France bans overnight illuminated advertising in energy-saving drive

The lights will go out on illuminated advertising in towns and cities across France between 1am and 6am from today, as the French government lays out plans for the country to cut its energy use and make it through winter without Russian gas.

France bans overnight illuminated advertising in energy-saving drive

The day after Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne unveiled the long-awaited plan on Thursday, outlining cuts that will help France make it through winter without Russian gas, a law came into force to ensure illuminated adverts must be turned off in every town, village and city, for at least five hours every night.

READ ALSO Cold water, 19C heating and cash bonuses: How France will cut energy use this winter

During these hours, any digital advertisements must show fixed images only.

This law has been in force in towns and cities with fewer than 800,000 inhabitants for some time, but has now been rolled out nationwide, with enforcement stepped up and fines of up to €1,500 introduced.

Adverts in airports, train stations, Metro or bus stations and on street furniture used for public transportation services during operating hours are currently exempt, but a law requiring illuminated advertising supported by street furniture to be extinguished will come into force on June 1st, 2023.

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‘A good thing’ for footballers to express values, says France’s PM

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne - speaking in Berlin - said that footballers should be allowed to express their values, amid controversy over FIFA's stance against the 'OneLove' armband on the pitch.

'A good thing' for footballers to express values, says France's PM

“There are rules for what happens on the field but I think it’s a good thing for players to be able to express themselves on the values that we obviously completely share, while respecting the rules of the tournament,” said Borne at a press conference in Berlin on Friday.

Germany’s players made headlines before Wednesday’s shock loss to Japan when the team lined up for their pre-match photo with their hands covering their mouths after FIFA’s threat to sanction players wearing the rainbow-themed armband.

Seven European nations, including Germany, had previously planned for their captains to wear the armband, but backed down over FIFA’s warning.

Following Germany’s action, Wales and the Netherlands have since come out to say they would not mirror the protest.

Borne’s visit to Germany was her first since she was named to her post in May.

Following talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two leaders signed an agreement for “mutual support” on “guaranteeing their energy supplies”.

Concrete measures outlined in the deal include France sending Germany gas supplies as Berlin seeks to make up for gaping holes in deliveries from Russia.

Germany meanwhile would help France “secure its electricity supplies over winter”, according to the document.

France had since 1981 been a net exporter of electricity to its neighbours because of its nuclear plants. But maintenance issues dogging the plants have left France at risk of power cuts in case of an extremely cold winter.

The two leaders also affirmed their countries’ commitment to backing Ukraine “to the end of” its conflict with invaders Russia.