Evening Update Tuesday 7 May

Civil service unions have called for a day of action for this Thursday, May 9th. More than one hundred protest meetings are planned throughout France. The day of action is to oppose civil service reform legislation and job losses.

A state of natural disaster has been recognised for four communes in the Alpes Maritimes. Menton, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Cap d’Ail and Eze have officially been recognized following floods in October 2018. The mayors of Menton and Roquebrune have called it “a great victory”. Following the decision from the French State, victims now have 10 days from May 4th to file an estimate of their losses to their insurance companies, in order to receive compensation.

Much of the city of Toulon was affected by smoke from a large fire this morning. The fire broke out in a stock of pallets at a company in La Garde late last night. About 80 firefighters fought the fire all night but a plume of smoke affected the centre of Toulon and slowed down traffic on part of the nearby motorway network during this morning’s rush hour.

Customs officers have staged a demonstration in connection with Brexit in Marseille this afternoon.  They are protesting about what they say is a lack of preparation for Brexit by customs management.  They are also asking for the recruitment of additional personnel to deal with customs changes after the anticipated departure of the UK from the EU.

Oil pellets are reported to have been washed up on the coast near Ramatuelle. It’s believed that they are from the collision between two ships off Corsica last October. The collision caused significant pollution and has been the subject of an ongoing clean-up operation.

Jean Vanier, the founder of the L'Arche charity, has died in Paris at the age of 90.There are 147 L'Arche centres in 35 countries, where people with and without disabilities live together as equals. There are a further 1,800 Faith and Light support groups, for people with special needs and their families and friends, across 80 nations. There are many local L’Arche centres including in Nice, Grasse and St Laurent du Var.

 

BUSINESS

The European Commission has published its quarterly economic forecast for the EU's 28 countries. GDP across the EU is forecast to grow by 1.4%.  It estimates eurozone GDP will grow by 1.2% this year - below the 1.9% registered in 2018.  The forecast for Italy was cut to 0.1% - from 0.2% previously. The Commission also said that it expected Italy’s public debt to increase to 133.7 per cent of GDP this year.

Porsche has been fined €535m over the diesel emissions scandal by the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor's Office. The fine consists of a €4m penalty for a negligent breach of duty by Porsche and €531m levy for economic benefits. The prosecutors said that the company's development department had neglected its legal obligations and that allowed the sale of diesel cars which breached emissions rules. Porsche is owned by Volkswagen.

German media group Axel Springer has reported first-quarter profits down 35%. The company said net profits fell to €55.4m down from €84.7m a year earlier.
Revenues at car maker Ferrari are up 13.1% to €940m for the first quarter. It sold 2,610 'units' in theperiod, a rise of 22.7%.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in the UK has released its latest figures. Diesel registrations fell by 9.4% and petrol also fell, by 3%. the category of Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles saw registrations grow by 12.7%.


SPORT

Football…Uruguay defender Diego Godin has announced that he’s leaving Atletico Madrid this summer. The 33-year-old fought back tears as he confirmed he was leaving after nine years at the club. Godin has played 387 times for Atletico. Inter Milan are favourites to sign the defender on a free transfer

Liverpool are in action tonight against Barcelona in the semi-final second leg of the European Champions League. Jurgen Klopp’s side trail 3-0 from the first leg and look unlikely to make the final which will be against either Ajax or Spurs.

Rugby Union… England back row James Haskell has announced his retirement at the end of the season. The 34-year-old, who has won 77 caps and played in the past two World Cups, has struggled with ankle and toe problems with Northampton this season.

Tennis… British number one Johanna Konta is out of the Madrid Open in the second round, losing to Simona Halep. The final score was 7-5 6-1. The match lasted just one hour and thirty minutes.

 

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