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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.

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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

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

From the end of Ramadan to income tax declarations and more pupils off for the spring school holidays, here's what is happening in France this week.

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

Monday

Dock and port workers strike – The union representing dock and port workers, Fédération nationale des ports, is calling for a ‘dead ports‘ operation on Monday, April 8th, in protest against the application of measures related to pension reform for port workers.

It is unclear whether this will affect ferries entering or exiting France, but it is most likely to impact freights and commerce.

Tuesday

Eid al-Fitr – For Muslims around the world, the conclusion to Ramadan is expected to fall either on the evening of April 9th or 10th this year.

FR-Alert test – France’s emergency text alert system, the FR-Alert, will be tested in Dordogne on Tuesday between 10am and 11am. 

READ MORE: FR-Alert: How France’s emergency text alert system works

Last day of Foire de Nantes – The Nantes fair started on April 5th and will end on the 9th. Boasting family-friendly activities like face-painting, food stands, art and more, you can buy tickets to enjoy the last day of the fair here.

Thursday

Income tax declarations – Starting on April 11th, you will be able to go online to the Impots.Gouv.Fr website to filling in your tax declaration. Depending on your location and situation, you have between 6-8 weeks to file the declaration.

READ MORE: The bumper 2024 French tax guide

Friday

Paris Metro closures – Metro line 11, between the stations of Belleville and Mairie des Lilas, will be closed for 16 consecutive days, running from Friday, April 12th to Saturday, April 27th for works. Be aware that there may be Metro closures in the months and weeks leading up to the 2024 Olympic Games, as the city prepares its public transportation network.

Saturday

Spring school holidays – With pupils in Zone C (Paris, Toulouse, Montpellier) already off for spring holidays, those in Zone A (Lyon and Bordeaux) will start their two week break on Saturday, April 13th.

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