French and Riviera News Thursday 7th July 2022

News

Häagen-Dazs recalls vanilla ice cream - Häagen-Dazs has recalled its “Vanilla Ice Cream” sold in France. The food giant General Mills that own the brand has asked people to throw away the products and contact them. The American group recalled the batches of its vanilla ice creams that it markets in France under the Häagen-Dazs brand after detecting traces of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic pesticide banned in Europe. A toll-free number is available 08 00 33 32 31. The company specifies that “no other Häagen-Dazs product is affected” and apologises to its customers and consumers for the “inconvenience caused”. A refund will be offered. Ethylene oxide contamination had led to the withdrawal of many products in Europe - including ice cream - between 2020 and 2021, contaminated with this active substance which is classified as carcinogenic and has been banned for food use in the EU since 1991.

Power cut in the Var - 133,000 households in the Var have been affected by a power cut. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon affecting several municipalities. According to the Electricity Transport Network (RTE), the cut was linked to a control station problem, and would have affected around 133,000 households for one hour. An investigation is in progress and RTE has apologised to its customers for the inconvenience caused.

Memorial service for five-year-old boy killed by an electric scooter - A private memorial service will take place today, a week after a five-year-old Ukrainian boy was killed by an electric scooter on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The Ukrainian community of Nice will gather, with the boy's family, in a city centre church. The child had taken refuge in Nice with his mother after fleeing the war in Ukraine. His father has now been able to leave Ukraine to be with family here on the Riviera. The boy was on a marked pedestrian crossing when the scooter knocked him over. It was travelling at more than 50 kilometres per hour. The scooter rider has been charged with manslaughter.

Wearing a mask will become compulsory - Wearing a mask will become compulsory again from Monday on Lignes d'Azur public transport services throughout the Nice metropolitan area. Mayor Christian Estrosi said a joint decree had been signed with the mayors of other communes that make up the Nice region. It comes after the coronavirus incidence rate in the area grew by 50% in just a week - from 800 to more than 1,300 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The mask requirement applies to buses and trams on the entire Lignes d’Azur network - but not SNCF train services. However, the SNCF says wearing a mask on trains is "strongly recommended", even though it is not yet compulsory again.

Cannes makes new covid vaccination slots available – Meanwhile, the town hall of Cannes has opened new vaccination slots at the city’s vaccination centre. The move comes as the number of Covid-19 cases explodes in France with the 7th wave. New slots have been made available at the municipal vaccination centre, which is located at 74 rue Georges Clémenceau and is accessible by appointment several days a week, from 8am to 2pm depending on demand. You can also call the town hall switchboard directly on 04 97 06 40 00 to get a slot.

French Prime Minister asks companies to raise wages - French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has asked companies to raise wages if they "can". Faced with inflation the Prime Minister has asked companies to take their responsibility by increasing wages, in particular via tax-free bonuses. Speaking on TF1 on Wednesday evening Borne said "I invite companies that can afford it to increase salaries or to mobilize purchasing power bonuses” adding that while “the government is acting” in the face of inflation “it is also necessary for companies to take their responsibilities”. The Prime Minister also confirmed that the bill, presented today at the Council of Ministers, would include "emergency aid at the start of the school year" for French people with modest incomes, in the amount of "100 euros per household" with " 50 euros per child". Borne concluded that with this new package "to the order of 20 billion euros", "the government is making every effort to protect the purchasing power of the French".

Tropical night-time temperatures - Tropical night-time minimum temperatures have been recorded in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, on the night of Tuesday July 5th to Wednesday July 6th. Météo France recorded minimum temperatures of 24.1°C in Toulon and 22.6°C in Nice, as experts warn that this is a consequence of global warming.

American offers 80 million euros for Bernard Tapie’s villa in Saint Tropez - It has been reported that an American is ready to pay 80 million euros for Bernard Tapie's villa in Saint-Tropez. The Mandala was up for auction this week as part of the liquidation of the assets of the deceased French businessman, indebted before his death for some 600 million euros. The starting price for the villa, which is ideally located in the heights of Saint-Tropez, was reported at 65 million euros. The American businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous, reportedly made an offer of 81.2 million euros.

American tourists are returning to the French Riviera this summer - American tourists are returning to the French Riviera this summer. Despite the absence of Russian and Asian customers, the tourist season looks promising in the Alpes-Maritimes, with in particular the return of American tourists. According to figures the occupancy rate is around 80%, with beaches and terraces full. Bruno Mercadal, general manager of the five-star luxury hotel Royal Riviera, in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat says that “the hotel is achieving historic numbers compared to 2019”.

Luxury hotel offers getaway following success of Emily in Paris Netflix series - Meanwhile another luxury hotel on Cap Ferrat is capitalising on the success of Emily in Paris, by offering visitors the chance to follow in Emily's footsteps. The Grand-Hotel Cap Ferrat featured in season 2 of the Netflix hit series - and the hotel says it's seen sharp growth in web searches ever since. So, it's launched a "girls' getaway" package, including airport transfers in a Bentley, beauty treatments and a chance to stay in the same suite with a sea view that appeared in the show.

