French and Riviera News.Wednesday July 24th 2019

Heatwave alert-The Alpes-Maritimes has been placed on an orange heatwave alert today with temperatures forecast to soar this afternoon.

The Alpes-Maritimes is the only department in the south east of the country to be placed on orange alert with the Var , Vaucluse and Bouches du Rhône remaining on yellow alert.

Thursday is still expected to be the hottest day of the week with Météo France forecasting that some areas could see temperatures in excess of those registered during the 2003 heatwave which resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 people.

In addition the prefect of the department is preparing to declare a drought alert over the coming days.Some restrictions on use of water may be introduced.

Both the Var and Alpes-Maritimes remain on air pollution alerts today with speed restrictions in force on the roads.


Contaminated products-The French consumer watchdog has issued a list of contaminated food products that have been sold at retail outlets over the past couple of weeks.

The list contains a sheep-milk cheese produced by GAEC Froidvaux Cournet which may be contaminated with salmonella and was sold at various outlets between the 20th of May and the 20th of July as well as a lot of marinaded anchovy filets produced by  Peche Ocean-Marque Repere  with a sell by date of the 8th of November this year  which may cause an allergic reaction owing to histamine content.

Several batches of packaged potatoes carrying the Parmentine label  contain illegal levels of pesticide and a range of coppa ham sandwiches sold at Intermarche supermarkets have been found to be contaminated with salmonella.

Anyone in possession of the contaminated products is advised not to open them and return them to the point of sale.


Yacht fire-Several beaches in the Var have been closed because of the risk of pollution after a 19 meter yacht caught fire off Les Issambres.

A team of firefighters , maritime Gendarmes and the Crossmed rescue service went to the aid of the two people on board the “Laska” which eventually sank in 80 meters of water.

Some fuel has leaked from the vessel and beaches have been closed as a precaution.

The cause of the fire is not yet clear.



Fire risks-6 forested areas of the Var remain on high alert for fire today as temperatures continue to climb.

Public access to the affected areas is restricted both on foot and in vehicles.

The areas most at risk include the Massif des Maures ,Sainte Baume and Centre-Var which are all on orange alert with the Esterel and Plateau de Canjuers both on yellow alert.

Lighting fires or smoking in the affected areas is strictly forbidden.


Meanwhile , a  team of firefighters aided by 2 Canadair water bombing planes has been tackling a blaze which broke out near Roquebrune sur Argens in the Var on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started in the Valdingarde area on the side of a hill and was reported to be spreading slowly.

Large parts of forested land in the south of France is on high alert for fires as temperatures continue to climb in the current heatwave.



Free Diver-A free diver has been rushed to hospital after being taken ill in waters off Nice.

The 45 year old man was returning to the surface from a depth of 78 meters when he became unwell at 20 meters down and blacked out.

A rescue team of 13 went to his aid and he was transferred to the Pasteur 2 Hospital in Nice. He had regained consciousness by the time he was pulled from the water.



Insurance-Drivers in the Marseilles region pay more for car insurance than in any other part of France.

A survey by a leading French insurance firm has found that drivers in the city pay on average 200 euros more per year than motorists  in the western city of Nantes and that Marseilles has topped the list for several years.

Reasons cited for the high costs of  car insurance include the number of accidents in the city as well as theft and damage to vehicles.


Beach controls-Local authorities are patrolling beaches along the coast to make sure that private establishments don’t infringe regulations.

French law states that operators of private beaches must leave a gap of between 3 and 5 meters from the waterline to the first row of sunbeds and that the layout of the premises must conform to strict limits.

The legislation has caused plenty of rows with arguments over where the actual lines of demarcation are. So far ,no fines have been issued but several establishments have been warned.


In National News.


Bojo ? Non merci-The French press has given a less than enthusiastic reaction to the appointment of Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson beat Jeremy Hunt to win the Conservative Party leadership contest on Tuesday and will enter 10 Downing Street this afternoon to succeed Theresa May.

Le Figaro newspaper described the new British leader as “a pure product of the British conservative aristocracy” adding that he appears to be “guided by opportunism” while France Inter radio said that he was “known for his blunders” and had always preferred to “sacrifice diplomacy for the sake of a good turn of phrase”.

Mr Johnson has ruffled French feathers several times in recent years.In 2017 he annoyed the country’s leadership by suggesting that France wanted to hand out “punishment beatings” following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union while earlier this year he was reported to have referred to the French as “turds” because of its stance on Brexit.

Boris Johnson’s grandmother was half-French.He speaks the language and once referred to London as the “fourth biggest French city in the world”.


Nuclear shutdown-The French nuclear power station operator EDF is shutting down 2 reactors because of the heatwave affecting the country.

One reactor at a power station in the Tarn and Garonne has already been shutdown and another at the Golfech plant is being progressively shut down today.

EDF says that it’s too dangerous to produce nuclear energy during the current heatwave because the temperature of the cooling water taken from the Rhone River  is too high.


Car trouble-Millions of vehicles will be on the roads from Friday on one of the busiest weekends for travel in the year.

