Evening Update Wednesday 4 January 2023

The risk of power cuts in France this winter appears to be receding, according to government spokesperson Olivier Veran. Speaking after this morning's Council of Ministers meeting, he said that the latest indicators on stress in the energy system are "rather reassuring".

French economy minister Bruno Le Maire is set to meet representatives of the restaurant sector later this week to discuss rising energy prices. He said this morning that the government won't support businesses "whatever the cost". There have been calls from various business sectors for support following the government's recent announcement that it intends to help bakers with their rising energy costs.

Two people have been arrested after the facade of the French prime ministers official residence in Paris was sprayed with orange paint. According to reports, the man and the woman in their twenties were members of an environmental group who were protesting at the government's alleged lack of action on climate change.

There's been another significant fall in the Covid-19 incidence rate in Monaco. The incidence rate per 100,000 people in the week the January 1 was 102, down from 171 the previous week. 40 new positive cases of Covid-19 were detected in the week. As at Sunday, 11 people, including 7 residents, were hospitalized at the Princess Grace Hospital. No one was being treated in intensive care. 28 people were being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Cannes Town Hall has announced that legendary French musician Jean-Michel Jarre will be appearing at this year's MIDEM music industry gathering. The town hall said that a new revamped MIDEM will be held at the Palais des Festivals from 19 to 21 January. It will feature concerts, showcases, talks, masterclasses, collaborative intelligence workshops, and networking sessions around a professional market. Jean-Michel Jarre will be patron of the festival and will give three concerts.



Annual inflation in France fell in December. Government statistics body INSEE said that provisional data showed that consumer prices should increase by 5.9% in December, down from 6.2% the previous month. It said that the fall in inflation is due to the slowdown in energy prices and, to a lesser extent, services. Food prices increased over one year at the same rate as in November.

In the UK, mortgage approvals for house purchases fell to the lowest level since June 2020, according to data released today by the Bank of England. Approvals decreased to 46,100 in November from 57,900 in October. However, the Bank said that net borrowing of mortgage debt by individuals increased from £3.6 billion to £4.4 billion in November.



Cricket... India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is to be transferred to Mumbai to undergo surgery after being injured in a car crash last week. The Board of Control for Cricket in India said that he will also have "subsequent procedures for ligament tears".

Football... West Ham co-chairman David Gold has died at the age of 86. The club said he passed away "peacefully" this morning. Gold was previously the chairman and co-owner of Birmingham City.


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