French and Riviera News Wednesday 24th January 2024

News

Anger intensifies amongst French farmers  - The French government has promised to give answers to farmers this Friday January 26th, as protests intensify across France. Disruptions are expected on roads across the country today, as the movement spreads. A “go slow” operation and blockades on motorways are planned, with unions announcing that this afternoon they will block the A6 and the A7 motorways in both directions near Lyon. At this stage there are no plans for disruptions in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region, however the Vaucluse department will be affected on the A7 motorway from 7am with a convoy leaving Orange heading to Montélimar, in the Drôme.

Mother and daughter killed on the sidelines of protests - Meanwhile, it was on Tuesday that a 30-year-old mother and her 12-year-old daughter were killed while standing at a roadblock in southwestern France. The woman’s partner was seriously injured. The accident occurred at 5:45am when a vehicle traveling at high speed hit the roadblock which had been set up by the victim and her family, famers from nearby, as part of the demonstrations. Those in the vehicle were arrested and according to reports, the driver was unknown to police and alcohol and drug tests were negative. The investigation continues, but the first elements show that it was an accident, and that the family were not intentionally hit by the car.

Prefect holds press conference - In other news, locally the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes Hugues Moutouh has announced during a press conference on Tuesday, that 2024 would be a time for “accessibility and authority”. The prefect, who was appointed just four months ago, addressed major concerns for the year ahead and expressed his preoccupation with the current agricultural crisis. He also addressed the housing crisis in our region and immigration, pointing out that each week "500 foreigners in an irregular situation are stopped by police in the Alpes Maritimes and 10 to 13% are unaccompanied minors".

Police arrest armed man after he threatens employees at a supermarket in Nice - Police have arrested a man in Nice after he threatened supermarket employees. The incident occurred in a “Casino” supermarket on Boulevard Paul-Montel on Tuesday morning at around 10am. According to police the individual was drunk and was arrested and placed in police custody. The nature of the weapon has not been communicated. Anthony Borré, first deputy to the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, took to social media to “applaud the reaction of the national police expressing his support to the employees and residents present at the scene”.

Former midfielder and legend of AS Monaco dies - Former midfielder and a legend of AS Monaco Jean Petit has died at the age of 74. Although he was born in Toulouse, Petit played for AS Monaco spending his entire career in the Principality. As a player from 1969 and then as a manager and finally upon his retirement in the early 1980s, as a recruiter.

AS Monaco Rugby mourns sudden and sad death of Vincent Romulus – Meanwhile, the world of Monegasque rugby is mourning the death announced on Tuesday of the manager of the club Vincent Romulus. The sad and unexpected news was announced on the social networks of AS Monaco Rugby. Romulus helped to promote rugby in the Principality he “represented the very essence of rugby, a mentor, a benchmark and a father to all of us who knew how to transmit and share the values of rugby like no one else”. Former player, then manager, he fully took part in the blossoming of the princely club which was in the 4th series 15 years ago, and which today is playing its way up to Federal 1. Without forgetting his role as coach within the Monegasque Rugby Federation for the national 7s team from 2006 to 2016. Riviera Radio would like to send its deepest condolences to his wife and his children as well as the entire AS Monaco Rugby family.

Alcohol consumption in France - Finally, according to Public Health France, while alcohol consumption in France has shown a slight decline the number of women over 35 who indulge in binge drinking is on the rise. The trend for "binge drinking", more than six glasses of alcohol consumed on a single occasion remains stable in men but has increased amongst women over 35. Even if the French consume less alcohol than 30 years ago, France remains among the biggest consumers in Europe, according to Public Health France

The proportion of adults consuming alcohol every day has been divided by three in 30 years. It now only concerns 8% of French people but there are differences in consumption by sex, age and region. For example, there is a high consumption in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Brittany, and the Pays de la Loire.

France is in front of Spain, Germany, or the United Kingdom. A worrying situation because alcohol consumption is responsible for 41,000 deaths per year and also leads numerous health complications. About sixty diseases and 8% of all new cancer cases are linked to alcohol. In France, the latest figures show that around 4% of French people took up the dry January challenge to reduce their alcohol consumption and among them more than half have permanently reduced their consumption. ​

Business

Netflix’s move to offer a cheaper subscription with advertising along with the firm’s crackdown on password sharing appears to have paid off with sign-ups booming a the end of last year. Many of the platforms new members opted for the company's cheapest plan, undeterred by the prospect of seeing advertisements. The streaming giant added more than 13.1 million subscriptions in the last three months of 2023.

An investigation by France's data protection agency into Amazon warehouses following complaints by employees as well as media coverage of conditions has led to Amazon being fined 32 million euros in France for "excessive" surveillance of its workers, including measures the data watchdog found to be illegal. The CNIL said Amazon France Logistique, which manages warehouses, recorded data captured by workers' handheld scanners. It found Amazon tracked activity so precisely, it led to workers having to potentially justify each break. This, the CNIL said, was illegal while it also questioned why Amazon needed to keep workers' data for 31 days.

The Los Angeles Times has announced plans to lay off around 20% of its newsroom due to financial struggles. The newspaper made the announcement of Tuesday. The news marks the paper’s largest layoff in it 142-year history. Its owner said the layoffs were due to significant and unsustainable financial losses of $30m to $40m per year.

According to a recent survey to determine the most attractive city in France both for employees and for businesses Toulouse has topped the ranking. Job opportunities, ecological transition, climate risks, housing costs, high-speed rail, healthcare provision and taxation were all taken into consideration with the Pink city coming first. Hailed for its “economic vitality” and “quality of life” knocking Lyon off the top spot which came second for the first time, ahead of Lille.  

Sport

Football – Chelsea thrashed Middleborough last night in the EFL Cup semi-finals with a 6-1 win. This evening in the other semi-finals match Fulham are at home to Liverpool kick off is at 9pm French time.

Formula One – The Spanish Grand Prix is to move to Madrid. Madrid is set to replace Barcelona from 2026. The move comes as Formula One aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emission to net zero by 2030 with Madrid being one of the most accessible races. 90% of fans would be able to travel to the race via public transport.

Rugby Union - Ollie Lawrence looks set to miss England’s Six Nations opener in Italy along with Luke Cowan-Dickie. Both are out due to injury. England are to play Italy in Rome on February 3rd.

Boxing – Former world boxing champion Amir Khan has reportedly infuriated neighbours after unveiling a new luxury £11.5m wedding venue in Bolton, next to a car wash. The venue is complete with glass walls, a waterfall and palm trees. Many who live in the area are far from happy. Khan had been planning the venue since 2013, with the complex already taking bookings despite its surroundings appearing largely unfinished. 

Weather

Cloudy with sunny intervals, a gentle breeze in the Alpes Maritimes. Moderate to strong winds in the Var. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice, 13 degrees in Monaco and 17 degrees in Pugets Theniers. Saint-Tropez and Hyeres, highs of 15 degrees. This evening going down 7 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday remaining much the same. Fine with some cloud in places and highs of 14-15 degrees.

Sunrise 07.55am

Sunset. 05.29pm

 

 

 

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