Hopes of a good wine harvest in Burgundy have been dashed for the third summer in a row, thanks to a three-minute storm that unleashed golf ball-size hail and heavy winds to the vineyards of Cote de Beaune. A wet spring followed by a hot and sunny June had winegrowers optimistic in the region, home to Santenay, Meursalt, Volnay and Pommard appellations. Officials estimate that 60 to 90 percent of the harvest may be lost.
In airspace over France there is a different storm brewing. There was chaos as Belgium air controllers joined the French in a show of solidarity protesting budget cuts. It’s not yet July and airlines were forced to cancel hundreds of European flights. According to The Telegraph, air traffic controllers, trains and ferry services have all threatened strikes for this summer. French strikers, protected by lifelong job security and extremely generous public sector pensions, are protesting the dastardly plot of those who would dare talk of a balanced budget.
Meanwhile, police faced rioting as tens of thousands of football fans across France took to the streets after Algeria’s win over Russia in a World Cup match. Several million people of North African origin live in France. Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-Right anti-immigrant Front National, is calling for a ban on French citizens holding double nationality, claiming the riots are proof that the country’s immigration policy has failed. “The state must act, it must end double nationality, it must stop immigration.”