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On the Agenda: Everything that's happening in France this week

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On the Agenda: Everything that's happening in France this week
Photo: Depositphotos
10:28 CET+01:00
Here's a look at the big news and cultural events taking place in France this week that you should know about.

Monday February 18th

The trial of the so-called "Air Cocaine" case is set to begin on Monday in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. 

Back in March 2013 four men were arrested as they were about to take off from the Dominican resort of Punta Cana, with authorities saying they were preparing to leave on a privately hired mid-size Dassault Falcon 50 jet with 26 suitcases containing 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of cocaine. 
 
Tuesday February 19th
 
MPs will vote on the new education bill presented last week by education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
 
Dubbed the law for bringing 'trust back into schools' (in French l'école de confiance'), the bill was presented by France's education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer in the hope it will lead to greater social justice and improve the overall academic level of students.
 
These are the new reforms set for French schools
Photo: AFP
 
Gatherings against anti-Semitism will take place across France on Tuesday. 
 
They come at a time when anti-Semitic acts are on the rise in France. Some 'yellow vest' protesters were condemned after hurling anti-Semitic abuse at well-known French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut at the demonstrations on Saturday. 
 
Wednesday February 20th
 
French President Emmanuel Macron will attend the 34th annual dinner of CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organisations on Wednesday. 
 
The verdict on Swiss bank UBS over charges of tax fraud is set to be delivered on Wednesday, with the bank risking a fine that could amount to a whopping €5 billion.
 
French judges will look at a case of industrial-scale counterfeiting of works by Rodin which were then sold on as originals. 
 
A sculpture by the real Rodin on display in Paris. Photo: AFP
 
Thursday February 21st
 
The verdict will be delivered on the so-called "B-Concept" affair, which involved tax fraud on the CO2 market.  
 
Friday February 22nd
 
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will visit the capital of Mali, Bamako this Friday, along with foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and defence minister Florence Parly. 
 
The trip will underline France's desire to maintain its "security effort" and its "economic commitment" to Mali in face of the jihadist threat. 
 
The Cesar Awards -- dubbed the "French Oscars" are set to take place in Paris on Friday. 
 
This year's event, supported by the French Ministry of Culture, will mark the 44th anniversary of the awards and as ever the nominations have been selected by the members of 12 categories of filmmaking professionals.
 
It's the Cesar awards: What you need to know about this year's 'French Oscars'
Photo: AFP
 
International Games Festival, Cannes, February 22nd - February 24th 
 
A quirky alternative to Cannes film festival, the International Games Festival showcases over 270 exhibitors as well as 300 authors and game illustrators. From Trivial Pursuit to Assassin's Creed you can find stalls for all the classics as well as cutting edge game developments. Participate in tournaments, discover the game of the year, or meet the person behind your favourite video game.  
 
Saturday February 23rd
 
France will play Scotland in the Six Nations rugby tournament on Saturday. 
 
International Agricultural Show (Salon de l'Agriculture) in Paris, Feb 23rd - March 3rd
 
If you want to escape the busy city life for a day, head to France's biggest agricultural fair for a bit of rural fun. Check out agricultural machinery, take your children to see horses, ponies and other animals, or attend the animal version of the Miss France contest where the most beautiful farm animal will be crowned. And let's not forget the bar and wine cellar where you can sample some of the country's finest vintages.  
 
French President Emmanuel Macron touches an Aubrac cow as he visits the 55th International Agriculture Fair (Salon de l'Agriculture). Photo: AFP
 
Sunday February 24th
 
Flower Parade,  February 24th
 
The traditional flower parade “Corso fleuri” in the town of Bormes-les-Mimosas in the Var department dates back to the 17th century and is one of the town's most popular events. The parade sees a good dozen or so beautifully decorated caravans file through the city, ending in a “bataille de fleur” where visitors are showered with flower petals. So in case you've been feeling gloomy and colourless after the winter months, the "Corso fleuri" is just the tonic needed to help snap you out of that.
 

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