French and Riviera News Wednesday 1st March 2023

News

Plan for farmers in France - French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has unveiled a plan to farmers in France which would develop alternatives to the most widely used pesticides. The plan is aimed at coordinating French measures with those of the EU in an effort to offer farmers more visibility over the products they will be able to use in their fields. During a visit to "France's biggest farm", the Paris International Agriculture Fair Borne told farmers the government would seek to "identify new uses, new tools and new products to better protect crops, while preserving our biodiversity”.

Nuclear Energy - Eleven European Union nations including France have agreed to "strengthen cooperation" on nuclear energy, which they said would help Europe move away from carbon-emitting fossil fuels. But the issue has divided Europe and several EU states are fiercely opposed, with Germany and Spain leading the criticism. Paris believes nuclear power can help the country and Europe achieve its climate objectives, especially to produce "green" hydrogen for transport and industry. France recommends long-term energy contracts at guaranteed prices that would benefit nuclear production but Germany is against such a move.

Limiting of building permits - It has been reported that mayors in the Var, particularly, in the Pays de Fayence wish to limit building permits due to the drought situation. However, the announcement made on Monday has caused quite a stir amongst the real estate industry, building companies and for tourism in the region. For more than a year, the Pays de Fayence has been struggling with the scarcity of water resources. The nine villages in the north-east of the Var went through particularly severe restrictions (2 months) in 2022. A shortage that the current drought is likely to amplify. In thirty years, the Pays de Fayence has seen its population double and the whole sector is in high demand. Mayors were meeting on Tuesday evening to vote on a decision.

Zavatta circus - The Zavatta circus in Nice has been ordered to leave the town following legal action from the town council. The town hall had offered the circus land close to the M.I.N, on the condition that there were no animals. This, for the circus, was considered not “profitable” and since the town council has taken legal action to obtain the expulsion of the circus as well as financial compensation. A decision is expected to be announced within 48 hours.

2022 record year for tourism in France - A record 58 billion euros has been generated by tourism in France in 2022. This is mainly due to the return of European and American customers. France made 57.9 billion euros in 2022 thanks to international tourism, but this is still lower than that of its rival Spain. According to figures published on Monday by the agency Atout France, responsible for the promotion of French tourism abroad at the end of December 2022, receipts from international tourism in France were up by 1.2 billion euros compared to their level of 2019. The flow of travellers from Asia, in particular from China or Japan, still remains very weak. Among the foreign customers who spent the most in France in 2022 are nationals of three border countries: Belgium with 7.3 billion euros, Germany with 6.5 billion and the United Kingdom with 6.2 billion. . The United States ranks fifth with $5.6 billion in cumulative spending in 2022.

Cannes Film Festival - Organisers of the Cannes Film Festival have announced that Swedish director Ruben Östlund will be the president of the jury for this year’s 76th edition. Östlund is one of eight filmmakers in the world who have won two Palmes d'Or and he succeeds Vincent Lindon for this year’s festival which takes place from May 16th to 27th. In a statement the filmmaker said "I am happy, proud and humbled to be entrusted with the honour of presiding over the Cannes Film Festival jury this year”.

Business

China has accused the US of overreacting after federal employees were ordered to remove the video app TikTok from government-issued phones. The White House on Monday gave government agencies 30 days to ensure that employees did not have the Chinese-owned app on federal devices. The order follows similar moves by the EU and Canada in recent weeks. A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry accused the US of abusing state power to suppress foreign firms.

Tesla is planning to build a new factory in Mexico. The company is expected to share more in a presentation to investors today Wednesday March 1st.  Mexico had previously raised concerns about how water demands from the factory might affect the region. Mexico is trying to position itself as a winner as tensions between the US and China disrupt traditional supply chains.

And- According to findings in a new report that beer and wine sales have hit a historic low in Canada. From 2021-22, the volume of beer sold per person in Canada slumped drastically. The volume in wine sales slid by its largest margin since 1949. Stricter drinking guidelines and a new alcohol tax on the horizon send signals that further change is brewing. The report, released by Statistics Canada, found that sales of alcohol slid for first time in a decade, by 1.2%. Wine sales decreased by 4%, the largest decrease ever recorded by Statistics Canada.

Sport

Football –Blackburn Rovers have caused an FA Cup fifth round upset by stunning Premier League Leicester City beating them 2-1 last night.  Rovers, fourth in the table and aiming for a return to the topflight where they have not played for more than a decade, were more than a match for 2021 cup winners Leicester. Their dynamic display has given them a place in the last eight for the first time in eight years.

In the Premier League this evening Arsenal play Everton kick off is at 8.45pm French time and Liverpool are at home to Wolverhampton kick off is at 9pm French time.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami because of injury.

Rugby – England’s head coach has said that fly-half Marcus Smith will "benefit from game time" after being released to play for Harlequins this weekend. The 24-year-old has been left out of England's training squad for their next Six Nations match against France at Twickenham, with George Ford returning. Ford could be in line to make his first England appearance since March 2022.

Formula One - UK MPs have urged Formula 1 to set up an independent inquiry into the links between grands prix and human rights violations. The move comes before the first race of the 2023 season in Bahrain on Sunday.

Weather

Cloudy with light rain forecast and a moderate breeze. Highs of 14 degrees in Cannes, Nice, Antibes and Monaco. 12 degrees in Toulon and Saint-Tropez and sunny with highs of 10 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 8 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday fine with light winds and highs of 14-15 degrees.

Sunrise 07.07am

Sunset  06.18pm

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