French and Riviera News Thursday 4th October 2018


Pensioners protest in Marseille - Pensioners in Marseille have demonstrated against government pension reforms. Unions called for action on Wednesday following the fall in purchasing power amongst elderly people affecting eight out of every ten pensioners. According to figures those in retirement are expected to lose an average of 20 euros this year, 200 euros in 2019 and 400 in 2020. The protest was held while Prime Minister Édouard Philippe chaired a government meeting on pension reform, on the Old Port in Marseille. Meanwhile in Paris, nearly 200 people gathered in front of the National Assembly.

Floods - Three years after the deadly floods which hit the region, the local council in Biot has called on the government to put pressure on the region’s motorway network to carry out work to avoid further flooding in the area. While 1.5 million euros has been spent rebuilding waterways in and around Biot there remains a lot to be done to avoid a repeat of the floods on October 3rd 2015 which claimed three lives.

Refusal - The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said, he will not accept a cabinet position as Minister of the Interior, as he prefers to ‘stay in his city’. Estrosi, who met with President Macron on Monday, has been tipped as a replacement for Gérard Collomb who is stepping down to campaign for his old job as Mayor of Lyon.

Pastor - The murder trial of Monaco millionaire Hélene Pastor has seen a video confession from her Polish son-in-law, admitting that he did order the execution but not in the way it was carried out. In the video, which was recorded during his police interview in 2014, he said he asked the family sports coach to ‘help solve the problem’ of his mother-in-law. The coach admits to taking €20,000 in cash and carrying out the murder.

First heliport in the world to be carbon neutral - As part of the Climate Energy Plan it’s been announced that the Heliport of Monaco is the first heliport in the world to be accredited as carbon neutral. The program currently has 189 accredited airports around the world and the Heliport of Monaco has recently received its carbon accreditation making it the first in the world. The Climate Energy Plan, implemented since 2014, is an action plan mobilizing all the services of the Prince’s Government to reduce GHG emissions, improve energy efficiency and develop renewable energies.


France’s most-wanted fugitive - French prosecutors have said that France's most-wanted fugitive Rédoine Faïd was tracked down by police through phone-taps and was discovered using a burqa as a disguise. 46 year old Faïd was detained on Wednesday in the town where he grew up north of Paris. Six others are being held. He broke out of jail on July 1st, escaping in a helicopter flown by a flying instructor who had been taken hostage.

French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen goes on trial - French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen has gone on trial accused of making a string of homophobic remarks. The 90-year-old, who founded the far-right National Front -- recently re-named the National Rally -- has multiple convictions for xenophobic and anti-Semitic comments. A five-time presidential candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen handed over control of the party to his daughter in 2011.

 “Love and Sexual Behaviour in France” - A new book entitled “Love and Sexual Behaviour in France” (La Vie Sexuelle en France) by Janine Mossuz-Lavau has shown how the French have become less inhibited in recent years. Already reputed as one of the most sexually liberated countries in the world, Mossuz-Lavau found that behaviour in France is now less inhibited than it was nearly two decades ago. “Love and Sexual Behaviour in France” is a follow-up to Mossuz-Lavau’s first book on the subject, which was based on a similar study back in 2000.


Italy has set its deficit target for next year at 2.4 percent of GDP with a further commitment to reduce it further in 2020 and 2021.

The  decision is a partial concession to the European Union which wants Italy to stick to the bloc’s rules on government deficits and has been concerned by statements to the contrary emanating from the country’s populist administration.

Markets have been nervous all week ahead of the Italian government’s budget plans but some calm has now been restored with the measures set to be announced later today.

Speaking in Rome on Wednesday the Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria said that the economic slowdown and the need to avoid an increase in VAT planned under existing legislation had already pushed next year’s deficit to 2 percent.He said that additional deficit spending was necessary to fund investments and an early implementation of tax cuts and income support for the poorest households.


The chief executive of RBS has said that a no-deal Brexit could tip the UK into recession.

Ross McEwan says that a bad Brexit could result in “zero or negative growth” that would hit the bank’s share price.

Mr McEwan also said that RBS was becoming careful about lending to certain sectors of the economy and to retail and construction in particular.

RBS is still 64 percent owned by the UK taxpayer after its bailout ten years ago.

He concluded by saying that big businesses are pausing  and could decide to invest elsewhere in 6 months time depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.


And-Shares in Aston Martin have closed almost a pound below their floatation price on their first day of trading in London.

Shares had been priced at 19 pounds, valuing the firm at 4.3 billion pounds but they fell as low as 17 pounds 75 before closing the day at 18 pounds 10.

Aston Martin has gone bust 7 times in 105 years  but reported half-year profits of 42 million pounds in August.

The company has been broadening its product range  and plans to build an electric flying car  and even a personal submarine.


Football-Both the English clubs playing in the European Champions League last night lost.

Liverpool were beaten 1-0 at Napoli in Group C and Spurs went down 4-2 at home to Barcelona in Group B.

In last night’s other games in Group Athletico Madrid beat Club Brugge 3-1 and Borussia Dortmund beat Monaco 3-0.

In Group B PSV lost 2-1 at home to Inter Milan while in Group C PSG thrashed Red Star Belgrade 6-1.

The Group D games saw Schalke come out 1-0 winners at Lokomotiv Moscow while Porto beat Galatasaray 1-0.


In the English Championship last night Blackburn lost 2-0 at home to Sheffield United.Derby and Norwich drew 1-1.Nottingham Forest and Millwall drew 2-2.Rotherham and Bristol City drew 0-0 and Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom drew 2-2.


Cricket-Andrew Strauss has stepped down as England’s director of cricket  and will be replaced by Andy Flower on an interim basis.

Strauss had taken a break in May after his wife entered a new period of cancer treatment.

He says that with the World Cup and Ashes on home soil next year its vital that the director of cricket can give constant guidance and support to England cricket throughout the period.


Rugby Union-European rugby management have said that they’ll give high priority to continue a crack-down on contact to the head when the season’s tournaments start this weekend.

Top referees have been meeting in Paris this week to discuss the policing of high tackles and Europe rugby chairman Simon Halliday says that there will be a consistent and uniform approach by officials.

He said that the rules are clear and that if a player makes contact with the head of an opponent then he can expect a red card.



Clear skies with  moderate north easterly winds.

Top temperature 26 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies tomorrow with a high of 24.Sunshine and showers on Saturday with a high of 23 degrees.


According to a new study a hug really does make you feel better after an argument.

Holding hands also improves a persons's mood after a conflict, and researchers found that the effect lasts into the next day.

Studying 400 people, the team at Carnegie Mellon University found those who shared a hug with the person they'd fought with were less likely to harbor negative feelings in the hours and days after. 

They believe this adds weight to other studies showing affectionate human touch has a calming effect on the nerves.  









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