French News Friday 7th October 2016


Trains - A fleet of new train drivers are to be deployed across the region to bring train services back to levels agreed with the Alpes-Maritimes perfecture. The move comes after Christian Estrosi broke off negotiations with TER complaining 40 trains simply do run every single day not to mention the 86 days of strike so far this year. M Estrosi said he would not tolerate that situation continuing and that the region will begin to look for alternative train service options. TER has now deployed new drivers and and say they are willing to re-open negotiations.

Smoking - A strike by doctors for October 12th has been called off after successful negotiations at the Ministry of Health which include incentives for new doctors to practice at public hospitals and areas in need of young doctors such as Fréjus and Saint-Raphael who reported a drop in local healthcare this week.

The Ministry of Health has also revealed figures which show France has one of the highest smoking rates in the OECD, with 28% of people smoking regularly, and 20% of pregnant women regular smokers also. The Ministry hope to cut smoking rates with a new campaign encouraging people to give up for the month of November.  The campaign is called “Moi sans Tabac”.

Ferrari - The driver of a Ferrari which seriously injured a Russian man on the eve of the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco has been given 15 months in jail, had his car confiscated and ordered to pay €1m to the victim.

The incident happened in May when the Finnish driver, was drinking with friends in Larvotto when seven of them piled into the open top Ferrari to drive to Jimmyz nightclub. As the driver accelerated, the Russian fell out of the car, seriously injuring himself. The driver was arrested on site for drunk and dangerous driving and has been in custody ever since.

Nice - The new prison promised for Nice by Prime Minister Valls yesterday, will not be built in Saint-Laurent-du-Var according to the Mayor of the area. Speaking at a lively council meeting last night Joseph Segura said; Christian Estrosi wants his prison. He can have it in Nice. We don’t want it.

Meanwhile the city of Nice has announced plans to improve  security on the Promenade des Anglais with new retractable bollards to be put in place by next summer, along with other devices which will provide optimal security along the strip. More than two months after the Nice Attack investigators are discovering more about the personality of the killer, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. While his entourage had told police he had radicalized very quickly, the investigators have found that the Nice killer actually frequented Islamist circles for at least a year. According to reports nearly a year before the attack in Nice Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was controlled at the Italian border in Ventimiglia. Three other men were also travelling in the vehicle, one of which was linked to the jihadist networks leaving for Syria. One of the alleged accomplices of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel has told investigators that he often went to Italy with individuals radicalized to bring food to migrants.

Missing Person - Twenty four year old Valentine Breton, who was reported missing last week has been found safe and well. Mr Breton had been missing since last Friday and police had launched an investigation.He reportedly made contact by phone on Thursday much to the relief of his friends and relatives.

Promenade des Anglais - Following the Nice attack, the city has announced plans to improve  security on the Promenade des Anglais. By the summer of 2017 retractable bollards will be put in place along with other devices which will provide optimal security along the coastal strip.

Monaco in Russia - Prince Albert of Monaco has held talks with President Vladimir Putin. The Russian president met with his serene highness on Thursday morning at the Kremlin as part of the Monaco in Russia week.

Elections - The candidate for the Republican’s primary elections Alain Juppé has chosen to hold his local meeting in Toulon rather than Marseille. Initially the meeting, which is to take place on the 27th October, had been planned in Marseille the capital of the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region. Juppé however reportedly changed the location after hearing that the former head of state Nicolas Sarkozy had decided to hold a meeting in Marseille on the same day. The mayor of Bordeaux is still ahead in the polls.

PTA - Today 15 million French people will vote in schools across France for  Parent teaching associations. Last year a reported 50% of parents voted. Voting will take place today and tomorrow either on the school premises or by post.


Vladimir Putin - Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his French counterpart François Hollande during a visit to France on 19th October . The two leaders “will discuss international issues including Syria and Ukraine. Putin's visit to France – his first to the country since he attended a climate summit in Paris late last year – has been in the planning for months. The trip comes amid a spike in tensions with the West over Moscow's bombing campaign in war-torn Syria.

Love letters - A collection of love letters from former French president François Mitterrand to his longtime mistress, Anne Pingeot, are to be published next week. Lettres à Anne” (Letters to Anne), published by leading French publisher Gallimard, is a collection of more than 1,200 letters from Mitterrand that have been compiled and edited by Pingeot herself. She has, however, chosen not to include her replies.


