French and Riviera News Tuesday 10th January 2023

News

Pension reform - The French government is to present its pension reform today Tuesday 10th January, while unions have already announced plans to demonstrate against the reform, without yet announcing a specific date and a recent survey shows that 85% of French people are opposed to an increase in the legal retirement age. In 2010, 10 national days of action against a previous pension reform mobilized eight million people. Between 2019 and 2020, another similar demonstration had encouraged more than three million people.

Meanwhile speaking on French television last night, it was France’s first lady Brigitte Macron who spoke of the reform. Invited on TF1 to discuss the “Pièces Jaunes” charity as president of the hospital foundation, Brigitte Macron was questioned on several current topics, in particular the pension reform. Brigitte Macron affirmed that "the French when in difficulty have always reacted positively", taking the example of the health crisis. Without wanting to expand further on the subject, the First Lady still wanted to reassure the youngest saying that “everything is done for you to have a pension".

Legal action against Danone - Three French environmental groups have taken legal action against Paris-based dairy group Danone, the world’s biggest yoghurt maker, over its use of plastic across the supply chain. Ocean protection group the Surfrider Foundation and its partners Client Earth and Zero Waste France accuse Danone of failing to sufficiently account for all the plastic used along its production cycles. Danone, which also produces popular mineral water brand Evian as well as infant formula, said it was "very surprised” by the accusation which it “firmly refuted”. The case, brought before a Paris civil court, comes as a growing number of green groups take aim at large companies via a 2017 French "duty of care" law that holds large corporations to account over their environmental impact.

Hunting - The French government has announced a series of measures aimed at making hunting safer. There are incidents every season in France which often result in the death or injury of passers-by or other hunters. The measures announced include the development of a smartphone app on which local residents and visitors could see the location of hunts in progress in real time. From this September hunting times will also be displayed in local town halls. Other measures include the introduction of more rigorous training, the creation of an offence of hunting under the influence of alcohol and the requirement of a doctor’s certificate before licencing.

France to help Pakistan recover from devastating floods - President Emmanuel Macron has said France would contribute €‎360 million to help Pakistan recover from last year’s devastating floods. In a video address to an international conference hosted by the United Nations in Geneva, Macron said France was also ready to support Pakistan in its talks with financial institutions. The floods, blamed on climate change, dealt a severe blow to Pakistan's strained economy while displacing some 8 million people and killing at least 1,700 people. 

Local

Road accident - Three people have been injured, two seriously, in a road accident in Utelle, 40kms northeast of Nice in the Alpes Maritimes. The violent collision occurred early evening on Monday on the RM6202 (route de Grenoble) near the Tinée ski station leading to access being cut for nearly two hours. Two of the victims were takin to hospital in Nice in a critical condition. An investigation has been opened.

Meanwhile latest figures published have shown that road mortality remains stable in the Var region for 2022. While the number of road deaths hardly changes between 2021 and 2022, there is an increase in the number of motorists driving under the influence of narcotics.

Train traffic interrupted after dead body found on roof - The region’s train traffic has been interrupted after a dead body was found on the roof of a train in Menton. The discovery was made on Monday evening leading to trains between Monaco and Ventimiglia being completely suspended. Traffic was expected to resume by 9pm. An investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances.

Electric bus lines - Ten bus lines will become electric in the spring in the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropolis. The ten totally electric lines will bring the clean bus fleet to 50%, or 115 vehicles out of 231. By the end of this month three electric buses will replace the previous models of line 64 which connect the SNCF station and Saint-Pierre de Féric. The new buses will be shorter and narrower while retaining the capacity of the previous buses with 61 seats.

Monte-Carlo Country Club - "It's a record" for the Monte-Carlo Country Club which filled up its memberships in 2022 and is starting 2023 with a record number of members and the desire to highlight its various tournaments organized throughout the year.

