Lunchtime News Tuesday 22nd June 2021


Scientist fear vaccination strategy may not be sufficient - Scientists in France have said that they fear that the country could hit a ‘glass ceiling’ when it comes to vaccinations, and that the current strategy may not be sufficient to achieve the necessary collective immunity. According to the Académie de Médecine and medical researchers, the current campaign, which focuses on, ‘speed and effectiveness’, will leave 20-30% of the population by the wayside.

FO union demands action claiming closure of beds in French hospitals – Meanwhile according to an inventory carried out by the Force Ouvrière union, hospitals in Normandy, Brittany and in the Pays de la Loire are facing a shortage of beds. The figures published on Monday have been denied by the Ministry of Health. The union claims that more than 1,800 hospital beds have been removed in the first quarter of this year in the midst of the pandemic and demands that the government stops with its financial approach and looks at the needs of the population.

The FO calls for an immediate end to bed closures, the reopening of those necessary for quality care, the creation of 15,000 jobs and "a radical change in hospital management ".

French government announces aid for artistic projects - The French government has today announced the release of 30 million euros in aid for the realization of artistic projects aimed in particular at supporting young creators throughout France. Funded as part of the recovery plan, these projects can either be in connection with one or more architectural, historical or natural heritage sites or projects in visual arts, music, live performance, writing, design and crafts.

An artistic committee made up of nine cultural figures, including Bernard Blistène, director of the National Museum of Modern Art-Center Pompidou, has been set up to select the candidates and to support the artists in the creation of projects. The artists will first be invited to write concise documents presenting their training, their career and their project. The artists will receive a scholarship of up to 10,000 euros, and will have to work with the CMN or the Conservatoire du Littoral.

The 30 million euros aid is part of 12 billion euros released for the culture sector, which has been seriously affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.

In other news

Trial - More than 600,000 people have signed a petition calling for the release of Valerie Bacot who has gone on trial this week for shooting dead a man she says abused her for years, first as her stepfather then later as her husband. She alleges he forced her to marry him and fathered her four children. Ms Bacot admits killing him in 2016.

Regional elections - The Greens candidate Jean-Laurent Felizia is pulling out of a run-off election in the PACA region, leaving a duel between the far-right and the centre-right - and making it harder for Marine Le Pen's party to take control of the region. Le Pen’s party the National Rally is hoping to win the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region, which would give her a platform and momentum for next year’s presidential election.

In regional and national elections French mainstream parties have traditionally rallied behind the one best placed in order to keep the far right out of power. However on Sunday night, the Green candidate in the PACA region, Jean-Laurent Felizia, had refused to pull out, causing wide criticism from large parts of the French political class.

Meanwhile speaking on the matter to French media the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said that due to the health crisis it was “not the right time to organise regional elections, saying that the "nearly 70% of abstainers was a major crisis”.  



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