French and Riviera News Tuesday 16th January 2024


Education minister heavily criticised for moving her children from state to private school - France’s new education minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra has been accused of failing to give the real reason as to why she enrolled her children in a private school. The first major crisis for Gabriel Attal’s new government looks set to threaten Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to give a new lease of life to his five-year term, ahead of the European elections in June. The education minister claims that following her “frustration” over teacher absences in her eldest son’s state school she decided to move him to a private establishment. Her actions have led for calls from the opposition for her to resign. The Collège Stanislas de Paris, to which they moved their son, and two younger children, is a selective, fee-paying establishment in the sixth arrondissement known locally as Stan.

Meanwhile, an opinion poll published on Monday has suggested that Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party is 10 percentage points ahead of the governing party.  Macron, who gathered his ministers and MPs for a team talk at the Elysée Palace on Monday, will outline his political roadmap for his next three years in office at a press conference this evening at 8.15pm on TF1 and France 2.

Water pollution in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes - The Regional Health Agency has revealed that following results published on Monday more than 160,000 residents in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of France are using water polluted with PFAS or “external pollutants”. The authority has requested corrective measures for the fifty municipalities concerned, most of them located in the “chemical” valley south of Lyon. According to analysis the Regional Health Agency said in a statement that “based on the current information, we do not know at what level the PFAS can pose a threat, but we cannot wait to take action”. The water consumption is not prohibited, but the ARS has, for the first time, requested corrective measures from the municipalities concerned.

Nice climate summit finds itself at the heart of a police investigation - The Nice climate summit has found itself at the centre of a police investigation. The event which was organized in Nice on September 28th and 29th, is the subject of several controversies. The summit was intended to be a place for debates and discussions on climate change and the preservation of biodiversity. But, in September 2023, the event was overshadowed by the presence of the oil company TotalÉnergies as a sponsor and the hosting of two round tables by Laura Tenoudji Estrosi, the wife of Mayor Christian Estrosi. As part of the preliminary investigation the prosecutor has indicated an examination of a possible "illegal taking of interest". The Prosecutor's Office is not currently citing anyone in particular.

Stabbing in bowling alley in Hyeres - A 23-year-old man has been handed a three-year prison sentence for “violence involving the use of a weapon” after stabbing a man twice in the back at a bowling alley in Hyeres, in the Var. The incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning when an argument broke out between two groups of four people.

Monaco charity continues to help the homeless in neighbouring towns - The Monaco association “Semeurs d’Espoir” has been helping the homeless in Nice and Menton. With nearly 80 members a fleet of five vehicles have been circulating along the Riviera. The charity has been in operation for several years and continues its work, having helped 1,643 people last year. Food collections are held twice a year at the Carrefour supermarket here in the Principality to bring necessities to the homeless every other Monday in Menton and every other Tuesday in Nice.

Monaco’s civil status figures for 2023 - Monaco’s civil Status figures for last year have been published. As at the start of every year, Monaco Town Hall has presented the figures showing 804 births in 2023 at the maternity department of the Princess Grace Hospital Center (CHPG). Out of the 804 births, 229 were from families residing in Monaco and 575 concerned parents outside of the Principality, mainly in the Communes of Menton (172), Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (89) and Beausoleil (82). The top 5 girls names given in 2023 were Louise, Chloé, Emma, Jade and Chiara. Théo, Gabriel, Léo, Leonardo and Andrea were the top choice for boys. More than 79% of deaths took place in hospital, (10%) in clinics and 1% in retirement homes. Among the deceased, 258 were domiciled in Monaco and 280 in neighbouring communes. Finally, 194 marriages were recorded in the Principality in 2023 (compared to 191 in 2022) and the number of divorces is higher than 2022, with 64 divorces recorded in 2023, all nationalities combined.

