French and Riviera News Friday 2nd July 2021

 

News 

French government prepares bill for compulsory vaccination for caregivers but, could it ultimately target a larger population? - The French government is preparing a bill for compulsory vaccination against covid for caregivers, although it could ultimately target a larger population. In a letter addressed to MPs the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, expressed his wish to “open the debate on obligatory vaccination for health workers in the fight against covid and whether or not it should be extended more widely”.

Castex also calls for MPs to think about ways to “encourage vaccination" and the extension of the "places required to have a health pass". As the epidemic decline continues in France, health authorities are expressing their concern about a possible fourth wave due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant. The Hospital Federation of France said it was in favour of making vaccination of health professionals compulsory.

Label on storefronts to show vaccination - Shopkeepers in Nice will be able to show a label on their storefront to show that they have been vaccinated. Speaking on Thursday the mayor Christian Estrosi said that "like the“ sanitary trust label ”which was in place at the end of the first lockdown in order to reassure customers and support traders” he had decided to introduce the “vaccine health label”. He added: "This will allow restaurants and shops, on a voluntary basis, to indicate to their customers that all their staff have been vaccinated.

Regional Health Agency launches campaign to encourage vaccination - Meanwhile the Regional Health Agency for the PACA region is launching a large-scale campaign to encourage the population to get vaccinated. It's especially aimed at young people. Messages will be placed on billboards and in bars, restaurants, sports halls and online social networks. In its weekly update the Agency said that the level of the Delta variant had reached 43% of cases in the Alpes-Maritimes making it the worst affected department in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region.

Cluster of covid Delta variant identified in Antibes – And it was only on Thursday that the Regional Health Agency announced the identification of a cluster of the covid Delta variant in Antibes. In what is being described as a “wake up call” the mayor of Antibes has taken the opportunity to remind everyone that you need to be vaccinated to eradicate the Covid-19 epidemic. 200 people were tested. The positive cases have been placed in isolation.

While hospitalizations are down and the vaccination campaign is running out of steam, the cluster that recently broke out in Antibes, in a dance school, shows that the Covid-19 epidemic remains very present. In all, 200 people have been tested in recent days. With a total of sixteen positive cases for the Delta variant, including six children and ten young adults, supervisors and dancers. None of those tested were vaccinated and all of them have been placed in solitary confinement. It is believed that the virus was able to spread after one of the students contracted covid and took part in the end of year show.

Residency card - While it remains unclear as to whether or not the formal deadline to apply for a residency card has been extended, the website remains up and running. The official website for Britons in France to apply for residency cards is still open, but there is still no formal confirmation as to whether the June 30 deadline is being extended or not. As a result, eligible Britons are still being encouraged to apply on the website if they missed the June 30 deadline.

**The British Embassy has now confirmed that the formal deadline to apply for a residency card has been extended until the 30th September. The official website for Britons in France to apply for residency cards is therefore still open.

Terminal 1 at Nice Airport to temporarily reopen - Nice Côte d´Azur airport is to temporarily reopen terminal 1 from July 21st. Closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 terminal 1 of Nice Côte d'Azur airport will be open to travellers this summer, from Wednesday July 21st until September 7th maximum. The aim is to streamline health controls at borders. In a statement it was announced that "certain international flights" will be operated, "in particular from or to countries which are subject to monitoring from authorities.

Strike action – Meanwhile strike notices have been filed by unions with the SNCF and at Paris airports as of Thursday, July 1st. On the rails, the expected disruptions concern the TER and the Ouigo, this weekend. As for the ADP group, it warns of possible flight "delays". The action is expected this weekend which is the first weekend of July holiday departures. Demonstrations are also expected this morning at Paris airports.

France joins 129 other countries in backing of global minimum tax - France has joined 129 countries in backing a global minimum tax as part of a worldwide effort to keep multinational firms from dodging taxes by shifting their profits to countries with low rates. The agreement also provides for taxing the largest global companies in countries where they earn profits through online businesses but may have no physical presence.

Consequences of 30 years of nuclear testing - France has begun two days of round table talks on the consequences of 30 years of nuclear testing in French Polynesia. Bringing together elected officials, ministers and NGOs the talks are being held in Paris and were arranged by the French government in an effort to “share information without taboo”. They come four months after an independent investigation by journalists and researchers found that France hid the devastating impacts of its nuclear tests during the 1960s and 1970s.

Sancerre - The village of Sancerre in central France has been voted France’s Favourite Village for 2021. Beating 13 others and after weeks of voting the hilltop village, surrounded by vineyards for the world-famous wine took the title.

