French and Riviera News Tuesday 10th May 2022

News

Drought alert in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes - The departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes have been placed on a drought alert due to the particular high temperatures which are above normal for this time of year and too little rain. A large part of the Alpes-Maritimes has been placed on drought alert due to a winter rainfall deficit deemed "very worrying" by the prefecture. Drought has become a local concern, with water tables stabilizing at too low a level and continuing to fall in some cases.

Tiger mosquito returns to the region - Meanwhile the tiger mosquito has made a comeback in the region. With the arrival of warm weather, the regional health agency has launched a campaign against the insect due to the risk of disease, such as dengue fever, zika or chikungunya. The agency warns that there is a real risk with the tiger mosquito being present and active in the region from mid-April until the end of November.

Earthquake in Auvergne - An earthquake with a magnitude of 4 on the Richter scale has been recorded between Clermont-Ferrand and Montluçon in the Auvergne region. The tremor occurred at midday on Monday May 9th and was felt several tens of kilometres away from the epicentre located at the village of Saint-Eloy-les-Mines. No damage was reported.

24-year-old son of starred chef Yannick Alléno dies - Antoine Alléno, the 24-year-old son of multi-starred chef Yannick Alléno, who opened a Monegasque version of his Parisian "Pavyllon" in April, has died after being hit in Paris by a fugitive and convicted criminal who was driving a stolen car, Alléno was at the time, on a scooter. The tragic incident occurred on Sunday May 8th shortly after 11pm in the 7th arrondissement of the capital. According to a police source, "the suspect was wanted for a prison sentence to be served for a previous offence for drink driving". Just after the accident, the driver of the stolen vehicle "fled on foot before being arrested by an off-duty policeman". Father and son were destined to work together. In 2021, they launched "Burger Père et Fils par Alléno", a range of luxury hamburgers, which they served in the heart of the famous wine cellar L'Allénothèque, in Paris. Yannick Alléno also held the Dior des Lices in Saint-Tropez, where several starred chefs have succeeded. Yannick Alléno joined the Société des Bains de Mer in Monaco at the beginning of 2021, to take the reins of the Vistamar at the Hôtel Hermitage, in the spring of the same year. In mid-April 2022, the thirteen-star chef adapted his famous Pavyllon at the Hermitage.

Road accident - A motorcyclist has been seriously injured following an accident at La Crau on the Avenue de Toulon in the Var. The accident occurred on Monday morning when the biker collided with a car. The 71-year-old motorcyclist was ejected from his bike and suffered from several fractures, head trauma and was unconscious when emergency services arrived. He was taken to the Sainte Anne hospital in Toulon.

Teleconsultation booth in Tourette-Levens - Due to an increasingly common problem of a lack of GPs in rural areas, a pharmacy in Tourette-Levens has introduced a teleconsultation booth. While the local council continues to do everything it can to attract general practitioners the manager of the pharmacy has offered the service which is greatly welcomed by local residents.

Castérino to be accessible from this summer - Castérino in the hinterland of the Alpes Maritimes will be accessible from this summer, a first since storm Alex which devastated the region on October 2nd, 2020. Tourists will be able to return to the Vallée des Merveilles as the local council finalises work on the bottom of the RD 91.

Traffic - The Alpes Maritimes Prefecture has warned of traffic disruption tomorrow Wednesday May 11th in the Nice West sector. The new IKEA store opens fully to the public on Wednesday at St Isidore and OGC Nice are playing Saint-Etienne at the Allianz Riviera stadium. The Prefecture said that traffic disturbances may occur from 9am and traffic and parking will be "severely disrupted" from 3pm until 11pm.

French President invites Britain to join new “European political community” - French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Britain to join a new ‘European political community’ outside the EU. The French Head of State who was fiercely opposed to Brexit said this new status would allow the UK to enjoy full political integration within the 27-country bloc, and have a say in crucial decisions. In a keynote speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Monday, Mr Macron said he was all in favour of ‘creating what I would call a European political community’. Mr Macron said he was also in favour ‘of the revision of EU treaties,’ as proposed by the European Parliament. He said this would make it easier for the bloc to deal with emergencies such as the Ukraine War and the Coronavirus pandemic. However, 13 of the 27 EU countries have already made it clear that they are opposed to the launch of a procedure to change the treaties. France currently holds the presidency of the EU.

