French and Riviera News Friday 27th October 2023

News

Road closure - Due to a landslide this Friday morning, the road between Isola and Nice has been cut off in both directions and is closed to traffic. The rock fall occurred on the RM 2205 the road to Tinée, just 2km after Isola heading towards Nice. Motorists have been warned that the closure is currently undetermined and there is no diversion possible.

Exceptional aid following Storm Aline - The landslide comes after Thursday saw the regional council announce an “exceptional” aid of 15 million euros to help reconstruct the valleys of Vésubie and La Tinée in the Alpes Maritimes after being hit by Storm Aline last Friday.

Weather warning - Meteo France once again placed the Alpes Maritimes on a yellow alert for high waves and coastal flooding on Thursday evening. The warning is in place until 10am this morning. The coastal path in Nice was closed. A warning was also issued for coastal areas of the Var to the west of the Iles d'Hyeres.

Raising the alarm and calling for the release of hostages - “30 empty buggies” have been left in a square in Nice to draw attention and support to the children held hostage in the Israel-Hamas conflict. The operation was carried out by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France in Nice, to alert and demand the release of Israeli child hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. The “30 empty buggy” operation has also been held in other French cities such as Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Strasbourg and Toulouse.

Update - Meanwhile, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given an update on the number of French people dead or missing in the attack on Israel. The ministry said on Thursday evening that thirty-five people are thought to have lost their lives, up from the previous figure of 31. Nine people are still missing, some of them being held hostage by Hamas. 

Navy ship - A French Navy hospital ship has left Toulon heading for Gaza. According to an announcement by President Macron, the Tonnere will be involved in relief operations for the civilian population.

The poorest neighbourhood in France is in Nice - According to the Abbé Pierre Foundation the poorest neighbourhood in France is in Nice. In its annual report on poor housing released today Thursday, October 26, the Abbé-Pierre Foundation sounds the alarm on poverty in the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolis where a third of the population lives in priority neighbourhoods of the city policy (QPV). The Nicéa social residence district, along the Boulevard du Mercantour, in the west of Nice, is the poorest district of the priority districts of France and the study warns of the situation in the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis (MNCA) "where nearly one in five people live below the poverty line".

Critical situation for childcare in our region - The problem of childcare is a problem only too familiar to many families here in our region and today it’s been highlighted by a UFC-Que Choisir. Their recent survey shows that the Alpes Maritimes and the Var have a record shortage of nursery places and childminders and are among the worst departments in France. One out of two children (0 to 3 years old) cannot be looked after in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var. On the Côte d'Azur, one child out of two does not have a place in a crèche or with an approved childminder.  The UFC-Que Choisir study reveals that there is great disparity between departments in terms of childcare. If the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var have half as many nursery places as Paris, these two departments are nevertheless among the best equipped (9th and 14th ranks) in collective reception structures. Looking after children under 3 years old is likely to remain a headache for families on the Riviera and the Var. According to the UFC study, “37% of parents who have decided to take care of their children themselves actually do so by default”. The UFC-Que Choisir has therefore advocated the creation of an enforceable right to child custody, as there is in terms of housing. So that no parent is left without a solution. A measure announced in 2007 and systematically taken up by successive Presidents of the Republic, from Nicolas Sarkozy to Emmanuel Macron, via François Hollande but, which has always remained wishful thinking.

Business

According to the US government’s first estimate, the country’s economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter of the year, helped by a tight jobs market and consumer spending. The economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.9% in the July to September period. It marked the biggest rise seen since the last three months of 2021. Consumers spent a lot despite the Federal Reserve trying to clamp down on spending with higher interest rates.

Airlines have reacted with fury and warned passengers will face higher fares after the UK's aviation regulator increased air traffic control charges. The costs, paid by airlines, come after a UK air traffic control meltdown in August which led to long flight delays and left thousands stranded. The fee will rise from £47 to £64 per flight until 2027, representing an increase of around 43p per passenger. Airlines said the increases "cannot be justified" given the recent disruption.

According to the maker of Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum sales of ice cream fell sharply this summer in part due to bad weather and also due to customers buying cheaper alternatives. By volume, sales of ice creams fell 10% over the summer, largely because of bad weather in Europe and consumers choosing cheaper goods. But that was offset by prices rising by more than 8%, meaning the revenue in this part of the business only fell by around 3%.

Sport

Rugby World Cup - On Saturday, either South Africa or New Zealand will become the first nation to reach an enviable fourth title, with South Africa aiming to join their rivals in being the only sides to win it back-to-back. Since 2007, either the All Blacks or South Africa have won the Rugby World Cup. Despite their recent domination, the sides have only met each other once in a final back in 1995. Saturday’s final kicks off at 9pm French time at the Stade de France in Paris. Meanwhile, in the third place play off Argentina play England this evening kick off is at 9pm.

Football - In the Europa League last night Liverpool gained a ruthless win over French club Toulouse in Group E beating them 5-1.

In other football news Lionel Messi has been named as a finalist for Major League Soccer's Newcomer of the Year award after playing just six league games for Inter Miami. The Argentina forward, joined the club in July. Messi is favourite to win the Ballon d'Or on Monday after helping Argentina win the 2022 World Cup.

In the Premier League this evening Crystal Palace are at home to Tottenham kick off is at 9pm French time. Tomorrow in the Premier League Chelsea play Brentford, Arsenal face Sheffield, Bournemouth are at home to Burnley and Wolves play Newcastle. On Sunday West Ham play Everton, Aston Villa are at home to Luton, Brighton play Fulham, Liverpool play Nottingham Forest and Manchester United play Manchester City.

Cricket - England's World Cup is all but over after a shambolic eight-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka. The defending champions are not mathematically out but now must win all of their remaining games, including against unbeaten hosts India on Sunday, and hope an unlikely set of results go their way.

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton says more cars should be checked after races following his disqualification from the United States Grand Prix. The seven-time world champion lost second place in Austin, Texas because of excessive wear on his car's skid blocks. He believes other cars would have been caught if they had been checked.

Weather

Mainly fine with strong winds. Highs of 23 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Cannes. 21 degrees in Saint-Tropez. 19 degrees in Aix-en-Provence. This evening going down to 13 degrees along the coast and 7 degrees inland with cloudy skies.

The outlook for the weekend – Saturday sunny with a fresh breeze and highs of 22 degrees. Sunday highs of 20 degrees with rain forecast.

Sunrise       07.59am

Sunset        06.28pm

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