French and Riviera News Wednesday 1st September 2021


Firefighter killed in road collision - The Monegasque government has expressed its “great emotion and sadness” following a fatal road accident in which a firefighter from the Principality was killed. The 42-year-old was part of a group of four bikers and all four were firefighters from Monaco. The accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon on the RD 6202, in Puget-Théniers when a motorist collided with the group of bikers. The exact circumstances of the accident are still to be determined. On Tuesday night, a 22-year-old from the group was in a critical condition in hospital.

The accident led to traffic being cut in both directions and rail traffic was also interrupted. The president of the departmental council, Charles Ange Ginésy, reacted on Twitter saying his “thoughts were with the families and loved one’s victims. Courage to all our rescuers on site."

Macron in Marseille - French President Emmanuel Macron will today begin a two-and-a-half-day visit to France's second largest city, Marseille. Macron, accompanied by seven ministers, is to present an ambitious plan, with the release of significant funds for schools, transport and urban renewal.

This morning the head of state will meet with the mayor of the city Benoît Payan, before travelling to the northern districts of Marseille to meet local elected officials. Tomorrow Thursday 2nd September, Macron is due to attend the start of the school year at the Bouge school, in the 13th arrondissement, before having lunch with the president of the metropolis, Martine Vassal. The President of the Republic will present his plan "Marseille en grand" at 4.45pm from the Pharo palace.

Finally, the Presidents last day will be devoted to the environment, with a visit to the Calanques National Park and the inauguration of the World Nature Congress in the presence of Heads of State, NGOs and citizens of 160 countries.

WHO monitoring new covid variant - The World Health Organization has announced it’s monitoring a new variant of the coronavirus, called "Mu", which was identified for the first time in Colombia last January. The WHO says the variant has mutations that could indicate a risk of "immune escape", including being resistant to the vaccine and stresses that further studies are needed to better understand its characteristics.

The WHO has decided to name the variants following the letters of the Greek alphabet, in order to avoid any stigmatization of a particular country and to make it easier for the general public to pronounce the names. Currently, the WHO considers that four variants are of concern, including the Alpha variants, present in 193 countries, and Delta, present in 170 countries, while five other variants are to be monitored (including Mu).

Personal data made available to all - According to Mediapart, the names, dates of birth, phone numbers, social security numbers, email, as well as the results of covid tests of 700,000 people have been made accessible to all. The personal data became available following a flaw on Francetest which is a private company founded last January that specializes in the transfer of data from Covid tests carried out in pharmacies to the government’s official platform.

Largest importer of cannabis to France is to stand trial - After ten years on the run a drugs baron is to stand trial in Bordeaux today Wednesday 1st September. Arrested last March in Dubai, Moufide Bouchibi, alias "Mouf" is considered the largest importer of cannabis in France. Having slipped through the hands of investigators on two occasions he was finally arrested last March after 10 years on the run.

Mushroom season - French authorities have called for caution after three people have died from mushroom poisoning. Between July 1st and August 29th 330 cases of poisoning were recorded and three deaths. Due to this year’s weather conditions the mushroom season has arrived earlier than usual. Authorities call for vigilance when picking mushrooms, last year 1300 poisonings, including 29 serious and 5 deaths were recorded between July 1st and December 31st.


The S&P 500 rose by 2.9% in August its seventh straight month of gains while the Dow Jones and Nasdaq put on 1.2% and 4% respectively. The performance reflects the level of investor confidence in US equities derived from the Federal Reserve’s continued dovish tone towards tapering its massive stimulus programme. Investors are now considering where Wall Street will go in the closing months of the year and how soon the S&P will reach the 5,000 barrier. While a strong recovery in economic growth and