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LIVING IN FRANCE

Everything that changes in France from January 2018

UPDATED: January is often a time for change and there are several new laws and price hikes coming into existence that will affect life in France.

Everything that changes in France from January 2018
Photo: AFP
Here are the main ones you need to know about.
 
Vaccinations:
 
The number of vaccinations that are compulsory for children rises from three to 11 in 2018.
 
Until now only three child vaccinations are obligatory by law in France: diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

But health minister Agnes Buzyn said this causes “a real public health problem”.

She has decided to extend the number of mandatory vaccinations to 11 to include immunizations against conditions such as measles, hepatitis B, meningitis C, rubella, mumps and whooping cough.

READ ALSO: France to make 11 vaccinations compulsory for children

France plans to make 11 vaccinations compulsory for children

Petrol and diesel price rises

Bad news for motorists as the price of petrol will rise by 7.6 cents per litre in France and the price of diesel by 3.84 cents. 

Minimum wage rise 
 
The minimum wage is set to go up in the new year but it's unlikely you'll notice the increase. 
 
Even though the rise is an improvement on last year's — 1.24 percent in 2018 compared to 0.93 percent at the beginning of 2017 — it's not likely to greatly affect the lives of people who receive the minimum wage.  
 
The hourly rate will rise by 12 cents from €9.76 to €9.88, which will equate to a rise of around €15 a month – enough for a burger avec frites. 
 
The monthly minimum wage will be €1,498 for a regular 35-hour week.
 
Bonuses for trading in old cars
 
In a bid to tackle pollution levels the French government is offering car owners a bonus of between €1,000 and 2,000 if they trade in their old car for a new one. To qualify for the bonus you have to have an old petrol car from before 1997 or a diesel car from between 2001 and 2006. For anyone who buys an electric car the bonus will be up to €2,500.
 
Daily hospital charges rise
 
The amount patients must pay for staying in hospital (forfait hospitalier) will rise by 2 euros to 20 euros from January. This cost is normally covered by insurance (mutuelles).
 
Simplified payslips
 
Hoorah. Good news for workers in France who cannot understand their payslips. From now on companies will have to produce simplified versions. Although it's not quite clear how simple they will become.
 
Dentistry bills
 
From January 1st the amount you'll have to pay for an array of dentistry services will change. 
 
The cost of false teeth and crowns will be steadily capped from next year although the amount reimbursed for a crown will drop in 2019.
 
But the costs of more regular treatment like a filling will go up from €41 to €67 in 2018.
 
On top of that the cost of dental surgeons performing check-ups on patients with severe mental or psychological disabilities, the sessions prices will change to €60 or €90 if it's necessary to use sedation.
 
Driving licences
 
Anyone who takes their driving test in France from now on will need to know basic first aid skills which will be taught by driving schools.
 
 
Photo: AFP
 
Back pain pills
 
Here's some not so great news for people who suffer from back pain. 
 
Medicines generally used to treat back pain sufferers such as Coltramyl, Miorel, Myoplege will no longer be reimbursed from January 2nd 2018. 
 
Funeral care 
 
As of January 1st, people who have died of AIDS or viral hepatitis will be able to receive after death funeral care to help preserve the body.
 
However it will still be forbidden to preserve the bodies of people who died from other diseases including rabies, cholera and the plague.
 
Town Halls to set parking fees and fines
 
Motorists who do not pay for parking (or only pay in part) will be liable to pay a pay a “post-parking fee” from January 1st. 
 
The amount will will vary from one municipality to another unlike today, with the fine is currently fixed at  €17 for the whole of France. 
 
Getting your driving license
 
Aspects of the practical exam for your driving licence are about to change. As well as the addition of technical and road safety elements, the exam will also include a test on the basic concepts of first aid. 
 
Social housing
 
If you rent social housing and your resources exceed a certain amount you might want to be careful because from January 1st, the rules concerning your right to stay are changing. 
 
And they're making it easier to kick tenants out, with a lowering on the limit someone can earn before they lose their right to live there and reducing the amount of time it takes to kick people out. 
 
The new rules will also make it possible to terminate the tenant's lease in the absence of a response to the annual resources survey for two consecutive years when the dwelling is located in an area with a supply and demand issue.  
 
Stamp prices
 
The price of stamps is set to increase by around 5 percent at the beginning of 2018.
 
So a green stamp will rise from 73 cents to 80 cents and red stamps (for priority letters) will rise from 0.85 cents to 0.95 cents.
 
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LIVING IN FRANCE

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer's here and the time is right for national celebrations, traffic jams, strikes, Paris beaches, and ... changing the rules for new boilers.

