French and Riviera News Monday 6th February 2023


Pension reform - As the French government starts a two-week debate today in the National Assembly on the pension reform, unions are planning tomorrow’s national strike action against it. Trains, buses, trams, and schools will be affected.

In Nice, demonstrators are set to gather at 10am at the Théâtre de Verdure. In Toulon, from 1:30pm they will gather at the Place de la Liberté and in Draguignan, at 10:30am at the sub-prefecture.

No trams will be running in Nice and the bus services will be disrupted. For an updated timetable you can go to the website. Street-parking however will be free. Train traffic will be disrupted throughout the southern region. More details related to these disruptions will be communicated this Monday, from 5pm on the SNCF website. And as with previous movements, a 20% reduction in flights between Nice and Paris-Orly is planned, the situation can be followed on or directly with the airlines.

National elections in Monaco – Locally, after four hours of counting the ballots, at the Espace Léo-Ferré, the national elections in Monaco saw the list led by Brigitte Boccone-Pagès win all the seats in the Monegasque Assembly. With 72,602 votes for the L'Union list; against 8,401 for the NIM list, the team led by Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, outgoing president of the National Council, is elected in its entirety and will occupy the 24 seats in the Assembly.

Two babies saved after buggy falls into the port - Two babies have been saved after nearly drowning in the port of Cavalaire in the Var. The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon when the twin buggy with 24-month-old twins inside fell into the water. Thankfully two volunteer firefighters in civilian clothes, who were cleaning a nearby boat at the time managed to step in and save the two boys.  

Reminder for motorists - The Var prefecture has reminded motorists to check their preparations for winter driving ahead of possible cold weather from today. There's been an obligation to have snow chains or to equip your vehicle with winter tyres in 28 municipalities in the north of the Var, which has been in place since November 1st.

Olympic flame - It's been announced that the Olympic flame for the 2024 Olympic Games will begin in Marseille. France is hosting the games in 2024. The flame will be lit in Greece and then transported to Marseille on board the Belem, a three masted nineteenth century ship. The flame will arrive in Marseille in April 2024 before beginning its journey through France, finally arriving at the opening ceremony in July.

Nasa takes interest in airglow spotted in the skies of Dordogne - Nasa has taken an interest in a photo of an ‘airglow’ in the skies of Dordogne, taken by a French 22-year-old amateur photographer after it went viral worldwide.  ‘Airglow’ is a rare phenomenon that happens as a result of a chemical reaction between the Sun’s rays and the atmosphere.  Certain molecules are destroyed by the Sun’s ultraviolet rays in the high atmosphere (around 100-300km up) during the day.

Impressionist masterpiece at the Musée d’Orsay – Gustave Caillebotte's impressionist masterpiece, La Partie de Bateau, has been hung for the first time at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Valued at more than 40 million euros, it was acquired thanks to the patronage of the LVMH luxury group. La Partie de Bateau (A Boating Party) is the only one of Caillebotte's paintings devoted to water sports that has remained in France.

Town hall buys castle for 100 euros – Finally, a town hall in central France has bought 11th century castle for just 100 euros in a bid to save it from complete ruin. The property which is nearly a total ruin has been acquired by the “Mairie” the mayor Xavier Elbaz, told French media “It’s not worth more than we’ve paid for it.”


Car maker BMW is reportedly in talks with the UK government about a £75m funding package that would secure production of electric Minis at its Oxfordshire plant. Industry sources said a deal could be finalised between the government and the company within weeks. If a deal is finalised, it would provide a boost to the British car industry weeks after it emerged that the sector had had its worst year in production terms since the 1950s.

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk has been cleared of wrongdoing for a tweet in which he said he had "funding secured" to take the electric carmaker back into private ownership. Shareholders argued he misled them with his posts in August 2018, and they had lost billions of dollars because of them. The proposed $72bn (£60bn) buyout never materialised. If found liable, Musk could have been ordered to pay out billions in damages. It took the nine jurors less than two hours to reach their verdict.

Rugby Report

Six Nations - In the Six Nations on Sunday defending champions France came from behind to avoid a shock defeat against Italy in a thrilling Six Nations game. Endling 24 Italy, 29 France.

France will now travel to Dublin to face world number one-ranked Ireland on Saturday while Italy play England at Twickenham the following day.

Meanwhile, England’s 23-29 sensational loss to Scotland on Saturday was their fourth in their last six appearances at Twickenham.

And in the opening game on Saturday Ireland marked their first Six Nations victory in Cardiff for ten years with a 34-10 victory.

Warren Gatland's return was spoiled by Ireland as the world's number one side humbled Wales in the opening Six Nations match in Cardiff. Wales did improve in the second half, but it was not enough to stop Ireland take a step in the right direction as they target Six Nations and World Cup success in 2023.


Football – In the Premier League Harry Kane became Tottenham's all-time record scorer, surpassing the great Jimmy Greaves, as his 267th goal for the club dented Manchester City's title ambitions.

While they remain five points behind Arsenal having played one game more, Tottenham's victory moves them one point behind fourth-placed Newcastle.

Nottingham Forest beat Leeds 1-0 on Sunday and surprise results in Saturday’s Premier League action saw Arsenal lose to Everton and Liverpool lost to Wolverhampton.

Formula One - American car giant Ford is returning to Formula 1 with Red Bull after more than 22 years out of the sport. The company will part-fund Red Bull's engine from 2026, replacing Honda.

Winter sports - Great Britain won a first four-man bobsleigh medal at the World Championships for 84 years with silver in St Moritz.


Strong winds with a yellow weather alert for coastal areas. Gusts of 55km/hr in Nice and the Alpes Maritimes. 75km/hr winds in Saint Tropez and the Var. Highs of 13 degrees in Nice, 12 degrees in Monaco, Saint Tropez and Théoule sur mer. 11 degrees in Grasse and Rayol-Canadel. This evening going down to 4 degrees and cloudy, remaining windy.

The outlook for tomorrow remaining windy, highs of 11-12 degrees. Wednesday sunny with a fresh breeze.  

Sunrise       07.41hr

Sunset        17.47hr

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