French and Riviera News Friday 23rd December 2022


SNCF try last minute talks to end strike action - In a last-ditch attempt to save what’s left of Christmas and more importantly New Year celebrations the SNCF has proposed "additional measures" to controllers to prevent the strike movement from continuing. Thursday evening saw "additional measures" be presented by management in a meeting which started at 6pm and ended just after 10pm. Following the proposals, the unions have until noon today to decide on a "draft agreement" which proposes "strong additional measures in favour of the recognition of their profession the creation of and the progression of their careers”. The new proposals include the creation of an "ASCT business line" (head of the board), which brings together all the controllers under the same hat. 160 additional jobs should also be created from 2023 and the annual bonus for controllers would also increase from 600 to 720 euros gross.

New bill to control immigration in France - The French government has announced a new bill which it said aims to control immigration and improve integration. According to reports in French media, its provisions include the creation of a one-year temporary residence permit for roles which are suffering from shortages of workers and also a permit for skilled workers in the medical and pharmacy fields. The bill is expected to be debated in parliament early in the new year.

Covid testing ahead of festivities - With the approach of the end-of-year celebrations, the Monaco government is recommending that everyone, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, takes a Covid test in order to protect their loved ones, in particular the most fragile. The government said that the strict application of barrier gestures during this period remains necessary to fight effectively against winter viruses and prevent a new epidemic wave.

5-year-old hit by tram in Nice - A 5-year-old girl has been hit by a tram in Nice. The accident occurred at the Magnan tram stop on rue de France in Nice, shortly after 4.30pm on Thursday afternoon. The child was immediately taken to Lenval hospital suffering from a broken arm. According to reports the child had managed to escape the attention of her parents for just a few seconds when the accident occurred.

Drinking water unfit for consummation in the Peillon valley - The city hall of Peillon has organised the distribution of bottled water after a week of residents being unable to drink the tap water. The alert was given last Friday; that the water from the Peillon in the Peillon valley was unfit for consumption, due to the summer drought. Test are continuing to be carried out by the regional water network and the Regional Health Agency.  

Ban on fireworks - The Alpes-Maritimes prefecture has banned the use of fireworks during the holidays. Two decrees were issued on Thursday prohibiting the sale, possession and use the ban is in place until January 1st, 2023 inclusive.

Tis the season to be jolly! - A recent IFOP study has revealed the behaviour of the French during preparations for the festive holidays. The data shows that for many French people, the end-of-year celebrations are a delicate time which can end in disagreements and tension within couples. 62% of women believe they do more or much more than their spouse as far as preparation for Christmas, while nearly half (46%) of men believe they do about as much as their spouses, less than a third (31%) of them believe that the tasks are fairly distributed. How are the tasks distributed? Results showed that women are 76% mainly responsible for decorating the table, 63% for cooking the main course and 57% for decorating the Christmas tree, men are more likely to carry out tasks such as choosing the wine and champagne (55%), preparing seafood (49%) or carrying the tree to set it up or take it down (46%).

The tasks most fairly distributed among couples at Christmas time were, choosing what to eat (53% of French people say they think about it as much as the other), clearing the table and washing the dishes (66% do the same) and food shopping (47% share them).

The first reason for an argument cited by the French concerns the number or value of gifts given to relatives: 43% of women and 49% of men say that this has already been a reason for tension. Next comes the choice of where the Christmas meal will take place, a source of disagreement for 40% of those questioned, then, in fairly similar proportions, the guest list (39%), the day of the Christmas meal (38 %) or the moment when gifts are exchanged (31%). More than 1 in 5 French people say they are stressed at the idea of the Christmas celebrations.

Scrabble remove offensive words - Finally, Mattel, the American publisher of the game Scrabble, has decided to remove offensive words, often of a racist or homophobic nature. In 2021, a new line had already been added to the Scrabble box manual, specifying that "all words constituting incitement to hatred and discrimination are excluded". The new