French and Riviera News Friday 19th January 2024

News

Cash payments within the EU are to be limited to 10,000 euros - The European Parliament and member states agreed on Thursday to limit cash payments within the European Union to 10,000 euros, as part of legislation against money laundering. Some countries, such as France, already have stricter rules. For example, in France cash payments at a retailer are limited to 1,000 euros, but in other European countries, such as Austria or Germany, cash payments have until now remained unlimited. The provision is part of a text also intended to better combat the financing of terrorism, concluded after two and a half years of negotiations and which will enter into force this year.

EDF Strike action - Employees of France’s electricity board the EDF have called for strike action on January 30th following unsuccessful negotiations over a possible pay rise. Several nuclear power plants are already on strike in France following failed negotiations on January 8th, which ended with employees creating blockades at certain sites.

Freezing temperatures - Freezing temperatures and a risk of ice is forecast in part of France today with Meteo France placing 75 departments on a yellow weather alert. -7 degrees is expected in Amiens and Rouen, -5 in Strasbourg and -4 in Rennes.

Alert - A reminder that you can get a test security alert on your mobile phone this morning. The test of the tsunami alert system concerns people on the coast of the nine French departments which border the Mediterranean. No action is required if you receive an alert, it's only a test.

Body found - The body of a woman which had been partially eaten by animals has been found in the hinterland of Nice. The gruesome discovery was made by firefighters in Colomars who discovered the corpse of the elderly woman in the garden of a house.

Villefranche – Finally, the date for the annual battle of flowers in Villefranche-sur-Mer has been announced. On February 19, starting at 11am, there will be festivities throughout the day including a carnival parade, musical entertainment and the famous naval battle of flowers itself.

Business

Spotify has attacked Apple in the US on its new transaction fees of up to 27%.  On Wednesday, Apple announced it would permit app developers to sell products in places other than its own store, but only if they still paid commission. Spotify said that was "outrageous" and accused Apple of "stopping at nothing" to protect its profits. It is urging the British government to prevent similar fees being levied in the UK.

Birkenstock’s growth plan has failed to impress investors, despite the German shoe company saying that it expected sales to rise more than 15% in its 2024 financial year, after surging 20% to almost €1.5bn (£1.29bn) in 2023.  The results were the first since the company listed its shares in the US. Despite executives' optimism about the outlook, Birkenstock shares dropped more than 8% on the results, which showed profits fell last year and margins are expected to shrink further in 2024 as it continues to invest.

And - According to a study by the CNC, the National Centre for Cinematography, published on Thursday, fiction films filmed in the French capital are real showcases for the notoriety of tourist spots in Paris.  A tour of the Latin Quarter as shown in “Emily in Paris” is now the favourite tour for many tourists who come especially to the capital to see places featured in the Netflix series.  The study showed that foreign series or series intended for foreign platforms filmed in France are a real success with 79% of tourists saying they have seen at least one from the proposed list, compared to 39% in 2018. Eight out of ten foreign tourists say that the French films or series that they have seen have made them want to visit France and one in ten tourists took the plunge and decided to come to France solely for this reason.

Sport

Football – Following a rather miserable episode Jordan Henderson has left Saudi Arabia and the Pro league for Ajax. Henderson's arrival was designed to be another shining symbol of the Saudis' unstoppable momentum in the sport, joining iconic figures such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema as their standard bearers. And yet he did not even last a full season in Saudi Arabia.

In the Premier league on Saturday Arsenal are at home to Crystal Palace and Brentford play Nottingham Forest. On Sunday Sheffield United play West Ham and Bournemouth are at home to Liverpool.

Formula One - Mercedes technical director James Allison has signed a long-term contract extension and believes the team will be a "challenger" in 2024. Allison, 55, joined Mercedes in 2017 as technical director and helped them to five consecutive constructors' championships.

Tennis – Aryna Sabalenka has achieved a 52-minute 6-0 6-0 victory over Lesia Tsurenko to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Weather

Sunny with a moderate to strong wind. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice and Monaco, 13 degrees in Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 5 degrees along the coast and 2 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for the week-end, mainly fine. Highs of 13 degrees with light winds and clear skies.

Sunrise                 07.59am

Sunset                 05.23pm

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