French and Riviera News Friday 1st October 2021

News

Road accident - A 23-year-old motorcyclist has been seriously injured in a road accident in Antibes. The accident occurred at 6pm on Thursday after the motorcyclist collided with a car on the D35 between the Saint-Jean Chapel roundabout and the Red Cross roundabout towards Antibes. The victim was taken to hospital in Nice. The cause of the crash remains to be determined.

Meanwhile a second accident on Thursday afternoon has left a 50-year-old motorcyclist seriously injured. The accident occurred on the A8 eastbound ahead of Les Arcs-sur-Argens exit. The motorcyclist is thought to have lost control before hitting the safety barrier and being thrown on to the other side of the motorway. No other vehicles were involved. The victim was taken to hospital in Toulon. The incident resulted in the motorway being briefly closed to traffic.

Cannes plans to install anti-noise radars - The mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has asks the French State to install anti-noise radars. To fight against uncivil behaviour and promote the tranquility of residents, Cannes’s city council has decided to opt for anti-noise radars. Faced with noise pollution due to unapproved two-wheelers and the excessive speeds of powerful cars in urban areas, the mayor of Cannes has asked the State for the installation of noise-reduction radars in the most vulnerable areas.

Transition Forum - Nice mayor Christian Estrosi and France’s Finance Minister Bruno le Marie have taken part in the Transition Forum in Nice on Thursday. The two-day ecological transition event is being held at the Palais de la Mediterranee. The mayor said that the environment is at the heart of global concerns and we have a duty to take up this essential subject for future generations.

Changes from the 1st October – As with the first of every month certain changes are to be introduced from today in France these include an increase in gas prices, the minimum wage is to increase by 35 euros, there will be new calculation rules for unemployment benefits, an increase in Netflix subscriptions and European and Swiss tourists and business travelers will need to present a passport, and no longer a simple identity card, to enter the UK. This measure concerns adults, but also minors accompanied by their parents or participating in school trips or exchanges. Announced a year ago, this measure takes effect on October 1.

Prime Minister announces series of measures to preserve purchasing power of the French – Meanwhile as gas and electricity prices rise, France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced a series of measures to preserve the purchasing power of the French. Speaking on TF1 on Thursday evening Castex said that a “tariff shield will be put in place to protect against tariff increases”. For gas: the price will be blocked from November to April said Castex promising that there will be no more increase in the price of gas following the 12.3% increase in October. For electricity: the increase will be limited to 4% as the government plans to limit the next expected increase in electricity prices which is due to take place in February 2022.

While a majority of French electricity comes from nuclear and renewable energies, a small part remains linked to gas, raising fears of a 12% increase. To limit this increase, the government will "reduce a tax on electricity", via an amendment to the finance bill. Jean Castex also made an announcement on the energy check, created after the "yellow vests" crisis and intended for several million low-income households. A first additional payment of 100 euros had already been agreed for the month of December with Castex promising that "If the measures taken was not sufficient, the government will upgrade it”.

Former President found guilty - Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been found guilty of the illegal financing of his unsuccessful 2012 re-election campaign. The criminal court in Paris said that he had spent tens of millions of euros more on his campaign than was permitted under the law. The court said that he can serve his one-year prison sentence at home wearing an electronic bracelet. The former president has denied any wrongdoing and his lawyer said that he will appeal against the ruling. Thirteen other people were also found guilty of various offences in connection with the financing of the election campaign and all received prison sentences to be carried out with an electronic bracelet.

Government announces lifting of obligation to wear a mask in primary schools for certain regions - The French government has announced the 47 departments where the mask will no longer be compulsory in primary schools from Monday 4th October. The health protocol is to be eased in departments where the incidence rate is less than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, over five consecutive days. For 54 departments the health measures will remain unchanged including in the Ile-de-France and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

Ski resorts - Ski resorts look set to reopen this winter and most probably without a health pass for the ski lifts. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State for Tourism made the announcement at the end of the Congress of Ski Areas of France which was held at Savoie Expo in Chambéry on Thursday.

Bad weather - Meteo France has forecast a deterioration in the weather from today with heavy showers falling over the north-west of the country. Gloomy weather is expected over Brittany, Pays de Loire, Normandy to the Hauts de France coastline and several departments risk being placed on an orange weather alert for heavy rains, floods and strong gusts of wind.

Business

According to revised official figures the UK economy is no longer believed to have suffered its biggest annual contraction in three centuries last year. Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 9.7% in 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, a change from the previous estimate of 9.8%.

Meanwhile also in the UK data has suggested that the fuel crisis is "stabilising" with forecourt stock levels trending up in all parts of the UK. After visiting members of his department working on fuel supply, the UK’s business secretary said the situation at pumps across the country is continuing to improve.

Walt Disney and Scarlett Johansson have settled a legal dispute over the release of the Marvel superhero movie Black Widow. Johansson sued Disney two months ago, accusing it of breaching her contract when it offered the movie on its Disney+ streaming service while it was still showing in cinemas. She said the decision meant that she was deprived of potential earnings. Details of the deal between Disney and Johansson have not been disclosed.

Sport 

Football - Harry Kane came off the bench to score a 20-minute hat-trick as Tottenham recorded their first Europa Conference League win with victory over NS Mura.

In the Premier League this weekend, on Saturday Manchester United play Everton, Burnley play Norwich, Chelsea face Southampton. Leeds are at home to Watford, Wolves play Newcastle and Brighton play Arsenal.

On Sunday Crystal Palace play Leicester, Tottenham play Aston Villa, West Ham play Brentford and Liverpool are at home to Manchester City.

AS Monaco has started its season well with a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad. Monaco showed their ability to resist and be effective allowing them to hold an honorable draw. Real Sociedad are 2nd in La Liga, and have lost only once this season, in Barcelona.

Basketball – Meanwhile Monaco has also given a winning performance in Basketball beating Panathinaikos. The "Roca Team" got off to a good start with the Euroleague on Thursday night winning, at home, with authority their first Euroleague match against Panathinaikos of Athens (75-63). Prince Albert and F1 driver Charles Leclerc came to witness Monaco's first victory in the flagship competition of European basketball. The result shows that Monaco is ready to play a serious role in the competition.

Formula One - Qatar will make its debut on the Formula 1 calendar with a race in November and has signed a 10-year deal to host a Grand Prix from 2023.

Weather 

Clear skies to start highs of 24-26 degrees across the region with a gentle breeze. This evening going down to 18 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend - Sunny intervals tomorrow becoming increasingly cloudy by the afternoon with showers forecast inland. Sunday showers highs or 23-24 degrees.

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