French and Riviera News Thursday 29th September 2022

News

Strike action - Transport, schools and public services across France face widespread disruption as unions call for strike action today in protest against pension reforms and the cost-of-living crisis. More than 200 demonstrations are planned. Unions and several youth organisations rally under the banner “increase wages, not the retirement age".  SNCF railway employees have been asked to join, increasing the chance of train cancellations. Some truck drivers and maritime workers will be taking part as will some creche workers, kindergarten and primary school teachers. Some refinery workers employed by TotalEngergies will strike to demand salary increases as well as the “unfreezing of hiring” and “a massive investment plan”.  Not all unions are joining the strike movement though, with notable absences including France’s largest union, the CFDT, the Force Ouvrière and Unsa unions.

New scam - A new scam is spreading via SMS. This time, it tells you that your Netflix account is going to be suspended, due to non-payment or that your subscription is about to expire. Each time, the SMS comes from a 06 or 07 number and sends you to a site that uses the Netflix logo making it easy to be fooled. Netflix has reportedly set up a help page to help you determine if it is a scam or not. Note that Netflix will never notify you that your payment has been declined, via SMS. Just as they will never ask you by email or SMS for card numbers, bank details or passwords.

Investigation - Investigations have been opened after a man was shot by police in Marseille. Local reports say that the man walked into a police station in the 15th arrondissement and threatened to stab himself before running towards a market. Police then confronted him and shot him in the abdomen. The man is now in hospital, but his life is not in danger.

Family planning toll-free number - The Alpes Maritimes Family Planning has set up a toll-free number 0800 08 11 11 with the intention of providing quality care and information for voluntary pregnancy terminations. Figures show that in 2020 22,424 abortions were performed in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region, making it the region with the highest abortion rate in metropolitan France.

Monaco Yacht Show - The 2022 Monaco Yacht Show got underway on Wednesday with visitors able to see the most exciting yachts launched in the past year and more. Since 1991, the show has enjoyed the recognition and support of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. The show is on until Sunday October 1st.

Business

Stock markets in Asia and the US have risen after the Bank of England said it would buy £65bn of UK government bonds. The announcement came after Friday's mini-budget sparked financial market turmoil and the pound plunged. The Bank of England stepped in to calm markets after some types of pension funds were at risk of collapse. The Bank said its decision to buy government bonds at an "urgent pace" was driven by concern over "a material risk to UK financial stability."

Citroën has presented its new logo, which is very similar to that of 1919, the year the French brand was founded. The new logo will appear on a concept car before ending up on the next production models from 2023. Following Peugeot and Renault, it's now Citroen’s turn to look to its past to change its image.

Caught between the surge in energy and the sharp rise in raw materials, some bakeries in France could be forced to increase the price of their baguette. After having already climbed sharply in the summer of 2021, wheat prices have taken off again in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. France’s 2023 budget currently provides for companies with fewer than ten employees to continue to benefit from the tariff shield next year: this concerns a large number of bakeries but, for large bakeries, the bill is likely to be steep without a tariff shield.

Sport

Cricket - Pakistan took a 3-2 lead in their Twenty20 series against England with a six-run victory in a low-scoring match. The penultimate game of the seven-match series takes place on Friday.

Football - Denmark will wear "toned down" shirts for the World Cup to protest against host Qatar's human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers. As part of the design, the Denmark badge is also "toned down". Their playing kit will be a plain red home shirt and an all-white second kit.

Athletics - Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah has withdrawn from Sunday's London Marathon with a hip injury. It would have been the 39-year-old's first full marathon since 2019. The six-time world champion won the Big Half - a half-marathon race - in London earlier this month as part of his preparations. Britain's Farah said it is "really disappointing" and that he has done everything he can to compete but "it hasn't proved enough".

Weather

Sunny intervals and a fresh breeze. Highs of 23 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. 22 degrees in Saint Tropez with a moderate breeze. This evening going down to 12 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Remaining dry. Sunny intervals tomorrow with highs of 24 degrees. The weekend mainly fine highs of 22-24 degrees.

Sunrise              07.25hr                                  Sunset 19.15hr

 

 

 

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