French and Riviera News Monday 8th July 2024

National News

France faces a hung parliament - France faces a hung parliament after surprise election results on Sunday. Defying many political observers ‘expectations France’s far-right National Rally failed to win a majority in the parliamentary elections. Official results show a victory for the left-wing alliance the New Popular Front. President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance came second with the National Rally third. No clear majority emerged in the National Assembly as immense uncertainty lies ahead.

Meanwhile, following the results on Sunday evening Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced that he will submit his resignation today, Monday July 8th, following the defeat of the Ensemble alliance. According to Elabe projections, the Ensemble group will obtain 157 to 174 seats, less than the New Popular Front with 178-205, but more than the National Rally with 113-148. French President Emmanuel Macron will wait to know the "structuring" of the new Assembly to determine who he will call to form a government.

There was a big turnout of voters for the second round of the parliamentary elections with the final participation rate reaching 67.1%, according Ipsos. This is slightly higher than in the first round, when 66.6% of registered voters went to the polls. It was the highest participation for elections in France since 1997 (67.9%).

Train travel severely disrupted in the north of France - In other news nationally in France, train travel in the Hauts de France will be severely disrupted today Monday 8th July, due to signal workers calling for strike action. The SNCF has warned that cancellations are expected on the network in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The strike comes as the summer holidays begin and the region is trying to attract people to travel by train with a new campaign offering 255,000 one-euro tickets for 38 destinations in Hauts-de-France region. Passengers are invited to check the usual information channels for cancellations and the SNCF has advised those planning to travel to postpone their trip.

Local News

Parliamentary elections locally – Locally in the second round of parliamentary elections it was no surprise that in the Alpes-Maritimes Eric Ciotti, the president of LR allied to the National Rally, won.  If, at a national level, Ciotti's attempt to join forces with the far-right National Rally failed, he has secured his place locally.

Demonstrators in Marseille celebrate following national election result - Meanwhile, thousands of people have gathered in the streets in Marseille to chant “Ciao Bardella”. According to police 5,000 people marched on Sunday evening in the centre of Marseille to celebrate the lower-than-expected score in the far-right polls in France, chanting "everyone hates the National Rally.  After a rally in the Old Port a procession composed largely of young people continued its journey into the centre of France's second largest city.

Man nearly drowns in Menton - A 70-year-old man is in a serious condition after nearly drowning on a beach in Menton. Emergency services intervened on Sunday shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Sablettes beach. The victim, treated on site, was taken to Pasteur 2 hospital in Nice. The exact circumstances remain to be determined.

Reinforcement ahead of the summer season - Meanwhile, seasonal reinforcements have arrived on the beach of La Croix-Valmer in the Var.  Around a hundred municipal employees have been deployed to improve safety on the beaches, the prevention of forest fires, as well as on the roads in the region during the summer period.

Business

The euro slipped and French bond futures fell after French elections pointed to a hung parliament, casting fresh uncertainty over markets as a period of gridlock looms. Analysts said markets would likely be relieved that Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) was forecast to come third, instead of winning the second-round ballot as had been predicted by opinion polls. Yet investors also have concerns that the left’s plans could unwind many of President Emmanuel Macron's pro-market reforms and believe a gridlock could end attempts to rein in France’s debt, which stood at 110.6% of gross domestic product in 2023. The election leaves France's 577-seat assembly divided in three big groups - the left, centrists, and the far right - with hugely different platforms and no tradition at all of working together.

The founder of Revolut is to cash in part of his multibillion dollar stake in the company as part of a $500m (£391m) share sale. Nik Storonsky, chief executive, plans to offload stock worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in the secondary deal in the coming weeks.

And - Skydance Media and Paramount Global have agreed to merge, opening a new chapter for one of Hollywood's oldest studios.  The merger would combine Paramount, home of such classic films as "Chinatown", "The Godfather" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's", with its financial partner on several major recent films, including "Top Gun: Maverick", "Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning" and "Star Trek Into Darkness".

Sport 

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton has won a gripping wet-dry British Grand Prix to take his first victory since December 2021. Max Verstappen, who had struggled for pace through much of a race that was hit by two separate periods of rain, came alive in the closing laps to take second place from Norris, who grabbed the final position on the podium.

Football - All too familiar to England fans the fear at the very mention of a penalty shootout. Yet, things may have changed under Gareth Southgate, after the Three Lions have won three of their past four shootouts, including beating the Swiss 5-3  in Saturday’s Euro 2024 quarter-final.

In the semi-finals on Wednesday England will now play The Netherlands after they beat Turkey 2-1. Meanwhile hosts Germany were knocked out by Spain who will now play France in the other semi-final match on Tuesday evening after France surprised Portugal with a 5-3 win on penalties.

Cycling –France's Anthony Turgis won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday. Today is rest day after which the race will travel west to Orleans in the heart of France on Tuesday with a 187.3km run into Saint-Amand-Montrond.

Rugby Union – England lost by just one point 15-16 to New Zealand. Australis beat Wales 25-16, South Africa beat Ireland 27-20, France beat Argentina 28-13 and Scotland thrashed Canade 73-12.

Meanwhile France has sent home and suspended full-back Melvyn Jaminet, who plays for Toulon after he posted a video on social media with a racist comment. The French Rugby Federation said it "condemns comments" made by the 25-year-old "in a video broadcast on social media".

Weather 

Cloud clearing giving way to clear skies and sunshine. A gentle to moderate breeze. 25 degrees in Nice, 27 degrees in Cannes and 29 degrees in Saint Tropez and Marseille. Reaching 31 degrees inland. This evening going down to 22 degrees along the coast 17 degrees inland.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday, remaining fine temperatures rising reaching 31 degrees along the coast.  

Sunrise 05.57am

Sunset 09.13pm

Sea temperature

Nice 22°

UV 9

Weather elsewhere 

London 18° light rain. 

Paris 24° sunny. 

Dublin 17° sunny. 

 

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