French and Riviera News Friday 2nd September 2022

Local News

Trial of 8 suspects begins - The trial of eight suspects in relation to the 14 July terror attack in Nice will begin on Monday. The trial comes six years after a terrorist drove a lorry into a crowd, killing 86 people and injuring more than 450. The people of Nice were celebrating the French national day in 2016 when a 19-tonne truck ran into pedestrians on the Promenade des Anglais. The driver was shot dead by police at the scene. The trial is being held in Paris and hearings are expected to last up to three months. At least five weeks of that time will be spent hearing evidence from 80 civil parties, including victims and families of those who died. Most of them live on the Riviera, but others are coming from Reunion Island, Canada, Kurdistan, Ukraine and the Ivory Coast. They're represented by a group of about 20 criminal lawyers and personal injury lawyers from Nice, Grasse, Lyon and Ajaccio.

Sports teacher handed jail sentence - A sports teacher has been handed an eight-month suspended jail sentence for fraud involving Marseille football club season tickets. The man was found guilty of being an accomplice in a large-scale operation in which 120 Marseille season tickets were effectively rented out to supporters on a per-match basis. The scam was operated out of a sports clothing store and unofficial supporters' club in the city. The season tickets were purchased using false identities at a cost of €170 each. Supporters would then pay to borrow a ticket for one match, in return for their ID card. They were rented out for anything between €10 and €50 per match - making more than a quarter of a million euros in profit. Marseille football club became aware of the scam in 2019 when the man tried to renew all 119 season tickets for the following year. As well as the eight month suspended sentence, the man was ordered to pay back almost €30,000 in damages to the football club. A colleague, who ran the sports shop, was given an eight-month suspended jail sentence earlier this year for being the mastermind of the operation.

La Pro no longer safely inhabitable - The Alpes-Maritimes préfecture has declared that Le Pra, a hamlet in Saint-Dalmas-le-Selvage near the Col de la Bonette, is no longer safely inhabitable - and has ordered that residents should be evacuated. Le Pra is 1,600 metres above sea level and, while it has been exposed to natural risks for a long time, such as rock falls and mudslides, the préfecture says a recent geological study shows the conditions are worsening. Only a handful of people live there, mostly in the summer - but the decision has still taken locals, including the village mayor, by surprise.

Nice will not charge motorcycles for parking - The city of Nice says it will not be following Paris and charging motorcycles and scooters for parking on the city's streets.
In the French capital, since yesterday, anyone who parks a motorbike, moped or scooter has to pay, with prices ranging from €0.75 per day for residents to €3 per hour for visitors.
Nice has no plans to do the same. The city council says it wants to support the use of two-wheeled vehicles by creating up to 1,000 extra parking places for them.

Sunniest summer on record on the French Riviera - And this summer was the sunniest on record on the French Riviera, new figures from Météo France have revealed. 2022 has broken a previous record from 1991 for the most hours of summer sunshine. The sun shone for 1,065 hours and 51 minutes - beating the previous record from 31 years ago, of 1,047 hours. The sunniest place in France this summer was Montpellier, which clocked up 1,070 hours of sunshine.


Worries over the prospects for the UK economy led the pound to slide 4.6% against the US dollar in August. The last time the pound fell so much against the dollar was in October 2016, in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Sterling sank again yesterday, dipping below $1.16 on the currency markets. Analysts said the fall reflects the darkening outlook for the economy, with consumers and businesses facing rising prices and soaring energy bills. The Bank of England has predicted the UK will fall into recession towards the end of this year.

The chairman of Russia's Lukoil oil giant, Ravil Maganov, has died after falling from a hospital window in Moscow, reports say. The company confirmed his death but said only that Maganov, 67, had "passed away following a severe illness". Russian media said he was being treated at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital and died of his injuries. Maganov is the latest of a number of high-profile business executives to die in mysterious circumstances.