French and Riviera News Wednesday 14th February 2024

National News France

France pays tribute to Robert Badinter - More than 2,000 members of the public have paid a written tribute to Robert Badinter, who abolished the death penalty in France and died last Friday at the age of 95. French President Emmanuel Macron will lead a national tribute organised today Wednesday 14th February, in the French capital. The collections of condolences open to the public saw tributees poor for the French lawyer, justice minister and writer who dedicated his life to abolishing the death penalty in France, against fierce opposition, in 1981. Although he had many other roles in a life devoted to justice, combating oppression and upholding the rule of law, Badinter, a socialist and humanist, will be remembered for his part in abolishing capital punishment, one of his first acts as French justice minister under the socialist president François Mitterrand, a post he held until 1986.

French government suspends electric car leasing scheme due to high demand - The French government has suspended an electric car leasing scheme after only six weeks following a surge in demand that more than doubled the number of vehicles required. The scheme, launched in December to help low-income households and cut carbon emissions, would be relaunched next year. Originally, 25,000 European-built electric cars were to be offered to lease from €100 (£85) a month, but this was doubled after massive demand. The government said it had received more than 90,000 applications by the end of January.

Booksellers on the banks of the river Seine will stay put - Second-hand booksellers on the banks of the river Seine in Paris will not be moved for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, after French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly, decided to abandon the planned move. Many book sellers had expressed their fear of survival due to weeks of inactivity imposed by the boxes being dismantled and moved in preparation for the Games.

Train strike to go ahead this weekend - Unions at the SNCF, France’s rail network, have announced strike action by controllers for this weekend which also marks the start of the school holidays for some regions of France. The unions predict that between 70 and 90% of controllers will be taking part in the industrial action which is set to affect a million travellers on TGV, Ouigo and Intercités services. The SNCF assures that it will do everything to maintain journeys to ski resorts and that children traveling alone will be a priority. But for Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of the SNCF, there is no question of giving in to the demands of the controllers. Passengers should be alerted by SMS concerning any changes to their train travel.

Local News 

Meanwhile, locally the Chemins de fer de Provence has announced that train traffic will be interrupted between Nice and Digne until Thursday evening following a landslide near the Tinée train station on Monday evening.

Sanctions for people caught fly-tipping - Authorities in Nice have announced tougher sanctions for people caught fly-tipping. Illegally dumped waste - from washing machines to old mattresses - is a growing problem in parts of the city centre. Inspectors are carrying out increased spot checks, opening up bin bags to try to identify people, and using CCTV footage. Last year, Nice issued more than 3,000 fines for fly-tipping. They can range from €135 to €1,500 for repeat offenders, including shops and restaurants.

New bus routes - Two new bus routes are being tested out in Monaco in the coming weeks. Line 6D will run from the Stade Louis II to Larvotto, via the seafront. And a new express line will connect the two furthest parts of the principality: Fontvieille and Saint-Roman, using the Dorsale tunnel to avoid traffic.

Cable car reopens - Toulon's popular cable car has reopened to the public after two months of major maintenance work. Half a million euros of repairs have been carried out - the biggest project of its kind since the cable car entered service in 1959. 15 tonnes of cable have been replaced and all of the cabins have been renovated. Last year, the Toulon cable car achieved record passenger numbers, with almost 100,000 people using the service to enjoy panoramic views from Mont Faron, 600 metres above sea level.

Valentine’s Day jackpot - Finally, if you’re familiar with the French proverb “heureux au jeu, malheureux en amour”, which is a cute way of saying that you only get so much luck and happiness in life, there is a Loto “Valentine’s Day jackpot” today Wednesday 14th February, with 10 million euros up for grabs from the Française des Jeux.

Business

Multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos has sold more of his shares in Amazon, bringing the total value of sales in recent days to more than $4bn (£3.2bn). Bezos founded the company in 1994 and is the firm's executive chair, he last sold Amazon shares in 2021. Earlier this month, the company said he was planning to sell 50 million shares over the next year, which are worth around $8.4bn at current prices.

The Body Shop's UK business has entered administration, potentially putting up to 2,000 jobs at risk. The retailer's shops will remain open as usual while efforts are made to try to save the UK firm. The Body Shop was started by the late Dame Anita Roddick in 1976 from a single shop in Brighton.

And – the prêt-à-porter brand Burton of London has been placed into compulsory liquidation on Tuesday by the Paris commercial court, leading to the possible closure of stores and redundancy of staff. According to French media, the French chain of stores, whose main shareholder is businessman Thierry Le Guénic, is in liquidation. The group employs 200 employees.

Sport

Football – A deal which will see British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe buy a 25% stake in Manchester United and which is worth about 1.3 billion dollars has been approved by the Premier League. The deal is however still subject to approval from the Football Association. Owners the Glazer family will retain a majority stake in the club.

Cricket - Captain Ben Stokes says his 100th cap is "just a number" as he prepares to become the 16th man to reach a century of Tests for England. Stokes, 32, will reach the milestone when he leads England in the third Test against India on Thursday.

Rugby Union - Scottish Rugby are calling on the sport's governing body to acknowledge that a game-defining mistake was made in the last seconds of Scotland's Six Nations game against France last weekend. Referee Nic Berry appeared to make a U-turn on their decision to award Scotland a match-winning try. The Scottish Rugby Union would like to know how that process played out and want World Rugby to state that an error was made.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze and highs of 15 degrees in Nice and Mougins, 14 degrees in Monaco, reaching 16 degrees in Cannes and Saint Raphael with light winds. This evening going down to 7 degrees along the coast.

The outlook for tomorrow, cloudy highs of 15 degrees. Friday and heading into the weekend, sunny intervals and highs of 16 degrees.

Sunrise                07.31

Sunset                           05.58

Sea Temperature         

Monaco               14.5 degrees

Toulon                  14.2 degrees

London                14 degrees with thick cloud.

Dublin                   14 degrees and light rain.

Rome                     18 degrees and sunny.

Last local news

Evening Update Friday Friday 12th of April 2024

Food safety inspectors plan to carry out 100,000 checks on French restaurant and bakeries this year, almost twice as many as last year, to coincide wi... Evening Update Friday Friday 12th of April 2024 Read More

12/04/2024

French and Riviera News Friday 12th April 2024

France's foreign minister has said that it is no longer in Paris's "interest" to talk to Russia after differing accounts emerged from a rare phone cal... French and Riviera News Friday 12th April 2024 Read More

12/04/2024

Evening Update Thursday 11th April 2024

40 people had to be evacuated from their homes in Beausoleil last night due to a gas leak as a result of building work. Although the leak was stopped ... Evening Update Thursday 11th April 2024 Read More

11/04/2024

Study reveals generosity of the French when it comes to tipping

A study has revealed the generosity of the French when it comes to leaving a tip at restaurants. Study reveals generosity of the French when it comes to tipping Read More

11/04/2024

Tax returns

The online tax return opens this Thursday April 11th. Some changes should be noted for 2024 when filing your declaration. For deadlines, you have un... Tax returns Read More

11/04/2024