Evening Update Tuesday 9 January 2024

Gabriel Attal has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of France after the resignation of Elisabeth Borne yesterday evening. At 34 years old, he is the youngest Prime Minister in modern French history. He will now form a new government. Nice mayor Christian Estrosi congratulated the new prime minister, saying that he "has demonstrated a true reforming spirit and a great ability to carry out his duties", while paying tribute to Elisabeth Borne saying that he salutes "the strength of her commitment to the service of our country as Prime Minister and her ability to carry out difficult but very necessary reforms".

Large areas of France are on Meteo France orange or yellow alerts for icy and cold conditions. The transport minister Clement Beaune said that about four hundred vehicles were stuck in snow on roads in the north of France this morning. About a thousand vehciles were stranded last night, particulalry on the A13 motorway between the west of Paris and the coast. School busses were also cancelled in several departments.

Disruption to train services in our region is continuing today because of strike action by drivers. They are protesting against alleged staff shortages and forthcoming competition from the private sector. Services on the Cote d'Azur and the Roya valley are affected. More details on which trains are running can be found at local stations and on the SNCF website https://www.ter.sncf.com/sud-provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/se-deplacer/horaires

A new exit ramp for junction 58 on the A8 motorway has been inaugurated at a special ceremony this morning. The new ramp will primarily serve Monaco Est, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Beausoleil, providing additional access to the Principality of Monaco and allowing traffic to flow more smoothly on the A500 motorway and in the Monaco tunnel. The new ramp at junction 58 will be put into service tomorrow morning from 6 a.m.

Police officers in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe have seized several hundred kilograms of cocaine. Police on patrol on a beach in Gosier spotted parked vehicles, one of which had the trunk open, revealing what the police described as suspicious containers. After checks, 364 kg of cocaine were discovered inside 13 bales. Six individuals were arrested.

A French national has been arrested in Azerbaijan, according to the country's ambassador to France. The ambassador said that he is suspected of espionage. Diplomatic relations between France and Azerbaijan are currently strained, with the two countries expelling each others diplomats in recent weeks.

 

BUSINESS

Unemployment in the Eurozone has fallen unexpectedly. EU statistics body Eurostat said that unemployment stood at 6.4% in November, down from 6.5% in October. Almost eleven million people were unemployed in the bloc in November.

The former head of the UK Post Office, Paula Vennells, has said that she is handing back her CBE because of the so-called Horizon scandal. Hundreds of sub-postmasters were wrongly prosecuted for theft and fraud as the result of a faulty computer system.

The European Commission has said that it is checking if Microsoft's investment in ChatGPT owner OpenAI might be reviewable under the EU merger regulations. It said that it had sent requests for information to several large digital businesses and has called for contributions as it potentially looks at competition in the areas of "virtual worlds" and "generative AI".

 

SPORT

Tennis...British number two Dan Evans has beaten Australian Rinky Hijikata at the Adelaide International. It was his first match after returning from injury. He'll now play Alexander Bublik in the last 16.

Football... Chelsea player Ian Maatsen is joining Borussia Dortmund on loan until the end of the season. The Netherlands Under-21 team member was on loan to Burnley last season.

 

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