Mobile phone app Carlo - A mobile phone app that aims to encourage people to shop locally in Monaco has notched up its 400,000th transaction. The app, called Carlo, is like a digital wallet, linked to the user's bank card and it's used about 1,200 times each day. When a user buys something in a shop using the app, they earn 5% cashback which can only be spent in the 400 stores around Monaco that accept the app. Since it launched in late 2020, Carlo has attracted 32,000 users - and between them they've earnt more than €2 million in cashback, which is effectively subsidised by the Monegasque government.

Congratulations to Century 21 Lafage Transactions Group - The Century 21 Lafage Transactions Group has once again received an award in Paris during the national congress of the network of real estate agencies Century 21. A double distinction was given, with its Cap de Nice agency still the best in France in the network and the group's overall results, which continue to progress at a national level. The Century 21 Lafage Transactions Group was founded and is chaired by Benjamin Mondou who has become a regular at the awards ceremony. The Cap de Nice agency, which had already ranked first in France in the network last October, kept its title by achieving a transaction turnover of €3.72 million, an increase compared to 2020. Benjamin Mandou explains the success, saying that “despite the persisting health crisis 2021, was a prosperous year for Nice real estate, benefiting from still low credit rates, enthusiasm for the Côte d'Azur and the city of Nice due to the change in working habits and the return of foreign customers." Alongside his professional activity, Benjamin Mondou is strongly involved in the life of the city through corporate, sporting and cultural sponsorship. To his credit in particular, the creation of fund to support the National Theater of Nice (TNN) as well as the support of many athletes such as the Olympic alpine skier Matthieu Bailet or OGC Nice.

Business

The pound has fallen to two-year lows against the dollar amid rising concerns about recession around the world as energy prices continue to soar. Analysts said sterling - which was trading below $1.19 at one point - is also weak because markets are worried about future UK economic growth. Sterling could fall even further after predictions of economic stagnation and as inflation rises, they added. London shares regained some ground following falls on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka's president says he has asked Russia's Vladimir Putin to help his cash-strapped nation import fuel, as it faces its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948. It comes after Sri Lanka's energy minister warned at the weekend that the country may soon run out of petrol. On Wednesday, hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital Colombo to protest against the government.

British Airways is to cut 10,300 more short-haul flights due to feature in its schedule between August and the end of October. This latest announcement means nearly 30,000 flights will have been removed from BA's schedule between April and October this year. The cancellations affect London Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports. The industry has struggled with staff shortages as demand for air travel has rebounded after Covid restrictions.

France’s Prime Minister has confirmed "the intention of the State to hold 100% of the capital of EDF". Speaking in front of MPs on Wednesday Elisabeth Borne announced that the climate emergency requires important decisions" adding that the decision will enable EDF to strengthen its capacity to carry out ambitious and essential projects for our energy future as soon as possible".  As announced by French President Emmanuel Macron a few months ago, EDF will have to work on the construction of six new nuclear reactors. Following the announcement EDF shares jumped on the Paris Stock Exchange.

According to the recent ranking of the greatest fortunes in France published in “Challenges magazine” it may be worth investing in large metal containers and ships rather than handbags and perfumes? The magazine has shown that the Saadé family, which owns 73% of the Marseille shipowner CMA CGM, has seen its assets jump by 500% in one year. A first since the magazine produced its annual ranking on the greatest French fortunes. While Bernard Arnault remains the first French fortune, some have had better fortunes in recent months, and they are not in the luxury or tech sector. In this post-Covid period, it is the family of Rodolphe Saadé, which owns 73% of the Marseille shipowner CMA CGM, which is achieving a record performance. A jump of 30 billion euros in one year, unheard of in the Challenges ranking. In one year, the Saades went from 19th (6 billion euros) to 5th place in the ranking (36 billion euros). Their company, which had received a state loan of 1.05 billion euros in 2020 to avoid bankruptcy (which it has since repaid), has been reaping record profits for a year.

Sport

Football – England got off to a winning start at Euro 2022 as they beat Austria 1-0 in front of a record crowd for a European Women's Championship game at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has agreed personal terms with Chelsea.The 27-year-old has one year left on his contract at City and had attracted interest from major clubs overseas. City signed Sterling from Liverpool in a £49m deal in 2015 and he went on to score 131 goals in 339 games.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal fought through injury to come from behind to beat Taylor Fritz and reach the Wimbledon semi-finals. The Spaniard, who had a medical timeout at the end of the second set and struggled with his movement for long spells, won 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4).

Rugby Union - According to legendary former scrum-half Sir Gareth Edwards. South Africa have "disrespected" Wales by making 14 changes for Saturday's second Test. Edwards says South Africa will still be "tough" opponents but fears their many changes will devalue the contest.

Athletics - Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah will run in the 2022 London Marathon in October. It will be the 39-year-old Briton's first full marathon since 2019 and he will use the Big Half - a half-marathon race - in September as preparation. Farah has raced in three London Marathons and was a pacemaker at the elite-only event in 2020.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze, highs of 29 degrees along the coast in the Alpes Maritimes. 33 degrees in Toulon and the Var. This evening going down to 22 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend; Sunny with highs of 28-30 degrees.

Sea temperature:    22 degrees       UV level:           9

Sunrise:    05.55hr                                 Sunset:     21.14hr

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