SHARE
COPY LINK

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
Bakers say spiralling energy costs risk putting them out of business. Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

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.

Member comments

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

WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

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

From the French pancake festival to school holidays and another mass strike, here's what is happening in France this week.

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

Monday 

Anti-discrimination plan – Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government plan to combat racism, anti-semitism and discrimination based on origins.

Tuesday

Strikes and demos – January 31st is the second ‘mass strike’ day in the ongoing battle between unions and the government over pension reform. Expect severe disruption on public transport, school closures and possible power cuts. The day will also be marked by demos in towns and cities across France – the last one saw 1 million people take to the streets, and unions are hoping for a similar turnout.

Pension strikes: What to expect on January 31st

Some unions have announced their intention to continue with industrial action into February, so keep an eye on the latest updates HERE

Wednesday

Immigration bill – the immigration bill – which includes, among other things a requirement for foreigners to take a language test in order to obtain certain types of carte de séjour – is presented to the Council of Minister, before it comes before parliament.

Language tests and easier expulsion – what’s in France’s new immigration bill?

Electricity bills rise – from Wednesday, domestic electricity bills can rise by a maximum of 15 percent after the 2022 price shield expires.

READ ALSO What changes in France in February

Thursday 

Pancake day – the French festival of La Chandeleur is a celebration of the crêpe. It’s not a public holiday, just a chance to eat lots of yummy pancakes and indulge in some of the stranger pancake-based rituals (crêpe on the wardrobe, anyone?) which are said to bring good luck for the year ahead.

La chandeleur: The day France goes crazy for crêpes

Saturday

School holidays – schools in zone A begin the two-week February holiday on Saturday. The February holidays have different dates in different zones, with one B beginning holidays on February 11th and zone C on February 18th.

Reader question: Is there any logic to France’s school holiday zones?

Sunday

Rugby – France take on Italy in Rome in the opening weekend of the 6 Nations rugby tournament, with the French team hoping to repeat last year’s result, which saw them win the tournament.

SHOW COMMENTS