French and Riviera News Monday 13th May 2024

National News

Changes to unemployment benefits in France to be announced by the end of the week - The French government is to announce changes to unemployment benefits in France at the end of this week. The government had already expressed its intention to “regain control” after failed negotiations between unions to ratify a further tightening of benefits, with a "decree" announced for July 1st.  The new unemployment rules will be presented during a press conference "at the end of the week", ahead of a major reform expected in the Autumn. Among the avenues already mentioned by French President Emmanuel Macron the reform aims to simplify employment procedures for businesses. However, being entitled to benefits which was to change to six months for work over the last two years, could be extended to 9 months rather than 6.

Choose France summit - The seventh “Choose France” summit kicks off today Monday 13th May, at the Château de Versailles. The annual meeting for the international business community will see more than 180 CEO’s and foreign investors participate. French President Emmanuel Macron will welcome business leaders for the summit with the goal of creating thousands of jobs and the reindustrialisation of France. Already on Sunday it was reported that amongst others, Amazon plan to announce a new 1.2-billion-euro investment. The summit will also see investment from French businesses. Data shows that France comes first in Europe as the most desirable place for foreign investors. The 2023 edition raised 13 billion euros ($14 billion) of foreign investment.

Local News

4% rise in visitors to our region - The Alpes Maritimes tourism board has announced a 4% rise in the number of tourists over the recent May bank holiday compared to the same time last year. May is known in France for the number of public holiday’s making it rather difficult to get anything done and it’s not over yet with Monday 20th being a bank holiday for the Pentecôte. Meanwhile, Sunday marked the end of the long bank holiday with a record number of motorists heading home. 2,000 km of traffic was recorded across France by bison futé.

Landslides still a problem for those inland - Inhabitants inland in the Alpes Maritimes are still struggling to circulate due to recent rockfalls and landslides. Some have even had to change their working hours due to road diversions and roads being completely cut off to traffic. Since the beginning of the year 30 landslides have occurred in the region. 

Jellyfish - With the warm weather and many of you now prepared to go for a dip in the sea jellyfish have reappeared on our region’s beaches. This weekend marked many sightings on the shores of the Riviera, particularly on the beaches of Antibes and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. For several years, the ACRI site, a company based in Sophia-Antipolis, has been mapping the presence of jellyfish on the Riviera coast and so far, this year there has been a significant increase. Scientists claim the warmer water, means fewer predators along with high levels of pollution which jellyfish feed on at the start of their life cycle. If you do get stung you should not rub the stung area, do not use alcohol and do not rinse with fresh water. It is preferable to rinse with sea water and use tweezers to remove the sting.

Olympic flame - The Olympic flame was in the Bouches-du-Rhône on Sunday passing through Cassis, Miramas, Aix-en-Provence, Port-Saint-Louis and arriving in Arles. The flame arrived in Cassis by paddle board giving a wonderful spectacle for those who came to admire its arrival. After traveling through the streets of Miramas, it arrived at the Stadium, the largest indoor athletics hall in France. In Aix-en-Provence 30,000 people were present to welcome the flame before it ended its journey in Arles.

Cannes Film Fesitval report 

Cannes is beginning to buzz with excitement as the 77th edition of the Film Festival prepares to open tomorrow Tuesday May 14th. On Sunday morning the poster for the Cannes Film Festival was displayed on the front of the Palais des Festivals. A ritual always immortalized by the flashlights of photographers.  Since the 1950s, the principle has remained almost unchanged. The Festival sees around twenty films screened over ten days in front of film professionals. A jury made up of around ten people from the cinema industry (directors, actors, screenwriters, etc.) must then decide to which film it will award the most prestigious prize of the festival: the Palme d'Or. This year, the jury is chaired by Greta Gerwig. The 8 members of the jury are: the American actress Lily Gladstone, present last year for Killers of the Flower Moon, the Franco-British actress Eva Green, the French actor and producer Omar Sy, the Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino , Japanese director Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Lebanese director and screenwriter Nadine Labaki, Spanish director, producer and screenwriter Juan Antonio Bayona, and Turkish screenwriter and photographer Ebru Ceylan. The Cannes Film Festival is reserved for cinema professionals. This includes the people who make the films, distribute them, produce them, but also journalists. However, it is possible for certain people who do not do these jobs to access a few showings. For example, Cannes residents can participate in a draw to win places for screenings during the festival. Stayed tuned to hear daily bulletins from Cannes on the Full English Breakfast Show from Reviewed and Cleared’s CEO, Alex Wade.

Business

The American giant Amazon is expected today to announce an investment of 1.2 billion euros as part of the Choose France summit which kicks off today. The American group plans to create 3,000 jobs and strengthen its logistics network.

Hundreds of climate protesters have clashed with police in Germany after attempting to storm the Tesla factory near Berlin. Several people were injured, including three police officers, during demonstration against the proposed expansion of the electric car giant's only European plant. Police made several arrests and prevented activists from gaining access to the facility.

And - Fresh clampdown on excessive tourism. The sale of alcohol will be totally banned between 9.30pm and 8am in areas of "excessive tourism" in Majorca and Ibiza, under a new decree passed by the government.  In a bid to crack down on booze-fuelled holidays in tourist areas, the law completely prohibits late-night sales of alcohol. Authorities have also banned party boats from sailing within one nautical mile of certain destinations and those vessels are banned from picking up and disembarking passengers in these areas, according to reports.

Sport 

Monaco Historic Grand Prix 2024 - The Monaco Historic Grand Prix came to a close this Sunday evening after a day full of twists and turns.  The last race of this wonderful weekend was the G-Series, a vibrant tribute to Ayrton Senna in the presence of several members of his family. Briton Stuart Hall won the race for the second time on Sunday. It was also his 5th win in a Monaco Historic Grand Prix following an inaugural success in 2016 and two more in 2022.

Football - Manchester City won 4-0 away against Fulham. Spotted in the crowd singer songwriter Noel Gallegher opted not to get involved with celebrations despite Man City moving one step closer to Premier League glory.

Meanwhile, Burnley join Sheffield United in becoming a 'one and done' Premier League side following their relegation from the topflight. Chelsea managed a 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest. And Arsenal beat Manchester United 1-0. This evening Aston Villa are at home to Liverpool.

Locally AS Monaco won 2-0 against Montpellier on Sunday evening and now qualify for the Champions League.   

Tennis – Novak Djokovic says he felt hampered by the after-effects of being hit on the head by a bottle as he fell to a shock Italian Open defeat by Alejandro Tabilo. The world number one was accidentally struck by the water bottle as he signed autographs following his second-round win on Friday.

Weather 

Sunny intervals light winds highs 21 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Saint Tropez, 19 degrees Monaco and reaching 24 degrees inland In Draguignan. This evening going down to 14 degrees cloudy skies.   

Outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday scattered showers highs of 21 degrees.

Sunrise 6.06am 

Sunset 8.47pm 

Sea temperature 

Saint Tropez 16.9 degrees

Weather elsewhere

London      21° sunny intervals.

Paris           23° sunny intervals.

Dublin        14° heavy rain.

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