Echoes of Versailles, as an estimated 10,000 gilets jaunes returned to the Arc de Triomphe this weekend, smashing, looting and burning commercial property; the President called a crisis meeting ‘’so this doesn’t happen again’’. Over at the Gare du Nord passengers queued for up to 5 hours to board a seriously reduced Eurostar train service; the company urging passengers not to travel until Wednesday, and only if ‘absolutely necessary’, offering full refunds; customs staff are striking over pay and conditions. Reuters reports today that the French champagne makers’ trade group CIVC says that in 2018, for the first time in a century, more bottles were exported than sold in France. Sales in both France and the UK, which together account for 60 per cent of consumption, fell for a third consecutive year; they blamed the barely managing middle’s switch to Prosecco.
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