French and Riviera News Wednesday 29th September 2021

News 

Man shot dead in Cavaillon - A young man has been shot dead in broad daylight in Cavaillon in the Vaucluse. The shooting occurred on Tuesday 28th September, in a district of the city known for its drug dealing. According to police, the perpetrators fled in a vehicle, which was later found burnt to the ground 10km from the scene of the crime on the route d’Avignon. 

Hunger strike by caregivers - A group of caregivers are continuing their hunger strike in front of the Nice University Hospital. The camp was set up on the 15th September which coincided with the deadline given to health workers, by the French government to “get vaccinated, or get fired”.

Anti-vax activist handed a suspended prison sentence - Meanwhile an anti-vax activist who rebelled against police during Saturday’s demonstrations as protestors targeted the home of the mayor of Nice Chirstian Estrosi has been handed a suspended prison sentence. The 40-year-old activist appeared in court on Tuesday and was sentenced to a 10-month suspended prison sentence.

Marseille suffers as bin men refuse to work - Residents in Marseille have expressed their exasperation faced with the continual accumulation of uncollected rubbish in the city, as bins overflow and litter covers the streets. Unions called for strike action last Thursday with certain areas affected only for a second union to join the strike action on Monday, leading to the entire city disappearing under rubbish. The reason for the strike is due to a government reform, which would see bin collectors from January, work a 35-hour week under the same pay conditions. 

College in Tourrette-Levens understaffed - The René Cassin college in Tourrette-Levens has come to a complete standstill. Tuesday September 28th saw students kept in the courtyard as the establishment failed to function due to understaffing, as supervisors used their right of withdrawal. Parents have denounced the situation saying that the “children are being held hostage”.

Rail link Toulouse to Paris - The last legal obstacle to the high-speed rail line project, aiming to link Toulouse and Paris via Bordeaux in just over 3 hours compared to currently around 4, has been lifted. On Monday the administrative court rejected a request to cancel the project from a group of opponents.

Riviera Palace to auction furniture as it closes its doors for good - Furniture from a mythical palace on the French Riviera is to be auctioned. The Hotel La Voile d´Or in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has closed its doors for good and while awaiting its complete reconstruction, the establishment is auctioning online on Saturday October 2nd at 9:30 am, all its furniture and supplies, more than 850 lots.

Marcel Ravin left humiliated after being refused entry to gala dinner - The first Caribbean chef to be awarded a Michelin star, Marcel Ravin has said he felt "humiliated” after being turned away from a gala dinner for France’s top chefs in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron. Ravin who runs the Blue Bay restaurant here in Monaco was refused entry despite having a personal invitation. Organisers of a gala dinner have since apologized. The event was part of an international congress of restaurateurs, whose food director, Luc Dubanchet, told French media that the incident was "an unfortunate error" and was not deliberate. As controversy over the incident grew, Ravin said there was still “a long way to go” for his children and countless other young black people who are constantly overlooked adding that he “hoped that our profession will come together and that no chef recognised by his peers will ever be left on the doorstep again”.

Presidential elections - As the Presidential elections in France draw closer a recent poll has put Macron in the lead with 23% of voting intentions, Le Pen retreats to 16%, and Zemmour catches up with Mélenchon at 13%.  Far behind Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen is followed by Xavier Bertrand, Eric Zemmour and Jean-Luc Mélenchon for a place in the second round. The Harris Interactive poll for Challenges, published on Tuesday, September 28, credits the far-right National Rally candidate with 16% of the voting intentions in the first round of the 2022 presidential election, compared to 24% a month earlier.  On the right, Xavier Bertrand is the candidate who would obtain the most votes (14%). On the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon would obtain 13% of the vote and the socialist and present mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo 7%. While voting intentions do not constitute a forecast of the outcome of the ballot giving only an indication of the balance of power and dynamics on the day of the survey. The survey concluded that in the second round, Emmanuel Macron would be re-elected with 54% of the vote.

