French and Riviera News Friday 24th March 2023


Protests across France - Hundreds of thousands of French workers have protested against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform, with violent clashes in Paris and other cities. The numbers in Paris and other cities appeared higher than in previous protests and came following Macron's refusal in a TV interview on Wednesday to back down on the reform.

UK's King Charles III is due to arrive on Sunday for his first foreign state visit as King. French public sector trade unionists have warned they will not provide red carpets during the visit, but non-striking workers are expected to roll them out.

Town hall of Bordeaux is set on fire during protests - The town hall in Bordeaux has been set on fire as French protests against the pension reform continue. It was not clear who was responsible for the blaze, which was quickly put out by firefighters. On Thursday, more than a million people took to the streets across France with, according to figures from the interior ministry, 119,000 in Paris. 80 people have been arrested across the country. Unions have called for further protests next Tuesday.

Transport continues to be disrupted today Friday 24th March – Transport in France will continue to be affected today Friday 24th March, due to ongoing strike action. According to the SNCF at a national level three out of four TGVs will be running, as well as three out of five TER and Intercités. In Paris the RATP will run as normal as will the metro, bus and tram networks. Air traffic will be further disrupted with between 20% and 30% of flights cancelled at several airports. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation asks companies to cancel 30% of their flights at Paris-Orly and 20% at Marseille-Provence, Bordeaux-Mérignac and Lyon-Saint-Exupéry. On Saturday, 20% of flights will be cancelled at Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon, compared to 15% at Paris-Orly.

Motorcyclist dies following accident - A motorcyclist has died following an accident in Gréolières. The incident occurred on Thursday afternoon at around 2pm. According to police, the young man was the only victim, the cause of the accident is still to be determined.

Global warning - New figures show Nice is the city in France where global warming is making its presence felt the most. Analysis of Météo France data from the country's weather stations, carried out by France Info, found the station in Nice had the highest number of days last year when the peak temperature was higher than the historic daily average. Last year, temperatures in Nice were higher than usual for 316 days. Bastia and Strasbourg came second and third respectively, each with nearly 300 days of higher-than-usual temperatures. At the other end of the spectrum, Reims in the east of France had 226 days that were warmer than average, but 140 days that were cooler than usual.

Meanwhile Breil-sur-Roya is feeling the effects of France's winter drought. According to Météo France, it's the town in the Alpes-Maritimes that has recorded the least rainfall since the start of the year. It's only rained on two days so far since the beginning of 2023 - once at the beginning of January and once in mid-March. The town has recorded just 9 millimetres of rainfall since the new year. Last year, according to Météo France, the Alpes-Maritimes as a whole suffered a rainfall deficit of more than 40% - one of the worst since measures began in 1959.

Convention centre for the port of Nice - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has announced the creation of a convention centre on the port of Nice. With the Acropolis Palace conference centre currently being demolished, the mayor announced plans to deliver from June 2025 a new infrastructure on the port for the Ocean Summit, including a large auditorium, which will then be used to become a "convention centre".

Job offers at the Oceanographic Museum - If you’re looking for a job this summer the Oceangraphic Museum here in Monaco is recruiting. 39 positions will be available from April 5th as part of the museums annual recruitment day from 10am to 4pm. All the information is available on the website

Gordes the most beautiful village in the world - The village of Gordes, in the Vaucluse, has been voted the most beautiful village in the world by the American magazine "Travel+Leisure".  The village is already ranked among the most beautiful villages in France. Occupation by the Roman empire the area is full of evidence of their occupation especially the Roman road passing through Apt and Carpentras and crossing the valley.  During World War II, Gordes was an active resistance village and was later awarded a medal, the Croix de guerre 1939–1945. After a period of reconstruction, the village started to attract artists including Marc Chagall who discovered the village in 1947, and who attracted their artist friends.


The Bank of England has revealed it no longer believes the UK will face a technical recession this year, as it raised the interest rate by a further quarter percentage point on Thursday. The unexpected change to its forecast was contained in the minutes alongside its decision to raise borrowing costs for an eleventh successive time to 4.25%.

South Korea police say that Do Kwon, the fugitive cryptocurrency boss behind the $40bn (£32.5bn) collapse of the terraUSD and Luna tokens, has been arrested in Montenegro. He has since been charged with fraud by prosecutors in the US. South Korea authorities issued an arrest warrant for Mr Kwon last September as they believed Terraform Labs had violated capital market rules.


Football – In the 2024 European Championship qualifying Group C last night England beat Italy 2-1. Harry Kane became England's all-time record goal scorer as they opened their campaign with a first victory in Italy since 1961. Kane wrote his name into the history books overtaking previous record holder Wayne Rooney. England now have the chance to build on these three points when they face Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday.

In Group A on Saturday Scotland play Cyprus kick off is at 3pm French time and Croatia play Wales with a 8.45pm kick off French time.

Athletics - World Athletics has banned transgender women from competing in the female category at international events. The governing body's president, Lord Coe, said no transgender athlete who had gone through male puberty would be permitted to compete in female world ranking competitions from 31st March. A working group will be set up to conduct further research into the transgender eligibility guidelines as Lord Coe added "we're not saying no forever”.

Formula One - Technical director James Key has left McLaren after a difficult couple of seasons and been replaced by a new design-office structure at the team. Key's role has been split into three separate technical director positions under team principal Andrea Stella.

Golf - Matt Fitzpatrick kept alive his hopes of reaching the knockout stage at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship by beating Min Woo Lee.


Clear skies to begin with however not expected to last with changeable skies. Becoming increasingly cloudy by the afternoon. Moderate winds. Highs of 16 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. 18 degrees in Marseille and 19 degrees in Saint-Tropez.

This evening - cloud clearing with light winds and lows of 11 degrees.
The outlook for the weekend. Saturday mainly fine with highs of 20 degrees. Sunday, sunny intervals along the coast, rain is forecast for inland and Corsica - highs of 19 degrees in Marseille and reaching 22 degrees in Nice.

Sunrise       06.27am

Sunset        06.46pm


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