French and Riviera News Wednesday 5th December 2018


Government calls for unity - The French government has announced several measures described as being in the interest of the “unity of the Nation” following recent protests from the “yellow vest” movement. The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Tuesday a six month suspension on the rise in fuel taxes, electricity and gas, plans to temporarily abandon an increase on the cost of an MOT and the introduction of a debate on taxes in order to give more transparency. Despite the new measures French President Emmanuel Macron was booed during a surprise visit to the Haute Loire and students continued to demonstrate across France resulting in several clashes with police between 500 and 600 gathered in Aix en Provence, in Nice traffic was disrupted as students protested on the Promenade des Anglais and in Cannes 300 students gathered in front of the City Hall.

In response to the announcement made by the Government many “Yellow Vest” protesters are not convinced saying that people want a cancellation and not a suspension of taxes adding it’s “too little, too late” with some accusing the President of adding to the tension rather than calming the situation. Speaking to French media one yellow vest said “when you see 70-year-olds who are ready to go to jail because they have nothing left to lose, it's unheard of”.

Road transport unions - Meanwhile road transport unions have called for indefinite strike action as of Sunday evening. In a statement released on Tuesday the CGT stipulated that it was not part of the “Yellow Vest” movement claiming the strike was being called in relation to the lack of purchasing power related to overtime hours.

Tribute to victims of the Rue d’Aubagne - Eight minutes silence is to be held at 9.05 this morning in the Rue d’Aubagne in Marseille, one month after the collapse of two buildings which caused the death of eight people. At the request of the town hall, all municipal officials will observe a minute of silence at 9:00 am and the flags of the town hall will be lowered to half-mast, in tribute to the eight victims.

Picasso - Mougins has beed granted the loan of 43 ceramics by Pablo Picasso. The announcement came following a city council meeting on Thursday. Officials welcome the decision adding that it was an “amazing opportunity to capitalize on the historical link between the master and Mougins”. On 8th April 1973, Picasso died at the age of 91, at Notre-Dame-de-Vie, his last residence in Mougins, where he also had his last studio. The world-renowned Spanish artist was very familiar with the perched village preferring the dazzling Mediterranean light to drab Paris streets.

Robot taxi - A prototype "robot taxi" without a driver will be circulating in Nice for the first time. The car has been developed by the company Akka and will be operating on the Quai des Etats-Unis from 2.30pm on Thursday. The experiment is part of a future project for a possible autonomous car-sharing service which that could be set up in Nice, in partnership with Vulog, a specialist in "shared mobility" based in Nice. Motorist are warned that from 6.30am to 8pm traffic will be diverted in the area and parking will be modified.

Charity auction - OGC Nice has announced that for the second consecutive year an exceptional auction will be taking place on December 11 at the Allianz Riviera to raise money for the Lenval children’s hospital in Nice. Up for auction are 20 exceptional wooden Christmas trees created by artists in Nice. The goal is to raise as much money as possible for the foundation, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year for medical research, the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment and the well-being of hospitalized children.


“The Idiot wall” - Described as a “bizarre case”. The trade union representing French judges is itself being judged for “causing public harm to a member of the National Assembly”. In a case which opened in the Paris courts on Tuesday morning. The facts go back to 2013 when it was discovered that the union headquarters had a noticeboard featuring photos of prominent public figures, each accompanied by an unflattering caption. It was commonly known as “the idiot wall”. Among those chosen for ridicule Eric Woerth who was a minister under François Fillon, and Christian Jacob, current parliamentary leader of the Republicans party. The defending judges say their office notice-board is a private matter and that the content cannot be considered public. The allegedly offending pictures and commentaries were purely personal, and in no way implied the support of the trade union as a body.

Dominique Strauss-Khan - French former economy minister and one-time director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has launched a new club devoted to political debate. The idea of the club is to suggest themes for the future, not to react to what’s happening on the streets right now. One hundred people took part in this week’s first monthly meeting of the DSK club.

Toy industry - According to the French Federation of Toy Industries, stores in France have experienced a 30% drop in sales as a result of the “Yellow Vest” protest. In November, sales fell and losses amounted to 80 million euros with many customers turning to the internet to shop on line figures published show that than a quarter of toy sales are now online.

Free - The telephone operator Free has launched a new high end box at 480 euros. The move comes as the company hopes to regain control of an ultra-competitive market after reporting a loss of tens of thousands of subscribers. The device has been designed by British designer Jasper Morisson. ,

Chanel – Meanwhile Chanel has become the first luxury fashion house in the world to stop using exotic animal skins, like snake, crocodile and lizard. The company's head of fashion, Bruno Pavlovksy, said it had become harder to source such pelts ethically. He also included fur in the list, of which Chanel uses little. Animal rights groups have hailed the decision.


