French and Riviera News Thursday 25th August 2022

Local News

Missing man in Alpes-Maritimes - Gendarmes in the Alpes-Maritimes have launched an appeal after a man went missing while out hiking. Richard Guerois, who works as a freelance medic with clients including AS Monaco football club, was last seen on 17th August. He had returned home from a holiday in Corsica earlier than his wife and children, for work. His wife raised the alarm after she couldn't make contact with him. A search of the family home in Aspremont revealed he had left his phone and identity documents behind. The search is concentrating on the hiking trails around Aspremont and Allos.

Prosecuters investigating death of mother in Toulon - Prosecutors investigating the death of a mother in her apartment in Toulon on Monday say they no longer think she was murdered - although they have not completely ruled it out. The 37-year-old woman died of a stab wound at her home in the centre of Toulon, in a case that was initially treated as a murder investigation. Forensics experts have now carried out a post-mortem which suggests a third party was not involved and the death remains unexplained. The victim's partner is serving time in La Farlède prison for an earlier case of domestic violence.

Member of parliament suggests banning private swimming pools - A French member of parliament who made headlines this week with his proposed ban on private jets now has private swimming pools in his sight. Julien Bayou, from France's green party, wants the use of swimming pools on private properties to be banned if we experience more frequent and longer periods of drought in the future. Three million homes in France have a swimming pool. We know the figure because they have to be declared for property tax reasons. The Var has 106,000 private swimming pools - that's the second-highest number after the Vaucluse. In the Alpes-Maritimes there are 54,000. Roquefort-les-Pins has the highest number per inhabitant - six out of 10 homes in the municipality have a private swimming pool.

Private jets making flights between Nice and Cannes - Meanwhile, a campaign group against aircraft noise at Cannes-Mandelieu airport has discovered that private jets frequently make flights between Nice and Cannes - a distance of just 35 kilometres. This happened more than 60 times last month. Most of the flights are empty - generally they've dropped a passenger off in Nice before flying to their parking slot at Cannes airport. 

Thousands of teaching positions remain unfilled in France - In other news, with just one week until pupils and teachers return to school across France, thousands of teaching positions remain unfilled - and the Riviera is not spared. According to the education ministry, 4,000 teaching jobs in primary and secondary education remain vacant nationwide. 83% of posts are filled, compared with 94% this time last year. Low morale and low salaries in the teaching profession are in part to blame for the exodus of talent. Stricter rules, which came into force this year, on who can take teaching exams are also limiting the number of new recruits.

Landlords forbidden from increasing rent on non energy-efficient homes - Landlords who rent out homes that aren't energy efficient are banned from putting up their rents from today. A new law imposes a rent freeze on properties with an energy efficiency rating of F or G. 17% of housing in France falls within these categories. Rents cannot be increased when a new rental contract is signed, or a current one is renewed. The aim is to encourage owners to carry out works to better insulate their properties. From January next year, homes with the worst rating - G - which consume more than 450 kilowatt hours per square metre per year cannot be rented out at all.

Vineyards in the Var start early harvest - After Bellet last week, it's the turn of several vineyards in the east of the Var to start an early grape harvest. The vendange has already started in Fréjus, Roquebrune-sur-Argens and Puget-Thénier. The drought and hot weather mean grapes have matured much earlier than usual. The Clos des Roses in Fréjus is inviting the public to open days tomorrow and Saturday to find out more about the wine-making process and see the grape-pickers at work.

OGC Nice - Fans of OGC Nice are trying to drum up support for the local side ahead of a crucial Europa League qualifier against Maccabi Tel Aviv this evening. Ticket sales have reportedly been sluggish, with fewer than 20,000 spectators expected to attend tonight's match at the Allianz Riviera. Supporters have been sticking up posters around Nice urging people to come along and support their local team. OGC Nice is offering cut-price tickets starting as low as €5. Students from an association at Sciences-