French and Riviera News Tuesday 29th September 2020


Cannes Film Festival 2020 - The 2020 Cannes Film Festival is set to return to the Croisette in October. A mini selection of part of the official Cannes 2020 selection will be screened from the 27th to the 29th of October.

The event postponed in May due to Covid-19 will offer the general public the opportunity to attend four premieres of films from the 2020 official selection.

Hospitals in Marseille postpone operations - Faced with an increasing number of Covid-19 patients’ hospitals in Marseille have started to postpone operations.  

The move comes as all bars and restaurants in Marseille and Aix en Provence were forced to close following new regulations in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Hospital staff have however announced that there are no plans as of yet to transfer patients to the Paris region.

177 Covid patients were hospitalized on Monday meaning that more than half of the intensive care beds are occupied by Covid patients, 50 out of the 90 beds and about a hundred nurses and doctors have been recruited, with many more still needed.

Meanwhile in the Alpes Maritimes Monday evening saw the introduction of new restrictions with bars having to close at 10pm and restaurants as well as bars offering snacks at half past midnight.

Antibes Juan-les-Pins - The local authorities of Antibes Juan-les-Pins have released its weekly update of coronavirus patients in hospital. In the week of September 21 to 27 there were 13 hospitalized coronavirus patients, 3 patients in intensive care and 1 death, which was the first since May 28.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has said that there has been an improvement in health data in the Alpes-Maritimes, especially in the west of the department. In a tweet the Mayor said that in 3 weeks the incidence has dropped by 43 points, the positivity rate is decreasing, and the number of hospitalized cases is decreasing. He said that the goal is to make testing more efficient and effective which makes it possible to prioritize, to better treat the disease and to meet the needs of economic and social activity.

Monaco - Two new positive cases for Covid-19 have been reported on Monday. Bringing the total number of cases to 212 residents affected by the coronavirus.

Eleven patients are being treated at the Princess Grace Hospital: two patients, including a resident, in intensive care and nine hospitalised patients. Four of them are residents.

26 people are currently being  followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

Support for theatres - The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has announced extended coronavirus support measures for theatres in Nice. He said that as from this autumn, the City of Nice will buy tickets from theatres as well as for performances by theatre troupes and companies. He said that this would be in addition to measures already taken such as the suspension of rents and compensation for losses, and various support measures would be extended into 2021.

The measures were announced after the mayor held a meeting with representatives of local theatres on Monday. He also confirmed that the Theatre Festival will be going ahead from October 5 to 18 and that further details would be made available on sanitary measures.


Macron bonus – France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, has announced that more than 4 million people in France have benefited from the exceptional bonus known as the "Macron bonus".

The premium, which is exempt, up to a limit of 1,000 euros from income tax, employee and employer contributions as well as social contributions was described by Le Maire on Monday as “effective” as he added that “it had given back purchasing power to employees”.

Social Security deficit - Meanwhile the Social Security deficit in France is expected to reach a record level of 44.7 billion euros this year according to a summary of the Audit Commission. The previous record, reached in 2010 during the financial crisis, was 28 billion euros.

Ferrero to invest 42 million euros in Normandy - The manufacturer of the famous Nutella spread, the Italian giant Ferrero, is set to invest 42 million euros in Normandy where it plans to install a new logistics center.

According to a statement from the company "the work will start next November and be completed at the end of 2021".

With this new logistics center "Ferrero in France will be able to consolidate its distribution activities, currently spread between Normandy and Aube, on a single more modern, central site”.

Following the announcement, the CEO of Ferrero France said that "These investments show how much Ferrero is committed to participating in the dynamism and strength of the economy of Normandy and more generally France".

5G frequencies - France will today launch the allocation for the first 5G frequencies.

Initially scheduled for April, but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the auction will allow operators such as Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free to acquire 11 "blocks" of frequencies that are currently unused, and pave the way for first 5G service in some cities by the end of the year bringing at least 2.17 billion euros to the State.

