French and Riviera News Monday 27th March 2023

News

Trade Unions announce strike action tomorrow Tuesday 28th March - Trade unions have announced fresh strikes and protests in France tomorrow Tuesday 28th March. Over one million protesters took part in demonstrations across France last Thursday and the violent demonstrations forced the postponement of a planned visit to France by King Charles III of the United Kingdom.  Since the government imposed the reform ten days ago, nightly demonstrations have taken place across France and there have been hundreds of arrests and accusations of heavy-handed tactics by police. Amnesty International has expressed alarm "about the widespread use of excessive force in several media outlets". There are ongoing disruptions in public transport, at several French airports and oil refineries. Bin collectors in Paris are also on strike, leading to the accumulation of thousands of tons of rubbish on the capital's streets.

Today Monday 27th March, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to present the plan of action after expressing her desire for things to "calm down" with the unions and proposing to meet with opposition parties in early April.

Security forces clash with environmental campaigners - Meanwhile, dozens of people were injured and one person remains in a critical condition in hospital after French security forces clashed with environmental campaigners in Sainte-Soline in western France at the weekend. The activists were protesting against the construction of water reservoirs for the agricultural industry. The site is part of a set of 16 reservoirs, with a total capacity of around six million cubic meters, which are to be built as part of a project carried out since 2018 by a cooperative of 450 farmers, and supported by the state. The aim is to store water drawn from surface water tables in winter, in order to irrigate crops in summer when rainfall is scarce. Its supporters say it is essential for the survival of farms in the face of the threat of recurring droughts. Opponents denounce a "water grabbing" scheme by the agriculture industry.

Yellow vest demonstrators return to Bandol pay toll - Police have intervened after “yellow vest demonstrators" took over the Bandol pay toll on the A50 motorway on Sunday, making it a "free toll" for motorists. Four years ago, at the height of the "yellow vests" crisis, the Bandol toll had been occupied on several occasions and had been set on fire on December 17th, 2018.

Drought alert - A series of measures remain in place in the Alpes Maritimes due to the drought alert issued on March 13th for the entire department. The public is reminded that it is forbidden to water between 8am and 8pm, to wash your car or your boat or to fill your swimming pool. Since September last year, the Alpes-Maritimes has experienced a rain deficit rate of between -30 and -55% compared to the usual average. In February, this figure rose to 87%.

Water activities banned due to works on wastewater treatment plant - Swimming and water activities are prohibited from today Monday 27th March,  in Menton due to work being carried out on the wastewater treatment plant and the wastewater lifting stations. Swimming, fishing and all nautical activities are prohibited in Menton and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Access to the beaches remains open. The restrictions will be lifted once seawater results are given the all clear.

La Liste - "La Liste" has unveiled its ranking for 2023 featuring four establishments on the Côte d’Azur. Since 2015 the publication compiles and distinguishes each November a thousand addresses of remarkable restaurants across 200 countries and last week the "Mediterranean List" was unveiled at the Hôtel Hermitage, in Monaco. The first special prizes of "La Liste" dedicated to the Mediterranean distinguished several addresses in Monaco and in the Alpes Maritimes. In particular the chef of the Monte-Carlo Beach at Cap Martin, Mélanie Serre, the chef Bruno Cirino at La Turbie. As well as La Chèvre d'Or in Eze and Le Restaurant des Rois in Beaulieu-sur-mer. The starred chef of the Louis-XV, Alain Ducasse, received an Honorary Prize and the Principality of Monaco was awarded the prize of “new gastronomic destination".

TVMONACO - After two years in the making it’s been reported that the future national television channel here in the Principality will be called TVMONACO and plans to air on September 1st.  Described as "a new public service media” the channel is financed by the Monegasque State and claims to be a "new television model" aimed "at all generations". The channel will be managed by Salim Zegdhar and Nathalie Biancolli. Their editorial line will be unveiled on April 18th, at MIPTV in Cannes, the international market for television programs.

Casting - The production team behind the television series about the life of the legendary creator Karl Lagerfeld are auditioning for men and women between 18 and 80 years old. Filming is planned in Monaco for May the 15th or 16th. For more information on the casting go to figurants.com.

100 year anniversary of the death of Sarah Bernhardt - Sunday marked the 100 year anniversary of the death of actress Sarah Bernhardt, a personality very familiar with the Principality. It was during her time in Monaco that the actress inaugurated the Opera House and created the sculpture on the front of the building. Sarah Bernhardt died on March 26, 1923.

Business

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's CEO has said that the latest turmoil in the global banking system had the potential to trigger a financial crisis though it was too early to predict if it could bring one similar to that of 2008. Authorities around the world are on high alert for the fallout from the recent turmoil at banks following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank in the U.S. and the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday lawmakers will move forward with legislation to address national security worries about TikTok, alleging China's government had access to the short video app's user data. In the United States, there are growing calls to ban TikTok, owned by China-based company ByteDance. Devices owned by the U.S. government were recently banned from having the app installed.

A loyalty app which counts Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group among its shareholders has secured a £9m funding lifeline. According to reports existing investors in Loyalty Angels, which trades as Bink, have agreed to provide £7.5m in new capital. The additional funding will provide Bink with sufficient cash to operate until at least the first quarter of 2024 following a series of cost-cutting measures implemented late last year.

Sport

Football - Manager Antonio Conte has left Tottenham Hotspur by mutual consent after 16 months in charge. Conte called the Spurs players "selfish" and criticised the club's culture in a remarkable news conference after their recent draw at Southampton. Tottenham are fourth in the top flight but are out of all cup competitions.

Amongst the matches in this evenings Euro 2024 qualifying the Netherlands play Gibraltar, The Republic of Ireland play France and Sweden play Azerbaijan. In Group C on Sunday England beat Ukraine 2-0 and Italy beat Malta 2-0.

Tennis - World number one Carlos Alcaraz cruised into the last 16 of the Miami Open and will now face American Tommy Paul.

Golf - American Sam Burns won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship after Rory McIlroy suffered a dramatic semi-final defeat earlier on Sunday.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 18 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Saint Tropez. 21 degrees in Cannes. Strong winds in the Var with highs of 15 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 8 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday. Remaining fine and sunny with light winds and highs of 17-18 degrees

Sunrise 07.21am

Sunset 07.50pm

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