French and Riviera News Thursday 3rd August 2023

News

Strong winds in northern France - A 57-year-old woman has died while swimming in the Finistère and a child has been seriously injured after being hit by a falling tree in the Charente-Maritime following very strong winds. The region had been placed on a weather alert on Wednesday August 2nd, due to strong gales and high tides, in Brittany and on the Channel coasts. Gusts of up to 110 km / h were recorded with waves reaching three metres.

French President announces, “major political initiative” - French President Emmanuel Macron has announced "a major political initiative" for the end of August " in order to "move forward and bring together planned projects saying that he “does not exclude using article 49.3 if necessary”. 49.3 was famously used for the passing of the pension reform in France and caused much controversy at the time. In an interview with Le Figaro magazine the Head of State does not rule out having to resort to article 49-3 in order to have certain laws adopted at the start of the school year.

Asked about the riots, Macron declared that he "reacted hotly", "on purpose", otherwise "we always talk nonsense" he said, claiming that he doesn’t want to have to decide between “helping families educate their children or punishing them”. In addition, the Head of State went on to say that “we must not confuse immigration and integration”. Macron said that he believed “the riots not to be a subject of current immigration but, a broader subject of the difficulties of certain cities of integration difficulties in certain cases and of the functioning of democracy in an age of social media". Concluding that "France very clearly has an integration problem".

High fire risk - Locally, the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Hérault, the Vaucluse and the Var region have been placed on a “very high” fire risk for tomorrow Friday 4th August. Météo-France warns of a level 4 risk, which is the highest, due to strong winds and dry vegetation. The regions are currently on a “high” risk alert for today Thursday 3rd August. As a result, access to several massifs is prohibited.

Yacht sinks off the French Riviera - A 19-meter yacht has sunk off the French Riviera with 7,000 litres of diesel on board. A sailboat, contacted by the CrossMed, and nearby at the time quickly intervened later supported by the nautical brigade of Antibes. The yacht had seven passengers on board and was located 35 kilometres from Beaulieu sur mer when it got into difficulty. All passengers were brought to safety. The yacht sank, causing pollution on the surface, due to the 7000 litres of diesel that were in the tanks. It was later reported that the nineteen-metre vessel, christened Cujo and launched in 1972 was famous for hosting Dodi Al-Fayed and Princess Diana shortly before their deaths.

Landslide - A landslide has closed the road to Vésubie indefinitely. The incident occurred at around lunchtime on Wednesday and completely cut the road in both directions before the Saint-Jean tunnel. Diversions are in place via Levens.

Road accidents - The number of fatal accidents on French motorways increased by 43% last year, killing 188 people. Most of the victims were under 35, or heavily intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics, according to industry data. Looking at screens while driving caused 28 of the fatal accidents.

Dress code on the Riviera - The public is being reminded that you could risk a 150 euro fine for walking around bare-chested in the city centre of Saint-Raphaël, in the Var. A year ago, the mayor of Saint-Raphaël brought up to date a municipal decree, dating from 1993, in order to prohibit the free movement in the city centre of holidaymakers in light clothing. Many city centres across France, have adopted a municipal decree which formally bans the wearing of a swimsuit for men and women. In our region Menton, Nice and Cannes all have a ban in place. Meanwhile in Antibes, no such rule exists. In the Var, the ban is relevant in Bandol, Saint Tropez, Sainte Maxime and Saint Raphaël. Last summer, the municipal police officers of Saint-Raphaël issued some 25 fines. This year nine offenders were fined for the month of July alone.

Declaration - Continuing problems with the impots.gouv website has led to yet another deadline delay for the property declaration.  Deadlines including June 30th, then July 31st and finally Tuesday have all been extended due to the amount of property owners registering to avoid a late penalty. The new deadline is next Thursday August 10th. 

Hotel Eden Roc in Antibes – Finally, the Hotel Eden-Roc in Antibes has been voted the third best hotel in France by the website La List. Just ahead of it are the Cheval Blanc in St Barthelemy and La Reserve in Paris. The No.1 hotel in the entire world is an Italian hotel, the Cipriani in Venice with a score of 99.75 out of 100. It’s owned by French company LVMH.
Business

Shares in Chinese technology firms like Alibaba and video-sharing site Bilibili fell on Wednesday and saw further losses on Thursday, after the country's cyberspace regulator recommended limiting smartphone usage of children under 18. The proposed law would see children being only allowed to use their phones for a maximum of two hours a day. It comes four years after children in the world's second-largest economy were subject to gaming restrictions. The proposal is currently open to public feedback.

In the UK Interest rates are expected to rise for the 14th time in row as the Bank of England continues its battle to control stubbornly high price rises. Most economists have predicted the Bank will increase its base rate to 5.25% from its current 5% later today. That would mean higher interest rates on mortgages and loans for some people, but also higher savings rates.

Online marketplace Etsy is to make a U-turn planning to change its policy after sellers complained of money being held. The move comes following reports that some sellers had 75% of their money frozen for 45 days. Etsy said it was "substantially decreasing" the amount of money it would put on hold but did not state the new rate or time frame.

Sport

Football - France are into the last-16 of the Women’s World Cup after a thrilling nine goal match with Panama. In other games Jamacia made history when they knocked Brazil out after a nil-all draw. Fellow South Americans Argentina are also on the way home after being beaten 2-nil by Sweden. Italy is another shock exit after losing 3-2 to South Africa.

Today in Group H South Korea play Germany and Morocco face Colombia.

And - Former Italy goalkeeper and World Cup winner Gianluigi Buffon has retired from football aged 45. He wrote on social media: "That's all folks. You gave me everything. I gave you everything. We did it together." Buffon brings an end to a 28-year career that saw him lift the World Cup in 2006 along with 10 Serie A titles with Juventus and Ligue 1 with Paris St-Germain.

Tennis - Andy Murray won his first singles match since Wimbledon when he defeated American Brandon Nakashima in straight sets at the Citi Open in Washington.

Cycling - Britain's Lora Fachie returned after becoming a mother by qualifying fastest for the women's B individual pursuit at the UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow. The two-time Paralympic champion, who is married to fellow Para-cyclist Neil, gave birth to son Fraser in October.

Rugby - France are on the way to Murrayfield for a World Cup warmup match against Scotland on Saturday.  Finn Russell will captain Scotland for the first time with Jamie Ritchie absent due to a minor injury. Darcy Graham and Matt Fagerson are the only players retained from the starting 15 in last weekend's win over Italy.

Ireland ‘forwards coach’ Paul O'Connell says he is confident Johnny Sexton's fly-half understudies can shine if called upon in the Rugby World Cup. Sexton's suspension for this month's warm-up matches has given Ross Byrne, Jack Crowley and Ciaran Frawley the opportunity to prove their worth. The trio have 22 caps between them.

Weather

Partly cloudy with sunny intervals. Highs of 32 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 30 degrees in Saint Paul de Vence. 31 degrees in Mougins and Antibes. 29 degrees in Saint-Tropez. Weather warning in place for strong winds forecast. Gust of up to 60km/h expected in the Alpes Maritimes.

This evening going down to 23 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Light rain is forecast tomorrow in places with high of 28-29 degrees. Saturday fine with fresh breeze highs of 29-30 degrees.

Sunrise       06.20am

Sunset        08.51pm

Beach Weather

Nice – Sea temperature 25 degrees. Air temperature 31 degrees. Sunny intervals strong winds. UV level 9.

Saint-Tropez - Sea temperature 23 degrees. Air temperature 31 degrees. Sunny intervals strong winds. UV level 9.

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