French and Riviera News Thursday 1st July 2021

 

News

Changes introduced on the 1st of the month - Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, several measures that were expected to take effect on January 1st were postponed. Today July 1st will see the following measures introduced; the duration of paternity leave in France is to be doubled from 14 to 28 days, there will be a revaluation of partial unemployment and the introduction of the European health pass to travel in Europe, the price of gas is to increase by almost 10%, and independent workers will see new benefits introduced for sick leave similar to those in the private sector.

For employees of companies in the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 crisis or administratively closed companies they will continue to receive compensation equal to 84% of net salary until August 31st.

Premiums for the purchase of a car is on the decline with premiums for the purchase of new electric vehicles falling by 1,000 euros. The bonus thus increases to 6,000 euros for cars sold for less than 45,000 euros, and to 2,000 euros for those less than 60,000 euros. The same goes for plug-in hybrid vehicles: the aid is reduced to 1,000 euros and will disappear in January 2022.

Finally, there will be new rules for VAT in e-commerce. Online platforms and marketplaces are now liable for VAT, at least for part of the transactions. The reform, initiated because of the significant VAT fraud observed in e-commerce, was to come into force in January 2021, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Foreign tourists to be charged for covid tests from July 7th - Foreign tourists will have to pay for a covid test from July 7thFollowing an announcement from the French government on Wednesday PCR and antigen tests will no longer be free for foreign tourists coming to France with a charge of up to 49 euros for PCR tests and 29 euros for antigen test.

Slowdown in vaccination and fears of fourth wave - The slowdown in vaccination in the Alpes-Maritimes is raising fears of a fourth wave. While the Alpes-Maritimes was the most affected department in France by the virus this winter, the incidence rate fell to 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. However, the regional health authority warns that the new Delta variant represent 23% of cases in the region and despite the drop in the incidence rate “we must remain mobilized”.

Monaco health pass - The health pass is to be made available in Monaco from July 2nd. The princely government had announced the establishment of a health pass by July 5th however it will now be available from tomorrow. People who will be vaccinated or tested from July 2nd will receive their health pass automatically after the administration of the last dose of vaccine or upon delivery of the test result and for those already vaccinated or recovered from covid before July 2nd (PCR or positive antigen test of +15 days and - 6 months) they can apply for their health pass by filling out an online form on the site www.covid19.mc.

As a reminder, people can choose between the Monaco Safe Pass, valid in Monaco and France or the European Health Pass, issued in the same way as the Monaco Safe Pass. The latter is valid in Monaco, in all member states of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, as well as in states which will conclude recognition agreements with the EU.

Mayor considers health pass to be discriminatory – Meanwhile according to the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet the health pass which is being introduced due to the health crisis, is “discriminatory” and will not be introduced for summer festivities in the town. Speaking at a council meeting on Wednesday Lionnel Luca said he is against the measure and that the town will continue to use restrictions such as reduced capacity, social distancing and the obligation to wear a mask.

Two former presidents of the Nice commercial court placed in police custody - Two former presidents of the Nice commercial court have been placed in police custody. According to local media, Fabien Paul and Jean-Marcel Giuliani, former presidents of the Nice Commercial Court, were in custody on Wednesday 30th June concerning the case of the Negresco's succession.

Changes to region’s bus network from today - It’s all change for public transport in the region as the Ligne d’Azur bus network from today introduces new services and prices. From this Thursday, July 1st several new services will be offered to residents in terms of public transport by RLA, Réseau Lignes d’Azur. Amongst the changes 18-25-year olds will be able to travel for free at weekends on presentation of the new “weekend pass” which will cost 8 euros to subscribe to. On certain bus lines cyclists will be able to hang their bikes on the back of buses as part of the new “cycling plan”, four new electric bus lines will be introduced as well as shuttle buses for certain neighbourhoods and being able to purchase a ticket on board a bus will be introduced and the transport of muzzled dogs in trams is now authorized on an experimental basis for two months. For more information and details go to the website www.lignesdazur.com.

