French and Riviera News Wednesday 11th January 2023


Calls for protests following radical overhaul of France’s pension system - There have been calls for protests following the French Prime Minister’s announcement of the radical overhaul of France’s pension payments which aims at raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030. Leading trades unions - the CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, Unsa, FSU and Solidaires - responded to Elisabeth Borne's proposals with a call for a day of strikes and demonstrations on 19 January.

Borne said the minimum retirement age to be entitled to a full pension will be gradually increased by three months every year, starting this year. People will need to have worked for at least 43 years to get a full pension, starting from 2027. She added that those who started working before the age of 20 will be able to get early retirement. Specific categories of workers such as police officers and firefighters will also be able to retire earlier. Under the current system, all French workers receive a state pension. The government argues that on average French people are living longer than before and therefore need to work longer to make the pension system financially sustainable.  French MPs will debate the details of the measures in the National Assembly next month.

Survey - A recent Elabe survey for BFMTV has shown that 46% of those questioned say they are ready "to mobilize" against the government's plan "in the coming weeks." According to the poll carried out after the announcement of the government project by Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday, 60% of French people say they "support" or feel "sympathy" with regard to the mobilization against the pension reform. The French believe by a large majority (68%) that "the government has not listened and has remained on its positions without making any significant compromises" with trade unions and political organisations.

Bill for the acceleration of renewable energies – Meanwhile, the National Assembly on Tuesday adopted a bill for the acceleration of renewable energies. The bill aims to reduce installation times and catch up with France's significant delay in terms of renewable energies: 19.3% of gross final energy consumption, well below its European neighbours.

End of strike action from laboratories - Private medical laboratories and France’s Union of Health Insurance Funds have signed an agreement on Tuesday ending a three-month dispute marked by several strike movements. A press release announced the signature of amendment 11 to the national convention. The agreement will see the implementation of financial measures provided for by the social security financing law for 2023 namely 250 million euros in savings.


Man stabbed to death in Marseille city centre - A 53-year-old man has been found stabbed to death in the city centre of Marseille. The victim was found by his wife in a pool of blood on Rue Jean Galland in the Panier district, in the 2nd arrondissement on Tuesday evening. His attacker who is in a critical condition in hospital reportedly fled the scene and slit his own throat as police tried to arrest him. According to the police "the incident took place at the victim's home”. For the moment, the link between the victim and his attacker is not known nor is the reason for the attack.

Stabbing in Nice - Meanwhile it was in Nice on Tuesday that a man in his forties was taken to hospital in a critical condition after being stabbed in the north of the city. The victim was found in the car park of the line 2 tramway Boulevard Henri-Sappia shortly after 6.30pm on Tuesday evening. An investigation is underway.

Reinforcement sent to Var region - France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has sent a unit of mobile officers as a reinforcement to the Var region.  About 70 police officers from the Republican Security Company (CRS) have arrived in the department to support local actions in the fight against crime.

Road accident - A motorcyclist has been seriously injured in an accident on the dual carriageway in Nice on Tuesday evening. The accident involving a car and a motorcycle saw traffic come to a standstill eastbound between 8 and 9pm. The 39-year-old victim was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Police have opened an investigation into the cause of the collision.

Driver involved in fatal accident in Monaco placed in pre-trial detention - Following the fatal accident on Saturday evening at the exit of the IM2S tunnel on the Boulevard du Larvotto in Monaco, the driver of the SUV-type Mercedes has been placed in pre-trial detention. On Tuesday the public prosecutor's office of Monaco said that the driver, who hit the 54-year-old married father of two and valet porter at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel who was driving a two-wheeler at the time