French and Riviera News Tuesday 16th May 2023

News

French President faces criticism after television interview - An interview given by French President Emmanuel Macron on TF1 last night has been heavily criticized by elected officials with many claiming him to be “completely out of touch and contemptuous”. Eric Ciotti felt that the President “spoke without actually saying anything” adding that, “speeches are not given any strength by just repeating them”. During the interview Macron announced plans to lower household taxes by two billion euros by 2027 and the sending of new ammunition to Ukraine.

Detention centre for the Alpes Maritimes - France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin has evoked the installation of a detention centre in the Alpes-Maritimes, despite opposition from the mayor of La Trinité Ladislas polski. Plans have been envisaged to create the new CRA of more than 100 places in La Trinité on land which belongs to the city council of Nice. Darmanin recalls that "the policy of combating irregular immigration has resulted in a 20% increase in forced removals since the beginning of the year”.

Accounts blocked due to bank merger - Customers of banks Crédit du Nord, Société Générale, Banque Courtois, Kolb, Société Marseilles de Crédit, and Société de Banque de Monaco may have experienced problems up until today Tuesday 16th May when accessing their accounts, with transfers rejected and bank identifications changed. The reason is due to the impact of the merger between Crédit du Nord and Société Générale. However, it is still possible for customers to make payments with their credit card, or to withdraw money.

Drones at the Cannes Film Festival - The use of drones for surveillance purposes has been authorized during the Cannes Film Festival. The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez, made a decree for the use of drones in certain areas around the Palais de Festivals for the festival's entire duration. The 76th edition of the film festival gets underway tomorrow and runs until the 27th of May.

Monaco Grand Prix - The Monaco government has extended the period for which vehicles can be detained over the Grand Prix period. In the event of violation of the Highway Code, the immediate immobilization of the vehicle will be extended to a period of 120 hours. The extension is also in place for the duration of the Top Marques car show next month. The government said that certain events can cause large concentrations of vehicles likely to cause significant disturbances to public order.

Forest fires - The French National Assembly is preparing to debate a bill aimed at reducing the risk of forest fires. The bill has already been approved by the Senate. It covers areas such as the regulation of smoking in or near certain high-risk forests and the mandatory clearing of land near forests.

Les Bains set to open in Nice - After three years of work, a historic site in Nice is finally ready to open. The beach formerly assigned to the police after the Second World War which is located twelve meters below Rauba Capeu and the "I Love Nice" sculpture, previously loved by diving enthusiasts, is scheduled to open a few days. The concession has been granted to Castel Plage - the neighbouring establishment.

Business

Former Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) chief Greg Becker is set to tell Congress he "never imagined" such events, referring to the collapse of two US banks in March adding that the failures were caused by "unprecedented" circumstances. The remarks come in testimony prepared for a hearing in Washington today.  Lawmakers are examining the episode amid debate over what should have been done to prevent it. In his prepared remarks, Becker blames the bank's downfall on social media rumours and mixed messages about borrowing costs from the US central bank.

EU regulators have approved Microsoft's $69bn (£55bn) attempt to purchase Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard. The European Commission (EC) said Microsoft had addressed their concerns on competition issues. It comes three weeks after the UK blocked the deal over worries it would hurt competition in the emerging cloud gaming business. The proposed takeover is poised to be the biggest deal in gaming history but has split global regulators. In order for the deal to go through Microsoft and Activision need approval from regulatory bodies in the UK, EU and the US.

And - In the UK, Royal Mail is again being investigated by the communications regulator over its missed delivery targets. Ofcom announced the inquiry after Royal Mail said on Monday it did not meet its 2022 to 2023 quality of service targets.

Sport

Football – In the Premier League Leicester are in deep trouble after losing to Liverpool last night 3-0. The Foxes face West Ham on the final day of the season but last night loss was a crucial moment. Should Everton win at Wolves on Saturday and Dean Smith's side get beaten at Newcastle two days later, Leicester will be relegated to the Championship.

This evening in the semi-final second leg of the Champions League Inter Milan play AC Milan. Kick off is at 9pm.

Rugby Union - London Irish have been given a deadline of 30 May to complete their takeover or risk being suspended from the Premiership next season. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has set the deadline for the deal's approval. The club otherwise has to show evidence it has the financial means to continue through the 2023-24 season.

Rugby League - France has pulled out of hosting the 2025 Rugby League World Cup with organisers citing financial reasons for the decision. The tournament was awarded to France after initial plans for it to be held in North America were scrapped. Organisers have been unable to meet financial criteria set out by the French government, leaving the event at risk of a deficit. The tournament was to be staged during October and November 2025.

Golf - Justin Thomas says he is "seeing light at the end of the tunnel" as he bids to defend his US PGA Championship title this week at Oak Hill in New York. The American world number 13 has had only one top-five finish this year and missed the cut at the Masters in April.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 22 in Monaco and Nice, 24 degrees in Marseille, 25 degrees in Cannes and 26 degrees in Toulon with a gentle breeze. This evening going down to 17 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow – clear skies to start with, showers are forecast for the afternoon. Highs of 20 degrees in Nice.

Thursday showers across the region – highs of 21 degrees.

Sunrise       06.04am

Sunset        08.50pm

Beach weather

Nice – sea temperature 17 degrees. Air temperature 16 degrees reaching 21 degrees this afternoon. Clear skies. UV level 7.

Marseille - sea temperature is 15 degrees. Air temperature 18 degrees, reaching 22 this afternoon. Clear skies. UV level 8.

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