French and Riviera News Wednesday 19th June 2019


Unemployment reform in France - The French Prime minister Edouard Philippe has announced reforms to unemployment rights in France in a plan to save 3.4 billion euros. Presenting the reform on Tuesday Philippe announced that from the 1st November to be entitled to unemployment benefit jobseekers will have to work six months out of the last 24. Currently according to figures one in five unemployed received more in benefits than when they were working making it, for some, more profitable to remain unemployed. The reform also plans to give more rights to those who resign and dedicate their time to another professional project.

Housing tax – Meanwhile reforms announced by the French government have confirmed the end of the housing tax or “Tax d’habitation”. However, the wealthiest households will have to wait until 2023. According to figures published, by 2020 80% of French people or 17.6 million households will stop paying housing tax on their main residence and for those in the Alpes Maritimes region this represents 55.5% of households.

5G network - The arrival of the 5G network in the Principality has been announced . In April last year with the launch of the #ExtendedMonaco programme the government set the tone for Monaco’s ambition in the digital world and on Tuesday it was announced that the new network will be activated in July in the Principality. A technological breakthrough adopted at the same time by many European countries such as Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium and in 2020 France.

No Internet - Since Tuesday morning, the island of Porquerolles in the Var has had no Internet network. The problem is now affecting tourism with businesses unable to accept payments by credit cards and impossible to make reservations on websites. According Orange it’s work on the cable that supplies the islands of Porquerolles, Port-Cros and ile Levant which has cause the breakdown. Technicians are hoping to restore the network by later today.

Frenchman charged with fraud for proclaiming himself Prince of Seborga  - A Frenchman who three years ago proclaimed himself Prince of Seborga, a folklore principality near Ventimiglia has recently been charged with fraud. The Italian village of 300 inhabitants is perched above Bordighera and in 2016 Nicolas Mutte had self-styled himself as Prince of Seborga. He is now being charged by the court of Lisieux for fraud and production of counterfeit currency. The charges have not surprised the locals who reportedly referred to him as the "truffatore" adding he even "claimed to be the descendant of Napoleon!"


Driver arrested in hit and run - The driver who killed a 9 year old boy and seriously injured another 7 year old in Lorient has been arrested by police. The suspect was arrested at a hotel in the city on Tuesday after being on the run for nine days. He has been remanded in custody and faces up to ten years in prison. 

Abandoned Animals - France is the European leader for the number of abandoned animals. Ahead of the summer holidays when according to figures 60,000 animals are abandoned each year the “30 million friends Foundation” has warned that each year a total of 100,000 animals are abandoned in France, a record number in Europe. The Foundation has launched a campaign with a shocking video released on Tuesday which will be aired on French television and social networks across France.

Petition against this year’s French baccalaureate - A petition has been launched accusing this year’s French baccalaureate of being deemed “too difficult”. The students of S and ES were given a selection of poems on nature one of whose authors Andrée Chedid was unknown to many students. The poem caused a strong reaction on social media after the exam as many went into panic not knowing the author or indeed that most of all, she was a woman. The petition addressed to the Ministry of Education had collected nearly 12,800 signatures by Tuesday evening. So who was Chedid? Born in Cairo in 1920 her works questions human condition and what links the individual to the world. She lived in France from 1946 until her death in 2011 at the age of 90 she was also the  grandmother of the French rock star -M- for whom she contributed song lyrics including that of Bonoboo on the 1999 album Je dis aime and whose daughter was sitting the French exam on Tuesday.

Vaccine safety - Recent research has suggested that France is more sceptical about vaccine safety than any other nation. According to the survey a third of French people disagree that vaccines are safe. Experts on France’s anti-vaccine movement say that the scepticism over vaccinations reflects the public’s comparatively high distrust of politicians. The Wellcome study found France had among the highest levels of distrust of government.

500 Franc note sells at auction - A half-bill of a 500 franc note signed by French singer songwriter Serge Gainsbourg has been auctioned at Sotherby’s for 5,000 euros. While the singer had famously burnt a 500 franc note on live television in 1984 in protests against taxes, this note was one which Gainsbourg had torn in 1988 writing a dedication to his friend Brigitte while handing the other half to her partner joking, it was for him to get a new haircut. The identity of the buyer has not been disclosed.


The United States and China are to restart trade talks ahead of a meeting next week between Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping.

Financial markets took heart from the news as President Trump said on Tuesday that the two sides would being preparations for the meeting at the G20 Summit in Osaka.

The official Chinese news agency later confirmed that talks will go ahead following a telephone conversation between the two leaders.

Talks to reach a broad trade deal broke down last month after US officials accused China of backing away from previously agreed commitments.

