Lunchtime News Thursday 10th February 2022

News

Paris police prefect bans “freedom convoys” this weekend - The Paris police prefect has announced that the "Freedom convoys" planned to arrive in the French capital this weekend will be banned. The movement inspired by the truck drivers in Canada was set to “block the capital” in protest against health restrictions and government policy.

Faced with the announced gathering of thousands of vehicles on Friday in Paris, the prefect of police announced the ban this morning Thursday 10th February. Several convoys already left Nice, Bayonne and Perpignan on Wednesday. They plan to reach Paris on Friday evening and some then call to join Brussels, for a "European convergence" scheduled for Monday, February 14.

The prefect of police, who has given "firm instructions" to the police, recalls that obstructing traffic is punishable by two years' imprisonment, a fine of 4,500 euros, immobilization and impoundment of the vehicle, the reduction by half of the maximum number of points on a driving license and its suspension for a maximum of three years. In addition, "the organizer of a prohibited demonstration can be punished by six months' imprisonment and a fine of 7,500 euros and the participants will be fined with a fourth class fine", or 135 euros, adds the prefecture.

Beyond health restrictions, the movement is more global with demands concerning purchasing power and the cost of energy. Asked Wednesday after the Council of Ministers about these "freedom convoys", government spokesman Gabriel Attal estimated that the French President Emmanuel Macron was "lucid and perfectly aware that there is a weariness concerning the epidemic and the measures that continue to apply". But "France is probably one of the countries in Europe which has taken the least restrictive measures", he added, while the authorities indicated that they were considering, in view of the decline of the pandemic, a lifting of the vaccination pass for the end of March or the beginning of April.

Road accident leaves two people injured - Two people have been injured after a collision between two vehicles in La Garde-Freinet in the Var. The accident occurred shortly before 8pm on Wednesday evening on the road to Grimaud. The cause of the collision remains to be determined.

Nice motorists slowest in France for 2021 - A ranking compiled by geolocation company TomTom has shown that in 2021 Nice was the “slowest” city on the roads in France, with motorists travelling at an average speed of 37.3km an hour, compared to 38.5km an hour in 2020. Marseille came second at 37.7km an hour followed by Paris, where motorist drove at an average of 39.3km an hour. The top 10 is completed by Toulon, 41.1 km/h, Lyon 43.3 km/h, Bordeaux 43.6 km/h, Grenoble 45.4 km/h, Lille 47 km /h, Toulouse 50.4 km/h and Nantes 50.6 km/h.

Seaside resort celebrates Valentine’s Day - The town hall of the seaside resort Carry-le-Rouet in the Bouches-du-Rhône has set up an original initiative to celebrate love this Valentine’s day Monday February 14th, making it possible for the inhabitants to write messages to the person of their choice with the message then being displayed on the illuminated billboards of the city. All you have to do is leave your message at the town hall before tomorrow Friday February 11th. The offer is only intended for the 6,000 inhabitants. The messages are not necessarily just for couples but, are open to everyone to send kind words to relatives, friends or family members, to spread a little joy this valentine’s day.

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