French and Riviera News Friday 31st May 2024

National News

French Prime Minister warns the French to not make the same mistake as the Brits - In the run up to the European elections French prime minister, Gabriel Attal, has said voters choosing the far-right next week risk becoming like British people who regret backing Brexit. Speaking on French radio Attal said, “don’t be like the British who cried after Brexit,” adding that “a large majority of British people regret Brexit and sometimes regret not turning out to vote, or voting for something that was negative for their country” he went on to conclude that “today there is more illegal immigration than ever in the UK since they left the European Union”. The Prime Minister appeared to be referring to recent UK polls showing that if there were a repeat of the 2016 referendum on EU membership, Britain would vote to stay. He said France would “not be stronger by being alone”. According to reports, the far fight, anti-immigration National Rally party is solidly ahead in the polls in France, led by Jordan Bardella it polls at more than 30%, double the support for the centrist grouping led by Valérie Hayer, who is backed by Gabriel Attal and the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

American President Joe Biden to visit France in first state visit - In other news, it’s been confirmed by the Elysée that French President Emmanuel Macron is set to welcome the US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill for his first state visit to France on June 8th in Paris.  The visit "will be preceded by the commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the Allied Landings" during the Second World War, which will take place on Saturday June 6th in Normandy, and which will be attended by the American President and his companion.

Update on the Air traffic controllers strike - Air traffic in France is expected to be normal today Friday 31st May, despite it being the first day of a week's strike notice by one of the unions of air traffic controllers. According to the latest information from the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) it does not plan to ask airlines to cancel flights today or tomorrow Saturday 1st June. The call for strike action comes in protest against certain aspects of a new reform on the work organization of air traffic controllers. The union filed a strike notice this week running from May 31st to June 7th.

Local News

Fire destroys house in Grimaud - A house in Grimaud in the Var has been destroyed following a fire. Despite the rapid intervention from firefighters on Thursday afternoon the property was completely ravaged by flames. Thankfully its owner, a 73-year-old man who lives alone escaped unharmed. The cause of the blaze remains to be determined.

Official starting flag for the Tour de France arrives in Nice - The official start flag of the Tour de France has arrived in Nice. The flag was presented to the town hall of Nice, which is hosting the finish of the Tour for the first time, by former mountain bike world champion and Olympic gold medallist Miguel Martinez. The Tour de France this year will start in Florence, Italy and finish in Nice, bypassing Paris due to the upcoming Olympics. The Tour de France 2024 is all set to begin with the Grand Depart on June 29th and will wrap up on July 21st in Nice.

New restaurant causes a commotion in Hyeres - A new restaurant in Hyeres in the Var, is causing quite a commotion and is facing opposition from the town hall. The “Mer et fils” restaurant, which recently opened above Port-Hélène beach, is upsetting the town hall, which refused to give permission due to its location. Indeed, the restaurant has been set up amongst a pretty pine forest overlooking the beach of Port-Hèlène. The site was initially used as a nautical base for a nearby holiday camp and is classified in the local town planning as a natural zone for sporting and leisure activities. However, due to a long and complicated administrative procedure the restaurant has managed to be set up and is open to delighted customers.

Best campsites in the PACA region - A ranking of the best campsites in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region has been published by the outdoor accommodation booking platform Pitchup.com. The ranking is based on more than 9,000 customer reviews according to criteria such as location, value for money, quality of accommodation, activities and cleanliness of each site. The best campsite in the PACA region is located in the Var being the Camping l'Hubac du bleu, in Le Lavandou followed by the Vaudoix campsite, in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, and Camping Les Micocouliers, in the Bouches-du-Rhône. In fourth place is the Domaine de La Bergerie in Pégomas in the Alpes-Maritimes, followed by the Vallée de Taradeau campsite, in Dracénie and in last place the Camping Le Pont d'Avignon in the Vaucluse.

Guest house owner uses a novel way to attract guests – A guest house owner in the south of France Eric Grandin, has come up with a novel way of attracting guests, tourists and artists alike by transforming part of his guest house in Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône) into a painting of Vincent Van Gogh. The room looks identical to that of "The Room in Arles" painted by the artist in 1888 and since 2013 has attracted visitors from all over the world. Although the artist never actually slept in the building in the old city centre of Arles, everything is designed to reproduce the room painted by the artist. The host had to find each identical piece of furniture. For a rate of 55 euros per night, among the cheapest in the city during the tourist season, the comfort remains rustic. The room does not have a toilet, double glazing or a private terrace, unlike the rest of the accommodation. Grandin told reporters «It’s the most uncomfortable room in the house, but there are people who reserve the Van Gogh room for a month, every year ». It’s a dive into the world of Vincent Van Gogh. As France celebrates 150 years of Impressionism in 2024, some continue to keep the legacy of artists of this period alive.

Fete des Voisins - Finally, don’t forget that today Friday 31st May, is La Fête des Voisins in France. A neighbourhood party usually celebrated at the end of May. The Fete des Voisins aims are to develop a sense of community amongst neighbours and housing associations.

Business

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said that Boeing will continue to face increased government inspections and limits on production, as regulators say "systemic change" is needed to rebuild confidence in the safety of its planes. The aerospace giant presented regulators with a plan on Thursday aimed at improving the quality of its aircraft. The FAA said that weekly meetings with senior executives will take place to monitor its implementation.

A lawsuit has been filed by the owner of the hit online game Wordle against a geography-based spinoff called Worldle. The New York Times which purchased Wordle in 2022, accuses its near namesake of "creating confusion" and attempting to capitalise “on the enormous goodwill” associated with its own brand. But the creator of Worldle, software developer Kody McDonald, is vowing to fight back on the grounds that there are many other games with similar titles. “Wordle is about words, Worldle is about the world, Flaggle is about flags", he pointed out. The New York Times disagrees. Wordle began in 2021 as a side project to keep the girlfriend of its British inventor, Josh Wardle, entertained.

And - The British footwear brand Dr Martens has reported yet another sharp fall in profits following a challenging year. The company blamed weak demand and a fall in boot sales in the US for the disappointing results. However, the company said the reaction to its new shoe repair service in the UK has been "very encouraging". The struggling company said global pre-tax profits in the 12 months to March were £97m - a fall of almost 43% on the previous year.

Sport 

Tennis - Defending champion Novak Djokovic has reached the French Open third round. Djokovic, 37, cruised to a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory on another rain-soaked day in Paris.

Meanwhile, according to the tournament director The French Open has stopped fans drinking alcohol in the stands in a bid to end unruly behaviour.

Football – Fifa football’s world governing body has been warned players are willing to go on strike if they continue to be overworked. The Professional Footballers’ Association believes players are now at breaking point. The PFA has been calling for action to alter the congested football calendar, especially with the expanded 32-team Club World Cup proposed for next summer.

Athletics - Great Britain's Matthew Hudson-Smith beat his own 400m European record at the Diamond League in Oslo.

Cricket - England have signed off for the T20 World Cup with a seven-wicket thrashing of Pakistan at The Oval on Thursday.

Weather

Mainly fine and sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 22 degrees in Nice and Mougins, 21 degrees in Monaco, 25 degrees in Saint-Tropez and Toulon with strong winds. This evening going down to 14 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow, sunny with highs of 24 degrees. Sunday light showers highs of 23 degrees.

Sunrise       05.52am

Sunset        09.03pm

Beach

Sea temperature Nice 19.8°

UV level 8

Weather elsewhere

London  16° light rain. 

Dublin  19° Sunny intervals.

Paris  17° light rain. 

Palma  24° light rain. 

 

 

 

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