French and Riviera News Friday 3rd May 2024

National News France

Far right leader urges for a “crushing defeat” of Macron in the European elections - Marine Le Pen the leader of the National Rally, France’s far right political party, has urged for a “crushing defeat” of French President Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen made the call during a speech given ahead of the European elections at a campaign rally in the southern city of Perpignan. She declared that the “upcoming EU elections were an opportunity to reject President Emmanuel Macron”. The National Rally’s list for the European elections is led by 28-year-old Jordan Bardella. The far-right party has been leading in the polls, well ahead of Macron's centrist alliance. Second place in the European polls would be a major embarrassment for Macron, who throughout his almost seven years in office has strongly presented himself against the far right.

France’s finance minister reacts strongly against agreement within the SNCF - France’s finance minister Bruno le Maire has criticized a new agreement concerning end of career contracts for employees of the SNCF. The new agreement would “limit” the effects of the pension reform and according to Le Maire “are not satisfactory”. The agreement plans to divide the end of careers into two options, one where the employee works until the end and is paid 100% and another, where the employee ends their contract early, but still receives 75% of pay. Bruno Le maire has called for a meeting in the coming days with the head of the SNCF after expressing his surprise of not being informed of the new agreement and “the double standards it represents”.

Former French first lady Carla Bruni questioned as part of investigation - A French court has questioned former French first lady, musician and model Carla Bruni, the wife of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, amid investigations into alleged illegal campaign funding from Libya for his election bid in 2007. Sarkozy allegedly received illegal campaign funds from Gaddafi and has been charged with illegal campaign financing, embezzlement of public funds and bribery, allegations he denies. Bruni was questioned on Thursday about possible witness tampering. At this stage of the proceedings, Bruni's possible involvement is being examined without her being considered a defendant. She was already questioned as a witness just under a year ago.

Local News

Investigation into fire in the port of Saint-Laurent - In local news, an investigation has been opened after a fire broke out this week in the port of Saint-Laurent-du-Var. The blaze which occurred during the night from Wednesday to Thursday ravaged several boats, no casualties were reported, but there are reports that it “may have been started deliberately”. With an overwhelming smell of petrol following the fire the mayor of Saint-Laurent-du-Var, Joseph Segura, has reassured locals that "there is no immediate danger in terms of pollution and that an anti-pollution dam was put in place immediately” to prevent the release of petrol and dangerous substances towards the beaches and coastline.

Woman killed after being hit by train in Biot - A woman has died after being hit by a train in Biot. Traffic in both directions between Antibes and Biot was severely disrupted on Thursday morning following the incident, which occurred shortly after 9.30am. An investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances.

Pro-Palestinian sit in - A second pro-Palestinian sit in has been organised in front of the Science Po in Menton. Students staged the sit in at the entrance of the establishment on Thursday morning in protest against the closure of the school following a first demonstration on Monday.  The students claim that the closure was against pro-Palestinian students and have since not responded to their demands as to when the school will reopen as well as exam dates.

Mayor of Nice calls trip from French Prime Minister on the subject of security “rather pitiful” - The Mayor of Nice Chrisitan Estrosi has slammed the French government’s action on security and referred to the Prime minister’s recent trip to Nice on the matter as “rather pitiful”. In an interview with the Figaro Estrosi criticised Attal and the lack of action on urgent security issues. The mayor was referring to a recent trip to Nice by Attal and the minister of Justice Eric Dupond Moretti in which they visited an experimental educational boarding school on April 22nd.

Landlady goes on hunger strike - A landlady in Cannes has gone on a hunger strike following several months of nonpayment from her tenants. The owner of the three-roomed apartment says she has not received rent from her tenants for eight months, after announcing that she was terminating the lease and as a result is now in serious financial difficulty. The tenants' debt, which amounts to more than 7,000 euros, has been written off by the Bank of France. According to reports the tenants refuse to leave the apartment until they have benefited from social housing in exchange for their current apartment. After eight days without eating the owner deplores the lack of "dialogue" with the family. The town hall also explained that it would "follow the file closely" and "see how we can help" the owner.

Curfew comes into force in Nice this week - A curfew for children under the age of 13 has come into force in Nice. The decree applies from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., “during the summer period and at all gathering points throughout the city”. Such a curfew had already been introduced in Nice in 2009, but was abandoned during the Covid epidemic in 2020. In Cagnes-sur-Mer, a curfew for minors under 13 has been in force since 2004.

