French and Riviera News Thursday 25th November 2021

News

Weather warning - Météo France has placed the Alpes Maritimes and the Var on a yellow weather alert due to heavy rain. The warning was put in place at midnight on Wednesday until this morning. The bad weather is expected to gradually give way to clear skies and sunshine by midday along the coast and by the afternoon inland.

New measures to curb 5th wave of covid in France - The French government is expected to announce new measures at midday today Thursday 25th November, in an attempt to stem the 5th wave of covid in France. The government confirmed on Wednesday that there will be an "acceleration of the vaccination booster campaign, reinforcement of the health pass as well as barrier gestures, such as wearing a mask".

Health Minister Olivier Véran will give a press conference to present the new measures and is expected to announce that the booster dose will be open to all and gradually integrated into the health pass. A new feature integrated into the TousAntiCovid application will alert people whose health pass is close to the expiry date. There will be a period of seven months to carry out the booster jab. The timing for the third dose is also expected to be reduced from 6 months to 5 since your last jab.

In addition, the validity of PCR tests will be reduced to 24 hours, compared to the current 72 hours. The wearing of masks will again become mandatory in all establishments open to the public, as well as outside during large crowds, such as Christmas markets.

Latest covid figures for France - Latest figures from Public Health France show that 8,765 people are currently hospitalized in France with covid, including 1483 in intensive care. The number of new cases continued to rise on Wednesday, to more than 32,000 with 32,591 new infections, the highest since April 24. The positivity rate remained stable at 4.9%.

Vaccination campaign - As far as the vaccination is concerned 51,805,728 people have received at least one injection (76.8% of the total population) and 50,722,228 people are fully vaccinated (75.2% of the total population).

PACA region covid figures - There's been a sharp increase in the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 in our region. In its weekly update the Provence Alpes-Cotes d'Azur Regional Health Agency said that for the week ending 23 November, 424 people were hospitalized, which is an increase of 91 on the previous week. 157 people were in intensive care which is an increase of 20 on the prior week and 16 people had died because of Covid-19. It also said that the positivity rate for Covid-19 had increased to 5.1% against 3.7% in the previous week.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said that he wants additional restrictions for those who refuse to be vaccinated. Speaking on French television on Wednesday he added that "there is no reason for the vaccinated to pay for the unvaccinated".

Thirty new covid case in Monaco - In Monaco 30 new cases of covid were identified on Wednesday November 24th, bringing the total number of residents affected since the beginning of the epidemic to 3,642. Twelve people are currently in hospital and 105 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Warning to Europe to urgently take measures in the face of 5th wave of covid - Meanwhile a European Union agency has warned that Europe must "urgently" take measures in the face of the new wave of covid. With more than 2.5 million cases and almost 30 000 deaths recorded in the past week, Europe is by far the region of the world most affected by the pandemic. This week the European branch of the World Health Organisation was alarmed by the "grip" of covid in Europe, which could cause 700,000 additional deaths on the continent by spring, in addition to the 1.5 million deaths already counted. The organisation went on to say that the highly contagious Delta variant has reduced the effectiveness of vaccines against the transmission of the disease to 40 percent.

Absentee students summoned to town hall with parents - Absentee students and their parents in La Seyne, in the Var, have been summoned by the town hall. In the presence of the deputy mayor the absentee children agreed to in writing, commit to a regular school attendance, while the parents were informed of their legal responsibility.

Soroptimist Club - HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and his children have planted a jacaranda on the terraces of the Casino in Monaco for the 100th anniversary of the Soroptimist club. Wednesday saw Prince Albert and his children lend a hand to the members of the Soroptimist club to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this international women's movement created in 1921 in the US and present in Monaco for 42 years.

French President condemns death of 27 migrants in Channel crossing - French President Emmanuel Macron has promised that "everything will be done to find and condemn those responsible" following the death of 27 migrants who died when their boat sank off the coast of Calais on Wednesday 24th November. Macron said that "France will not let the Channel become a cemetery". He added that "France, for several months, has been acting, in connection with Great Britain, to dismantle the networks of smugglers, referring to the figures of 1,552 smugglers "arrested on the north coast, 44 networks of smugglers dismantled". " Despite this action, 47,000 attempted crossings have taken place to Britain since January 1st, and 7,800 migrants have been rescued by French rescue services".

