Evening Update Wednesday 25 November 2020

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that he is in favour of shops being allowed to open on Sundays from this weekend until Christmas. Reports say that the government is sending a letter to prefectures asking them to facilitate requests made by traders for Sunday opening. Minister of Labour Elisabeth Bourne has said that exceptional Sunday opening is envisaged for December only and won't be extended into January despite the wishes of some retailers. Speaking in an interview with French television this morning, Bruno Le Maire added that he was willing to discuss the postponement of the winter sales but that it was necessary to make sure that this would be profitable for traders.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex is to hold a press conference tomorrow morning at 11.00 to give more detail on Emmanuel Macron's announcements last night concerning the new coronavirus measures.

The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has held a meeting in person with Bruno Le Maire in Paris to discuss the financial and economic situation of local communities and businesses. Amongst other matters, the mayor asked for national recognition of the importance of the Palais des Festivals which he said must benefit from support from central government in addition to support from the city of Cannes.

There's been another monthly fall in the number of "Category A" jobseekers in France, in other words those people without an activity who are required to actively search for a job. The number of such jobseekers fell by 1.6% in October. It's the sixth month in a row of declines. Unemployment including those in Categories B and C, which cover those with a reduced activity, fell by 0.7% in the month. However, the number of jobseekers in France is still about 10% higher than before the pandemic began.

The Prefect of Police in the Bouches-du-Rhone department is reportedly leaving his post. Emmanuel Barbe was appointed to the role only nine months ago. The reasons for his departure are currently unclear.

Several public buildings in Nice, as well as the famous "I Love Nice" sign have turned orange today on the occasion of  World Day for the Elimination of Violence against women. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said that the city's actions to fight domestic violence aren't limited to a single day but are developed through concrete measures throughout the year. He added that Nice provides a telephone hotline, as well as emergency response and accommodation facilities.

The Principality of Monaco is participating in an operation to give toys to children affected by Storm Alex. HSH Prince Albert II and his government have contributed 15,000 euros to the operation which aims to give toys for Christmas to almost 600 children aged up to 14 years old. "Solidarity Christmas for the children of the Roya Valley" was initiated by the Deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes Alexandra Valetta-Ardisson and the Agglomeration of the French Riviera. The contribution from Monaco should make it possible to offer a gift to each child. Since the storm in early October, Monaco has paid 1 million euros to each of the affected valleys - Vésubie, Roya, Tinée and the town of Vintimiglia.



UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that about one million additional people are expected to be unemployed by the middle of next year. Delivering his spending review to Parliament this afternoon he said that unemployment is expected to reach 2.6 million by mid-2021. The latest figures show that just over 1.6 million people are unemployed. He said that what he called the UK's "economic emergency" had "only just begun". He said the economy was predicted to contract by 11.3% this year, which he called "the largest fall in output for more than 300 years" before growing by 5.5% next year and 6.6% in 2022.

The UK's largest magazine publisher, Future, has announced the acquisition of the owner of comparison website GoCompare. Future has announced a recommended offer for GoCo Group worth 594 million pounds. Future, which publishes titles including Country Life, Cycling Weekly and MusicWeek, also announced record results for the year ended 30 September with top line revenues growing by 53%.

The French Economy Ministry has confirmed reports that France has levied a controversial tax on large multinational digital companies such as Amazon and Facebook for the year 2020. The French parliament approved the tax last year. The Economy Ministry said that it had sent out tax notices to affected companies. The tax has proved highly controversial, with the United States threatening retaliatory measures.


Tennis... In Australia, a state of Victoria minister has said that the Australian Open may be postponed by one or two weeks. Sports minister Martin Pakula said that "it's much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay." The tournament is due to take place in Melbourne from 18-31 January but quarantine regulations mean that players may not be allowed into Victoria until the end of December at the earliest.

Rugby Union... Jaco van der Walt is set to make his debut for Scotland in their final Autumn Nat