French and Riviera News Friday 3rd March 2023

News

Macron declares that the era of French interference with African affairs is “well over” - French President Emmanuel Macron has declared that the era of French interference in African affairs is "well over". Macron made the declaration during his four-nation tour of central Africa. Macron said France harboured no desire to return to past policies of interfering in Africa. His comments followed a speech on Monday when he said there would be a "noticeable reduction" in France's troop presence in Africa "in the coming months" and a greater focus on training and equipping allied countries' forces.

February, record high for France - Météo-France has announced that the month of February 2023 was the 13th month in a row which was warmer than normal. In detail February was 0.78°C higher than the normal temperatures calculated between 1991 and 2020.

Family compensated after food poisoning linked to Buitoni Pizza - Following proof from Public Health France a court in Toulon has just awarded compensation to the family of a 12-year-old teenager who was contaminated by a Buitoni pizza. Nestlé have been ordered to pay the family from Hyères 20,000 euros after the young teenager suffered severe food poisoning caused by the E.coli bacteria. The link between the consumption of the product and the teenagers health had been proven by Public Health France. It was back in July of last year that the boss of Nestlé France Christophe Cornu presented his "apologies" to the families of the children affected and announced the creation of a "victim support fund".

Residents call for CCTV camera - Due to the number of burglaries residents in a hamlet in the Var have called for the installation of a CCTV camera. The inhabitants of Emponse, a hamlet of Plan-de-la-Tour, have made the request in a letter to the mayor. About thirty residents filed a letter on Tuesday, February 28, to demand the installation of a surveillance camera at the entrance to their hamlet.

Nursery classes close in the Var - The Regional Council of National Education for the Var has announced that for the start of the school year in September three nursery classes are to close in Gassin, La Mole and Saint-Tropez and a new class will open in Grimaud. Figures show that this year is hit harder as far as keeping smaller establishments open, as last year no closures were recorded and a nursery class was opened in Plan-de-la-Tour.

Toulon scores points for lowest consumption of electricity this winter - The city of Toulon in the Var has had the lowest electricity consumption in France this winter according to data from Enedis, published this week. The report shows that the Var and the south of France in general, are good students, when it comes to following the “energy sobriety” plan, put in place by the French government. From lowering the heating, turning off your internet box, unplugging the chargers, it would appear that these small gestures have paid off, particularly in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes! Admittedly, the south of France is known to have a generally higher rate of sunshine than the north of France, but this is not the only reason to explain the good results for the south. The study also reveals that the rate of residences with individual electric heating is 52% in the Var. A higher rate in the south of France than in the other departments especially in the north, which are generally heated by gas. Electric heating is currently a much more expensive way of heating. Consequently, the efforts made in terms of energy sobriety are greater in order to avoid additional costs.

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco visits University of Padua - HSH Prince Albert II has visited the University of Padua in Italy, one of the oldest in the world. It was officially founded in 1222 by professors and students who had left the University of Bologna in search of freedom. It has welcomed great scientists and academics from all over the world, including the Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo. During his visit Prince Albert declared that “the university is a historical centre of excellence with very cutting-edge research in various fields, particularly medicine. Anything relating to the concept of the environment and health opens up interesting prospects in which the Principality can create links, not only with the scientific community but also with the business world, which can help”.

Director of famous “Papagayo” nightclub dies - The former director of the famous "Papagayo" nighclub in Saint Tropez Jérôme Dodero, has died. Dodero became a part of the landscape of Saint-Tropez after moving there with his family in the early 60s. Involved in various local associations and he was also the friend of many famous guests at the time from Johnny Hallyday, Brigitte Bardot, Aznavour as well as American jazzmen and royalty. Dodero also ran the "Bouillabaisse" beach restaurant for a few years which is at the entrance of Saint Tropez.

"The Renaissance sings" - "The Renaissance sings" from this Friday and all weekend in Saint-Tropez. For the second consecutive year, the town hall of Saint-Tropez is offering three evenings at the cinema-theatre as part of the show "la Renaissance chante", Friday 3, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March. The "first" of these three evenings will be devoted to two singers who have frequented Saint-Tropez on a regular basis for decades: Charles Aznavour and Henri Salvador. It is Jean-Jacques Bortolai and his orchestra who will bring to life the unmissable successes of these two unforgettable stars. Concerts are today and Saturday 4th March, at 7pm, Sunday 5th March at 3pm. Admission is free.

Car boot sale - A car boot sale has been organized in Sainte-Maxime this Sunday 5th March. From 8am to 5pm the seaside promenade in Sainte-Maxime will host a large sale. More and more sales of this type are taking place as people due to inflation, turn to events like this, buying second-hand items at low prices.

Business

In the UK high street retailer WH Smith has said it has been the victim of a cyber-attack that has seen hackers access company data. The company added that hackers have also been able to access current and former employee information. It stressed however that the hack has not impacted its trading activities and that customer accounts and customer databases are on unaffected separate systems.

Meanwhile, shop staff at Pret a Manger are to receive their third pay rise in a year. The average pay base will have increased by 19% in the twelve months up to April. The latest announcement means its worst-paid staff will get an increase of 2.9%, from £10.30 an hour to £10.60 an hour.

Sport

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton has said that he is resigned to a difficult start to the Formula 1 season with his Mercedes team lagging behind champions Red Bull. The seven-time champion admitted that Mercedes are "not where we wanted to start the season". Team-mate George Russell added: "It is going to be a challenging weekend if we want to fight for victory."

Today at 12.30 is the first practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Second practice is at 4pm French time. Tomorrow third practice is at 12.30 followed by qualifying at 4pm. Finally, the race is on Sunday at 4pm French time.  

Tennis - World number one Novak Djokovic continued his perfect start to 2023 to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships semi-finals. Djokovic, who is chasing a sixth win in Dubai, will next face Daniil Medvedev for a place in Saturday's final.

Football – In the Premier League this weekend – tomorrow Manchester City are at home to Newcastle kick off is at 1.30pm French time. With a 4pm kick off French time Arsenal face Bournemouth, Aston Villa play Crystal Palace, Brighton are at home to West Ham, Chelsea play Leeds, Wolverhampton play Tottenham. The last match of the day at 6.30pm French time sees Southampton at home to Leicester. On Sunday Nottingham Forest play Everton kick off is at 3pm French time and Liverpool are at home to Manchester United 5.30pm kick off French time.  

Golf - World number one Jon Rahm shot a seven-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. The Spaniard made six birdies and an eagle and the only blemish on his scorecard was a bogey at the eighth.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 15 degrees along the coast in Saint Tropez, Nice and Monaco. Inland in Saint-Martin Vésubie in the Alpes Maritimes, highs of just 8 degrees and becoming increasingly cloudy. This evening going down to 7 degrees along the coast and 3 degrees inland with cloudy skies.

The outlook for the weekend - remaining fine, highs of 15 degrees along the Riviera coast and on Saturday reaching 17 degrees in the Var, in Saint-Tropez and Le Rayol Canadel.

Sunrise       07.04am

Sunset        06.20pm

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