French and Riviera News Tuesday 27th September 2022

News

French President to pay a state visit to the US - French President Emmanuel Macron is to pay a state visit to the United States in December. It was announced on Monday that US President Joe Biden will greet Emmanuel Macron in Washington for a state visit on December 1st. The two presidents saw each other for the last time on September 21st in New York, on the side-lines of a conference on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Due to covid restrictions it’s the first state visit under Joe Biden's presidency. Emmanuel Macron had already made a state visit to the United States in 2018, when Donald Trump was president.

Petrol prices – In other news, petrol prices have continued to fall in France thanks to the 30 cents discount per litre introduced on September 1st. At the same time, an “employee petrol allowance " will be introduced in October for those who use their car to go to work. It will be between 100 and 300 euros, depending on the level of income and the distance travelled. If you’re looking for the cheapest petrol TotalEngergies offers the lowest prices after having introduced their own discount of 20 cent per litre, also on September 1st, which is in addition to that offered by the French State.

Road accident - A 40-year-old man has been seriously injured following a road accident in Nice on Monday evening. The accident occurred on the boulevard de l’Ariane when two cars violently collided at around 9pm. A 20-year-old woman was also slightly injured, both were taken to hospital. Following the accident police temporarily stopped traffic while emergency services intervened. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the collision.

Fire breaks out in restaurant on the Old Port of Marseille - A fire has broken out at Le Petit Pernod restaurant on the Old Port of Marseille. Firefighters intervened on Monday afternoon shortly after 4pm as the blaze, which broke out in the kitchens of the establishment, spread to the ground and first floor. The fire was brought under control by 6pm. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause.

Tourist accommodation closed for safety reasons - The French State has announced the closure of a hotel in Saint-Martin-Vésubie in the hinterland of the Alpes Maritimes, due to "serious" security breaches. It’s the second establishment in the area to be closed by the Prefecture. La Chataigneriaie and now the Relais Saint-Louis have both received an order for an administrative closure from the regional prefecture.

Couple unable to return home as tenant refuses to leave - The prefecture of the Bouches-du-Rhone has promised to examine an urgent case where a couple in Marseille have been unable to return to their home after letting it out. The retired couple in their seventies have not been able to return to their home for nearly two years after leaving for a tour of Europe back in 2017 and renting their accommodation located in l’Estaque. However, due to health problems they were forced to cut short their travels and return home. Only the tenant has since refused to leave and has also stopped paying the rent and bills. The couple had ironically, decided to rent out their house to prevent it from being illegally occupied in their absence. The eviction of the tenant was however ordered last April by a judge. But the intervention of the police is long overdue. If the eviction order is not carried out before October 31st, the date which marks the start of winter, the couple from Marseille will have no choice but to wait at least six more months.

Cycling path between Italy and Menton - Work has begun on the 2km cycling path which will connect the Italian border to the Old Port of Menton. A project, which has been in the pipeline for a while now will finally become a reality, with work having started on Monday between the Italian border and Quay Bonaparte.

Business

The Bank of England has said it will "not hesitate" to hike interest rates to curb inflation after the pound fell to a record low against the US dollar. The Bank said it was "monitoring developments closely" and would make a decision on any action in November. Its statement came after the Treasury said it would publish a plan to tackle debt in a bid to reassure investors. In Asia morning trade on Tuesday, the pound rose by almost 0.8% to more than $1.07. Earlier on Monday, some UK lenders said that they were halting new mortgage deals.

Meanwhile the French government has announced that it will borrow a record €270 billion next year to finance a budget that includes caps on energy prices which are expected to soar over the winter.

On Monday the French government unveiled its 2023 budget providing several measures aimed at protecting households and businesses against inflation which should reach 5.4% in 2022 and next year 4.3%. While energy prices remain high, the price shield implemented in October 2021 will be extended in 2023 all be it less generous. The increase in gas prices will be limited to 15% from January 2023, which should correspond to an average increase of 25 euros per month and per household, compared to 200 euros without this measure. The increase in electricity bills will also be capped at 15% from February, or 20 euros per month on average, instead of 180 euros, without a tariff shield. The gross cost of this shield is estimated at 45 billion euros (34 billion for electricity and 11 billion for gas).

As announced in mid-September by French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the most modest households will receive an exceptional energy check to help them support the increase in their energy bills. This aid amounting to 100 or 200 euros will be paid by the end of the year to the 40% of the poorest households, i.e. 12 million households in total.

The income tax scale will also be revalued in line with inflation in 2023. The revaluation means that the amounts from which a taxpayer "changes" bracket will be revalued by 5.4%. And this will apply to the four tax brackets (0%, 11%, 30% and 41%). To protect small businesses from soaring energy prices, the 2023 budget allows companies with less than 10 employees and whose turnover is less than 2 million euros to continue to benefit from the regulated tariff of sale (TRV) with an increase limited to 15%.

Finally, France’s Prime Minister has also announced that the price of a pack of cigarettes "will increase like inflation" in 2023, confirming that a pack of cigarettes could cost at least 11 euros.

Sport

Football - England were denied a dramatic win after a late error by goalkeeper Nick Pope leading to a 3-3 draw with Germany in the Nations League at Wembley on Monday.

Meanwhile Italy beat Hungary to a place in the Nations League finals with an assured 2-0 win in Budapest.

Boxing - Tyson Fury says his proposed heavyweight world-title fight with Anthony Joshua in December is off after his self-imposed deadline expired. 34-year-old WBC champion Fury, set an ultimatum of Monday for fellow 32-year-old Briton Joshua.

Surfing - Former Australian surfing star Chris Davidson has died after being punched outside a pub north of Sydney. The 45-year-old was hit in the face and fell, striking his head on the pavement, police said. He was treated at the scene but died in hospital a short time later. A man, 42, has been arrested and charged with assault causing death. Mr Davidson grew up in Sydney and competed on the world surfing tour in 2010 and 2011. He shot to fame as a 19-year-old after he was granted a wildcard entry into the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia, in 1996.

Weather

Sunny highs of 24 degrees in Monaco with a fresh breeze. Nice, 25 degrees and sunny. Saint Paul de Vence 24 and sunny. Becoming increasingly windy in the Alpes Maritimes by late afternoon. Gusty winds in Saint Raphael and Saint Tropez in the Var, highs of 24. This evening going down to 15 degrees with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday sunny intervals highs of 23-25 degrees becoming increasingly windy across the region.

Sunrise              07.23hr              Sunset                19.18hr

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