French and Riviera News Friday 6th December 2019


Strike set to continue for some unions - As strike action continues the train network in the region is expected to be disrupted with no TGV between Nice and Marseille. It’s been announced that twelve TER trains will be circulating between Cannes and Nice and 14 between Nice and Ventimiglia. Between Les Arcs and Cannes, Cannes and Grasse or Nice, Breil and Tende, a bus service will be operating to replace the train service.

The bus networks Lignes d’Azur and Envibus in Sophia Antipolis as well as the tramway in Nice should be running as normal.

However, at the airport 20% of flights have been cancelled. Affecting 18 out of a total of 127 arrivals and 20 out of 128 on departures.

Some schools are expected to remain closed with a minimum service in some primary schools.  

The strikes saw more than half a million people hit the streets on Thursday to protest the government's planned overhaul of the pension system. The last time France saw mass protests against government pension reforms was on 5 December 1995.

More than 800,000 people took to the streets on Thursday, with violent clashes reported in a number of cities.

In Paris there were reports of vandalism in places and police used tear gas to disperse protesters. Police said that in total, 71 arrests were made across the capital. Clashes were also reported in a number of other cities including Nantes, Bordeaux and Rennes.

Pension reform - For the French government, allowing railway workers and others to retire early, is no longer relevant because society has modernised, notably with the use of robots.

Emmanuel Macron argues a points-based system in which each day worked earns points for a worker’s future pension benefits would be fairer and simpler, especially for those who are self-employed and farmers. Aurore Bergé, a spokesperson for Emmanuel Macron's Republic on the Move party said "It will change their lives drastically," because currently "they take home less than 1,000 euros per month,"

The government wants to ensure that each person has a minimum of 1,000 a month. But unions say the changes would effectively require milllions of private sector workers to work beyond 62 if they want to receive a full pension.

The minimum pension age in France is 62, one of the lowest among developed countries.

Road accident - Two people have been injured and traffic came to a standstill on the A8 motorway on Thursday evening following an accident westbound just after exit 41 at Mandelieu. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the accident which saw the vehicle turnover several times before stopping.

Mayor of Marseille fines Emmaus - The “Emmaüs Pointe-Rouge” in Marseille, has received a fine from the mayor of the city for a poster deemed “illegal”. The charity organization has been fined 4,285 euros for posters which have been in their view, displayed without authorization in Marseille. The Deputy Mayor Marie Marie-Louise Lotta said that 279 posters put up last June were done so “without respecting regulations on advertising". The head of Emmaüs, an international solidarity movement founded in Paris in 1949 by the Catholic priest Abbé Pierre to combat poverty and homelessness, has ensured that the association will not pay the fine. Posting on social media a message to the Mayor saying "Thank you for the Christmas present!"

Fete des Lumières in Lyon - Lyon is set to light up this weekend for its annual Fete des Lumières – or ‘festival of lights’. Park, monuments, hills and rivers across the city will form part of the backdrop for sound and light performances created by artists from all over the world.

This year artists have created 65 different installations celebrating the planet and natural world in a bid to raise awareness about climate change and environmental issues.


The state owned Saudi oil giant Aramco has raised a record 25.6 billion dollars in its IPO in Riyadh.

The share sale was the largest ever ,surpassing Alibaba’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 which raised 25 billion dollars.

Aramco relied on domestic and regional investors to raise the cash after a lukewarm response from abroad.

The IPO values the firm at 7.1 trillion dollars -short of the 2 trillion that it had been seeking but it still makes Aramco the most valuable listed company in the world.

The share sale is key to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plans to modernise the Saudi economy and diversify away from its dependence on oil.

Saudi Arabia is in urgent need of tens of billions of dollars to fund megaprojects and develop new industries.


Asian shares have risen this morning as investors took heart from US President Donald Trump’s latest comments on a trade deal with China.

On Thursday ,Mr Trump said that talks were “moving right along” .His comments sparked a wave of buying despite the fact that Washington and Beijing have yet to agree whether tariffs should be dropped as part of a preliminary deal to end the 16 month old trade war.

Investors are hoping that the two sides will reach a compromise which would stop the United States from going ahead with its final batch of tariffs on Chinese goods which would kick in on the 15th of December if no agreement is reached.

Markets are taking a “wait and see” attitude ahead of the release of US non farm payroll numbers later today and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week.


And-Oil prices are hovering at near two and a half month highs this morning after Opec agreed to cut production by an extra 500,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2020.

