Lunchtime News Wednesday 16th December 2020


Cannes city council - Cannes city council has said it intends to continue its planned investments without increasing taxes, despite the impact of the health crisis. As the 2021 budget was discussed by elected officials this week the intention is to bring “stability".

Prime Minister to present plan to National Assembly today - Prime Minister Jean Castex will today present the Head of States “strategy” against Covid-19 to the National Assembly. Speaking to French media this morning government spokesman Gabriel Attal has indicated that the authorities' goal is for one million French people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in January, and 15 million before the summer.

Vaccine -  Meanwhile the president of the "Guidance Council of the vaccine strategy" for France Alain Fischer, has said that it is wrong to say that “France is late” (concerning the introduction of a vaccine), despite several countries including Great Britain, Canada, and the US and China having started to vaccinate some of their citizens.

In a radio interview this morning the president said added that “there was need for rigor” and according to him, this is an essential element, as it’s extremely important that these vaccines have been validated as reasonably safe and effective. He went on to say that “the balance between benefits and risks must be extremely favorable, hence we must let the authorities finish their work. He concluded that “in a year, when we will look back at what happened we will forget the day we started to vaccinate, but not the vaccines effectiveness”.

In addition, Alain Fischer also added that the very nature of the patients who must be vaccinated first, residents of nursing homes and other social establishments, pushes the authorities to be more careful.

Breaking lockdown rules - According to figures presented by France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin this morning 3,2 million checks have been carried out by police during the second lockdown and 298,000 fines issued, including 900 for irregular opening of public places

Fine for Paris town hall - Paris town hall has been fined 90,000 euros for appointing too many women in senior roles. The mayor Anne Hidalgo has since called the decision “absurd”.

Back in 2018, 11 women were appointed to leadership positions compared to 5 men, making up 69% of appointees.

Scientific Council calls for French to “stand firm”- The president of the Scientific Council Jean-François Delfraissy has called for the French to remain cautious for "another 3 to 6 months". Delfraissy calls on the French to "stand firm" in the face of the epidemic. Asked about the possibility of a third wave, Jean-François Delfraissy believes that the risk "is not negligible". He added that the arrival of vaccines will have no impact on the first quarter of 2021 and very little on the second.

Interior Minister warns against “wild parties” - Meanwhile Frances Interior Minister has said that the authorities will be "particularly severe" with what he described as “wild parties” over New Year adding that there will be a close monitoring of those who fail to respect the curfew current in place.

104 year old woman recovers from Covid-19 - A 104-year old woman has been applauded out of hospital in Spain after recovering from coronavirus. It comes just a year after Elena also got over flu. A doctor at the hospital, said: "She is a 104-year-old patient, who lives at home, she is a survivor”.

And Finally

Two men have been arrested in Nantes after a fight broke out over a scratch card. The two young men believed they had won over 100,000 euros and began arguing over the ownership of the scratch card. It was only later that they realised that the ticket had been badly scratched.  

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