French and Riviera News Monday 6th December 2021

News

Health Defense Council Meeting to be held this morning - The French government will this morning Monday 6th December, hold a Health Defense Council meeting. The meeting comes as, according to figures published on Sunday by Public Health France, 42,000 new cases of covid have been detected in the last 24 hours and more than 2,000 people are in intensive care. The average of new daily cases of covid now stands at 42,500 compared to 28,000 a week ago.

No speech is planned by the Head of State following the meeting. However as usual the government spokesman Gabriel Attal is expected to give a recap. No major new measures or restrictions are expected as the government plans to concentrate on the vaccination campaign for the 3rd booster jab against covid as well as the possible vaccination of 5–11-year-olds.

Missing - Police in Marseille have launched an appeal following the worrying disappearance of 23-year-old Sarah Ndela who has not been seen since December 2nd. A chemistry student at the university of Aix-Marseille, Sarah left her family home in Vitrolles at 6.45am on December 2nd and has not been seen since. Sarah was wearing a "beige coat and burgundy scarf" when she left and is described as having brown eyes and dark brown braided hair. Anyone who may have any information is asked to call 17.

"Tree of Angels" in memory of the Nice attack victims - Two associations for the victims of the Nice July 14th attack have put up a Christmas tree on the Promenade in front of the Palais de la Méditerranée. Considered as the "tree of angels" the installation is a reminder of those who lost their lives in the attack and is placed where eventually the memorial will be installed. The trial of the Nice attack is to take place in 2022.

Pécresse leader of the Republican party in the Alpes Maritimes today - The recently elected head of the Republican party Valérie Pécresse will start her presidential campaign today Monday 6th December, in the Alpes Maritimes. In an attempt to bring her political party together she will be accompanied by local MP Eric Ciotti, who lost against Précresse in the run for the leadership. After a private lunch in Nice, the two will travel to Saint-Martin-Vésubie where they will lay a wreath in memory of the victims of storm Alex at the end of 2020, before a joint public meeting.

Violent clashes at Zemmour's first campaign rally - Meanwhile presidential candidate Eric Zemmour has been physically attacked at his first campaign rally in Paris on Sunday. Zemmour was placed in a headlock as he walked through the crowd at the Zenith area in northern Paris. There were further clashes as SOS racism activists were also attacked by activists of the far-right candidate and several members of his security service.

Press conference for the French presidency of the Council of the European Union - French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a press conference this week, on Thursday 9th December, to present the priorities of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will start on January 1, 2022 for six months. Macron has already expressed on several occasions the importance he attaches to this six-monthly presidency, which will coincide with the campaigns for the presidential election in France on 10th and 24th April.

Telethon success - France's Telethon 2021 raised 73,622,019 euros. As events took place all over France. Organisers have thanked the public for their generosity. The public is still able to make donations up until 10th December by calling 3637 or visiting Telethon.fr

Christmas swim - Many swimmers braved the cold in Cagnes-sur-mer to mark the first Christmas swim on Sunday 5th December. The 21st edition on the port of Cros-de-Cagnes kicked off at 11am as bathers under the clear blue skies swam in the sea which was at a cool 17 degrees. 

Business

As the first ski resorts opened this weekend in France the lack of manpower is "worrying" professionals. Several ski resorts opened on Saturday but at present the industry is lacking between 5 and 10% of the workforce with some restaurant owners forced to reduce the number of daily services due to the lack of staff.

Meanwhile France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday December 5th, that the French government will study "on a case-by-case basis" the effects of the 5th wave on companies and will release aid accordingly adding that "they will not let anyone down". Due to the new covid variant several sectors that have been affected by the health crisis since the beginning, such as events and tourism, are already seeing mass cancellations. The return of closures is not envisaged for the moment as the government is betting on the vaccination strategy to stop contamination.

Donald Trump's new social media firm says it has entered into agreements to raise $1bn (£755m) from investors ahead of a planned stock market listing. The Trump Media & Technology Group is working to launch a social media app called Truth Social early next year. It comes as Mr Trump remains banned from Twitter and Facebook following the attack on the US Capitol in January.

Lidl Christmas jumpers will be on sale in France on December 16th. But two models are already selling for three or four times the price on the internet. The models will be available from the 16th for 9.99 euros. However, they have been seen available on Leboncoin described as "very rare" for between 25 and 35 euros. Until now no Lidl product has beaten the trainers unveiled in 2020 which saw an auction on eBay sell them at 465 euros, nearly 35 times their original price.

Sport 

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton has beaten Max Verstappen in an absolute thriller. The dramatic grand in Saudi Arabia had to be stopped twice and featured three starts and had an extraordinary series of events between the title contenders. It ended with the two drivers tied on points heading into the last race of the season next weekend.

Football – Manchester United got their first win under their new manager at the weekend and in tonight's Premier League Everton are at home to Arsenal. However according to reports Everton fans are planning to walkout on the 27th minute of the match to send a message to the clubs owner Farhad Moshiri as he returns to Goodison Park for one of the most crucial games in his five year reign.

Rugby Union - Leicester extended their lead at the top of the Premiership to nine points as they edged to a 16-14 victory over defending champions Harlequins.

Tennis - World number two Daniil Medvedev celebrated the "best weeks" of his career as he led the Russian Tennis Federation to a third Davis Cup title.

Weather 

Clear skies and sunshine with highs of 14 degrees in Nice, Saint Paul de Vence, Cannes and Saint Raphael, with a moderate breeze. This evening going down to 8 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday - Remaining fine tomorrow, gusty winds are expected in the Var. Rain is forecast for Wednesday across the region and highs of 13 degrees.

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