French and Riviera News Wednesday 30th March 2022


Monegasque Red Cross raises 1.5 million euros for Ukraine – The Monegasque Red Cross has already raised 1.5 million euros in donations for Ukraine representing 40 euros per inhabitant. At the start of the conflict a month ago, the Monegasque Red Cross released an aid of 80,000 euros and launched an appeal for donations in the Principality.

Decathlon suspends activities in Russia - Meanwhile French sports retailer Decathlon is suspending its activities in Russia. In an e-mail to employees, the company said that supply chain disruption due to international sanctions meant it could no longer operate in the country.

Ukrainian refugees housed on board a Corsica Linea ferry – And the first Ukrainian refugees have been housed on board a Corsica Linea ferry which has been specially commissioned by the French government. Up to 1,600 refugees will reportedly be housed on the vessel on a temporary basis. The ship is docked in Marseille where it will remain for two months before resuming its journeys for the summer season. 

Cost of a baguette set to increase - France could see a rise in the price of a baguette. Due to the increase in production costs since the invasion of Ukraine the price of a baguette is expected to increase by a few centimes in the coming weeks. According to figures from INSEE in 2021 a classic baguette was sold for on average 90-euro cents.

Merger of the department and the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis - Elected officials in La Turbie have opposed the merger of the Department and the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis. During a vote on Tuesday officials voted against the merger, which had been suggested on March 17th by French President Emmanuel Macron, during the presentation of his programme ahead of the elections. Speaking to local media the mayor of La Turbie Jean-Jacques Raffaele said that “he did not want the history of our region to be questioned, due to a purely administrative approach”.

New rail route faces opposition – “Stop LGV Sud” a collective which is opposed to the new rail line Provence Côte d’Azur project has announced plans to consider an appeal before France’s Council of State. During a public meeting, the president of the collective reiterated his opposition to the entire project carried out by the SNCF and has called on elected officials in the region to get involved.

French President supports PACA region for the winter Olympics - French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his support for the PACA region's candidacy for future Winter Olympics. During the ceremony for the Beijing Olympics and Paralympic medalists on Tuesday, the French head of state gave his full support for the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region’s candidacy and the mayor of Nice for the 2034 Winter Olympics. According to the president of the region Renaud Muselier the Southern Alps had expressed interest in January in the organization of the Winter Olympics in 2034 or 2038.


Asian markets have joined the global rally this morning on hopes for a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine crisis while bonds are down again on concerns that aggressive hikes in US interest rates could damage the economy. On Tuesday, Ukraine proposed adopting a neutral status in a bid to move peace talks with Russia along although there are still reports of heavy fighting on the ground and there was scepticism about Russia’s pledge to scale back military operations around Kyiv. Nevertheless, away from the war, the mood is one of apprehension about what several rate hikes might do to the US economy as bond yields rose and ten year Treasuries dipped below two year rates. Rising US yields are also dragging Japanese government bonds in their wake putting pressure on the country’s ultra-loose monetary policy. On the currency markets, the euro has firmed on hopes of a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine while oil prices have remained firm owning to supply tightness.

The US Federal Reserve is walking a tightrope with it’s monetary policy as it grapples with the twin problems of inflation and a risk of the economy weakening. While data out on Tuesday showed that demand for workers is still strong and consumer confidence is still buoyant, signs of anxiety in the bond market are giving cause for concern with some analysts suggesting that a recession could be on the cards if the Fed acts too aggressively to curb inflation. The biggest risk, as highlighted in Tuesday’s action in the bond market is that the Fed has lost control of inflation and is forced to act more aggressively than expected thus killing off economic expansion. Some say that a recession is now inevitable as a result of the central bank waiting until this month to raise interest rates even as inflation was accelerating last year. Yield curve inve