Business

Today’s US non-farm payroll numbers are expected to show an increase of 700,000 jobs with unemployment falling to 5.7%. While the news will be cheered as a further sign that the economy is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, markets will be wary that it could lead the US Federal Reserve to adjust its timetable for tapering security purchases and raising key interest rates. Employment and factory data published on Thursday added further evidence that the economy is strengthening. All three major US stock indexes ended Thursday in positive territory with analysts saying that economic growth has been strong enough to support prices and many asset classes are trading with historically low volatility.

The Trump Organisation and its finance chief have been charged with tax related crimes. Allen Weisselberg, who’s 73, turned himself in to New York authorities on Thursday. He was later charged with concealing $1.7 million worth of income. Prosecutors say that a 15-year long scheme helped executives from the Trump Organisation to evade taxes by offering benefits such as rent and school fees that were hidden from authorities. No charges have been brought against Donald Trump personally but prosecutors say that the former president had signed some of the cheques at the centre of the case. Lawyers for the firm and Mr Weisselberg have pleaded not guilty to tax fraud. The criminal charges are the first to arise from long-running investigations into alleged fraud by both the Manhattan district attorney and the state attorney general.

Officials from 130 countries have agreed to overhaul the global tax system to ensure that big companies pay a fair share where ever they operate. The OECD says that negotiators have backed a proposed minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15%. The US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that it was an historic day for “economic diplomacy.” The OECD which led the talks said that the plans could generate around $150 billion in tax revenues a year. All G20 countries backed the agreement but some others including Ireland and Hungary did not.

Sport

Euro 2020 – The scene is set for the quarter-finals of the competition with 2 games tonight and two on Saturday. Tonight, the surprise package Switzerland who knocked out the favourites France play Spain who have improved as the tournament progresses. Kickoff is at 6 pm. At 9 pm Belgium who are the top ranked FIFA team play Italy who are unbeaten in 31 games.

On Saturday night the Czech Republic play Denmark who are being supported by all the neutrals following the cardiac arrest that struck Christian Eriksen in their opening fixture. Kickoff at 6 pm tomorrow and then it’s Ukraine against England in Rome at 9 pm. England are bidding to reach the semi-final of the competition for the first time in 25 years.

Tennis – Roger Federer has set up a third round meeting at Wimbledon with the British number two Cameron Norrie. Federer continued his dominance over Richard Gasquet with a 7–6 6–1 6-4 victory in the second round while Norrie beat Alex Bolt of Australia 6–3 6–1 6–2.

The world number two Daniil Medvedev and the 6th seed Alexander Zverev are also through.

In the women’s event world number one Ashleigh Barty wasn’t totally convincing as she beat Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-3 to move into round three but the third seed Elina Svitolina was knocked out by Magda Linette.

The British teenager Emma Raducanu is also through after beating Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4. She only finished her A-Levels last month.

Cricket – England have beaten Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the second one day international at the Oval. Sri Lanka batted first and made 241–9 from their 50 overs with Sam Curran taking 5–48. England got to the target in 43 overs in a total of 244–2 with captain Owen Morgan making 75 not out and Joe Root 68 not out. England lead the series 2–0.

Formula One – First practice for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix takes place at 11:30 this morning with Max Verstappen leading Lewis Hamilton by 18 points heading into the weekend. Verstappen won on the same track last week and Red Bull will be looking to press home the advantage. Second practice is at 3 pm this afternoon with qualifying at 3 pm on Saturday and the race at 3 pm on Sunday.

Cycling – Mark Cavendish has claimed his 32nd Tour de France stage win with victory on stage six between Tours and Châteauroux. The Manxman powered past Jasper Philipsen and Nacer Bouhanni to move closer to the all-time record of 34 stage wins held by Eddie Merckx. Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands still holds the leader’s yellow jersey with Tadej Pogacar 8 seconds off the pace in second.

Today’s 7th stage is 249.1 kilometres between Vierzon and Le Creusot. It’s the longest stage for 21 years and will see the riders climb more than 3,000 meters on five demanding ascents over the last 100 kilometres.

Rugby Union – Stuart Hogg will captain the British and Irish Lions XV against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday. Coach Warren Gatland makes 14 changes from the side that beat Japan last weekend. Finn Russell and Owen Farrell will partner each other in the midfield. Kickoff is at 6 pm tomorrow.

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable winds. Top temperatures 25-28 degrees. Overnight lows of 19-20 degrees with clear skies.

The weekend - Mainly fine tomorrow with some thunder inland. Hazy sunshine on Sunday. Highs of 25-29 degrees.

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