The Mediterranean coast is expected to be particularly heavy with traffic heading in both directions and motorists advised not to make long trips between 2pm and 8pm.

Saturday looks equally busy with long journeys not advised between 6am and 5pm and although the situation should improve on Sunday ,long trips are still not advised between 10am and 7pm.



Climate activist-The young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has said that accusations made by right wing French MPs that she’s being manipulated by green business are “hilarious”.

Earlier this week ,several MPs from the far right National Rally party and the conservative Republicains objected to the 16 year old addressing politicians at the Palais Bourbon on Tuesday afternoon.

She said that she had yet to meet a climate change activist who was motivated by money and denied that she was being supported by any group in particular.

Greta Thunberg addressed a group of 150 French MPs on Tuesday where she spoke about the climate crisis being triggered by the release of unacceptable levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Some MPs boycotted the meeting and insist that she’s being funded and manipulated by big businesses which are using her name to raise tens of billions of euros.




US markets made solid gains on Tuesday following news that Washington and Beijing are to have face-to-face trade talks for the first time since May.

At the close the S&P 500 was up by 0.7 percent to 30 05 with the Dow Jones Industrials up 0.65 percent at 27,349 and the Nasdaq up 0.6 percent at 82 51.


The credit rating agency Moody’s has issued a report suggesting that Boris Johnson’s appointment as British Prime Minister has made a no deal Brexit more likely.

Moody’s says that Mr Johnson’s election makes the likelihood of a sustainable compromise lower than before.

The agency said its view remained that a no deal Brexit would have significantly negative credit effects for the UK sovereign and related issuers.

Boris Johnson officially succeeds Theresa May this afternoon and is set to name his key cabinet ministers as early as this evening.He says that he’s determined to deliver Brexit by the end of October but is facing considerable opposition from some moderate MPs in the parliamentary Conservative party.


The International Monetary Fund has issued a report which says that the trade war between China and the United States is hurting emerging economies more than those in the developed world.

The report appears to back up claims made by US President Donald Trump who says that the trade dispute is hurting China more than America.

The IMF report shows that a slowdown in the global economy over the past three months has been concentrated in emerging markets.

In its twice-yearly World Economic Outlook report ,the IMF cut its forecast for global growth by 0.1 percent for this year and 2020.

The Washington based organisation’s previous forecast in April estimated growth of 3.2 percent for this year and 3.5 percent in 2020.

The IMF also said that Brexit uncertainty and the impact of sanctions against Iran on oil prices was having a negative effect on global growth.


And-The chief executive of the world’s largest mining company has endorsed drastic action to combat global warming.

Speaking in London on Tuesday ,BHP Billiton’s Andrew Mackenzie said that climate change is indisputable and a growing concern.

He said that while the planet will survive ,many species will not and that carbon pricing alone will not be enough to combat the threat of mass extinctions and rising sea levels.

Mr Mackenzie announced that BHP is setting up a 400 million dollar fund to create a climate investment programme to reduce emissions from its own operations as well as those generated from its resources.

BHP has been working to reduce its emissions since the 1990’s but still produced 16.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions between 2017 and 2018 from energy and diesel use at its international operations.




Cycling-Geraint Thomas survived a minor crash to stay in contention on stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday with Julian Alaphilippe holding on to the leader’s yellow jersey.

Thomas crashed when his gears jammed with 130 kilometers to go in the stage which started and ended in Nimes but he recovered to finish safely in the peleton and remains 95 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

The stage was won in a sprint finish by Caleb Ewan of Australia.

It’s mountains all the way now until the final procession into Paris on Sunday.

Today’s 17th stage is 200 kilometers between Pont du Garde and Gap  which has a sizeable climb at the end but it’s nothing compared with what’s to come for the rest of the week.


Cricket-The four day Test between England and Ireland starts at Lords today as England look to put in final preparations for the Ashes which start next week.

Jimmy Anderson has been ruled out for England with a calf injury as he battles to be fit in time to face the Australians.

The first couple of days of the match are set to be played in heatwave conditions in London with temperatures forecast to reach the mid 30’s.


Football-Callum Hudson-Odoi has signed a new contract at Chelsea which will keep him at the club until 2024.

The 18 year old winger had handed a transfer request in in January with Bayern Munich keen to sign him.

He’ll now stay in London with reported wages of 100,000 pounds a week.



Boxing-The Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev has died following injuries sustained in an IBF light-welterweight fight against Subriel Matias.

The 28 year old was unable to walk unaided to the dressing room following the fight last Friday and was hospitalised with bleeding on the brain.

Doctors performed emergency surgery but he failed to recover.

The Russian Boxing Federation says that it’s opened an investigation.



There’s an ORANGE HEATWAVE ALERT in force for the Alpes-Maritimes.


Clear skies with light  variable winds.

Top temperatures  31-33 degrees in coastal areas,up to 35-37 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 26 degrees on the coast and 22 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Very hot and humid tomorrow with highs of 32-37 degrees.A bit cooler on Friday with highs of 29-36 degrees.


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