French and Riviera News - Monday, April 18th 2022

Macron’s Green Pledge

President Emmanuel Macron was in Marseille on Saturday promising a "complete renewal" of his policies

The President also said that he would also appoint a minister of "energy planning" with "a mission to make France the first leading nation to end oil, gas and coal consumption".

In a bid to attract, Jean-Luc Melanchon’s voters, the president is promising to put his next prime minister in charge of "planification écologique" (ecological planning) – a concept popularised by Mélenchon who received the most amount of first round votes in Marseille.

 

Melenchon Refuses To Back Either Candidate

However, Jean-Luc Melenchon’s party has decided to give no voting instructions to its supporters yesterday,  after its internal consultations showed most people would abstain or vote blank on April 24th, adding to the uncertainty over the outcome.

Both Macron and Le Pen are looking to attract voters who chose Melenchon, after he came third in the first round on April 10th with about 22% of the vote. Melenchon previously urged his supporters not to give a single vote to Marine Le Pen.

 

Protest Rallies in Paris

Across France, protesters staged multiple rallies on Saturday. In the centre of Paris environmental group Extinction Rebellion launched a three-day demonstration against what they call France's inaction on climate issues. The activists said their objective was “to put climate issues back at the centre of the presidential debate”. 

Muslim headscarves took centre stage as both finalists were confronted by women in headscarves who asked why their clothing choices should be caught up in politics. 

France is home to western Europe's largest Muslim population and many Muslims feel the presidential campaign has unfairly stigmatized their faith. Marine Le Pen has said she will ban headscarves in public and fine women who flout the ban.

 

A pivotal moment in the final phase of the campaign will come on Wednesday (April 20th) when the two meet for their only live debate of the whole campaign broadcast live on French television.

 

Le Pen To Be Investigated For Fraud

Meanwhile, The European Union’s anti-fraud body has accused Marine Le Pen and several of her party members – including her father – of embezzling about €620,000 while serving as members of the European parliament. France’s investigative website Mediapart published a section of the new 116-report alleging that the MEPs misused EU funds for national party purposes.

A spokesperson for Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National (National Rally) party questioned the timing of the accusations. Le Pen’s lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut told Agence France-Presse he was “dismayed by the way that the European anti-fraud office is acting”. He insisted some of the report related to “old facts, more than 10 years old”.

 

In other French news …

Fire Destroys Church In Paris

A fire has broken out in a Russian Orthodox Church in Paris. The inside of the Saint-Seraphin de Sarov church in the 15th arrondissement was completely destroyed, although no one was injured. It is not yet known whether the origin of the fire was deliberate or accidental.

 

Apology from Paris Attacker

Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving member of the jihadist team that carried out the November 2015 Paris attacks, has apologised to the victims at the end of his testimony during an extraordinary trial at the Special Assize Court of Paris. 

The comments marked a dramatic end to three days of testimony by Abdeslam, 32, who in the initial stages of the trial had maintained a rigid silence apart from occasional outbursts against the court.

 

Bumper Tourism Year Expected

2022 is set to be a historic year for tourism in France with new data released by the Gites de France showing reservations up 49.56% on last year. Hotels and camp sites were practically fully booked over Easter with the occupation rate much higher than pre-pandemic levels

 

Leclerc’s Organic Experiment Ends

The first 100% organic E.Leclerc supermarket in France has closed four years after it first opened with a mission to “become the European leader in organic” produce.

The group said it was closing the shop in the Franche Compté region and rebranding it as a regular “Leclerc Express” store due to a lack of clients.

 

Huge Lottery Win

An anonymous player has won 20 million euros on the French Loto this week-end, putting him among the 10 biggest winners of all-time in France. The lucky player correctly guessed the numbers 4-21-27-30-41 and the bonus number 6

 

 

LOCAL NEWS

Monaco removes some pandemic restrictions

The Monagasque Government announced on Friday that a number of coronavirus regulations will be lifted as the health situation has been improving in recent weeks.

From this weekend, no reservations will be needed in restaurants or nightclubs and there will no longer be any limit on the number of people on one table. The limit of 74 decibels for music is also lifted.

The Health Pass will no longer be needed in hotels, and bus drivers will no longer need to wear a mask. Working from home will remain possible until May 31st, and the need for a Health Pass in healthcare establishments or homes for the elderly is removed.

However, masks must still be worn by bus passengers and in public places indoors, including hotel lobbies. The Government calls for the continued use of barrier measures, including hydroalcoholic gel.

 

Monaco Casino Wins Two Awards

The casino of Monaco has won 2 prestigious awards confirming its status as one of the leading casinos in the world. At the 2022 Internaional Gaming Awards (in London) the casino won « Best Casino Operator » to add to the Best Overall +Casino award that it won at the Casino Awards earlier in the week.

Jean-Luc Biamonti, Deputy Chairman of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, said the reward is recognition of the enormous efforts of the SBM casino staff to maintain an impeccable quality of work and service during an uncertain period. He believes the awards confirm Monaco’s position as Europe’s leading gaming destination.

 

Juan Les Pins Jazz Programme Announced

The programme has been announced for the 61st Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival which runs from July 6th-19th.

Among the highlights this year:

George Benson on the 6th

Paul Anka 8th

John Legend 10th

Van Morrison 13th

Diana Krall 17th

Herbie Hancock 18th

 

Beating In Monaco

A woman has been seriously beaten by her partner in Monaco. The 24 years old as admitted to intensive care at the Princess Grace Hospital. Her attacker has been arrested near Menton and has been charged with attempted homicide. The crime took place at the Mandariniers building on Boulevard du Jardin Exotique.

