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

The Local France
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On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week
Bakers say spiralling energy costs risk putting them out of business. Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

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.

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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' demo - boulangers 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.

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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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