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On the agenda: What’s happening in France this week?

Here's a look at the big news, sporting and artistic events set to take place in France this week.

On the agenda: What's happening in France this week?
Photo: AFP

Monday, September 9th

The court will be considering its verdict on l'affair Crépuscule – a global fraud case that revolves around the buying and selling of carbon credits. It is alleged that the company calling itself Crépuscule (dusk or twilight) bought CO2 emission credits in the foreign country without tax, then resold them in France with tax added, and never passed the alleged €146m raised from VAT back to the French state.

Tributes to French racing driver Anthoine Hubert. Photo: AFP

Tuesday, September 10th

A memorial will be held at Chartres cathedral to Anthoine Hubert, the French Formula 1 racing driver who was killed in a crash in the feature race of a Formula 2 event in France. The 22-year-old, who was born in Lyon, began his career as a go-karting champion before moving on to Formula 3 and 2. He had just become an affiliated driver with Renault in Formula 1.

France will play Andorra in a qualifying match for the Euro 2020 tournament. Kick off is at 8.45 local time at the Stade de France in Paris.

Montpellier hosts the festival d'Arabesque, a celebration of art from the Arab world. The two-week festival includes music, dance, theatre, lectures, food and crafts.

Wednesday, September 11th

The CGT union has called for a 'national day of action' for staff in emergency departments in hospitals who are currently staging long-running industrial action over pay and conditions. Because of strict rules over strikes by emergency staff, actions so far have largely been limited to protests outside hospitals and staff wearing badges saying en grève (on strike).

The 15th festival of fiction launches in La Rochelle. The TV festival celebrates the best dramas on both French and international channels.

An exhibition opens in Paris of the work of British painter Francis Bacon. Photo: AFP

The Pompidou Centre is hosting an exhibition of the works of British painter Francis Bacon, which runs until January 20th. The Musée de Luxembourg also has a British theme, with the opening of an exhibition entitled The Golden Age of British Painting featuring works by Turner, Gainsborough and Reynolds.

Thursday, September 12th

Start of the Université d'été de la Défense – a two-day international conference in the military and defence industries. This year it will be held in Bourges.

Start of the European men's volley-ball championships, which are co-hosted by France. For the first time, the organisation of the tournament has been split between four countries – France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Slovenia, and matches will be held in all four countries.

Friday, September 13th

The greater Paris Île de France region will be hit by transport strikes on Friday. Staff on the RATP local transport network – which includes the Metro and RER suburban trains – will be holding a one-day action to protest over plans for pension reforms. RATP says more details of the impact on services will be released later in the week.

The verdict is expected in the long-running Balkany case. The couple, who dominated the political landscape of the wealthy Paris suburbs since the 1980s, are accused of corruption and hiding assets worth €13m from the tax man.

Patrick Balkany and his wife Isabelle will hear the verdict of a long-running corruption investigation. Photo: AFP

The Châtalet theatre reopens after a two-year closure for a major refurbishment project.

Saturday, September 14th

Closing ceremony of the Festival of American Cinema in Deauville. Legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve is on the judging panel for the festival.








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France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier