Lunchtime News Wednesday 9th December 2020

News

Ski resorts – The Council of State will today vote on the closure of ski lifts at ski resorts. Six regions including the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur have appealed to the Council of State against the government's decision to close the ski lifts for the Christmas holidays.

Six regions and four unions are contesting the government's decision not to allow the reopening of ski lifts in ski resorts for the Christmas holidays. The highest administrative court will render its decision today. The hearing is set for 3pm this afternoon.

Citizens’ Climate Convention call for boycott of discussions - Members of France's Citizens' Climate Convention have called for a boycott of discussions with the government after the first of a series of meetings on transforming propositions into law. 

The citizen's assembly slammed the party of President Emmanuel Macron for both its approach to the legislation and the content of the proposed laws.  President Emmanuel Macron, who devised the idea of a citizens assembly to drive the government's ecological thinking, has since complained that some members have gone too far, exceeding their advisory role and criticising the government for not being serious about reforms.

Vaccination - France is preparing the rollout of a first round of COVID-19 vaccines that it hopes will start reaching the most at risk citizens early next year pending regulatory approvals of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The government will ensure vaccines are free for all in its social security system and has earmarked 1.5 billion euros of next year’s budget to cover costs. The French Prime Minister Jean Castex, who confirmed vaccination would not be made compulsory, urged all citizens to get vaccinated.

The task appears particularly daunting in a country where hostility toward vaccination is well rooted. According to an Ipsos poll, only 59% of French respondents said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if it became available, compared with 67% in the United States and 85% in Britain.

Nuclear powered aircraft carrier - President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that France's next-generation aircraft carrier will be nuclear-powered . The new aircraft carrier is scheduled to come online when the country's flagship warship, the Charles De Gaulle, will be retired in 2038.

Macron said that the new vessel will be nuclear-powered like its predecessor because "our strategic future, our status as a great power, lies with the nuclear industry."

Only about a dozen countries worldwide have aircraft carriers. France and the US are the only two to have nuclear-powered carriers.

The government has not revealed how much its new warship will cost although French media estimate the final price tag at around €7 billion.

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