French and Riviera News Tuesday 28th February 2023

News

Pension reform to be examined by upper house of parliament today - The controversial pension reform arrives today Tuesday 28th February, in the upper house of the French parliament (the Senate) for a first examination by the committee. From 2.30pm senators will begin examining the pension reform. While the majority on the right are in favour of postponing the retirement age to 64, the left, last night organized a meeting in Amiens to "reactivate mobilization" and "push" for a day of national strike action against the reform on March 7th.

Changes from March 1st – As usual in France the first of the month marks some changes and tomorrow March the 1st, is no different, with changes to the fuel allowance, cigarettes, and restaurant vouchers. From tomorrow Total energies will cap the price of diesel and SP95 to 1 euro 99 and the month of March is the last opportunity to request the “petrol compensation” set up by the government. Secondly, for those of you that have “ticket resto” or restaurant vouchers for 2022 from your company, you have until the end of February to use them. Note that they can be exchanged for free for an equal number of valid titles if you return them to your employer before March 15, 2023 and as of March 1, certain packets of cigarettes will pass the symbolic bar of 11 euros.

Regional trains interrupted - Regional trains have been heavy disrupted after a man was hit by a train on Monday evening. The incident occurred shortly after 10pm at the Nice Saint Augustin station. It is still not clear if it was an accident or suicide. Traffic was interrupted in both directions for at least an hour. An investigation is underway.

Strike action - Meanwhile, regional industrial action is set to cause disruption to train services in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region today. Timetable details are available on the SNCF Assistant App and on https://www.ter.sncf.com/sud-provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/se-deplacer/fiches-horaires

Mayor Saint -Raphael - The prefecture of Var has seized the administrative court to cancel a measure planned by the right-wing mayor of Saint-Raphaël which would allowed payment of subsidies to associations in return for their participation in national ceremonies such as November 11th armistice day in France. On September 22nd, the mayor Frédéric Masquelier had voted for the obligation of associations to take part in 4 of the 5 patriotic ceremonies in the town as a show of public support. Opposed to the measure, one of the two elected opposition members of the town, Pierre Tomasi, seized control of the legality of the Var prefecture. In response, on October the sub-prefect of Draguignan has asked that the measure is withdrawn. The mayor has refused.

Man placed in pre-trial detention for death threats towards mayor of Nice and his family - A man has been placed in pre-trial detention for having posted threatening messages on social media aimed at the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and his family. The individual considered “dangerous” was referred to the Nice prosecutor's office on February 25th. The first messages, sent via Instagram date back to the end of 2022. The individual posted repeated insults and death threats against Christian Estrosi, his wife and their daughter. He is to appear in court on April 12th.

Russian national sentenced for stealing luxury bag from bar in Monaco - A Russian resident of the Colle-sur-Loup has been handed a fifteen-day prison sentence by a Monegasque court for stealing a Dior bag in Monaco. The Dior bag worth € 2,900 had been stolen from the table of a bar at the Metropole shopping centre on February 12th. The victim who had left her bag unattended for a moment had at the time filed a complaint for theft.

New building permits frozen due to drought - Faced with a record lack of water in the Var department, the nine municipalities in the canton of Fayence have just decided to freeze any new permit applications. Rivers have been low in the east of the Var for many months and the water levels are at the lowest in the 9 communes of the canton of Fayence.

As a result, for the first time since the drought the mayors of Bagnols-en-Forêt, Callian, Fayence, Mons, Montauroux, Saint-Paul-en-Forêt, Seillans, Tanneron and Tourrettes say that they are no longer able to welcome new arrivals and provide water to the entire population and have hence decided to freeze all new building permits for the next four years. For permits registered before February 2023, the constructions remain possible.

Cold spell - Météo France has predicted that the current cold spell which has seen snowfall in the Var and the Bouches-du-Rhone will continue until Sunday. Severe frosts are forecast in the southwest with between -2 and -6 degrees and between -1 and -3 degrees, in the Île-de-France. Temperatures overall will be 5 degrees below normal for the season.

Business

Twenty franchised stores of the clothing brand “Gap” in France have been placed in receivership following a court decision in Grenoble on Monday. Gap is following in the footsteps of other stores in France such as San Marina, Camaieu and Go Sport. The Gap stores are owned by the Bordeaux businessman Michel Ohayon, who made his fortune in real estate before buying retail chains such as Camaïeu, Go Sport, Gap France as well as around twenty Galeries Lafayette stores outside of Paris. A court decision is expected on Wednesday.

From today Tuesday 28th February Canada will ban video app TikTok from all government-issued devices.  The decision follows a review by Canada's chief information officer. A TikTok spokesperson said the company was disappointed by the decision. It comes just days after the European Commission announced a similar ban.

And – According to reports in the New York Times Twitter has laid off at least 200 staff in another round of cuts.  It said the tech giant had cut 10% of its current workforce, which it estimated at 2,000 people.

This is the latest round of job losses at Twitter since chief executive Elon Musk sacked about 50% of its 7,500 employees when he took over in October.

Sport

Football - Argentina and Paris St-Germain forward Lionel Messi has been named men's player of the year at the 2022 Best Fifa Awards. The 35-year-old beat French forwards Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.  Messi captained Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar and scored 27 goals in 49 games for club and country in 2021-22.

In the FA Cup this evening, Stoke City are at home to Brighton. Leicester play Blackburn, Fulham face Leeds and Bristol City are at home to Manchester City.

Cricket - England lost to New Zealand by one run in one of the all-time great finishes to the second Test in Wellington. England's next Test is against Ireland at Lord's on 1st June before their bid to regain the Ashes begins on 16th June. An almost entirely separate England squad begins a white-ball series in Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Winter sports - Great Britain's Mia Brookes has become the youngest world champion in snowboarding history at the age of 16.

Weather

Light rain with a moderate breeze and highs of 13-14 degrees for Nice, Monaco and Cannes. Highs of 12 degrees in Saint Tropez with strong winds and rain. This evening going down to 7 degees along the coast with cloudy skies.

The outlook for tomorrow showers and highs of 13-14 degrees. Thursday sunny intervals highs of 14degreees.

Sunrise       07.09am

Sunset        06.17pm

And Finally

A new study has found that spending time with good friends can help keep us healthy in middle age. The study was carried out by the University of Queensland in Australia, who used data from 7,700 Aussie women ranging in age from 45 to 50. The new study found that sharing troubles and having a good old laugh are incredibly important for our well-being. Having a bunch of mates and family close at hand in our late 40s can even reduce the risk of illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

Researchers say the happier we are with our social lives, the more we are protected from mental health problems and the more likely we are to visit the doctor.

 

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