Tag Archives: Nice

COVID19: Nice lockdown

The city of Nice area in Alpes-Maritimes is a department of France with the highest COVID-19 infection rate, with 740 new cases per week per 100,000 residents, according to the site Covidtracker.fr.

“We need strong measures that go beyond the nationwide 6 p.m. curfew, either tighter curfew, or a partial and time-specific lockdown. A weekend lockdown would make sense,” Mayor Christian Estrosi (The Republican party) said on franceinfo radio. “The weather is nice, everybody rushes to come here. A weekend lockdown would put a stop to that, without halting economic activity in the city,” Estrosi explained the measure.

The Mayor added that the infection rates had leapt due to the massive inflow of tourists over the Christmas holiday. International flights to the city had jumped from 20 a day before Christmas to 120 over the holiday – all this without people having virus tests in their country of origin or on arrival.

“We will be happy to receive lots of tourists this summer, once we win this battle, but it is better to have a period while we say ‘do not come here, this is not the moment’. Protecting the people of Nice is my priority,” he said.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the government would decide this weekend on tightening virus control measures in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Before ordering a second national lockdown in November, the government imposed curfews some cities and closed restaurants in Marseille, but it has generally refrained from regional measures due to the massive protest from local politicians and businesses.

“We do not rule out local lockdowns,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on LCI television.

He added that the trend in new cases was not good in recent days and that there was no case for loosening curfew.

Borrell “shocked” by France Consulate attack

Brussels, 29.10.2020 The head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell is “deeply shocked” by the barbaric attacks perpetrated in Nice, Avignon, and at the Consulate of France in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in Djeddah.
“My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. We are alongside the French and France.
Together, in Europe and in the world, we will fight hatred and terror”

Today three people have been killed in a knife attack at a church Notre Dame in the heart of Nice, police say.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said there had been a “terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica”.
One elderly victim who had come to pray was “virtually beheaded”. A suspect was shot and detained shortly afterwards, and three victims identified: a 30-year-old woman, mother of young children; the sacristan of the basilica, about 45 years old, slain; 70-year-old woman, a regular church-goer, beheaded.

Mayor Estrosi spoke of “Islamo-fascism” and said the suspect had “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’, while stabbing with knife the congregation. Reportedly there are also “many wounded”, however there are not further details available at the moment. President Macron has arrived to Nice without delay, and was greeted by the Mayor Estrosi.

The attack in Avignon has failed, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the building of Consulate of France a security agent was injured. According to the Saudi press agency, the perpetrator, a forty year old man, was immediately arrested, while the security agent of the French consulate was transferred to hospital for treatment required, he does not suffer life-threatening injuries.

However “maximum vigilance” is recommended to French nationals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

France: EU condemns barbaric attacks

Brussels 29.10.20 “I condemn the hideous and brutal attack which has just taken place in Nice and am wholeheartedly with France. My thoughts are with the victims of this heinous act” the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen wrote on her Twitter micro blog.

“The whole of Europe stands in solidarity with France. We remain united and determined in the face of barbarism and fanaticism” von der Leyen underlined.

At present, three people have died from knife attack committed in the church Notre Dame at heart of Nice. Among the victims a beheaded elderly women. It is a terrorist attack according to Mayor Christian Estrosi.
“In Nice the entire Christian world was targeted. I address my thoughts to all Christians in France and around the world” the Mayor said in his video addresse.

Only a few hours after the attack on the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice, Jean Castex launched a vigipirate plan at the “emergency bombing” level across the country. This is the highest level. The Prime Minister also announced that a Defense and Security Council was scheduled for “tomorrow morning”. Emmanuel Macron is also on his way to Nice.

According to information gathered by Europe 1 and Franceinfo, three people have died including the guardian of the church. One of them was reportedly beheaded. Several people are injured. One of them is said to be in serious condition. A police and demining operation is still in progress in the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice. “The detonations you hear are those caused by the national police services, do not panic, the situation is under control,” wrote the local national police on Twitter. According to the local daily Nice-matin, a stabbing attack therefore took place in the Notre-Dame basilica located on Avenue Jean MĂ©decin in the heart of downtown Nice. Shots were also heard, causing panic among residents.

