French and Riviera News Thursday 15th April 2021

News

French government promises a tribute to Covid victims -French government spokesman Gabriel Attal has promised a "tribute" to the victims of Covid as France reaches nearly 100,000 deaths from the virus. Attal confirmed that the Head of State Emmanuel Macron had “already discussed a possible tribute at the council of ministers but no date has yet been given”.

Several countries have already organized tributes in memory of the victims of Covid: The United Kingdom and Switzerland, observed a minute of silence on March 23rd and April 5th, as did China, on April 4th, with a day of national mourning.

France to reopen mid-May – Is it possible? – At 6pm today Emmanuel Macron is to meet with ministers and study the possibility of a reopening in mid-May, a possibility which Macron had himself, evoked during his last address to the nation, although no immediate announcement is expected from the French President.

Ahead of today’s meeting the Head of State is to hold a videoconference at 3pm with fifteen mayors to “take stock of the health crisis” in areas which have been badly affected.  

Pre-paid sessions with psychologist to help depressed children and adolescents - Meanwhile during a visit to a psychiatric hospital in Reims on Wednesday April 14th French President Emmanuel Macron announced the introduction of ten pre-paid sessions with a psychologist, for children and adolescents who are depressed due to the pandemic. A similar system was put in place In February for students suffering from the health crisis.

Covid vaccines - Pfizer-BioNTech will deliver 50 million additional doses of its vaccine to the EU in the second quarter, including seven million to France. The BioNTech and Pfizer laboratories will increase the deliveries of their Covid-19 vaccine. The delivery of additional doses was initially scheduled for the fourth quarter but will begin in April.

In other news

Vote on security bill - France’s National Assembly is to vote today Thursday 15th April, on the final version of a security bill that sparked heated opposition over a proposal to limit online publication of images of police officers. Lawmakers have revised the proposal, but critics still want it to be scrapped.

Christian Estrosi at Matignon today - French Prime Minister Jean Castex will welcome the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi at Matignon today, Thursday 15th April. The mayor is to sign with the Prime Minister the Ecological Recovery and Transition Contract with the Nice-Côte d´Azur Metropolis. The document identifies 40 "ready to go" projects, which the State will support in 2021 and 2022.

Christian Estrosi will be accompanied by the president delegate for the coordination of metropolitan policies and transport infrastructure, the mayor of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Louis Nègre, and the president delegate for finance, human resources and transport, Philippe Pradal. The 48 other mayors of the metropolitan area will attend the signing by videoconference.

Jean Castex had planned to come and sign this contract in Nice on March 19th but had cancelled his trip due to the health situation.

Former President calls police due to people breaking current curfew - Le Parisien newspaper has reported that police in Paris have been called by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy reporting neighbours were holding a clandestine party. The incident occurred on Tuesday night when police intervened to issue fines to a production team who were celebrating the end of a shoot, in a small thoroughfare in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Annoying one of their closest neighbours, the former president.

Man shot in Moulin district of Nice - A man has been shot and wounded in the Moulin district in Nice. The shooting occurred on Wednesday evening around 8pm. The individual had recently been released from police custody. Police have opened an investigation to determine the exact circumstances.  

Homeowner calls for peaceful demonstration – A homeowner in the Var has launched a public appeal to hold a peaceful demonstration on Saturday April 17th to reclaim his villa which has been illegally occupied for seven months. Jean-Philippe Victor and his sister have not received any response despite having written to the President of the Republic, and the Minister of the Interior, after their house was squatted by asylum seekers and despite filing complaints with police and local authorities seven months later, the house is still occupied. On September 27th, 2020, the villa was illegally occupied by several families despite a court ruling issued at the end of 2020 ordering the expulsion of the squatters without delay.

Business

The disgraced Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff has died in prison at the age of 82. Madoff was serving a 150-year sentence after admitting to one of the biggest frauds in US financial history.

Cryptocurrency firm Coinbase has hit a market value of nearly $100bn (£72.5bn) in its stock market listing. The firm which runs a top exchange for Bitcoin and other digital currency trading saw its shares debut on the Nasdaq at a price of $381, but later closed below $330. The initial valuation put Coinbase ahead of many well-known firms, such as oil giant BP and key stock exchanges. The listing was seen as the latest step toward cryptocurrencies gaining wider acceptance among traditional investors.

Inventor Sir James Dyson has said that Brexit has given the UK back its independence and boosted innovation. Speaking to the BBC Sir James said, "we've got our freedom, we can make trade agreements with other countries outside Europe and we can employ people from all around the world”. The latest statistics for February show UK exports to the EU remain below the same level last year. He also defended moving Dyson's global headquarters to Singapore in 2019.

Sport

Football – In last night’s Champion’s League Manchester City came from behind to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to advance to a Champions League semi-final clash against Paris Saint-Germain.

Meanwhile Liverpool's Champions League campaign ended in disappointment as Real Madrid set up a semi-final meeting with Chelsea after a goalless draw at Anfield.

Tennis - British number one Dan Evans will face Novak Djokovic in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters after easing past Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets.

Cricket - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named Wisden's leading cricketer in the world for the second year in a row. 29 year old Stokes is the first Englishman to win the award twice since its inception in 2004.

Rugby Union - Saturday's Women's Six Nations fixture between Ireland and France in Dublin is set to go ahead as scheduled. There were concerns over the game after it was announced that France would be added to Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine list on Thursday.

Weather

Rather unsettled with possible showers in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var. Highs of 15 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes with a moderate breeze going down to 7 degrees this evening.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend light cloud, showers with some sunny spells and highs of 16 degrees.

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