French and Riviera News Tuesday 15th March 2022


13,500 refugees already welcomed in France - According to figures from France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin 13,500 refugees have already been welcomed in France as French President Emmanuel Macron visits today Tuesday 15th March, Ukrainian refugees at a centre in the Maine et Loire. The Head of State will meet Ukrainian families who have arrived in recent days.

Interior Minister to visit Corsica - Meanwhile Darmanin is to visit Corsica tomorrow and Thursday after the recent violent demonstrations on the island. The minister said that he "strongly condemns" the violence and gives his full support to the police officers and gendarmes who have been injured as well as to the State services concerned. He called for a return to calm without delay, without which he said, "no dialogue can begin".

French Prime Minister launches wind farm projects - In other news, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has launched a call for investments in two floating wind farm projects in the Mediterranean Sea which could supply electricity to one million people and be operational by 2030. During the presentation on Monday Castex announced that one of the projects would be located 20kms from Fos-sur-Mer in the Bouches-du-Rhone.

Meeting in Nice in the run up to presidential elections - In the run up to the Presidential elections in France, French President and candidate Emmanuel Macron is to hold a meeting in Nice on Wednesday March 23rd at the Palais Nikaia. Organisers say that five to six thousand people are expected to attend the rally orchestrated by the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi who intends to take an active part in the campaign of the outgoing president, participating in several meetings across France in the coming days. In addition to Christian Estrosi, Édouard Philippe, former Prime Minister and founder of the Horizons party and France’s Minister of Health Olivier Véran will also be in attendance. It is not yet confirmed if Macron will be present all depending on the situation in Ukraine.

Price of petrol – Meanwhile the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has welcomed the announcement from the French government on Monday that the price of fuel at the pumps will be reduced by 15 cents per litre for four months from April 1st. The mayor called it "an exceptional and common-sense measure that must be accompanied by a similar effort from companies". The price reduction is expected to cost the French government about two billion euros.

Record sells for the Art world - According to an annual report published on Monday the Art market reached a new world record in 2021. Driven by contemporary art, fine art auction sales reached a new record in 2021, at $17.08 billion, an increase of 60% compared to 2020 and 28% compared to 2019. For two years, "the health crisis has dramatically accelerated the dematerialization of the art market. 87% of the 6,300 auction houses monitored by Artprice now have all the back-office facilities to conduct online auctions". With a total of 5.95 billion dollars in sales, China (mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong) represents 35% of the world art market overall, just ahead of the United States which totals 5.79 billion dollars, i.e. 34% of the market and with 91,699 works sold, France ranks second after the United States, exceeding for the first time the billion dollars.

Karim Benzema overtakes Thierry Henry - Footballer Karim Benzema has overtaken Thierry Henry to become the top French scorer in history with 413 goals. The international striker scored twice in Real Madrid's victory in Mallorca (0-3) on Monday on behalf of the 28th day of the Spanish championship.

Snowfall greatly welcomed – Up to 40cm of snow has fallen in the region’s ski resorts. After several weeks of dry weather, the snowfall at the weekend was greatly welcomed by the resorts of Auron, Isola, Valberg and La Colmiane to end the season with a smile.

Sand dust from the Sahara – Meanwhile, France is expecting sand dust from the Sahara today Tuesday 15th March, which could give a particularly orange tint to the sky in certain regions. It’s expected to affect western and northern France, as well as Spain, Belgium, Germany and Austria.


Asian markets have slipped again this morning as China reported a spike in Covid-19 cases adding to concerns about the war in Ukraine and the prospect of higher US interest rates. Despite talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations on a cease fire reaching no agreement on Monday, there are still hopes that an agreement may reached when discussions resume today. Oil prices ha