French and Riviera News Monday 26th February 2024

National News France

Deadly Avalanche - Four ski mountaineers have been killed in an avalanche in the Auvergne region of central France. Three others were injured. The avalanche took place on Sunday at an altitude of 1,600 metres (5,250 feet) above the village of Mont-Dore in an area known as the Val d’Enfer. Those hit by the avalanche were ski mountaineers from a nearby club who had gone on an off-piste route with a guide. An investigation is underway.

Agricultural Show descends into chaos - There have been chaotic scenes at the opening of the annual agricultural show in Paris at the weekend as farmers broke through security barriers and had to be kept back by riot police. They were angry at the presence of President Macron at the event. Farmers have been protesting across France and elsewhere in Europe saying agriculture is at crisis point because of falling incomes and increasing regulation.


The Eiffel Tower - The Eiffel Tower has reopened to visitors after a six-day strike by employees demanding changes to the landmark’s business model and better maintenance. The monuments operator said in a statement it had reached an agreement with unions “under which parties will regularly monitor the company’s business model, investment in works and revenue through a body that will meet every six months”. It added that both sides had also agreed to “a €380m (£325m) investment between now and 2031 towards maintenance and renovation”. The Eiffel Tower is visited by up to 7 million people a year and will feature prominently in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Local News 

Weather warning - The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var have been placed on a yellow weather alert due to heavy rain and possible flooding, with heavy snowfall in the mountains. 50 to 80mm of rainfall is expected. Motorists are being warned to take extra care on the region’s roads and to avoid coastal areas. It was on Saturday that the RM6098 in Eze on the basse corniche was closed to traffic for several hours due to a landslide.

Man suffers heart attack on his boat in the port of Cannes - A man has died on board his boat in the Port of Cannes. The victim reportedly suffered a heart attack on Sunday evening at around 6.30pm and emergency services at the scene were unable to save him. He was taken to hospital where he later died.

Much loved shop keeper commits suicide in his store - Residents on Nice Port and regular customers are in shock after shop owner Jean-Claude Cajna committed suicide in his store. Known to many on the port and further afield Jean Claude had been running his business for nineteen years in Nice and was very much loved by customers to his shoe-repair-locksmith shop. It was on February 1st that his neighbour who runs a bike shop next door, found Jean-Claude dead on his premises. Many have since left flowers in front of the store to pay tribute to a much-loved man who had built a loyal clientele over the years. His funeral will take place at the Nice Athanée (42 bis, avenue Saint-Augustin), Wednesday February 28, at 10 a.m.

Maternity leave in Monaco - Self-employed mums in Monaco will finally get paid maternity leave after Monaco's national council approved a new law. The paid leave will be for a period of at least 18 weeks. The amount of the daily allowance is not yet clear.

Guinness World Record - Finally, between 8 and 10,000 people took part this weekend to build the largest Lego model in the world. It has yet to be approved by the Guinness World Records. But the participants in Brest are hoping that the model of the Notre-Dame de Rumengol famous barge which is classified as a historic monument, will beat the record with its 250,000 Lego bricks breaking the current holder of 203,000 bricks. 

Business

The boss of low cost carrier Ryanair has said holidaymakers will face higher fares this summer due to new Boeing planes arriving late. He said that Ryanair's ticket prices could be up to 10% more expensive this summer as a result. Ryanair hopes to get some compensation but is focused on getting planes delivered. He told reporters that there would be a "higher fare environment across Europe" this summer.

Meanwhile, a survey in the UK has revealed the worst airlines for customer satisfaction with British Airways coming joint third for long haul flights out of 17 carriers.  The airline received just two stars out of five for boarding experience and value for money and achieved three stars for the other six categories assessed. For short-haul flights, British Airways' score was 56%, which was the fifth lowest among 22 airlines. At the other end of the spectrum, the best airline for long-haul flights was Singapore Airlines (83%) and for short-haul Jet2.com (81%) took the top spot. The worst performers in the long-haul ranking were Lufthansa (56%), Air Canada (58%), American Airlines (59%) and British Airways. Wizz Air (44%) was ranked bottom for short-haul flights for the second year in a row, followed by Ryanair (47%), Iberia (49%) and Vueling (53%). UK air fares reached record highs in 2023.

And - British firms say they are facing higher shipping costs and delays of up to four weeks due attacks in the Red Sea. More than a third of the firms surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said they had been affected. That figure rose to more than half among exporters responding to the survey. The BCC warned that the added costs could contribute to higher prices in the UK economy.

Sport

Rugby Union – It was disappointment for France in the Six Nations after only managing to tie 13-13 with Italy on Sunday. From their performance France are yet to regain their pre-World Cup form and it could have been worse for France if Italy hadn’t missed an injury-time penalty. Meanwhile, England seemed to lose control of the match against Scotland on Saturday losing 30-21 and favourites of the Six Nations Ireland didn’t disappoint beating Wales 31-7.

Football – Liverpool last night celebrated the unexpected win against favourites Chelsea in the EFL Cup final. Ahead of the match Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had said that “despite Chelsea being favourites they would give it a go” and give it a go they did! After a first goal from Virgil van Dijk was disallowed by VAR it was his header two minutes from the end of extra time which sealed a win for the reds.  The Blues had a number of clear-cut chances during the game as Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino said after the match that his team needed to “feel the pain” after losing to Liverpool at Wembley. Meanwhile, Klopp may not be the manager next season, but his fingerprints will be all over Liverpool for the foreseeable future. With the EFL Cup now won. Liverpool is leading the Premier League, they are favourites for the Europa League and have an FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Championship side Southampton on Wednesday. Speaking after the final Klopp called his side’s victory over Chelsea the “most special trophy” he has ever won.

In the French league on Sunday PSG managed a 1-1 draw against Rennes. Striker Kylian Mbappe was taken off in the 65th minute of the game as the manager said that his said will have to get used to playing without him. The France international has agreed to join Real Madrid in the summer. And it was a crucial 3-2 victory for AS Monaco in a thrilling match against Lens meanwhile OGC Nice only managed a 0-0 draw against Clermont.

Cricket – It’s day four of five in the Men’s International test match series. England will be fighting to save the series against India.

Golf - Former nightclub bouncer Jake Knapp won a first PGA Tour event on only his ninth start as he took the Mexico Open by two shots. The win comes just three years after Knapp failed to win a tour card and took a bar job at a restaurant which turned into a nightclub in the evenings.

Weather

A yellow weather warning is in place in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var with heavy rain forecast. A fresh breeze with highs of 16 degrees along the coast. Going down to 8 degrees this evening with cloudy skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday is showers with a moderate wind and highs of 13-16 degrees.

Sunrise       07.13am

Sunset        06.14pm

Sea temperature

Nice            13.9 degrees

Weather elsewhere

London      9° gusty winds.

Paris           10° light rain.

New York   13° sunny intervals.

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