French and Riviera News Thursday 26th November 2020


Fight to open region’s ski resorts - The president of the Alpes-Maritimes department has said that “authorities will fight to open the region’s ski resorts at Christmas”. During French President Emmanuel Macron's address to the nation on Tuesday, the Head of State said that he considered it "impossible" to open winter sports resorts during the festive season due to the health risks. In the Alpes-Maritimes, the winter sports industry creates 5,000 jobs, and a turnover of 20 million euros. The holiday season represents between 20 and 25% of the turnover of ski resorts.

Universities in France warn of a “social and human time bomb” - Meanwhile, also in reaction to the President’s announcement that university students will not return until two weeks after high school students, planned for the 20th January, ten university presidents have warned of a “real social and human time bomb”. They say that they do not understand the difference in treatment between high schools and universities, calling it a "double standard" which has caused "amazement" and "anger" among academics. In a forum, university presidents denounce differences in treatment with high schools. They claim to have taken "emergency measures" and say they feel "responsible" in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Press conference - French Prime Minister Jean Castex is to hold a press conference this morning at 11am to give more detail on Emmanuel Macron's announcements concerning the new coronavirus measures.

Exceptional aid for precarious workers - Ahead of the Prime Minister’s press conference France’s employment minister Elisabeth Borne has announced an "exceptional aid" guaranteeing “a minimum monthly replacement income" for precarious workers such as seasonal employees. This aid will be paid by Pôle Emploi and should concern "approximately 300,000 people, including 70,000 young people”. According to the minister, current help launched during the Covid-19 pandemic in July by the government already includes up to 4,000 euros to companies hiring a young person and 5,000 euros for an apprentice under 18.

Vaccination refusal on the rise - The number of people in France stating that they would refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19, if a vaccine were available in the coming months, has been increasing for several weeks. According to the latest Elabe survey, 48% of those polled say they would not get vaccinated if a vaccine against the coronavirus were available in the coming months, a figure up two points from last week. 37% (-3) say they are ready to be vaccinated, and 15% (+1) do not yet know.

Toys for the children of the Roya Valley - The Principality of Monaco is participating in an operation to give toys to children affected by Storm Alex. HSH Prince Albert II and his government have contributed 15,000 euros to the operation which aims to give toys for Christmas to almost 600 children aged up to 14 years old. "Solidarity Christmas for the children of the Roya Valley" was initiated by the Deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes Alexandra Valetta-Ardisson and the Agglomeration of the French Riviera. The contribution from Monaco should make it possible to offer a gift to each child. Since the storm in early October, Monaco has paid 1 million euros to each of the affected valleys - Vésubie, Roya, Tinée and the town of Ventimiglia.

World Day of Elimination of Violence against women - Several public buildings in Nice, as well as the famous "I Love Nice" sign turned orange on Wednesday on the occasion of World Day for the Elimination of Violence against women. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said that the city's actions to fight domestic violence aren't limited to a single day but are developed through concrete measures throughout the year. He added that Nice provides a telephone hotline, as well as emergency response and accommodation facilities.

Taxes for online technology companies - France's minister of finance has today announced that online technology companies which operate in France will be forced to pay taxes in France rather than elsewhere in the EU. An official from the French Ministry of Finance said today that the companies to be subjected to the tax notably Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon have been notified, while French media suggested that the move is "likely to put France on course for a first clash with Biden". In the past France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire has called the issue of dealing with digital giants "one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century".

Mediterranean episodes forecast - Météo France has warned that “Mediterranean episodes” characterized by "violent storms" with the equivalent of several months of rain in a few hours or days are expected today and tomorrow in t