French and Riviera News Monday May 2nd 2022


May day demonstrations - More than 100,000 people marched through cities across France on Sunday May 1st as part of the traditional May Day rallies. According to organisers the figure was 210,000. According to the CGT, they were 50,000 in the streets of Paris and France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Twitter that 54 people were arrested following clashes with police. In the French capital a firefighter was assaulted by a protester and dozens of banks, real estate agencies, insurance companies, but also an organic store and a McDonald's restaurant were vandalized. Darmanin has denounced "unacceptable violence" committed by "thugs".  According to police figures elsewhere in France, demonstrations brought together 1,900 people in Bordeaux, 3,600 in Marseille, 3,500 in Toulouse, 4,000 in Lyon, 1,500 in Strasbourg and Saint-Étienne and 2,000 in Lille. In Nice about 600 people marched on the promenade des Anglais. This year, May 1st falls between the presidential and legislative elections. For some, this Sunday was an opportunity to advocate unity before the next elections.

Deadly weekend on the roads in the Var region - It has been a deadly weekend on the roads in the Var after two young people were killed in Gassin and a motorcyclist lost his life in Sainte-Maxime. The two young seasonal workers were on electric scooters when they were hit by a car on the RD98 in Gassin and the 50-year-old man died when his motorcycle fell into a ditch on the route du Plan-de-la-Tour in Sainte-Maxime at around 7pm on Sunday. Police have launched an appeal for witnesses and are trying to clarify the still unclear circumstances of the accident. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact the police.

France pledges more arms and aid to Ukraine – France’s president Emmanuel Macron has vowed to send more weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as part of the international effort to help the country's fight against Russian forces. Since the Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his country's military units into Ukraine on 24 February, France has sent 615 tons of equipment including medical supplies, generators for hospitals, food and vehicles. Macron's pledge to offer more backing came during a one-hour telephone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday.

Covid contaminations continue to decline - The number of covid contaminations continues to decline in France falling by almost 30% in one week, according to figures published on Sunday by the health authorities. In one week, the number of patients hospitalised with Covid also fell to 23,327 including 208 new admissions, compared to 24,888 including 372 new admissions a week ago.

In hospitals, the critical care services are also affected by the decline: they had 1,557 Covid patients on Sunday, compared to 1,640 a week earlier. The number of new daily admissions was 19 on Sunday compared to 35 a week earlier. In total, since the start of the epidemic more than two years ago, 145,962 people have died from the virus in France.

Changes from May 1st - As usual on the first of every month in France changes come into effect. From May 1st there is an increase to the minimum wage of 2.65% which means the gross hourly minimum wage will rise to 10.85 euros there will also be an increase to the minimum wage of civil servants. Family allowance funds the CAF, which was increased by 1.8% on April 1st, will be effective for payments on May 5th and May 4th marks the deadline to register to vote in the legislative election in June.

Princess Charlene makes first public appearance after health problems - Princess Charlene of Monaco has made her first public appearance in 15 months alongside Prince Albert and their children on the occasion of the E-Prix here in the Principality on Saturday. Since returning from South Africa in November the princess had not made any public appearances due to health problems. She was operated on after a serious ear, nose and throat infection. Princess Charlene then spent several months in a specialized care centre in Switzerland and returned to the Principality in March.


In a move to cut costs the streaming giant Netflix has announced the cancellation of an animated series created by Meghan Markle. The show which was announced last year is one of several projects being dropped. Last month Netflix revealed a sharp fall in subscribers and warned millions more are set to quit the service. That wiped over $50bn off the company's market value as experts warned it faced a struggle to get back on track.

Airline Qantas has announced it will begin operating non-stop flights from Sydney to London and New York from 2025. Australia's national carrier said it had purchased a new fleet capable of direct flights to any city in the world. The first Sydney-London flights will depart in late 2025 and take about 20 hours, making them the world's longest passenger flights. The route, launched in 1947, once took 58 hours and seven stops.

According to a surv