French and Riviera News Thursday 20th October 2022

News

Strike action easing - A number of striking employees have decided to suspend action in certain refineries, following negotiations on Wednesday, as the CGT union adds that workers "remain determined." Strike action at the oil sites of TotalEnergies fell sharply on Wednesday with the lifting of the movement at three of their sites, while two others decided to continue their showdown with management. The French government continues to insist that the situation is improving on the fuel front ahead of the holidays. By Wednesday afternoon, 20.3% of service stations were experiencing supply difficulties compared to 24.8% on Tuesday, according to figures from the Ministry of Energy Transition.

30,000 inhabitants in the Var forced to reduce water consumption - Faced with the ongoing drought in the Var, the mayor of Seillans, René Ugo, has decided to reduce the water consumption of the inhabitants to 100 litres per day and per person. The average consumption for one person is about 148 litres. Eight additional towns in the Fayence region are to adopt the same measure affecting 30,000 inhabitants in Bagnols-en-Forêt, Callian, Fayence, Mons, Montauroux, Saint-Paul-en-Forêt, Tourrettes and Tanneron.

Authorities say that the only “reserve in case of water crisis is the area is the lake of Saint-Cassien”. However, currently, its level is about 7 meters lower than normal. The move will for the first time in France, see water reducers, which reduce the flow to 5 litres, installed in households. Such a device is usually used in countries with chronic drought, such as Australia. Some reducers have already been installed in the homes of residents in the town having a real impact on members of the household making it impossible to take a shower and put a wash on at the same time.

Flu vaccination gets off to a slow start in Cannes - The flu vaccination campaign has started in Cannes however, the turnout was rather poor on Wednesday with less than a dozen elderly or at-risk people, turning up at the vaccination centre organised by the town hall.  In addition to doctors' surgeries, those of nurses and midwives, and also pharmacies the municipality organized its first vaccination centre as part of the national campaign, launched on Tuesday.

Airbnb - Several cities in the Bouches-du-Rhone, Var and Alpes Maritimes have been added to an Airbnb obligation, where any advertisement on the platform must first be passed by the town hall. A decision voted for by local councils. In the Var and the Alpes Maritimes, the new measure will concern Bandol, Le Castellet, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Menton, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. The measure only applies to rentals of entire accommodations with those publishing an ad on the site to rent a property obliged to register on the town hall website to obtain a registration number. The registration allows local councils to verify the legality of rental offers and compliance with the limit of 120 days per year for main residences. In France, 130 cities are affected by this online registration. In the region, it is already implemented in Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis and Marseille.

Two incidents on the region’s roads - A vehicle has caught fire on the “Voie Mathis” in Nice. The incident occurred on the dual carriage way on Wednesday evening, shortly after 8.30pm, just ahead of the Saint-Philippe exit heading eastbound. Firefighters were quick to intervene and the flames were soon brought under control. The cause is unknown, no casualties were deplored.

Meanwhile traffic is Cannes has been heavily disrupted after a German couple in a motorhome, carried out a U-turn on the dual carriageway which runs behind the Croisette and collided with a T-Max scooter. The accident occurred at around 7pm. The driver of the scooter suffered slight injuries and alcohol and narcotics tests carried out on the German couple proved to be negative.

Marathon - All 1,800 places on this year's Nice to Villeneuve-Loubet 20k have now sold out. The race is on Sunday 30th October. It's still possible to sign up for the full marathon from Nice to Cannes on the same day - and the 2-by-21 kilometre relay. In total 10,000 runners are expected to take part, across the various race lengths. Registrations close next Monday. You'll find details at marathon06.com

Lemon Festival Menton – Finally, details of next year's lemon festival in Menton have been announced. The 89th edition will have the theme of "rock and operas". The event's mascot, John Lemon, will sport an Elvis Presley hairstyle, a Rolling Stones mouth and tongue and a mask inspired by the band Kiss. The lemon festival will run from 11th to 26th February.

Business

French President Emmanuel Macron is to meet today Thursday 20th October, with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa to discuss the question of a new gas pipeline between France and Spain, as the EU seeks to reduce its dependence on Moscow. The meeting in Brussels to discuss energy interconnection issues comes ahead of a planned European Summit.

Despite a climb in sales Tesla has missed expectations according to a financial update for investors. While problems with supply shortages, logistic bottle necks and rising costs have improved recently, revenue was lower than expected in the three months ending in September.  Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk, has been growing aggressively in recent years, opening new factories in the US, China and Germany and boosting output. The company delivered 343,000 cars in the quarter - a record that was up more than 40% from the same period last year.

The founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos has added his voice to the chorus of voices warning of hardship ahead for the US economy. On social media, the billionaire wrote that the economy was sending a signal to "batten down the hatches". Growth in the US has already contracted for two quarters in a row, a milestone that in many countries - though not the US - is considered a recession. As the US central bank raises interest rates to fight rising prices, many economists expect further slowdown.

The rising cost of living is affecting fashion, as online fashion retailer Asos reports a big loss. The firm saw a loss of nearly £32m in the 12 months to August, compared with a profit of £177m last year. The firm expects shoppers to cut back further this year due to the cost-of-living crisis. Asos, which owns Topshop and Topman, said it was at the moment facing "an incredibly challenging economic environment".

Sport

Football - Manchester United produced a fine performance as Tottenham were swept aside in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening with a 2-0 win.

And - Darwin Nunez scored his first Anfield goal for Liverpool and Alisson saved a penalty as the Reds defeated West Ham 1-0 in another incident-packed encounter.

In this evening’s Premier League action Fulham are at home to Aston Villa kick off is at 8.30pm French time and Leicester face Leeds at 9.15pm.

Tennis – Britain’s Cameron Norrie has returned to action with victory over Russia's Aslan Karatsev in the last 16 of the Stockholm Open. Norrie pulled out of the Korea Open last month through illness and had to come from a set down before winning 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 6-4. The 27-year-old is battling to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals.

Golf - Rory McIlroy has rejected Phil Mickelson's suggestion that he picked the "winning side" in the dispute between the LIV series and PGA Tour. American Mickelson believed the LIV series is trending higher, and the PGA is on a downward trajectory.

Weather

Sunny intervals with a gentle breeze. Highs of 23 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Antibes. 22 degrees in Port Grimaud and Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 17 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Thundery showers forecast for tomorrow and predominantly cloudy for Saturday and Sunday highs of 23-24 degrees.

Sunrise:    07.50                            Sunset:     18.38

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