French and Riviera News Thursday 2nd March 2023

News

School bullying victim to meet with Brigitte Macron - Brigitte Macron, the wife of the President of the Republic, is to meet the parents of Maël, a primary school pupil in CM2 and victim for several years of school bullying. The case, which has led to the pupil having to change schools, caught the attention of the Elysée and has led to France’s first lady meeting with the victim’s parents. Brigitte Macron has in the past defended the fight against school bullying. In France a national reference number has been set up 3020 for victims and in the case of cyberbullying you can dial 3018. Every year the 10th November marks France’s national day in the fight against school bullying.

Record number of drugs seized in 2022 - France’s interior minister has announced that a record number of drugs were seized in 2022. 128 tons of cannabis were seized last year, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year and 27 tonnes of cocaine a 5% increase on 2021.

Luxury villa seized - According to local media the villa of a Russian oligarch has been seized, a first in France. The property located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat belongs to Viktor Rachnikov. The luxurious home, estimated at 23 million euros, was seized in October of last year at the request of the magistrates. The owner Viktor Rachnikov, a close friend of Vladimir Putin, is a majority shareholder of one of the biggest steel producers in Russia. Rachnikov had already been placed on a blacklist by the European Union. Three residences belonging to Viktor Rachnikov, including Villa Nellcote in Villefranche-sur-mer, had already been frozen by the French State.

More than half of the frozen goods in France are on the Côte d'Azur and according to the Ministry of the Economy, 62 luxury villas, chalets and apartments were placed under receivers by the French State, in response to sanctions from the European Union due to the war in Ukraine. In addition, more than half of the real estate of the relatives of Vladimir Putin were frozen between the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var representing a total of 33 luxury properties. Their sale could potentially bring more than a billion euros to Ukraine.

Ukrainian refugees – Meanwhile, a national audit on the reception of Ukrainian refugees in France has indicated that Nice is amongst the cities in France which has welcomed the most refugees since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Semi-trailer blocks traffic in Nice Nord - A semi-trailer has blocked the Boulevard Las Planas in Nice Nord on Wednesday night. The incident occurred shortly after 10pm when the vehicle registered in Spain became stuck, blocking other motorists. Despite the road being prohibited for vehicles of more than 19 tonnes the young driver reported followed direction on his GPS.

The Monte-Carlo Summer Festival - The Société des Bains de Mer has announced that the tickets for the “The Monte-Carlo Summer Festival” have gone on sale this week. With the arrival of major international stars such as Sting and Mika this summer now is your chance to get a place. For more information go to the website. www.https://www.montecarlosbm.com/en/shows/monte-carlo-summer-festival

MC Summer looking for young talent - Meanwhile, are you the next Sting or Mika? If so, this is your opportunity, as the MC Summer is looking for young talents from Monaco to perform at their concert in July. MC Summer, a concert for young people on the initiative of the National Council, co-organized with the government and the town hall of Monaco. It will be taking place on Friday July 7th, at the Espace Léo-Ferré. The event, whose programming is organised by Monaco Live Productions, is free and reserved for young people aged 13 to 25 from the Principality (Monegasques, Residents, Scholarships or Students in the Principality).

So, if you are you able to perform alone or in a group (maximum 5 people) then send your application! Contact mcsummerconcert@monaco.mc the deadline for applications is Monday March 27th.

Jackpot! – Finally, it was a lucky night for one player at a casino here on the Côte d’Azur after he won three jackpots, plus a big blackjack win in the same evening, taking home nearly 50,000 euros. A first for the Casino Joa La Siesta in Antibes the player won three jackpots from the slot machines and 17,000 euros in Blackjack.

Business

A judge has ruled that the coffee chain Starbucks illegally fired six workers in New York state The judge says the firm committed violations of federal labour law and as a result the coffee chain has been ordered to rehire the ex-workers and compensate others who were affected. In response, Starbucks said its actions were lawful and in line with policies. Starbucks - which has long prided itself on its reputation as a progressive, worker-friendly employer - has said it respects workers' right to protest. In recent months the company has raised pay and made other changes in response to the discontent.

A report funded by Martin Lewis has suggested that the UK government made £2.4bn by selling mortgages from collapsed lenders to investment firms. Some 200,000 mortgages were sold to firms which cannot offer new deals. Many homeowners are stuck on high rates as other lenders will not accept them. The founder of the MoneySavingExpert website is calling on the government to free so-called "mortgage prisoners". The Treasury said it would consider all proposals put forward.

And – According to an industry body a further 2,000 pubs are at risk of closure in the UK, threatening 25,000 jobs, unless the chancellor comes to the sector's aid in this month's budget.  The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) cited research which forecast 288 million fewer pints would be sold in the next financial year as the cost of living crisis facing punters combines with the cost of doing business crisis. Sales have already slipped as households drink and eat at home.

Sport

Football - Arsenal have extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points as they thrashed struggling Everton 4-0 last night.

Meanwhile, Liverpool fought hard in the Premier League on Wednesday evening to win against Wolverhampton Wanderers beating them 2-0 and boosting their hopes of finishing in the top four of the Premier League.

Rugby – France’s Mohamed Haouas will miss the remainder of the Six Nations after receiving a four-week ban for his red card in the win against Scotland. Haouas tried to clear out scrum-half Ben White close to the French line with a head-on-head contact in the 10th minute at Stade de France on Sunday. It was his second sending-off against Scotland in three years, after he punched Jamie Ritchie in 2020. He will miss France's upcoming games with England and Wales.

Golf - A shake-up of the PGA Tour will see eight of its leading events outside of the majors have smaller, limited fields and no longer feature 36-hole cuts.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze and highs of 14 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Mougins and Cannes. 13 degrees in Saint-Tropez. Marseille and Toulon showers and light winds with highs of 13. This evening going down to 7 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and heading into the weekend. Sunny with highs of 15 in Nice, 13 in Saint-Tropez and Marseille.

Sunrise       07.05am

Sunset        06.19pm

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