French and Riviera News Monday 27th November 2023

News

France battles out “sensitive bill” on immigration - From today Monday 27th November, MPs in France are to examine a very sensitive bill on immigration. The text, presented by France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, is no longer entirely that of the government, but more the version of the senators and in the absence of an absolute majority in the National Assembly, the fate of the bill "to control immigration and improve integration" seems uncertain. With the possibility of a 49.3 on everyone's mind.

According to report the senatorial version has nothing to do with the initial bill. Senators adopted the bill on November 14th by 210 votes for and 115 votes against, largely amending it. Basically, the senators deleted the famous article 3 of the initial text, which proposed to regularize "as of right" people in an irregular situation working in "difficult professions", where there is a shortage of labour. They replaced it with another article which gives a residence permit, granted by the prefects "on a case-by-case basis" and "exceptionally" in a "strictly supervised procedure" and accompanied by conditions, including respect for the "values of the Republic". Elected officials in the upper house of Parliament also voted to abolish state medical aid (AME) to replace it with much more restricted “emergency medical aid”. They also drastically tightened the rules for receiving benefits for foreigners, called into question land rights and limited the possibilities of family reunification.

Unemployment – Meanwhile, the French government has announced plans to reduce employees' compensation in a “conventional termination” of employment, which currently allows employees to leave the company and still receive compensation. Unemployment is on the rise in France, a trend which worries the French Head of State and which is expected to continue through to the end of the year.

A “conventional termination” in France represents an alternative to “resignation”, allowing employees to receive unemployment benefits. It is also a way for employers to encourage a departure without going as far as dismissal, a sort of amicable termination of the employment contract. Negotiations with employers and unions are set to take place with a possible reform project by mid-March.

HSH Prince Albert II Monaco on state visit to Malaysia - HSH Prince Albert II is currently on a state visit to Malaysia, at the invitation of His Majesty King Abdullah Shah. The Palace in Monaco said that the official trip will allow the Prince to strengthen political and economic ties between the Principality of Monaco and Malaysia and also to discover local initiatives in terms of respect for the environment and the protection of endangered animal species. During his visit the Prince will inaugurate the new Consulate of Monaco located in Kuala Lumpur.

Fire - Nearly 16 hectares has gone up in smoke after a fire broke out in Grimaud in the Var, at the weekend. Firefighters intervened shortly before 1am on Saturday, November 25, behind the Holiday Marina Resort campsite. Material damage was reported no one was injured. The fire was made worse due to strong winds with 95 firemen being deployed. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is underway.

Bikers demonstrate against MOT - Angry bikers have demonstrate against the obligation to carry out MOT’s. Following a call from the French Federation of Angry Bikers 06, two-wheeler drivers demonstrated on Saturday on the road between Nice and Cannes with a second gathering in Nice on the car park of the Allianz Riviera stadium. The European directive dating from 2014 has was only adopted in France in October of this year with the aim to give equal treatment between motorists and motorcyclists, fight against road safety, as well as reduce noise pollution and air pollution. The cost of an MOT starts at 50 euros, while a failure to have one can lead to a fine of 135 euros.

Beking Monaco - Three-time world champion, cycling legend Peter Sagan won the 3rd Beking Monaco on Sunday afternoon here in the Principality.  The elite podium saw Peter Sagan arrive ahead of Tadej Pogacar and Mark Cavendish. Taking to the stage he was described by the commentator as the “rock star of cycling”.

Junior Eurovision - France has kept its title at the Junior Eurovision thanks to Zoé and her song “Cœur”. Former semi-finalist of “The Voice Kids”, Zoé, 13, won the 2023 edition, beating Spain and Armenia. The contest took place on Sunday in Nice, and the winning song sends a strong message on school bullying.

Super Mamie – Meanwhile, the new “Super Mamie of 2023” has been elected and she is from Le Cannet. Christine Danzeisen, a childcare assistant from Le Cannet was crowned Super Mamie 2023 on Sunday after her grandchildren, Léon, 4 and Louis, 8 registered her by surprise for Grandmothers’ Day a few months ago. The final took place at the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice with participants from all over France.

Auction - Finally, it’s that time of year again, as with every year, the “Land Administration” in Monaco is organizing its auction of vehicles seized on public roads or scrapped by the Administration. An opportunity to find vehicles from 50 euros. To take advantage of it, all you have to do is make an offer before December 7th at 12pm. Other conditions must also be met, more information can be found on the government website www.monservicepublic.gouv.mc/actualites/vente-aux-encheres-des-vehicules.

A total of 21 four-wheel vehicles are on sale as well as 35 two-wheelers and 32 objects or bicycles. The list can also be consulted on the government website.

Business

One of China’s biggest shadow banks, which has lent billions to real estate firms, is under investigation from Chinese officials. Zhongzhi Enterprise Group (ZEG) has an asset management arm which reportedly handled more than a trillion yuan ($139bn; £110bn). Authorities said they are investigating "suspected illegal crimes" against the firm. This comes days after reports that ZEG had declared it was bankrupt. The struggling firm reportedly told investors that its liabilities - up to $64bn - had outstripped its assets, now estimated at about $38bn.

Billionaire Elon Musk who has been accused by civil rights groups of amplifying anti-Jewish hatred on his X social media platform, will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog in Israel today Monday 27th November. Elon Musk's visit coincides with a four-day truce in an Israeli war with Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza.

And – In the UK the prime minister is today to host a group of leading business figures at Hampton Court to highlight foreign firms' plans to invest in the UK. Rishi Sunak said £29.5bn of new investment had been promised, which he described as a "huge vote of confidence" in the UK economy. Last week's Autumn Statement included a raft of measures to encourage more business investment. The Autumn Statement measures were largely designed to persuade domestic firms to invest more.

Sport

Football - Former England manager Terry Venables has died at the age of 80 after a long illness. Venables managed England from 1994 to 1996, most notably leading them to the semi-finals of Euro 96 on home soil. A former England player, he also managed Barcelona and Tottenham.

Gary Lineker led tributes to the former England boss after saying that Terry Venables was "the best English coach we've had".

In the Premier League at the weekend there are no doubt some happy Arsenal fans as they went to the top of the league thanks to Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City and in other action Luton had their first ever Premier League win.

Meanwhile in France, OGC Nice claimed a 1-0 win at home against Toulouse and remain within touching distance of leaders Paris St Germain in the Ligue 1 title race. Nice, who are the only unbeaten side in the French top-flight, remain second in the standings on 29 points from 13 games, one adrift of PSG. Toulouse are 15th in the table.

Formula One – Max Verstappen got his 12th pole position of the season finishing a 10th of a second ahead of Charles Leclerc at this weekend’s Grand Prix.

Tennis – Italy beat Australia to take their first Davis Cup title in 47 years.

Weather

Sunny intervals with a moderate breeze. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice, Monaco, Cannes and Saint-Tropez. Rain is forecast for Marseille with highs of 11 degrees. This evening going down to 8 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday. Strong winds giving way to clear skies and highs of 15-17 degrees.

Sunrise       07.39am

Sunset        04.56pm

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