Monaco Employment Forum - The Monaco Employment Forum is to be held on Friday 16th February at the Grimaldi Forum. After welcoming 3,650 visitors last September, the second “Recruit Monaco Forum” 2024 will be bigger and better than before. The event, established by the Prince's Government, continues to follow the same concept: to bring stakeholders in the Monegasque economy and job seekers together for the day to work towards the common goal of promoting employment in the Principality's business sectors. This is the annual event for jobseekers from the Côte d'Azur, Liguria and beyond, who will have free access to the Principality's companies, divided into twelve sectors of activity, to meet, exchange ideas and create promising career opportunities. There will also be an employment coaching hub, run by the relevant government departments, the Employment Office, the Human Resources and Training Department and the Caisses Sociales de Monaco. Candidates will receive support to help them prepare for interviews and improve their chances of success. To fulfil this ambitious objective, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has decided to professionalise the concept to meet expectations in the exhibition space, the Diaghilev area of the Grimaldi Forum. The Prince’s Government has entrusted the marketing of the stands to a specialist Monegasque agency capable of assisting exhibiting companies with their organisation and meeting all their needs. To book your stand, please contact the agency (Denise Davide or Marie Barresi) on +377 97 97 35 55 or by e-mail:  or register online:

Changes at La Turbie for 2024 - Elected officials of La Turbie have several key issues on the cards for this year including the creation of two paddle courts, at the La Turbie Tennis Club. There is also a building permit for a coworking centre, the continuation of the creation of a cycling centre at Tête de Chien and the much-awaited construction of a veterinary hospital, once the permit has been validated. The project will be presented to the people of La Turbie during a public meeting on February 2nd. All the projects for 2024 hope to contribute to the innovation and job creation in the town.

The louvre increases ticket prices - Tickets at the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, have risen in price by almost 30% to €22. The jump from €17 is the first price change in seven years and comes ahead of the French capital hosting the Olympic Games this summer. The museum welcomed about 8.9 million people last year.


Boeing has announced that there will be more quality inspections for its 737 Max aircraft after an unused door blew off an Alaska Airlines plane mid-flight. Last week, the US regulator extended the grounding of 737 Max’s. The US plane maker said that an outside party would be brought in to assess its production practices.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said in a social media post that he would be uncomfortable growing AI/robotics at Tesla without at least a 25% voting control of the company. Musk added that he would prefer to build products outside of the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Nine million tax households in France have received an advance on their tax credit, for an average amount of 634 euros. 5.8 billion euros will be paid to nine million tax households, or 634 euros on average per household. As with every year, taxpayers in France who have benefited from tax credits and reductions in 2023 will receive an advance to cover part of their expenses relating to the employment of an employee at home, childcare costs or accommodation costs in nursing homes. As a reminder, the tax credit allows you to deduct part of these expenses. The sum is capped at 12,000 euros per year (15,000 euros if the household has two dependent children) and can only represent 50%. The advance is automatically paid into the taxpayers' bank accounts with the wording "ADVANCE CREDIMPOT". If, however, you are one of the 183,000 tax households who has not provided bank details to the tax authorities, the advance will be paid by check at the end of January.

The European boss of Fujitsu, Paul Patterson, is to face MPs on the Business and Trade select committee today. Fujitsu is the private company at the heart of the Post Office scandal, which has been described as the biggest miscarriage of justice in UK history. The £20bn Japanese technology company developed the Horizon computer accounting system.


Football - Lionel Messi has won men's player of the year at the Fifa Best Awards, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claiming the men's coach prize in London.

Meanwhile, in Women’s Football it was England manager Sarina Wiegman who was named coach of the year and Mary Earps best goalkeeper for the second successive year at the Fifa Best Awards.

In the FA Cup third round replay this evening, Wolverhampton play Brentford, Birmingham City play Hull City, Bolton Wanderers are at home to Luton Town, Bristol City face West Ham and Eastleigh play Newport County.

Cricket - Lancashire have signed New Zealand batter Tom Bruce for the 2024 season. Bruce has 5,334 runs from 75 first-class matches.

Formula One - Toto Wolff has signed a three-year deal to stay on as the team principal and chief executive of Mercedes F1. Mercedes won eight constructors' titles in eight seasons between 2014 and 2021 and finished second behind Red Bull in 2023.

Snooker -  Ali Carter has criticised "some morons" in the crowd at London's Alexandra Palace during his 10-7 defeat by Ronnie O'Sullivan in Sunday's Masters final. At the start of the 14th frame with Carter leading 7-6, the referee reminded fans not to shout out when the players were about to take a shot.


Sunny intervals with light winds. Highs of 15 degrees in Saint-Tropez, 14 degrees in Monaco and Nice, 13 degrees in Mougins and Vence. This evening going down to 7 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow, light rain is forecast with highs of 14. Thursday fine and sunny, feeling milder with highs of 15-17 degrees.

Sunrise       08.00am

Sunset        05.19pm




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