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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: AFP/Depositphotos
14:39 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 March 11th

French President Emmanuel Macron will begin his trip to Africa on Monday, during which he is set to visit Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. 

The tour will be the president's longest trip since the start of the "yellow vest" crisis. 
 
More than 10 years after French tycoon Bernard Tapie received a €400-million state payout, the businessman is set to go on trial for fraud and embezzling public funds on Monday. 
 
The boss of Orange, Stéphane Richard, will also be on trial alongside Tapie. 
 
French tycoon Bernard Tapie. Photo: AFP
 
Tuesday March 12th
 
Although Tuesday's big event will not be taking place in France, it will affect many people living here. 
 
On March 12th MPs will pass their verdict for the second time on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan to take Britain out of the European Union on March 29th. 
 
Although there was talk on Monday that the vote would be scrapped. Who knows what will happen in the mad world of Westminster. 
 
Wednesday March 13th 
 
Macron will be in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi on Wednesday for the UN Assembly on the environment
 
The trial of four "yellow vests" suspected of breaking into the main gate of the ministry for relations with parliament in January 2019 is set to begin on Wednesday. 
 
French government minister Benjamin Griveaux had to be evacuated when protesters smashed through the main gate of the ministry in Paris using a forklift truck.
 
VIDEO: Protesters attack French ministry with forklift truck
 
Thursday March 14th 
 
Four associations, including Greenpeace, are set to launch an appeal against the French state, accusing it of taking insufficient action to tackle climate change after receiving two million signatures in support of the move. 
 
International Orchid Exhibition, Vaucelles Abbey, northern France, March 14th to 18th 
 
It has been described as "a must for all orchid lovers" - and it's being held in a truly exceptional setting, the halls of the Vaucelles Abbey. 
 
Specialists will come from around the world for this five-day festival near Cambrai in northern France. In its 29th year, orchid producers and lovers will exhibit their best creations and organize workshops for anyone wishing to know more about the flower. 
 
 
Friday March 15th 
 
Friday marks the end of the first stage of France's national consultation (Grand Debat).
 
The debate was launched in January in the hope of quelling months of anti-government unrest on the streets.
 
Paris Book Fair, March 15th to 18th
 
The Paris Book Fair, held at the Porte de Versailles, is a must for bookworms. 
 
The website says it's "the only literary get-together of its kind, reflecting the extraordinary richness and diversity of publishing". 
 
Expect four days in celebration of reading, featuring over 3,000 famous or up-and-coming authors from around the world who will be on hand to meet the public. 
 
 
'A crime against culture': French writers outraged by 'sub-English' takeover at Paris book fair
Photo: AFP
 
Saturday March 16th
 
Italian film festival, Nice, March 16th-30th  
 
Film buffs are sure to love this celebration of Italian cinema in the south of France. 
 
France will play Italy in the Six Nations rugby tournament in Rome on Saturday. 
 
Sunday March 17th 
 
Cheese tasting on skis, Aubrac, Central France, March 17th
 
Only in France would you find cheese tasting on skis. Okay, perhaps Switzerland too. But anyhow, check out "Les Traces du Fromage" this month if you feel like some seriously cheesy hiking. 
 
Every year, almost 2,000 food aficionados brave the winter cold to go on a the trek leading through the beautiful landscape of the Aubrac region. Equipped with snow gear, the hikers follow a trail and stop at several intervals along the way to sample cheese and other goods from the area.
 
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