French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th September 2021


France to pay tribute to Jean Paul Belmondo - France’s Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot has announced that France will pay tribute to legendary actor Jean-Paul Belmondo who died on Monday at the age of 88. Following the news of Belmondo’s death French President Emmanuel Macron referred to a “national treasure” adding that “we all found a part of us in him”. Belmondo was known for numerous works of art in film including “A bout de souffle” and “Magnifique”. From 1960 to 1980 he was the king of the box office attracting nearly 130 million spectators. Nicknamed “Bebel” Jean Paul Belmondo was one of the most popular actors of French cinema.

Following the news of his death tributes came pouring in; the general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Fremaux tweeted “ Belmondo’s generosity as a man and actor has invented some of the greatest moments in the history of cinema " adding "Thank you Jean-Paul. Farewell Magnificent". The Venice Film Festival, which awarded him a prize honoring his career in 2016, also paid tribute to this "icon of cinema". "It was more than a legend, it was Belmondo", reacts his biographer and his friend Alain Delon said he was "devastated" recalling his closeness to Belmondo: "It's a part of my life, we started together 60 years ago".

Complaints over French government’s handling of covid - France's Court of Justice has received “thousands of complaints” against France’s government ministers over alleged mishandling of the covid pandemic. In May last year, French families who had lost loved ones to the coronavirus questioned the government’s legal responsibility in court. 63 complaints were filed against officials including former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Health Minister Olivier Véran, for failure to protect the public. They face potential charges of manslaughter, endangering life, involuntary injury, failing to assist a person in danger and failing to take timely action to contain the epidemic.

In March this year a teachers’ collective filed a complaint against education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer for “endangering lives". He is accused of failing to protect staff in close contact with children “who spread the virus".

In April 2020 President Emmanuel Macron admitted during a televised address that the country had not been sufficiently prepared for the pandemic and that the government had made mistakes, notably in relation to distributing masks and protective gear to health workers. As France’s head of state, Macron has immunity from prosecution.

Health situation in the Alpes Maritimes – Meanwhile following a peak at the end of July, latest figures published show that the health situation in the Alpes Maritimes has been improving over the last three weeks. There are currently 269 people hospitalised in the region and over the past ten days, the volume of new patients treated at hospital has fallen by 30%. Since August 22, the number of patients in critical care has also fallen by 30%. Due to the Delta variant, the month of August in the Alpes Maritimes was deadly, with covid claiming 103 lives compared to 10 in July, nine in June and 51 in May.

So far, the month of September has already seen 12 new deaths from covid in the department. Since the start of the health crisis, covid has killed at least 2,102 people (1,644 in hospital, 458 in nursing homes). As of September 2nd, 80.4% of the population in the Alpes Maritimes had received at least one dose of the vaccination against covid, and 62.8% were completely vaccinated. This is respectively 8 and 6 points above the national average.

Health situation in the Var – And in the Var the situation is also on a downward trend. Figures published showed that there were 236 patients in hospitals in the region and hospital admissions over the last week have too fallen by 30%. The number of patients in critical care in the Var has stabilized above 50, a number that had not been reached since May.

Since the start of the health crisis, Covid-19 has killed at least 2,062 Var residents (1,595 in hospitals, 467 in nursing homes). As of September 2, 70.2% of the Var population had received at least one dose of the vaccine against covid, and 64.9% are completely vaccinated. This is two points lower than the national average.

Monaco – In Monaco six new cases of covid have been declared on Monday 6th September bringing the total number of residents affected since the beginning of the epidemic to 3,240. Thirteen people are currently being cared for at Princess Grace hospital and forty people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Institut Pasteur de Lille launches trial into possible covid treatment - The Institut Pasteur de Lille has launched the clinical trial of a possible treatment against covid, clofoctol, hoping to establish whether the treatment, administered by suppository, is effective in avoiding hospitalizations. In an announcement on Monday, September 6 the establishment (which is not linked with the one based in Paris) said that it had recruited its first patient for the second phase of the clinical trial of a possible treatment against covid, clofoctol. Clofoctol should be given to patients as a suppository, twice a day for five days and according to the institut is particularly effective in inhibiting the replication of the virus.

Number of shopping centres affected by the health pass to decrease - Speaking to French media this morning France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced that the number of shopping centers in France currently affected by the health pass would drop from 178 to 64 from Wednesday 8th September. Le maire said that “the health pass requirement in large shopping centres will be removed if the incidence rate drops below 200”. Nine departments of France will still be affected by the measure including the Var, Vaucluse, Alpes-Maritimes, and the Bouches-du-Rhône. The health pass obligation will be lifted in shopping centers in the Isère, Loire and Haute-Savoie, Bas-Rhin, Paris, Yvelines, Essonne, Val-de-Marne, the Val d'Oise, the Hauts-de-Seine and the Seine-et-Marne, the Charente-Maritime, the Gironde, the Landes and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the Haute-Garonne, the Hautes-Pyrénées and the Pyrénées-Oriental.

Vinci Autoroutes “zero plastic waste” - The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region and Vinci Autoroutes have signed a "Zero Plastic Waste" Commitment Charter. The new environmental partnership aims to contribute to the fight against plastic pollution in our region. 2 million passengers a day travel on the VINCI Autoroutes network and several million stop at its rest areas every month. In signing the charter, the two organizations aim to raise awareness about plastic pollution, to use plastic materials in a reasonable manner and to manage plastic waste.

Jane Birkin suffers a small stroke but is doing well - Actress and singer Jane Birkin, 74, has cancelled her participation at the Deauville film festival after experiencing a small stroke, her family said in a statement on Monday. The 47th edition of the festival, which began on Friday, is presided over by Birkin's daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg. Birkin was reported to have had a minor stroke a few days ago, and is now "doing well", her agent said, adding that the family had requested for their pri