Baccalaureate 2022 - 523,199 high school students in France are preparing to sit their first specialty tests of the baccalaureate tomorrow and Thursday, after two years disrupted by Covid. In 2020, due to the pandemic, exams had been cancelled. Last year, the continuous assessment had still represented the main part of the final mark of the examination. For the first time, the written specialty tests are held, depending on the subjects, from Wednesday May 11th to Thursday May 12th. Among the most chosen specialties, Mathematics, is in the lead, with 142,730 candidates, compared to 136,466 in Economics and Social Sciences (SES) or 106,994 in History-Geography, Geopolitics and Political Science (HGGSP). The results known at the beginning of July.

Business

Asian shares have fallen to their lowest in nearly two years on Tuesday, as investors are concerned about the toxic cocktail of rising interest rates and lower economic growth. Growing fears of recession and a slowdown in China dragged down commodity-linked currencies and oil prices, though safety flows kept the dollar near 20-year highs.

It's been reported that Tesla has halted production at its Shanghai plant on Monday due to issues with securing parts for its electric vehicles. Shanghai is in its sixth week of an intensifying covid lockdown. Tesla had planned as late as last week to increase output to pre-lockdown levels by next week.

Meanwhile, in the UK second-hand car sales have risen this year, boosted by a sharp increase in the number of used electric vehicles on the market. Sales of used cars in the UK rose 5.1% between January and March, compared to the same three months last year.

Also in the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to get the country "back on track" as the government unveils its plans for the year ahead in the Queen's Speech. The speech will announce 38 bills including laws aimed at easing the cost of living and boosting economic growth. Prince Charles will deliver the address to Parliament at 11:30 BST, after the Queen pulled out on Monday due to her mobility problems.

In France the Paris Stock Exchange has continued to sink to new lows on Monday evening as the CAC 40 dropped 2.75%, its biggest drop since March 10th and closed below 6100 points. Since the beginning of the year, the CAC 40 index has dropped more than 15%.

Meanwhile according to the latest figures from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, prices at the pump in France have risen on average by 6 cents in the last week. After several weeks of decline, the new rise in fuel prices is very real in France. Just after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia with a diesel at 2.14 euros per litre and an SP-95 at 2.02 euros per litre. Prices then fell thanks to the discount of 15 to 18 cents including tax per litre at the pump which was set up by the government. This discount runs until July 31st. But the government is nevertheless working on a support mechanism that is more targeted at those who drive a lot and low-income households.

The SNCF has announced plans to increase its workforce of its Transilien network (Paris and Ile-de-France), a network often criticized for its dysfunctions. The operator says it intends to recruit 600 people this year. Specifically, 200 train and tram-train drivers are wanted, as well as 150 commercial and sales staff, 150 train maintenance technicians, 40 production agents and 60 executives. The SNCF says that this "significant volume of recruitment (is) driven by ambitions for constant improvement of passenger services".

Sport

Golf - Defending champion Phil Mickelson and 15-time major winner Tiger Woods have been named in the 156-man field for the US PGA Championship in Oklahoma. Woods returned to competitive golf at the Masters in April, 14 months after suffering life-threatening injuries in a car crash. Mickelson, who has been on a break from golf after criticising Saudi Arabia's regime, last played in February. Golf's second major of the year takes place from 19-22 May.

Tennis - Canadian Denis Shapovalov has called for tennis officials to take a stronger stand against disruptive fans after he was heckled during his three-set win over local hope Lorenzo Sonego at the Italian Open on Monday. Shapovalov lost his cool, but still went on to beat Italy's Sonego 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 in his opening match in Rome.

Football – In the Premier League this evening Aston Villa play Liverpool kick off is at 9pm French time.

Weather

Mainly fine with clear skies. Light winds and highs of 22 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes in Cannes and Antibes. This evening going down to 14 degrees with clear skies. In Saint Tropez and the Var; sunny with a gentle breeze high of 23 degrees.

Outlook for tomorrow and Thursday - Sunny with a gentle breeze highs of 22-24 degrees.

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