Seasonal jobs - The municipality of Antibes Juan les Pins is recruiting for summer seasonal jobs. Various positions are available including in Urban Cleanliness, Museums, the Stade Nautique, Maintenance, Municipal Police and Administration. You need to complete a form and return it, along with the attachments, before March 31 by email or by post to the addresses indicated on the form. You can find details on https://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/toute-l-actu/emplois-d-ete-2023-a-vos-cv

Business

Donors from around the world have pledged more than $9bn (£7.4bn) to help Pakistan recover from the devastating floods that hit the country last year. It amounts to more than half of the estimated $16.3bn Pakistan needs to recover from the disaster. The pledges come as Pakistan continues negotiations over the next instalment of an international bailout.

Disney's boss has called on employees who are currently working from home to start going into the office for four days a week from the start of March. The chief executive Bob Iger said so-called "hybrid" workers will now be asked to treat "Monday through Thursday as in-person workdays". He also highlighted his view that face-to-face collaboration is key to "a creative business like ours". Like many other big companies, Disney allowed employees to work from home during the pandemic to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Also like other major firms, Disney has now moved to bring staff back into its offices.

The boss of Brewdog has said he has paid out almost £500,000 to winners of the company's misleading "solid gold" beer can promotion. James Watt said he made "some costly mistakes" in a promotion which offered people the chance to find a solid gold can hidden in cases in 2021. Some winners questioned the worth of the cans and complained after discovering they were gold-plated. Mr Watt admitted he "falsely thought" the cans were made from solid gold.

Sport

Football – France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has announced his retirement from international football aged 36. The Tottenham captain's decision comes three weeks after France were beaten by Argentina on penalties in the 2022 World Cup final on 18 December. Lloris had captained his country to World Cup victory four years earlier when they won the 2018 tournament.

Lloris made his international debut as a 21-year-old in a friendly against Uruguay in November 2008. He won his 145th cap in the World Cup final defeat by Argentina which made him France's record appearance maker. Lloris captained France 121 times, which is also a record.

Meanwhile French football federation president Noel le Graet has apologised for "clumsy remarks" he made about Zinedine Zidane's potential interest in coaching the national team. In an interview with French radio, 81-year-old Le Graet said he "wouldn't even have taken his call" if Zidane had been in touch. Le Graet said on Monday the comments "do not reflect" his views. France boss Didier Deschamps signed a new contract until 2026 on Saturday.

And - Wales captain Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from football at the age of 33 after a glittering career. The nation's most-capped male player and record men's goalscorer announced his decision on social media. Bale, a five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, is arguably Wales' finest ever footballer.

Tennis - Emma Raducanu says she hopes she will be fit for this month's Australian Open but is trying "not to expect too much". The 20-year-old Briton retired from her second-round match at the ASB Classic in Auckland on Thursday after slipping and rolling her left ankle. The Grand Slam begins next Monday, with the full extent of the 2021 US Open champion's injury yet to be diagnosed.

Rugby union - England captain Owen Farrell could miss the start of the Six Nations after being cited for a dangerous tackle. The Saracens fly-half put in a tackle on Gloucester player Jack Clement that made contact with his opponent's head. Referee Karl Dickson did not act on the incident at the time, and Farrell went on to kick a game-winning drop-goal in the final minute. England's Six Nations campaign starts at home to Scotland in four weeks, with Italy visiting Twickenham a week later.

Weather

Sunny with a fresh breeze. Highs of 13 degrees in Monaco going down to 5 degrees this evening. Reaching 17 degrees in Nice and Cannes going down to 7 degrees this evening with clear skies.

In Saint Tropez and along the coast in the Var – sunny with strong winds. Highs of 16 degrees going down to 8 degrees this evening. 14 degrees inland in the Var with lows of 5 degrees this evening. Marseille highs of 14 degrees and sunshine. Avignon highs of just 12 degrees.

The outlook for tomorrow. Sunny intervals, temperatures remaining the same. The wind is expected to die down in the Var. Thursday sunny highs of between 14-15 degrees.

Sunrise       08.03hr

Sunset        17.12hr

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