French and Riviera News Tuesday 28th September 2021


14-year-old girl in critical condition following a fire in an apartment in Marseille - A 14-year-old girl has been left in a critical condition following a fire which ravaged an apartment in Marseille. The fire broke out on Monday shortly after noon on the ground floor of a building in the Rue Moustier in the 1st arrondissement of the city. About fifty firefighters were mobilized to fight the flames. Four other victims were taken care of by emergency services suffering from slight injuries. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the fire. According to the first elements, the cause could be electrical.

Investigation after death of a disabled person at a metro stop in Marseille - A judicial investigation has been opened in Marseille after the death of a disabled person during a routine control at the Joliette metro stop. The incident occurred on September 22nd when a mentally handicapped 37-year-old man was asked to show his ticket. The family’s lawyer has requested access to CCTV images which filmed the scene. In total, eleven agents of the metro network were present at the time of the incident of which "three to five" would have intervened physically to control the victim. The investigation continues.

Man given one-year suspended prison sentence for posing as a police officer - A 56-year-old man has been handed a one-year suspended prison sentence in Nice, for posing as a police officer for more than three years. According to local media the man, unemployed since 2018, had decided to don the uniform of his grandfather, a former officer. The reason for his deceit was as an alibi with his wife, to allow him to visit his mistress. His deception came to an end when officers spotted the official police uniform in his vehicle, which was badly parked.

Snow chains - The obligation to have snow chains or to fit your vehicle with winter tires will apply in 28 municipalities in the north of the Var from November 1st until the 31st March next year. Road signs will be put in place to warn drivers when they are entering a mandatory area. Full details of the municipalities concerned, and the requirements can be found on the Var prefecture's website

Monte-Carlo International Circus - The circus is returning to the big top in Fontvieille in January. The Organizing Committee of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival has announced that the 45th edition of the event will take place in January 2022 along with the 10th edition of New Generation. The Festival will last 9 days instead of the usual 11 but with the same number of shows and will take place from Saturday 22nd to Sunday January 30th 2022. The show in January this year was cancelled because of the pandemic.

Renovation work on motorway - Vinci Autoroutes are doing renovation work on the toll booths at Les Adrets, Junction 39, on the A8 until this Friday, meaning that traffic changes will be put in place from 9pm to 5am on the carriageway going towards Aix-en-Provence. Work is also being carried out between those hours at the Mandelieu and Saint-Laurent-du-Var interchanges, that's junctions 41 and 49, requiring traffic changes on both carriageways.

France’s health authority says that the covid and flu vaccination can be administered at the same time - France’s High Health Authority has announced that the vaccines against covid and flu can be administered at the same time. One month ahead of the flu vaccination campaign in France, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, said he welcomed the "good news", which has yet to be "validated" by the Head of State. The flu vaccination campaign will begin on October 26th.

French conservative party will not hold a primary to designate their 2022 presidential candidate - Members of the French conservative political party, Les Républicains, will not hold a primary to designate their 2022 presidential candidate but will choose their candidate during a closed conference on December 4th. Fifty-eight percent of party members are in favour of holding a congress at which only up-to-date fee-paying members will have a say in who represents them in the 2022 presidential race. The result comes as good news for Xavier Bertrand, who is currently ahead in opinion polls, and who is against the idea of holding an open primary.

Wall to block tunnel to prevent crack users in French capital - Local residents and the mayor of Paris have expressed their “anger” and “disgust” following the construction of a wall blocking a tunnel to prevent crack users from entering a Paris suburb saying that instead of building a wall, the French government needs to find a permanent solution to Paris's decades-old drugs problem to prevent it spilling over into low-income suburbs. Authorities bricked up a tunnel under the Paris ring road leading to the northeastern suburb after clearing about fifty crack smokers from a park in the 19th and 20th arrondissements of Paris.

Global training centre - French President Emmanuel Macron and World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have unveiled the WHO's global training centre in Lyon. At the academy's launch ceremony in Lyon on Monday Macron said "Investing in health systems is the best way to prepare for future pandemics," adding that "what this crisis also teaches us is that we won't get out of a global pandemic if we don’t have a global strategy, pleading for solidarity between rich and poor countries. The Lyon Academy has been in the pipeline since 2019 and aims to train millions of health workers worldwide, offering courses throughout their careers to keep them up to date with today's fast-changing environment.

France wins Bocuse d’Or - France has won the Bocuse d'Or for the first time since 2013. Created in 1987 by Paul Bocuse, the competition, a sort of world cup for chefs, takes place every two years during the International Catering Fair, in Lyon. The French team was led by Davy Tissot, holder of a Michelin star at the head of Saisons, the restaurant of the Paul Bocuse Institute, in the Lyon area. The silver Bocuse was awarded to Denmark and the bronze to Norway.

Tips payable by credit card – Meanwhile to coincide with the event Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday the tax exemption for one year, of tips paid by bank cards in hotels and restaurants. With customers using their cards more, a trend accelerated by the health crisis, customers have lost the reflex to tip staff. Macron hopes to change things by encouraging them to tip by credit card. For one year, throughout 2022, transactions will therefore not be subject to income tax or social contributions. The waiter who receives the tip by credit card will not need to report it to taxes.

Depression in France - A poll published by Unafam has unveiled worrying results of their survey on depression in France. Carried out with the CSA institute and the Janssen laboratory, the survey shows in particular that 10% of French people have had suicidal thoughts in recent months, a figure that rises to 30% among 18 to 24-year olds. It also reveals that the pandemic and the health restrictions linked to covid have accentuated the mental disorders of the French, who are now more than 12 million to suffer from it.

The poll comes as a two-day mental health and psychiatry conference organized by the French government began on Monday Septem