French and Riviera News Friday 10th February 2023

News

French President “does not exclude” delivering combat aircraft to Ukraine but feels there are “other priorities” - French President Emmanuel Macron has in a press conference on Thursday evening, said that the request for fighter planes from the Ukrainian President for him “does not correspond to today’s needs” adding that he preferred “to help Ukraine on other priorities such as the delivery of Caesar guns announced last week. Macron said that while he “does not exclude” delivering fighter planes he feels there are “other priorities”. Throughout his European tour on Wednesday and Thursday, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky insisted that his country needed fighter jets to end the war led by Russia. Zelensky was given a hero’s welcome by EU heads of state at a summit in Brussels on Thursday as he lobbied the regional bloc to speed the delivery of modern weapons to halt a Russian offensive.

Macron questioned over withdrawal of Legion of Honour - Meanwhile, following Macron handing Zelensky the Legion of Honour this week in Paris journalists were quick on Thursday to question if it would be withdrawn from the Russian President who was decorated with it in 2006 by Jacques Chirac. Macron explained that he did not rule out withdrawing the Legion of Honour awarded by his predecessor to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2006, while explaining that he wanted to choose "the right time to do it". Adding that these decisions “are always meaningful and I think you have to appreciate the right moment to make them”.

Flu vaccination recommended for all children aged 2 to 17 - The HAS, the French High Authority of Health, has recommended the vaccination of all children aged 2 to 17 against influenza. The organization said that it recommends that vaccination against seasonal flu be offered each year to children without any underlying health issues aged 2 to 17 years old, without it being made compulsory. The objective is to enable its reimbursement and to limit the spread and impact of the flu on the population. The HAS said that the five existing vaccines can be used, but that it has issued a preferential recommendation for the one administered by nasal spray. The opinion of the High Authority of Health is only a recommendation but is usually followed by the government. Each year, seasonal flu affects two to six million people in France and is responsible for an average of around 9,000 deaths.

Ma Securite app - The Var prefecture has reminded locals of the availability of the Ma Securite app. The app, which is also available to residents of other departments, enables users to chat with police or the gendarmerie 24/7, report a fact such as an urban rodeo, scam or threats, to find the location of the nearest police station or gendarmerie and to file an online pre-complaint, amongst other functions. More details are available on the government's website https://www.masecurite.interieur.gouv.fr/fr

Skiers faced with parking fines due to lack of spaces - Victim of its own success the ski resort of Isola 2000 is facing parking problems due to a peak in visitors with skiers unable to find places to park and receiving fines. Recent snowfall has seen exceptional crowds at the resort and the mayor has evoked “a competition of circumstances” as parking spaces are running out. Visitors are reminded to promote carpooling when possible, or opt for 100% snow buses, departing from Nice.

Mayor of Nice gives “optimistic” speak to supporters - The mayor of Nice has given what has been described by local reporters as an “optimistic speak” during a gathering at the Palais de la Méditerranée on Thursday evening. Christian Estrosi declared in front of his supporters “you give me the happiness of being mayor” adding that “what drives us is the love of Nice”.

Monaco Run - This weekend sees the Monaco Run take place in the Principality. The event offers three races and the Pink Ribbon Monaco Walk raising money in the fight against breast cancer. There is also the 10km city trial, the 5km Herculis run and the 1,000 metres run for kids.

For more information go to the Monaco run website https://www.monacorun.com/. The Running Expo which is situated on the Quai Albert 1er on Port Hercule is where the races start and finish and is open from 10am to 5.30pm on Saturday and from 7am on Sunday.

Business

Half-term holidaymakers are being warned of delays on the way back into the UK, during planned strike action by Border Force staff. The PCS union expects 1,000 members at the ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Dover, and the Coquelles Channel Tunnel Terminal, to walk out between Friday 17th February and Monday 20th February as part of their ongoing pay dispute. The UK government has warned that getting through passport control could take longer.

Industry figures have shown that sales of second-hand cars fell sharply last year as fewer used models came onto the market. A shortage of parts driven by Covid meant fewer new cars were produced, and people hung on to their cars longer as they waited to upgrade. Some 6.9 million used cars changed hands, down from 7.5 million in 2021, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

And - Adidas has warned over the impact on its profits after it ended the hugely successful Yeezy partnership with rapper and fashion designer Kanye West. The firm's new boss said it could lose hundreds of millions of dollars this year if it cannot sell its stock of Yeezy sneakers. The announcement marks the company's fourth profit warning since July.

