What will change in France from October 1st

As France rings in another month, a slew of new rules and regulations come into play. Here is what you need to know.

What will change in France from October 1st
The French can enjoy a cut in gas prices from October 1st. Photo: AFP

October 1st brings a raft of reforms and new laws that have come into force.

Here are a few to be aware of so you don't get caught out.

Gas prices to be cut by 1.4 percent

Another cut in gas prices – this time by 1.4 percent compared to September – is good news for customers of provider Engie. Prices have now dropped 7.8 percent since the start of the year.

Easier to change phone operators

As of October 1st, it will be easier to change telephone operators while still keeping your home phone number the same. How? Simply use your 12 digit RIO number, a system that has already been in place for many phone operators, but which is now a legal requirement for all.

Keeping your same mobile number while changing operators is already possible in France.

Clearer information on premium phone numbers

The pricing system for France's premium phone numbers (those beginning with 08 or with only four digits) has been a nightmare at best. New rules have sought to simplify the tariffs for these calls, with a new colour coding system. 

  • Green numbers are totally free (0800-0805)
  • Grey numbers come at a premium cost per minute, but are free to connect to (0806-0809)
  • Purple is for paid services (081, 082, 089 and 118)

Costly butts

From October 1st, anyone caught throwing a cigarette butt on the ground in Paris will be charged €68. This is almost double the previous fine of €35. 
And it's no surprise authorities are cracking down – there are 350 tonnes of mégots, as they are known in French, collected each year in Paris alone.
Paris enforces €68 fines for tossing cigarettes
Airbnb tax changes
Tourists in Paris will now be charged a tax for using home-sharing service Airbnb, which will amount to €0.83 per person per night. The fee will be paid upon booking, and will gradually extend to include other cities in France. It was previously up to the home owner to collect any taxes and pass them on to the Town Hall, although this step was often overlooked. 

Airbnb starts charging users tourist tax in Paris

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Norway mass killer Breivik changes his name

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, his lawyer said on Friday, the day after the country's Supreme Court rejected the neo-Nazi killer's case over "inhumane" prison conditions.

Norway mass killer Breivik changes his name
Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix

“I can confirm that he has changed his name, it's official,” Oystein Storrvik told AFP, confirming reports by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG).

Asked why Breivik had decided on the name change, Storrvik said: “I do not want to disclose the content of our discussions.”

In July 2011 Breivik, disguised as a police officer, tracked and gunned down 69 people, most of them teenagers, at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya, shortly after killing eight people in a bombing outside a government building in Oslo.

He has never expressed any remorse for committing the worst atrocity in Norway's post-war history. He said he killed his victims because they embraced multiculturalism.

Before proceeding with the attacks, he circulated an ideological “manifesto” signed under the name Andrew Berwick.

A search in the Norwegian business register confirms that Breivik Geofarm, an agricultural firm created by Breivik to obtain fertilisers used to make a bomb, is now registered in the name of Fjotolf Hansen.

While Hansen is a very common surname in Norway, Fjotolf is rarely used, if ever.

The now 38-year-old inmate is serving a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely.

Breivik has complained about his isolation from other inmates for safety reasons since his arrest in 2011, and sued the Norwegian state over his prison conditions.

His lawyer said on Thursday that he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights after exhausting all legal options in Norway where the Supreme Court refused to hear his case.