French and Riviera News - Friday 22nd April 2022

FRENCH NEWS

Macron extends his lead in the polls

Emmanuel Macron remains the firm favourite for Sunday’s decisive round of voting, with his lead in the polls holding strong after Wednesday’s live TV debate watched by 15.6 million viewers. An IPSOS poll for France Info now puts the president 15 points ahead of his rival, although 42% of those polled said they are still undecided or could still change their mind.  Both candidates have ramped up their campaigning with a hectic schedule of last-minute visits to attract floating voters. Emmanuel Macron was in Seine St Denis promising to multiply efforts to improve job opportunitiess, housing and security. Marine Le Pen urged supporters in Arras to choose between Macron and France. All campaigning and opinion polling must end at midnight tonight.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron has promised to initiate a system of food cheques if he is reelected. The details of the scheme are still to be announced, but they are intended to help around eight million lower-income families have better access to healthier, good quality and more local food.

 

Carte Vitale Scam

Millions of people in France have been targeted by an elaborate Carte Vitale scam. Watchout for a message saying that you must update or renew their card and pay a delivery fee. The scammers may then call for confirmation by pretending to be your banker, but then they will then use your bank details to spend large amounts of money. The initial message usually says something like « Votre nouvelle carte vitale est disponible ».

 

LOCAL NEWS

Attempted homicide in Monaco

The victim of the attempted homicide in Monaco last week-end has spoken out to investigators about the attack, saying that the argument started when she announced that she wanted to end the 2 year relationship. It’s now known that the 24 year old woman was severely punched and repeatedly stabbed around 20 times. The presumed attacker referred to as Jean-Charles M is being held in Aix waiting for extradition back to Monaco.

 

Fire in Nice

There was a fire in an apartment block in Nice yesterday, on the 3rd floor of a building on the Avenue Malaussena. No-one was injured but around 10 residents were evacuated and there was considerable material damage, and disruptions to traffic and the tramway.

 

Congestion in Nice

A report by the GPS giant TomTom notes that there were less traffic jams in the Nice area last year, compared to pre-COVID levels in 2019. Nevertheless, Nice was ranked the 6th most congested city in France, Marseille was ranked 2nd worse and Toulon was 3rd. The report notes that the worse time of the week to travel on the roads is on a Friday evening between 4 and 6pm. Nice Matin calculates that up to 121 hours could be lost per year during rush hour around Nice, based on a 1 hour drive 5 days a week, although this is 17 hours less than in 2019.

 

More films added to the Cannes Film Festival competition 

The Cannes Film Festival has added a string of new titles to its Official Selection, including three movies in competition: The new Competition titles include two from women directors — Le Otto Montagne from Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen, and Un Petit Frère from Léonor Serraille — giving the lineup a record five women directors in this year’s field competing for the Palme d’Or.

 

Monaco ready for the Grand Prix Season

Preparations are almost complete for the 3 Grand Prix’s in Monaco. There are still tickets left priced €30 for the E-Prix which will take place on April 30th. The Historic Grand Prix on the 14th & 15th May still has some tickets available priced between €50-€100 and the main F1 Grand Prix will take place from the 26th-29th May. The main race on Sunday is sold out but there are still places for the trials on the Friday and the qualification session on the Saturday.

 

IKEA to open soon

We are less than 3 weeks away from the grand opening of the new IKEA store in Nice. After years of negotiations planning hurdles, the store will be finally open to the public on May 11th. It’s the 35th IKEA store in France with a surface area of 32000m2 and 1700 parking spaces. It will also be one of the most environmentally friendly with over 30000 photovoltaic panels and 10000m2 of plants.

 

Top Marques

Top Marques is returning to Monaco after two years of absence with more supercars than ever and a brand-new section for iconic classic cars – all of which are for sale.

More than a hundred vehicles – including never seen before supercars, motorbikes, superboats and revolutionary prototypes   – will be showcased at the Monaco show being held at the Grimaldi Forum from June 8 – 12 2022. For more information or to buy your tickets, visit www.topmarquesmonaco.com. 

 

BUSINESS NEWS

Energy Saving Advice

The EU is asking its citizens to drive less, turn down air conditioning and work from home three days a week, to reduce reliance on Russian energy. Europe has said it cannot find alternatives to Russian supplies, so it is asking citizens to adjust their lifestyles.

The measures, drawn up with the International Energy Agency, would save a typical household €450 a year. The nine-point plan, entitled “Playing My Part”, urges citizens to drive less, by using public transport, or working from home three days a week. 

 

Trivago fined

Travel booking company Trivago has been fined $44.7m for misleading consumers about its hotel room rates. Trivago, which is part of the Expedia. Group,  was found guilty in 2020 for telling consumers it would show them the cheapest rates, when it actually ranked hotels by factoring in which advertisers paid the highest per-click fee.

The misleading claims were featured in advertising and on its own site more than 400,000 times from late 2013 to mid-2018.

In a federal court judgment, Justice Mark Moshinsky said Trivago’s contravening conduct cost Australian users about $30m and was intentional, rather than accidental. The penalty sends a strong message not just to Trivago, but to other comparison websites, that they must not mislead consumers when making recommendations.

 

Netflix in freefall

Shares in Netflix continue to freefall, with the company losing $50bn, or over one-third of its value in the last 24 hours. Today Pershing Square Capital Management have dumped $1bn of their stock, losing $400m on the deal. They say that while Netflix plans for the future, which include a crackdown on password sharing, the investment firm fear the immediate future is too risky for them to be involved.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGES 

€1 = £0,83 $1,08 SF 1,03

£1 = €1,20 $1,30 SF1,24

$1 = €92 cents, £77 pence, 95 Swiss centimes

BITCOIN $40568

ETHEREUM  $3003

 

COMMODITIES

An ounce of gold is $1950

Barrel of Brent Crude oil is $106,87

 

MARKETS

FTSE 100 7628

CAC 40 6715

DOW JONES 34793

NASDAQ 13174

NIKKEI 27033

 

Football

Manchester United have officially appointed Ajax coach Erik ten Hag as their next manager. 

The Dutchman will take over at the end of this season on a three-year deal. Ten Hag will become United's fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

 

Burnley produced one of their finest performances of the season to beat Southampton at Turf Moor and give their hopes of Premier League survival a huge boost.  The Clarets are now just 1 point behind Everton with 6 games to play.

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's ninth goal in 11 La Liga appearances helped earn Barcelona a 1-0 win at Real Sociedad that lifts them to second in the table.

 

Chelsea Investors

Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are among the investors looking to buy Chelsea football club. They’re involved in the Broughton consortium, which is one of three groups in the running to purchase the Premier League side for £2.5bn.

 

Formula 1 

Carlos Sainz has signed a new contract with Ferrari until the end of 2024. The Spaniard joined Ferrari as a team-mate to Charles Leclerc and has impressed with his speed, consistency and collaborative philosophy. The new deal means his contract is as long as that of Leclerc who signed a five-year deal before the 2020 season.

 

WEATHER

Today will be unsettled and increasingly cloudy with a risk of showers later this afternoon in particular inland and along the coast in Alpes Maritimes. Some clearings are expected this afternoon in the Var

Light to Moderate winds with gusts of up to 32 km/h from the SW

Temperatures rising to 19° across the region

Some clearings tonight so you may be able to see the spectacular meteor shower if you look towards the East, but there’s still a possibility of light showers. Temperatures are dropping to an overnight low of 11°C

The weekend will be cloudy & wet with a risk of storms, particularly tomorrow.

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