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Pension debates, strikes, wine, culture: The week ahead in France

This week (February 6-12) is set to feature several more days of anti-pension transport strikes, and a number of major cultural events in film, wine, arts and…lemons

The week ahead in France includes more pension strikes and debates, the World’s Best Sommelier competition, the start of the Nice carnival and the lemon festival in Menton Pic: BTWImages / JeanLucIchard / il21 / Travel-Fr / Shutterstock

Monday, February 6

Pension reform law debate

MPs are set to begin debating the controversial pension reform law which has already had 20,000 amendments submitted.

ATP tennis tournament

The famous men’s tournament begins in the city of Montpellier. The final will take place on Sunday, February 12.

Ski world championships

The winter sports event takes place in Courchevel Méribel.

Tuesday, February 7

Third day of pension action

Another day of action and protests against the government’s pension reform is set to take place in some sectors.

Read more: French pension strike February 7: travel and schools to be impacted

Wine contest

The competition for the Best Sommelier of the World competition begins in Paris. It will end on Sunday, February 12.

Wednesday, February 8

Rail strike

Workers from SNCF are set to take more protest action against the pension reforms under the banner of unions CGT-Cheminots and SUD Rail.

Read also: Why more people are supporting the retirement strikes in France

Picasso art show

The exhibition Picasso et la préhistoire is set to open at the Musée de l’Homme, in Paris. It wll last until June 12.

Thursday, February 9

Ecology launch

Green party the EELV plans to launch its Etats Généraux de l’Ecologie campaign in Paris. The aim is to “start the process of refounding…and creating a new people’s green movement”, the party head Marine Tondelier has said.

Nobel winner at the Académie Française

Nobel prizewinner for Literature, the Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa is set to be formally admitted to the Académie Française. 

The appointment has attracted some criticism, given Vargas Llosa’s age (10 years above the usual 75-year limit), the fact that he does not write in French, and his support for far-right politicians. However, his clear literary merit meant he was admitted by 18 votes in favour, one abstention, and two blank votes.

Friday, February 10

Victoires de la musique

The 38th edition of the Ministry of Culture award ceremony takes place in Paris. It aims to recognise outstanding achievements in the music industry in France.

Nice carnival

The Carnaval de Nice begins in the Mediterranean city and celebrates its 150th anniversary. The event will last until February 26.

On the UNESCO World Heritage list, the Nice Carnival 2023 will have as its theme the treasures of our world heritage. Every year, the theme changes.

Saturday, February 11

More pension strikes

More action is planned against the government’s planned reforms.


The fixture is set to take place on the second day of the men’s rugby tournament the Six Nations in Dublin.

On Sunday (February 5), France won its first game against Italy 29-24 whilst on Saturday Ireland beat Wales 34 to 10.

Lemon festival

La fête du citron, an annual event in homage to the fruit, takes place in Menton until February 26 with its famous sculptures made of citrus fruits. More than 200,000 people typically attend the super-colourful event each year.

This year, 120 tonnes of the fruit are expected to be needed in order to make the sculptures.

Sunday, February 12

Super sommelier

The final of the Best Sommelier of the World competition takes place at the Défense Arena in Paris to an audience of 3,500 people.

Last day of circus arts event 

The final day of the international circus arts event la Biennale Internationale des Arts du Cirque 2023 in Marseille. 

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Strikes, sports events, rising energy bills: The week ahead in France 

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Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
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- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
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