French and Riviera News Thursday 19th January 2023


National strike action - Police along with the CRS will be deployed in Nice and Cannes today, as people take to the streets across France to demonstrate against the pension reform. The prefecture says it expects 5,000 demonstrators today in Nice, while the unions say the number will be “much higher”.

The National Day of Strike action is set to cause widespread disruption to schools and public transport with trains, local buses and trams, but also possibly some flights being affected. Only one in three TGVs is expected to run along the Riviera. Across France, no Intercités services are operating. Locally, there'll be considerable disruption to TER services. It’s forecast that just 1 in 10 TER trains will be operating. You can see which trains are running using the online journey planner at In Nice, no trams will be running and several dozen bus lines will not be in service. Street parking in the city will be free today and the entire Envibus public transport network around Antibes and Sophia-Antipolis will not be running.

Ferry services between the Port of Dover and Calais face severe disruption as operators have been forced to cancel a number of crossings. The port of Dover said that 'due to national industrial action in France, services to and from Calais will be suspended from 7am'.

Macron meets with Spanish Prime Minister today - Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in Barcelona today Thursday January 19th, for a bilateral summit aimed at strengthening cooperation in the wake of a recent spat over a gas pipeline project that has since been shelved.  France and Spain, who have just "buried the hatchet" following a rare disagreement over an energy project, will celebrate the closeness of their relations in Barcelona.  

Davos summit - At the opening of the Davos summit on Monday Oxfam have said that “the number of billionaires should be halved by 2030 through higher taxes and other policies to make the world a fairer place”. In response to this call, more than 200 millionaires from 13 different countries have written an open letter to world leaders, saying they want tax increases. Over the past decade, according to Oxfam, the richest 10 percent of the world's population have seen their wealth increase by 50 percent.

Man found dead at foot of building in Nice - A 29-year-old man has been found dead at the foot of a building in Nice Nord. Police made on discovery on Wednesday morning and believe the victim deliberately jumped. An investigation is underway.

Gas cut off for residents in Golfe-Juan - 160 apartments in a residence in Golfe-Juan have found themselves without gas after the supplier Engie suddenly cut them off. The incident occurred on Tuesday at around 6pm when residents found themselves without any gas. Engie has since pointed to a computer bug when changing contracts to be the cause.

Looking for a job? - If you know anyone looking for a job, five-and-a-half thousand of them are currently up for grabs in the Alpes-Maritimes. Local branches of Pôle Emploi are organising a series of jobs fairs and 'job dating' events in the coming weeks. The usual sectors are affected - mainly hotels and catering. But according to Pôle Emploi there's also a good number of vacancies in the tech industry, mostly around Sophia-Antipolis. A digital jobs fair is being organised in Antibes next Thursday.

New device to stop bicycles and scooters riding along tram tracks - Nice is experimenting with a new device that aims to prevent bicycles and scooters riding along the tram tracks. A new coating is being applied to the tracks on line 1 this week. The aim is to improve safety and avoid delays to trams.

School uniform - A secondary school near Saint-Tropez has reignited the discussion about whether schoolchildren should wear a uniform. The lycée in Gassin, in the Var, is considering imposing a standard outfit - and it's put the idea out to consultation among pupils, parents and staff. It's even asked senior students to design the uniform themselves, which if approved, would be made by a local producer. The school's headteacher says he's been considering the idea for a few years - and he says the shared identity could reinforce the school's sense of community, like a football team. If the experiment goes ahead, it would be for one or two days per week.

Dolphin in port of Monaco - A dolphin has been spotted alongside the yachts moored in Monaco Yacht Club. A similar sighting was reported in Nice on Saturday morning, near the Opéra Plage. It's not the first time a dolphin has been found in Monaco - there were repeated sightings around the port last August.


Germany’s Finance minister has said that the country no longer depends on Russian imports for its energy supply adding that Germany had completely diversified its energy infrastructure since Russia's