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

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

Aujourd'hui: What's happening in France on Thursday
France's late ex-President Valéry Giscard-d'Estaing (right) and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Photo: AFP

France today said goodbye to ex-President Valéry Giscard-d'Estaing, who died at the age of 94.

Among other things, VGE (as his rather cumbersome name was frequently shortened to) was responsible for expanding the TGV network and France’s nuclear energy programme, lowering the voting age and legalising abortion.

Although the French press seem more interested in whether he really had an affair with Princess Diana.


He's been lauded as a great statesman and European – although the French frequently hail their presidents as great statesmen once they die, after roundly despising them during their term in office – but he doesn't seem to have collected as many pithy one-liners and microphone gaffes as ex leader Jacques Chirac.




Last week President Emmanuel Macron laid out the timetable for lifting France’s lockdown, but made it clear that none of this will happen if certain targets are not met. 

With less than two weeks to go until the intended date, we crunch the numbers and examine whether the targets are likely to be met.


France has also unveiled its strategy for the Covid-19 vaccine, but we look at why high levels of vaccine-scepticism in France may be the government’s biggest obstacle to mass vaccination.


Our French phrase of the day explains why a French person might suggest that you ‘shout cock-a-doodle-do’.


And following the latest in a long line of public conversations about police violence, our columnist John Lichfield is looking at the historical and structural reasons behind the increasingly terrible relationship between the French public and the country’s police forces.

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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.