French and Riviera News Tuesday 30th November 2021

News 

Changes in France from 1st December - As with the first of every month in France changes will be introduced from tomorrow Wednesday December 1st. The last month of 2021 will see; tougher rules introduced for unemployment benefits making it necessary to have worked six months instead of four in the last 24 to be able to claim.

Energy voucher to be distributed to 5.8 million households - In order to cope with rising energy prices, the 100-euro energy voucher will be distributed to 5.8 million households in France between 16th – 22nd December. Meanwhile the 38 million people who earn less than 2,000 euros a month will receive in December the tax-free inflation allowance, announced at the end of October by Prime Minister Jean Castex to cope with the soaring fuel prices. Amounting to 100 euros, it will be automatically paid at the end of December by employers to employees. Civil servants, job seekers and scholarship students will have to wait until January.

Health pass deactivated - On December 15th the covid health pass of those over 65 will be deactivated if you have not had the booster jab, seven months since your last injection. For adults over 18 years of age, the deadline for carrying out their booster dose is on 15 January in order to keep their health pass within seven months after the last dose.

President of PACA asks for free covid tests - President of the PACA region, Renaud Muselier has asked the government to provide free Covid-19 testing to those who are in the process of getting fully vaccinated. In a letter to health minister Olivier Veran, he asked that free daily testing be offered to people who have had their first injection and are awaiting their second. He drew attention in particular to seasonal workers in ski resorts who he said would not be able to afford such testing between their first and second dose.

Nice vaccination campaign - The city of Nice is increasing its vaccination campaign. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi visited the Palais des Expositions which is almost ready to open to carry out booster doses. He said that as of this week, 4,000 people will be able to be vaccinated daily and as of next week the number will rise to 5,000 vaccinations per day. The mayor said that on Saturday morning, eligible residents of Nice received an SMS or an email informing them that they can get their booster and that priority is being given to those over 75 years of age.

Christian Estrosi has criticised anti-vaccination and anti-health pass protesters who he said had once again tried to approach his home and family on Saturday afternoon. The mayor said he condemns what he called "these pathetic intimidations" which he said only reinforces his "determination to take all the necessary measures for the health of the people of Nice".

First Omicron variant - A first positive case of the Omicron variant has been reported in France, on the island of Reunion. Other "possible" cases are still being studied. The patient who tested positive is "a 53-year-old man" who travelled to Mozambique and "stopped in South Africa" before coming to Reunion. Placed in solitary confinement as well as his entourage, "the man suffers from muscle pain and fatigue," said scientists.

Woman drowns in her cellar following bad weather - An 80-year-old woman has died following the bad weather in the north of France on Monday. The woman reportedly drowned after the cellar of home flooded due to heavy rainfall. The North and the Pas de Calais had been placed on an orange alert for flooding on Sunday. The warning remained in place until 6am this morning.

Police intervene in the commune of Gattières in Nice - Police have intervened after a 60-year-old man, armed and who suffers from psychiatric disorders, barricaded himself in his home along with his mother in the Gattières district of Nice. According to local reports negotiations were continuing shortly before 7.30pm on Monday evening and the area had been cordoned off to traffic.

Leroy Merlin attempt to end strike action - The management of the DIY shop "Leroy Merlin" have announced a meeting with unions today Tuesday 30th November, to end strike action. The company has been affected for ten days by an unprecedented movement concerning wages, with blockades of warehouses and walkouts in stores. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the company's headquarters in Lille this morning. Leroy Merlin is owned by the Mulliez family, which also owns Decathlon, Auchan, Boulanger and Flunch. There are 142 Leroy Merlin stores in France with 25,000 employees.

Josephine Baker enters the Pantheon today - Forty-six years after her death, Josephine Baker enters the Pantheon today Tuesday 30th November, to join the great French figures thanks to her rich life as a music hall artist, resistance fighter and anti-racist activist. "Me revoilà Paris": one of Josephine Baker's most famous songs will be played at 5.30pm to launch the solemn ceremony dedicated to the diva's entry into the Pantheon, a monument considered "the secular temple of the Republic". French President Emmanuel Macron will deliver a speech and will pay tribute to this "world-renowned artist, committed to the Resistance, tireless anti-racist activist" who "was part of all the fights that bring together citizens of good will, in France and around the world". Josephine Baker's remains will not be in the coffin, since her family has decided to let her rest in Monaco, alongside her last husband and one of her children, not far from Princess Grace who had supported her in the last years of her life. Symbolically, the coffin is filled with handfuls of earth from the four lands that "were dear to Josephine Baker": her hometown of Saint-Louis, Paris, the Dordogne where she settled her "rainbow" family, and Monaco where she ended her life.

Zemmour to announce candidacy - According to French media this morning, the polemicist Eric Zemmour will later today formalize his candidacy for the presidency of the Republic in a video that will be published on social networks. Zemmour is also this evening's guest on TF1.

Business

The Australian banking giant Westpac has admitted to breaking the law after it was hit with six lawsuits by regulators over its poor treatment of customers, including charging fees to dead people. It will pay $81m (A$113m; £61m) in penalties, subject to court approval. The bank will also hand $57m of compensation to its customers.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief executive of the company. He will be replaced by the current chief technical officer, Parag Agrawal, Twitter said. Mr Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, has been serving as chief executive of both Twitter and payment firm Square. Mr Dorsey said he had "deep" trust in his replacement. "I'm deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It's his time to lead," he said.

According to a panel of economists the automatic revaluation of the Smic (minimum wage) in France should be from 0.5 to 0.6% on January 1st. In October, the Smic was exceptionally increased by 2.2% - and raised to a gross hourly rate of 10.48 euros and monthly of 1,589.47 euros.

Sport 

Football – 34-year-old Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or. The Paris St-Germain and Argentina forward was awarded the best footballer of the year - for a record seventh time. The Ballon d'Or is voted for by 180 journalists from around the world, although there was no award in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cricket - New Zealand batted out the whole of day five to dramatically survive with a draw in the first Test against India.

Meanwhile England's Ashes preparation took a further blow as the first day of their four-day intra-squad warm-up match was washed out without a ball being bowled. Only 29 overs were possible across three days in England's first warm-up last week because of rain. More bad weather is forecast for the remainder of their four-day match in Brisbane.

Rugby Union - Irish sports minister Jack Chambers says Munster have been cleared by South African authorities to return home. All members of the travelling party will be required to quarantine for 10 days upon their return to Ireland.

Golf - Tiger Woods says he does not expect to return to the tour full time following his car accident in February. The 15-time major champion had surgery on open fractures to his lower right leg and sustained further injuries to his foot and ankle.

Weather 

Sunny with highs of 13 degrees in Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Saint Tropez with a moderate breeze. This evening going down to 4 degrees and clear skies.

Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday - Mainly fine tomorrow with possible showers inland. Fine on Thursday highs of 13 degrees.

And Finally 

It was raining dollars on a highway in California much to the delight of nearby motorists – but not for long. The unlikely scene occurred after a cash-in-transit van's doors accidentally opened letting out a small fortune causing drivers to rush to take advantage of the windfall. But the joy of motorists was short-lived, the police having quickly arrived on the scene to restore order, arresting two people deemed too greedy.

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