French and Riviera News Monday 19th February 2024

National News France

Railway unions call for negotiations - France’s railway union “Sud Rail” has warned that “If negotiations are not started quickly, strike action will increase and intensify”. This Monday morning marked the end of a three-day strike from controllers which prevented 150,000 train passengers from travelling during the school holidays. The union warned that the strike notice had been filed on January 31st and that since the SNCF management had stilled not started negotiations with unions. They are also threatening industrial action during the Olympic Games.

School uniform - France’s education minister Nicole Belloubet has announced that 87 schools “have given their agreement” to participate in the experiment of introducing school uniforms. The deadline given to local authorities to come forward, initially set for February 15th, has been extended to June. The government is hoping to see at least 100 schools agree to take part in the school uniform trial, however some establishments have backtracked. The minister at the weekend emphasised the importance of the new measure which she said was “not to abolish differences, but rather to create unity”.

Angry farmers and taxi drivers - Farmers and taxi drivers are planning action in the Bouches-du-Rhône region this Monday which will no doubt impact traffic on the roads. Farmers in the region, who are still waiting for clear answers to their demands from the French government have announced new operations today which will affect the D6, the A51 and the A7 heading towards Marseille. Meanwhile, hundreds of taxi drivers are planning action from the Bouches du Rhone to Nice with four roadblocks planned at Marseille Provence airport, at the Saint-Charles train station, at the Aix-en-Provence TGV station as well as at the Fossette roundabout (RN 568 ) in Fos-sur-Mer.

Missing person - Police in the Alpes Maritimes have launched an appeal following the worrying disappearance of a man in his seventies. Emile Myara is retired and suffers from dementia. He left his home in Villeneuve-Loubet at the weekend and has not been seen since. It was his daughter who reported his disappearance on Sunday afternoon. Police have called for any witnesses to come forward. He is described as being of normal build, with thick black hair and is thought to have been wearing a tracksuit at the time of his disappearance. Anyone with any information is invited to contact the police on 04.93.20.62.04.  

Flight diverted after passenger falls ill - An EasyJet flight from Paris-Orly to Nice had to be diverted to Marseille after a passenger fell ill. The incident occurred on Saturday evening. A medical team at Marseille airport attended to the passenger while other passengers were taken by coach to Nice.  The exact nature of the emergency has not yet been confirmed.

Skier evacuated from Isola 2000 - Meanwhile, a young skier has had to be evacuated by helicopter from the Isola 2000 ski resort. A rescue team evacuated the skier who had suffered serious injuries at the Snowpark on Sunday morning. The incident occurred just four days after a fatal skiing collision at the resort cost the life of a 23-year-old woman.

Bad weekend on the region’s roads - And it was a black weekend on the region’s roads after several incidents and the death of a 60-year-old motorist. The fatal accident occurred in Nice-Ouest when a car ended up on its roof on the Avenue Saint-Augustin. According to reports no other vehicle was involved. Also, a heavy goods vehicle caught fire eastbound on the A8 motorway at Nice Nord causing long tail backs. The driver was able to escape unhurt.

Carnival time - Both the Nice Carnival and the Menton Lemon Festival got underway at the weekend. Menton showed that it was going for gold celebrating the year of the Paris Olympics by showcasing giant sculptures of athletes made from lemons and oranges. About 140 tonnes of citrus fruit - nearly 500,000 fruits - were used to build the floats and historical scenes. Organisers expect up to 200,000 people to visit the two-week carnival-style event. Meanwhile in Nice it was the King of Pop Culture which made its entrance on the Place Massena.

Mister France 2024 - Finally, the title of Mister France 2024 has been handed to Mister Burgundy with Mister Côte d’Azur coming third.  26-year-old Alexandre Labrouve based in Nice but originally from Paris was elected 3rd at the 22nd edition of the Mister France competition on Sunday. Mister Toulousain made it to 2nd place and Mister Méditerranée fourth.  30 candidates from mainland France and overseas competed for this year’s title.

Business

France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced a downwardly revised growth forecast for 2024 and an “immediate” savings plan of 10 billion euros on state spending. Le Maire estimated French growth at 1% for 2024, instead of the 1.4% initially planned. Speaking on national French television on Sunday evening the minister presented the revised the growth forecast saying that “it was a positive growth, which takes into account the geopolitical context, such as the war in Ukraine, the conflict in the Middle East, the very marked economic slowdown in China and a recession in 2023 in Germany”. He also refused any increase in taxes to maintain France’s budget deficit at 4%.

Former US President Donald Trump has launched his own line of Trump-branded shoes at a convention for sneaker fans in Philadelphia. Trump presented a pair of the gold-coloured shoes being sold online for $399. His move comes a day after a judge ordered him to pay nearly $355m (£281m) to New York state for lying about the values of his properties. Trump is widely expected to be the Republican candidate in November's US presidential election.

Electrical goods retailer Currys has rejected a takeover approach from US investment firm Elliott. Currys, operates more than 800 stores globally and employs 28,000 people, said the offer valued the business at about £700m. But according to the board the proposal "significantly undervalued" the company. In 2018 Elliott bought UK book shop chain Waterstones for an undisclosed amount. Elliott has said it is now considering whether or not to make a formal offer for Currys, and under UK takeover regulations it has until 16 March to decide. Like many High Street businesses, Currys has been struggling with falling sales as customers cut back on spending.

Sport

Football – In the Premier League at the weekend Liverpool kicked off the weekend’s action by beating Brentford 4-1, Arsenal went on to thrash Burnley 5-0, Chelsea and Manchester City drew 1-1, Manchester United beat Luton 2-1 and Brighton beat Sheffield United 5-0. This evening Everton are at home to Crystal Palace.

Formula One - Formula 1 has urged Red Bull to resolve the controversy surrounding Christian Horner as soon as possible. Horner, Red Bull's team principal, is facing allegations of inappropriate and controlling behaviour towards a female colleague. Horner, who has led the team since 2005, has denied the allegations.

Tennis - Jannik Sinner will climb to a career-high third in the world ranking after beating Alex de Minaur in straight sets to win the Rotterdam Open. The Australian Open champion will become Italy's highest-ranked male player in history. It is a 12th career title for Sinner, who has now won 15 consecutive matches.

Rugby Union - England scrum-half Alex Mitchell will miss the Six Nations match against Scotland on Saturday after suffering a knee injury.

Weather

Sunny with some cloudy patches. Highs of 17 degrees in Nice, Saint-Tropez and Antibes. 16 degrees in Monaco and reaching 19 degrees in Toulon. A gentle breeze. This evening going down to 8 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday, remaining fine with a gentle breeze and highs of 16 degrees. Light rain is forecast for our region by Thursday.

Sunrise       07.24am

Sunset        06.04pm

Sea temperature

Nice – 14.4 degrees

Weather elsewhere

London      14 degrees, light rain.

Dublin        12 degrees and cloudy.

Paris           13 degrees and light rain.

 

 

 

 

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