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer holidays

The holiday season in France officially begins on Thursday, July 7th, as this is the date when school’s out for the summer. The weekend immediately after the end of the school year is expected to be a busy one on the roads and the railways as families start heading off on vacation.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

Strikes

But it wouldn’t really be summer in France without a few strikes – airport employees at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will walk out on July 1st, while SNCF rail staff will strike on July 6th. Meanwhile Ryanair employees at Paris, Marseille and Toulouse airports will strike on yet-to-be-confirmed dates in July.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect summer in France

Parliamentary fireworks?

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government’s new programme in parliament on July 5th – this is expected to be a tricky day for the Macron government, not only does it not have the parliamentary majority that it needs to pass legislation like the new package of financial aid to help householders deal with the cost-of-living crisis, but opposition parties have indicated that they will table a motion of no confidence against Borne.

Parliament usually breaks for the summer at the end of July, but a special extended session to allow legislation to be passed means that MPs won’t get to go on holiday until at least August 9th. 

Fête nationale

July 14th is a public holiday in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille which was the symbolic start of the French Revolution. As usual, towns and cities will host parades and fireworks – with the biggest military parade taking place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – and many stores will remain closed.

As the national holiday falls on a Thursday this year, many French workers will take the opportunity to faire le pont.

Festival season really kicks in

You know summer’s here when France gets festival fever, with events in towns and cities across the country. You can find our pick of the summer celebrations here.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 9th on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, bringing taste of the seaside to the capital with swimming spots, desk chairs, beach games and entertainment.  

Summer sales end 

Summer sales across most of the country end on July 19th – unless you live in Alpes-Maritimes, when they run from July 6th to August 2nd, or the island of Corsica (July 13th to August 9th).

Tour de France

The Tour de France cycle race sets off on July 1st from Copenhagen and finishes up on the Champs-Elysée in Paris on July 24th.

New boilers

From July 1st, 2022, new equipment installed for heating or hot water in residential or professional buildings, must comply with a greenhouse gas emissions ceiling of 300 gCO2eq/KWh PCI. 

That’s a technical way of saying oil or coal-fired boilers can no longer be installed. Nor can any other type of boiler that exceeds the ceiling.

As per a decree published in the Journal Officiel in January, existing appliances can continue to be used, maintained and repaired, but financial aid of up to €11,000 is planned to encourage their replacement. 

Bike helmets

New standards for motorbike helmets come into effect from July 1st. Riders do not need to change their current helmets, but the “ECE 22.05” standard can no longer be issued – and all helmets sold must adhere to a new, more stringent “ECE 22.06” standards from July 2024

New cars

From July 6th new car models must be equipped with a black box that record driving parameters such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

New cars II

From July 1st, the ecological bonus for anyone who buys an electric vehicle drops by €1,000, while rechargeable hybrids will be excluded from the aid system, “which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emission rate is less than or equal to 20g/km”.

What’s in a name?

Historically, the French have been quite restrictive on the use of family names – remember the concern over the use of birth names on Covid vaccine documents? – but it becomes easier for an adult to choose to bear the name of his mother, his father, or both by a simple declaration to the civil status. All you have to do is declare your choice by form at the town hall of your home or place of birth.

Eco loans

In concert with the new boiler rules, a zero-interest loan of up to €30,000 to finance energy-saving renovations can be combined with MaPrimeRénov’, a subsidy for financing the same work, under certain conditions, from July 1st.

Rent rules

Non-professional private landlords advertising properties for rent must, from July 1st, include specific information about the property on the ad, including the size of the property in square metres, the area of town in which the property is in, the monthly rent and any supplements, whether the property is in a rent-control area, and the security deposit required. Further information, including the full list of requirements for any ad, is available here.

Perfume ban

More perfumes are to be added to a banned list for products used by children, such as soap-making kits, cosmetic sets, shampoos, or sweet-making games, or toys that have an aroma.

Atranol, chloroatranol (extracts of oak moss containing tannins), and methyl carbonate heptin, which smells like violets, will be banned from July 5th, because of their possible allergenic effects.

Furthermore, 71 new allergenic fragrances – including camphor, menthol, vanilin, eucalyptus spp. leaf oil, rose flower oil, lavendula officinalis, turpentine – will be added to the list of ingredients that must be clearly indicated on a toy or on an attached label.

Ticket resto limits

The increased ticket resto limit ended on June 30th, so from July 1st employees who receive the restaurant vouchers will once again be limited to spending €19 per day in restaurants, cafés and bars. The limit was increased to €38 during the pandemic, when workers were working from home.

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