French and Riviera News Tuesday 1st December 2020


Rail network following Storm Alex - The rail network between Breil-sur-Roya and Tende will resume service before the end of January. Damaged by Storm Alex, the state announced on Monday that it has released more than 10 million euros to restore the line. Estimated at a cost of 20 million euros, the works will be financed with 10.5 million euros from the state, 7.5 million euros from the region and 2 million euros from the department of the Alpes-Maritimes.

In October, Storm Alex left nine dead and nine missing in the hinterland of Nice and Menton. The floods had also caused extensive damage in the north of the Alpes-Maritimes department, especially in the Roya valley, where the road network was partly destroyed.

Meanwhile train services were disrupted along the coast on Monday morning after the railway station in Cannes was evacuated. Firefighters were called after smoke was apparently seen inside the station. The all clear was given shortly afterwards and it's believed that discarded cigarette butts may have set off a smoke alarm.

Vaccination in France - The High Authority for Health (HAS) has this morning announced its recommendations for the vaccine strategy in France. Recommending that first, residents of nursing homes and health professionals in direct contact with patients be vaccinated. According to an Ifop poll for the Journal du Dimanche published on Sunday, only 41% of French people intend to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Liberal health professionals hope to be entrusted with the responsibility of organizing vaccination at the local level, in conjunction with local authorities.

Monaco Covid-19 vaccine - Meanwhile in Monaco which has recently announced the success of the seasonal flu vaccination campaign with 12,100 people responding compared to 4,500 last year, the Prince’s government has also said that it has already ordered Covid-19 vaccines and has obtained a marketing certification adding that “as far as prescribing and carrying out vaccines is concerned, all information will be communicated when the time comes”.

Cancer treatment - Meanwhile the Regional Health Agency for the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region is drawing attention to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the treatment of cancer. The agency says that there is "no doubt" that the pandemic has had an impact on cancer patients, in particular with delays in screening, access to diagnosis and treatment. It pointed out that delaying cancer treatment for even a month has a significant impact on the risk of patient mortality. The agency said that it is doing everything possible to ensure that the impact is minimized.

Local businesses - The Prefect of the Var has reminded local businesses and associations about the phone number established to provide information on the emergency measures put in place to support them. The number, which is available to businesses and organisations nationwide, not just in the Var, is 08 06 00 02 45 and is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 4pm.

Security bill - France’s national assembly has dropped a key provision of a controversial bill that would have restricted the right to film police officers during their work. The draft bill had sparked widespread protests across France, with tens of thousands of people demonstrating in Paris calling for the government to drop the proposed law. The bill had been criticized by press freedom watchdogs and civil rights activists who said it would stop reporters and others from being able to document police misconduct, as well as undermine efforts to record instances of police brutality. 

“Charter of Republican values” - France's Muslim Council is due to meet President Emmanuel Macron this week, to confirm the text of a new "charter of Republican values" for imams in the country to sign. The plan is for the CFCM to create a register of imams in France, each of whom would sign up to the Charter, in return for accreditation.

Sarkozy trail - Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has complained of being the victim of six years of "slander", in his first remarks to the court at his landmark corruption trial on Monday. The former Head of State became France’s first modern President to appear in the dock last week, going on trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling. He risks a sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of one million euros if convicted.

Carla Bruni - Meanwhile model, singer and former French first lady and wife of Nicolas Sarkozy has released her new self-titled album alongside her new single “Un grand amour”. Back after seven years, speaking to French media describing her new album Carla said  "I make songs that comfort me".


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