French and Riviera News Monday July 12th 2021

News 

Macron - President Macron will address the nation on television tonight with the spread of the delta variant and his plans for the last 10 months of his first term in office expected to be the focus. Mr Macron is expected to confirm that the delta variant has now become the dominant coronavirus strain in France and will urge the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible. He’s also expected to lay out plans for more extensive use of the health pass in shops, bars and restaurants and will confirm that health care workers will be required by law to be vaccinated against the virus. The President is also expected to bring pension reform back to the table despite widespread opposition from trade unions and the left.

Cannes 2021 - The French actor Pio Marmai has made an astonishing attack on President Macron at a Cannes film festival press conference to promote the Catherine Corsini movie “La Fracture” in which he stars. Mr Marmai said that he’d like to “break the President’s face” after stating that he quite liked him before he got elected. “La Fracture” deals with the relationship problems of a couple and is set with the Yellow Vest protests of 2019 in the background.

Today’s competition films in Cannes are “Petrov’s Flu” a science fiction fantasy from Kirill Serebrennikov and Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch”, a comedy drama with star studded cast which includes Timothee Chalamet, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Lea Seydoux. It’s set in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch” magazine. The film goes on general release today and is screening at cinemas in Cannes and up and down the Côte d’Azur.

Fatal accident - Police are hunting for 3 men who fled from the scene of a fatal accident in which a motorcyclist was killed on Sunday morning. The accident happened when the Italian registered car collided head on with a motorbike at around 6 am in Mandelieu. The victim was found lying in the road after the 3 occupants of the car had run away without going to his assistance. Emergency services were unable to save him and he died at the scene.

Still no water - Residents of Roquefort les Pins are becoming increasingly angry as a ban on drinking tap water enters its third week. The water company has apologised but says that levels of lead and nickel in tap water are still too high and it’s not safe for consumption. An online petition has been started to get the problem fixed. You can sign it here.

Stay safe - Riviera Radio continues to warn you to stay safe when out and about on the Côte d’Azur. Dozens of thefts along with violence and other unpleasant incidents are reported daily and you need to keep your wits about you at all times. It’s a good idea not to carry large amounts of cash with you or to wear an expensive watch or jewellery. Photocopy your ID instead of taking the original out with you and only carry one bank card.

Driver held - A man who crashed an Audi A1 into a shop front in central Nice on Saturday is still being held by police. Witnesses say that the car, which was being driven at high speed crashed into a chemists shop at the corner of the avenue Felix Faure and the rue Alberti at around ten past three on Saturday afternoon. A young woman who was with her two children was seriously injured in the incident and is being treated in Pasteur 2 hospital. The two children suffered shock but were otherwise unhurt. The man driving the car was alone and not injured. He’s being held by police in Nice pending further enquiries.

Collapsed ceiling - The management of the Super U convenience store in the centre of Cannes where the false ceiling collapsed last Thursday has been giving away its perishable goods to associations for the poor including the Cannes Red Cross and the Restos du Coeur charity. Some 8,000 products which would otherwise have gone to waste have been donated and will be distributed to those in need today. The ceiling of the store was brought down as a result of a water leak. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured. The shop will be closed for several weeks while repairs are carried out.

Business

Finance Ministers from the G20 group of nations have warned that an upsurge in new coronavirus variants and poor access to vaccines in developing countries is threatening the global economic recovery. At a meeting in Venice over the weekend, Ministers acknowledged the fragility of vaccine rollout and economic support packages in the face of new variants of the virus including the fast spreading delta strain. While the G20 has agreed to use all policy tools available to combat Covid 19, the Italian hosts also say that members have pledged to avoid introducing again any restriction on the movement of citizens and people’s way of life. There have been no concrete measures to enhance the global sharing of vaccines, merely an acknowledgment of a recommendation for 50 billion dollars in new vaccine financing by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Health Organisation and World Trade Organisation.

The US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that a newly endorsed mechanism to allow more nations to tax large multinationals may not be ready for consideration by lawmakers until the spring of next year. Speaking in Venice on Sunday, Ms Yellen said that the OECD reallocation of taxing rights was on a slightly “slower track" than a global corporate tax of at least 15 percent as part of a deal between 132 countries. G20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors endorsed the deal over the weekend but questions remain over the ability of the Biden administration to persuade a deeply divided Congress to ratify the changes. Ms Yellen said that she hoped to include provisions to implement the so called “Pillar 2” minimum tax into a budget “reconciliation” bill this year that Congress could approve with a simple majority, but that “Pillar 1” changes that would end unilateral taxes on digital services in exchange for a new mechanism that would allow the likes of Google and Facebook to be taxed in part by countries where they sell products and services would take more time.

China has said that it “resolutely opposes” the addition of 23 Chinese firms and entities to a US economic blacklist over alleged human rights abuses and military links. The Chinese Commerce Ministry says that the enlarged list is a “serious breach of international economic and trade rules” and an “unreasonable suppression” of Chinese firms. The US Commerce Department has added more Chinese firms to its economic blacklist after saying they have been “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass detention and high technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minority groups”. China said that it will take “necessary measures to protect its legitimate rights and interests”.

Sport

Euro 2020 - Italy have beaten England on penalties to win Euro 2020 and break the hearts of a partisan crowd inside Wembley Stadium. England took the lead on 3 minutes through Luke Shaw but rather took their foot off the gas as the match progressed and Italy equalised in the second half before the match went into extra time. With the score still tied at 1-1 at the end of extra time the match was decided on a penalty shootout. England missed three of their spot kicks and Italy won the shoot out 3-2 to claim their first European Championship since 1968. England can be proud of how they played during the tournament and with the World Cup coming up next year, Gareth Southgate’s side will have another opportunity to play for major honours very soon.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic came from a set down to beat Matteo Berrettini in the men’s final at Wimbledon. The win puts Djokovic up to 20 Grand Slam titles, level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The world number one won 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-3 and said that winning Wimbledon was always his biggest dream as a child. He’s now won 6 men’s singles titles.

Cycling - Sepp Kuss of the USA won stage 15 of the Tour de France on Sunday as Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey. Kuss broke away on the final climb of the day to cross the line alone. Pogacar is still 5 minutes 18 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran and with a week to go is set to retain the title that he won last year. Today is a rest day.

Rugby Union - The captain of the Springboks Siya Kolisi has tested positive for coronavirus just two weeks before the first Test against the British and Irish Lions. 5 South Africa players and 3 members of the management team have also tested positive for the virus and there are now more than 20 infections in the Springbok camp. Meanwhile, a large group of South Africa players are ready to return to training after 6 days of isolating.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate easterly winds. Top temperatures 27 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes up to 30 degrees in the Var. Overnight lows of 21-23 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Mainly fine with highs of 27-30 degrees.

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