French and Riviera News Tuesday 14th March 2023

News

Action against pension reform continues - Strike action continued on Monday against the pension reform in France, as the inter-union called for an eighth day of mobilization for tomorrow, Wednesday 15th of March. So why have unions chosen tomorrow? Well, this is when a joint committee must be held with seven deputies and seven senators who will attempt to agree on a final version of the pension reform. Several sectors are expected to be disrupted by strike action especially transport.

Inmate serving sentence for murder in Nice has escaped from prison in the Dordogne - An inmate, sentenced for murder in Nice, has escaped from Mauzac-et-Grand-Castang prison in the Dordogne. Philippe Dubois was serving a 28-year sentence for killing his landlady and her son back in 2002. The 56-year-old escaped early afternoon on Monday March 13th. Police are actively searching for Dubois.

Burst water pipe - A burst water pipe has flooded several levels of the Condamine car park here in Monaco. A little after noon on Monday the water pipe burst and although the leak was quickly brought under control, residents of Saige Street were affected. A substantial quantity of water gushed out at the end of their street, breaking along boulevard Albert-1er and at the end of rue Princesse Caroline but also at the inside the Condamine car park, flooding it on several levels.

Petition - A petition launched by the "Stop Croisière" association in February has already gathered more than 1,300 signatures. The petition denounces the pollution emitted by cruise ships in Toulon. The move comes as the Ports Department of the Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry has promised 100 cruise ship stopovers in the harbour of Toulon in 2023.

Passengers stranded on plane due to lack of customs officers - 140 passengers have been left stranded for 3 hours on a plane due to the lack of customs officers at Rennes airport in France. Leaving London Stansted at 2:45pm on Sunday March 12th, the 140 passengers of RyanAir flight FR8503 were due to land in Nantes at 3:50pm. But the plane was diverted to Rennes. In addition to this, due to the lack of customs officers present at Rennes airport, the passengers could not get off the plane. The Boeing 737 had 140 people on board, many of whom had attended the victory of the French rugby team at Twickenham on Saturday.

Use of antidepressants amongst young people is worryingly high - The use of antidepressants amongst young people in France has increased by more than 62% between 2014 and 2021. The report published on Monday and carried out by the “High Council for the Family, Childhood and Age (HCFEA)” concerns tens of thousands of children. The report shows that Covid and the successive lockdowns had a damaging effect on the health of children with suicidal gestures and feelings of anxiety on the rise. The council is calling for an “urgent need to act”.

Man, who revolutionized the high jump Dick Fosbury dies aged 76 - Dick Fosbury, the man who revolutionized the high jump with his famous "flop" has died at the age of 76. The American athlete gave his name to a famous backstroke high jump technique in the late 1960s. Olympic champion in 1968, Fosbury passed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a brief illness.

MIPIM opens - Real estate professionals are meeting in Cannes for MIPIM, which opened its doors on Monday. The organizers expect from now until Thursday some 23,000 visitors from 90 countries. The major theme being put forward by the organizers is the decarbonization of the real estate sector. The fair certainly comes at a time when according to a study by the consulting firm EY and the Palladio Foundation, which brings together professionals in the French cities, the morale of the leaders of the sector has deteriorated significantly in 2022. Among more than 500 professionals surveyed for the study, 51% say they are optimistic for the coming year, compared to 84% a year earlier.

Carlton Cannes reopens in all its splendour - It's been a long wait but well worth it! As the Carlton Cannes reopened its doors on Monday March 13th, after nearly 2 years of closure and 7 years of work. Also referred to as the “Grande dame” this icon of the Riviera for 100 years is known for having hosted the elite, from movie stars to presidents. The hotel notably featured in Elton John's 'I'm Still Standing' music video, while Alfred Hitchcock chose the Carlton as the filming location for the film 'To Catch A Thief' starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. From the outside, nothing seems to have really changed, and yet the facades have been completely embellished, renovated, and extended. The hotel now offers two striking new wings, measuring 20,000 square meters and housing luxury residences as well as a new, and very large, infinity pool and elegant terraces.

Happy Birthday! - Finally, Riviera Radio would like to wish H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco a very “Happy Birthday” today!

Business

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has called on investors to "calm down and look at the reality!" following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the failure of Signature Bank in the US, which has created a wave of uncertainty in global financial circles. During a trip to Brussels on Monday, Le Maire said that "the reality is that the French banking system is not the same as SVB. He added that “there are no links between the two and when asked about the fall in European banking stocks, notably the French BNP and Société Générale he added we “have banks which are solid”.

The stock markets and in particular the CAC 40 were shaken on Monday following the bankruptcy of the Californian bank. On Monday, US President Joe Biden said that US taxpayers will not be asked to pay for the rescue of depositors at the failed SVB bank, assuring Americans that the crisis was "under control".

Meanwhile, European equities have tipped deep into the red. Bank shares in Italy and Switzerland have fallen particularly hard. Frankfurt and Paris stock markets have dropped by about three percent, while Milan dived almost five percent at one stage and Zurich shed 1.7 percent. SVB is the largest retail bank to fall since the 2008 financial crisis. The problems at SVB built up as the US Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes meant securities the bank owned were selling at a significant loss, a problem other institutions could face.

US President Joe Biden has approved a major oil and gas drilling project in Alaska that faced strong opposition from environmental activists. The company behind the Willow project, ConocoPhillips, says it will create local investment and thousands of jobs. But the $8bn (£6.6bn) proposal faced a torrent of online activism in recent weeks, particularly among youth activists on TikTok. Opponents argued it should be halted over its climate and wildlife impacts.

According to a new report vinyl record sales outperformed CDs in the US for the first time since 1987. Just over 41 million vinyl records were sold in 2022, to the tune of $1.2bn (£.99bn). Only 33 million CDs were sold, amounting to $483m. It was the 16th consecutive year of growth for record sales.

Sport

Football - Ex-Blackburn striker Chris Sutton has said that Tottenham manager Antonio Conte should leave the club immediately if he does not want to commit his future to Spurs. Conte, 53, is out of contract at the end of the season, with Spurs out of all the cup competitions.

This evening in the Champions League with a 9pm kick off French time - FC Porto play Inter Milan and Manchester City face RB Leipzig.

In the UK Gary Lineker will return to present Match of the Day after he was taken off air amid an impartiality row following his criticism of the government's new asylum policy. BBC director general Tim Davie said an independent review of BBC social media guidelines would be carried out - and denied the BBC had backed down.

Rugby Union - Ireland duo Garry Ringrose and Iain Henderson have been ruled out of Saturday's Grand Slam decider with England. Centre Ringrose was stretchered off in the closing stages of Sunday's win over Scotland with a head injury while second row Henderson will undergo surgery on a broken arm. Ireland can win a first Grand Slam under head coach Andy Farrell if they defeat England in Dublin on Saturday.

Tennis – Emma Raducanu put in an impressive showing as she beat Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-1 2-6 6-4 in their third-round match at Indian Wells.

Weather

Strong winds and sunny with highs of 19 degrees in Nice, 18 in Monaco and 20 in Cannes. 17 degrees in Saint Tropez and Toulon. Sunny intervals and highs of 16 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 9 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Thursday. Remaining fine and sunny with highs of 14-15 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var.

Sunrise 06.47am

Sunset  06.35pm

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