This week in France: What you need to know

French pupils wearing face masks, which are now compulsory in schools across the whole country. (Photo by Damien Meyer / AFP)
French pupils wearing face masks, which are now compulsory in schools across the whole country. (Photo by Damien Meyer / AFP)
Masks in schools, politicians on trial and strike action: here's what is happening the week of November 15th to 21st in France that you need to know about.

Monday

Masks return in schools

From today, masks are once again mandatory in schools across the whole of France. This rule had been suspended in September for pupils studying in departments with lower rates of Covid-19 infection. The restriction comes into force as Europe is gripped by a fifth wave of the pandemic. 

You can find more details here.

Electric scooter speed limits reduced to 10km/h in parts of Paris

Scooter operators in Paris have decided to act together to reduce the speed limit of the 15,000 machines to just 10km/h on certain streets across the capital. This comes ahead of likely action by City Hall.

The maximum speed limit will reduce automatically to 10 km/h on certain busy pedestrian streets or those streets with primary schools on as well as parks.

The scooters work with a GPS so users will notice their speed is limited as they enter one of the 700 new “slow zones”.

Fillon on trial again…

Former French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon returns to court to try to clear his name in a corruption scandal that caused his downfall and sealed the rise of Emmanuel Macron in 2017. Three months before the presidential election, Fillon’s campaign was torpedoed by revelations that his wife Penelope received €613,000 euros over a period of 15 years for a suspected fake job as a parliamentary assistant to her husband

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See also on The Local:

Tuesday 

The 103rd Congress of Mayors begins in Paris. This mammoth meeting will go on until Thursday, when Macron will address the 34,888 mayors of France. Winning the support of these local officials would bring a significant advantage for the French president with elections fast approaching. 

READ ALSO: ‘They make France what it is’: Why village mayors are so important

Wednesday 

Strike action could cause disruption across SNCF rail networks on Wednesday with CGT-Cheminots and SUD-Rail members demanding an increase in wages. The Provence region will likely be most affected, but the extent of the anticipated delays and line closures is unclear. We will keep you updated. 

Wednesday 

Eric Zemmour, a rising figure of the French right and likely presidential candidate faces stands trial, accused of ‘provoking racial hatred’ and ‘racist insults’ aimed at migrant children during a television talk show in 2020. Zemmour has already been prosecuted once for racist comments made back in 2019. 

READ ALSO Zemmour won’t worry Macron, but he should worry France

Saturday 

Large scale demonstrations are planned against sexist and sexual violence in more than 60 different locations across France. The marches have been organised by the campaign group #NousToutes, who judge the government’s action on gender-based violence to be insufficient. Gender equality is the ‘Grande Cause Nationale’ of Macron’s Presidency. 

Sunday 

The Champs Elysées avenue will be pedestrianised as crowds gather to see the Christmas lights are switched on for this festive season at 18:00. The lights will remain in place until January 9. Paris is stunning at this time of years as luminous decorations line the street. You can find a guide to some of the most beautiful spots here


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