French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th January 2020


Strike - Train traffic will remain "disrupted" today, due to the strike against the French government’s pension reform, with three TGV out of four running and only one out of two regional trains circulating. In Paris the RATP metro line will be completely closed.

After the holiday break, discussions between the government and unions resume this morning. Discussions on the pivotal age of retirement are planned which has become the main blocking point between the government and the CFDT.

Two days of nationwide strike action are planned Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th with no tramway service in Nice on Thursday and many bus lines will either be disrupted or not run at all. Air France pilots have also called for industrial action today.

Local figure dies - A local figure who contributed to the music scene in the region Jean-Louis Gibelli has died. Gibelli a rock, blues and reggae enthusiast organized many concerts over the last ten years in the Alpes Maritimes and in particular in Eze through his association Musical Mystery. Local culture official Céline Zambon paid tribute the musician saying "Jean-Louis gave the opportunity to many musicians to play in public locally”.

Speeding - A motorist has been caught speeding in the Bouches du Rhone. Police reported that the vehicle was flashed at 205km/h  in an area restricted to 80km/h. The young man’s driving license was withdrawn and the car impounded.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has denounced slogans sprayed onto street furniture in central Nice on Sunday night. The graffiti, in protest at air pollution was apparently carried out by Greenpeace activists and appeared on tramway stops, parking exits and other areas. The Mayor also said he was going to file a complaint.

Seven tonnes of contraband cigarettes have been seized in Arles in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Customs officers found the haul when they intercepted a lorry travelling from Spain to Italy at the motorway toll booths.


Charlie Hebdo - As France marks the fifth anniversary today of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks on January 7th, a trial linked to the massacre that left 12 people dead has opened in Paris.  Of the 24, only five are expected to appear in court as 19 suspects fled to parts of Iraq and Syria and are since believed to have been killed. Families and loved ones of the victims hope the trial will shed light on the planning operations and networks that enabled radicalised youths to access weapons and conduct the attacks on French soil.

Oyster farmers - A gastroenteritis epidemic currently sweeping France has hit oyster farmers in Brittany after the virus was found in shellfish. Health authorities have banned the fishing and selling of oysters in the bay around Mont-Saint-Michel and other shellfish farming areas on France’s north-western coast until further notice. Oyster farmers have blamed pollution along the coast on sewage that has not been fully treated.

Win a Picasso - The draw for the “Win a Picasso” lottery has been postponed. Due to take place on Monday 6th January the draw will now take place at the end of March. In a statement released on Monday the organisers said that “they are still waiting to sell more tickets for the lottery”. Tickets are 100 euros each with all proceeds being donated to fund a project to provide clean water to 200,000 people in Madagascar, Cameroon and Morrocco. Tickets can be purchased online and Christies in Paris will be hosting the draw.


Asian shares have rebounded this morning as a day passed without any fresh escalation in the Middle East and Wall Street erased early losses to end the day in positive territory.

Oil has given up most of the gains that it made in the aftermath of the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad last Friday with Brent Crude down 54 cents to 68 dollars 37 having been as high as 70 dollars 74 on Monday.

Gold has also retreated from a 7 year high to 1,557 dollars an ounce.

Analysts say that while the risk of military conflict has increased ,the chances of a major confrontation between the US and Iran would appear to be low and the most likely outcome is a continued series of proxy skirmishes.


Japan has asked Lebanon to extradite the former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn  who escaped house arrest in Tokyo last week before reportedly being smuggled out of the country in a flight case.

Lebanon does not usually surrender its citizens to other countries  but Japan says that it has the right to request extradition.

Carlos Ghosn ran Nissan before he was arrested on charges of financial misconduct in November 2018.He denies any wrongdoing and says that Japan’s justice system is “rigged”.


And-The British Finance Minister has set March the 11th as the date for his first post-Brexit budget.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has said that billions of pounds will be invested across the country with the environment a major priority.

Mr Javid will answer questions in Parliament later today after cancelling a scheduled budget last November to make way for the general election.

The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said that he doubted whether the government would deliver on its investment or climate goals.


Cricket-South Africa are battling to save the second Test against England in Cape Town with one day to go.

At stumps on day 4 the home side had fought to 126-2 in their second innings still trailing England by 312 runs.

Earlier ,Dom Sibley had reached his maiden Test century for England as he heped them to a second innings total of 391-8 declared.

Play resumes at 9.30 French time.

Football-Arsenal have completed the 4th round lineup in the FA Cup in England by beating Leeds United 1-0 in the final third round tie last night.

Nelson scored the only goal of the game on 55 minutes with Arsenal now away at Bournemouth in round 4.

In some of the other 4 round ties ,Liverpool will travel to Bristol City or Shrewsbury while the holders Manchester City will be at home to Fulham.Chelsea travel to Hull City and Leicester host Brentford.

The first semi final first leg tie in the English League Cup is being played tonight.Manchester United host Manchester City.

Rugby Union-The interim chief executive of Saracens has hinted that the star playing squad could be dismantled in order for the club to comply with salary cap rules this season.

Saracens were docked 35 points and fined more than 5 million pounds in November for breaching salary cap regulations.

Edward Griffiths says that he’s leading a “scoping exercise” as the first step in making the club “whiter than white”.

He hasn’t ruled out the possibility of letting star players leave the club.


Partially cloudy  with light variable winds.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of  15-17  degrees.

















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