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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

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

From votes on unemployment reform and bullfighting to Christmas markets and wine festivals, via a memorial to victims of the Channel tragedy, here's what is happening in France this week.

On the Agenda: What’s happening in France this week
Christmas market season begins this week in France. Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

Monday

Unemployment reform – the government will announce the detailed framework of its planned reform to the unemployment system, which has already sparked protest from unions and leftist politicians.

Tuesday

France match – the French team play their first game in the men’s football World Cup in Qatar. They will be taking on Australia without their star player Karim Benzema, who has been ruled out of the entire tournament with an injury.

READ ALSO Where to watch World Cup matches in France

Restos du coeur campaign – the charity Restos du coeur, which provides food for homeless people and those living in poverty, launches its seasonal campaign, so expect to see collection points springing up for donated food.

Thursday

Thanksgiving – Americans in France will be celebrating Thanksgiving with the traditional turkey dinner.

Readers’ tips – how to have the perfect Thanksgiving in France

Channel tragedy – memorials will take place in several French towns to the 27 people who died after trying to cross the Channel to the UK in a small boat on November 24th 2021.

OPINION France and the UK need to get real if they really want to stop migrant crossings

Bullfighting – the French parliament will vote on a bill proposed by MP Aymeric Caron to ban bullfighting, which remains popular in south west France despite decades of campaigning from animal rights activists.

Friday

Strasbourg Christmas market – France’s largest Christmas market, held in the eastern town of Strasbourg, opens today.

READ ALSO 14 of the best Christmas markets in France in 2022

Black Friday – the American tradition of ‘Black Friday’ sales are becoming increasingly popular in France, despite campaigns against them by environmental activists who say they promote over-consumption, so expect your inbox to be clogged up with emails offering discounts and promotions. 

Paris wine festival – the Paris wine festival known as Grand Tasting begins. Held on Friday and Saturday in the Carrousel du Louvre mini shopping centre, entry is by ticket only.

Saturday

France v Denmark – the French men’s team have their second World Cup pool match, this time against Denmark.

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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

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

From demos by fed-up boulangerie owners to oil refinery blockades, via a comic-book festival and film awards, here's what is happening in France this week.

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

Monday

Pension reform bill (and strikes) – Monday marks the first step in the legislative process of Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform bill, as it comes before the Council of Ministers. This is largely a formality before debates begin in the Assemblée nationale and then the Senate, but some unions have issued a call for  “extra actions and initiatives, including strikes around January 23rd”. These are unlikely to be widespread or particularly disruptive, however.

Calendar: Key dates in the French pension strikes

Bakers’ demoboulangers will hold a demonstration in Paris against the spiralling energy costs which they say risk putting them out of business. Bakers from all over the country are expected to attend the protest, which begins at 2pm.

Tuesday

Darmanin rape case – the Court of Appeal in Paris will deliver its verdict into allegations of rape made against the Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. Police have already said they will not be charging him after they were ordered to re-examine the allegations, which date to before Darmanin became a minister.

Wednesday

César nominations – nominations will be announced for the César cinema awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars. This year, organisers have said that anyone who is accused of sexual violence will be barred from attending the awards ceremony in February.

Thursday

Refinery blockades – oil refinery workers belonging to the militant CGT union have declared a two-day strike on Thursday and Friday, with the likelihood that refineries will also be blockaded. This can lead to shortages at service stations around the country, as deliveries cannot get out.

Angouleme comic book festival – the annual Festival de la Bande Dessiné begins in Angouleme, France’s largest festival of graphic novels, which are extremely popular with readers throughout the country.

Friday

Benalla appeal – appeal hearing in the case of Alexandre Benalla, Emmanuel Macron’s former bodtguard who was caught on camera beating protesters during the 2018 May Day protests. The ‘Affaire Benalla’ became the first major scandal of the Macron presidency.

Saturday

Paris demo – a demo is planned in Paris to show support for people detained in Iran for protesting against the regime.

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