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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

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

From court rulings to Olympic tickets, strikes to a state visit - here's what is happening in France this week.

On the agenda: What's happening in France this week
The Louvre-Lens museum in Lens in northern France is 10 years old. Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

Monday 

Island hopping – Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin will visit the tiny Pacific island of Nouvelle Calédonie for discussions on the island’s future status. The island has held three referendums in recent years, narrowly voting to remain a part of France’s overseas territories. 

Tuesday

Demo – Industrial action and demonstrations among staff at psychiatric hospitals, protesting under-funding and the “alarming situation of public mental health care”.

Court ruling – a tribunal in Bayonne will rule on the case of a restaurant owner who refused entry to a woman wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Wednesday

Stateside – President Emmanuel Macron will visit the USA for what will be the first official state visit of the Biden administration.

Football – the French team take on Tunisia in the final game of the pool stages of the men’s World Cup in Qatar – France has already qualified for the next stage of the tournament.

Thursday

Olympic tickets – registration opens for the draw to get tickets for the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics. Those interested have until January 31st to register to have their named added to the draw for tickets.

READ ALSO How to get Paris 2024 tickets

Strike – the union representing medical biologists have called for strike action, which may affect the results time of tests such as blood tests.

Lights out – the rule forbidding light-up advertising boards overnight in Paris comes into effect. A national law came into force at the start of November banning illuminated advertising between the hours of 1am and 6am, with the exception of public transport. However the city of Paris has gone further and banned it between 11.45pm and 6am, with no transport exception. 

Saturday

Nice – the Christmas market opens in Nice, and runs until January 2rd. The north-east tends to be the ‘Christmas capital’ of France, with the biggest and most elaborate markets which are mostly now open and run until early January, but across France most towns will have some kind of festive market or event.

READ ALSO 14 of the best Christmas markets in France

Election – first round of elections for the centre-right party Les Républicains as they choose a new party leader. 

Sunday

Museum fête – the Louvre-Lens museum celebrates 10 years since it opened – the satellite of the Louvre museum in the north-east town of Lens currently has a special exhibition on the history of Egyptology and hieroglyphics. 

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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

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

From holidays and carnival to crucial political debates and two strike days, here's what is happening in France this week.

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

Monday 

Pension reform bill – the controversial pension reform bill heads to the Assemblée nationale where debates – probably stormy ones – will begin.

READ ALSO 5 minutes to understand French pension reform 

Ski world championships – the world championship ski event begins in the French Alpine resorts of Courchevel and Meribel. 

Tuesday

Strike day – a third one-day mass strike will take place on Tuesday, so expect significant disruption on services like trains and city public transport, plus demos in towns and cities across France.

What to expect on the February 7th strike

Final day of sales – the winter sales end in most parts of France on Tuesday. You can learn more about the French winter soldes here.

Wednesday 

Refinery worker’s strike – French oil refinery workers began their 72-hour strike on February 6th. Wednesday was set to be the last day, though unions could call on workers to walk out again.

Friday

Nice Carnival – the fabulous carnival in the southern city of Nice begins on February 10th and runs until February 26th. This year is the event’s 150th anniversary, and you can find more information about schedules and attending on the website here.

Saturday

Another strike – there is another one-day strike action on Saturday, with disruption expected to be similar to Tuesday. 

School holidays – schools in Zone B – which includes most of northern France and also Nice) begin their two-week February holiday on Saturday. Schools in zone A are already on holiday while those in Zone C (south west France and Paris) begin the following week. 

Lemon Festival – on the border between France and Italy is the little town of Menton, which each year hosts a festival of lemons which includes a parade with floats made out of (what else?) lemons.

READ MORE: Bears, lemons and pig-squealing: 9 of France’s strangest festivals

France v Ireland – As part of the second round of the 2023 Six Nations rugby tournament, France will play Ireland in the 6 nations rugby tournament at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 3.15pm French time.

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