French and Riviera News Wednesday 10th November 2021

News

Booster jab obligatory for those over 65 from December 15th who wish to maintain a health pass - French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that from December 15th a third dose of the covid vaccine will be obligatory for those over 65 who wish to have a valid health pass. Those between 50 and 64 years of age will also be urged from December to have the booster jab. According to the Head of State "83% of people currently in intensive care in French hospitals are over 50". There will also be reinforced controls on the health pass in bars and restaurants as well as at ports and airports. Macron also confirmed the extension of "State guaranteed loans" until June of next year.

Unemployed to be monitored more closely - In addition to the health situation the head of state also spoke on Tuesday evening of his plans for the end of his five year term in office saying that the unemployed will be monitored more closely and job seekers "who do not show an active job search will have their benefits suspended" and that as already announced by France's employment minister of October 28th, from December 1st it will be necessary to have worked at "least six months in the last two years, to be able to claim unemployment benefits, at present unemployment rights are open after four months of work". A measure that had been relaxed since August 1, 2020 but will be applied again due to the improvement in the job market.

Pension reform - Concerning the pension reform promised in 2017 and suspended due to the health crisis Macron said that the "current situation does not allow the project to be relaunched today" with a clear decision being taken next year in the case of re-election.

New nuclear reactors - Macron ended by announcing the construction of new nuclear reactors which would be built on French soil. The goal being to continue to develop renewable energies.

Political opponents say Macron's address was campaigning for the elections - Meanwhile political opponents on both the right and the left were quick to criticise Emmanuel Macron, judging that the President of the Republic, who is not yet officially a candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was indeed campaigning during his televised speech.

Mask to be made mandatory in all schools in France from Monday - France's Education minister has announced that wearing a mask will be made mandatory at schools throughout France from Monday 15th November. The move comes as schools return to level 2 of the health protocol.

Health figures in the Alpes Maritimes – Latest data on the health situation in the Alpes-Maritimes shows that the incidence rate is above the alert threshold stagnating at around 60 cases per 100,000 for the last month. The threshold is set at 50. However, the number of people hospitalised in the Alpes-Maritimes with covid continues to decline slightly. On Monday 8th November there were 148 hospitalisations, compared to 316 at the last peak, at the end of August. The number of people in critical care has also been falling almost steadily since August 22. With 17 people in intensive care in the hospitals of the Alpes-Maritimes, compared to 80 at the last peak, this summer.

17 year old jogger who had gone missing is found alive - The 17-year-old jogger missing since Monday evening in Mayenne, north western France, has been found alive. The young woman was found in a state of shock about ten kilometers from the commune of Saint-Brice where she had gone for a run. The teenager had gone for a jog in the forest on Monday evening. Her parents had raised the alarm, when she failed to return home. An investigation for "kidnapping" has been opened and a man was taken into custody on Tuesday, while an extensive search of the area continues.

French court recognises "turbine syndrome" - In what is believed to be the first judgment of its kind in France a French court in Toulouse has recognised "turbine syndrome" after a couple complained their health was damaged by living near a windfarm. The couple were awarded more than €100,000 in compensation by the judge. They claimed that they had experienced a range of health problems including headaches insomnia and depression insisting they were caused by six wind turbines set up 700 metres from their home at Fontrieu in the Tarn.

Biodegradable surgical masks – New biodegradable surgical masks will be available from January of next year thanks to a company located in Carros, west of Nice. For over a year and a half, the mask has been part of our daily lives to fight against covid and sadly they often end up abandoned in city streets and gutters. A real danger for the environment. However, CEO Philippe Lopez of CP Project whose goal is to ban all plastic from our lives, had already four month's ago released a first version of a biodegradable surgical mask "of type 2ER that meet the EN14683 standard. But a second version arrives by January 2022 "even more environmentally conscious" as due to lack of funds, the manufacture of the first masks was made in Asia however it will now be carried out by the French group Lemoine. The new masks will also be presented "in different colours". The goal is to be eco-responsible on a large scale. Being biodegradable, these masks are also compostable. "If you put it in the ground, in four months, they disappear and give fertilizer". While waiting for the 100% biodegradable and 100% French version, an experiment was launched last week with agents of the city council of Nice and following the test the city of Nice and the company want to generalize the distribution of this type of mask.

