French and Riviera News Tuesday 30th August 2022

Local News

Workman electrocuted in Pierrefeu - An employee working on the electricity network Enedis has been electrocuted during an intervention in Pierrefeu in the Var. The accident occurred on Monday afternoon when the man came into contact with a partly bare cable, which had fallen to the ground. An investigation has been opened.

Pedestrian seriously injured - A pedestrian has been seriously injured after being hit by a vehicle in Les Arcs. The incident occurred on Monday evening shortly after 9pm. The motorist fled the scene, and the victim was airlifted to hospital. An investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.

Gas leak in Nice - Emergency services have intervened following a gas leak in Nice on Monday. More than 1,200 customers found themselves cut off on the Rue Pégurier following the incident. A security perimeter was set up while agents intervened.

Nautical Stadium of Antibes making waves - While 93 departments, including the Alpes-Maritimes, are on a drought alert, including 62 in a state of crisis, it’s been reported that the nautical stadium in Antibes last week emptied and filled its pools. The city of Antibes renews the water each year and last week, the oldest 25-meter indoor pool was emptied and filled. The city council have said that the “pools were emptied for sanitary reasons” and that “recycling the water, for the time being, is not possible” however, many regulars think that the emptying “could have waited for example, until the Christmas holidays”.

Detection of undeclared swimming pools - Tax authorities have confirmed that the use of aerial images to detect undeclared swimming pools, will be expanded to all of France from next year. Since the system was trialled in nine departments, including the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, over 20,000 pools have been detected, raising an additional 10 million euro in taxes. According to the government the proportion of more or less voluntary omissions in the declaration of swimming pools is not at all uniform. It is much higher in the departments of the Ardèche and Morbihan than on the Côte d'Azur: with 1 in 8 swimming pools not declared in Ardèche properties compared to only 1 in 40 in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Protest in Marseille of contract workers for schools - About fifty people have gathered in front of the education board in Marseille in protest against the recruitment of contract workers while trained teachers remain unassigned. Three days before the start of the school year, there is great concern from both teachers and union representatives. Nearly 56 trainee teachers in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, holders of a master's degree and having passed the competition for school teachers find themselves without a position. In France, the National Education is struggling to recruit candidates and has done so via Pôle Emploi (employment agency) to contract workers by job dating. These new recruits spent 30 minutes in a job interview and complete four days of training before finding themselves facing a class of around thirty students. This year 3,000 contract workers have been recruited. Nationally, contract teachers have gone from 43,000 for the 2010-2011 school year to 63,000 for the 2019-2020 school year.

Over 30 million visitors to the PACA region - Over 30 million people visited the Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur during July and August according to tourist figures released. The numbers exceed pre-Covid figures from 2019 which was already a record year for the region. The surge has resulted in 20 billion euro in tourist spending for the area. 40% of visitors came from France, followed by holiday-makers from the UK and in third place visitors from the United States.

National News

Defence Council meeting devoted to the supply of gas and electricity - French President Emmanuel Macron is to hold a Defence Council this Friday morning. It will be devoted to the supply of gas and electricity, in view of the increase in energy prices and in anticipation of this winter. Initially reserved, as its name suggests, for defence subjects, the Head of State had held this type of meeting a lot at the time of the Covid crisis. He had also chaired it on the ecological issue. But this is the first time that this Council has dealt specifically with the theme of energy. At European Union level, an emergency meeting on the issue will be held between the energy ministers of the different member states on September 9th.

Prime Minister calls on companies to establish “sobriety plan” - Meanwhile faced with the risks of power cuts or rationing this winter, French Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, has called on each company "to establish, in September, its own sobriety plan". "Each company must mobilize and act", she said warning that companies "would be the first affected" in the event of "rationing" in the face of a risk of shortage.