 

Prince Albert RecoversFrom COVID

Prince Albert has been self-isolating and working remotely for most of the Easter weekend after testing positive for COVID on Friday. However, His Serene Highness tested negative yesterday and has since been able to return to work as normal.

The prince was also able to spend some time with his family over the week-end. The palace has released photos of the Prince with Princess Charlene and their 2 children, Jacques and Gabriella.

 

BUSINESS NEWS

Twitter’s ResponseTo Musk

Twitter's board has armed itself against a possible hostile takeover following Elon Musk’s $43bn offer to buy the platform. It has adopted what is known as a "limited-duration shareholder rights plan", also known as a "poison pill". The move will prevent anyone from having more than a 15% stake in the company. It does this by allowing others to buy additional shares at a discount.

 

Chinese Eastern Airlines Back In Action

China Eastern Airlines will start putting its Boeing 737-800 jetliners back in use for commercial flights less than a month after a crash killed 132 people and led the company to ground 223 of the aircraft.

The airline said it had conducted systematic tests, structural checkups and verified airworthiness data for each of the aircraft, and that test flights would be carried out on all planes before they resumed commercial services.

 

L’Occitane U-Turn

The French cosmetics chain L'Occitane says it will close its Russian shops and website after all, days after defending its decision to continue trading.

The firm said the move follows the "enormous human suffering and escalating military action in Ukraine". Only last week, L’Occitane said it was keeping its shops open to protect staff from potential "retaliation". Some customers had criticised the company for its decision and called for a boycott of the brand.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGES

€1 = £0,82 $1,08 SF 1,02

£1 = €1,20 $1,30 SF1,23

$1 = €92 cents, £77 pence, 94 Swiss centimes

 

BITCOIN $39653

ETHEREUM  $2966

 

COMMODITIES

An ounce of gold is $1984,58

Barrel of Brent Crude oil is $112,94

 

MARKETS Bank Holiday

FTSE 100 7616

DOW JONES 34451

NASDAQ 13351

 

SPORTS NEWS

 

Football

This year’s FA Cup final will be between Liverpool and Chelsea. It’s a repeat of this year’s League Cup Final which Liverpool won on penalties.

On Saturday, the reds put on one of their most impressive performances of the year to beat title rivals Manchester City 3-2, while yesterday Chelsea beat Crystal Palace by 2 goals to nil.

 

In the premier league yesterday,

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope made some crucial saves to earn his side a vital point against West Ham yesterday. It was the first match for Burnley since they sacked their manager Sean Dyche on Friday. In the other match, Newcastle scored deep into stoppage time to beat Leicester City by 2 goals to 1

 

In France, AS Monaco made it 4 wins in a row with an impressive 3-2 away at 3rd place Rennes.  

Meanwhile Nice moved back up to 4th place in the league with a 2-1 win against Lorient, thanks to 2 goals from Andy Delort. Monaco and Nice face each other on Wednesday at the Stade Louis II in Monaco.

 

PSG took  big step towards regaining the title after a 2-1 against Marseille.

 

Real Madrid came from 2 goals down against 3rd place Seville to win 3-2 and close in on the La Liga title. The winning goal came in the 92nd minute. In Germany, Borussia Dortmund scored five first-half goals as they thrashed Wolfsburg 6-1 in the Bundesliga

 

Tennis

In yesterday’s final, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas successfully defended his title beating this year’s surprise package Davidovich Fokina in straight sets 6-3, 7-6.

It was the Spaniard who drew first blood breaking the reigning champion to take a 2-1 lead in the first set, but the Greek quickly took control and took the first set in just 31 minutes at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

The pair traded breaks again in a see-sawing second set before Tsitsipas pounced in the tiebreak to secure the victory and his eighth career title.

It’s been a memorable tournament however for  Davidovich Fokina, who knocked out top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz in the earlier rounds at Monaco.

Stefanos Tsitsipas will now turn his attention to winning a maiden grand slam after finishing runner-up at last year’s French Open

 

Rugby

Saracens overcame a spirited Cardiff fightback to book a European Challenge Cup quarter-final date with Gloucester. Toulon are also into the Quarter Finals after beating Bennetton 36-17. The former European Champions will face London Irish who beat Castres 64-27 on Friday.

 

Cricket

In Cricket, former England and Kent batter Rob Key has been named the managing director of England men's cricket. Key takes on the role from Andrew Strauss, who had stepped in on an interim basis following the sacking of Ashley Giles in February.

 

Meanwhile, England bowler Stuart Broad said he was not thinking about replacing Joe Root as the test captain, while adding that he felt no "bitterness" towards Root after being dropped from the squad for their recent tour of the Caribbean.

 

Athletics

Five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah posted the fastest women's 100 metres in the world this year with a time of 10.89 seconds at the Golden Games in Walnut, California on Saturday.

The Jamaican won her semi-final in what was her first outdoor 100m of the season. She opted not to run the final, with no reason given for her decision.

 

Snooker

World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan says a "gladiator" mentality helped him come from behind to beat David Gilbert 10-5 at the World Championship.The Rocket is aiming for a record-equalling seventh Crucible crown and turned the match around from 3-0 down with high breaks of 122, 109 and 104.

 

WEATHER

Plenty of sunshine is expected across the region this Easter Monday with clear skies, light to moderate winds and temperatures down slightly peaking at 18°C along the coast in Alpes Marimes, 20° around St Tropez and 22° inland in the Var

Overnight will be clear at first with some clouds later, light winds and temperatures dropping to  11°C

Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with temperatures rising to 15°C

Some rain is expected on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

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