The move came following nearly 6 hours of talks in Vienna but the cuts will need to be ratified at a full meeting of Opec and non Opec members today.

The cut has not yet been priced into markets with analysts saying that given Opec members’ previous record of not fully complying with existing cuts,it’s most likely that traders will wait and see what pans out.

A little earlier this morning ,Brent Crude was trading down 0.3 percent at 63 dollars 20 with West Texas Intermediate down 0.2 percent at 58 dollars 31.



Football-Everton have sacked manager Marco Silva after 18 months in charge.

The board decided that enough was enough following the side’s defeat against Liverpool on Wednesday and informed Silva that his time was up last night.

Everton are currently third from bottom of the English Premier League after a poor start to the season.

David Moyes is favourite to make a return to Goodison Park as replacement.

There were 2 games in the English Premier League last night with Arsenal now on their worst run since 1977 after losing 2-1 at home to Brighton.

The other game ended Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2.

In the English Premier League this weekend.

On Saturday Everton play Chelsea.Bournemouth host Liverpool.Spurs play Burnley.Watford host Crystal Palace and Manchester City play Manchester United.

On Sunday Aston Villa play Leicester.Newcastle face Southampton.Norwich play Sheffield United and Brighton play Wolves.West Ham play Arsenal on Monday.

It’s the Scottish League Cup Final on Sunday with Rangers playing Celtic for the first piece of domestic silverware this season.

Boxing-Anthony Joshua says that he’s “punching like a horse” as he prepares to try and reclaim his world heavyweight title belts from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia tomorrow night.

The 30 year old said that he would weigh in lighter at less than 17 stone compared with the last time the pair met in June when Ruiz was the shock winner.

Joshua said that there is “no way” that he will lose tomorrow night and that he’s “punching loose and heavy”,

Ruiz is confident that he can win again and described Saudi Arabia as “the perfect place to make history”.

The fight is due to start at around 10pm French time tomorrow night.

Motorsport-Formula 1 has relaxed restrictions on engine use next season which could mean that drivers’ face few grid penalties.

Drivers will be able to use one more MGU-Ks which are part of the hybrid system ,one more than last season.

The turbo-hybrid power units are split into four parts to fit with the rules and drivers will now be permitted to use three of each part during the season before becoming subject to grid penalties.

Rugby Union-There’s one game in the European Champions Cup tonight.Bath play Clermont Auvergne in Pool 3 while there are a host of entertaining games over the weekend including Northampton against Leinster in Pool  1 and Munster against Saracens in Pool 4.


Mainly fine with light variable winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 15.



According to a new study Almost a third of young adults now ignore proper queue etiquette by cutting in, and more than half won't say 'bless you' when someone sneezes.  And 84 per cent say traditional British politeness, such as saying 'please' and 'thank you' or holding a door open, is simply old fashioned. 

Modern must-nots now include reading someone's phone or social media messages and scrolling through someone's photo album without permission. Littering, playing music too loudly from our phones, and talking too loudly on public transport are also viewed as inconsiderate behaviours for the modern day.

Millennials also think ghosting someone on social media is a modern faux pas, with a third of 18 to 34-year-olds believing breaking off all communication is rude.  The research, found that more than half thought announcing someone else's news on social media before them to also be impolite. 

In contrast, just 16 per cent believe putting elbows on the dinner table  - is rude. And shockingly, 42 per cent of millennials admit they aren't willing to give up their seat on public transport for pregnant women or the elderly.

It was also found that the entire nation is growing increasingly less polite.  One in five British adults no longer hold doors open for passers-by, 18 per cent don't observe queue etiquette and 27 per cent talk with their mouth full while.

Even a third of people consider pulling out a chair for someone or 'ladies first' is considered outdated etiquette

Indeed, seven in 10 (70 per cent) Britons believe we are aren't as polite as we were 10 years ago.


Top 10 etiquette considered old fashioned

1. Pulling someone's chair out for them - 38 per cent

2. Observing a 'ladies first' etiquette - 30 per cent

3. Offering to take someone's coat - 26 per cent

4. Having your elbows on the dining table - 26 per cent

5. Saying 'bless you' when someone sneezes - 23 per cent

6. Putting your knife and fork together on your plate when finishing eating - 21 per cent

7. Calling someone by their full name rather than shortening it, i.e. Stuart, instead of Stu - 19 per cent

8. Not swearing in front of strangers/children - 11 per cent

9. Putting your hand over my mouth when yawning - 11 per cent

10. Giving up your seat for elderly/pregnant people - 9 per cent


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