French and Riviera News Wednesday 3rd May 2023


Drought situation is gaining ground in France - The drought situation is rapidly gaining ground in France with the announcement that from today Wednesday 3rd May, the prefecture of Puy-de-Dôme is to extended restriction measure to 31 towns, bringing the total number of municipalities concerned to 44 in the department. Among the towns is that of Volvic, where Danone exploits the famous mineral water. Following the announcement, the Danone group has agreed to reduce its monthly withdrawals authorized by the State by 5%. The restrictions are in place until June 30th and aim to act preventively to avoid the risk of a shortage in drinking water.

The Var placed on an enhanced drought alert - Meanwhile, 85 municipalities in the Var have been placed on an “enhanced drought alert” level, the last level before the maximum crisis stage. Rain at the weekend did not improve the water situation in the region which is experiencing a drought with an intensity three months ahead of 2022. From September last year to March of this year the average rainfall was 379mm far from the norm of 621mm.

Religious procession organised in Draguignan praying for rain - Faced with the current drought in our region a religious procession has been organized in Draguignan praying for rainfall. Father Dieudonné Massoma and the parish of Draguignan plans to call on the “ways of the lord for the sky, to show mercy and for rainfall”. The procession is planned for Sunday and has been inspired by a similar religious act, which was held in Perpignan on March 18th.

Sunshine across France today - Today Wednesday 3rd May, is set to be the sunniest day of the week across France with unstable and stormy weather forecast on Thursday. However, temperatures will remain above the seasonal norm. Temperatures are set to increase significantly with 22 to 25°C for the Paris and the Mediterranean région. Reaching 24 to 27°C in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and in the South-West.

Customs officers kills himself – In other news, a customs official Based in Toulon in the Var has killed himself at his workplace. The 26-year-old father of one was found with a gunshot to his head. He had been based in Toulon for just over a year. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause.

Women burnt by barbecue - Two women have been badly burnt while using a barbecue in Cannes. The incident occurred on Monday evening and is believed to be due to the mishandling of inflammable liquid. One if the victims was air lifted to the specialist burns unit in Toulon hospital in the Var.

Unions call for new day of industrial action - Unions have called for a new day of industrial action on Tuesday 6 June. The date is two days before the vote of deputies on a bill which aims to turn the retirement age back to 62 from the 64 mandated by recent legislation. The inter union group of the largest French unions says that it hasn't yet received an invitation to meet Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne despite her saying recently that she is intending to invite the unions for discussions. The inter-union met by video conference this morning and declared yesterday's day of mobilisation to be "successful and historic". Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that there had been 540 arrests across France during yesterday's demonstrations and 406 police officers and gendarmes had suffered injuries. Speaking in the National Assembly this afternoon Elisabeth Borne said that "a new level was crossed in violence" during the protests.

Motorist caught speeding on Promenade des Anglais – A motorist who was caught speeding at 114km/h on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice had tested positive for cannabis and alcohol. Police intervened at around 1:15am on Tuesday morning. The speed limit in the area is restricted to 50km an hour.

Rush hour traffic heavily disrupted - Meanwhile, Tuesday evening rush hour on the region’s roads was heavily disrupted in the east of Nice following a car catching fire on the Promenade and an accident on the Voie Mathis. Both incidents caused long delays and effected traffic on the A8 motorway.

Heavy traffic this weekend - Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes is forecasting particularly heavy traffic in the south-east of France, in the Rhône valley and around the Mediterranean for this coming weekend. Traffic peaks are expected throughout the weekend on the A7 motorway, particularly in the Valence sector. The Mediterranean rim and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, with the A8 and A9 motorways, will also experience heavy traffic, especially around or in the direction of large cities.

Scam warning - Authorities are warning of fraudulent SMS messages relating to Energy Vouchers. You're advised not to reply because you risk having your personal data stolen. E-mails should be reported to the Signal Spam service and SMS messages to 33700.

Construction of CHPG in Monaco is to exceed budget - It’s been reported that the construction of the new CHPG in Monaco is set to greatly exceed is budget to 1.5 billion euros. Started in 2015, the construction continues on the border of Monaco and Cap-d'Ail. The huge hospital project represents a colossal investment and back in 2011 the cost of the project was estimated at 550 million euros however in two decades, medicine has evolved, as have techniques and needs meaning projection in 2012 will have changed by its planned opening date in 2032.

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene to attend coronation - Finally, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene will be attending Saturday’s coronation in London and will be among members of reigning families from around the world. On Saturday, London will be the scene of the coronation ceremonies of King Charles III and his wife Camilla, who will officially become queen consort.


Shares in several regional banks in the US have dropped sharply, as investors fear the banking crisis that has gripped financial markets is not over. The falls come a day after the collapse of First Republic, which was seized by regulators and sold after worried customers withdrew more than $100bn. It was the second biggest bank failure in US history and the third since March.

Oil and gas giant BP has reported strong profits for the beginning of the year as energy prices remain high. Profits hit $5bn (£4bn) in the first three months of the year, although this was down from $6.2bn last year with oil prices having fallen from the peak seen after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Bumper profits from energy firms have led to calls for them to pay more tax with households facing high bills.

The US will not delay a deadline for airlines to refit planes with new sensors to address possible 5G interference, despite concerns the cut-off date could cause travel disruption. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Tuesday that airlines were told the 1 July deadline remained in place. Airlines have warned that they will not be able to meet the deadline and may be forced to ground some planes.

And - The owner of the dating apps Tinder and Hinge has announced it will stop operating in Russia, more than a year after the war in Ukraine broke out. Match Group said its brands were taking steps to "restrict access" to services and would withdraw from the Russian market completely by 30 June. The move comes after many global companies cut ties with Russia after the invasion in February 2022.


Football - Arsenal thoroughly deserved last night’s win in the Premier League as they beat  Chelsea 3-1. This evening Liverpool are at home to Fulham and Manchester City face West Ham.

In other football news, Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been suspended by Paris St-Germain for two weeks after travelling to Saudi Arabia without the club's permission this week.

And - Hollywood actors and co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have joined Wrexham's footballers on their open-top bus parade. Thousands of fans took to the streets to celebrate Wrexham winning the National League and promotion back to the English Football League. The supporters celebrated the club's return to the EFL after a 15-year absence.

Tennis - Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz cruised past Alexander Zverev to reach the Madrid Open quarter-finals but Daniil Medvedev fell to a shock defeat.

Rugby Union - Wales head coach Warren Gatland is hoping the troubled Six Nations campaign can be put to bed as attention turns towards the World Cup in France.

Snooker - World champion Luca Brecel says snooker in Europe is "going to explode" after becoming just the fourth non-British winner at the Crucible Theatre. Brecel was in tears after holding off a Mark Selby fightback to win 18-15 and hopes the result can herald a new era.



Sunshine with highs of 22 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Antibes. 23 degrees in Saint Tropez and Toulon. 24 degrees inland in Puget Theniers and Draguignan. This evening going down to 13 degrees along the coast and 9 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday, sunny with some cloudy patches and highs of 21 degrees.

Sunrise - 06.19am

Sunset  - 08.35pm

Sea temperature – 16 degrees.

UV level - 0


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