Since then ,President Trump has threatened to slap more tariffs on Chinese products  in an escalation of the dispute that both sides seemingly want to avoid.


Canada has approved the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project in what could spell trouble for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The controversial decision is likely to pose a challenge for Mr Trudeau as he heads into an election season which is likely to focus on climate issues.

Last year ,the Prime Minister’s federal Liberals bought the pipeline for 4.5 billion Canadian dollars to help ensure the project’s survival.

Environmentalists and some First Nations leaders are fiercely opposed to the pipeline  and say that they won’t allow it to go ahead without a fight.

Mr Trudeau says that all revenues that the government earns from the project will fund the transition to “a green economy”.

The new project ,which will twin an existing 1,150 kilometre long Trans Mountain pipeline will carry crude from Edmonton in Alberta to Burnaby in British Columbia and increase oil tanker traffic on the Pacific coast from 5 to up to 34 tankers a month.


And-Boeing has received a boost for its grounded 737 Max jet after the owner of British Airways signed a letter of intent to buy 200 of the planes.

IAG Group says that it has “every confidence” that the Boeing planes would return to service in the coming months.

Boeing is currently trying to develop a software fix for the 737 Max following two deadly crashes.

The 737 Max remains a flagship product for Boeing and is still the fastest selling plane in the firm’s history.

The IAG letter of intent is being seen as a vote of confidence in Boeing’s ability to fix the problem.



There were two games in Group C on Tuesday with Brazil beating Italy 1-0 and Australia coming out 4-1 winners over Jamaica.

The results mean that Italy and Australia top the group and go through to the last 16 while Brazil also qualify for the knockout phase by merit of being one of the 4 best third placed sides.

There are two games in Group D today.

England will be looking to make the last 16 as Group winners with a 100 percent record when they play Japan at the Stade Allianz Riviera in Nice.

The other match is between Scotland and Argentina. Scotland are bottom of the group at the moment but could still make the last 16 if they win tonight and England beat Japan.

One of Scotland’s most famous sons,Sir Alex Ferguson has sent his best wishes to the team and has spoken to coach Shelley Kerr to offer his support.

Both games kick off at 9pm.


Football-The former Uefa President Michel Platini has been questioned by anti-corruption police in Paris over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Platini was head of European football’s governing body until being banned in 2015 for a breach of ethics.

He was released from custody shortly after midnight and his lawyer says that he denies any wrongdoing.

Qatar controversially beat bids from the USA ,Australia ,South Korea and Japan to win the bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Investigators are focusing on a lunch in 2010 shortly before the winning bid was announced which Mr Platini attended at the official residence of the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy.The Qatari Head of State was also a guest.


Cycling-The defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas will be fit for this year’s event despite crashing out of the Tour of Switzerland on Tuesday and being taken to hospital.

Thomas sustained abrasions to his shoulder and a cut above his right eye but his team described it as a “small setback”.

Team Ineos is already without 4 time Tour winner Chris Froome for this year’s event following his heavy crash last week which left him with multiple fractures and a broken hip.

Thomas is expected to spearhead the team’s challenge in this year’s race.

Cricket-England captain Eoin Morgan smashed a World Cup record 17 6’s on Tuesday as his side beat Afghanistan by 150 runs at Old Trafford.

Morgan made 148 in his side’s score of 397-6 in their 50 overs.

In reply ,Afghanistan were restricted to 247-8 from their 50 overs.

There’s one match today New Zealand play South Africa at Edgebaston.Play starts at 11.30 French time.


Tennis-Play at the Queen’s Club tournament in London was completely washed out by the weather on Tuesday.

The abandonment of play means that Andy Murray’s return in the men’s doubles couldn’t take place with the match rescheduled for tomorrow.


Racing-The 14—1 shot Lord Glitters won the Queen Anne Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot.

Beat the Bank was second with One Master in third place.

The feature race today is The Prince of Wales’s Stakes which is off at 4.40 this afternoon.Magical is the 13-8 favourite with Sea of Class at 9-4 and Crystal Ocean at 4-1.



Mainly fine with light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 25-31 degrees.

Overnight lows of 20 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies in coastal areas,possible showers inland.Highs of 24-30 degrees.


Is it you? The mystery UK winner of a £123 million EuroMillions jackpot has yet to come forward to claim their winnings. 

A single ticket won last Tuesday prize pot - the third biggest in the draw's history.  It is not yet known whether the winner is an individual or a syndicate. 

Camelot has urged players to "check, double check and triple check" their tickets. 

The winning numbers on that date were 25,27,39,42 and 46 with Lucky stars 11 and 12. 

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