French and Riviera News Wednesday July 14th 2021

News

14th July 2016 - Ceremonies are taking place in Nice and other towns and cities across the country today to remember those who died in the 2016 terrorist atrocity on the Promenade des Anglais. On the 5th anniversary of the attack, the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi will lead the remembrance. 86 people died and more than 200 were injured when a radicalised truck driver ploughed his vehicle into a large crowd of people during the Bastille Day celebrations killing many instantly and leaving scores more with life changing injuries. Security ahead of tonight’s celebrations are tight in Nice and all over the country as authorities bid to prevent any attempt to stage a terrorist incident. President Macron will lead the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris which will be larger than last year with coronavirus restrictions eased.

Vaccine stampede - Vaccination centres all over France have seen long queues form following the announcement of tighter restrictions and mandatory jabs for health care workers. On Monday, President Macron said that health care workers would be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the 15th of September or lose their right to go to work or get paid. The use of the French government health pass is also to be extended on the 1st of August and will have to be shown before admittance to any establishment welcoming more than 50 people including bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and fitness centres.

10,000 people in Nice registered for vaccination soon after Mr Macron had finished speaking and there has been a 20 percent increase in demand in Antibes. The vaccination centre inside the Cap 3000 shopping centre in St Laurent du Var will be open today without an appointment necessary despite it being a bank holiday.

Health pass where? There appears to be some confusion amongst the public over the requirement to show the health pass before being allowed to enter establishments holding more than 50 people. The Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that a full list of where the health pass must be shown will be published in the coming days but there is some ambiguity at the moment. It appears that the pass will have to be presented before admittance to a large shopping centre but not necessarily to a supermarket. Hospitals and all medical establishments will be on the list as will most large commercial shops and public buildings. Children under the age of 12 will be exempt from the new regulations and the 12 to 17 year old age group will not be required to produce a health pass until the end of August.

Tunisia - The government has placed Tunisia on the red list for travel owing to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country. Only people who are fully vaccinated against the virus will be permitted to travel to Tunisia and only those with “essential reasons” to enter France from the country will be allowed in. Anyone arriving in France from Tunisia will be required to provide a negative PCR test of no more than 48 hours old and will have to isolate for 10 days.

Cannes 2021 - There are 3 movies in the Palme d’Or competition today as the 74th Cannes Film Festival reaches its climax this weekend. “Les Olympiades” or “Paris 13th District” by Jacques Audiard deals with the complex relationships between a group of young adults while “The Story of my Wife” from the Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi is based on the 1942 novel of the same name by Milan Furst. Lea Seydoux, Gils Naber and Louis Garrel star in the tale of an unhappy ship captain who suspects his wife of infidelity. The third competition film today is “Red Rocket” from Sean Baker, a comedy drama about a washed up adult film star who returns to his small hometown in Texas, even though nobody there really wants him back.

With the jury led by Spike Lee having now got plenty of celluloid under their belts, the critics are starting to speculate as to who might win the big award this year. Front runners include “The Worst Person in the World” from Norway’s Joaquim Trier, Catherine Corsini’s “The Divide” and “Lingui, the Sacred Bonds” by Chad’s Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. There are still two days of full competition after today before the jury makes up its mind and the closing ceremony on Saturday night.

Drowning - There have been 79 fatal drowning accidents around France in just one month. Figures for June show that 79 people lost their lives in water accidents and that there were a total of 314 incidents requiring medical intervention. The figures are a 58 percent increase on the last available statistics from June 2019 and 21 percent of the fatalities involved young children under 5. Most of the fatalities occurred in the sea followed by private swimming pools, rivers, streams and lakes. Authorities say that young children should never be left on their own in or around water and that the vast majority of fatal accidents were avoidable. 

Business

US consumer prices have posted their biggest gain in 13 years amid supply constraints and a continued rebound in travel related services as the economic recovery gathered momentum. The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.9 percent in June, its biggest increase since June 2008. Prices are rising across the economy with the CPI jumping to 5.4 percent in the 12 months up until the end of June. Economists had forecast a rise of 0.5 percent in June but most continue to agree with Fed chair Jerome Powell that the current bout of inflation is transitory and prices should settle down as the year ends. Markets fell on the news while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies and US treasuries fell back.

The Bank of England says that retail banks must play a key role in supporting firms and households as government coronavirus support is reduced. It it’s latest report on the health of the U.K. economy, the Bank said that while the economic outlook has improved, risks remain, especially from the spread of Covid. The report says that banks are emerging from the health crisis with resilience but that households and businesses will continue to need loan support. The Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report is published biannually to look at the financial system and assess risks to the economy. The report also says that Covid related debt levels of small businesses have soared by some 25 percent since the end of 2019 as firms have taken advantage of government emergency loans. Many companies especially in the hospitality sector are already behind on loan repayments or have formally defaulted.

The International Energy Agency IEA has said that rising oil prices could help speed up the switch to electric vehicles and thus help action on climate change. The IEA has warned that crude prices which have already climbed by two thirds this year to 77 dollars per barrel could climb even higher and lead to market volatility unless producers increase production. US drivers are already facing record high prices with the price of a gallon of fuel hitting 3 dollars 14 on Monday and analysts warning that the price could go as high as five dollars. The IEA has warned Opec and its allies that unless they make progress in production talks then the market will “tighten significantly “ as demand rebounds from last year’s COVID related slump.

Sport

Rugby Union - France have beaten Australia in Australia for the first time in 31 years. The France side, who are among the favourites for the 2023 World Cup beat the Wallabies 28-26 in Melbourne. The 3 Test series is tied at 1-1 with one to play.

The British and Irish Lions play South Africa A in Cape Town later today in what is being billed as “the 4th Test”.

Cricket - England have beaten Pakistan in the third one day international at Edgebaston to impose a 3-0 series whitewash. Pakistan batted first and made a competitive 331-9 from their 50 overs including a magnificent 158 from Babar. However, a James Vince century helped England to a 3 wicket victory as they made 332-7 from 48 overs to take the series 3-0

Cycling - Tadej Pogacar is moving closer to back to back victories in the Tour de France following stage 16 which was won by Patrick Konrad of Austria. Konrad attacked out of a breakaway on the col de Portet d’Aspet near the end of the 169 kilometer stage. Pogacar still leads Rigoberto Uran by 5 minutes 18 seconds heading into stage 17 today which is 178.4 kilometers between Muret and Saint Lary Soulan and features three big climbs in what is a tradition on Bastille Day.

Football - England may have to play some matches behind closed doors following the opening of disciplinary proceedings by Uefa. Europe’s governing body is investigating security breaches at Wembley Stadium during Sunday night’s Euro 2020 final. Fans fought with police and stewards as they attempted to break through security barriers to gain access to the stadium without tickets. England are already under investigation for fan booing  during national anthems, pitch invasions, lighting fireworks and throwing objects.

Golf - The scene is set for the Open Championship which starts at Royal St George’s in Kent tomorrow. US Open champion Jon Rahm says he won’t change his style heading into the 4th Major of the year. Rahm has revealed that he was born with a club foot and has limited ankle mobility in his right leg. The 26 year old Spaniard says that’s the reason for his distinctive short backswing and that he can’t deviate from the way he plays because of certain physical limitations.

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate to strong south westerly winds across the Var. Top temperatures 26-29 degrees. Overnight lows of 19-21 degrees with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday - Partially cloudy tomorrow, showers in the Alpes-Maritimes on Friday. Highs of 24-28 degrees.

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