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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

What changes about life in France from June 2017

The beginning of the month signals a new raft of changes in France, some may even leave you better off, if ever so slightly. Here's what you need to know.

What changes about life in France from June 2017
Photo: Mike/Flickr
Roaming charges within European Union to be abolished
 
From June 15, EU citizens won't be charged extra for calls, SMS messages or internet outside their home countries, when travelling in the EU.
 
That's great news for EU holidaymakers travelling to France this summer or indeed those who live in France who are heading home or on holiday to other EU countries.
 
The bain of existence for holidaymakers in the European Union will finally be gone for good, following an agreement between the European Parliament, member states and mobile phone operators. 
 
Unsurprisingly the scrapping of roaming charges has been highly anticipated since plans for the change was initiated ten years ago.
 
And now, finally the thousands who head over to France this summer can enjoy their time in the sun without fearing the horrible the bill at the end of it. 
 
As well as the 28 EU countries the roaming charges will also be dropped in European Economic Area countries — Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway — shortly after June 15th.
 
For full details for future prices of SMS, calls and internet use CLICK HERE.
 
 
ID needed for buying prepaid mobile phone sim cards
 
From June 7th anyone wishing to purchase a prepaid sim card for a mobile phone will need to show ID to do so.
 
Gas prices to stay the same  
 
After the price of gas was reduced by 3.3 percent on May 1st, the price will stay the same during June. 
 
Since January 2014, the price of gas in 5.8 million French households has reduced by an average of 16.2 percent. 
 
Further roll-out of work identity cards 
 
From June 1st the number of regions where the work identity cards, affecting people working in construction and public works projects (batiment et travaux publics), has been increased. 
 
Now, workers in the southern French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur and the Rhône-Alpes region in the south east need to have the professional identity cards that were introduced by the government last March. 
 
The cards were introduced to crack down on illegal workers and fraud.
 
 
Big business anti-corruption plan
 
From June 1st businesses with over 500 employees or a revenue greater than €100 million will have to put in place anti-corruption measures. 
 
This includes corruption prevention and detection measures as well as efforts against influence peddling.
 
Transport companies to provide gas emission stats
 
When it comes to renting cars, taxis and private hire cabs, transport companies now need to provide detailed information on the amount of pollutants, such as CO2 and methane, they emit. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

What changes about life in France in May 2022?

A new government, May marches, flowers and public holidays as well as a rise in the minimum wage, tax deadlines, and the return of the Cannes Film Festival - here's what is happening in France in May.

What changes about life in France in May 2022?

Public Holidays

There are several public holidays in the month of May, but sadly two of the three fall on Sundays this year.

International Worker’s Day, or May Day, is on Sunday, May 1st. The holiday also coincides with the first Sunday of the month, when many museums offer free access. Though several businesses will close their doors on May Day, some museums will stay open and offer free entry, like the Air and Space Museum.

The other two public holidays are May 8th (Victory in Europe Day), which will also fall on a Sunday, and May 26th (Ascension) which will fall on a Thursday. May 8th is marked with military parades and remembrance events in towns and cities around France.

READ ALSO Why 2022 is a bad year for public holidays in France

May Day

As we mentioned, May 1st falls on a Sunday this year but although there is no extra day off work the other May Day traditions remain in place – notably trades union demonstrations and marches and the giving of the lucky lily-of-the-valley flowers.

School holidays end

Schools in zone B (northern France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) have already returned after the Easter holidays, but schools in Zone A (central France) restart classes on Monday, May 2nd while schools in Zone C (Paris and south west France) go back on Monday, May 9th). 

New government

The newly re-elected president Emmanuel Macron is shaking up his government, with Prime Minister Jean Castex having announced that he will resign.

This allows Macron to create a new top team of ministers and appoint a new PM, whose focus will be on fighting the parliamentary elections in June.

Voter Registration Deadline

If you are a French citizen but are not yet registered to vote for the parliamentary elections, then do not delay because you have until Wednesday, May 4th to do so online and until Friday, May 6th to do the process in person (either at your town hall or by the post).

READ ALSO When are the parliamentary elections and why are they important?

Candidate deadlines

Aspiring deputés (the French equivalent of MPs) must file their declaration of candidacy with their respective préfecture between Monday, May 16th and Friday May 20th. 

Tax Deadlines

May brings the first deadlines for the annual tax declaration – compulsory for almost everyone in France.

If you choose to file your tax returns on paper, the deadline is May 19th, 2022, regardless of where you live. For the online declarations, you have until May 24th if you live in the départements 1 to 19, and until May 31st 2022 for the départements from 20 to 54. For the remaining départements, you have until June 7th, 2022 at midnight.

READ ALSO The French tax calendar 2022

Minimum wage increase

Due to inflation, the minimum wage automatically increases on May 1st. INSEE, the national statistics bureau of France, has specified the minimum wage must increase by 2.65 percent (or €33) starting May 1st – this means that the gross hourly minimum wage will increase from €10.57 to €10.85.

Benefit increases

In line with the minimum wage increases, there will also be an increase of 1.8 percent to certain benefits including the RSA, family allowance and disables persons allowance. The back-to-school grant that families get in August will also increase to €376.98 for children aged 6 to 10, €397.78 for those aged 11 to 14 and €411.56 for teenagers aged 15 to 18.

Jobseekers training

A new payment system comes into effect for jobseekers who are undertaking extra professional training – trainees aged 16-18 will be paid €200 a month instead of the current €130. For trainees aged between 18 and 25, it will be €500, and €685 per month for those aged 26 and over.

Black boxes in cars

All new cars on sale in France are now required to be fitted with a ‘black box recorder’ similar to those in planes, in accordance with an EU measure voted into place in 2019. The measure will be extended to all cars on sale, including used cars, by 2024.

Bac delays

Initially scheduled for mid-March, the speciality tests for the general and technological baccalaureate have been postponed to May 11th-13th due to disruptions caused by the fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. 

The Cannes Film Festival 

The 2022 festival will take place from May 17th to 28th at the Palais des festivals et des congrès in Cannes. It will be the 75th edition of the world renowned festival.  

Bubble Museum

The new bubbles, balls and inflatables exhibition at the Grand Halle of La Villette in Paris, will let you continue diving into ball pits until August 21st. 

VIDEO Check out Paris’ new bubble exhibition 

Deadline set for student grants

If you are interested in obtaining a student grant, student social housing, or aid for the 2022-2023 academic year, you have until May 15th to apply. According to the official website, even if you do not have all the elements required for the application, it is still important to fill out the application by the stated deadline.

A new increase in the interest rate?

The tax-free, government-regulated savings account known as the Livret A – used by over 55 million French people – may increase its interest rates due to inflation starting May 1st, 2022. For the moment, no official announcement has been made. But if this announcement is confirmed, then it will be a first in the history of the Livret A. Usually, the rate of the Livret A and the Livret de développement durable et solidaire (LDDS) can only be increased twice a year, specifically on February 1st and August 1st. The rate of the Livret A already changed on February 1st this year, from 0.5 percent to 1 percent. 

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