French and Riviera News Thursday 6th April 2023

News

Macron says that China has a “major role” to play in finding a path to peace in Ukraine - French President Emmanuel Macron has said that China has a "major role" to play in finding a path to peace in Ukraine. Macron made the comments as he embarked on a three-day visit to Beijing. Speaking at a gathering of the French community in Beijing ahead of a meeting today with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Macron said France would seek to work with China "in the shared responsibility for peace and stability" in Ukraine. The French president is making his first trip to China in four years.

11th day of strike action against the pension reform - Today Thursday April 6th, marks the eleventh day of mobilization against the pension reform in France. In the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, demonstrations are expected. Public transport and schools are expected to be disrupted. A rally is scheduled from 10am in Nice from the Albert 1er garden to the port. In Cannes demonstrators plan to gather at 2pm on the Boulevard Carnot heading to the town hall and in the Var three gatherings are scheduled; a first from 10am departing from Place de la Liberté in Toulon, a second at 10:30am from the sub-prefecture of Draguignan and a third at 3:30pm on the banks of the Caramy in Brignoles.

As far as transport is concerned no trams will run in Nice and bus lines will be strongly impacted in both departments. It’s a similar situation for the trains with 3 out of 4 TGVs and 1 out of 2 TER circulating and 20% of flights are cancelled at the airports of Marseille-Provence, Nantes, Toulouse and Bordeaux. 

Far right party would win election if it was held today, according to survey – Meanwhile, according to a new survey, the National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen, would be well ahead of a presidential election in France if it were to be held today. French President Emmanuel Macrons popularity rating is at an all-time low, due to the disputed pension reform, especially since the use of article 49.3 forcing the reform through parliament.

Monegasque Albert Manzone appointed Managing Director of the SBM - Monegasque Albert Manzone has been appointed Managing Director of the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) in Monte-Carlo. Manzone will take up the post of general manager of SBM from April 12th. Under the SBM's Deputy Chairman, Stéphane Valeri, he will be responsible for the company's operational functions. From games to human resources, including hotels, restaurants and IT. Albert Manzone holder of an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Northwestern University in Chicago and a graduate in International Business from the Sorbonne (Paris), joins a new 100% Monegasque management.

Thefts on the Croisette in Cannes - As the tourist season gets underway in our region it sadly comes with a rise in thefts, particularly in Cannes on the Croisette, a popular destination for tourists. According to reports three thefts were committed recently, all with different operating methods and most probably by different perpetrators. At the end of the afternoon on Saturday, a tourist had his Rolex snatched from his wrist by a thug who was following him on the Croisette, before fleeing in a car. A few hours later in the night from Saturday to Sunday, it was near the Palace des expositions that a young man was approached by two drunk-looking individuals, under the pretext of asking him for a light. While one shook the hand of the victim, the other unbalanced him slightly and in the confusion, the thieves took his watch. The victim only noticed after the event that the watch had disappeared. And on Friday night two individuals seated at a bar suddenly followed a passerby. Later stopping him to snatch his watch and escape. In each of the incidents the watches were Rolex’s with a value estimated at several thousands of euros.

Road accident - A collision involving three vehicles on the A8 motorway has left two people slightly injured and caused a twelve-kilometre tail back between Nice and Antibes. The accident occurred at around 6pm westbound, near Saint-Laurent-du-Var in the middle of Wednesday evening’s rush hour, causing major traffic jams.

Jean-Pierre Rives unveils artistic side - The former glory of French rugby, Jean-Pierre Rives has unveiled his art at the Prince's Car Collection here in Monaco. The series of geometric abstract canvases which have never been shown before, are on display at the car collection of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. Player of Racing Club de France and Stade Toulousain, Jean-Pierre Rives left his mark in the history of French rugby. Retired from sporting life for almost four decades, "Casque d'Or" has found a new mode of expression through painting and sculpture, which has also led him to receive international recognition.

Reduced waiting time for visitors to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters - New security systems at this year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters which starts this Saturday 8th April, will reduce the waiting time for visitors. Reinforced artificial intelligence security at the entrance to the tennis tournament will allow spectators to pass in a continuous stream, considerably reducing the waiting time. During the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the group in charge of security for the tennis tournament will deploy "revolutionary gates" at the four entrances to the Country Club. Spectators will no longer need to empty their pockets, be probed by a security guard, or have their bag x-rayed.

Heavy traffic for Easter weekend –Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes has forecast particularly heavy traffic for this Easter weekend, from Friday to Monday. It said that in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, traffic will be very busy on Friday, especially when approaching major cities such as Nice, Toulon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille on the A8, A50 and A57, in both directions of traffic, from mid-afternoon until early evening. Meanwhile, police are stepping up speed checks on the roads this weekend in the Esterél, in the east of the Var region, following a series of fatal motorcycling accidents.

Favourite French cities for easter weekend - Finally, a new survey, carried out online has shown that Nice and Cannes are among the French cities which are the most popular with the French for the Easter weekend break, from April 8th to 10th. Nice ranks 5th and Cannes 7th while Marseille, the only other municipality in the Paca region in the top 10, climbs to 3rd place. The French capital Paris tops the ranking.

Business

The founder of multibillion-dollar tech company Cash App, Bob Lee, has been fatally stabbed near San Francisco city centre. Police found a 43-year-old man with stab wounds on Tuesday and treated him before he later died in hospital. His father, Rick Lee, confirmed his son - who was also the ex-chief technology officer at Square - had been killed. San Francisco officials have been criticised for their response to a wave of violent crime in recent years. The latest crime data suggests the city is one of the most-dangerous in the US.

In an attempt to avoid long delays at the port of Dover coaches, due to leave the port on Good Friday, will be staggered over three days . The Port of Dover said it had made the decision to spread coach traffic across today, tomorrow and Saturday following talks with ferry operators. It will also put in a temporary marquee to help process coach passengers ahead of crossing the border. Dover declared a critical incident last Friday, after long queues of traffic trying to board ferries built up.

Sport

Football - Champions League-chasing Newcastle capitalised on poor West Ham in the Premier League last night beating them 5-1.  Newcastle remains third and are now three points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils Manchester United climbed back into the top four thanks to Rashford's 15th Premier League goal beating Brentford 1-0 last night.

In other football news, Frank Lampard is set to be appointed interim Chelsea manager until the end of the season - just over two years after the club sacked him. He has been out of a job since January when he was dismissed by Everton after less than a year in charge. The ex-Chelsea and England midfielder previously managed the Blues from July 2019 until January 2021.

Cricket - New Zealand white-ball captain Kane Williamson is likely to miss this year's World Cup due to injury. The ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India begins in October.

Weather

Sunny with moderate breeze. Clouding over by this afternoon. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 16 degrees in Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Toulon. 17 degrees inland in Puget-Theniers. This evening going down to 6 degrees along the coast and 1 degree inland with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Tomorrow fine strong winds are forecast by the afternoon inland in the Var. Saturday and Sunday fine with highs of 16-17 degrees.

Sunrise                07.03am

Sunset                 08.02pm

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