French and Riviera News Tuesday 14th February 2023

News

Monegasque Red Cross releases 100,000 euros in aid for Turkey and Syria - The Monegasque Red Cross has released 100,000 euros in aid for Turkey and Syria which have been hit by deadly earthquakes. At the same time, the Monaco Red Cross continues its appeal for public donations to support the IFRC's emergency response. Donations can be made directly at the Monegasque Red Cross headquarters, 27 boulevard de Suisse, Monaco or via the website www.croix-rouge.mc.

Strike action - The examination of the pension reform continues in the National Assembly today in France, as unions prepare for further strike action this Thursday 16th February against the reform. Few buses and no trams will be running in our region on Thursday. There will be disruption to the train network and some car parks will be closed. For more information on transport go to the www.lignesdazur.com website and the SNCF website.

Police appeal - Police have appealed following the disappearance of a “dangerous fugitive” wanted by authorities in the Toulon area. Plagued by psychiatric disorders, 54-year-old Mohamed Meliani, was sentenced to four years in prison in September 2020 in a kidnapping case. The national police have launched an appeal for witnesses to report the escape of a man deemed "dangerous" who "is the subject of psychiatric monitoring" and who escaped from a detention centre a few days ago. Anyone with any information is invited to call 17.

Shell from 2nd World War on beach in Gulf of Saint-Tropez - A shell from the 2nd World War has been found on a beach in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. It was a walker who made the discovery on Monday afternoon while walking on the beach near the Prairies de la Mer campsite in Grimaud. Fortunately, the man immediately understood what it was and alerted the police and firefighters, who set up a security device and called the deminers of Marseille who detonated the shell. This is not the first time that shells and ammunition have been found on this beach which was equipped, during the 2nd World War, with ammunition intended for defense against a possible landing.

Application process for French citizenship online - The French government has launched a more simplified online process for becoming French through the portal NATALI. The online service does not change the requirements for French citizenship just the application process and is intended to streamline the application process by creating a single, nationwide portal where you can submit your citizenship application online.

Once submitted, you will then attend one in-person meeting at your local prefecture where you go for the interview where you will be tested on your knowledge of France and French culture, to see if you are sufficiently integrated to become a citizen. The portal also allows you to create an online account where you can track the process of your application, and where any requests for extra documents or more information will be sent. The portal went live on February 6th and now all new applications must be made in this way, according to the government’s public service site.

Residents evacuated after garage fire in Nice - Residents of a building in Nice have been temporary evacuated following a fire in a garage on Monday evening. The fire broke out just before 10pm on the Boulevard Pierre Sola. Firefighters intervened after smoke was seen coming from the basement of the building. The occupants of the eight-storey building were evacuated and two of them were taken care of by the emergency services. The cause of the fire remains to be determined.

Experts warn of rise in sea levels and impact on our region - Experts have warned of the acceleration of rising sea levels and its impact on the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, where a third of the population lives on 10% of the Mediterranean coast. According to data, by 2050, inhabitants and infrastructures will have to adapt to deal with the risks of submersion and flooding.

For 2050, forecasts predict a rise in temperatures of 2.5 to +5.5 degrees. According to experts, “coastal erosion and marine flooding are therefore to be taken very seriously and placed under close surveillance”. Since January 1st, 2023, a new law has somewhat upset the rules for owners wishing to sell their property. They will now have to provide a statement of risks and pollution (ERP), which includes the risk of marine submersion in the coastal zone. To find out the risks close to home and to obtain the document, the Georisques.gouv.fr website establishes the list of the municipalities concerned and the vulnerable sectors.

Figures show slight but constant drop in couples living together - According to figures from INSEE there has been a slight but constant decrease of the French living together as a couple with the proportion of married couples drastically decreasing, particularly among 20–24-year-olds with only 4% of women and 2% of men in this age group living as a married couple in 2019. Figures show that in 2019 in France, 31 million people lived as a couple in the same dwelling, i.e. 59% of the population aged 18 or over. A figure in slight, but constant, decrease since the 1980s. This proportion was 62% in 1999, 64% in 1990 and 62% between 1962 and 1982.

France’s defence Minister condemns Wakanda Forever - France's Minister of defence, Sebastien Lecornu, has condemned the latest instalment of Marvel's Black Panther franchise, Wakanda Forever, which depicts French troops caught trying to steal resources belonging to the fictional African kingdom. Taking to social media Lecornu said that he “strongly condemn the false and deceptive representation of France’s armed forces". The defence ministry has underlined, however, that France was not calling for withdrawal or censorship of a work of art.

Business

The European Commission has said that the eurozone’s economy is expected to expand by just under 1% instead of 0.3%. The year’s forecast shows a growth for the economy avoiding a winter recession with inflation expected to ease and gas prices continue to fall.  According to the commission, the eurozone and the wider 27-nation EU are now expected to "narrowly avoid" a technical recession this winter. Inflation is now expected to reach 5.6 percent in the eurozone in 2023, down from a previous forecast of 6.1 percent.

In the UK, the number of people that passed through the country’s busiest airport returned to pre-pandemic levels last month. Heathrow reported 5.4 million people travelled through it in January, making it the busiest start to a year since 2020, before Covid was declared a pandemic.

According to reports fifteen years after it last changed hands Britain's biggest luxury yacht-builder is being sold to new private equity backers. Princess Yachts, which is based in Plymouth, is being sold to KPS Capital Partners, a US-headquartered investor which specialises in owning manufacturing businesses.

The soft drink brand Lilt - famously advertised for its "totally tropical taste" - is being scrapped after 50 years and rebranded. From today it will be known as Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit, according to its owner the Coca Cola Company. The firm stressed the drink's taste and ingredients would not change. But fans, many of whom appeared to associate Lilt with memories of their youth, took to social media to express their dismay.

Sport

Football - Nearly nine months after the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, which gave rise to scenes of chaos around the Stade de France, before, during and after the match, an independent report published on Monday has denounced the French police operation as well as the responsibility of UEFA. The report which is intended to be independent looks back on the terrible evening of May 28th, trying to explain what led to this organizational fiasco. The report concluded that UEFA, as the owner of the event, bears primary responsibility for the failures which nearly led to a disaster, but it also points to the poor reaction of French security forces, arguing that police use of tear gas and pepper spray had "no place at a football match as well as an 'inexplicable misconception' of criticizing Liverpool fans.

Meanwhile, in last night’s match Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said "it felt like us, it looked like us," after the Reds recorded their first Premier League win in 2023 with a comfortable 2-0 Merseyside derby victory over Everton at Anfield.

In this evening’s Champions League, AC Milan face Tottenham and Paris Saint Germain play Bayern Munich.

Formula One - Fernando Alonso says he is convinced the Aston Martin team he has joined this year will become winners in Formula 1 in the future. Their 2023 car was launched on Monday at a new factory, which is due to be finished in the summer, with hopes of significant improvement this season.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Cannes. Light winds in Saint-Tropez and the Var. This evening going down to 5 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Thursday. Fine tomorrow, sunny intervals on Thursday highs of 14-15 degrees.

Sunrise 07.31hr

Sunset  17.58hr

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