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

Welcome to the round-up of news and talking points in France today.

Aujourd'hui: What's happening in France on Friday
Shops prepare to reopen under strict health conditions. Photo: AFP

Most of France is this afternoon limbering up for either shopping or exercising (or both) as ‘non essential’ shops reopen and exercise limits are widened from 1km on Saturday.

This is the first stage of the loosening of lockdown. If the health data permits, attestation permission forms will be scrapped from December 15th. In the meantime, here are the new rules on shopping and exercise from tomorrow.


Also planned for tomorrow are dozens of protests across France as pressure grows over the government’s controversial bid to restrict publishing video of police.


Click here for the interactive map giving details of demonstrations in your area.

Anger is also growing over both the bill itself and the appalling video of Paris police officers beating a black music producer – Macron has declared himself ‘shocked’ by the film and summoned the interior minister for talks. 

French newspaper Libération put it more simply on its front page – sickening.


And our French expression of the day is one that has been frequently used about the video, but it’s a confusing one if you don’t know the history.

Cost of living

We’re looking at new data showing which areas of France have the highest cost of living – somewhat surprisingly it’s not the inhabitants of Paris who have the highest monthly bills.


It’s not the cheapest place to live, but the southern French city of Montpellier has a lot of other things going for it  including 300 days of sunshine a year, a young population and job opportunities – here’s 7 reasons you might want to move there.


The French parliament has passed a bill banning discrimination on the grounds of a person’s accent – although sadly this doesn’t make it illegal for French people to laugh at our mispronunciations

France might like to style itself as the Republic where everyone is equal, but in fact accent discrimination – known as glottophobie in French – is a real thing, even the Prime Minister Jean Castex was mocked for his south west accent when he first took up the role this summer.

And for some Friday content – this video shows the workings of La Poste's 'Father Christmas office' – any letter posted anywhere in France addressed to Père Noël is sent here where a team of 'elves' (aka La Poste employees) read it and reply.

And speaking of films, Lost in Frenchlation, a cinema group that regularly screens French films with English subtitles in Paris, is hosting its first virtual screening tonight at 8pm.

The film is called À cœur battant (The End of Love) and tells the story of a couple that must embark on a long distance relationship with conversations reduced to video calls. 

Tickets cost €5 and can be found here.


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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. 


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.


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.


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


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



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.