French and Riviera News Thursday 29th December 2022


Ukrainian President thanks France - The Ukrainian President has welcomed an announcement made by France’s Minister for the Armed Forces on Wednesday in which he declared that France wanted to “work to meet kyiv's military needs in the coming weeks”. Traveling to the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday, the French Minister for the Armed Forces promised to further help Ukraine. An announcement welcomed by the Ukrainian president who in his daily address confirmed discussions on the “reconstruction of Ukraine and a new stage in strengthening its air defence" ending with saying "Thank you France!"

Ukrainian oligarch and regular on the Côte d’Azur arrested in Courchevel – Meanwhile locally a Ukrainian oligarch member of the “Monaco Battalion” and a regular on the Côte d'Azur has been arrested in the French ski resort of Courchevel. Kostyantin Zhevago was wanted by his country in a corruption case. The youngest billionaire in Europe and among the five richest Ukrainians in the country, he was part of the famous "Monaco Battalion", named after Ukrainian oligarchs, VIP refugees on the Côte d'Azur, fleeing the war against Russia. Arrested by the French authorities he will now be extradited to Ukraine suspected of an embezzlement case of 113 million dollars and money laundering.

Zhevago spent summers on the Côte d’Azur and winters in the Alps and his yacht called “Z” often sailed between the Principality, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Antibes. Zhevago is one of the owners of iron ore manufacturer Ferrexpo and controls the largest Ukrainian financial and industrial group “Finances et credit”. His fortune is estimated at $1.4 billion.

France to consider protective measures following China’s abrupt end of “zero covid” policy - French President Emmanuel Macron has asked the government to think about appropriate measures to protect the French following China’s abrupt end of the “zero covid” policy. Beijing's announcement of the end of the "zero Covid" policy on January 8th was met with great concern from several countries, including France, as China faces the largest wave of contamination in the world. Macron "for the moment asks to look and prepare proposals over the next few days". Italy has already announced that it will impose mandatory tests on all travellers from China, while the United States is considering similar measures. "

Beijing's sudden reversal in health policy has ended nearly three years of mass testing, lockdowns and prolonged quarantines which have seriously disrupted the country's supply chains as well as the world’s second largest economy. All travellers arriving in China had to observe a mandatory quarantine since March 2020.

Chinese authorities have acknowledged that the extent of the epidemic wave is now "impossible" to measure and have reduced the number of criteria for attributing a death from Covid. The Chinese Centre for Disease Prevention and Control listed on Wednesday 5,231 new contaminations and three deaths from the coronavirus nationwide, figures which are probably underestimated because the sick no longer need to declare themselves.

Flu epidemic - The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region is one of the regions of the country worst affected by the influenza epidemic, according to Sante Publique France. It said that nationally there has been a continued increase in influenza indicators in all age groups in the past week with very high levels of activity in community medicine and hospitals, particularly among 15–64-year-olds. The organization said that to limit the impact of what it called "this very active epidemic", people at risk should get vaccinated urgently and barrier gestures should be respected by everyone, especially during the end of year celebrations.

Fall in covid incidence rate in Monaco - There's been another significant fall in the Covid-19 incidence rate in Monaco. In the week to Christmas Day the incidence rate per 100,000 people was 171, down from 258 the previous week. 67 new positive cases of Covid-19 were detected in the week. As of Sunday December 25, 25 people, including 13 residents, were hospitalized at the Princess Grace Hospital. There were no patients in intensive care. As at Sunday evening, 33 people were being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Archbishop of Monaco dies - The former Archbishop of Monaco Monsignor Bernard Barsi has died at the L’Archet hospital in Nice. It has been reported on Tuesday that 80-year-old Monsignor Barsi had been hospitalised after suffering from a cardiac arrest on Christmas Eve after holding a mass for the prisoners of Nice prison. Sadly, after being put on an artificial coma Monsignor passed away shortly before 5pm on Wednesday surrounded by his family. Monsignor Barsi retired in 2020 in Nice, after twenty years at the head of the Church of Monaco.