data doesn't curently call for implementing a second Covid-19 booster vaccine. The Council has already recommended a second systematic booster dose for severely immunocompromised people in its opinion of January 6. In a report dated 19 January but only made publicly available today, the Council said that although it is legitimate to raise the question of a second booster dose because of the current context of strong viral circulation, with the exception of severely immunocompromised people "a second booster dose would not provide any significant individual benefit".

There's been a large fall in property crimes in France according to figures published by the Interior Ministry. Between 2017 and 2021, there was a 25% drop in burglaries, a 21% drop in vehicle thefts, and falls in thefts with a weapon, violent thefts without a weapon and destruction and damage. However, there was an increase in personal attacks, which was particularly because of large rises in declared cases of intra-family and sexual violence.  Scams also rose by 30% over the period. Recent data by government statistics agency INSEE shows that half of all victims of scams have been approached via the Internet. The number of homicides was up slightly last year but remains stable over the long term.

In a statement released today the Palace in Monaco said that H.S.H. Princess Charlene will unfortunately not attend the Sainte Dévote festivities this year. The Palace said that her convalescence is currently continuing in a satisfying and very encouraging way and her recovery as well as follow-up dental care will still take several weeks. The statement said that with her husband H.S.H. Prince Albert II, she is wholeheartedly together with all Monegasques and residents on the occasion of the celebrations and the Princess looks forward to once again sharing moments of conviviality with them as soon as her health allows.



UK car production fell by 6.7% in 2021 to just over 859,000 units, according to figures released today by industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. It's the worst total since 1956. Output was 34% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Despite this, British car factories produced a record number of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric vehicles, representing more than one-in-four of all cars made.

EasyJet has said that load factors continued to strengthen in October and November with both months above 80%. Load factors declined during December because of the Omicron variant. Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive said that booking volumes jumped in the UK following the reduction of travel restrictions announced on 5 January, which he said have been sustained and then given a further boost from the UK Government's decision earlier this week to further remove testing requirements. He added that Easyjet sees a strong summer ahead, with pent up demand that will see easyJet returning to near 2019 levels of capacity.



Tennis... Ashleigh Barty will face Danielle Collins in the women's singles final at the Australian Open. Barty defeated Madison Keys in straight sets. Collins beats Iga Swiatek 6-4 6-1. The two mens singles semi-finals will take place tomorrow.

Motorsports....The Singapore Grand Prix will continue to be held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit for another seven years, following an extension of the race's contract. The Formula 1 organization said that as a result of the multi-year deal, the Grand Prix will continue to be held in Singapore from 2022 to 2028 inclusive. The 2022 Formula 1 season begins in Bahrain on March 18-20.

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