French and Riviera News Thursday 6th October 2022

News

French gas reserves for winter are full - France’s Energy Regulation Commission has announced that while French gas reserves are full for this winter it calls on the population to make a “huge collective effort” to cut down on energy consumption. The announcement made on Wednesday makes France the third European country, after Belgium and Portugal, to fill its natural gas storage capacities to the maximum. With Russian gas exports to France having completely dried up since September 1st, France’s Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher had said the government's objective was to fill gas stocks to 100 percent before November. Having maximum gas stocks does not however, rule out the risk of difficulties this winter. In a published report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said gas savings in Europe remained "crucial”. The French government will today Thursday 6th October present its so-called "energy sobriety plan" aimed at urging all sectors of economic and social life to work at reducing energy consumption by 10 percent.

Strike action many nursery schools closed in Nice today - A national strike movement concerning nursery school staff is taking place today Thursday, October 6th. According to the unions, in Nice 23 nurseries will be closed, and 3 will have a restricted reception. Locally the action is in protest against working conditions which have “deteriorated” and among the demands is the urgent recruitment of personnel. As part of the movement a rally is planned at Place Garibaldi at 9.30 this morning, a demonstration which should end in front of the town hall of Nice.

SNCF ticket sales for the holiday season - Since opening the sale of train tickets for the holiday season, the SNCF has said that is sold “over 30 tickets per second on its website on Wednesday. The SNCF website and the SNCF Connect application witnessed some technical problems due to the high demand over a period of 6 to 8 hours with up to 100,000 connections per minute. In total, 9 million TGV, Ouigo, and Intercités tickets were on offer for the period running from December 11th to January 2nd, 2023 and until July 7th for Ouigo tickets, a million more than last year.

Study show 66% of French employees in favour of companies offering “menstrual leave” - According to a study published today by Ifop, 66% of French employees would be in favour of setting up “menstrual leave” in the workplace. Spain is currently leading the way in Europe being the first to present a bill creating a "menstrual leave".  The study showed that 64% of employees surveyed said they would use it if it were available. Two-thirds of employees (66%) even consider a company that offers it more attractive, a figure that rises to 76% among 15–24-year-olds and more than half of the employees surveyed (53%) said they experience painful periods. Nevertheless, the introduction of menstrual leave raises concerns. "Among the women who say they would not use menstrual leave, 53% explain that they are afraid that they will not be believed or that they will be considered lazy". In addition, 71% of employees consider that menstrual leave would be a hindrance to hiring women and 70% that it would be an obstacle to taking on responsibilities in the company. In addition, 66% of female employees say they fear being teased.

2024 Paris Olympic games - Organizers of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris have unveiled the marathon route. From the Paris City Hall to the Invalides and via the Palace of Versailles the marathon will take place on August 10th and 11th 2024. The course has been praised by Paula Radcliffe, holder of the women's world record between 2003 and 2019, who described it as “mythical”.

Brad Pitt launches cosmetics brand from the Vaucluse - Hollywood actor Brad Pitt has just launched his cosmetics brand in the Vaucluse. Named “Le Domaine” the ingredients come from the productions of the Château Miraval in the Var with creams and treatments promising an anti-aging effect. The actor has teamed up with the Perrin family for the second time, after the success of the famous Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé. The skin care products, based on grapes, ensure an anti-aging effect. Speaking to British Vogue Pitt said, "I know there are new products almost every day that people try to launch, but if I hadn't seen a real difference visually in my skin, we wouldn't have bothered” before adding, that “while he still doesn’t promise a miracle solution it’s more about treating your skin in a healthy way”. The Domaine has teamed up with two scientific researchers to create the cosmetics.

Princess Charlene of Monaco at Paris Fashion Week - Finally, Princess Charlene has been spotted for a second time this week at the Paris Fashion Week after she attended the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2023 catwalk show. The Princess looked incredible as she posted a chic photo of her ensemble on Instagram. The Princess was accompanied by her niece Charlotte Casiraghi.

Business

Petrol prices are expected to rise around the world after some of the world's top oil-producing countries have agreed to cut the amount they export. Members of Opec+ - a group that includes Saudi Arabia and Russia - said they would slash production by two million barrels per day. The group said it wanted to stabilise prices, which have fallen in recent months as the world economy slows. But the decision raised fears that prices for motorists will climb. The price of a barrel of Brent crude jumped another almost 2% to more than $93 a barrel on Wednesday.

Hong Kong says it will give away 500,000 airline tickets, worth £224.3m, as it tries to boost its Covid-hit tourism industry. The city rolled back several of its coronavirus rules in recent weeks. However, major airlines are struggling to get their flight schedules back to pre-pandemic levels. On Wednesday, British airline Virgin Atlantic said it will stop operating in Hong Kong because of issues linked to the Ukraine war.

And – In the UK the average mortgage interest rate has risen to above 6% meaning households are paying the greatest portion of their income on mortgage payments since 1989. According to data from Moneyfacts, the financial information company, mortgage holders are now paying average interest rates of 6.07%. The increases have resulted in the highest mortgage rates since 2008.

Sport

Formula One - Formula 1's governing body has delayed the publication of its inquiries into whether any team breached the sport's budget cap last year. The FIA told F1 teams last week that it planned to issue certificates of compliance or otherwise on 5th October. But the FIA said in a statement on Wednesday that it was "a long and complex process that is ongoing". It would be "concluded to enable the release of the certificates on Monday, 10 October," the statement said. The delay is likely to infuriate the teams, who are all in Japan ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix.

Football - In the Champions League on Wednesday night Manchester City swept aside Copenhagen FC beating them 5-0. It’s their third win out of three matches in Group G of the  Champions League.

Golf - The Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has signed a "strategic alliance" with the Middle East and Africa (Mena) Tour, which it says will allow its players to earn world ranking points. LIV Golf is not currently recognised by Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), so players risk sliding down the rankings and missing out on entry to the majors.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 22-23 degrees along the coast in Menton, Monaco and Nice. Sunny and light winds in Saint Tropez highs of 23 degrees. This evening going down to 13 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Remaining fine tomorrow, sunny intervals on Saturday and light cloud on Sunday. Highs of 21-23 degrees.

Sunrise              07.33hr              Sunset      19.02hr

And Finally

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK. Noah and Olivia were the most popular names for boys and girls in 2021, Oliver dropped to second place having been the most most popular boys' name for eight years, while Olivia topped the girls' list for the sixth year in a row. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also shows that Henry replaced Jack in the top 10 names for boys, while Freya, Florence and Willow replaced Isabella, Rosie and Sophia for girls.

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