The use of 5G has however been criticised by some politicians and NGOs, who question the interest of this new technology, citing risks to health and the environment.

Despite this the French government has maintained its scheduled launch without waiting for a report from the National Health Security Agency (ANSES) scheduled for March 2021, stressing that most of the advanced countries had already allocated these frequencies.


Global investors remain cautious despite Monday’s stock market rises with eyes focused on the first televised US Presidential election debate tonight as Donald Trump squares up to Joe Biden.

The debate ,which is due to start at 1am GMT tomorrow is the first chance that Mr Biden will get to directly criticise Trump’s record in office since he came to power in 2016 and ask him about a New York Times report claiming that he’d paid little income tax over the past decade.

As well as the political issues , US consumer confidence and house price data is due out later today and should show how well America is positioned to rebound from coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and how necessary more stimulus will be.

On Monday ,the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Democratic lawmakers had come up with a 2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill which she said was a compromise measure that reduces the costs of economic aid.


A deputy governor at the Bank of England has warned about setting negative interest rates  which would bring the cost of borrowing below zero.

Speaking to the UK Society of Professional Economists ,Sir Dave Ramsen  said that “at present ,negative policy rates would be less effective as a tool to stimulate the economy”.

The Bank of England has so far responded to the coronavirus pandemic by cutting interest rates to just 0.1 percent but some policymakers want it to do more.

If rates turn negative then the Bank charges for any deposits it holds and that in turn encourages retail banks to lend the money to businesses rather than deposit it.

However ,with rates already low ,it’s not clear how much negative rates would help to stimulate the economy.

Sir Dave said that the Bank of England needed to consider the potential impact on banks further before acting on negative rates.

And-Microsoft has said that a recent change that it made is likely to be the cause if a major outage that has affected users’ access to a host of Microsoft 365 services including Outlook and Microsoft Teams.

The software giant said last night that did “not see an increase in successful connections” even after it pulled the change to mitigate the impact.

The firm said on its status page that it was mitigating steps for the issue and was rerouting traffic to alternative systems to provide relief for affected users.

So further details have been given as to the cause of the outage but many users have been complaining that they are unable to access services.


Football-There were two games in the English Premier League last night.

Fulham look like they’re going to face an uphill struggle as they lost their third consecutive game 3-0 at home to Aston Villa while Liverpool came from behind to beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield.

Leicester are top of the table on goal difference from Liverpool and Everton after 3 games with a three teams having maximum points so far.

Tennis-Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are both through to the second round of the French Open but the fourth seed Daniil Medvedev is out.

Nadal beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets while Thiem beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 6-3.

Medvedev lost to Marton Fucsovic.

In the women’s event ,Serena Williams made a slow start as she bids for a record equalling 24th Grand Slam title before beating Kristie Ahn 7-6 6-0.

Rugby Union-There was one game in the Gallagher Premiership last night. Harlequins were beaten 32-23 at home by Wasps.

It was the final match at the Stoop for former England captain Chris Robshaw who is leaving Harlequins at the end of the season.

Racing-The ground is described as being “very soft” ahead of this weekend’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Heavy rain at Paris Longchamp will give the horses a big challenge in the race with Stradivarius who won the Gold Cup at Ascot thought to be among the better placed contenders.

Enable .who finished second on soft ground last year may struggle in the conditions.

22 horses are left in the field for  Europe’s richest race.


Partially cloudy with light to moderate south easterly winds.

Top temperature 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees on the coast and 14 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine with highs of 21-22 degrees.

And Finally

A car egistration with just two characters — J 4 — has sold for £380,000.

But the anonymous buyer will technically still not own it.

The price was a record for a plate from Jersey. But the Channel Island’s registrations, which all start with J, are owned by its government. Motorists can purchase only the rights to put them on their vehicles.

The plate is now in Britain’s top ten for price. First is 25 O, which sold for £518,480 in 2014.




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