French and Riviera News Tuesday 13th April 2021

News

Hospitals still under pressure in France with 5,916 in intensive care - 8.336 new cases of Covid have been identified in France in the last 24 hours. There have been 2,172 new admissions to hospital with 31,262 people currently hospitalised. 492 people have been admitted to intensive care units bringing the total number of patients in intensive care to 5,916. There have been 385 Covid related deaths in the last 24 hours. Latest figures show that more than a million people have now died from Covid in Europe.

Monaco – In Monaco two new cases of Covid have been declared on Monday April 12sth. To date 2,377 residents have been affected since the beginning of the pandemic. Twenty-four people are currently in hospital and 48 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Vaccination –11 million people in France have received a first dose of the vaccine against Covid and 3.8 million both doses. As part of a new approach, in the hope of speeding up the vaccination campaign in France, the French government has announced that the period between the first and second shots will be extended to six weeks instead of four as of April 14th.

In other news

Shooting outside hospital in Paris - One person has been shot dead and another is in a critical condition after being shot at outside a hospital in Paris on Monday afternoon. The shooting occurred in front of the Henry-Dunant Hospital; the attacker fled on a scooter. Three people were taken into police custody for questioning, two have since been released. The victim was already known to police for drug trafficking.

Officers to go on trial in Marseille – The trial of eighteen former members of the North Anti-Crime Brigade (BAC) has opened at the Marseille Criminal Court. The case dates back to October 2012 when 18 officers were accused of theft and drug trafficking. Nine years later, the case, which has partially collapsed, arrived in the criminal court on Monday April 12th.

Regional elections - French Prime Minister Jean Castex will today plead in parliament for the regional and departmental June elections to go ahead despite the health crisis. According to figures 56% of French mayors are in favour of holding the regional elections as planned and believe that they can go ahead even under current health restrictions.

The regional elections are planned for June 13th and 20th.  It was only last year that the elections were maintained despite the lockdown causing controversy.

Locally both the mayor of Cannes David Lisnard and the mayor of Antibes Jean Leonetti, have said they are "in favour of maintaining the departmental and regional elections next June, with the possibility of postponing the latter by a few weeks if necessary” adding that this is “their position only if the health situation doesn’t worsen”.  Meanwhile the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said he is opposed to holding the elections next June.

Health workers to get a pay increase in France - France’s Health Minister has announced a pay increase for health workers in France. “Costing 200 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2021 and 740 million for 2022 the increase will benefit 500,000 caregivers from October” announced Olivier Veran on Monday. The increase will be added to the 7.6 billion already granted to the 1.5 million employees of hospitals and nursing homes, both public and private, via a general increase of 183 euros net per month.

Top Marques Monaco postponed - The 2021 edition of the Top Marques Monaco supercar show has been postponed until June 8 to 12 next year. It had been scheduled to take place from September 1 to 5 this year at the Grimaldi Forum. Organizers said that tickets already purchased for the 2021 edition will be fully reimbursed via the same channels through which the tickets were reserved.

Mayor of Nice pays tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has written an article in French newspaper Le Figaro paying tribute to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. In the article, entitled "Why the death of Prince Philip affects the people of Nice so much", the mayor said that Nice is "probably the most British city in France". He said that Nice and the whole of the UK have a special relationship and described the historical ties between the city and the UK.

Business

Air France-KLM is to expand its partnership with China Eastern Airlines, as the Chinese carrier contributes to a 1 billion-euro share issue heavily backed by the French government.  The French state will cover as much as two-thirds of a 988 million-euro capital increase by Air France-KLM, while China Eastern invests up to 168 million euros to maintain or slightly increase its stake.

In the UK consumer spending fell 7.2% in March, compared to the same period two years ago but there are still signs of recovery as restrictions ease and summer approaches. Spending in the travel industry was down but not by as much as in January and February, suggesting growing confidence in the possibility of a holiday this year.

China has forced a sweeping restructure on the Ant Group so the financial technology firm acts more like a bank. Ant Group is China's biggest payments provider, with more than 730 million monthly users on its digital payments service Alipay.

The latest move is part of a wider crackdown by China to reign in the country's fast-growing tech platforms.

Ant's affiliate company Alibaba was hit with a record fine of $2.8bn on Friday over monopoly concerns.

Sport

Football – In the Premier League last night there was VAR chaos again as West Brom were denied a goal against Southampton, but still went on to win 3-0 and Brighton struggled at home with a 0-0 draw against injury-hit Everton.

In the Champions league quarter finals this evening Chelsea face FC Porto and PSG play Bayern Munich.

And according to Forbes Manchester United have fallen out of the top three most valuable football clubs in the world. Valued at £3.05billion, the club has moved down a place to fourth with German giants Bayern Munich above them in third.

At the top of the list, Barcelona have moved ahead of Real Madrid to become Forbes' most valuable football club at £3.46billion. While Liverpool have jumped up three places to fifth and ahead of Manchester City.

Tennis – Rain caused a second interruption of play at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Monday afternoon. Matches postponed will be played today as the Men’s singles second round gets underway.

Cricket - The ECB are considering rewriting cricket terminology for their controversial new Hundred competition — with 'wickets' replaced by the baseball term 'outs'.

The move will, according to ECB research using focus groups, make the sport more accessible to the new audience they hope will be attracted to a competition that has its belated launch in July.

According to the Telegraph this means that, a team will be said to have made 72 runs for two 'outs' and a bowler will have taken 21 'outs' rather than wickets over the course of a season. 

Cycling - Mark Cavendish has won his first race in three years with victory on stage two of the Tour of Turkey.

Weather

Clear skies. Highs of 15 degrees in Menton, Monaco and Nice with a gentle breeze. Going down to nine degrees this evening with clear skies.

In the Var sunny with highs of 17 degrees, going down to 9 degrees this evening.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday remaining dry with some cloud and sunny intervals highs of 15-17 degrees.

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