Rugby

Ahead of this week’s Six Nations action in Rugby tributes have been paid to Tony 'Charlie' Faulkner following his death aged 81. The former Pontypool loosehead prop earned 19 caps for Wales between 1975 and 1979, winning four Five Nations titles and the Grand Slam twice in a squad which included the likes of Gareth Edwards and JPR Williams. Faulkner, who was born in Newport, joined Pontypool from Cross Keys in September 1972, going on to make 210 appearances and scoring 12 tries

Six Nations – In the Six Nations this weekend tomorrow in a potentially crucial Six Nations clash on the second week of the tournament Ireland play France (match starts at 3.15pm).

France of course narrowly squeezed out Ireland in Paris last year on their way to Grand Slam triumph. Ireland will therefore be seeking a dose of revenge as they begin to eye their own championship clean sweep.

Ahead of the match Ireland coach Andy Farrell has made one change as Rob Herring replaces injured hooker Dan Sheehan. But Fly-half Sexton starts despite having to go off during the win over Wales.

In Saturday’s second Six Nations match Scotland meet Wales at 5.45pm French time. Scotland prop Zander Fagerson will return for Saturday's Six Nations meeting with Wales at Murrayfield. The Glasgow Warriors tighthead has recovered from a hamstring injury sustained in early December. Meanwhile Warren Gatland has never lost to Scotland as the Wales head coach aims to keep it that way seeking a 12th victory to maintain his perfect record. Eleven times he faced the Scots during his first stint in charge between 2008 and 2019, winning each time. Gatland says he is proud of that record with Wales, but expects this to be his toughest test against them.

On Sunday England play Italy. Match starts at 4pm French time. Ahead of the match Marcus Smith is set to be reduced to a replacement role for England against Italy on Sunday, with captain Owen Farrell shifting to fly-half at Twickenham. Head coach Steve Borthwick will name his line-up this afternoon and it is understood a midfield revamp is on the cards, as England seek to recover from their defeat by Scotland. Meanwhile Ange Capuozzo has been referred to as Italy’s ‘racing snake’ out to bite England. Physically, he is one of the smallest players in the Six Nations. But he is also one of its biggest stars. The 23-year-old has the rugby world at his feet. Will have to wait and see!

Sport

Football – Premier League clubs are said to be baffled by rebooted European Super League plans that will not involve any English teams - dubbing the proposals 'reverse Brexit'. The controversial competition reared its head again this week after organisers A22 unveiled its new format as it looks to compete with the Champions League - with 80 teams set to be involved and clubs being guaranteed 14 matches per season. 

In the Premier League action this weekend. Tomorrow Saturday 11th February, with a 1.30pm kick off French time, West Ham are at home to Chelsea, at 4pm Arsenal play Brentford, Crystal Palace face Brighton, Fulham are at home to Nottingham Forest, Leicester play Tottenham, Southampton play Wolverhampton and the last match with a 6.30pm kick off is Bournemouth who are at home to Newcastle.

And on Sunday Leeds play Manchester United kick off is at 3pm and Manchester City are at home to Aston Villa 5.30pm kick off. You’ll have to wait till Monday evening for the 9pm kick off between Liverpool and Everton.

Tennis - British number one Emma Raducanu has been awarded a wildcard for Indian Wells next month. The 20-year-old, who won the 2021 US Open, missed the cut for direct entry to the women's main draw after her world ranking slipped to 80th. Fellow Britons Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie have been included in the men's singles draw.

Cycling - Great Britain won women's gold and men's silver in the team pursuit at the UEC European Track Championships.

Weather

Sunny across the region with a gentle breeze. Highs of 11 degrees in Nice, 12 in Cannes, Marseille, Draguignan and Toulon. 13 degrees in Puget Theniers. This evening going down to 1 degree along the coast of the Riviera. -1 along the Var coast and -5 inland with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend. Sunshine, feeling not so chilly tomorrow Saturday, with a slight rise of temperatures. Highs of 14 for Cannes and 16 for Saint Tropez. Sunday remaining fine but again rather chilly with highs of 11-12 degrees.

Sunrise       07.36hr

Sunset        17.52hr

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