French and Riviera News Tuesday 27th December 2022


Paris shooting - A French pensioner suspected of fatally shooting three Kurds in Paris has appeared before a judge who will decide on whether to charge him in the case that sparked angry protests over the weekend. The 69-year-old has confessed to a "pathological" hatred for foreigners and spent nearly a day in a psychiatric facility before being returned to police custody on Sunday. The shooting at a Kurdish cultural centre and a nearby hairdressing salon on Friday sparked panic in the city's 10th district, home to numerous shops and restaurants and a large Kurdish population. Three others were wounded in the attack, but none were in a life-threatening condition.

Minister of defence to travel to Ukraine - France’s Minister of Defence and the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu will travel to Ukraine tomorrow Wednesday 28th December, to show France's continued support. He will notably pay homage to the dead at the Heroes' monument in Kyiv and will meet his Ukrainian counterpart. This is the first visit to Ukraine by the French Minister of Defence since the start of the Russian offensive in February. The visit comes as the Ukrainian Foreign Minister outlined in an interview on Monday the plans of a future peace summit a the end of February, held under the supervision of the United Nations and at the very headquarters of the United Nations.

GPs on strike - GPs have once again gone on strike this week in France, asking for an increase in the price of a visit as well as better working conditions. The strike action launched on Facebook is expected to see many surgeries closed through until January 2nd. It was in early December that GPs also went on strike leading to a drop-in activity of around 30%.

Former Archbishop of Monaco in critical condition - Support and best wishes have been pouring in from the catholic community of Monaco, Nice and La Trinité after the former Archbishop of Monaco Monsignor Bernard Barsi was admitted to hospital in a critical condition following a cardiac arrest. According to local reports Monsignor Barsi has been in an artificial coma.

Increase in tourist tax - In order to help finance the new PACA rail network to relieve rail congestion in Nice, Toulon and Marseille, it’s been announced that the tourism tax for the Var, the Alpes Maritimes and the Bouches-du-Rhone is to increase by 34% from January 1st. The tax concerns hotels, tourist residences, furnished tourist accommodation, holiday villages, bed and breakfasts and campsites. 

South of France consumes the most electricity according to study - According to a study by UpEnergie, the cities where the inhabitants consume the most electricity in France are located in the South. Figures have shown that inhabitants of the South consume on average over one year more electricity than those in the North.

Fréjus, Cannes and Antibes are where the electricity consumption per inhabitant is the highest. Grasse comes in 6th position and Hyères in 7th. Concerning cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants Aix-en-Provence ranks first following by Bordeaux 2ndand Nice 3rd.

According to the study, the territories located on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts are 39% heated by electricity, compared to only 21% in the Grand Est or 26% in Hauts-de-France, regions which use gas, oil or wood. Another explanation is insulation. In the South, residences are poorly insulated. Third explanation is air conditioning, to which the inhabitants of cities in the south of France have more need for than in the North.

Christmas swim - Nearly a hundred people gathered at the weekend on the Larvotto beach in Monaco for the traditional Christmas swim. With the water slightly above 10 degrees and a big sunny blue sky, the conditions were ideal. The event is organized by the Monaco Christmas bath association and this year marked their 16th edition. The 10 euros participation fee as well as other funds raised will this year go to support the Monegasque association Tell Us, which was created by high school students from the Principality to help the elderly promoting intergenerational links.

Mild Christmas - France has recorded the second mildest Christmas since 1947. With temperatures well above the seasonal norms Christmas on Sunday was the second hottest since the post-war period with 11.3 degrees on average.


Officials have said that China will scrap quarantine for travellers from 8th January, marking the last major shift from the country's zero-Covid policy. After three years of closed borders, this will effectively reopen the country to those with work and study visas, or seeking to visit family. But it comes as China struggles with the virus' ferocious spread in the wake of restrictions being lifted. Reports says hospitals are overwhelmed and elderly