French and Riviera News Friday 12th May 2023


French prosecutors are seeking to send former President Nicolas Sarkozy and 13 others to trial - The French national financial prosecutor’s office has announced its to seek a trial which would see former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and 13 others face charges that his 2007 presidential campaign received millions in illegal financing from the government of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. After a decade of investigation, it's now up to judges to determine whether to move ahead. In general, judges in France follow such prosecutors' requests, though not always. The case is the biggest and most shocking of multiple corruption investigations involving Sarkozy. He has been convicted in two others. He denies wrongdoing in all cases.

Reindustrialisation of France - In other news, French President Emmanuel Macron has presented his measures to accelerate the reindustrialisation of France at the Elysée Palace on Thursday. Macron also promised an additional 700 million euros to develop training for “jobs of the future” and announced the creation of a “green industry tax credit to support the production of batteries, heat pumps, wind turbines or solar panels. The Head of State also called on the European Union to give a “European regulatory break” in terms of environmental constraints, believing that they were already stricter than elsewhere, and that stability was now needed. The Elysée said “the president is not talking about suspension, but about executing the decisions already taken before making new changes”.

Drought - Nearly all of the Pyrénées-Orientales region has been placed on a "drought crisis" alert. Other parts of the country are also on alert such as the Gard, the Var, the Alpes Maritimes and the Bouches-du-Rhône. The decision in the Pyrenees-Orientales region is accompanied by numerous restrictions, such as the drastic reduction of water withdrawals for farmers. It is also forbidden to water vegetable gardens, sports fields, operate beach showers and fill swimming pools.

Water restrictions announced for Monaco - Meanwhile, here in Monaco it has been announced that water restrictions are to come into force in the Principality starting this weekend. It will mean a limit on the cleaning of roads and streets. For private individuals, the watering of plants and lawns will be prohibited from 08:00am until 8:00pm daily, as will the washing of boats, both private and professional. Monaco has five water sources of its own but imports much of its water from the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes. Speaking today, Minster of State Pierre Dartout said we are now living with the consequences of global warming.

Anti-mafia crackdown - Three men have been arrested on the Côte d’Azur as part of an anti-mafia crackdown including the owner of a restaurant in Menton. Italian police reported on Thursday as part of the same investigation the arrests of a further 61 suspected members of Italy’s most powerful mafia in a series of raids across seven regions. They are suspected of crimes including fraud, drug-trafficking, infiltrating government and extorting local farmers. Last week, more than 100 people were arrested across Europe including in our region, in what police said was the biggest operation to have ever been carried out against the mafia. Ten countries were involved, with assets worth €25m (£22m) seized.

Security checks on A8 motorway - Police have carried out security road checks on the A8 motorway. The operation was organised on Thursday at the Frejus pay toll from 5pm to 8pm. Officers checked light vehicles and trucks.

Surveillance drones - Surveillance drones have been approved to monitor the border with Italy for illegal migrants.  The prefecture of Alpes Maritimes approved the move today, saying the drones would patrol four areas from the bord de la mer at Menton right up to Breil-sur-Roya.

Former adviser to the Prince’s Palace dies - Former adviser to the Prince's Palace, the Monegasque Antoine Levesy has died at the age of 92.  Passionate about aeronautics and sports, a committed worker, it was in telecommunications that he undertook a long career punctuated by a position as adviser to the Prince's Palace. Passionate about telecommunications, he undertook a long 38-year career marked by success including radio director for the wedding of Prince Rainier III in 1956. Levesy had been made a Knight of the Order of Saint-Charles by Prince Rainier III.

Application guide to parenting - An application to guide and support parents is to be launched on June 1st in Monaco. The Entreparents network is launching its free mobile application. Four mothers from the Principality created the network last year with the intention of easing the path to parenting for parents in both Monaco and neighbouring municipalities.

Monaco - Finally, in Monaco, a man was in court on Thursday charged with money laundering, after being found carrying cash and casino chips worth almost €14,000. Taking amounts over €10,000 into Monaco without declaring it, is illegal.  The man explained he was a car salesman from Ukraine, where you can trade in vehicles without declarations. He said he was unaware of this rule and that is why he had no paperwork to prove where the money came from. The man's defence argued that the money was in the form of casino chips, which are not considered cash under Monegasque law. The court agreed with the defence and acquitted the man of all charges. The defendant thanked the court for explaining the rules to him and said the next time he would be more careful.


Elon Musk says that he has found a new chief executive to lead Twitter. He announced the news on the social media platform, which he bought last year for $44bn (£35.2bn). Musk has been under pressure to name someone else to lead the company and focus on his other businesses. Last year, after Twitter users voted for him to step down in an online poll, he said: "No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive." However, although Mr Musk had said he would hand over the reins, it was by no means clear when or even if it would happen.

New York City has passed a bill outlawing discrimination based on weight, joining a growing movement in the US to make size a protected trait on par with race and gender. More than 40% of American adults are considered obese and studies show weight stigma is pervasive. The bias can bring sharp costs, such as lower wages, especially for women.

Peloton is recalling more than two million exercise bikes over concerns that the seat assembly could break during use and injure customers. Owners have been advised to immediately stop using the bikes and contact Peloton for a free repair. The company has received numerous reports of injuries including "a fractured wrist and lacerations" after the bike's seat detached during use. The recall applies to bikes sold in the US from January 2018 through May 2023.

Adidas has decided to sell some of the trainers and other products it made with rapper Kanye West and donate some of the proceeds to charity. The German sportswear giant cut ties with the celebrity, now known as Ye, last year. The decision has cost the firm millions in sales and has it facing its first annual loss in more than three decades. Shoes from the collaboration remain wildly popular in the resale market.


Football – In the Premier League this weekend on Saturday Leeds play Newcastle in the lunchtime game. Kick off is at 1.30pm French time. With a 4pm kick off French time Aston Villa are at home to Tottenham, Chelsea play Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace face Bournemouth, Manchester United are at home to Wolverhampton and Southampton play Fulham. On Sunday Brentford are at home to West Ham with a 3pm kick off French time. Everton play Manchester City and Arsenal face Brighton.

Cycling - Denmark's Mads Pedersen has won the sixth stage of the Giro d'Italia. Pedersen claimed victory following a sprint after Australia's Simon Clarke and Italian Alessandro de Marchi were passed with about 250m to go.

Golf - The DP World Tour has fined and banned 26 of its players who competed without consent in LIV and Asian Tour events. The sanctions are based on individual cases with fines ranging from £12,500 to £100,000 for each breach and a suspension of up to eight tournaments. Players that have resigned their membership will not be reinstated until they have paid their fine, from which point their suspensions would apply. The sanctions relate to breaches in the period 22 June, 2022, to 2 April, 2023.

Snooker - Ronnie O'Sullivan has said he "lost himself" for seven years to alcohol and drugs, and came to learn that "happiness is an inside job". The seven-time world champion has had well-documented issues with drink, drugs and depression. He was stripped of the Irish Masters title in 1998 after testing positive for cannabis, and in 2000 entered rehab to treat his addictions.


Sunny Intervals. Highs of 18 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Cannes. 22 degrees in Marseille. Light rain and highs of 17 degrees in Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 13 degrees.

The outlook for the weekend. Tomorrow sunny intervals to start with clouding over in the afternoon with storms forecast. Sunday sunny in the morning, showers expected by the afternoon. Highs of 21 degrees.

Sunrise 06.08am

Sunset 08.45pm

Sea temperature         17

UV level     6

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