French and Riviera News Friday 24th September 2021


Water supplier prepared to make a financial gesture - Veolia has said that it would make a “financial gesture” towards customers following the problems with the drinking water in Antibes, Biot, La-Colle-sur-Loup and Roquefort. For the last month residents have had to purge the water before drinking it in three municipalities and in Roquefort-Les-Pins, the water was unfit for consumption. Since September 18th it is once again consumable without restriction in all the municipalities concerned. During a press conference on Thursday Veolia explained that the water had been deemed too acidic following tests carried out in the summer leading to nickel and lead being detected in the water. Veolia indicated that soda had been added to soften the water and that people can be reassured: there is no risk concerning this product which has been validated by the Ministry of Health. Asked by the mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, as to whether the water supplier was prepared to make a financial gesture. Veolia accepted. The reason for the incident is still to be clarified. The water supplier has suggested that it could be a consequence of the storm Alex last year which would have permanently modified the soils and therefore the drilling points adding that climate change could also be linked to the situation.

Recall of certain chocolate, cheese and ham products from French supermarkets – Meanwhile supermarkets Carrefour and Monoprix have issued product recalls on certain food items due to a potential risk of listeria and E.Coli. Certain batches of hazelnut chocolate bars, mozzarella and Reflets de France brand ham are concerned by the recall with customers being told to either bin them or return them to the store for a refund for more details go to the government website

Possible carbon tax worries president of Corsica ferries - The president of Corsica Ferries has expressed his concern following the mayor of Nice’s announcement of wanting to introduce a carbon tax of 60 euros per stopover and per vehicle for passenger boarding the ferries in the port of Nice. Pierre Mattei warns that the measure will “penalize families and the most modest but will also harm the vitality of our city, pushing the operator to increase the price of crossings by several tens of percent”.  According to the mayor Christian Estrosi, Nice would gladly do without these ferries which emit according to him, “as much CO2 at the quayside as on a Brussels-New York return trip" arguing that the port of Nice has a configuration that is not the same as in Toulon or Savona, which is more suitable for maritime passenger transport”.  

Forest fires - The Prefecture in the Var has issued a reminder to remain vigilant for forest fires. In particular, the Prefecture pointed out the danger in throwing cigarette butts on the ground. The daily map showing fire risks on the massifs in the Var is no longer being published after the end of the summer season, but people should still remain vigilant and call 18 or 112 if an outbreak of fire is witnessed. Only yesterday, firefighters in the Var were called out to a blaze in undergrowth on the Chemin du Plan in Brignoles.

Carpooling initiative marks one-year anniversary in Monaco - Monaco is marking the one-year anniversary of its carpooling initiative. A recent meeting brought together all the organizations concerned including state services and partner companies. The new carpooling system was officially launched in the Principality in September 2020.  It is based on the Klaxit carpooling app. It currently brings together 27 entities, all signatories of the National Pact for Energy Transition, which total around 13,000 employees. About 50,000 French and Italian employees travel to the Principality daily, most of them by car, with an average occupancy rate of 1.1 people per vehicle.

Booster dose of vaccine - The European Union regulator has announced that it is to decide early October as to whether or not to give a third dose of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 for those over 16 years of age. The regulator must at the same time decide on the booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the elderly and those with underlying health issues. According to the agency the available data shows that the immunity against Covid-19 acquired with the first doses weakens over time. About fifteen countries around the world have started administering a third dose to the most vulnerable, in particular some EU countries including France, Italy and Germany which did not wait for the green light from the European a