French and Riviera News Thursday 15th February 2024

National News France

Train strike - One out of two TGVs will be running as a controller’s strike looks set to make train travel in France particularly difficult this weekend. Strike action is to start from 8pm this evening until 8am on Monday morning. The strike action falls on one of the busiest weekends for the SNCF in the middle of the school holidays for zone C which includes the Paris region and the cross over with the starts of the holiday for Zone A, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Burgundy-Franche-Comté. Ahead of the strike action a poll carried out by BFMTV showed that only 27% of French people are in favour of the movement compared to 52% who are opposed to it.

French Prime Minister to visit a cattle farm - French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal is to visit a cattle farm in the Marne today Thursday 15th February. Less than two weeks before the start of the Agricultural Show and while farmers remain mobilized, the Prime Minister plans to speak with several farmers in the region. It was on Wednesday that the French President Emmanuel Macron, met with two agricultural unions, who said they welcomed the Head of State agreeing to listening to them, however they remained mobilised until the government made some definite changes.

Strike action from firefighters - Firefighters in the Alpes Maritimes are on strike to bring attention to the risks linked to their profession. The strike which began on February 8th has seen unions demand recognition, protection, and appropriate medial monitoring for firefighters.

Road reopens - The road in the Tinée which leads to some local ski resorts has partially reopened following the landslide on Monday.  Cut off since Monday the Tinée road was partially reopened on Wednesday evening. Motorists no longer need to go through the Vésubie.

Firearms - Monaco is planning to organise a firearms amnesty to encourage residents to turn in weapons and ammunition that they may have found or inherited. 600 people in the principality own a firearms licence, excluding those issued to hunters, and there are 760 registered firearms in people's possession. Since 2021, Monegasque police have seized and destroyed more than 100 weapons during various raids and arrests. In 2022, a British man in Monaco was sentenced and fined €18,000 after police discovered 17 undeclared rifles and pistols hanging on a wall in his home.

Pollen alert - The Alpes-Maritimes and Var have been placed on a red alert for high levels of cypress pollen. Allergy sufferers are being advised to take any prescribed medication they have and try to limit their exposure. Ash trees are also in full bloom at the moment and the alert level for ash pollen is expected to be raised from medium to high over the next few weeks.

City hall - Couples in Nice will no longer tie the knot in the city hall from 1st June. Wedding ceremonies will be moved from the historic building in Nice old town to the Parc Phoenix, near Nice Airport, instead. Nice authorities say the new venue will be elegantly decorated and more spacious - allowing up to 140 guests to attend.

Auction - Monaco's auction house is putting almost 70 works of art under the hammer this evening, including a series of works by Pablo Picasso. The auction takes place at 6pm at the Hôtel des Ventes on Quai Antoine Ier.

Monaco Employment Forum – The Monaco employment Forum gets underway tomorrow from 9am to 6pm at the Grimaldi Forum.

For information go to https://monacopourlemploi.com/

Nice Carnival – The Nice Carnival, kicks off this Saturday 17th February and runs until 3rd March. This year’s theme is “King of Pop Culture”. Two weeks of festivities bring the city of Nice to life with the “Corsi” Carnival Parades day and night, and the elegant “Flower Parades”. There’s musical entertainment as well, all in a colourful, festive, family atmosphere. Tickets are available now on https://www.nicecarnaval.com/en/

Grand Prix - Finally, it might only be mid-February, but work is already getting under way on preparing Monaco's streets for this year's Grand Prix. The Automobile Club says work to assemble the grandstands will begin in the coming days. The works will be done at night and will last a month. The Monaco E-Prix takes place on 27th April, the Historic Grand Prix is from 10th to 12th May and the Formula 1 Grand Prix is from May 23rd to 26th.

Business

Japan has unexpectedly fallen into a recession after its economy shrank for two quarters in a row. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by a worse-than-expected 0.4% in the last three months of 2023, compared to a year earlier. The figures from Japan's Cabinet Office also indicate that the country may have also lost its position as the world's third-largest economy to Germany.

According to campaigners Elon Musk's X, formerly Twitter, granted subscription perks to designated terrorist groups and others barred from operating in the US.  The Tech Transparency Project (TTP) found X had granted blue check marks to certain accounts. X removed some ticks after the report, saying its security was "robust".

And – In France the final examination of the safeguard plan for 26 Galeries Lafayette stores has been postponed by the Bordeaux commercial court until February 22nd, leaving a thousand employees in uncertainty. No decision was made following the hearing held behind closed doors on Wednesday, as negotiations continue between the investor and its creditors who have until February 20 to accept, or refuse its continuation plan of activity. The decision would affect employees across France including in Cannes and Toulon.

Sport

Super Bowl - One person has died and 21 people were wounded in a shooting in Missouri at the end of the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade. Police said they have arrested three suspects in connection to the shooting and are investigating a motive and gathering physical as well as digital evidence. They asked for any witnesses or individuals with information to contact law enforcement.

Formula One - Red Bull team boss Christian Horner will make his first public appearance today since a complaint of inappropriate behaviour was made against him. The 50-year-old is under investigation by Red Bull, but is expected to be at the launch of the team's new F1 car. Horner, who has led the team since 2005, has denied the allegations.

Rugby Union – Rugby man Fraser Dingwall says England need time to build "connections" as they look to sharpen their attack against Scotland in the Six Nations. England have won their opening two games for the first time in five years, but their attack has lacked fluency.

Football - French footballer Kylian Mbappe marked his return from injury on Wednesday evening with a goal as Paris St-Germain took control of their Champions League last-16 tie against Real Sociedad.

Weather

Sunny intervals with a gentle breeze and highs of 15 degrees in Nice and 14 degrees in Monaco and Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 10 degrees along the coast.

The outlook for tomorrow, light rain in Nice. Should remain dry in the Var with sunny intervals. Highs of 16 degrees. The weekend mainly fine with highs of 15- 16 degrees.

Sunrise                07.29

Sunset                 05.59

Sea Temperature         

Monaco               14..2 degrees

Weather

London                16 degrees with sunny intervals.

Dublin                  14 degrees and light rain.

Paris                    16 degrees and sunny intervals.

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