French and Riviera News Thursday 7th January 2021


Jacqueline Veyrac trial - French millionaire hotel owner Jacqueline Veyrac is to testify in court today, as part of the trial of 13 people accused of involvement in her kidnapping. The 80-year-old owner of the five-star Grand Hotel in Cannes was bundled into a van outside her home in Nice in October 2016. She was found tied up in the vehicle two days later. The suspects include an Italian restauranteur, a British former soldier and a private detective. The proceedings are expected to continue until the 29th January.

Nice Attack - A court-appointed expert has published a report concluding that the deadly attack of July 14th, 2016 on the Promenade des Anglais “could not have been avoided”. The investigating magistrates appointed a judicial expert to answer the question which continues to haunt the families of the 86 victims of the attack, who believe that the security system of anti-intrusion devices was not in place and could have prevented the attack. However, after having reconstructed the conditions of the attack, the report published on Wednesday shows that no devices, available at the time to the city of Nice, could have stopped the truck. Meanwhile investigations are continuing as to the possible indirect responsibilities of authorities on the night of the attack.

Covid-19 - The French government has confirmed that ski lifts will not reopen as planned today with no new date being fixed before next week’s Defense Council meeting. The French Prime Minister is to give an update on the health situation in France this evening at 6pm. Meanwhile the President of the Scientific Council has said that while “France is currently handling the situation” new measures are expected to be announced by mid next week to stop an “explosion” in the number of cases of Covid as seen in the UK and he “does not rule out the possibility of a third national lockdown”.

Vaccination in Nice - Meanwhile the city of Nice has announced the opening of three vaccination centers for priority cases, such as those at with an underlying health condition and healthcare professionals from Monday 11th January. The city of Nice plans to be able to carry out up to 50,000 vaccinations per week in several centers. The Mayor Christian Estrosi will present his vaccination plan, this morning at 11am.

Monaco - In Monaco 31 new cases of Covid were identified on Wednesday bringing the total number of residents affected by the virus to 978. Twenty-three people are hospitalized and 128 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre. During a press conference this week Monaco’s Minister of State Pierre Dartout, outlined the government's vaccination campaign saying that “vaccinations will continue at an accelerated pace, with over 65s and health personnel being called upon as a priority”. Vaccinations for the general public are being administered at the Espace Léo Ferré.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemns intrusion of Capitol building in Washington - French President Emmanuel Macron has called for people “not to give in to the violence of the few against democracy” following the violent intrusion of pro-Trump protesters in the Capitol building in Washington. Macron added that “what happened in Washington was not American”. The President's solemn address was given from the Elysee Palace and broadcast on social networks around 3 am this morning.

CSA notifies RMC - France’s “Superior Audiovisual Council” has issued a “notice” to RMC for a programme with Professor Christian Perronne. The media control authority points to the lack of respect for the radio's obligations in terms of processing information. The CSA said the group had lacked "rigor", "of balance" during the programme which was broadcast at the end of August and in which the Professor made controversial comments on the Covid-19 pandemic, Lyme disease and malaria. Dismissed from his post as head of the infectious and tropical diseases department at the Raymond-Poincaré hospital in December, Professor Perronne is the subject of a complaint from the Order of Physicians. He lost his job after other controversial comments about hydroxychloroquine and for claiming that Covid-19 patients represented a “financial blessing for doctors”. Christian Perronne also supported a theory on Lyme disease, arguing that it was "created in a laboratory [by the US military] by a former Nazi".

British motorist drives wrong way down motorway in France - French police have stopped a British motorist for driving the wrong way down a motorway on New Year's Eve after being turned away from the Spanish border. The British motorist was refused entry to Spain because he did not have a valid Covid test, so he had decided to drive back to the UK. The motorway was empty due to the curfew, so it is possible he did not see any other vehicles and became confused