French and Riviera News Friday 17th February 2023

News

Pension reform - Despite a lower turn out for France’s fifth day of strikes against the pension reform on Thursday, trade unions hope to keep pressure on the government as the deadline approaches to vote on the core of the contested reform: raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old. Lawmakers have until midnight on Friday to vote before the legislation is automatically sent to the Senate. In the meantime, unions say they will shut down the country on 7 March if the reform is not abandoned.

Car catches fire - A car has burst into flames following an accident on the Moyenne corniche between Eze and Nice on Thursday evening. The accident occurred at around 10.30pm and the flames quickly spread. The car reportedly, travelling towards Nice, swerved and ended up on its roof before catching fire. An individual, who suffered minor injuries, was taken care of by the emergency services.

SNCF files complaint against travelling community - Around thirty caravans from a travelling community have taken over an SNCF site in Cannes. The company has since filed a complaint to recover its land as quickly as possible. Since Tuesday evening, around thirty caravans have occupied a construction site located on avenue de la Roubine, in Cannes la Bocca.

Circus - Meanwhile, protests are expected today in Cannes against the Zavatta circus which arrived last week. A condition of the circus licence to perform was that it would come without animals.  However, an inspection by the DDPP on Monday found a hippo, lions and tigers were being kept by the circus in cramped conditions. The organisation One Voice is planning a protest against this before the circus leaves Cannes on Sunday.

SBM - Societe des Bains de Mer have announced the Casino in Monte-Carlo has won not one but two prestigious awards in London.  The awards for Best Casino Operator and Best Casino Restaurant received at the ICE international trade fair, are a double mark of recognition from the gaming industry, for the Casino de Monte-Carlo and its position as a benchmark in the international gaming sector.

Low-cost - According to a recent study French people have an ambiguous relationship with low-cost. While on the one hand consumers in France favour low-cost food brands like Lidl or Aldi, they fly more frequently on Easyjet or Ryanair, dress at Primark, shop at Action or equip themselves at Brico Dépôt, they are not happy about doing so. This is what the study "To each his own low-cost" carried out in 15 European countries by the Cetelem Observatory, has shown. France is therefore in Europe a country with one of the worst images of low-cost. Giving these brands and services an average score of 5.9/10, which is the lowest (after Austrians). In comparison, the Germans rate it 6.2/10, the British 6.5, the Spaniards and Portuguese 6.8, the Italians and Swedes 6.9. The European average is 6.5.

Business 

US financial regulators have charged failed South Korean cryptocurrency boss Do Kwon and his company Terraform Labs with "orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar crypto asset securities fraud".

The Singapore-based firm created the Terra Luna and TerraUSD tokens, which collapsed spectacularly last year. The collapse is estimated to have cost investors more than $40bn (£33.5bn).

Following safety concerns raised by US officials, Tesla is updating its self-driving software. The recall affects nearly 363,000 vehicles in the US, according to filings with the US government. Tesla said it was not aware of any injuries or deaths related to the issues. US authorities have been investigating the firm's autopilot system and were said to be concerned that it could allow drivers to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections unsafely.

Meanwhile, just days after it was reported that a group of Tesla workers were trying to form a union in New York State. Employees have accused the company of firing more than 30 people to try to put an end to the campaign. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. The electric car firm is led by billionaire Elon Musk, who has been outspoken about his opposition to unions in the past.

And – “Have a break have a KitKat” but at what cost? - KitKat maker Nestle has said it will raise its prices again this year, despite an 8.2% increase in 2022. The world's biggest food company said it would be forced to charge more to cover the increasing cost of ingredients. Nestle, said it was taking a "massive" hit to its margins at the moment. It has refused to say how much prices would climb this year.

Sport

Cycling - Tributes have been paid to cyclist Eileen Sheridan - who "blazed a trail for countless female riders" - following her death at the age of 99. Sheridan broke all 21 of the Women's Road Records Association records, with five of them yet to be beaten. Mrs Sheridan broke the Land's End to John O'Groats women's record in 1954 in two days, 11 hours and seven minutes. She was "an inspiration to so many who followed", the cycling body said.

Cricket – In the Test Match Series New Zealand trail England by 110 runs with 3 wickets remaining.

Football - In the Premier League tomorrow Saturday 18th February, Aston Villa are at home to Arsenal kick off is at 1.30pm French time. With a 4pm kick off French time Brentford play Crystal Palace, Brighton are at home to Fulham, Everton play Leeds, Nottingham Forest face Manchester City and Wolverhampton are at home to Bournemouth the last match at 6.30pm French time sees Newcastle at home to Liverpool.

On Sunday afternoon Manchester United are at home to Leicester, 3pm kick off French time and Tottenham plan West Ham kick off is at 5.30pm.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 13 degrees in Nice, Monaco Cannes and Antibes. This evening going down to 5 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend sunny across the region. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice, 16 degrees in Saint Tropez and 17 degrees in land in the Var. The nights highs of 4 degrees along the coast and -1 inland.

Sunrise       07.26hr

Sunset        18.02hr

 

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