French and Riviera News Tuesday 12th March 2024

National News France  

Agreement between France and Corsica - France’s Minister of the Interior Gérarld Darmanin has announced early this Tuesday March 12th, that a “broad agreement” has been found with the elected representatives of Corsica on possible autonomy for the island. The Corsican government and elected officials reached an agreement during the night of Monday to Tuesday on a draft "constitutional writing" allowing "the recognition of a status of autonomy" for the island "within the Republic".  

Macron faces backlash from medical workers - French President Emmanuel Macron has faced backlash from medical workers over assisted dying bill. Macron announced at the weekend the plan to submit the bill insisting there would be “strict conditions” on allowing people to self-administer a lethal substance, or call on a relative or medical worker if they are incapable. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal wrote on X that the bill would be presented to the French parliament from May 27th adding that “Death can no longer be a taboo issue and subject to silence’.  But several health workers’ groups have since declared their “concern, anger and sadness” at the plan. In a joint statement, associations for cancer support and specialist nurses said that the French head of State “has with great violence announced a system far removed from patients’ needs and health workers’ daily reality, which could have severe consequences on the care relationship”. Accusing the government of aiming to save money with the plan.

SNCF train tickets for this summer - The SNCF has announced that train tickets for this summer will go on sale on Wednesday March 13th. You will nevertheless have to get up early to guarantee the place of your choice. The ticket office will be accessible from around 6am.  The lucky ones who are going on holiday this summer will be able to book their train tickets for France and Europe, between July 6th and September 11th. The company specifies that 400,000 additional TGV Inoui seats will be on offer with several destinations being better served this summer than before.

Local News

Official visit - France's new ambassador to Monaco says he's hopeful that French president Emmanuel Macron will make an official visit to the principality later this year. Jean d'Haussonville said there was a strong desire from both sides to make the visit happen. A first visit by Macron to Monaco in 2020 was postponed indefinitely because of the pandemic. A state visit - which involves staying overnight - by a French president hasn't happened since François Mitterrand came to Monaco in 1984. Meanwhile, the Elysée palace is making plans for a state visit by Prince Albert II to Paris in May - the first of its kind since Prince Rainier III was received by General de Gaulle in 1959.

Ski season - After a slow start to the season, the Riviera's ski resorts have reported excellent levels of snow in recent days, to coincide with the end of the local school half-term holidays. At the weekend, 12 slopes and nine ski lifts were open at Auron. Isola 2000 is accessible again after an avalanche blocked the access road on Sunday. And Gréolières has welcomed more than 1,000 skiers per day, although some visitors reported long queues to hire equipment. Roubion ski resort, which last month warned that it might not open at all this season because of a lack of snow, was ready to welcome visitors this weekend until it was hit by a power cut. The supply was restored yesterday afternoon and management at Roubion hope to be able to open next weekend instead.

Employment - And if you know someone looking for a job at the moment, an event in Menton today is here to help. 500 vacancies will be on offer at the 16th edition of Menton's jobs fair at the Palais de l'Europe, on from 10am until 4.30. About 50 employers from a range of sectors will be present, from retail and tourism to construction and finance. There'll also be advice and coaching sessions on starting your own business and improving your CV.

15 minutes of reading today - France’s National Book Centre today, Tuesday 12th March, invites the population to 15 minutes of reading. The invitation has been launched by the National Book Centre in partnership with the Ministry of National Education. Activities have been organized throughout France to raise awareness among all French people of the importance of reading particularly among young people.  In France, one in five young people say they do not read at all. Everyone can participate individually or by organizing a collective time, within an association, a reading club or a company. The National Book Centre encourages participants to register on its website and identify themselves, particularly on social networks with the hashtag #12MarsJeLis.


Online rental platform Airbnb says it is introducing a worldwide ban on the use of security cameras inside rental properties. The changes to the company's policy will come into effect at the end of next month. Airbnb says the move aims to simplify its rules on security cameras and prioritise the privacy of guests. Airbnb users have previously voiced concerns about the use of indoor surveillance cameras.

A former Boeing employee known for raising concerns about the firm's production standards has been found dead in the US. 62-year-old John Barnett had according to reports died from a “self-inflicted” wound on March 9th and police were investigating. Barnett had worked for Boeing for 32 years, until his retirement in 2017. In the days before his death, he had been giving evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the company. Boeing said it was saddened to hear of Mr Barnett's passing.

And – It’s bad news for banana lovers as they are set to get more expensive as climate change hits the much-loved fruit. Pascal Liu, senior economist at the World Banana Forum, says climate impacts pose an "enormous threat" to supply, compounding the impacts of fast-spreading diseases. The forum meets in Rome today to tackle challenges facing the fruit.


Football – Chelsea saw off Newcastle in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening, beating them 3-2.

In the Champions League this evening Arsenal are at home to FC Porto and Barcelona play Napoli.

Horse racing – The Cheltenham Festival starts today and around 250,000 spectators are expected this week although ticket sales have been slower than recent years with rising prices and the cost of living cited as factors. One man who is set to dominate at the four-day meeting is Irish trainer Willie Mullins who is favourite in many of the 28 races and needs six victories to become the first person to have 100 Festival winners. In today’s Champion Hurdle he saddles last year's runner-up State Man.

Tennis - Britain's Emma Raducanu was beaten in straights sets by Belarusian world number two Aryna Sabalenka in the third round at Indian Wells. Raducanu, who reached the fourth round in California last year, lost 6-3 7-5 to two-time major winner Sabalenka as she continues her comeback.

Athletics - Malaysia says it has been offered £100m to help the country host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The Games is currently without a host after the Australian state of Victoria cancelled its plans last July because of increasing costs.

Malaysia's Olympic Council says it received a formal invitation from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to replace Victoria as hosts last month.


Sunny with a gentle breeze in Nice and Saint-Tropez highs of 15 degrees. 14 degrees in Monaco, 16 degrees in Cannes with light winds, 17 degrees in Toulon with a fresh breeze and reaching 18 degrees inland in the Var. This evening going down to 8 degrees along the coast and 3 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Thursday, remaining fine with highs of 14-16 degrees.

Sunrise       06.47am
Sunset        06.33pm

Sea temperature

Toulon        14.1°

Weather elsewhere

Liverpool   13° heavy rain.

Rome                   17° sunny intervals.

Lille            11° heavy rain.

Amsterdam         11° light rain.

And Finally

A French baker has won the Chocolatine and Pain au Chocolate World Cup. The 29-year-old took part in the Chocolate and Pain au Chocolate World Cup, organized in Toulouse, on Sunday March 10th. Around twenty competitors were present from twelve different countries, but it was Dimitri Bordon, who works in a bakery in the suburbs of Toulouse who was chosen by a jury of 18 professionals from the catering industry. Tom Jean, another French baker, came second, offering as a revisited pastry and Italian Mirko Zenatti completed the podium. All were judged on the cooking, regularity, quality of the puff pastry, taste and texture.



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