China has expressed confidence that it can reach a trade deal with the United States despite warnings from President Trump  that he would introduce more tariffs if the two sides can’t resolve their differences.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry has said this morning that it would try to work quickly to implement specific issues that have already been agreed  and will “actively promote the work of negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and roadmap”.

It added that it was confident of implementation.

Market sentiment has quickly soured following an initial rally with investors pessimistic that the two sides can reach agreement on a host of issues within the 90 day negotiating period.

President Trump has hinted that the 90 day period could be extended but warned that tariffs would be back on the table if the talks failed to bear fruit.


Shares in the travel firm Thomas Cook have fallen by 60 percent over the past week  on concerns over its spiralling debt.

Last week,Thomas Cook issued its second profit warning in two months after saying that profits would be 30 million pounds less than expected.

The firm’s bonds have also fallen and the cost of insuring its debt reached a record high.

Thomas Cook has insisted that it is not in breach of its banking arrangements but its market value has fallen to 363 million pounds which puts it on course to be demoted from the FTSE 250 mid-cap share index.

The company has blamed the fall in profits on the prolonged UK summer heatwave  which led to a drop in bookings.


And-Takeda Pharmaceutical has cleared the way for a 46 billion pound takeover of the UK-listed drugmaker Shire in what would be Japan’s largest ever corporate acquisition.

The takeover would make Takeda one of the world’s top ten drugmakers but still needs approval from Shire shareholders.

The development is the latest in a long running battle for control of Shire which has seen the Japanese firm make multiple bids.

The proposal has now received majority support at an extraordinary shareholder meeting in Osaka this morning.

Takeda wants to buy Shire to strengthen its cancer,stomach and brain drug portfolios.



Football-Manchester City have gone 5 points clear at the top of the English Premier League following a 2-1 away win at Watford last night.

In the other results Bournemouth beat Huddersfield 2-1.West Ham were 3-1 winners over Cardiff and Brighton beat Crystal Palace 3-1.

There are 6 games tonight.Burnley host Liverpool.Everton play Newcastle.Fulham play Leicester.Wolves host Chelsea.Manchester United play Arsenal and Spurs play Southampton.

Motorsport-Fernando Alonso will use a Chevrolet engine next year as he bids to add the Indianapolis 500 to his Le Mans 24 hour and Monaco Grand Prix titles.

The Spaniard is aiming to become only the second driver in history after Graham Hill to win motorsport’s triple crown.

The engine switch was a formality as Honda,the only other engine manufacturer in Indycar had refused to supply Alonso.

He’ll use the engine that set pole last year and won the race in 2018.

Boxing-Deontay Wilder has said that he “can’t wait “ to face Tyson Fury again after their world heavyweight title fight in Los Angeles ended in a draw last weekend.

Wilder knocked Fury down twice in the fight but many thought that the British boxer had deserved to win on points.

Wilder claimed on Tuesday that he had been the more aggressive puncher and had deserved to win.He added  that he couldn’t wait for Wilder/Fury 2 so that the controversy could be settled.


Mainly fine with light variable winds.

Top temperature 17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with partially cloudy  skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly fine with highs of 15-16 degrees.


Study finds that marriage gets happier over time: Couples argue less and laugh more as the years go by.

Scientists have found that bickering decreases the longer a couple are married and is replaced by humor and understanding.

Rows that are typical of the early and middle years of a marriage, when children and finances cause a lot of strain, are only temporary, American psychologists concluded.

And as the husband and wife age, they crack jokes more and understand each other, ushering in a more forgiving time in their relationship.

The findings upend the stereotypical portrait of an older married couple as becoming set in their ways and arguing more with their partners.







Last local news

Evening Update Friday 14 May 2021

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that "many doses" of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in June and new vaccination centres will be opened... Evening Update Friday 14 May 2021 Read More


Lunchtime News Friday 14th May 2021

Ahead of Wednesday’s reopening of shops and terraces the incidence rate in the Alpes Maritimes continues to decline.... Lunchtime News Friday 14th May 2021 Read More


French and Riviera News Friday 14th May 2021

Public Health France has warned that while the number of covid intensive care patients continues to decline, hospital pressure remains high.... French and Riviera News Friday 14th May 2021 Read More


Evening Update Thursday 13 May 2021

Police are appealing for information about the man suspected of fatally shooting two people in the village of Plantiers in the Gard department on Tues... Evening Update Thursday 13 May 2021 Read More