French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th May 2024

National News France 


Paris’s public transport heavily criticised due to price hike ahead of Games - Paris’s public transport authority has been heavily criticized and accused of initiating ‘a bit of a racket’ after increasing the price of Métro tickets by more than 85% and doubling the cost of bus tickets during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. City officials say most regular travellers will be unaffected by the hiked tariffs as they will already have transport passes, whose price has not risen. Those that do not have a pass have been advised to buy their tickets before the 20th of July.

Possible strike action – With tomorrow and Thursday being bank holidays in France many workers and students will “faire le pont” which basically means that any time a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday in France workers “font le pont” with a four-day weekend. Millions are expected to take to the roads with Bison Futé classifying from this evening “red” on a national level throughout the country and there were fears of major strike action. However, latest reports say that the risk of a major transport strike has been avoided following an agreement. The signing of an agreement between the DGAC and air traffic controllers has avoided major disruptions to air travel meanwhile, low-cost airline Vueling has warned of possible cancellations due to French air hostesses and stewards unions who have filed a strike notice from May 8th to 12th. If you are flying over the next few days, you are advised to check with the company you’re flying with before setting off.


State visit – In other news, the Élysée may be already imagining that the Chinese president will be sipping cognac while reading Victor Hugo following his state visit to France. According to French media Xi Jinping received several diplomatic gifts on Monday May 6th, including work by Victor Hugo from 1856 as well as the first Franco-Chinese dictionary in history, published in 1742 and a Louis XIII cognac from Rémy Martin. During the leaders' joint press conference, Emmanuel Macron thanked the Chinese President for what he called "his open attitude" in an anti-dumping investigation on cognac, adding that France hoped its products could continue having access to the Chinese market.

Local News

Nice attack - Eight years after the July 14th attack in Nice, it’s been announced that the four associations set up in support of the victims will carry the Olympic flame on the Promenade des Anglais. Representatives of the victims will carry the Olympic flame to the very place where a terrorist killed 86 people and injured more than 450. The news was announced on Monday during the trial which is currently being held in Paris. On June 18th, the four associations, will carry the flame on the Promenade des Anglais as a tribute to the victims and their families.

Film industry employees call for strike action just one week away from opening of the Cannes Film Festival - A group of cinema workers have called for strike action from employees of the Cannes Film Festival ahead of its opening on May 14th. The strike could see key professions such as projectionists, programmers, press officers and those responsible for ticketing or welcoming guests walk out on the festival in protest against the latest reform to unemployment benefits from the French government, which have tightened the compensation rules, to the point that "the majority (of them) will have to give up" their job. The 77th Cannes Film Festival is due to be held on the Croisette from May 14th to the 25th, with around a hundred films, dozens of stars from George Lucas to Meryl Streep as well as tens of thousands of festivalgoers. The last time the festival experienced such disruption was during the 21st Cannes Film Festival which had to be shortened, due to the events of May 1968.

Supermarket makes big donations to the Red Cross - The Géant Casino supermarket in Villeneuve-Loubet has donated nearly 3 tonnes of products to the Red Cross. Closed due to renovation work the store made the very generous offer to the regional Red Cross which will share the donation with other branches of the charity.

Road reopens - The moyenne corniche between villefranche and Eze has reopened. Closed temporarily on Monday due to a rockfall it was reopened to traffic on Monday afternoon.

Morgan Freeman to receive award at this year’s Monte-Carlo Television Festival - The Monte-Carlo Television Festival has announced that American actor Morgan Freeman will receive a Crystal Nymph at this year’s festival. Freeman will be present at the next Monte-Carlo Television Festival to receive a Crystal Nymph, rewarding his entire career. The festival is held here in the Principality from the 14th to the 18th of June.  The actor will also attend the world premiere of the series “The Gray House”, of which he is a producer, alongside Kevin Costner.

Business

French and Chinese companies signed on Monday deals ranging from energy, finance, and transport on the sidelines of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the French capital. Emmanuel Macron and the EU’s Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen urged for a more balanced trade with Europe at a time of growing business tensions.

Meanwhile, a new study has revealed that many French people consider social networks to be dangerous for children, but also for democracy. Faced with the dangers of social networks, the French want more regulation. The survey published by the think tank Destin Commun on Monday showed that 50% of those asked would prefer "to live in a world where social networks had never been invented." A higher proportion than in the United Kingdom (42%), Germany (37%) and the United States (34%). The study reveals that 36% of French people consider that platforms like Instagram, Snapchat or even Tiktok are “a bad thing for society in general”. A figure that increases with age: 44% of those aged 65 and over have a negative opinion on social networks, compared to only 23% of those aged 18-24. Tiktok, was the most negative social network for the French with 59% of respondents having declared that they would prefer "to live in a world where Tiktok had never been invented". And 46% of 18–24-year-olds share this opinion. Nearly half (49%) would also support a measure to completely remove the Chinese social network. If 49% believe that Tiktok has a negative impact in France, 33% also share this opinion regarding X (formerly Twitter). On the other hand, Whatsapp (56%) and YouTube (54%) are perceived positively by the French. 75% of French people are in favour of an age limit for accessing social networks. There are even 57% who want to ban these platforms for those under 18 years old.

And - Nasa has announced that Boeing’s first crewed space flight had to be postponed on Monday just two hours before take off due to a safety check. The spacecraft had been expected to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida and make its way to the International Space Station (ISS). According to reports the soonest a new launch attempt may be made is Tuesday night. Boeing is hoping to become the second private firm able to provide crew transport to and from the ISS, alongside Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Sport

Football – In the Premier League last night Crystal Palace sealed a first league double over Manchester United with a rampant 4-0 win and in the Champions League semi finals this evening Borussia Dortmund play PSG. Kick off is at 9pm French time.

Snooker – An emotional Kyren Wilson claimed his first world title with a 18-14 victory over Jak Jones in Sheffield. The 32-year-old led 15-10 heading into Monday's concluding session and moved to the brink of victory at 17-11.

Olympics - Tom Daley will compete at a fifth Olympics in Paris this summer after he was confirmed in Team GB's diving team.

Weather 

A cloudy start in Nice, Monaco and Menton. Sunny in Grasse and inland in the Alpes Maritimes. Light to moderate winds. Showers are forecast for this afternoon with a risk of thundery storms, a yellow warning has been issued by Meteo France from 1pm. Highs of 20 degrees in Nice and Monaco. Reaching 21 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 13 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Thursday, sunny along the coast with cloud expected inland. Highs of 23 degrees in Puget-Théniers.

Sunrise       06.14am

Sunset        08.40pm

Sea temperature

Monaco 15.8°

Weather elsewhere

London 20° with sunny intervals.

Berlin 17° with light cloud.

Lisbon 25° sunny.

Palma 21° sunny.

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