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

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On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week
La Bougie du Sapeur satirical newspaper only appears once every four years - on February 29th. Photo by Patrick HERTZOG / AFP

From the Ukraine summit and the school holidays, via planned blockades at the border and the production of a very special newspaper, here's what is happening in France this week.



Ukraine meeting - Emmanuel Macron will host a conference in support of Ukraine. European leaders and ministers have been invited to the meeting to "study the available means of reinforcing partners' cooperation in support of Ukraine".

Salon de l'Agriculture - the Paris farm show began on Saturday and continues through the week, with the final day on Sunday, March 3rd. Most of France's most high-profile politicians will be visiting throughout the week.

School holidays - pupils in Zone C (including Paris) return to school on Monday but the holidays continue for schools in Zones A and B.


Eiffel Tower open - employees of the Eiffel Tower have been on strike for a week, causing the closure of the famous monument. However, on Sunday an agreement was reached between unions and management so the Tower will be open on Monday.

Brussels meeting - EU agriculture ministers will meet in Brussels with the aim of addressing some of the complaints of the recent farmers' protests that have swept Europe.


Spanish border blockade - protesting Spanish farmers say they intend to set up roadblocks on the French-Spanish border on Tuesday and Wednesday, likely leading to delays for drivers. The blockade will not affect rail services or flights.


Abortion law vote - the motion to inscribe the right to abortion in France's constitution will be voted on by the Senate. The proposal has already passed with a huge majority in the Assemblée nationale, but in order to change France's constitution a vote in favour is required in both houses.

The result could be closer in the traditionally more socially conservative Senate, although French daily Le Parisien reported that senators intend to pass the bill because they are "sick of being yelled at by their wives and daughters". The public are overwhelmingly in favour of inscribing the right to abortion in the constitution. 


Leap year - this is a leap year, so February contains a 29th day. In France, that means you can buy La Bougie du Sapeur (the soldier's candle) - a satirical newspaper that is only published on February 29th.

The tradition of women asking men to marry them on in leap years (les années bissextiles) is not widely observed in France - although if you want to, we reckon you should do it. It's 2024 after all, no need to wait for a man. 


Supermarket promotions law - on March 1st a new law comes into effect which limits the promotions that supermarkets can offer on food and drink. It is part of the 'Lois Egalim' which aim to protect farmers and limit the power of supermarkets when it comes to setting prices. The new part of the law was passed in 2023 with a start date of March 1st 2024, but there are already plans to revise the law once again in response to recent farmers' protests.

Explained: France's 'Lois Egalim' which control food prices



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