French and Riviera News Friday 26th January 2024


Constitutional court rejects parts of new immigration law - France’s constitutional court has rejected about half of the articles in a new immigration law calling for them to be “scrapped”. On Thursday articles in the law, which was passed in December, including restrictions on family reunifications and student residency permits, were cancelled. The council in actual fact held up much of the bill initially presented by French President Emmanual Macron but censured contentious additions which had been made under pressure form the right and far right political parties.

France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin hailed the ruling, posting on X: “The constitutional council has approved all the government’s text.” But Jordan Bardella, president of the far-right National Rally party, claimed the ruling was a “coup by the judges, with the backing of the president”. He called for a referendum on immigration.

Meanwhile, France's constitutional council has announced that it has rejected a proposal to lift post-Brexit visa requirements for British second-home owners. The move had hoped to allow British expats to stay in France for longer than 90 days without a visa.

Organised brawl breaks out in Nice - An investigation has been opened after a student from the Jules Valeri college in Nice was beaten up by a large group of young people from different districts of the city, who had answered a call on social media networks. The incident occurred just before 5pm on Thursday evening at the Valrose tram stop.

Study shows drop in number of teenagers smoking, drinking or consuming cannabis - A study published on Thursday has shown that the number of teenagers who smoke, drink, or consume cannabis has dropped considerably over the last four years in France. More than 9,500 middle and high school students participated in the national EnCLASS survey, conducted by the OFDT. All levels of substance use were down in 2022 compared to 2018. In 2022, 43.4% of college students claimed to have experimented with alcohol, compared to 60% four years earlier. 11.4% had tried cigarettes compared to 21.2% in 2018, and 5.3% had tried cannabis, compared to 6.7% four years earlier.

Irish fashion designer captivates Paris Fashion week - Irish fashion designer Simone Rocha has captivated Paris fashion week with her haute couture collection. The Dublin born creative exhibited her work this week as a guest for Jean Paul Gualtier.  Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2010, Rocha has established herself as one of the world's leading fashion designers.

EuroDreams winner - A 40-year-old working class Frenchman from the Côtes-d’Armor has become the third French person to win the recently introduced lottery “EuroDreams” from the Française des Jeux. The winning ticket was validated on Monday January 8th at a local bar-tabac. The winner will receive 20,000 euros a month for 30 years. Speaking to local media he said “that he does not plan to quit his current job”. He is the third Frenchman to win the maximum win offered by EuroDreams. Previous winners in France were in the Tarn and the Ardèche region.

Monegasque student wins “Grand Cordon d’Or de la cuisine française” - Student Wendy Brunengo from Monaco has won the “Grand Cordon d’Or de la cuisine française” competition.  Every year, the Principality and the Lycée Rainier-III host the Grand Cordon d’Or of French cuisine. A competition which highlights the know-how of future professionals. And this time it’s a Monegasque who has won! The principle of the competition is that "invitations" are sent to European hotel schools to encourage pupils who wish to do so to take part in a French cuisine competition, which involves preparing two stated dishes. Participants are judged by two juries, a "technical" jury of chefs, who are present while the dishes are being prepared, and a "tasting" jury, comprised of gourmets and gastronomy professionals, whose task is to assess presentation and flavour. 

Auditions – Are you a budding singer or songwriter?  Would you like to represent the Principality at the next Golden Voice Music Awards in Cannes in April? Auditions are being held by the Monaco International Music & Arts Club. Whether you are of Monegasque nationality or a resident of the Principality, come and take part in the "open live auditions" on Saturday February 24th at the Michel Daner Theatre in Beausoleil. Whether you are a singer or songwriter, you are invited - whatever your musical genre and your age. The casting take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sainte Dévote celebrations - Finally, this weekend will see the people of Monaco celebrate their patron saint, Sainte Dévote. A weekend of celebrations awaits locals along with visitors, including the symbolic burning of the boat ceremony, which commemorates the arrival on the shores of Monaco of the body of Sainte Dévote, a young girl from Corsica who was persecuted for her Christian faith in the fourth century. Festivities start this Friday morning at 10.30am with a traditional mass at the Sainte Dévote church.


Shares in Tesla slumped by more than 12% on Thursday after it warned its sales growth would be "notably lower" this year than in 2023. That wiped around $80bn off the company's stock market value. Tesla's annual earnings, which were announced on Wednesday, also came in below Wall Street expectations.

Microsoft has announced 1,900 layoffs following their takeover of Activision. 1,900 people, or eight percent of staff, will be made redundant from the company’s gaming division as it consolidates the buyout of "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard. Microsoft launched its takeover in January 2022, an acquisition that made it the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue. The buyout faced stiff scrutiny from regulators, including in the United States, but the transaction eventually prevailed.

US regulator FTC has launched an investigation into AI investments by tech giants. The inquiry is targeting investments made by Microsoft, Google and Amazon. The move is part of efforts by major authorities to make sure regulatory oversight can keep up with artificial intelligence developments and stop major players from shutting out competitors in a field promising upheaval in multiple sectors.

And - Apple will allow alternative app stores to be used on its devices purchased in the EU from March. Currently, anyone with an iPhone can only download apps from the firm's own App Store. Apple has always maintained that its rules protect users' security. But it has been accused of creating a monopoly, giving customers and developers no choice but to go through its own channels, and charging developers up to 30% commission.


Formula One - Monegasque racing driver Charles Leclerc has already expressed that his dream is to win the World Championship with Ferrari and it looks like he determined as ever to do so after extending his contract with the team for several more seasons. Leclerc finished fifth in the drivers' championship last season.

Rugby Union - World Cup-winning former England coach Gary Street is recovering from a "massive stroke" that followed a heart bypass operation in August. 56-year-old Street, led England to Women's World Cup victory in 2014.

Football - Bournemouth beat Swansea City 5-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Thursday night. This evening Bristol are at home to Nottingham Forest, Chelsea play Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday are at home to Coventry and Tottenham play Manchester City.


Mainly fine and sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice, 14 degrees in Monaco and Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 7 degrees with clear skies.

Heading into the weekend. Fine with some cloudy patches in the Var. Light winds. Highs of 15-16 degrees.

Sunrise       07.53am

Sunet         05.31pm



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