French and Riviera News Wednesday 4th May 2022


Emmanuel Macron’s exchange with Vladimir Putin - During a telephone conversation on Tuesday lunchtime French President Emmanuel Macron called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to "allow the continuation of the evacuations of the Azovstal factory" in Mariupol. During the exchange of more than two hours, Macron again "expressed his deep concern about Mariupol and the situation in Donbass". The telephone discussion was the first between the two leaders since March 29th and came following a telephone conversation that the French head of state had on Saturday with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, who had deemed it useful for him to discuss with the Russian president. Emmanuel Macron also emphasised “his continued availability to work on the conditions of a negotiated solution to allow peace and full respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity in Ukraine", renewing "its demand for a ceasefire". Reporting on the interview, the Kremlin said Vladimir Putin had said that "the West could help stop these atrocities by exerting appropriate influence on the Kyiv authorities, as well as by stopping the supply of arms to the 'Ukraine". During his exchange with Mr. Zelensky on Saturday, Emmanuel Macron announced that France would "reinforce" the sending of military equipment to Ukraine as well as its humanitarian aid, which so far amounts to "more than 615 tons of equipment”.

Two more villas seized on the Côte d’Azur - Meanwhile two more villas have been seized on the Côte d'Azur. French authorities extended the list of Russian assetss frozen in France with an asset located in Saint-Tropez belonging to businessman Mikhail Fridman, whose fortune was estimated in 2019 at more than 14 billion euros.

Maritime prefect raises the alarm - The maritime prefect has raised the alarm over the increasing number of accidents at sea calling for “responsibility”. On Tuesday May 4th, the “2022 nautical leisure safety campaign” was launched from the regional operational centre for surveillance and rescue of the Mediterranean based in La Garde, to raise awareness of the dangers as the number of incidents which continues to increase. Authorities denounce that “too many people do not have basic reflexes”. Figures show that there was a 25% increase in the number of interventions between 2020 and 2021. The Var department is one of the regions the most affected, with more than half of the interventions in the Mediterranean (including Corsica). The overwhelming majority of incidents occur just 50 metres from a beach.

Fugitive arrested in Saint-Raphael - Fugitive Antonio Cuozzo Nasti has been arrested in Saint-Raphael in the Var. With close connections to the Italian Mafia Cuozzo Nasti had been on the run from authorities rebuilding his life in Saint-Raphael where he was employed in a well-known restaurant. The 56-year-old was arrested on Tuesday morning at his home in Saint-Raphaël under a European arrest warrant issued by Italian justice. The arrest, which went smoothly, was carried out by the Toulon judicial police service.

Sanofi admits failures with covid vaccine - The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has recognised a "failure" in the development of its vaccine against covid. The groups president admitted on Tuesday that the company had “failed” saying it was clearly behind competitors such as the American Pfizer. At present, Sanofi has managed to develop only one vaccine against the disease, and it is still under review in the United States and the European Union.

Covid contaminations continue to decline - Meanwhile the number of covid contaminations continues to decline in hospitals in France. Over the last seven days, the daily average of new contaminations stood at 48,907, down from the previous day (52,318) and down from seven days ago (85,588). This decline is part of a general downward trend since a peak reached in early April at around 140,000.

Emmanuel Macron investiture - Finally, Emmanuel Macron will be formally declared president of France for a second time on Saturday following his victory over Marine Le Pen in the second-round run-off on 24 April. His investiture will take place at the Elysée Palace. According to an Elysée spokesperson "it will be a sober ceremony in the respect of republican principles”.


Tesla boss Elon Musk has said that business and government users on Twitter may need to pay a "slight" fee to stay on the social media platform. The announcement comes after the board of Twitter agreed to a $44bn (£34.5bn) takeover offer from Mr Musk. However, Mr Musk said the site would always be free for "casual users". Musk is the world's richest person, with an estimated net wort