Taxation of “super-profits” - Asked on the question of the taxation of "super-profits". Elisabeth Borne said that she did not close the door to a taxation of super-profits, but that she preferred that each company which can "lower prices for the consumer and give power to purchase from its employees. "

Rain and thunderstorms for most of the country today - According to Météo France rain and thunderstorms will hit most of the country during the day today. Forecast say that stormy showers will multiply over Burgundy Franche-Comté, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes to Haut-Languedoc and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region particularly in the Alpes Maritimes region.

Business

Early estimates have shown that the devastating floods in Pakistan have caused at least $10bn (£8.5bn) of damage. As one-third of the South Asian nation has been submerged Pakistan received a $1.1bn bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday.  The unprecedented flash floods caused by historic monsoon rains have killed at least 1,136 people and affected more than 33 million, over 15% of the country's population. The torrential rains have also washed away roads, crops, homes, bridges and other infrastructure.

The UK Chancellor is travelling to the United States later for talks on how to tackle the spiralling cost of living. During what could be his final week in the job, Mr Zahawi will meet US bankers and officials to seek "international solutions" to soaring costs. Labour has criticised the trip, saying he should be focusing on the UK. The incoming prime minister is expected to outline further support when they are elected on 5th September.

Meanwhile industry leaders have said that energy price increases of more than 300% are in danger of forcing pubs and brewers across the UK out of business in the coming months. Unlike domestic customers, who are facing an 80% increase in average bills in October, businesses operate without any sort of regulated price cap, with some pub owners saying they are struggling to even find suppliers willing to power their venues when contracts come up for renewal.

The number of people opting for private jet travel has broken records in Europe this summer. There were 43% more flights at Paris airports in July compared to 2019, before the pandemic. 37% more flights in London and 73% in Amsterdam. In Europe, on average, there were a third more private jet flights this summer compared to 2019. However, the controversy over private jets is still growing. This weekend, Elisabeth Borne called on jet owners "to participate in the reduction of greenhouse gases". The price of private flights has increased due to soaring fuel costs and a lack of planes. For example, a private flight from Paris to Mykonos costs twice as much as a year ago. Despite their environmental impact, jets are more popular than ever: the number of people traveling by jet for the first time has increased by 40% this year.

Sport

Tennis - Serena Williams has started the US Open farewell with a win on Monday. Williams, who is set to retire after the tournament, won 6-3 6-3 against Montenegro's Danka Kovinic. Meanwhile Andy Murray showed no signs of his recent cramping issues as beat 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo to reach the second round of the tournament.

Football - West Ham have announced the "club record signing" of Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta on a five-year contract. The 25-year-old, who is expected to be part of the Brazil squad at this year's World Cup, has joined from Lyon.

Meanwhile locally OGC Nice has recruited ex-Monegasque 22-year-old Sofiane Diop for 20 million euros. The ex-Monegasque signed a five-year contract with the Gym on Monday and will therefore qualify for the trip to Lille on Wednesday. OGC Nice wants to accelerate in the last days of the transfer window which ends on September 1st at 11 p.m. to strengthen its offensive sector.

Weather

Cloudy with highs of 28 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes. Sunny intervals in Saint-Tropez and the Var. 30 degrees in Marseille remaining dry. Thundery showers are forecast for the Alpes Maritimes with a gentle breeze. This evening going down to 22 degrees.

Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday sunny intervals and gentle breeze highs of 27 degrees.

Sunrise:    06.51hr                       Sunset:     20.09hr

Sea temperature:    26 degrees       UV level:   6

And Finally

Put the kettle on! - As scientists believe drinking tea may help you live longer. A study of half a million people in the UK found those who consumed two or more cups a day were up to 13 per cent less likely to die from any cause. There is good news if you have a sweet tooth — the protective effect remained regardless of whether people took sugar, despite its links to poor health.

Experts said the findings are among the most comprehensive yet because they were done on tea-loving Brits, unlike earlier research carried out in Asia. Britons down a collective 100 million cups of tea a day but demand, especially among young people, has fallen in recent years.

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