French and Riviera News Monday 13th February 2023


Pension reform protests - Protests against the pension reform continued at the weekend in France and secretary general of the CFDT Laurent Berger has confirmed a “hardening of the movement” if the government does not abandon the text saying that unions “intend to bring France to a standstill on March 7th”.

Meanwhile for government spokesman Olivier Véran, opinion polls show that "a large majority of French people consider that a reform is necessary", because "there is fear of imbalance and that the pension system is running out of steam".

According to the latest Elabe poll for BFMTV, published last Wednesday, 72% of French people want the protest movement around the government's pension reform to continue. More than 4 out of 10 French people (41% of those questioned) even want the movement to harden, in the form of greater mobilization, blockages, renewable strikes.

On Saturday, some 963,000 people in France marched against the pension reform, including 93,000 in Paris, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The figures are up from Tuesday, when authorities counted 757,000 protesters nationwide. The CGT claims for its part more than 2.5 million demonstrators. A new day of strike action is expected this Thursday February 16th.

Rescue teams head to Turkey - Rescue teams from Brignoles in the Var have left for Turkey. A crew of 87 people accompanied by firefighters have left to bring relief to the victims of the double earthquake of February 6th. At the same time, a cargo plane chartered by CMA-CGM took off from Paris on Sunday with 50 tonnes of equipment.

Road accident - Three people have been slightly injured and traffic has been heavily disrupted on the A8 motorway following an accident on Sunday afternoon. The collision involving five vehicles occurred shortly after 4.30pm eastbound in Vidauban and resulted in traffic being reduced to one lane and a 5km tailback.

Meanwhile a woman was slightly injured after a vehicle caught fire on the A8 on Sunday. The incident at Sainte-Agnès eastbound saw firefighters intervene and again traffic was reduced to one lane.

France plans to turn surplus wine into industrial alcohol - France’s agriculture ministry has announced plans to spend millions of euros to turn its surplus wine into industrial alcohol for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use to deal with overproduction. The world's second-largest wine producer after Italy, French winegrowers in the southwest region of Bordeaux say overproduction and a drop in domestic consumption of their more affordable brands have filled up their cellars and left them with nowhere to store the fruits of their next harvest.

English training sessions to local traders in Saint Tropez – The local traders association in Saint Tropez is introducing weekly “English training sessions” to local businesses from March. After recognising a “need for local traders to improve their fluency in English” a seven-week session has been created based on "essentially oral scenarios in small interactive groups”. Registration is now open and closes on February 18th.

Monaco Run - France's Jimmy Gressier broke his first European record on Sunday morning at the Monaco 5k Run. The multiple European cross-country medallist stopped the clock at 13:12. The main goal for Gressier this spring is his upcoming half marathon debut in Paris on 5 March but the multiple European cross country medallist will refocus on the shorter distances this summer and in the build-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

Missing letters - Missing letters of 16th-century monarch Mary, Queen of Scots have been found after they were mislabelled in the digital archive of the French national library. Hailed by historians as the most significant discovery about the Scottish queen in a century. Mary Stuart, a Catholic, had written the coded letters between 1578 and 1584 while she was imprisoned in England because of the threat she was believed to pose to her Protestant cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Mary was beheaded in 1587 after being found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth.

Maona Monte-Carlo - The SBM is opening three new addresses for the summer season in Monaco including the Maona Monte-Carlo on the Monte-Carlo beach. Offering a cosy atmosphere, the project is actually the return of a “historic” address from the 60s which has been redesigned. Maona Monte-Carlo first appeared in 1962 and was a joint venture of Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis. While the old Maona served exotic dishes, the new one, will rely on local cuisine, with family recipes drawn from Monegasque heritage. Maona Monte-Carlo is due to open at the end of June, until the end of September.


Leading economist Lord Nicholas Stern has said that both public and private investment in new technologies is needed if the UK is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. According to Lord Nicholas Stern the UK has made good progress towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 but getting there may need higher taxes. Stern’s comments come as the UK grapples with a cost-of-living crisis and is facing the highest taxes relative to income since the Second World War.

US workplace safety regulators have fined a Pennsylvania factory after two workers fell into a vat of chocolate and had to be rescued. The Mars Wrigley factory in the city of Elizabethtown was fined more than $14,500 (£12,000) by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The workers were contractors that did not work full time for the factory. The incident happened in June 2022. A hole had to be cut into the bottom of the partly-full tank to get them out.

Hunter Boot, the royal warrant-holding footwear brand, is close to landing a multimillion-pound funding lifeline that could pave the way for an outright sale. According to reports Hunter is nearing a deal that will see existing shareholders injecting £5m, with lenders contributing a further £2m.

Rugby Report - Sponsored by Van Diemen's Australian Bar & Restaurant

Six Nations - England have secured their first win of Steve Borthwick era with a 31 - 14 win over Italy on Sunday. The win for England puts them in third, ahead of defending champions France. But it is Ireland and Scotland who will be most happy from round two. Both still have their Grand Slam hopes alive!

Scotland earned a record victory against Wales 35 - 7 to continue a stunning start to their Six Nations with two wins from two. Meanwhile Andy Farrell hailed Ireland's display as "astonishing" as they beat France 32-19 in the Six Nations battle of the world's top two ranked teams in Dublin on Saturday.

England now travel to Cardiff to face Wales in their next game on 25th February, after next weekend's break. Italy will play Ireland and France play Scotland on Sunday 26th.


Super Bowl 57 - The Kansas City Chiefs have become NFL champions for the second time in four years after fighting back to claim a thrilling 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Skateboarding - Sky Brown has become Great Britain's first skateboarding world champion at the age of 14. Brown won gold in park skateboarding at the World Championships.  Brown became Great Britain's youngest Olympic medal winner of all time when she won park bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Football – Southampton have sacked manager Nathan Jones after just 95 days in charge of the Premier League club. Former Luton Town boss Jones, 49, leaves with Saints bottom of the table after Saturday's loss to 10-men Wolves.

In the Premier league action at the weekend West Ham drew 1-1 against Chelsea, Arsenal and Brentford drew 1-1 and Crystal palace and Brighton drew 1-1. Fulham beat Nottingham Forest 2-0. Leicester beat Tottenham 4-1, Southampton lost to wolves 2-1 and Bournemouth drew against Newcastle 1-1.

On Sunday Manchester United beat Leeds 2-0 and Manchester City beat Aston villa 3-1. This evening Liverpool are at home to Everton. Kick off is at 8pm French time.


Fine and sunny across the region with a gentle breeze in Nice. Light winds in Saint-Tropez and the Var. Highs of 16 degrees in Antibes and Cannes, 13 degrees in Monaco. This evening going down to 4 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday. Sunshine, light winds and highs for 14-15 degrees.

Sunrise       07.32hr

Sunset        17.57hr

Last local news