French and Riviera News Tuesday 8th March 2022


Man commits suicide on A8 motorway - A man has committed suicide by throwing himself under a truck on the A8 motorway. The incident occurred on Monday morning shortly after 6.30am near Mandelieu-la-Napoule when the 50-year-old was hit by a truck after getting out of his car. Initial reports yesterday lunchtime suggested an accident however, following a police investigation the man had left a note for his family indicating his wish to end his life.

Human remains found in Belgentier could be that of 76-year-old man - Police in the Var have said that the human remains found by a hiker in Belgentier north of Toulon in the Var on Sunday could be those of 76-year-old Yves Dupont who went missing almost a year ago. Dupont from La Seyne-sur-mer was reported missing on March 26th in 2021 after going on a bike ride. The investigation continues.

War in Ukraine - The prefecture in Strasbourg is centralising aid for refugees arriving in the region from Ukraine with a “one-stop shop” to facilitate their reception. Strasbourg is "one of the gateways" to France for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. The city also plans, to vote at the next city council, financial aid for Ukraine.

Macron pledges to abolish television license fee - Speaking at his first public appearance as candidate for the 2022 Presidential elections in France, French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to get rid of the television license fee if re-elected. During a visit to Poissy on Monday, Macron also announced an increase of the “Macron bonus” which currently allows companies to pay up to 1,000 euros without charges or tax. Since 2009, the contribution to public broadcasting has been payable by anyone who is subject to housing tax and who owns a television. Its amount is determined by Parliament and currently stands at 138 euros. The fee is used to finance public sector TV and radio channels, such as France Télévisions, Radio France, Arte or France Médias Monde (France 24, RFI, etc.). Macron emphasised that there is no intention to privatise this service planning to account for its cost within the government budget.

Macron also said that he will not be participating in any "debate with the other candidates before the first round of the elections". Meanwhile on Monday the President of the French Constitutional Council confirmed that there will be twelve candidates in the first round of the Presidential election.

International Women’s Day - As today marks International Women’s Day a report published by the High Council for Gender Equality has shown that daily sexism persists. Whether it be at home, at work or in public transport, sexism remains anchored in the daily life of women in France. The report highlights "alarming" figures with six out of ten French women saying they have been subjected to a sexist act or remarks in the street and transport, 46% of the women questioned have experienced sexist acts at work, and 43% are victims.


Asian markets have fallen back again this morning as Russia warned that it could cut oil and gas supplies to Europe in retaliation for economic sanctions imposed on Moscow. In the United States, President Biden has said that his administration is willing to move ahead with a ban on Russian oil imports even if European allies do not. Oil prices have already hit 14-year highs and Russia has warned that a barrel of crude could surge to 300 dollars a barrel and force it to cut gas supplies to Germany if a ban is imposed. Brent crude was trading at 124 dollars 20 a little earlier with West Texas Intermediate at 119 dollars 86. Other commodity prices including nickel, aluminium and copper have also risen again while wheat futures and corn continue to rise. High energy prices will feed into more inflation globally while the outlook for European growth is darkening.

Russia has warned that it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West goes ahead with a ban on Russian oil. The country’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak says that a “rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market” and cause prices to “double to 300 dollars”. The United States is discussing a potential ban on Russian exports with its allies but both Germany and the Netherlands rejected the plan on Monday. The EU imports around 40 percent of its gas and 30 percent of its oil from Russia although some countries including Germany are more exposed. Russia is the world’s leading producer of gas and the world’s second largest oil producer and moves to sanction its energy industry would badly damage its economy.

Pressure is growing on Western food giants to pull out o