Fishing licenses in British waters - Paris has denounced "a new refusal" from London on fishing licenses in British waters. Following the rejections France Minister of the Sea said that "French fishing should not be taken hostage by the British for political ends”. On Tuesday September 28th France publicly regretted London's announcement of the granting of 12 new licenses to French fishermen for access to British territorial waters. The figure is far from the claims of Paris, which required an additional 87.

Business

The flagship CAC 40 index fell by more than 2% on Tuesday, in the face of an onset of the energy crisis which is manifesting itself in China but also in the United Kingdom, threatening to penalize economic growth in developed markets this winter.

With new regulated tariffs, France’s energy price regulation commission estimates that the annual bill for a household consuming 14 MWh at 1,482 euros, including 340 euros in taxes. Regulated gas prices will experience their biggest increase on October 1 since the opening of the energy market to competition: + 12.56%. The new surge concerns a total of five million households.

The World nuclear industry status report (WNISR) has claimed that "For the first time, China generated more nuclear electricity than France and became the second largest nuclear producer in the world behind the United States”. While French nuclear production fell 12% in 2020, that of China grew by more than 4%. It has thus become the second largest producer in the world, behind the United States.

The Marseille City Council will vote on Friday an increase in the housing tax on second homes to promote rental. After Paris, Lyon or Bordeaux, the Marseille City Council will vote for an increase in the housing tax on second homes, in order to promote the return of rental properties, in a market marked by soaring prices. The increase in the housing tax on second homes will go "from 20% to 60%, the maximum rate authorized”.

The BPCE and Société Générale have found an original way to manage the occupation of workspaces in their premises gradually equipping its Ile-de-France premises with presence detectors placed under the workstations of employees. The equipment is already in the testing phase in some of the group's buildings. A first in France this type of device has existed for a few months on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup already putting it to use.

The goal is to facilitate the organization of the “flex office”, a system which does not assign a specific individual office to each employee. Thus, when an employee sits at a desk, the sensor detects his presence and the workstation is reported as busy for the day on a dedicated application. At no time is the employee's identity associated with a given workstation since the workstations are not assigned.

Amazon is launching Astro, its first household robot, powered by its Alexa smart home technology. The company said it can be remote-controlled when not at home, to check on pets, people, or home security. It can also patrol a home automatically and send owners a notification if it detects something unusual. Amazon said it was more than "Alexa with wheels" and had been programmed with a range of movements and expressions to give it personality.

Sport 

Football – In the Champions League, PSG have dominated Manchester City with a 2-0 win as Messi scored his first goal in his new colours on Tuesday night. A memorable night for PSG supporters in the clubs first major European meeting.

Cricket – The ECB chairman Ian Watmore has conceded that England's participation in the Ashes could remain in doubt until the plane carrying Joe Root’s side leaves for Brisbane on November 6. In his first public comments since the ECB angered Pakistan by pulling out of two Twenty20 matches scheduled to take place next month, Watmore offered an apology for last week's late withdrawal. He insisted England would commit to a full tour comprising three Tests and five one-day internationals next winter. 

Tennis - Britain's US Open champion Emma Raducanu has been given a wildcard into the Indian Wells main draw. It will be the 18-year-old's first tournament since her victory in New York earlier this month. Although she is now ranked 22 in the world, the entry list for Indian Wells was published during the US Open, when she was outside the top 100. The tournament, one of the biggest outside of the Grand Slams, takes place in California from 4-17 October. Raducanu has also entered tournaments in Russia and Romania in October.

London Marathon – As the London Marathon returns to its traditional course for the first time in more than two years race director Hugh Brasher said he expects the most memorable London Marathon ever. Only the elite races took place in 2020 because of Covid-19 restrictions, with amateurs last competing in April 2019. More than 40,000 will take to London's streets on Sunday, with a further 40,000 participating virtually.

Weather 

Clear skies highs of 25-28 degrees along the coast reaching 29 degrees in Saint Tropez and the Var with a gentle breeze. This evening going down to 16 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 13 degrees inland in the Var, with clear skies.

Outlook for Thursday and Friday - Remaining fine on Thursday highs of 26 degrees - cloud forecast for Friday morning and becoming increasingly cloudy throughout the day, highs of 24-25 degrees.

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