French and Riviera News Tuesday 29th November 2022

News

Easyjet France unions threaten strike action - Following a breakdown in negotiations at Easyjet France, unions are threatening strike action over the Christmas period. As management agrees to continue discussions in an attempt to avoid flight cancellations unions who wish to obtain a wage increase, have warned of a very real risk of strike action by cabin crew during the holiday season.  

Newly appointed Jean Castex - Former French Prime Minister and recently appointed as president of the Paris Transport Authority (RATP) Jean Castex has been confronted by disgruntled employees. On Monday several hundred demonstrators turned out at the RATPs headquarters near the Gare de Lyon to demand better pay and working conditions. The RATP runs the Paris metro as well as commuter trains and buses in and around the French capital, employing some 70,000 people in the Paris region. 

GPs on strike - France’s former health minister Jean-François Mattéi has said that “a revolution is required in the medical world”. His comments come ahead of strike action by GPs across France this Thursday December 1st and Friday 2nd December. Mattéi who is now based in the Var was the minister of Health between 2002 and 2004.

Electric scooters - With the number of accidents involving electric scooters being on the rise the National Road Safety Council has met with the French government on Monday, presenting several recommendations including banning them completely from pavements. Since January 2022, collisions with an electric scooter have claimed the lives of 57 pedestrians across the country. A few months ago, during the month of August, two teenagers riding a scooter died after being knocked down by an ambulance in Lyon. At the beginning of May, two young people on scooters were fatally mowed down in Gassin, and a 5-year-old Ukrainian boy lost his life, hit by a scooter on the Promenade des Anglais, in Nice, in June. More recently, mowed down by a car in September while she was on her scooter, a 30-year-old died of her injuries in Antibes. And a young girl aged barely 18, lost her life on a scooter on November 12, hit by a TGV at the Luc Le Cannet-des-Maures station. At present electric scooters are prohibited from circulating on pavements, unless the mayor of the municipality authorizes it. In built-up areas, scooter riders are required to use cycle paths and lanes. Failing this, they can travel on roads whose maximum authorized speed is less than or equal to 50 km/h. The rules related to the use of electric scooters are clear: you must be at least 8 years old to have the right to drive; the transport of passengers is prohibited: it is a vehicle for exclusively personal use and it is forbidden to wear earphones or any device likely to emit sound. Outside urban areas, their circulation is prohibited on the roadway, and is strictly limited to greenways and cycle paths. Finally, parking on a sidewalk is only possible if it does not impede pedestrian traffic.

Residents in Nice express concern over vehicles catching fire in their neighborhood - Local residents in the Mont Boron district of Nice have expressed their concern following a second incident of vehicles catching fire in the area at night. The inhabitants of a quiet impasse in Mont-Boron say this is the second incident in six weeks and that they “do not believe it is accidental and point to a gang of young people who hang around in a nearby car park”. Four cars went up in smoke on Sunday night in a quiet street in Mont-Boron.  A spokesperson for the Alpes-Maritimes fire and rescue service said that the incident did not cause any injuries. Faced with the situation, the inhabitants of Banco Avenue have set up an association and plan to go to the town hall of Nice.

Butchers protest against rising energy costs - Butchers across France have announced plans to stop working today from 11am to 1pm as part of demonstrations today in protest against rising energy costs. Regional representatives of the industry are set to gather in front of the National Assembly in Paris as part of the National Day of Protest. Locally the Var region has witnessed many businesses in the sector filing for bankruptcy in recent months.

Nice International airport - Nice International airport has announced 22 new routes departing from the Côte d'Azur this winter. In total, 67 destinations in 30 countries will depart from the capital of the Côte d'Azur, a situation "close to 2019", pre-covid which had a severe impact on air links. For more details go to the airport’s website.

Auron postpones opening - The ski resort of Auron has postponed its opening due to lack of snow. The station which was due to open this Saturday will now open a week later on December 10th.

Carlo gift vouchers are renewed in Monaco - The Monaco government is renewing the operation of Carlo gift vouchers after the end of the year. The government said that since its launch in December 2020, the system of gift vouchers spent through the Carlo application has been met with great success with 450 partner merchants now signed up to the scheme. The application processed more than 18 million euros in transactions between April 2021 and November 2022, with an average of 1,040 transactions per day. These purchases generated 1.2 million euros in “cashback” rewards for consumers, which were re-injected into the local economy.

The Weeknd in concert - The Weeknd is to perform in Nice, at the Allianz Riviera, in July next year. In a post on his Instagram account the singer of 'Blinding Lights' announced the concert in Nice on July 22nd. Allianz Riviera confirmed the news via a press release. Tickets will be available in presale from Thursday 1st December at noon on the website www.allianz-riviera.fr. The next day, they will be available in all the usual points of sale. The tour celebrates The Weeknd's album After Hours, released in 2020, as well as his critically acclaimed album Dawn FM, released in January 2022.

