French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th September 2021

News 

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 privacy to be respected.

Born December 14, 1946 in London, Jane Birkin remains the favourite anglaise of the French, inseparable from Serge Gainsbourg and a singer and actress in her own right. During her last public appearances, Jane Birkin had shown herself in great shape, whether in Cannes or on stage at the Francofolies de La Rochelle, where she sang a repertoire taken from her last album "Oh!", a collaboration with Etienne Daho, and songs written for her by Serge Gainsbourg.

Menton - Menton has once again taken first place in a survey of the best performing medium sized French towns on Instagam. Cannes was in second place followed by Saint Malo in Brittany.

Business

Global stocks are sitting at record highs as investors bet that the US Federal Reserve is likely to delay the start of tapering its asset purchases as a result of soft jobs data. Japanese shares have extended their bull run on hopes that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will put together additional economic stimulus and easily win a forthcoming general election after the country’s unpopular Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that he would resign. The latest rally in global shares started after the chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell made a dovish speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium last month. Stock markets were further boosted as a result of a surprisingly soft US non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

A leading German car industry figure has said that the chip shortage which is disrupting global production could continue into 2022 and even 2023. Daimler chairman Ola Kallenius says that Covid-19 has been a stress test for the industry which now needs a thorough review of its supply chains. Supplies of semiconductor chips have been failing to meet demand in a wide range of industries. Mr Kallenius, who is also head of Mercedes Benz says that the shortage will “significantly impact sales and production in the third quarter”. He added that the problem will bleed into 2022 from a structural point of view with shortages lasting into 2023. He concluded that the pandemic had been a stress test and a traffic jam for the car industry and that it would take a while before everything is moving again.

A strategy paper published by the city of London’s financial and professional services lobby has said that Britain needs to ease taxes on banks and make it easier to hire staff from abroad if it is to unseat New York as the world’s top international financial centre within five years. The blueprint, which has been put together by TheCityUK warns that London is slipping further behind New York each year while other financial centres are strengthening. It says that the UK therefore needs to adopt a relentless focus on strengthening its international competitiveness to win back the prize of being the world’s leading international financial centre. The U.K.’s departure from the European Union has effectively closed London off from its biggest financial services customer which has added further pressure to catch up. However, persuading governments to cut taxes on finance as it attempts to mend the whole of the economy from Covid-19 may be challenging as well as having an open door on hiring given the Brexit referendum pledged to crackdown on high levels of international mobility. TheCityUK concluded that the most single important issue for financial firms is being able to hire globally.

Sport

Tennis – Emma Raducanu has swept into the last 8 of the US Open following a straight sets demolition of Shelby Rogers. The 18-year-old British qualifier won 11 games in a row as she beat Rogers 6-2 6-1 to set up a last 8 meeting with Belinda Bencic. The Wimbledon finalist Karolina Pliskova is also through to the last 8 after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 6-4.

In the men’s event Novak Djokovic is still on course for the calendar Grand Slam after beating American wildcard Jensen Brooksby in four sets. Matteo Berrettini is also through to the last 8 following a four set win over German qualifier Oscar Otte.

Cricket – England have slumped to a 157 run defeat against India in the fourth Test at the Oval. The home side suffered an all too familiar batting collapse in their second innings to be bowled out for 210 on the final day of the match. India take a 2–1 series lead with one match to play.

Formula One – Valtteri Bottas is to move from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo next season. The switch paves the way for Mercedes to sign George Russell to partner Lewis Hamilton from 2022. Bottas has won nine races in five years since he joined Mercedes in 2017. The 32-year-old Finn has proved to be a reliable partner to Hamilton but has not been able to consistently challenge at the front. He says that he is proud of what he has achieved at Mercedes and is fully focused on finishing the job as the team fights for another world championship.

Football – The Brazil legend Pele has had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon. Pele posted on social media that he had undergone surgery last Saturday adding that he is feeling “very well”. The 80-year-old has had a number of health issues in recent years. He remains Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer and is one of only four players to have scored for different World Cup tournaments.

Golf – Europe has retained the SolheimCup with a hard fought 15–13 victory over the United States in Ohio. Leona Maguire starred, completing an unbeaten week in which she collected 4 1/2 points from her five matches, a record for a rookie. Europe had been considered rank outsiders to win the Cup in the buildup to the event having won just once previously in the United States.

Weather

Mainly fine with light to moderate south  easterly or variable winds. Top temperatures 26-30 degrees. Overnight lows of 19-22 degrees with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday - Mainly fine with highs of 26-28 degrees.

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