French and Riviera News Thursday 28th July 2022


Missing person - A man has been reported missing between La Tour-sur-Tinée and Lantosque in the Alpes Maritimes. Damien Riposati was last seen several days ago when he left to visit a farmer in a neighbouring village. A search was carried out in the area on Monday, but for the time being he has not been found. The town of Valdeblore has launched an appeal on its Facebook page for anyone who may have seen or have any information to come forward.

Fatal road accident - A motorcyclist has died in a road accident in Cabasse north of Le Luc in the Var. Emergency services intervened on Wednesday afternoon on the RD33 when a motorcycle collided with a car. An investigation has been opened as police. It is not known if the motorist involved fled immediately or left after stopping.

Road deaths in the Var declining – Meanwhile, according to the latest report published, the number of road deaths in the Var department has dropped in 2021 and the number of people killed on French motorways is at its lowest for twenty years.  In 2021, 61 people lost their lives on the roads in the Var, this represents a drop of 16% compared to 2019.

Customs officers in Marseille intercept 20 tonnes of peanuts and 12.8 tonnes of spices - Customs officers in Marseille have intercepted 20 tonnes of peanuts and 12.8 tonnes of spices, contaminated, and deemed to be dangerous. The batch of nearly 20 tonnes of peanuts, originating from the United States, was intended for a professional in the international trade of dried fruits and vegetables based in Marseille. A sample taken by the "Marseille Food Safety" Unit of the Marseille Port customs office, on delivery on July 7th, revealed the presence of a high level of aflatoxins. The lot was immediately destroyed.

Blue sharks - Blue sharks have been spotted near two beaches in the Var on Wednesday morning. The first sighting was off the Port Hélène beach in Hyeres and a little later in Bormes, a few meters from Cabasson beach. In Hyéres a person on a paddle board took a video of the two-metre-long shark while in Bormes it was a swimmer who spotted two fins. Firefighters temporarily closed the beach at Cabasson to confirm the sightings with the objective to protect bathers even if the blue shark is harmless to humans.

Investigation - An investigation is underway, and several boats have been seized after companies running sea excursions to swim with dolphins in the Mediterranean have not respected regulations in place protecting the animals.  For 300 euros per person, three companies on the Côte d'Azur claiming to practice "responsible ecotourism", offer the opportunity to go swimming in the Mediterranean with dolphins. But the French justice has seized their boats as the practice is prohibited. Those responsible risk up to two years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros as well as a fine of 750 euros per client.

SNCF busiest day of an already record summer - France’s rail network the SNCF has said that tomorrow Friday 29th July will be the busiest day of an already record summer. 400,000 main line travellers are expected and the level of reservations at the end of July is 10% higher than that of 2019 before the Covid pandemic.  The SNCF has so far sold more than 18 million main line tickets for July and August,

The most popular destinations are unsurprisingly the Mediterranean, the South-West and Brittany, the "top 5" of the most requested cities being, like last year, Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Avignon.

Check your small change! – Finally, you might want to check your small change as Monegasque one centime coins dated 2001 and 2002 are now virtually impossible to find and according to traders are worth more than 100 euros. The same goes for 2 centimes coins from 2002, 2003 and 2004. According to the collectors' website, coins issued by the Principality are very rare and therefore highly sought after by collectors.


The US central bank has announced another unusually large interest rate hike as it battles to rein in soaring prices in the world's largest economy. The Federal Reserve said it would increase its key rate by 0.75 percentage points, targeting a range of 2.25% to 2.5%. The bank has been raising borrowing costs since March to try to cool the economy and ease price inflation. But fears are rising the moves will tip the US into recession. Many expect official figures this week will show the US economy shrank for the second quarter in a row.

Gas prices have jumped after Russia further cut gas supplies to Germany and other central European countries. European gas prices rose almost 2%, trading close to the record high set after Russia invaded Ukraine. Critics accuse the Russian government of using gas as a political weapon.

The owner of Facebook and Instagram was hit by a fall in advertising sales in the three months to July which caused the first year-on-year revenue decline in the firm's history. Meta's total revenue slipped 1% to $28.8bn (&