French and Riviera News Tuesday 14th May 2024

National News

Changes to parental leave - The French government will launch discussions with unions, employers and associations tomorrow Wednesday May 15th, on the new parental leave. Planned for August of next year the French President Emmanuel Macron has previously specified that this leave will last "three months for mothers, three months for fathers, during the child's first year, but will not replace maternity leave”. According to the head of state the new leave could be "compensated up to 1,900 euros”. The current parental leave "gives the right to a monthly package of 448 euros which the government considers “to be too little for its duration” and often alienating women in the workplace as they are more often than not the ones to take it.

Local News

Cannes Film Festival 2024 - The Cannes Film Festival kicks off today with some reports saying that it could be the most disruptive edition in decades, due to freelance festival employees threatening strike action which could derail the opening night ceremony and the entire French industry on tenterhooks ahead of an expected new wave of #MeToo allegations against some of the country’s biggest stars. However, others report that the market looks promising judging by the number and quality of projects pitching at this year’s film market and all is yet to come. The day before the opening saw many gather at Nice International Airport to spot the stars arriving and 28 year old Anya Taylor-Joy was one of them. She touched down in Nice on Monday. Her much-anticipated upcoming movie Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is set to premiere at the 77th Film Festival on Wednesday. Tune into Riviera Radio to hear daily bulletins from the Cannes Film Festival by Reviewed and Cleared’s CEO, Alex Wade.

Investigation - The entourage of the president of the Republican Party Eric Ciotti is under investigation for embezzlement of public funds. A preliminary investigation for embezzlement of public funds has been opened around suspicions of multiple jobs at the Alpes-Maritimes council. In total, 6 people are concerned. According to a report published in December by the regional chamber of accounts (CRC) on the Alpes-Maritimes departmental council, "four cabinet colleagues and two community agents also exercising their functions within the cabinet are, or have been, at the same time parliamentary assistants in the National Assembly". Not complying with the rules for combining jobs imposed on public officials. According to the newspaper Le Monde, the 4 employees work in the service of Eric Ciotti, deputy for Alpes-Maritimes and former president of the departmental council (2008-2017). Eric Ciotti and the departmental council declined to comment on the matter.

Four students placed in police custody in Marseille after being spotted on board the Belem - Four students have been placed in police custody after being spotted drunk onboard the Belem on Sunday night. The Olympic flame had arrived aboard the famous three-masted Belem on Wednesday May 8th, to signal the start of celebrations and the prologue to the Olympic Torch Relay. Police say the individuals had been spotted by crew shortly after midnight.

Motorists in our region score badly when it comes to aggressive behaviour and honking their horn - According to Ipsos, nine out of ten drivers are afraid of the aggressive behaviour of other motorists in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The recent survey commissioned by Vinci Autoroutes also reveals that motorists in the PACA region are specialised in honking their horns so much so that they come first in France. Another fact revealed in the survey is that eight out of ten drivers in the region say they use their phone while driving to make calls or to adjust their GPS while nine out of ten motorists do not respect speed limits, seven out of ten people ignore safety distances and six out of ten forget to indicate when overtaking.

“Drive like a woman” road safety campaign - Meanwhile, a new road safety campaign in France aims to stop the sexist attitude towards woman on the roads. The campaign intitled “drive like a woman” aims to put an end to the belief that men are better drivers. The association behind the campaign points out that on the roads in France 84% of fatal accidents are caused by men. Displayed on the Paris metro and broadcast on the internet, the campaign aims "to initiate awareness among male drivers to bring about a change in mentality and therefore behaviour". According to estimates, 3,170 people lost their lives on the roads of mainland France in 2023, but since the start of this year road deaths have started to rise again. In March of this year, 254 people died on the roads, marking an increase of 31% compared to the same time last year. “Driving like a woman means only one thing, staying alive,” says the campaign.

France’s oldest man - Finally, France’s oldest man has celebrated his 110th birthday. Maurice Le Coutour from Normandy was joined by family and friends to celebrate in the village where he was born on May 12, 1914. The former grocer from Cherbourg (Manche) experienced two world wars and took part in the fighting in 1940. Speaking on his extraordinary existence, he pointed out that he has led a life without too much excess and has never smoked.


Speaking to Bloomberg television on Monday French President Emmanuel Macron said he believes that Europe's banking sector needs greater consolidation, even if that means a major French bank being bought by a European rival. Macron has long been pushing for a European capital markets union, arguing the current fragmentation of the region's banking sector is a drag on the bloc's growth.

A Chinese-owned cryptocurrency miner and its partners have been ordered by US President Joe Biden to sell land they own near a US nuclear missile base, citing spying concerns. MineOne Partners, which the White House says is majority-owned by Chinese citizens, has been given 120 days to sell the property, where it runs a crypto-mining operation. There has been growing concern among US lawmakers about Chinese purchases of property near sensitive military facilities. The latest announcement from the White House comes just a day before the Biden administration is set to sharply increase tariffs on several Chinese imports, including electric vehicles.

And - Melinda Gates has quit as a co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her last day of work will be the 7th of June. Ms Gates started the foundation, which is the largest private body of its kind, in 2000 with her then-husband Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder. The Gates Foundation is among the most powerful groups in public health. It spends billions of dollars every year on initiatives aimed at eradicating infectious diseases, reducing poverty, and combatting climate change. According to the foundation's website, the couple donated more than $36bn (£28bn) of their own wealth to it from 1994 to 2018. In a statement posted to X on Monday Ms Gates wrote "This is not a decision I came to lightly”.


Football – Aston Villa are closing in on a place in the Premier League after staging a dramatic late comeback against Liverpool last night at Villa Park to earn a vital point in the race for fourth place. The match ended 3 all and Hollywood legend and celebrity supporter of Aston Villa Tom Hanks addressed the crowd.

Meanwhile, Liverpool's fans spent much of the night serenading outgoing manager Jurgen Klopp in his penultimate game in charge, enjoying their side's lead but seemingly none too concerned at the late concession of two points.

This evening Tottenham are at home to Manchester City kick off is at 9pm French time.

Tennis - Two matches at the Italian Open in Rome were suspended following a protest by climate activists on Monday. Protestors glued themselves to the stand before police and firefighters arrived.

Motor racing - The 2024 French motorcycle Grand Prix was MotoGP's highest attended grand prix ever with 297,471 present at Le Mans on Sunday. The event broke its own record attendance of 278,805 set last year.


Cloudy with light rain forecast. A moderate breeze. Highs of 21 degrees in Nice, 20 degrees in Monaco, 22 degrees in Cannes for the opening of today’s Film Festival and 19 degrees in Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 15 degrees and cloudy.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday; tomorrow light rain, highs of 19 degrees. Thursday thundery showers highs of 18 degrees.

Sunrise 06.06am

Sunset 08.48pm 

Sea temperatures 

Saint Tropez 17.4 degrees 

Weather elsewhere 

New York   25° with light rain.

Syndey       21° and sunny.

Palma         23° with light rain.

Rome         26° and sunny.

And Finally

The World Championship of Potato sack tossing held its first edition in the Finistere western Brittany and as its name suggests, it involves throwing a bag of potatoes weighing a little over 11 kilos as far as possible. However, to avoid damaging the potatoes, organizers decided to fill the bags with pieces of wood. 70 people participated, each with their own technique with the winner throwing the bag flying just over 11 meters and becoming the very first world record set to be broken next year.

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