SHARE
COPY LINK

WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

On the Agenda: What’s happening in France this week

From strikes and political storms to festivals of films, music and staying up all night, here's what is happening in France this week.

On the Agenda: What’s happening in France this week
The Nuit Blanche is back in France this week. Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

Monday

Budget – the 2023 Budget is presented to the Council of Ministers, marking the beginning of what is likely to be an extremely stormy passage through the various stages of parliament for the Macron government’s first budget since the loss of its overall parliamentary majority.

Pension reform – Emmanuel Macron is also expected this week to convene a meeting with his ministers over the controversial subject of further reform to the pension system. He has vowed to push ahead with the thorny issue, despite the loss of the majority.

Fashion week – If you’re in Paris, expect things to take a turn for the fashionable as Women’s Fashion Week begins.

Biarritz festival – beginning in the southern town of Biarritz is the 31st festival of Latin American music.

Tuesday

Hospital strike – Three of the largest unions representing hospital workers have called for industrial action to protest at working conditions and pressure on services – as is normal for health workers’ strikes, this will consist of protests and demonstrations rather than staff walking out of hospitals.

Zemmour case – extreme right pundit and failed presidential candidate Eric Zemmour faces the courts in Paris over alleged racial abuse.

Wednesday

Abortion demo – the international day dedicated to the right to abortion will be marked with demonstrations of support in Paris.

Dinard festival – opening day of the Festival of British film held in Dinard, Brittany.

Thursday

General strike call – the CGT union is calling for a general walk-out across the country in protest at the rising cost of living, backed by some left-wing groups. Some Paris transport workers will also strike, but full details of how big the strikes will be and which services will be affected are expected soon.

Borne in Berlin – Prime minister Elisabeth Borne travels to Berlin to meet German chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Saturday 

Nuit Blanche – This is an annual, all-night arts celebration across the country. Museums, exhibits and other cultural centres stay open all night for visitors to come free-of-charge. As this year marks the 20th anniversary of the event, cities across France are planning a wide range of events. You can see what your local area is doing for Nuit Blanche by checking your mairie’s website.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

On the Agenda: What’s happening in France this week

From crunch time in pay negotiations for railway workers to seasonal festivals and the small matter of a football match, here's what is happening in France this week.

On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week

Monday

Train disruption – there was major disruption over the weekend as train conductors and ticket inspectors walked out, leading to around half of all TGV services being cancelled. The strike ended on Sunday night, but there is expected to be significant knock-on disruption on Monday. 

Tuesday 

St Nicolas Day – this festival is a huge deal in Germany, but it’s also celebrated in the historic Alsace region of France. The festival involves parades in some towns, gifts for well-behaved children (and a visit from a scary figure with a whip for bad kids) and lots of gingerbread.

What you need to know about St Nicolas Day in France

Wednesday 

Rail strike – unions have issued a provisional strike notice for Wednesday, ahead of a crunch day of talks on Thursday in the ongoing pay negotiations for SNCF workers.

Thursday

Railway pay negotiations – the key meeting between bosses and unions representing French rail workers. Depending on how these talks go, there could be further strike action over the Christmas and New Year weekends. 

Fête des lumières – the Lyon festival of lights begins on Thursday and runs until Sunday. The festival is the biggest and most famous of the many light festivals that take place in France through December.

What you need to know about the Lyon festival of lights

Friday 

Right to die – launch of the citizen convention looking at France’s right to die laws. This is the beginning of a public consultation looking at the question of whether France should relax its laws on assisted suicide. It comes after the national Ethics Committee for Health and Life Sciences issued a positive response on the question of assisted suicide. 

Saturday

France v England – France take on England in the quarter finals of the men’s football World Cup in Qatar.

SHOW COMMENTS