French and Riviera News Monday 27th September 2021

News

SOS Médecins to interrupt services for 24 hours - SOS Médecins has announced a total shutdown of its services from 8am today for 24 hours. The move comes as a warning to an end of home visits by doctors due to insufficient funding. Created in 1966 SOS Médecins brings together some 1,300 general practitioners who carry our around 3 million home visits each year.

End of free covid screening confirmed by PM for October 15th – Meanwhile Prime Minister Jean Castex has confirmed that from October 15th covid screening tests will no longer be reimbursed; except for those with a valid medical reason and under 16s. Speaking on Sunday Castex said it is “no longer legitimate to pay for excessive tests at the expense of the taxpayer”. In France last year the cost of screening for covid reached 2.2 billion euros.

Estrosi targeted during protest in Nice against health pass - France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has expressed his “full support” for the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, following Saturday’s demonstration in the city, against both the mayor and the health pass. During the demonstration several protestors attempted to approach the mayor’s home shouting “Estrosi collabo”. Police managed to form a roadblock to prevent the individuals from passing and fired tear gas. One person was arrested. Darmanin denounced the “unacceptable intimidation attempt” and “thanked the security forces who ensured the protection of his home”. In a tweet Estrosi wrote “attacking my family home is unspeakable and illustrates the savagery of those who claim to be defending a just cause".

Investigation into photo of French President on holiday - An investigation has been opened for "breach of privacy" following the publication of a photo of French President Emmanuel Macron on holiday. According to French media Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron are at the origin of the complaint, which targets a paparazzi, who took a photo of the President on a jet-ski last year. The Elysée has said that it does not wish to "comment" on the affair.

Ardèche and Drome hit by severe storms - Météo France has lifted the orange rain-flood and thunderstorm alert warning for the Ardèche and the Drome. Both regions were hit by severe storms on Saturday as some areas saw around 75 millimeters of rain fall in 3 hours. 4,600 homes were without electricity. No injuries were reported.

Nice airport – Meanwhile in the Alpes Maritimes flights at Nice airport were affected by bad weather. Sunday saw several flights delayed due to storms which hit the region with air traffic being resumed by early afternoon.

Nice half marathon sees 3,600 people participate - 3,600 runners gathered to take part in Nice’s half marathon. Sunday saw Belgian Lucas Da Silva win the event in the men’s category and British Alice Ward in the women’s. In its 29th edition Da Silva completed the 21kms in 1h 06 while Ward arrived at the finishing line after 1h 26 minutes.

Café de Paris to close for renovation work - The Café de Paris here in the Principality is to close its doors due to renovation work. The famous Café de Paris is to be completely redesigned and plans to reopen in 2023.

Manuscript written by Albert Einstein - Estimated at two to three million euros a manuscript written by Albert Einstein, which contributed to the development of his relativity theory, is to go under the hammer in Paris on November 23. The document is 54 pages long and contains a “crucial part” of the development of the general theory of relativity. It is seen as Einstein’s most valuable manuscript ever put up for auction.

Italy crowned patisserie world champions - Italy has been crowned the new pâtisserie world champions beating Japan which came second and in third place were the hosts, France. The 2021 Pastry World Cup (Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie) took place in Lyon at the weekend with the winning team taking home 21,000 euros. Other finalists included the UK, Egypt, South Korea, Russia, Algeria, and Mexico.

Business

France’s Minister of Public Accounts Olivier Dussopt has estimated that the cost of the covid crisis for the State stands at 170 or even 200 billion euros. Speaking to French media on Sunday the minister said that the pandemic had cost more than 70 billion euros in exceptional spending in 2020, and more than 70 billion in spending in 2021. According to Bercy forecasts, the public deficit should drop from 9.2% of GDP in 2020 to 8.4% this year, then 4.8% in 2022.

Meanwhile France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that the government intends to "mobilize an additional 1.4 billion euros over 2021 and 2022, including 900 million from this year" to strengthen vocational training. Castex outlined the objective of "training 1.4 million job seekers in 2022" and announces the extension "over the whole of 2022" of aid for the recruitment of work-study trainees.

The tax administration in France will today Monday 27th September levy the balance of income tax from taxpayers whose amount withheld at source in 2020 was insufficient or who have benefited from an advance of credits or tax reductions. The regularization should bring in 16.3 billion euros to the state with some 10.8 million tax households (28.5% of the total) being affected.

McDonald's has sparked controversy by replacing its water bottles with glasses of "micro-filtered" water sold at a high price in its restaurants. 1.75 euro for a 25 cl glass of water or 2.30 euros for the 50 cl version. Called "Eau by McDo", it replaces the bottles of Evian offered by the group. The restaurant chain, in a sustained approach to the elimination of plastic, had announced the end of plastic bottles last March.

And in the UK the government is to suspend competition law to allow oil firms to target fuel deliveries at petrol stations following recent panic buying. Officials said the move would make it easier for companies to share information and prioritise parts of the country most at need. It follows days of long queues at the pumps, after fears of disruption to the fuel supply sparked panic buying. Ministers are also considering deploying the Army to deliver fuel. The option is under discussion and could be examined at a possible cabinet meeting today.

Sport 

Golf - The United States have regained the Ryder Cup with a record 19-9 victory over Europe. The next Ryder Cup is scheduled to be held in Rome in 2023, which will be 30 years since the US last won an away match.

Cycling - Julian Alaphilippe has retained the men's road race title at the Road World Championships in Belgium. The 29-year-old Frenchman finished the 268.3km race in five hours 56 minutes 34 seconds. Great Britain's Tom Pidcock managed a sixth-placed finish, 49 seconds behind the champion.

Football – In the Premier league on Sunday Southampton lost to Wolverhampton 1-0 and Arsenal beat Tottenham 3-1 as Arsenal’s manager hailed a "special day" in the North London derby. This evening Crystal Palace play Brighton.

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton won his 100th Formula 1 race at the Russian Grand Prix. The Briton's win puts him back into the title lead but Verstappen's drive from the back of the grid means Hamilton's advantage is only two points. Hamilton already held the record for most F1 wins with Michael Schumacher next in the all-time list with 91 victories.

Weather

Cloudy with some sunny intervals. Highs of 25 in Cannes, 24 in Nice and 28 in Saint Tropez with a light breeze. This evening going down to 17 degrees along the coast and 13 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday - Clear skies, clouding over by late afternoon with possible showers inland by early evening. Highs of 25-28. Wednesday clear skies and highs of 25-28.  

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