French and Riviera News Wednesday 26th October 2022


Investigation into the handling of the covid epidemic - As part of an ongoing investigation into the former French health minister Angès Buzyn and her handling of the covid epidemic, the ex-Minister has confirmed that she "warned” French President Emmanuel Macron and at the time French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in January 2020, but “nobody cared and she was not being heard” adding that she "didn't manage to have an appointment" with the President of the Republic, until a telephone interview on February 8th”.

French President to visit Toulon - Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to visit Toulon on November 9th. The head of state is due to visit the harbour and give an important speech to the armed forces.

Low emission zones in Nice and Toulon - Several announcements have been made concerning low emission zones in Nice and Toulon. Otherwise known as ZFE’s, the first ministerial committee for monitoring low-emission zones was held on Tuesday. In Nice and Toulon, certain vehicles will be affected by the low emission zone from January 1st, 2023. Low emission zones already concern 11 French cities. The objective of ZFEs is to gradually ban the most polluting vehicles. Cameras will be used to control and identify vehicles using their number plates. The French government is offering an aid to the most modest households in France to be able to go green as well as a zero-interest loan and from 2024 being able to lease an electric car for 100 euros a month. In more detail from January 1st, next year, Crit'Air 5 vehicles, diesel vehicles manufactured before 2001, will be concerned. On January 1st, 2024, it will be Crit'Air 4, diesel’s manufactured before 2006, then the Crit'Air 3 (diesel vehicles before 2011 and petrol vehicles before 2006) on January 1st, 2025.

Blood donations - You have until this Friday October 28th to donate blood. The French blood establishment has once again along with OGC Nice launched this year’s four-day collection on Place Masséna in Nice. 600 donors are expected, to donate all you must do is simply register in advance on the EFS website to make an appointment. The collection point is open from 1pm to 6.30pm until Friday.

Heating of terraces this winter - President of the UMIH in Cannes has expressed his concern and that of other restaurant owners who are unable to heat their terraces this winter. Alain Lahouti has asked for “dialogue” and a “compromise to be met” with the town hall, insisting that restaurant owners in Cannes, as in Nice must be able to use their terraces this winter.

Ice hockey match interrupted due to fog - An ice hockey match had to be interrupted on Tuesday evening after fog invaded the Jean-Bouin ice rink. The match between Nice and Mulhouse was stopped after five minutes due to a condensation problem in the Jean-Bouin ice rink. A local official explained that despite attempts to avoid the incident the “humidity outside was the cause” adding that “it was just too hot”. The match should be postponed to a later date.

Work on cycling path between Fort Carré and Villeneuve Loubet - Work is being carried out to improve the cycling path located on the coast road between the Fort Carré and Villeneuve-Loubet. The path, which was originally an experiment in 2020 in the midst of the covid pandemic, has since been firmly validated by elected local officials and users.

Menton Fantasy Film Festival - The 6th edition of the Menton “Fantasy Film Festival” is back in force from tomorrow Thursday 27th October. 21 films will be in the running this year, including two feature films and a series. Four days of screenings, productions from all walks of life to discover, and special encounters with industry professionals the event returns to the Palais de l'Europe until October 30th. Tickets can be purchased directly from the Menton tourist office. Last year, the event attracted around 1,600 visitors.

First ceramic creation from Picasso on display – Now is your chance to discover the first ceramic creations from Picasso, as sixteen pieces made between 1947 and 1971 have gone on display at the Magnelli Museum in Vallauris. The museum is open to the public from September to June from 10am to 12.15 and from 2pm to 5pm. Entrance is 6 euros. Free for under 18s as well as on the first Sunday of every month.

Mild temperatures – Finally, Météo-France has forecast another run of mild temperatures for today, Thursday and Friday, with maximum temperatures of 20 to 25°C north of the Loire and 23 to 29°C in general further south. Maximum temperatures of 22°C in Lille, 24°C in Paris, 31°C in Mont-de-Marsan and 27°C in Marseille are expected on Thursday. Between October 15 and 24, France recorded a series of nine consecutive days with temperatures about 4°C higher than the average. According to Météo France this is a first for the month of October.


The World Bank has warned that it is too expensive for governments to help everyone with their soaring energy bills. The bank's president said Covid support schemes had not been targeted enough towards the most vulnerable and the debt will take decades to pay off. The International Monetary Fund expects global inflation to peak this year at 9.5% and says it will not begin to fall until 2024. It's causing many low-income countries to default on loan repayments and pushing vulnerable people into poverty.

The 'Business for Nature' coalition has called on heads of state to impose on large companies the obligation to assess their impact on biodiversity and their dependence on it by the end of the decade. Ahead of crucial United Nations talks to end climate change more than 300 companies demanded in an open letter to world leaders, that businesses should be forced to assess and publicize the impact of their activities on the environment. International negotiations on the protection of ecosystems are due to conclude in December in Canada, during COP15 Biodiversity. The international community must reach an agreement establishing a global framework by 2050, with a milestone in 2030. Almost none of the objectives set for 2020 have been achieved.

The Del Arte pizzeria brand is testing a subscription system in some of its restaurants in an attempt to build customer loyalty. Faced with the drop in customers due to teleworking, the catering industry is looking for new models. The concept: you pay 35 euros per month (30 euros the first month) and you can have lunch or dinner once a day in a restaurant of the group. Launched in October, the service is currently available in 13 of the group's 200 restaurants: Boulogne-Billancourt, Colmar, Lyon, Metz, Rennes and Toulouse. Upon signing up to the subscription customers agree to a minimum of 6 months. The subscription concerns only one person and gives access to only one dish from a selection of five pizzas and two pasta dishes to be eaten on site. Beverages are not included. In France, the British brand Prêt-à-Manger launched a few weeks ago the "Café Pret" subscription which gives access for 25 euros per month (12.50 euros the first) to five drinks a day.

While France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has expressed the wish to make France the European "hub" of cryptocurrencies, he will now have to deal with the arrival of the new pro-crypto British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Since Brexit, Paris and London have been in fierce competition to be the European capital of finance. The crypto ecosystem, more developed in the United States and London, is establishing a solid base in France with the rise of crypto-companies and growing interest from investors. The appointment of the new Prime Minister was well received by the UK crypto ecosystem as CryptoUK Lobby Director Ian Taylor told CoinDesk "it's a positive for crypto and the general economy”.  Minister of Finance under Boris Johnson, Sunak had declared in April that he wanted to make the United Kingdom the world "hub" for cryptocurrencies, announcing a whole series of measures. The first speech on the crypto ecosystem as Prime Minister will be followed closely by the British crypto ecosystem, but also by France.


Football - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits they have a "problem" with penalties as they sealed top spot in their Champions’ League group with a 0-0 draw at Borussia Dortmund last night.

Rugby Union - Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric will replace Dan Biggar as Wales captain for the autumn internationals. Biggar will miss the campaign with a knee injury, with head coach Wayne Pivac initially not naming a captain when announcing his squad. Pivac has decided on Tipuric as his skipper for the four-match series against New Zealand, Argentina, Georgia and Australia. Wales open the series against the All Blacks on Saturday, 5 November.

Tennis - Britain's Andy Murray battled back from a set down as he overcame qualifier Roman Safiullin in an entertaining opening round match at the Swiss Indoors in Basel. Murray closed out the match in style, winning five successive games as he overturned a 4-1 deficit to beat Russian Safiullin 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both recorded wins at the Vienna Open.


Highs of 23 degrees in Nice, Monaco, Menton and Antibes. Sunny i