For the first time airlines have committed to a deal on greenhouse gas limits where, from 2020, any increase in CO2 emissions will be offset by activities like tree planting, which soak up CO2. Attempts have been made for almost 20 years to include aviation and shipping in climate agreements, but both sectors have managed to avoid firm targets. In other aviation news, it’s another bad day for Airbus as Boeing are about to announce a substantial deal with Qatar Airways for up to 35 widebody planes worth $18bn. Qatar are said to have run out of patience with Airbus over prolonged delivery delays.

An error in automated trading is being blamed for a “flash crash” of Sterling on Asian markets this morning. At one stage the Pound fell 6% in just two minutes although it is returning to more normal levels this afternoon. Meanwhile French President Francois Hollande has said the EU must take a firm line with the UK as Theresa May told her party she wants Britain to trade freely with Europe but restrict movement at its borders. Mr Hollande said Britain wanted to leave the bloc without paying the consequences which he said was not possible. His comments are backed-up by German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Shares in Twitter have continued to fall sharply on concerns about a lack of takeover interest. The company lost a fifth of its value in trading on Thursday following reports that Apple,Google and Walt Disney were all losing interest in taking it over. The cloud software firm is now thought to be the most likely suitor.


Tennis - British No 1 Johanna Konta is through to the China Open semi-finals after fighting back from 4-0 down in her quarter final. She will now meet Madison Keys in the semi-finals this weekend.

Rugby Union-The French sports newspaper L’Equipe has reported that the New Zealand stars Dan Carter and Joe Rokococo both provided drug test samples that showed “anomalies” before the final of this year’s French Top 14 championship final. Both former All Blacks played in the final for Racing Metro against Toulon and L’Equipe says that urine samples taken by the French national anti-doping agency showed traces of banned corticosteroids. The pair’s manager Simon Porter says that both players had therapeutic use exemptions TUEs and all the paperwork can be provided. Meanwhile-Anthony Watson is the latest England player to be ruled out of the autumn internationals through injury. Watson suffered a broken jaw at the England training camp and is unlikely to be fit to play. Earlier this week,lock Sam Jones suffered a fractured fibula after an accident during a judo training session at the camp. Coach Eddie Jones had warned that the three day training session would be “brutal”.

Football-Wales drew 2-2 in Austria in last night’s World Cup qualifying Group D game last night while the Republic of Ireland beat Georgia 1-0 in the same group. France play Bulgaria in Group A tonight  while England play Malta in Group F tomorrow and Scotland play Lithuania. Northern Ireland host San Marino in Group C. 

OGC Nice - It has been confirmed that Mario Balotelli will be allowed to play in the match against Lyon next weekend.  Unfairly sent off against Lorient last weekend in Ligue 1, Balotelli saw his red card be withdrawn by the Disciplinary Committee of the LFP. 

Formula 1-Nico Rosberg was quickest in first practice for Sunday’s Japanese Grand prix at Suzuka. Rosberg outpaced Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton who complained of a lack of power early in the session. Sebastien Vettel in the Ferrari was third quickest. Qualifying is at 8am tomorrow morning with the race at 7am on Sunday.

Cricket-Security is tight ahead of the first one day international between Bangladesh and England in Dhaka. Bangladesh army commandos carried out drills inside the national stadium on Thursday with fears over a possible terrorist attack.Play starts at 10.30 French time this morning.


Clearing skies with a moderate westerly wind developing across the Var and light easterly winds in the Alpes-Maritimes. Top temperature 23 degrees Celsius. Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with perhaps an occasional shower in the Alpes-Maritimes tomorrow evening.Highs of 23 degrees.

And Finally

With only 79 days to go before Christmas hopes of a few hours’ peace as the children put together Lego or play with model cars may be dashed as this year’s must-have toy looks like it may threaten to turn Christmas into a war zone. A new range of Star Wars-inspired toys include saucer-sized drones capable of flying at 50mph. The drones powered by four propellers are also armed with lasers and intended to allow users to group together to recreate the intergalactic battles seen in the Star Wars films.

The drones are intended for outdoor use by over-14s with experience of flying drones. They are being launched in shops to coincide with the release of latest Star Wars film in December.