News - Tuesday, November 15th

News

Petrol price rise - Petrol and diesel prices in France are set to rise from tomorrow. The 30 centime subsidy put in place by the government will be reduced to 10 centimes, while the 20 centime reduction at TotalEnergy stations will also be stopped. However, according to government spokesperson Olivier Véran a new system of aid will take effect from January 1st, 2023, which is intended to benefit up to 12 million people.

Meanwhile, the scourge of fuel siphoning has spread across France. Fuel thefts have doubled in one year, going from 1,174 incidents reported in 2021 to more than 2,400 this year.

Medical test centre strike - There will be difficulties getting routine medical tests over the next few days, due to a rolling strike that started yesterday at 90-95% of the country's medical test centres (laboratoires). Workers are protesting the government’s plans to cut funding for test centres as part of the 2023 Social Security budget. The strike is set to run until tomorrow evening, with the possibility of it being extended. It will affect blood and urine tests and several other procedures, although COVID antigen tests are available in pharmacies.

French prime minister visits Marseille - The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne was speaking in Marseille yesterday, telling the region's mayors that the PACA region is endowed with exceptional biodiversity and landscapes, but is one of the most affected by rising temperatures and extreme climatic events. She outlined her vision to make the region a leader in ecological planning. Her experimental plan includes measures to decarbonise industry, develop less polluting transport, and preserve water resources and forests.

A national watchdog has exposed hundreds of fraudulent products labelled as “Made In France” - After carrying out a national survey of a thousand companies claiming their products were "Made in France", the French fraud control agency DGCCR has reported that 15 percent of brands were not what was advertised on the label. The survey was related to non-food products – such as masks and hydro-alcoholic gels massively sold during the Covid health crisis – and various other sectors, including jewellery, eyewear, cosmetics, textiles, and furniture. The DGCCRF says it will continue its checks on the origin of brands "in view of the growing appeal of French and local products to consumers, and in order to support industrial relocation in France," and has reminded consumers who have doubts about the real origin of a product, that they can report it on the SignalConso website.

Green Beans - Be wary if you have recently bought packets of frozen green beans: several brands are the subject of a massive recall throughout France, due to a risk of odours, bad chemical taste or even traces of hydrocarbons. Among the brands highlighted are Casino, Tous les jours, Top Budget from Intermactché Thiriet, and Notre Jardin by E. leclerc. For all these products, the instruction is clear: do not eat the beans and bring them back to the point of sale for a refund.

Ski resort - France's highest ski resort has delayed its opening this weekend due to a lack of snow. Val Thorens, which is 2300m high will now open on November 26th. A statement says the delay is because “snow cover at altitude is satisfactory, but does not allow a ski in, ski out.” Isola 2000 and Auron are set to open on December 3rd.

Paris to build memorial garden for victims of 2015 terror attacks - The Paris city hall has announced that a memorial garden for victims of the 2015 terror attacks will open in 2025 in the heart of the capital. The Paris city hall has chosen Place Saint-Gervais as a location which, "due to its neutrality and centrality, allows the memorial and commemorative vocation to come to life". The garden, to be opened in 2025, will represent the six places of the attacks with the names of the deceased on steles, with a special focus on vegetation. Last Sunday marked the seventh anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks in the history of France which left 130 dead and more than 350 wounded.

French scientists call for ban on private jets, a symbol of 'climate inequality' - As climate negotiations continue at the Cop27 summit in Egypt, some 30 scientists gathered outside Dassault Aviation's headquarters in Paris to denounce the use of private jets. Dassault is the third largest manufacturer of private jets in the world and represents 30 percent of the business aviation sector. As part of an international campaign called Make Them Pay, the scientists threw paper planes over the French multinational's gate to denounce "the symbol of climate inequality" that private jets represent. Their demands are: "Ban private jets, tax frequent flyers, and make polluters pay". According to the European NGO Transport and Environment campaigning for clean transport, a private jet can emit two tonnes of carbon dioxide in an hour and is five to 14 times more polluting per passenger than an airliner.

Emergency landing after sexual assault - A plane from the English low-cost company Jet2.com made an emergency landing at Nantes-Atlantique airport, when the captain decided to disembark a passenger who sexually assaulted a flight attendant. The accused man in question had 2.2 grams of alcohol in his blood. He was handed over to the Border Police and brought before the city court yesterday.

Local News

Cannes named best events destination - Cannes has been named the best destination in the world for festivals and events. The honour was bestowed during the World Travel Awards, which are considered to be the Oscars of the tourism industry. Cannes beat off challengers from 11 other major destinations on the shortlist including London, Barcelona, Rio, Dubai and Cape Town. The mayor David Lisnard paid tribute to the 140 world class events hosted by Cannes each year including the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes Lions and MIPIM. In October, Cannes was also named best European destination for the second consecutive year.

Nice – Safe city - Nice is amongst the safest big cities in France for crimes such as assault, theft and burglaries according to a ranking compiled by Le Parisien. The list is based on data from the government's Ministerial Statistical Service. Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said that the results were encouraging, coming a few weeks after data suggesting that Nice was amongst the cities where acts of violence have dropped significantly on transport.

Price Albert Foundation - The Prince Albert II Foundation has sent an open letter to world leaders and policymakers, urging them to take “urgent action” to protect the Earth’s coral reefs. With COP27 driving the world’s attention to environmental matters, the foundation is calling for fast-track implementation of coral reef protection mechanisms, including restoration projects to save and shore the remaining reefs as well as larger scale programmes aimed at mitigating the underlying problems causing the reefs to disappear in the first place. Healthy coral reefs are a lifeline for more than a billion people worldwide, supplying food, jobs, storm protection, income and medicinal properties. They are, according to the letter, “essential to the security and climate resilience of many nations, including the most vulnerable nations on Earth.”

Var water restrictions - The Var has extended its drought measures until at least December 15th. The prefecture announced yesterday that 96 towns are still in a critical situation due to the lack of rain, and that the recent rainfall was not enough to improve the fragility of the waterways.

Michel Polnareff concert - The veteran French singer Michel Polnareff has announced that he will start his 2023 tour in Nice. Tickets go on sale today for the concert that will take place at the Palais Nikaia on May 24th.

Le Rouret - As part of its policy to strengthen security and public tranquillity, Le Rouret is to set up 15 new CCTV cameras. The cost of the operation is close to €200,000. All images will be transmitted by optical fibre to the municipal police.

Lost photos - Have you lost precious family photos? You can sympathise with the young woman who left a collection of family photos on a TGV train when she got off in Toulon. The photos have since been handed in to Nice Matin who are launching a campaign to find the owner.

Monaco National Day celebrations - Instead of fireworks, this year Monaco will mark its National Day celebrations with a 200-strong drone light show that will take place above the Prince’s Palace on Friday, November 18 at 8pm. It’s a show that will last around 12 minutes. It’s considered to be a more environmentally friendly celebration, but it’s sure to be just as spectacular.

 

Business

Paris – Most Valuable European Stock Market - Paris has now overtaken London as Europe’s most valued stock market. The combined value of France’s shares is now $2.823 trillion dollars according to data from Bloomberg, while British shares are now valued at around $2.821 trillion. A weak pound, fears of recession in the UK and surging sales at French luxury goods makers are thought to be behind the shift. Shares in LVMH, which owns fashion brand Louis Vuitton, have surged 22% in the last six months, while Hermès is up 37%. It's the first time Paris has overtaken London since records began in 2003.

Jeff Bezos - Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said he plans to give away most of his $124bn fortune during his lifetime. The businessman told news network CNN he would donate his wealth to fighting climate change and reducing inequality. The multi-billionaire previously pledged $10bn to the Bezos Earth Fund, which he launched in 2020 to help fight climate change. Mr Bezos became one of the richest people on the planet after Amazon, the internet retailer he founded in 1994, became a global phenomenon. Mr Bezos revealed his plans after donating $100m to the country music star and philanthropist Dolly Parton to use for charitable causes. 

Meanwhile, Amazon is preparing to cut thousands of office jobs amid slowing sales and concerns about an economic downturn, according to reports. The reductions could affect roughly 3% of office staff at the e-commerce giant - or about 10,000 people. The cuts are expected to affect divisions such as personal devices and e-commerce.

Crypto collapse - The collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has sent the value of all crypto assets plummeting as investors soured on a market that once seemed extremely promising. Since November, their value has dropped by 18% from a little over $1 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Meanwhile, the data tracked by website CoinGecko shows that the value of global crypto assets has fallen over 70% from a record peak of just under $3 trillion recorded a year ago. The price of bitcoin tumbled 22% in the seven days through to Sunday, its worst weekly performance since mid-June, while its market cap fell to $305 billion. The top crypto has lost three-quarters of its value in one year. At the same time, ethereum dropped 24%, its market cap declining to $144 billion. Solana was the biggest loser, dropping over 60% in the past seven days. Dogecoin fell by 30% over the same period.

 

Foreign Exchanges

€1 = £0,87 $1,035 SF 0,97

£1 = €1,14 $1,18 SF1,11

$1 = €97 cents, £85 pence, 94 Swiss centimes

BITCOIN $16303

ETHEREUM  $1216

 

Commodities

An ounce of gold is $1776

Barrel of Brent Crude oil is $92,73

 

Markets

FTSE 100 7385

CAC 40 6609

DOW JONES 33536

NASDAQ 11196

NIKKEI 28012

 

Sport

Football - What next for Cristiano Ronaldo after his bombshell interview about life at Manchester United. Despite being paid half a million pounds a week and refusing to play, he says he feels betrayed by the club and that the owners, the Glazer family, don’t care about the club on the sporting side. He said that “Manchester are a marketing club - they get money from the marketing”. 

The Monegasque defender Axel Disasi has been called up as a last-minute replacement in France’s world cup squad. He joins his team mate Youssouf Fofana on the plane to Qatar. France kick off their defence of their world cup crown against Australia next Monday.

Rugby League - The final of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup will be between New Zealand and Australia. The host nation's hopes of reaching a first World Cup final ended with a 20-6 defeat by the Kiwi Ferns in York. Meanwhile Australia thrashed Papua New Guinea 82-0. The final will be held on Saturday in Manchester.

Tennis - Former world number one Novak Djokovic beat second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in two tight sets in his opening match of the ATP Finals in Turin. The 35-year-old Serb overcame Tsitsipas of Greece 6-4 7-6 (7-4). Djokovic is seeking to equal Roger Federer's record of six victories in the season-ending tournament.

Earlier in the same group, Russian Andrey Rublev came from a set down to beat compatriot Daniil Medvedev in a final set tie break.

Weather

Cloudy this morning with scattered showers continuing throughout the day, particularly later this afternoon. Rain will be at its heaviest between 7 and 8pm this evening. Light to moderate winds in the morning, stronger in the Var with gusts of up to 46km/h near St Tropez. Temperatures will vary between 12 and 15° around Monaco during the day (reaching 16° towards St Tropez), dropping to an overnight low of 10-11.

Improvements are expected early tomorrow morning with some sunny spells from 9am.

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