Evening Update Thursday 4 May 2023

A member of the Italian government has cancelled a visit to France in the latest row between the two governments over immigration policy. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani cancelled his visit after comments by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin who said that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is "unable to solve the migratory problems" of Italy and that the country is experiencing a "very serious crisis" in migration.

Emmanuel Macron has announced planned reforms to lycees professionnel. On a visit to the Charante-Maritime department he said that he wanted to ensure that less students drop out of their course at vocational schools and to increase the number of students who are able to find employment after graduation. He also announced that interns would be paid between 50 and 100 euros per week by the state. In a social media post, the President said that each year, a third of high school students go to vocational high school but, during their schooling, a third of them drop out and less than 40% of graduates easily find a job after 6 months.

Several hundred pension reform protestors gathered outside the school President Macron was visiting, despite the local prefect putting in place a ban on demonstrations in the vicinity of the school.

A court in Gap has handed down a prison sentence to a man who smuggled migrants across the border from Italy. The van driver of African origin was caught trying to bring 32 illegal migrants over the border in the early hours of 29 April. He was also banned from re-entering France after the expiry of his jail term.

The mayor of Hyeres, Jean-Pierre Giran has been elected president of the Toulon-Provence-Mediterranean Metropolis. He replaces Hubert Falco, the former mayor of Toulon, who became ineligible because of his recent conviction for the concealment of the embezzlement of public funds.

The number of electric vehicle charging points in France is set to reach 100,000. According to an electric mobility association, 4,000 new stations are being installed per month. Ten per cent of charging stations installed across France are fast charging facilities.  

President of the PACA Region Charles Ange Ginésy will be present at a ceremony in Valberg on Monday along with several local elected officials. The Legion d'Honneur forecourt in front of the Eglise Notre-Dame des Neiges will be inaugurated, as will the "Lou Camous" roundabout in Péone. Monday is the VE Day public holiday in France and a commemoration of the day will take place in Péone at 11.30am.



The European Central Bank has raised interest rates by 0.25%. The move comes after the Federal Reserve, the US central Bank, increased its key interest rate by 0.25% yesterday.

Energy company Shell has reported stronger than expected profits. The company reported profits of $9.6bn for the first three months of the year, which was higher than the same period last year despite a fall in energy prices.

The UK new car market recorded its ninth successive month of growth in April, with an 11.6% increase, according to the latest figures from trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The performance marks the best April since 2021, but remains 17.4% down on 2019 volumes. Electrified vehicles accounted for more than one in three registrations in April.



Rugby Union... John Mitchell will take over as England women's head coach later this year, replacing Simon Middleton, who stepped down following the Six Nations win last weekend. Mitchell is a former New Zealand Men's team coach.

In other Rugby Union news, New Zealand back Will Jordan is set to play for Crusaders against Western Force in Christchurch on Saturday. It's the first time he'll be playing in eight months after a "migraine-related condition" kept him out of the squad.


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