French and Riviera News Friday 10th May 2019


Protests - About 1,000 protestors have marched through the streets of Nice as part of a day of action against planned changes to the civil service. Thursday saw the march begin at Place Massena ending at Place Garibaldi where, as the crowd were dispersing, police made several arrests. About 150 demonstrations were held throughout France. It’s the fourth national day of action by civil servants since President Macron took office.

The National Assembly is due to examine the new bill on Monday 13th May. The Government’s divisive reform aims to facilitate the use of ‘contract workers’ to make the state more reactive to short-term employee problems (for example, staff shortages). The proposed legislation is part of a target to eliminate 120,000 jobs by 2022, as a solution to Yellow Vest demands for tax reductions.

Unions argue that ‘contract staff’ (which in Anglophone countries is somewhat similar to ‘freelance’ workers) will not have the same rights and in some cases will not be correctly trained.

Road accident - A motorist has been injured in a road accident which saw long tailbacks on the A57 motorway in Toulon during Thursday morning’s rush hour. The accident occurred eastbound shortly after 7.30am involving a truck and two cars, including one which overturned.

Clean up campaign - A clean-up campaign which saw volunteers collect rubbish on the beach of Port Vauban in Antibes on Thursday has seen 3,600 litres of waste and 4,000 cigarette ends collected. 130 volunteers participated. The next clean-up campaign is to take place on June 1st to register. To register, simply go to the Facebook page of the Epla association or contact Christophe Geloni directly at

Online petition to defend Michael Jackson double - An online petition to defend Michael Jackson’s iconic double who has been performing on the streets of Nice for 30 years has raised more than 8,500 supporters in 48 hours. The petition was launched after the performer was arrested and ordered to pay a fine on April 28th at Place Massenà in Nice.

Cannes Film Festival – A documentary about Led Zeppelin, currently in post-production, will be available this month at the Cannes Film Market, which is being held at the same time as its showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones have all collaborated. The film contains rare archive interviews of drummer John Bonham who died after a drunken evening in September 1980, as well as previously unreleased photos and video and audio material from the band.

Top Marques Monaco - Top Marques Monaco is extremely proud of its ‘green’ credentials, with more ecological exhibitors than ever on display when the show opens later this month – including a 100 % electric superboat! The extraordinary Eelex, a luxury electric craft by the Swedish company X Shore, will be present outside Monaco's Grimaldi Forum for the duration of the 16th Edition of Top Marques, from May 30th to June 3rd. Top Marques has traditionally showcased a handpicked selection of the most exclusive superboats and tenders each year. And this year, the first under the management of Monaco Check-In, visitors will be able to see, and buy, one of the world's very first fully-electric boats. The Eelex is one of a large number of eco-friendly exhibitors participating in this year's event, sponsored by Barclays Bank.

Le 24 heures du Mans – Meanwhile the organisers of “Le 24 heures du Mans” have announced that her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco is to kick off this year’s 87th edition of the race. Le 24 heures du Mans takes place on Saturday, June 15th.

A 25 million euro jackpot has been won by a player in France on the Euromillions draw.  The winning ticket, for Tuesday’s draw, was bought in the Aube department.  The winner has 60 days in which to claim the prize. 


European Elections - France’s ruling Republique en Marche (LaREM) party has given environmental issues pride of place in its European elections manifesto. Criticised for neglecting the environment during the recent National Debate, President Macron needs to get more green votes if his list is to beat the far-right National Rally. Future Macroniste MEPs will back a 1,000 billion euros investment plan over five years, equal to 40 percent of the EU's budget. The manifesto says it will be used for “the development of clean energies and transport, housing renovation and helping workers to change job sectors”.

Tourism - The number of overnight stays in hotels in France has slumped in the first quarter, especially in Paris with the nationwide Yellow Vest protest movement being blamed for putting off foreign tourists. In the first three months of 2019, the number of overnight stays in tourist accommodation in France fell 2.5 percent from the same period the year earlier. The Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, was hardest hit, with the number of overnight stays dropping 4.6 percent.

France is visited by more foreign tourists annually than any other nation with close to 90 million per year.

Notre Dame Cathedral - According to a poll published on Thursday nearly three quarters of French people refuse an exception law for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral. The law would see the relaxation of certain heritage protection laws to "speed up construction". The bill is to be examined by the National Assembly later today.

