Lunchtime News Friday 8th January 2021


Gas leak - Twenty fire fighters have been deployed on the Avenue de Grasse in Cannes this morning just before 9am  after a gas leak was reported in the area. People in the surrounding are were confined while the emergency services intervened. The security perimeter was lifted at 9.30.

Covid-19 - According to recent data published in French media life expectancy in France has fallen by 2 months for women and 4 months for men since the start of the pandemic. Since the arrival of the coronavirus  67,000 people have died from the virus in France, or one in 1,000 deaths have been directly attributed to the pandemic. By comparison, these statistics are much higher than those of victims of World War II, during which, on average, 55,000 civilian deaths were recorded each year between 1939 and 1945. Since the start of the health crisis, life expectancy has also fallen by 2 months for women and 4 months for men, Globally, France is in the upper range of deaths linked to the coronavirus. Currently the sad "record" is held by Belgium.      

Wine producers in France - French wine producers have called on the French government to take "tough decisions" as they say new US tariffs could see them losing nearly a billion euros in exports this year. The US and the European Union have been locked in a dispute over aircraft subsidies for years which escalated in October 2019 when Washington slapped 25% tariffs on a number of European products. Brussels swiftly announced retaliatory tariffs. According to the French Federation of Wine and Spirit Exporters (FEVS), the tariffs cost French producers more than 600 milion euros in 2020, with exports to the US falling by 50% compared to the previous year.

Bird Flu - Meanwhile French producers of foie gras have called for a mass preventive cull of ducks to try to halt the spread of a severe strain of bird flu that is ripping through farms in the south-west of France.

25th anniversary of the death of Francois Mitterrand - French President Emmanuel Macron will today attend the 25th anniversary of the death of former French Presdient François Mitterrand. The traditional ceremony will take place in front of the family vault in the Grands-Maisons cemetery. The Head of State is expected in the morning in Jarnac, the small town of Charente where the former president was born in 1916 and where he was buried on January 11, 1996, three days after his death in Paris at the age of 79 years old.



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