Business

Elon Musk has said Apple has halted most of its advertising on Twitter and accused the company of threatening to remove the platform from its app store. The feud comes as many companies have halted spending on Twitter amid concerns about Mr Musk's content moderation plans for the site. Apple has not responded to requests for comment.

The troubled crypto firm BlockFi has filed for bankruptcy in the US. The company had already halted most activity on its platform, citing "significant exposure" to FTX. BlockFi said it was seeking court protection to restructure, settle its debts and recover money for investors. BlockFi had received a rescue deal from FTX earlier this year as the values of cryptocurrencies plunged. But FTX, a crypto exchange, ran into its own problems this month, as people rushed to pull money from the platform amid doubts about its finances.

In the UK, households could save around £310 a year through an expanded scheme to insulate Britain's draughtiest homes, the government has said. It will spend £1bn from next spring on grants for homes that have low energy efficiency ratings and are in lower council tax bands. Households will need to contact their energy supplier or council to see if they are participating. But critics questioned why the funding would not be available over winter.

Public transport prices are on the rise in France. Faced with soaring energy prices, the Île-de-France Region is considering raising the price of the Navigo pass from 75 to 90 euros per month while the price of the metro ticket in the French capital would increase from 1.90 to 2.30 euros. In the Pays de la Loire, TER and bus prices will increase by 6% while the annual price of school transport will increase by 40 euros per child. In the southern half of France, the increase in TER will reach 8% in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and Nouvelle Aquitaine regions. Increases are also to be expected for the price of the ticket in Greater Lyon as well as in Bordeaux where it will be contained below 2%. In addition, the regional council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur is preparing to increase the price of urban transport tickets from 1.50 to 2.30 euros. The president of the authority Renaud Muselier however specified that this increase was not due to the increase in the cost of energy but to an improved service. The region has however also introduced the "Train at 1 euro" system every first weekend of the month.

World Cup

Portugal have secured their place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a victory over Uruguay last night winning 2-0. Meanwhile, Cameroon fought from 3-1 down to draw with Serbia in a six-goal thriller  in Group G and Ghana beat South Korea 3-2 in a breathless Group H encounter.

Today Ecuador play Senegal, kick off is at 4pm The Netherlands play Qatar kick off is at 4pm, Iran face the USA and Wales go head-to-head against England in a mouth-watering final match in Group B with all to play for. In their only other World Cup appearance, in 1958, Wales reached the quarter-finals - can they do the same again or will favourites England cruise into the knockout stages? Both matches have an 8pm kick off French time.

Sport

Football - The entire board of Italian club Juventus, including its president Andrea Agnelli, have resigned. The Serie A club finished fourth in the league last season and made a €254.3m (£220m) loss - a record in Italy. Last November, Juventus said they were co-operating with police after an investigation was launched into the club's transfers. The investigation concerned "revenues from player registration rights" between 2019 and 2021.

Golf - Tiger Woods has announced that he will not be playing in next month's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas due to an issue with his right foot. Woods, 46, has not played since the Open Championship at St Andrews in July, when he missed the cut. The 15-time major winner, who has only played nine competitive rounds in 2022, hosts the tournament.

Rugby Union - A countdown 'shot clock' timer on scrums, lineouts and kicks at goal could be introduced to help speed up the game before the Rugby World Cup. The sport's key stakeholders met last week to consider ways to improve the flow of international rugby. Other ideas include enhancing the in-stadium fan experience by broadcasting interactions between the referee and television match official [TMO]. The proposals will be considered by World Rugby over the coming weeks.

Weather

Light rain showers. Highs of 13 degrees in Nice, 12 in Monaco and 11 degrees in Saint Tropez with a gentle breeze. This evening going down to 7 degrees along the coast in the Var and just 1 degree inland. Lows of 5 degrees this evening in the Alpes Maritimes.

The outlook for tomorrow and Thursday. Sunny tomorrow with highs of 15 degrees. Sunny intervals on Thursday and highs of 14 degrees.

Sunrise   07.41hr

Sunset    16.55hr

And Finally

To raise awareness about skin cancer thousands of people have stripped off for a mass nude photo on an Australian beach. Sydney's Bondi Beach saw a sea of swimsuit-less individuals being directed via megaphone by US photographer Spencer Tunick known for staging mass nude photo shoots at world landmarks. The New York-based artist collaborated with a charity on the naked art installation in a bid to raise awareness about melanoma, Australia's fourth most common form of cancer. The federal government estimates that this year more than 17,000 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in Australia, and more than 1,200 Australians will die from the disease. About 2,500 people took part in the photo.

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