Meanwhile Paris authorities have warned of very high lead levels on the ground immediately surrounding the fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral but insisted there was no danger from breathing the air, after environmental groups likened the site to “toxic waste”. Campaign groups will hold a press conference today to warn of their concerns about the danger. Paris police issued a statement on Thursday saying there was no risk of toxic inhalation from the air and that high lead levels found on the ground were limited to the area immediately surrounding the cathedral – which is currently closed to the public – and not further afield.

Village is offering a prize - A village in western France is offering a €2,000 prize for help in deciphering a 230-year-old inscription found on a rock on a remote beach. Until now no-one has been able to make out the meaning of the 20 lines of writing, discovered a few years ago. The metre-high slab is in a cove accessible only at low tide near the Brittany village of Plougastel.

French adventurer completes Atlantic crossing - 72-year-old Jean Jacques Savin the French adventurer has landed on the Caribbean island of Martinique after successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel-shaped orange capsule.

Jean-Jacques Savin set off on his journey in late December from Spain's Canary Islands. He used ocean currents alone to propel the capsule across the Atlantic. The journey covered more than 4,500km (2,800 miles).


The International Monetary Fund has said that the trade row between China and the United States poses a “threat to the global economy”.

The IMF called for a speedy resolution to the dispute  adding that “everybody loses in a protracted trade dispute”.

A Chinese delegation led by the country’s Vice-Premier Liu He is in Washington for talks headed by the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

On Thursday ,President Trump said that he’d received a “beautiful letter” from the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and that they would “probably speak soon”.

Mr Trump has threatened to double tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese exports from today after accusing Beijing of “breaking the deal”.

Uber has set the price for floating its shares at 45 dollars.

The price , which is at the lower end of the IPO range reflects  signs that investors are cautious about the floatation.

Uber is hoping to sell 180 million shares when trading starts today.It’s the highest profile US floatation since Facebook seven years ago.

Uber’s rival Lyft was priced at 72 dollars per share when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of March but its share price has fallen by more than a third since then.

Uber has so far failed to make a profit and has warned that it might never do so.

Lyft is also yet to make a profit and reported widening losses of 911 million dollars last year.

And-Jeff Bezos has unveiled a new moon lander spacecraft that aims to take equipment and humans to the moon by 2024.

The reusable Blue Moon vehicle will carry scientific instruments ,satellites and rovers.

The lander will feature a new rocket engine that can blast 10,000 pounds of thrust  and can carry enough fuel to get from Earth to the Moon.

Mr Bezos said that “it’s time to go back to the Moon ,this time to stay”.


Football-The final of the Europa League will be between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Arsenal booked their place following a 4-2 away victory at Valencia which gave them a 7-3 aggregate win while Chelsea required a penalty shootout to get past Eintracht Frankfurt after the aggregate score was tied at 2-2 after extra time.

Both the big European cup finals will be contested by English teams with Liverpool and Spurs in the Champions League final-the first time that’s ever happened.

It’s the final round of the English Premier League on Sunday with the title either going to Manchester City or Liverpool.

City will be champions if they win at Brighton but if they slip up and Liverpool beat Wolves then the title will go to Anfield.

The Champions League spots will also be settled with Chelsea and Spurs vying to see who’ll finish 3rd and 4th.

Chelsea are away at Leicester while Spurs host Everton

Formula 1-First practice for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona takes place at  11am this morning with Valtteri Bottas leading Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by one point heading into the weekend.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari are bringing important upgrades to the race with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel saying on Thursday that  his team need to start winning races if they’re to catch the championship leaders.

Qualifying is at 3pm tomorrow with the race at 3.10 on Sunday.

Formula E is back in Monaco tomorrow with the discipline gathering fans on the back of rapid improvements in technology and an exciting lineup of teams and drivers.

Venturi of Monaco will be hoping for a good performance in front of their home crowd  but Robin Frijns of Envision Virgin Racing is at the top of the driver standings and Audi Sport are the reigning team champions.

Tickets for tomorrow’s race are available at 30 euros for adults and children up to the age of 16 go free.

You can pick up a ticket at the ACM boutique at 46 Rue Grimaldi or online at

Golf-Matthew Jordan of England leads heading into the second round of the British Masters at Hillside Southport.

Jordan shot a course record 63 to end round 1 on 9 under par with England’s Matt Wallace and Marcus Kinhult of Sweden both on 7 under.


Mainly fine with a moderate westerly wind persisting across the Var.

Top temperature 20-24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 13 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 19-24 degrees.











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