Daily Brief 19 June 2013

Latest update 19:00

Flood emergency France, 43 Departments on alert – ‘extreme high temperature’ Germany – DFDS DoverCalais and Brittany Ferries Ports-Le Havre-Ports delay.

Other news in brief: all Swiss mountain passes now open – Benelux cross border enforcement tragedy – Portugal traffic fines out of date

Totalitarian chic: from an exhibition of Intourist posters advertising (among other things) adventurous driving holidays in the former USSR. Held at the new GRAD Gallery, 3-4a Little Portland Street, London W1W until 31 August. Partial repro of ‘Georgian Military Highway’ by Aleksandr Zhitomirsky, 1939.

Totalitarian chic: from an exhibition of Intourist posters advertising (among other things) adventurous driving holidays in the former USSR. Held at the new GRAD Gallery, 3-4a Little Portland Street, London W1W until 31 August. Partial repro of ‘Georgian Military Highway’ by Aleksandr Zhitomirsky, 1939.

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TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alerts – via UKinFrance: Red alert (immediate general threat to security of people and property) for #floods issued for the #Pyrenees.

NEW: 43 departments in the north east and south west of France are on alert for storms and flooding.

Also amber warnings for storms north east France; and for high temperatures in much of central and east Europe.

NEW: ‘extreme high temperature’ alert for the whole of Germany, today and tomorrow, ranging from 32-38°C.

Weather in brief – Hot in central and eastern Europe but some thunderstorms too. Cloudy and rainy elsewhere.

Crossing the Channel – reduced service today and tomorrow DFDS Dover-Calais due to tech hitch.

Brittany Ferries – Portsmouth-Le Havre-Portsmouth – ‘We’re sorry to advise sailings on 20/06/2013 will be delayed due to an engine fault which has slightly reduced the vessel’s operating speed. 20/06/2013 07:00 departure from Portsmouth will now arrive at 12:00 20/06/2013 12:30 departure from Le Havre will now depart at 12:45 and arrive at 16:00.’

From @Port_of_Dover this afternoon, ‘Here in Dover sea conditions in the Channel are slight with a North Easterly breeze, force 3, and the visibility is moderate.’

Latest @CF_travel_news forecast: ‘The current forecast indicates moderate sea conditions, becoming slight towards the end of the week.’

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NOTES:

Bulgariathe sixth day of demonstrations in Sofia and other major cities. Some violent clashes with police.

Brussels – Traffic congestion due to taxi strike on Wednesday 19 June from 10 am to 1 pm: North station – small ring road – Rue de la Régence.

Berlin – Central Berlin ‘completely locked down’ ahead of President Obama’s speech later at the Brandenburg Gate.

Turkey – the situation remains uncertain after widespread demonstrations in recent weeks, particularly Istanbul and Ankara. Keep up to date with the latest official advice here.

Eurotunnel – “Resurfacing works will be taking place in the boarding lanes of the UK Terminal from 17 – 28 June. During this period, there will be no catering or toilet facilities available in this area. Please visit the Victor Hugo Terminal building after you have checked in to make full use of the facilities available there.”

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NEWS/PHOTOS:

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Switzerland – all mountain passes in Switzerland are now open. The Susten Pass in the Bernese Oberland opened yesterday.

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A moody Panamera at the facelifted Porsche’s international press launch in Elmau, Bavaria yesterday.

A moody Panamera pic at the facelifted Porsche’s international press launch in Elmau, Bavaria yesterday.

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Belgium – a serial flouter of traffic laws has been jailed for 59 months, fined €45,000 and banned for life by a court in Antwerp. According to previous reports, the 41 year old man had been caught speeding and ignoring road signs on 21 separate occasions and had been in line for a 29 year sentence.

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Portugal – nearly 25% of traffic fines in 2012 – or 370,000 tickets – were torn up for being outside the Statute of Limitations says The Portugal News. Chronic understaffing is blamed. Total fines in 2012 were €84m, slightly down on 2011, the shortfall explained by motorists being more willing to challenge.

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Benelux – a cross border police operation went tragically wrong at the weekend when a driver fleeing officers in Luxembourg collided with a vehicle coming in the opposite direction. The driver of the other vehicle was cut free and is in a serious condition. The miscreant was later apprehended. In all 32 people were arrested in Operation Etoile, from 13-16 June, tackling drugs and drug tourism, involving 364 police and customs officers from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Vehicles were checked on motorways and country lanes. Passengers on trains and buses were also questioned. Such cross border initiatives will play an increasing role in EU crime fighting. Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas threatened legal action on Monday against any countries failing to transpose the regulations by the end of this year.

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