French and Riviera News Wednesday 12th April 2023

News

Strike action - A 12th day of mobilisation against the pension reform is planned for tomorrow Thursday April 13th, with the SNCF announcing a “partly disrupted” service. Three out of five TER trains will run on a national average, as well as four out of five TGV, Inoui and Ouigo. Passengers traveling on Eurostar will experience a "near-normal" service and concerning flights 20% will be cancelled at Nantes, Bordeaux and Toulouse airport.

Marseille - The deputy mayor of Marseille has said that in total 302 people have been evacuated with 89 of them being temporarily relocated following the collapse of the four-storey building in the city however, it is impossible to know when they will be able to return to their homes. Four people who died in the incident have been identified. They are a husband and wife, both aged 74, and two women aged 65 and 88. Investigators are still trying to identify two other people whose bodies were recovered from the collapsed building. A search is continuing for two other people who are believed to have lost their lives. The prosecutor said at a press conference on Tuesday that the main theory being considered at the moment is that the collapse was caused by a gas explosion.

Income tax declarations - Tomorrow Thursday April 13th marks the beginning of the campaign by the French government for income tax declarations which must be returned by May 25th, June 1st or June 8th depending on where you live in France. Every year, the Directorate General of Public Finance (DGFip) uploads a "practical brochure" online detailing the main new features for completing your tax return. This year, the income tax scale has been increased by 5.4% to take into account inflation. Allowing many taxpayers to pay less tax, even if they have benefited from a salary increase. The government has also decided to increase the mileage allowance scale by 5.4%. A tax measure which concerns two million households who use their vehicle to go to work. Tips paid in 2022 and 2023 will be exempt from income tax and social security contributions. The limit for tax-exempt overtime hours is raised from 5,000 to 7,500 euros for hours worked in 2022. There is an increase in the tax credit for the employment of an employee at home such as childcare. Finally, all property owners have until June 30th, to declare the occupation of their accommodation from the "Manage my real estate" space on the impots.gouv.fr website. This obligation will make it possible to know which owners are still liable for housing tax.

Mayor of Nice is not in favour of welcoming Swiss football fans - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, has announced that he does not want Swiss supporters in Nice for the quarter-final second leg of the Europa League. In a press release Estrosi expressed “his concern” in welcoming Swiss supporters “who he claims are considered to generate high risks”. The first leg of the quarter-final of the Europa League is tomorrow in Basel with the return match scheduled for April 20th at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.

Busy on the roads this weekend - For the second weekend of the spring holidays, motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes says it expects particularly heavy traffic in the south-east of France, in the Rhône valley and around the Mediterranean. In the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, traffic will be very busy this Friday, especially at the approach to major cities such as Nice, Toulon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille on the A8, A50, A52 and A57, in both directions, from mid-afternoon until early evening. Saturday as well as late afternoon on Sunday will also be marked by heavy traffic around major cities.

Princess Grace Hospital - The Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco is launching an online services portal, accessible via the website www.chpg.mc. The portal makes it possible to make and manage medical appointments, prepare for pre-admission, access medical documents and pay bills. The patient will also be able to prepare for a visit by sending medical questionnaires. From now on, any patient coming to the hospital will receive an email allowing them to activate their space.

Worldwide plastic pollution - According to researchers from the Economic, Social and Environmental Council there is “nowhere on the planet which escapes plastic pollution”. The report published on Tuesday comes ahead of the next round of negotiations involving 175 States at the UN level. The council is campaigning for the creation of an international treaty to stop worldwide plastic pollution. Plastic which appeared in the 19th century and was produced on a large scale after the Second World War has quickly conquered the whole planet, even the most remote places and is now found everywhere in the soil, water, air and even in our bodies. In less than a hundred years plastic has become the third most manufactured material in the world after cement and steel and its production is expected to double by 2050, with experts warning of a “ticking, time bomb”.

Business

A survey of recruiters in the UK has suggested that the overall supply of candidates for jobs has increased for the first time in more than two years. While the rise in the availability of workers in March was "modest", it marks the first such upturn in the UK since February 2021. The rise suggests that the tide could slowly be beginning to turn on labour market tightness in the British economy which has prompted widespread concern in recent years.

Meanwhile, The UK is expected to be one of the worst performing major economies in the world this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The Organization said that the UK economy's performance in 2023 will be the worst of the G20 group, which includes Russia. It predicts that the UK economy will shrink by 0.3% this year and then grow by 1% next year.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will report to prison at the end of the month after losing a bid to remain free while she appeals against her convictions. Holmes was sentenced to over 11 years in prison for defrauding investors in her blood testing start-up. A federal judge on Monday said Holmes failed to prove her appeals process would lead to a reversal of her case. She is scheduled to go to prison on 27 April.

And - Tupperware, the US maker of food storage containers, has warned that there is "substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern". The business, which was founded by Earl Tupper in 1946, became well-known in the 1950s and 1960s. In more recent times, the company has been attempting to reposition itself to a younger generation.

Rolex Monte-Carlo Tennis Masters

World number one Novak Djokovic beat qualifier Ivan Gakhov in his first match in more than a month to reach the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters. Djokovic beat the Russian 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Djokovic, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, will face either qualifier Luca Nardi or 16th seed Lorenzo Musetti, both of Italy, in the last 16 on the Monaco clay.

Alexander Zverev is through to the next round of the Monte Carlo Masters after defeating Alexander Bublik. The final score was 3-6  6-2  6-4.

Grigor Dimitrov defeated Ben Shelton from the United States 6-1  3-6  6-3 and Andrey Rublev beat Spanish player Jaume Munar 4-6  6-2  6-2. However, British interest in Monte Carlo ended as both Dan Evans and Jack Draper were knocked out.

Sport

Football - Manchester City took a giant stride towards the Champions League semi-finals with an outstanding performance to overpower Bayern Munich beating them 3-0 last night.

Cricket - Ben Stokes says England will not alter their attacking approach when they take on Australia in the Ashes this summer. England have won 10 out of 12 Test matches under captain Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, playing a bold and fearless brand of cricket. That approach includes trying to force a result even if it risks defeat - something that will continue against Australia. Stokes said, "I am not going to change anything just because it's the Ashes”.

Weather

Cloudy with some sunny spells. Highs of 17 degrees in Monaco, Nice Saint-Raphael and Saint-Tropez. Moderate winds. This evening going down to 11 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday – Strong winds are forecast for Saint-Tropez and the Var, with rain forecast for Friday in Toulon and highs of 16 degrees.  

Sunrise       06.53am

Sunset        08.09pm

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