French and Riviera News Tuesday 6th December 2022


Deception charge against drug used for thyroid problems - The National Medicines Safety Agency in France has announced a “deception” charge against the thyroid hormone Levothyrox. The charge comes after the drug, used against thyroid problems, changed its formula back in 2017. Hundreds of patients, among the 2.5 million who use it daily in France suffered side effects such as cramps, headaches, dizziness, or hair loss.

Two people injured in an avalanche in the Alpes de Hautes Provence - Two people have been injured in an avalanche. The incident occurred on Monday afternoon in the town of Enchastrayes in the Alpes de Hautes Provence. The couple were at the time ski touring and were swept from the Dôme between Col de Fours and Jausiers as the avalanche hit. One of the victims a man in his forties was seriously injured after being buried in the snow. Emergency services managed to extract him; he was evacuated to hospital in Marseille. The second victim, a 57-year-old woman who was more slightly injured, was evacuated to Briançon hospital. The departments of Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes are currently placed on a yellow avalanche alert.

Further disruptions on the trains tomorrow Wednesday 7th December - Further disruptions are expected tomorrow Wednesday 7th December, on certain TER, TGV and Intercités trains in France. Just as train travel was thought to be getting back to normal after a weekend of strike action, the SNCF has announced that all of the group's staff members have been called upon to stop work by the CGT-Cheminots, SUD-Rail and the CFDT. The strike will disrupt the circulation of certain regional trains as well as several TGVs and Intercités, especially on the Paris-Lyon line and south of Bordeaux. Disruptions are to be expected for TER in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est, Occitanie and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. On the main lines, passengers concerned will be informed by email or SMS in the event of the cancellation of their train. In this case, the SNCF promises a full refund before the scheduled departure, or a free exchange on all trains where there is still space.

Helpline for anyone left in the dark - The Nice metropolitan area has set up a telephone helpline for anyone with questions about the energy crisis and the risk of power cuts this winter. The hotline entered service on Monday and is intended to answer residents' questions, such as how people will be notified about potential power cuts and who could be affected. Nice city hall says the risk of power cuts this winter is still hypothetical. The dedicated phone line can be reached by calling 04 97 13 56 00. 

All changes on the Lignes d’Azur network - It's all change on the Lignes d’Azur network with an increase in prices, fewer lines, and modified timetables. Deputy mayor and president of the Ligne d’Azur Gaël Nofri, announced the changes saying that the “network needed to save money”. From July the price of a ticket will increase from 1 euro 50 to 1 euro 70 and the book of ten tickets will be discontinued. Prices had not changed on the network since 2013. Speaking to local media the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi confirmed that the “there was a duty of good management in a period when public funds are scarce”.

Tour de France 2024 - More details have emerged about the Riviera finale of the Tour de France in 2024. Last week it was announced that the famous cycling race would finish on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, in a break from the usual Champs-Elysées tradition, to alleviate the pressure on police officers in the capital, which is staging the Olympics. Now it's been confirmed that the final day of the Tour de France action will be a time trial between Monaco and Nice, on Sunday 21st July 2024. The last time Monaco hosted a stage of the race was the Grand Départ in 2009. The exact route isn't yet clear, but it won't be a leisurely cycle along the coast - there will be 35 kilometres in total including plenty of climbs.

Shop till you drop! -  A study has claimed to have found the most festive shopping town on the Côte d'Azur. The winner is Cannes, with 8.7 shops selling Christmas gifts per 1,000 inhabitants. That's ahead of Paris on 6.7 and neighbouring Antibes on 5.3. The study, by a Toulouse-based geomarketing start-up, analysed official Insee data for thousands of retail outlets in major cities. It added up the number of shops registered as selling festive goods including food, books, games, audiovisual equipment and cosmetics, as well as jewellers and wine merchants. Nice has 1,230 shops selling Christmas goods, but on a per inhabitant basis this worke