Lunchtime News Thursday 5th November 2020



Mayor of Nice suggest suspended the Schengen agreement following Nice attack - Following the attack that killed three people in a church in Nice, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, has called for the suspension of the Schengen agreements which allow travel without border controls in 26 European countries.

Speaking to local media Estrosi proposes to suspend the agreement "for a certain time" adding that "Nice was not attacked because it was Nice, but because of its proximity to the Italian border,"

The perpetrator Brahim Aouissaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian national, arrived in Europe illegally via Italy in late September. He arrived in Nice on Tuesday, October 27, two days before the attack.

Christian Estrosi also wants that “in the event of a crime refugees have their protective status withdrawn”.

France has been part of the Schengen area since 1995, allowing travellers to move freely with a simple identity document. However, since the end of 2015, border controls have been reinstated by the French authorities, in particular in Menton, near Nice. Trains are systematically checked, and border police are permanently on the A8 motorway. In nearly five years, there have been more than 160,000 arrests, despite a sharp decline in 2019 with 22,000 arrests.

Monaco - Monaco’s government counselor - minister of Finance and the Economy, Jean Castellini has presented the initial draft budget for 2021 which will be submitted to the National Council next month.

The Princely Government has paid particular attention in drawing up this initial budget with regard to revenue, which could be more or less impacted by the health crisis.

For the first time since 2015, this initial budget will show a deficit of € 114.5 million. Jean Castellini added that “our objective nevertheless remains to find a balanced budget as soon as possible and to preserve the Principality's economic and social model”.  

Revenue is estimated to decrease in 2021, in the order of € 40 million compared to the previous year, in particular resulting from a reduction in VAT linked to consumption.

The main issues highlighted include the National Housing Plan for Monegasques, which mobilizes a third of the € 625 million envelope for investment spending, with the delivery scheduled between 2022 and 2025 of nearly 800 new apartments. As well as the acceleration of the digital transition, with an envelope of 45 M €, similar to that of 2020.

Also highlighted is the investment into the renovation of the Grimaldi Forum and Larvotto car parks, 12 new MonaBike stations as well as mechanized links such as elevators and escalators in the Principality.

In the health sector investments of 17 million euros have been allocated to the Residence du Cap Fleuri and 11 million euros for the Princess Grace Hospital.

Jean Castellini specified that this initial budget is intended to be "pragmatic and flexible”.  


French President claims to have been misquoted by the Financial Times - In response to an article in the Financial Time French President Emmanuel Macron has said his country is fighting "Islamist separatism, not Islam”. Macron claims that the newspaper misquoted him.

In a letter to the editor published on Wednesday, Macron said the British paper had accused him of "stigmatising French Muslims for electoral purposes and of fostering a climate of fear and suspicion towards them.

The article was later removed from the paper's website, replaced with a notice saying it had "contained factual errors".

Bird flu - Poultry breeders in certain regions of France have been ordered to isolate their poultry. On Thursday French authorities put 45 departments on a "high" risk zone due to the threat of bird flu.

The priority being that in the departments concerned everything possible is done in order to prevent contamination from wild birds.

French minister breaks the 1km rule to avoid busy traffic - According to the daily newspaper La Voix de Nord France’s Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin has been seen jogging outside of the current 1km restriction which is in place as part of the government’s current national lockdown.

The paper reports that Darmanin was seen on Sunday by many residents of Tourcoing (the city in which he was elected mayor) more than a kilometer from his home.

In response to the ministers actions and as many in France try to come to terms with restrictions to their daily lives for a second time, the minister said that the “route taken was for safety reasons” to avoid the minister dangerously circulating amongst the busy traffic in the city centre and hence “opting for a more remote and safe space to run”.  

93-year-old has to prove he is alive in order to redo papers at the prefecture - A 93-year-old man from Moselle in the north of France has had to prove that he is not dead in order to redo his papers.

Raymond Schmitt, lives in Fleury, south of Metz and is still in good health at 93 years old. Unfortunately, he has the same first and last name as another Mosellan, born on the exact same day and year as him, who died a few years ago.

The man received a refusal letter from the prefecture and has since fought with the administration to prove that he is alive.

Speaking to local media Raymond said that the prefecture told me that I was dead, "it's still a shock!"

After a burglary last June, he wanted to redo his papers. It was then that: "The prefecture replied that I could not have new papers because I was dead” he says.

His son, who told journalists that he has luckily seen the funny side,  has since sent all the necessary documents to prove that his father is alive and well, "including a certificate of life, issued by the town hall of Fleury and a birth certificate".



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