French and Riviera News Wednesday 12th June 2024

National News France

Republican party leader calls for alliance with the National Rally - The president of the Republican party Eric Ciotti has called for an alliance between his party's candidates and Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally in forthcoming parliamentary elections. Speaking to French media on Tuesday lunchtime Ciotti said "we say the same things so let's stop pretending that we are opposites”. Ciotti spoke to National Rally party leaders Le Pen and Jordan Bardella before announcing the move, which he said was aimed at ensuring the Republicans can secure enough seats to still form a parliamentary group.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for U.S. President Joe Biden has said that the US will work with the democratically elected leaders of France, no matter who they are following French President Emmanuel Macron call for the snap parliamentary elections for later this month.

Fire at the Palace of Versailles – A fire has broken out at the Palace of Versailles leading to the evacuation of visitors from one of France's busiest tourist sites on Tuesday. The blaze was brought under control and no damage to the collection was reported. The Palace, built in the 17th century for King Louis XIV, was the main royal residence until the French Revolution and the overthrow of the monarchy in 1789.

Local News

Forest fire – Locally, firefighters have been fighting a forest fire fanned by strong winds in Vidauban in the Var. The fire which broke out on Tuesday afternoon has already covered 600 hectares and several houses have had to be evacuated. Driven by a strong mistral at nearly 50 km/h, the blaze affected more than 200 hectares of forest in the Maures massif. As a precaution several inhabitants have been evacuated in nearby Plan-de-la Tour and La Garde-Freinet. Three Canadairs have been deployed in the area. Firefighters continued to battle the blaze on the ground through the night. Reports this morning claim that the fire is not yet under control with reinforcements on their way from the Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-Maritimes, Vaucluse and Marseille

Princess Charlene Foundation continues its dedication to raising awareness for water safety - Children from Calvi in Corsica have taken part in the fourth “Water Safety Days” organised by the Princess Charlene Foundation. Princess Charlene accompanied by her brother Gareth Wittstock, secretary general of the Foundation, went to Haute-Corse, Calvi, to organize the event in partnership with the local council. 83 children took part and were made aware of rescue, first aid and more generally water safety, as well as the preservation of the marine environment.

Françoise Hardy dies aged 80 - Legendary French singer Françoise Hardy has died aged 80 after a battle with cancer.  Her death was reported by her son, the fellow musician Thomas Dutronc, who wrote “Maman est partie,” (or in English, “mum is gone”) on Instagram alongside a baby photo of himself and Hardy. Hardy had lymphatic cancer since 2004 and had undergone years of radiotherapy and other treatments for the illness. In 2015, she was briefly placed in an induced coma after her condition worsened. In 2021, she had argued in favour of euthanasia, saying that France was “inhuman” for not allowing the procedure. Hardy was born in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, and raised in the city, mostly by her mother. Aged 16, she received her first guitar as a present and began writing her own songs, performing them live and auditioning for record labels. In 1961, she signed with Disques Vogue. Hardy became a key part of the yé-yé style that dominated mid-century French music.


Latest figures have shown that the Banque de France has maintained its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.8% this year, while slightly lowering its outlook for 2025 and 2026. The forecasts however do not take into account the new political context following the European elections. The central bank forecasts an increase in GDP of 1.2% next year and 1.6% in 2026, down slightly compared to its forecasts published in March, of 1.5% and 1.7% respectively. The revisions are due, partly, to the 20 billion euros in savings announced by the French government for this year.

Multi-billionaire Elon Musk has dropped a legal case against OpenAI and its boss Sam Altman. The case had accused them of abandoning the firm's founding mission of developing artificial intelligence (AI) for humanity's benefit. No reason was given by Musk about the withdrawal. The Tesla boss filed the lawsuit against OpenAI at the end of February this year, arguing the company he had helped found in 2015 had deviated from its goals to focus on making money.

According to an annual report published on Tuesday the number of controls carried out by the inland revenue in France has increased significantly in recent years. 10.6 billion euros has been collected by the General Directorate of Public Finances (DGFIP) after tax audits carried out last year. New resources have improved the efficiency of carrying out checks with more than half of tax audits in 2023 using artificial intelligence and 1,500 in additional staff to audit individuals with larger assets.


Football - England manager Gareth Southgate has said that the Euro 2024 which kicks off this Friday could be his "last chance" to win a trophy with England. Meanwhile Portugal comfortably beat the Republic of Ireland in their friendly on Tuesday evening ahead of the Euro 2024.

And - Erik Ten Hag will remain as manager of Manchester United following a post-season review by the club's board.

Cricket – Jos Buttler has insisted England should not be judged on ‘one-and-a-quarter games’ as they try to salvage their T20 World Cup campaign this week. Buttler warned his team not to fret about net run-rate, but to concentrate on victory.


Clear to start, clouding over by this afternoon. Strong winds in the Var. Highs of 23 in Nice and Monaco. Cannes sunny intervals highs of 25 degrees. Mougins highs of 22 degrees. This evening going down to 19 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday. Light rain is forecast for Nice and Monaco with highs of 20 degrees. Friday sunny with a moderate breeze. Highs of 23 degrees.

Sunrise 05.48

Sunset 09.12

Sea temperature

Antibes                20.1°

UV level 8

Weather elsewhere

London                    17° light cloud.

Paris                         18° light rain.

Belfast                    15° light cloud.

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