French and Riviera News - Tuesday 19th April 2022

MACRON'S LEAD WIDENING

With just 5 days to go until the final round of voting, the gap between the 2 candidates  appears to be widening. An IPSOS poll commissioned by France Info is putting the President 12 points ahead of Marine Le Pen. Another poll from IFOP gives the president a 9 point lead over his challenger. This is compared to just 5 points one week ago. Remember that a poll is just a sample of the population in a moment of time, not a prediction.

Both candidates are focusing on tomorrow’s pivotal television debate which could turn out to be key to the campaign. In 2017, when the pair clashed at this stage, it was clear that Macron emerged as the more convincing candidate. He won the election comfortably a few days later. This time however, Le Pen insists she is better prepared, telling TF1  yesterday that in her head, she is ready to exercise power. On her campaign trail in Normandy yesterday, she stressed that the debate should be a real confrontation of ideas to break through the excess of invective fake news. Meanwhile, Macron accused his rival of being distant from the French population.

 

RUSSIAN DIALOGUE STALLED

President Macron also said yesterday that his dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin has stalled after mass killings were discovered in Ukraine. Macron told France 5 television that since the massacres were discovered in Bucha and in other towns, the war has taken a different turn. The president said that he has spoken with President Putin over 40 times since the beginning of the conflict and has not ruled out speaking to him again the future.

 

IN LOCAL NEWS

The 34 year old Monagasque who is accused of attacking his partner on Sunday will be detained in France before being extradited back to Monaco to be tried for attempted homicide. A 24 year old woman is being treated at Princesse Grace Hospital having been violently punched at least 10 times. She is said to have made a miraculous recovery.

 

Emergency services are continuing to search for a missing yacht crew member, after a fire completely destroyed a 30 metre yacht in the port of Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer in the Var. The fire aboard the Austrian registered Lady Amethyst was attended to by 55 fire-fighters, who rescued three crew members, however one is still missing. The recused crew are being treated at hospitals in Toulon for smoke inhalation.

 

Official figures from Monaco show the Principality has 9,611 official Monegasque citizens, of which 54.4% are women. Life expectancy is also longer for women at 88.7 years compared to just under 85 years for men.  Monegasque nationality brings many privileges, including zero-tax and national priority for housing and employment and all requests for naturalization are approved directly by Prince Albert. In 2021, the sovereign granted nationality to three men and five women.

 

Isola & Auron closed their pistes yesterday to conclude what has been a reasonably successful season despite a lack of snow, thanks to a heavy investment in artificial snow machines. The maire of St Etienne de Tinée/Auron estimates that turnover would be equivalent to 80% of the best years when there were more intensive snowfalls.

 

BUSINESS NEWS

CHINA

China’s economy grew faster than expected despite the impact of Covid, with first-quarter GDP rising 4.8%, topping expectations of a 4.4% increase. However, official figures also show the unemployment rate across 31 major Chinese cities rose from 5.4% in February to 6% in March. That’s the highest on record according to official data going back to 2018.

 

RUSSIA

Russia flagged a likely further cut in interest rates and more budget spending to help the economy adapt to biting western sanctions as it heads for its deepest contraction since 1994.

Russia faces soaring inflation and capital flight while grappling with a possible debt default after the West imposed unprecedented sanctions.

Putin said yersterday that Russia should use its state budget to support the economy and liquidity when lending activity has waned. The World Bank expects the economy to shrink by more than 11% this year.

 

WORLD BANK WARNING

World Bank Chief Economist Carmen Reinhart said the global economy is passing through a period of “exceptional uncertainty” and added that she wouldn’t rule out further downgrades to the growth outlook.

 

The Washington-based institution has lowered its estimate for global growth in 2022 to 3.2% from a January prediction of 4.1%, spurred by a cut in the outlook for Europe and central Asia that includes Russia and Ukraine. The new forecast compares with a 5.7% expansion in 2021.

 

EMIRATS

Emirates' boss says the airline will keep flying to Russia unless its owner, the Dubai government, tells it not to.

Most major international airlines pulled out of Russia amid sweeping sanctions imposed by Western countries since the war began in Ukraine. 

But Emirates is one of the few carriers that is still operating flights to Moscow and St Petersburg.

As well as carrying passengers, the airline also transports cargo including humanitarian goods, food and medical supplies, which are not on the sanctions list.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGES

€1 = £0,83 $1,08 SF 1,02

£1 = €1,20 $1,30 SF1,23

$1 = €93 cents, £77 pence, 94 Swiss centimes

BITCOIN $40766

ETHEREUM  $3057

 

COMMODITIES

An ounce of gold is $1977,62

Barrel of Brent Crude oil is $113,69

 

SPORT

Football

Barcelona suffered a shock home La Liga defeat by relegation-threatened Cadiz to leave leaders Real Madrid closer to clinching the Spanish title.

The visitors began the day in the bottom three but Lucas Perez poked in from close range just after half-time to boost their survival prospects.

 

Derby County have been relegated from the Championship after suffering a dramatic late defeat at Queens Park Rangers.

Their fight for survival was always going to be difficult after being deducted 21 points at the beginning of the season.

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told his players to be angry and greedy when they play Manchester United later today urging them to see it as the most important three points of their lives as they continue their push for an unprecedented quadruple.

Liverpool, who have already won the League Cup and are in the FA Cup final and the Champions League semi-finals, trail league leaders Manchester City by a point with seven games left.

 

Cricket

England's Jos Buttler continued his stunning form at the Indian Premier League with his second century of this year's tournament for Rajasthan Royals.

Buttler, the 2022 IPL's top run-scorer, hit 103 from 61 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Royals' 217-5.

The 31-year-old became only the sixth player to score multiple hundreds in the same IPL season.

 

Tennis

Australian Open champion Rafa Nadal resumed training on Monday after four weeks out due a stress fracture in his rib, a month out from the French Open where the Spaniard will bid for a record-extending 14th title.

 

Manchester United footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and partner Georgina Rodriguez have announced the death of their baby boy, saying it is the "greatest pain that any parents can feel".

The Portugal international, 37, and Rodriguez, 28, were expecting twins.

Their baby girl survived, and they said her birth "gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness".


 

WEATHER

Some extended cloudy spells are expected today to break up the sunshine, but no rain is expected.

 

Winds are light peaking at 12 km/h from the east in Alpes Maritimes, and temperatures are rising to 18° along the coast around Cannes. Skies are somewhat clearer in the Var with stronger southernly winds and highs of 19° around St Tropez, 21° inland around Draguignan

 

Some clouds tonight as well with light winds as temperatures drop to an overnight low of 11°C.

 

Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a risk of showers, particularly in the morning.

 

 

Sunrise/Sunset (Monaco): 19th 6:41/20:19 

UV peaking at 5 between 1 & 3 this afternoon

Sea Temperature: 14° in Alpes Maritimes, 15° towards St Tropez

 

 

 

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