French and Riviera News Tuesday 26th July 2022

News

Investigation assets acquired by Russian oligarchs - France's National Prosecutor’s Financial Office has opened an investigation targeting the assets acquired in France by Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin, following a complaint filed at the end of May by the NGO Transparency International France (TIF). The investigation was opened on July 1st for "organized money laundering, corruption, embezzlement of public funds and aggravated tax evasion". In France, several properties have been identified on the Côte d'Azur, in the Rhône-Alpes region, in Paris but also in the South-West. At the end of April, France had immobilized 23.7 billion euros of Russian assets on its territory, including real estate for an acquisition value of 573.6 million. Cap d'Antibes, Cap Ferrat, Courchevel and Corsica have for several years been popular destinations for Russian billionaires, who have sometimes caused prices to soar by the amounts of their acquisitions.

Heatwave alert lifted in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes – The orange heat wave alert has been lifted from this morning Tuesday 26th July, in both the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var. Temperatures, which reached up to 38 degrees in places on Monday, will experience a "significant drop" today with maximums of 35 degrees expected.

High fire risk in both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes - Meanwhile the prefecture of the Var and the Alpes Maritimes has warned today of the “very high risk of fire” due to the mistral and extreme dry weather conditions.

Creation of local renewable energy network - Major works between the business school Edhec and park Phœnix on the promenade des Anglais in Nice is expected to lead to major traffic disruptions. Due to the creation of a local renewable energy network, connecting a wastewater treatment plant to terminal 1 of Nice International airport traffic in the area will be impacted. The work which started on Monday 25th July is to last until the end of December.

Shop owners concerned about new regulation - Shop owners in the old town of Antibes have expressed their concern following the announcement from the government which intends to ban businesses from “keeping air condition on and the door open to avoid wasting energy”.  Many fear that the move will lead to fewer customers.  The decree should be published next September, and the fine could be steep for small businesses: up to €750 in the event of non-compliance with the ban. The objective is to save energy. Speaking to local media Pam Robertson, at Antibes Books, a bookstore specializing in English-language books has already spoken with fellow shop owners saying “we have to find a suitable solution for both businesses and to avoid wasting so much energy”.

Town hall to review urban planning programme - The town hall of Rayol Canadel in the Var has agreed to review its plans for the village centre, following a petition from the association the ‘Friends of Rayol Canadel”. On July 11th the town council presented an unban planning programme for the village including a 850m² village square, replacing the tennis courts, two new buildings and 32 housing units with a 70 space car park. A few days later the Friends of Rayol-Canadel drew up a counter-project with a more modest 250m² square and 120m² leisure space with refreshment bar and a padel court. The association had even waved a petition against the municipal project with 700 signatures. Contacted by the local newspaper the Var-Matin the mayor, Jean Plénat confirmed that he "agrees to work on the basis of this new project which is both consensual and acceptable." However, many discussions and negotiations remain to come regarding the details of the project.

“Ouvrons grand les Jeux” - “Ouvrons grand les Jeux” is the official slogan for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games. During a press conference on Monday the committee unveiled the official slogan alongside a video. Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron has assured that "there will be no Olympic Games tax" linked to the event explaining that the "Games must finance the Games". France’s Head of State also announced that the State "will buy 400,000 tickets, which will be distributed to young people and schoolchildren, especially those under 16", but also (among others) to "volunteers who contribute to the Games and to sport in France". In all, 10 million tickets will be on sale for the Olympic Games and nearly 3.4 million for the Paralympic Games in Paris.

Business

Gazprom said stopping another turbine at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would cut daily gas production to 20%, halving the current level of supply. The German government said there was no technical reason to limit gas supply. It is likely to make it more difficult for EU countries to replenish their stores of gas before winter. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which pumps gas from Russia to Germany, has been running well below capacity for weeks, and was completely shut down for a 10-day maintenance break earlier this month. Russia supplied the EU with 40% of its gas last year, and the EU has accused Russia of using energy as a weapon.

Amazon is to increase its prices in France from 5.99 to 6.99 euros per month and from 49 to 69.90 euros per year. Amazon, which had increased the prices of its Prime subscription in the United States at the beginning of the year, will do the same from September 15th in France, Germany, England, Spain and Italy.  The group claims to have to face an “increase in shipping costs”, in particular with the rise in the prices of fuel, energy or even “packaging costs”.

US retail giant Walmart has warned over its profits for the second time since May, as the soaring cost of food and fuel hits customer spending. The company says it now expects profits to fall by as much as 13% this year.

Figures have shown that summer holiday reservations have been on the rise in the south of France, particularly on the Mediterranean coast. Overall, the latest figures from the PAP Vacances site show a further increase in bookings compared to before the health crisis. The Mediterranean is once again becoming a must for summer holidays. Reservation requests have literally exploded on the Côte d'Azur according to the PAP Vacances website. 30.6% increase compared to the pre-crisis. It also climbs 20.3% in Corsica and 7.5% for the beaches of Languedoc.

Sport

Football - England will tonight attempt to reach the European Women's Championship final for a third time when they face 1984 winners Sweden.

Rugby Union - Lawyers for more than 185 players are suing rugby union's governing bodies for negligence, claiming that playing the sport caused brain damage. World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) are accused of failing to "protect players from permanent injury".

Golf - Sergio Garcia says he is "going to hold off on" giving up his membership of the European-based DP World Tour to see if he could still play in the Ryder Cup. The 42-year-old is part of the breakaway Saudi-funded LIV Golf series. He recently said he would be quitting the DP World Tour but European players need to be a member of it to be eligible for the Ryder Cup.

Weather

Fine with some cloudy patches in Monaco. Highs of 30 degrees in Nice, 32 degrees in Cannes and Antibes with a gentle breeze. 35 degrees in Saint Tropez and the Var.

This evening going down to 25 degrees with clear skies. The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday. Risk of thunderstorms has been forecast for tomorrow, highs of 29-30 degrees.

Sea Temperature:   27                        UV level             8

Sunrise:             06.12hr                       Sunset:              21.00hr

 

 

 

 

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