French and Riviera News Monday 4th October 2021


Heavy rain hits parts of France - More than 3,000 homes have been left without electricity in the Gard region. On Sunday many parts of the country experienced heavy rain and in some areas severe flooding. By the afternoon Météo France had placed seven departments on an orange weather alert due to the risk of flooding including, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Vaucluse, the Bouches-du-Rhône and the Var.

Tribute to victims of 2015 floods – Meanwhile residents and local representatives along with the mayor of Biot in the Alpes Maritimes have paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the deadly floods which hit the region back in 2015. On Sunday morning a wreath was laid near La Brague six years after the floods which claimed the lives of three elderly women, residents at the time of a nearby nursing home.

Strike action - A major day of industrial action is planned by several unions for tomorrow Tuesday, 5 October. Demonstrations are planned across France. Many sectors are likely to be impacted, including train, tram and bus services.

Pink October - As part of Pink October raising awareness and funds towards breast cancer, a procession of bikers travelled between Nice and Eze on Sunday October 3rd. The Ride and Roses Event – started in Nice for the second consecutive year with the objective of raising several thousand euros for screening and the fight against breast cancer. Nearly a hundred motorcyclists were present. Breast cancer kills 12,000 women each year in France.

Report on cases of paedophilia in French catholic church - An Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse within the French Catholic church over a seventy-year period is to present a full report on Tuesday October 5th, into between 2,900 and 3,200 cases of paedophilia. The report will compare the occurrence of sexual violence within the Church with cases in other environments, such as sports associations, schools or the family circle of the victim. 

Demining operation - A demining operation is to begin today in the Haute Garonne on the Francazal air base, with several hundred residents being evacuated. The land must be cleared before the construction of a new army building. The commune of Francazal was bombed during the Second World War and the remains of shells have been detected on the perimeter. The work which is due to end in November will consequently, see hundreds of residents evacuated in the municipalities of Portet-sur-Garonne, Toulouse and Cugnaux. Some have been given time slots to leave their homes, but many have simply been warned that they may have to evacuate in the coming weeks.

Bernard Tapie dies at the age of 78 - Former French minister under Francois Mitterrand’s government in 1992 and one of France’s most recognizable figures, Bernard Tapie has died at the age of 78. The former owner of Adidas and one-time president of Olympique de Marseille football club had been battling cancer for nearly five years. Tapie was a former Socialist minister who rose from humble beginnings to build a sporting and media empire, but later faced a string of legal problems. He made a fortune in the early part of his career by taking over failing companies with allegedly dubious methods, and often flaunted his wealth, including buying a 72-metre yacht and a football club, Olympique de Marseille, which won the French championship under his ownership. President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, paid tribute to Tapie, saying they were "touched by the death of Bernard Tapie, on Sunday morning "whose ambition, energy and enthusiasm were a source of inspiration for generations of French people". A ceremony is to be held on Wednesday October 6th in Paris in memory of Bernard Tapie, before the opening of a fiery chapel at the Stade Vélodrome on Thursday 7th October and his funeral the next day.

Schools canteens in Lyon to ban cordon bleu - According to local authorities in Lyon, schools in the city are to stop serving “cordon bleu” as part of school lunches from next September, as it is too processed. The announcement has since been attacked by opponents who consider it to be part of a bid to ban meat.


The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed £70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved £312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. One of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,00