French and Riviera News Thursday 13th October 2022

News

French President addresses several issues during interview on national television - French President Emmanuel Macron has addressed several issues during an interview on France 2 on Wednesday evening. Speaking on the war in Ukraine the Head of State said that Ukraine and Russia should return to the negotiating table, but also that he "obviously" intended to continue the dialogue with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. He also announced the upcoming delivery of anti-aircraft defence systems to Ukraine following the multitude of Russian strikes, which have been taking place since Monday. Addressing the fears around a possible Russian use of nuclear weapons and after alarmist statements by US President Joe Biden at the end of September, Macron declared that “the less we talk about it, the less we agitate the threat, the more credible we are”.

Concerning current petrol shortages in France, Macron promised that the situation would "return to normal" "in the coming week". The Head of State again called on the management of TotalEnergies and the CGT to act "responsibly" and did not hesitate to directly target the unions. On Wednesday the French government launched a first requisition of four striking employees at Esso-ExxonMobil to release fuel stocks and supply service stations in the Paris region, but despite this strike action has continued, including at TotalEnergies, due to the lack of progress on wage negotiations.

Poll shows that majority of French people are not confident in government’s handling of strike action - Meanwhile a recent opinion poll has shown that 79% of respondents consider that Emmanuel Macron and the government are “not up to managing the situation correctly”. The survey carried out by the Elabe institute and published on Wednesday shows that nearly two out of three French people are affected by the petrol shortage and while 42% of French people approve of the strike movement 40% disapprove. 51% of French people believe that the government must requisition striking employees to ensure the supply of petrol stations. While 48% of those questioned consider that it should not requisition striking employees, and that the right to strike should be respected.

Property tax - The National Union of Property Owners (UNPI) has published the latest figures on property tax in France. The data shows that an increase in 2022 of 4.7% and in some municipalities, it has soared by more than 20%. Over one year, the property tax increased by an average of 4.7% in the 200 largest cities in France including Marseille (+16%) and Toulon (+5.9%).

Energy price crisis - The Rivera’s hotels and restaurants are feeling the squeeze from the current energy price crisis and rising inflation. The Côte d'Azur branch of UMIH, that's the federation that represents hotel and restaurant workers, says the sector will need to put prices up by 10% to cover soaring costs. But it says putting up the price of hotel rooms and restaurant meals won't be enough. The sector will increasingly have to look at cutting costs, using cheaper raw materials, and cutting out dishes from menus where the ingredients have become too expensive. Working hours and opening times may also have to be reduced over the winter to help make ends meet.

Extension of tram network - The Nice metropolitan region has agreed to pump an extra €43 million into the extension of the tram network from Nice to Saint-Laurent-du-Var and Cagnes-sur-Mer. The extension, which is due to be completed by 2026, is over-budget and is now expected to cost €328 million - that's up from €285 million.

Children allowed to attend football match in Nice - Two hundred young people under the age of 14 will be in the stands of the Allianz Riviera in Nice this evening to watch OGC Nice play Slovacko. UEFA has authorized OGC Nice to let children under 14 attend the Europa League Conference, despite it being scheduled to be played behind closed doors. The European Football Confederation had decreed that the match, would be played without a spectator, following the serious incidents that occurred during the Nice-Cologne meeting after clashes outside and inside the stadium left 32 injured, including one seriously.

Sacre-Coeur basilica - After years of controversy Paris’s famous Sacre-Coeur Basilica, a symbol of division between Catholics and republicans who pushed for a separation between church and state, is to be listed as an "historic monument". Paris councillors on Tuesday gave the green light for the state to grant the famous basilica historical recognition, which gives it the highest level of protection and allows for the financing of possible works.  At the top of the Montmartre hill in the north of Paris it is a must-see for tourists, with nearly 11 million visitors each year.

Warmer temperatures for the weekend and next week - Météo-France has announced that the coming week promises to be "warmer than normal", with abnormally high temperatures for the season. From Saturday, and at least until the middle of next week, the arrival of a mass of air, "very hot for the season", will cause the temperatures to rise. In the South-West, the maximum will reach 26 to 28 ° C and 25 degrees could even be reached north of the Loire next Monday. 24 degrees are expected in Strasbourg, as in Auxerre and 23°C in Paris and Lyon.

Business

Indian health officials have ordered a maker of cough syrups to halt production after they were linked to the deaths of children in The Gambia. Indian regulators found that Maiden Pharmaceuticals broke rules "across its manufacturing and testing activities”. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert over four of Maiden's cough syrups linked to the deaths of almost 70 children. Investigations are currently under way in India and The Gambia.

The situation on petrol shortages in France this morning remains at a standstill, as last night TotalEnergies strikers refused a proposal from management to lift the blockades of fuel depots. Their refusal came just a few hours after a first requisition was launched on Wednesday by the government at Esso-ExxonMobil. At the end of the meeting at the headquarters of TotalEnergies in La Défense, strikers firmly refused a proposal to release deliveries early Thursday morning. TotalEnergies confirmed the negative outcome of last night discussions this morning.

The turmoil on UK financial markets has intensified after the Bank of England insisted its emergency bond-buying scheme would come to an end this week. The cost of government borrowing over 10 years briefly surged to its highest level since 2008, as investors demanded higher returns to lend to the UK.

Sport

Football - Barcelona are on the brink of a group-stage Champions League exit for the second successive season after being held to a 3-3 draw by Inter Milan on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Liverpool thrashed Rangers 7-1 as Mohamed Salah came off the bench to score an incredible six-minute hat-trick.

Cycling - Great Britain won three bronze medals on the opening day of the Track Cycling World Championships in France. Welsh rider Jess Roberts secured individual bronze in the women's 10km scratch race on her championships debut and dedicated the achievement to her late grandfather. GB's men's and women's team sprint riders also claimed bronze.

Tennis - The ATP Tour has reached an agreement with Davis Cup organisers which will help end the need for two men's team competitions in the space of six weeks. Tennis Australia is finalising plans for a mixed team event to replace January's ATP Cup as the ATP forges an alliance with the Davis Cup, which concludes in late November.

Golf - Graeme McDowell says it is only fair that Official World Golf Ranking allows LIV Golf players the chance to earn ranking points. The Saudi-backed series is not currently recognised by OWGR, who ruled that points would not be up for grabs at LIV events in October. This is despite an alliance with the Middle East and Africa Tour, which LIV says allows its players to earn points.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 22 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. Sunny intervals in Antibes highs of 22. 23 degrees in Saint Tropez and Hyeres. 24 with sunny intervals in Le Lavandou. This evening lows of 13 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Remaining fine and sunny with highs of between 22-24 degrees.

Sunrise              07.41hr              Sunset                18.50hr

And Finally 

Guildford in Surrey in the UK has been ranked as the “cheating capital” of Britain. The wealthy commuter town was named as the place where a husband or wife was most likely to have an affair. According to the infidelity index from IllicitEncounters.com a boom in affairs has been put down to a rise in the cost of living and the end of two years blighted by Covid.  The most faithful towns were Wigan, Bournemouth and Gateshead where less than 0.5 per cent were having affairs. The interactive Infidelity Index allows users to search a town, city or postcode to discover how many people are claimed to be having affairs.

 

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