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TODAY IN FRANCE

Aujourd’hui: What’s happening in France on Wednesday

Welcome to the round-up of everything that is happening in France today.

Aujourd'hui: What's happening in France on Wednesday
Photo: AFP

President Emmanuel Macron did a TV appearance last night and laid out a roadmap for ending France's second lockdown.

His speech was watched by 29 million people, not far off half the population of France (although it must be said that we're low on alternative entertainment at present).

His plan is a three-step process, with each gradual loosening of restrictions depending on case numbers staying low, ending (hopefully) with the lifting of the lockdown and making travel and visiting family and friends possible again.

Here are the key points;

Politics

In other news, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said he will ask the country’s constitutional court to examine the highly controversial security bill that could ban the publication of images of police officers.

The issue has been thrown into sharp focus by shocking scenes of violence as police dismantled a migrant camp in central Paris on Monday.

The below cartoon from Libération's Willem sums it up, showing the interior minister watching footage of the police at the migrant camp and saying 'Shocking! I can't believe my eyes, inappropriate behaviour from police, not blurred. Fortunately there are people there to film it'. 

 

 

GAFA tax

France says it will apply its ‘digital tax’ to online giants like Facebook and Amazon on their 2020 earnings.

This tax – which essentially seeks to get the 'GAFA' – Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – to pay tax in the countries where they earn their revenues, rather than picking a low-tax country to declare all their European earnings in, has been a massive bone of contention between France and the USA, with the Americans threatening tariffs on French goods in return.

Language

Our word of the day is one for the risk-taker in your life.

Notre Dame

The team behind the restoration of Paris' fire-damaged Notre-Dame cathedral have shared this amazing time-lapse video of their work over the last 18 months.

 

Olympics 2024

And we’re looking ahead – all the way to 2024 when hopefully the pandemic will be a distant memory and the Olympics comes to Paris. Here’s a roundup of where the events will be held and which one will be under the Eiffel Tower.

 

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TODAY IN FRANCE

Today in France: What are the top stories on Wednesday

Welcome to the roundup of latest news and talking points in France today.

Today in France: What are the top stories on Wednesday
Photo: AFP

France has now reopened its border with the UK, but only to certain groups of travellers. Here’s who can travel to France from the UK and the documents they need to travel with.

And as well as its virus mutation, the UK also seems to have suffered from an outbreak of French-bashing. 

 

Here’s John Lichfield wearily looking back at his 24 years of covering France and seeing this nonsense, as well as examining why this type of xenophobia is not reciprocated by the French. 

Crime

Thee police officers have died after being shot by a man who was holding a woman hostage. The man himself was later found dead, after setting fire to the house in Puy-de-Dôme in central France.

Health

France’s health minister has moved to reassure people that having the Covid-19 vaccine will not be a requirement for accessing services like public transport. This comes after a health bill that stirred controversy – the bill has now been taken off the parliamentary schedule.

Work

France has also made some changes to its labour laws for 2021 – here’s how that could affect you.

Weather

Weather forecasters are predicting late snowfalls for a white Christmas in parts of France.

 

Macron

And in case anyone was worrying about France's Covid-infected president, he is 'doing better' according to his office. Prime Minister Jean Castex, who had been self-isolating since Macron's diagnosis, today tested negative for Covid-19 and can resume his duties in person.

 
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