Evening Update 04 December

Fuel tax rises, which have led to weeks of violent protest across France, have been suspended for six months. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also announced a suspension on planned rises in gas and electricity rates. The decision was made after a crisis meeting of ministers, which was chaired by President Emmanuel Macron.

The Prime Minister said that French people who wear yellow vests, love their country, and that the government shares those values. However the main role of state is to guarantee public order, and the government must fight against anything that endangers the unity of the nation. He said any future demonstrations should be declared officially and carried out peacefully.

A meeting set for tomorrow, between the Prime Minister and representatives of the yellow vest movement, has been cancelled after several of the protestors received threats contesting their claim to represent the grassroots movement.

This morning, there were some final student protests in Cannes and Nice, which were smaller and more peaceful than yesterdays. However, as a precaution, the town council in Nice has closed the Christmas market at Promenade du Paillon and the Phoenix Park. Both will reopen tomorrow as normal and no further student protests are expected.

Finally, yellow vest blockades of fuel depots, have led to shortages at some petrol stations on the Cote d’Azur. However, motorists have been reassured that supplies are now getting back to normal, and not to panic.

BUSINESS

CFM IndoSuez Wealth Management in Monaco has announced Mathieu Ferragut as their new CEO. A former COO for Credit Lyonnais in Singapore, M Ferragut takes up the position this week.

Apple shares fell another 1.7% this morning after HSBC downgraded the stock, citing too much dependence on a single product. HSBC downgraded Apple to ‘hold’ and cut its 12-month price target to $200. The drop adds to an 18% decline already for this quarter.

A body representing 50 airlines has written to the European Commission warning that it must take urgent action to prevent the grounding of flights after  Brexit. They say politicians expect the aviation industry to work as normal after March 30th, but in the case of a no-deal Brexit, it won’t and it can’t.

SPORT

Football - After last weekend’s riots, the Ligue 1 game between Paris St-Germain and Montpellier, scheduled for Saturday, has been cancelled at the request of police. League leaders say the match will be rescheduled in due course, but that PSG’s next two away games will go ahead as planned.

AS Monaco manager Thierry Henry has admitted the weekend defeat by Montpellier was a disaster. He said the team gave a good performance for the first 54 minutes, including scoring the first goal, but after that, two goals from Montpellier and a Monaco miss into an open goal, left the Monagasque side with yet another loss on their record. The team are currently 19th in the league, a dramatic turnaround from last year’s successes.

An apology has been made to Women's Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg by French DJ Martin Solveig, for asking her if she knew how to ‘twerk’. Solveig made the comment on stage after Hegerberg had just made a ‘winners speech’, talking about her hopes of inspiring girls to believe in themselves. Twerking is a sexually provocative dance popularised by singer Miley Cyrus.

Athletics - The IAAF has announced Russian athletes will continue to be banned from international competition next year, until samples and data from Moscow's former anti-doping laboratory are made available. The athletics' governing body banned Russia three years ago because of evidence of state-sponsored doping.

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