French and Riviera News Tuesday 19th September 2023


Rumours of a migrant camp in Menton – The prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has “categorically” denied any plans for a migrant camp in Menton following recent rumours. After the influx of 8,500 migrants from the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Alpes-Maritimes is preparing to manage an unusual number of arrivals on the Italian French border.

Thousands of migrants and refugees have landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa after crossing the Mediterranean Sea on small unseaworthy boats from Tunisia, overwhelming local authorities and aid organizations. According to Italy’s Interior Ministry, more than 127,000 migrants have reached Italy by sea so far this year, nearly double the number for the same period last year.

Local authorities in Menton have assured that it is a matter of “temporarily increasing the capacity of police and additional equipment”.

Fight against the handling of school bullying in France continues - France’s Education Minister Gabriel Attal has called for an “electroshock at all levels” amongst members of the national education board in the fight against school bullying in France. Attal announced that an audit is to be carried out in each academy, on the handling of harassment cases between September 2022 and 2023. The results of which are expected in mid-October.

Marine Le Pen declares herself to be the natural candidate for her far-right party the National Rally in the 2027 presidential elections - Marine Le Pen leader of the far-right National Rally party, has declared that she is the “natural candidate for the party for the presidential election in 2027”. Marine Le Pen made the remark in a live interview on French television on Monday evening when asked whether or not she intended to "pass on her leadership to Jordan Bardella”.  Marine Le Pen has already been a presidential candidate three times: in 2022, 2017 and 2012. In 2012, she was eliminated in the first round by obtaining 17.90% of the vote. In 2017, she lost in the second round to Emmanuel Macron with only 33.9% of the votes and in 2022 she collected 41.45% of the votes against the outgoing president.

Doctors call for strike action - Unions representing liberal doctors in France have called for a strike from October 13th. They are calling for an increase in the price of consultations, amongst other demands.

Speed limit to change on some of the roads in the Var - From this week ten departmental roads in the Var region will return to a 90 km/h speed limit affecting in particular the DN7 and a portion of the road between Le Muy and Sainte-Maxime. Five years after the change from 90 to 80 km/h, the Var department is to return to the 90km/h speed limit affecting 175 km of road across the entire department. According to the prefecture, since January 1st, 2023, 37 people have died on the roads in the Var compared to 47 during the same period last year. On the other hand, the prefecture warns of an increase in the number of motorcyclist deaths. This summer, seven people died compared to 4 during the summer of 2022. Since the start of the year, 17 bikers have been killed.

New electric charging stations - The Cannes Town Hall has installed new electric charging stations in car parks. 17 new charging stations for electric cars have been put in place, bringing the total to 73. Over half a million visits were made to the twelve public car parks in Cannes over the summer.

Picasso exhibition - Rare creations by Pablo Picasso are currently being exhibited at the Prince's Palace here in Monaco.  The exhibition is on display until October 15th and is a project which has been initiated by the artists grandson Bernard Ruiz-Picasso. It offers new light on the painter's work and his taste for Antiquity. Stayed tuned to hear more from Bernard Ruiz-Picasso in person who will be joining Sarah Lycett in the coming days on Riviera Radio.

Barry the dinosaur - An almost complete dinosaur skeleton will be sold at auction in Paris next month. The 150-million-year-old camptosaurus was discovered in the 1990s in the US. Named Barry after Barry James who discovered it. It is expected to fetch up to €1.2m in an auction on 20 October. Barry dates back to the late Jurassic period and measures 2.1m (6.9ft) tall and 5m long. Sales of dinosaur fossils are rare, with only a small number taking place each year globally.  In April, a Tyrannosaurus rex was sold at auction for the first time in Europe.


The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has acknowledged its limitations to act on climate change, saying other institutions can lead on climate finance. US officials have been pushing to refine the IMF's mission. Founded after World War Two to promote international economic stability, the IMF is known for low-cost loans to governments in distress. It is seen as having a key role to play at a time when forecasters expect global growth to remain lower than recent historic norms. However, some in the US have accused the fund of getting distracted from its core mission by issues such as climate change.

Staff of property developer Evergrande's wealth management unit have been detained by police in southern China. In a post on social media police called on the public to report any cases of suspected fraud. Meanwhile, the takeover of the firm's insurance arm by a newly created state-owned insurer was announced on Friday. Evergrande is at the centre of a crisis that has engulfed China's real estate industry since 2021.

And - Billionaire Elon Musk has suggested that all users of X, formerly called Twitter, may have to pay for access to the platform. In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk said a payment system was the only way to counter bots. It is unclear whether this was just an off-the-cuff comment, or a signal of firmer plans that have yet to be announced.


Football - In the Premier League last night Nottingham Forest drew one all against Burnley. And the group stage of the Champions League title kicks off today with Manchester City being joined by Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle from the Premier League, with the latter making their return after a 20-year absence. Newcastle have been drawn in a tricky Group F alongside French champions Paris St-Germain.

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton believes there may be chances for others to win this season because Red Bull are already focused on next year’s car. Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix saw Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz take the first non-Red Bull triumph of 2023. Despite a sudden lack of pace, Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ standings by a massive 151 points with seven races left and Red Bull by 308 from Mercedes in the constructors. 


Fine and sunny. Highs of 27 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 29 degrees in Cannes and Puget-Theniers, reaching 31 degrees in Saint-Tropez in the Var, with a moderate breeze. This evening going down to 20 degrees along the coast and 13 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow, remaining fine weather rain is forecast for Thursday. Sunshine to return by the weekend but feeling cooler.

Sunrise       07.13am

Sunset        07.33pm

And Finally

According to new research Britons spend more than two days per year planning their holidays. The findings suggest that millions of would-be holidaymakers from Britain are hesitating to press the 'book' button due to the wide range of choice on offer.

The study showed that Generation Z (aged 16 to 26) appear to suffer the most from indecision, dedicating three days per year and Baby boomers (aged 59 to 77) do it in almost half the time but, still spend close to two days a year planning a trip. The study claims that this procrastination, is due to 'Travel FOBO' - 'fear of better options'.


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