Business

The Trump Organisation and its chief financial officer have been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. The charges against the company owned by former President Donald Trump and its CFO Alan Weisselberg are expected to be unsealed today. Mr Weisselberg is expected to surrender to authorities this morning and will be formally charged in the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan this afternoon. Mr Trump himself is not expected to be charged this week according to his lawyer but the case could complicate his political future. The criminal case stems from a probe by the Manhattan district attorney and the New York state attorney. Its expected to focus on whether officials received perks and benefits such as rent free apartments and leased cars without reporting them properly on their tax returns. Trump Organisation lawyers have so far refused to comment.

The UK finance minister Rishi Sunak is to set out an ambitious vision later today for the country’s  financial sector. In his first Mansion House speech, Mr Sunak will outline plans for what he says will be the world’s “most advanced” financial sector. The City of London and the UK financial sector was largely left out of Britain’s trade deal with the EU, cutting lucrative ties with investors in mainland Europe. The industry has been calling for a fresh government strategy for the City. Mr Sunak has already started work on changing rules to attract more investment funds, amending capital rules and reforms to capital markets. Listing rules are set to be eased to attract more technology company flotations and a fast track visa scheme is planned to help businesses.

Gap has confirmed it plans to close all of its 81 stores in the UK and Ireland and go online only. The fashion giant says that it will close all of its stores in a phased manner between the end of August and the end of September. The company has not disclosed how many employees the closures will affect but is set to start a consultation process with staff. Gap says that it is not exiting the UK market and will continue to offer a web based store. A spokesman said the decision followed a strategic review of its European business adding that the firm is also looking to offload its stores in France and Italy.

Sport

Euro 2020 – The England manager Gareth Southgate has praised Raheem Sterling for his incredible “resilience and hunger”. Sterling has scored three goals for England including the opener against Germany on Tuesday. He’s scored 15 goals in his past 20 England games and Southgate says that he is a fighter. The player had been heavily criticised by some England fans but the manager says that he has answered the questions. England play Ukraine in Rome on Saturday night for a place in the semi finals.

The Netherlands manager Frank de Boer has left his job after his side suffered a shock defeat by the Czech Republic in the last 16. De Boer, who’s 51 was only appointed last September but announced on Wednesday that he did not wish to continue. The Netherlands topped group C and were tipped to do well before they crashed out 2-0 to the Czech Republic on Monday.

Tennis – Andy Murray is through to the third round of Wimbledon after beating the German qualifier Oscar Otte under the lights on centre court. Murray led by a set and a break but momentum switched to his opponent and the match went to 5 sets. Murray eventually came through 6–3 4–6 4–6 6–4 6–2. 7,500  fans watched the match inside centre court.

Also on Wednesday top seed Novak Djokovic brushed aside Kevin Anderson in straight sets to reach the third round.

In the women’s event, the second seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Katie Boulter of Great Britain in 3 sets to reach round three and there were wins for the 8th seed Karolina Pliskova and the 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza.

Cycling – The defending Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar won the individual time trial on stage five of the race on Wednesday. Pogacar finished the 27.2 km course in 32 minutes, 19 seconds quicker than Stefan Kung who was second. Belgium’s Mathieu van der Poel just hung on to the leader’s yellow jersey. Today’s six stage is 160.6 km between Tours and Châteauroux and looks like another one for the sprinters.

Weather

Clear skies with moderate to strong westerly winds across the Var. Top temperatures 26-28 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes, 31-32 degrees in the Var. Overnight lows of 20-22 degrees with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend - Clear skies with highs of 26-31 degrees.

And Finally

An engineer in the UK has managed to stack five M & M’s and breaks world record. Will Cutbill from Solihull, England succeeded in making the tallest M & M’s tower in the world, by stacking… five of the chocolate treat. Sometimes it takes little to set a world record. The 23-year-old English engineer has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the record holder for the tallest M & M’s tower in the world. An astonishing performance which required a lot of patience.

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