Bruno Le Marie announces increase of this year's "gift voucher" for some 8 million employees - The end of year "gift voucher" distributed to some 8 million employees in France at the end of the year has been increased by 79 euros, from 171 to 250 euros. France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire made the announcement this morning Wednesday 24th November. The move comes in an attempt to increase the "purchasing power of the French". The increase however is less than last year when the amount doubled from 171 to 342 euros. With the soaring energy prices, the French fear for their purchasing power. The government has already announced several measures to help, including a cap on energy prices and the distribution of an inflation allowance of 100 euros.

Business

Consumer prices have continued to climb in October in the United States. Driven by energy prices and recorded at +5% year-on-year it's their largest increase since 1990, according to the PCE index of the Department of Commerce published on Wednesday. Inflation is also accelerating month-on-month, to 0.6%, as expected. On the other hand, both household income and expenditure increased more than expected compared to September, by 0.5% and 1.3% respectively. Another measure, the CPI index, had shown an acceleration in October, to 0.9% month-on-month, and 6.2% year-on-year, the largest increase since November 1990.

Fishing licences - Brussels has asked London to settle the issue of licences by the 10th December. The announcement came after a discussion between the European Commissioner for Environment and Fisheries and the UK minister for the Environment. France is demanding more fishing licenses in London and the Channel Island of Jersey as part of the post-Brexit agreement signed at the end of 2020. European fishermen can continue to work in British waters provided they can prove that they used to fish there. But the French and British are arguing over the nature and extent of the evidence to be provided. In total, since January 1, 2021, France has obtained "more than 960 licenses" of fisheries in British waters and the Channel Islands, but Paris still requires more than 150 authorizations, according to the French Ministry of the Sea

The CEO of Orange Stéphane Richard has announced his resignation on Wednesday evening during a board meeting. His departure has been accepted but the boss will remain to do the interim. The departure "will be effective from the establishment of a replacement and at the latest on January 31, 2022. Stéphane Richard continues to exercise his functions until the date of his departure. Stéphane Richard was sentenced on appeal to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 euros in the Bernard Tapie arbitration case. He was then chief of staff to the Minister of the Economy at the time, Christine Lagarde.

According to a report from the Institute of Public Policies (IPP) published on Wednesday, based on a recent large-scale testing. Discrimination in hiring against people of supposed Maghreb origin remains "very important" in France. On average, applications whose identity suggests a Maghreb origin are 31.5% less likely to be contacted by recruiters than those with a first and last name of French origin.

Sport

Rugby Union – World Rugby has approved a revolutionary change to rugby union's international eligibility rules. From January 2022 a player will now be able to represent a different country after a stand-down period of three years. A player can move to a nation of their, their parents' or grandparents' birth, but can only switch allegiance once. In a surprise move, the ruling was passed on Wednesday by more than 75% of the World Rugby council votes.

Cricket - England's intra-squad Ashes warm-up match in Brisbane was abandoned without a ball being bowled on the final day because of rain. Only 29 overs were bowled in the three-day game, with no play possible on day two as well. England have only one more warm-up match, also against England Lions and starting on Tuesday, before the Ashes begin on 8 December.

Football - Manchester City came back from behind to beat Paris St-Germain and secure qualification for the Champions League last 16.

And France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been found guilty of conspiring to blackmail a fellow French footballer with a sex tape. Benzema was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence and ordered him to pay a €75,000 fine. Benzema, was one of five people put on trial last month. The scandal has stunned the football community in France and both players lost their national team places. The case dates back to June 2015, when the two footballers were at a French training camp.

Weather

Cloudy and some scattered showers to begin with in the Alpes Maritimes. Clearing by midday with sunny intervals. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes with a moderate breeze. Highs of 14 degrees in Saint Tropez, Cogolin and Grimaud with showers and strong winds. This evening going down to 9 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Sunny intervals tomorrow highs of 16 along the coast. Saturday possibility of scattered showers in the morning clearing by the afternoon. Highs of 14 degrees.

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