Evening Update Tuesday 18th October 2022

It's been a day of strike action across France, including here on the Riviera. Several of France's main unions called for action. It comes after workers at several refineries and fuel depots extended their strike, defying the government which has started requisitioning workers and legally forcing them to return to work. There's been disruption today to public transport, schools, creches and other public services. Truck drivers delivering food have also taken part. The CGT trade union held a rally outside Nice-Ville station this afternoon. Force Ouvrière had a similar protest outside the Centre Administratif in Nice early this morning, while teachers protested outside the Lycée Pasteur. A poll last night found half of French people disapprove of today's strike action. Seven in 10 respondents said the fuel protest in particular should be stopped.

A woman accused of posing as an estate agent and pocketing tens of thousands of euros in deposits and rent payments has gone on trial in Grasse. Prosecutors claim the 36-year-old concluded rental agreements with several tenants for properties around Théoule-sur-Mer without the owners' approval, between February and May this year. In one case, prosecutors say an elderly couple entrusted the so-called estate agent with renting out their property for short-term stays. It's alleged that the woman instead concluded a year-long rental contract with a family, let them move in, changed the locks and kept their deposit and first month's rent for herself. The tenants had to leave the property after its owners alerted gendarmes. Many of the defendants say they were left homeless, having already terminated the lease on their previous home, and were substantially out of pocket. The accused faces up to five years in jail if found guilty of fraud and breach of trust. The verdict is due next month.

The summer season on the Riviera might have only recently finished - but tourism leaders are already busy planning for 2023, and they're pretty optimistic about the future.
2022 has been described by some in the sector as a "catch-up" year. After two very difficult summers due to the coronavirus crisis, figures have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels.
Hotels saw occupancy rates around the 80-90% mark this summer. The Riviera's tourism strategy for next summer is multi-faceted. A key part is attracting French visitors, from elsewhere in the country. Neighbouring and nearby European countries are also an important market. North America and the Middle East are other important targets. There will also be a focus next year on promoting the Riviera way of life, sport and the environment. Another goal for next summer is to try to extend the tourism season for as long as possible - by promoting holi