The beauty of the world's oceans captured in a book - Pierre Frolla, Monegasque freediver and Greg Lecoeur, a renowned underwater photographer have captured the beauty of the world's oceans in a book. With the intention to raise awareness among the general public and after two years of photographic filming in the most beautiful places on this planet, the four-time freediving world record holder and Greg Lecoeur, one of the most talented underwater wildlife photographers, have unveiled the book published by Leduc. Entitled Oceans: face to face. It's 260 pages of the encounter between animal and man, revealing all the splendor and singularity of the oceans. The book will be presented today Wednesday 10th November at the Oceanographic Museum here in Monaco, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, with the photographs on exhibition.

The Jardin Exotique of Monaco has been recognised as one of the most beautiful in the world - In its 2021 edition of the "150 most beautiful gardens in the world", the prestigious Ulysses guide has selected the Jardin Exotique here in the Principality. The garden, a small Monegasque natural setting perched on the side of a cliff, has risen to the rank of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

Meanwhile future tourists as well as locals, will have to wait a little longer before being able to rediscover the secrets of the Jardin Exotique with its breath-taking view of the Principality due to major security and consolidation work, the site has been closed since the end of lockdown in May 2020. It is expected to open its doors to the public by 2022.

Marie Antoinette bracelets sell for more than 5.8 million pounds - Two diamond bracelets once owned by the queen of France, Marie Antoinette, have sold at auction in Switzerland for more than $8 million (£5.8 million). They were bought by an anonymous telephone bidder. Marie Antoinette sent the jewellery away for safekeeping before she was guillotined during the French revolution. Both bracelets were smuggled out of the country, and remained within her family for more than 200 years. It was the first time that the bracelets, made up of 112 old-cut diamonds, had ever gone under the hammer.

Business

After new exchanges with the British, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune has said he remained "open to dialogue" even if there remains only a "slim hope" to find an agreement on the conflict over the fishing licenses. France called on Tuesday to find a "quick solution" to the dispute.

The Bank of England and the Treasury are to launch a formal consultation on a UK central bank digital currency. This evaluation of the design and possible benefits a new kind of digital money is a further step towards its possible creation. The currency, for use by households and businesses, would sit alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than replacing them. No decision has been taken on whether to have such a currency in the UK. Central banks around the world are developing or exploring digital currencies after the rise of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

The appointment booking platform Doctolib was once again stormed after the speech of the Head of State who announced that the health pass will be conditioned to the third dose of vaccine for those over 65 years old. While Emmanuel Macron put pressure for the booster jab against covid for the over 65s on Tuesday evening, the platform said it had recorded 100,000 appointments made, in just an hour after the speech of the head of state. Even before his speech, Doctolib had evoked Monday a "new record day with 98,000 French people having made their appointment for the booster jab".

According to the Banque de France, a quarter of companies increased their prices in October. But supply problems seem to be starting to stabilize while recruitment difficulties are receding. Up 2.6%, prices continued to rise in October, in France, under the effect of a strong economic recovery in a context of tensions on supplies. According to a survey by the Banque de France carried out in October, the surge in raw materials and energy has forced a quarter of companies (25%), especially VSEs and SMEs, to increase their prices.

Tim Cook has confirmed possible problems concerning iPhone deliveries this Christmas, openly evoking the possibility of no longer finding the product on the shelf at the end of the year. Speaking to French media the boss of Apple confirmed tensions around the production of its flagship smartphone. While not specifying the causes of the shortages the covid epidemic in Vietnam - where some components are produced – and the power cuts in China are all elements that may have posed difficulties to the company. Just like any good salesman, Tim Cook invited customers to prevent any disappointment by making their purchases as soon as possible.

Sport 

Cricket England face New Zealand in Abu Dhabi today in the first semi-final of the Men's T20 World Cup. The winner will face either Pakistan or Australia, who play on Thursday, in Sunday's final in Dubai.

Football - Former United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has questioned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future as Manchester United manager calling for the "baton to be handed over". Solskjaer is under intense pressure following Saturday's home defeat by Manchester City and the 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool last month. Speaking on his Youtube show, Ferdinand said it might be time for the Norwegian to leave the Old Trafford club, adding he "would leave with his head held high".

Rugby Union - England prop Joe Marler will miss Saturday's Test against Australia in the Autumn Nations Series at Twickenham after testing positive for Covid-19. The 32-year-old Harlequins forward will now isolate for 10 days in line with government regulations. All other players and staff are waiting for PCR test results after additional lateral flow tests came back negative.

Tennis - US Open champion Emma Raducanu's breakthrough season has ended with defeat in her opening match at the Upper Austria Ladies event in Linz.

Weather

Unsettled with gusty winds and showers. Highs of 19 degrees in Nice, Vence, Cannes and Antibes. 18 degrees in Saint Tropez with strong winds and rain. This evening going down to 15 degrees.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday unsettled with showers and highs of 18-20 degrees.

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