The mayor of Nice said the perpetrator of the knife attack has already been arrested by municipal police. He would have “repeated Allah Akbar repeatedly,” the mayor reported on BFMTV. The anti-terrorism prosecution has opened an investigation for “murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association”.

Christian Estrosi asked “the people of Nice to avoid the area to let the police and emergency services work”. The city Councilor of Nice has also confirmed that “everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Notre-Dame basilica”. He also said on BFMTV: “It is time for France to break free from the laws of peace”.

vigipirate plan was decreed by the Prime Minister Jean Castex.

Russia protects senator-oligarch charged with fraud in France

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny commented on the scandal around the detention of Russian senator Suleiman Kerimov (51) in Nice, France. In his opinion, Paris did what Moscow had to do a long time ago.
Since 2008 Kerimov has been elected to represent the Republic of Dagestan in Russia’s parliament upper house. Navalny, who is leading the Anti-Corruption Fund recalled that for many years Kerimov was a member of the State Duma and the Federation Council, being an elected official, the category of citizens is prohibited to engage in business activities as incompatible with serving people of Russian Federation.  Nevertheless, Kerimov is often referred to as a successful acting businessman, appearing in Forbes. This year the publication estimated Kerimov worth $ 6.3 billion.
Navalny analyzed Kerimov’s declarations for the past four years and found that, despite impressive earnings from 12 million rubles to 109 million rubles a year, the businessman is almost a ‘beggar’ owning less than modest property, namely a tiny studio of ​​37.8 square meters, and one third of the share in another apartment of 53.5 square meters. The Anti-corruption Fund considers such data submitted by senator Kerimov as “obvious lies”.
Navalny recalled that in France Kerimov was accused of laundering funds, believing that these funds were originally stolen from Russia, now actively defending a individual, who violated Russian laws.
Russian prosecutor’s office and the Investigation Committee should be after Kerimov,  co-operating with French justice, but not defending him suggests Navalny, regretting that Kerimov was arrested in France, but not in Russia, as he should.
Russian senator Suleiman Kerimov was detained in Nice on November 20. He was charged with laundering money and evading taxes. The French authorities suspect Kerimov of creating a system of intermediaries and companies to purchase the villas at  Cote d’Azur. Furthermore the prices at which his real estates was acquired were too low and did not reflect the market value.
The Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko demands the immediate release of senator Kerimov, being indifferent to his money laundering activities.

Russian senator arrested in Nice

 Russian businessman and lawmaker Suleiman Kerimov was arrested by French police at Nice airport on Monday evening , November 20,  in alleged tax evasion case, an official at the French prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

Kerimov is ranked by Forbes magazine as Russia’s 21st wealthiest businessman, with a net worth of $6.3 billion(£4.75 billion). His family controls Russia’s largest gold producer Polyus.

 “He is being held for questioning in a case related to laundering of tax fraud proceeds,” the official said. Representatives for Kerimov could not immediately be reached for comment. Polyus declined to comment.

A source said the investigation focuses on the purchase of several luxury residences at  French Riviera via shell companies, something that would have enabled Kerimov to reduce taxes to the French state.

The source added Kerimov would be held in custody for at least another 24 hours.

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Kerimov held a diplomatic passport and had immunity. It said it had informed the French authorities.

“Kerimov does have a diplomatic passport, but that does not protect him from prosecution,” the French official said.

The French foreign ministry could not immediately confirm it had been in contact with Moscow.


Marine Le Pen stripped off immunity

At eve of French legislative elections, the European Parliament has lifted Marine Le Pen’s immunity from prosecution in a defamation case. A leader of Front National party, and the chair of the group Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) in the European Parliament, she lost a presidential election in May to the centrist Emmanuel Macron.

The vote by simple raising hands on Thursday, Juny 15, (15.06.2017) in the European Parliament plenary session, allows French prosecutors to continue a defamation action against Marine Le Pen. After the strippiing immunity from Le Pen the European Parliament paved the way for the investigation, obliging Le Pen to accept the investigator’s requests and even detained for questioning, if necessary.

Le Pen has denied any wrongdoing and said she would answer any summons after the second round of the elections to National Assembly.

The parliament’s vote came after the conservative (Les Republicains) mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, filed suit against Le Pen for accusing him of associating with jihadists in 2015.

The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi a failed a lawsuit against Le Pen for slander for accusing him for being “an accomplise to jihadists” in a  Europe1 TV talks-show.