Filming in the Principality - As the Principality is gearing up for the Monaco Historic Grand Prix the famous stands have been used as the setting for a film. A French film crew took over the pitlane this week to shoot a twenty-minute pilot which aims to become a new John Wick-style action franchise called Without Mercy. To see the finished product, we will still have to wait until the beginning of next year as the rest of the filming is planned for September.

Tesla’s Cybertruck to make an appearance at this year’s Top Marques - Finally, it’s been announced that Tesla's Cybertruck will be on display at this year’s Top Marques show in Monaco on June 5th and 6th. Even though the 2024 edition of Top Marques in Monaco will exclusively unveil thirteen innovative and ingenious cars, there is one which, from the outset, should steal the show the Tesla Cybertruck. The organizers have confirmed the exhibition of a copy of the Tesla Cybertruck in the Principality. The electric pick-up is a rare vehicle signed by the American car manufacturer Tesla. It seems straight out of a science fiction film. Produced at the manufacturer's factory in Austin, Texas, the Cybertruck is currently only sold in North America and is not yet approved for European roads.

Business

France has retained for the fifth consecutive year its position as the most attractive country for foreign investment projects. Statistics published this week from the EY and just a few days before the “Choose France summit” data showed that with 1,194 projects to set up or expand announced last year, foreign companies favoured France more than the United Kingdom and Germany. Following the news French President Emmanuel Macron took to social network X writing “New victory for the France team!”.

Valérie Hayer, French lawyer and politician and serving member of the European parliament since 2019 in the “Renew Europe” has declared herself to be in favour of an "international debate" on the taxation of the ultra-rich. Speaking on French television on Thursday evening the candidate for the European elections said that “a debate was needed on an international scale” in order to “not scare away” the ultra-rich. Adding that while she wanted to make the ultra-rich contribute, she above all “wants them to stay in Europe.”

Goldman Sachs has become the first to remove its cap on bankers' bonuses following changes to UK laws introduced last year. The investment bank said this would give "greater flexibility" and make it similar to what happens in other big financial centres such as Singapore and New York. Bonuses were limited to twice basic pay in a move introduced by the EU in 2014. Other big banks are thought to be considering a similar moves.

And - Apple has reported its biggest sales fall in more than a year. Sales slumped 4% year-on-year in the first three months of 2024 to $90.8bn (£72.5bn), weighed down by a sharp drop in demand for iPhones. Executives said the results were distorted by Covid-related supply disruptions, which led to unusually strong sales during the same period last year. They said sales would return to growth in the months ahead, noting upcoming product launches and investments in artificial intelligence (AI).

Sport

Football – In the Premier League on Thursday, Spurs were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea and are now seven points behind fourth placed Aston Villa, with a game in hand. Tottenham have games against Liverpool and title chasing Manchester City among their remaining fixtures. In this evening’s action Luton are at home to Everton kick off is at 9pm French time. Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League table with Manchester City close behind. Liverpool have dropped to third and Aston Villa fourth.  

Darts - Luke Littler secured his place in the Premier League play-offs on Thursday evening by beating Rob Cross 6-4 in the final in Aberdeen. The teenager’s victory was his fourth of the season.

Formula One – Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton says it would be a “privilege to work with” Adrian Newey if the designer joins Ferrari following his departure from Red Bull. Newey is expected to leave Red Bull in early 2025. Ferrari, who Hamilton joins next season, are keen to sign him.

Golf – Former Ryder Cup golfer Peter Oosterhuis has died at the age of 75. The Englishman was twice a runner-up at The Open, in 1974 and 1982, and topped the European Tour's Order of Merit from 1971 to 1974. He later became a TV commentator and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014.

Meanwhile in other golf news, Tiger Woods has accepted a special exemption to play in the US Open at Pinehurst next month. Woods has struggled to compete since suffering severe leg injuries in a car crash in 2021 and has played only two tournaments this year.

Weather

A fine and sunny start to the day. Possibility of some scattered showers in places by this afternoon. A fresh breeze across the region. Highs of 17 degrees in Nice, 16 degrees in Monaco, 19 degrees in Toulon and 20 degrees in Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 10 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend, sunny intervals and highs of 19-20 degrees with a gentle breeze.

Sunrise                06.19am

Sunset                 08.35pm

Sea temperature

Nice 15.5 degrees

Weather elsewhere

London      13 degrees light rain.

Paris           17 degrees light rain.

Dublin                  15 degrees drizzle.

Madrid                19 degrees sunny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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