French and Riviera News Tuesday 18th October 2022


Nationwide strike - With a nationwide transport strike taking place today Tuesday 18th October, general disruption in the public sector is expected. Several of the biggest unions have called for action marking their biggest challenge towards French President Emmanuel Macron since he won a second presidential term back in May. The industrial action which is likely to involve public sector employees comes after workers at several refineries and depots operated by TotalEnergies voted to extend their strike action in defiance of the government which has started a process of requisition - ordering staff back to their posts. Union activists say they want to highlight the injustice of the government decision.

Disruptions to train network will depend on region - Today’s movement for higher wages will affect trains differently depending on the region. Customers are invited to find out more for their region on the SNCF app and the TER website. It was back in July, following strike action which had disrupted departures for the summer holidays, that the direction of the SNCF granted an average wage increase of 3.7% for low salaries and 2.2% for executives. Truck drivers are also expected to join the movement today.

49% of French people disapprove of today’s strike action - Meanwhile, according to a new “opinion en direct” poll carried out by the Elabe institute, 49% of French people disapprove of today’s strike action compared to 39% who are in favour of it. Concerning the situation with TotalEnergies, 60% of French people are in favour of the requisitions from the government and 48% say they are against the action taken by employees. 71% of respondents believe that "employees have already obtained a sufficient increase from the management of Total and that they should stop the strike". However, while 71% of people questioned are opposed to the continuation of strike action in the refineries, only 35% believe that the employees are to blame for the social conflict with more than one in four French people (43%) pointing the finger at the management of the oil group.

Fight breaks out at petrol station - Two people have been injured after a fight broke out at a petrol station in Marseille. The incident occurred at the weekend when delivery drivers on mopeds were seen queue jumping motorists to get petrol. With the current petrol shortages service stations are seeing long queues with motorists waiting hours for petrol. Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

Scam for Crit’Air stickers – The French government is warning of a scam by SMS and email which has been circulating for several weeks, with messages inviting you to buy a Crit'Air sticker. The SMS invites you to click on a link to receive a Crit'Air sticker. The fake site has an address similar to that of the official website and uses ministry logos and quotes legal texts. However, instead of receiving a sticker, you risk having your personal and banking data stolen. It is advisable not to answer, to report emails to "Signal Spam" and SMS to 33 700. A single site is available to obtain a Crit'Air sticker at : With a cost of 3.70 euros a sticker.

The Crit'Air vignette is a badge indicating the level of pollution of vehicles. From 0 to 5. The sticker is compulsory for driving and parking in low emission zones, also called ZFE. In Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, the cities of Marseille, Nice and Toulon all have ZFE zones. Since September 1st, 2022, vehicles equipped with a Crit'Air 5 sticker are no longer authorized to circulate in the centre of Marseille.

British report accuses French police of “criminal aggression” during Champions League final - An independent British report on incidents near the Stade de France on May 28th which led to the postponement of the kick-off of the Champions League final, has accused the French police of "criminal aggression”. The report, published on Monday, October 17, widely criticized the treatment of supporters by the French police, on May 28th, during the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the Stade de France.

Flu vaccination campaign - The flu vaccination campaign starts across France today with those aged 65 and over as well as those suffering from certain chronic diseases being invited to get vaccinated. Flu affects between two and six million people in France each year and causes around 10,000 deaths. To protect the most vulnerable health authorities invite them, as every year, to get vaccinated.

Warm temperatures - Météo-France is forecasting another sunny day across the south of France with exceptionally high temperatures for this time of year. From the Pyrenees to the PACA region to the south of the Loire, Meteo France says there will be plenty of sunshine. Reaching 30 degrees in Biarritz, 25 in Perpignan, 28 in Toulouse and 29 in Bordeaux. Further east, Météo-France predicts 26 degrees in Marseille and 22 in Nice.

Fined for drink-driving - A British retiree in Monaco has been fined €1,000 for drink-driving after he was caught riding his scooter the wrong way up a busy one-way street. Police stopped the man on the Place d'Armes after he had taken the Avenue du Port, from the port of Monaco, in the wrong direction. He told the court that he thought the road's direction had been reversed in the run-up to the Monaco grand prix.


China has delayed the release of its latest economic growth figures, which were due to be published as the Communist Party's leadership gathers. The National Bureau of Statistics has not given a reason for the delay. The decision has been described as "very rare" by experts and is seen by some as a sign of further weakness in the world's second largest economy. A new date for the release of the figures has yet to be scheduled.

In the UK analysts have warned that the new chancellor faces the "toughest" and "scariest" decisions on spending cuts despite overturning his predecessor's tax cuts.  Jeremy Hunt cancelled £32bn worth of cuts from last month's mini-budget in a bid to calm investors. But experts said the government still had to fill a £28bn shortfall to balance its books.

Meanwhile, also in the UK, the head of Britain's electricity and gas systems' operator has told households to prepare for blackouts between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays during "really, really cold" days in January and February if gas imports are reduced.

BNP Paribas bank has been given a formal notice by NGOs, accused of financing deforestation in Brazil.  The formal notice, the first to target a bank, is required for possible legal action by NGOs. Since 2017, the French law on "the duty of vigilance" requires large companies to take effective measures to prevent human rights and environmental abuses throughout their supply chain. According to the law, companies given formal notice have a period of three months to meet their obligations and possibly dialogue with NGOs.


Football – Real Madrid and France forward Karim Benzema has won the Ballon d'Or - awarded to the best footballer of the year - for the first time. Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games as he helped Real win the Champions League and La Liga in 2021-22. Benzema is the first Frenchman to win the prestigious award since Zinedine Zidane in 1998. Zidane was at the event to present his countryman with the prize.

Monday's ceremony in Paris saw French F1 driver Esteban Ocon arrive at the Theatre du Chatelet with the Ballon d'Or trophy in a racing car.

In the Premier League action this evening Brighton are at home to Nottingham Forest kick off is at 8.30pm French time and Crystal Palace play Wolverhampton kick off is at 9.15pm French time.

Formula One - McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown has written a letter to governing body the FIA in which he says Red Bull breaking the budget cap "constitutes cheating". Brown calls for penalties that will hit Red Bull financially and on the track. Brown adds the FIA should "communicate subsequent action and penalties at pace to maintain the integrity of F1".

Rugby Union - Wasps have made 167 players and staff redundant after becoming the Premiership's second club to go into administration inside 21 days. The Coventry-based club were suspended by the Premiership last week.


Clear skies to begin with becoming increasingly cloudy as the day continues. Highs of 22 degrees in Nice, 25 degrees in Puget Theniers, 23 degrees in Tende. This evening going down to 11 degrees inland and 16 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

Outlook for Wednesday starting off cloudy clearing with sunny intervals by the afternoon highs of 23-25 degrees. Thursday temperatures remaining the same with sunny intervals.

Sunrise  07.46hr                                   Sunset      18.43hr

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