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What’s coming up? The week ahead in France

A giant David Hockney artwork comes to complement the Bayeux Tapestry, the government presents its 2023 budget, rain moves in across France and more

A split image of David Hockney, a pile of euro notes, models on the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week 2016 and rain dripping from an umbrella

We look at what the week ahead has in store for people in France Pic: Featureflash Photo Agency / / Alex Dobrov / Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock

Presentation of the 2023 budget 

Today (September 26), the government’s projet de loi de finances 2023 budget will be presented firstly in a Conseil des ministres Cabinet meeting, and then to the public. 

Some of the contents are already known, including a rise in the price of cigarettes, which will increase with inflation, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has said. 

It has also been confirmed that regulated gas and electricity prices will rise by 15% “instead of 120%” because of a prolonged state cap on bill increases. 

Read more: Regulated French gas and electric bills capped at 15% rise in 2023

Public Accounts Minister Gabriel Attal has also said that income tax will be reduced, “meaning a €200 gain for someone earning €2,000 net per month.” 

Rain on the way across France 

This week is expected to be marked by rain everywhere in France apart from some places along the Mediterranean coastline.

Today (September 26), the rain will affect the northern half of the country, reaching the south west by evening. This weather is expected to linger tomorrow, especially in the north and centre.

On Wednesday and Thursday, all of France – apart from Corsica and some Mediterranean areas such as Nice and Marseille – will have rain.

The best day of the week in terms of the weather will be Friday, which is only forecast to bring some showers in the north west and the far south west.

However, rain is set to return at the weekend.

Paris Fashion Week begins

This year’s Paris Fashion Week will run from today (September 26) until October 4.

This year will see Victoria Beckham make her debut at the event, joining 104 other labels in the spring-summer shows.

Some brands will be running their catwalks online but the majority are back to the in-person events, including Dior, Chanel and Stella McCartney.

‘A Year in Normandie’ David Hockney exhibition

The Bayeux Tapestry Museum is hosting a new exhibition featuring a giant painting by David Hockney called ‘A Year in Normandie’. 

Having lived in Calvados since 2019 and been inspired by the narrative of the Bayeux Tapestry, Hockney used an iPad to create a 90-metre-long painting reflecting the four seasons in Normandy.

“Unlike a normal painting with a frame which is just a window into an instant, these two works can be discovered through movement,” Antoine Vernay, curator of the Musées de Bayeux, said. “The gaze moves but so does the body.” 

The artwork was initially displayed in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, but has now been moved to sit with the Bayeux Tapestry until April 2023.

Read more: David Hockney’s ‘A Year in Normandy’ is now on show in Paris

Read more: Artist Hockney revels in Normandy lifestyle

Festival du Film Britannique 

The town of Dinard (Ille-et-Vilaine) will host the Festival du Film Britannique between September 28 and October 2. 

Since 1990, the festival has been judging six of the best British films of the year, awarding the winner a prize called the Hitchcock d’or (Golden Hitchcock).

This year, the films in the running for this award are: All My Friends Hate Me, Emily – which stars French-British actress Emma Mackey – My Old School, Pirates, The Almond and the Seahorse and Winners. 

You can find out more on the festival’s official website.

Three days to celebrate a hero of World War Two 

September 26 - 29 marks a series of events commemorating the life and work of Varian Fry, an American citizen based in Marseille who saved the lives of thousands of Jewish people during World War Two. 

Born in New York in 1907, Fry became a journalist and eventually travelled to Germany in 1935 to report on the Nazi regime. He was one of the first Americans to understand the central role of antisemitic ideologies within the system. 

He was later asked to go to France to help organise the response to refugees arriving in the south of the country. There, he helped protect artists, intellectuals and politicians who were opposed to Nazism.

Fry ended up staying in Marseille for 13 months, going beyond the official lists of refugees and beginning to engage in clandestine rescue activities.

By the time he was expelled from France in 1941, it is estimated that Fry had helped to save between 2,000 and 4,000 people, including Surrealist and Dadaist artists Max Ernst, André Masson and Marcel Duchamp, and many Jewish people.

This week, the Association Varian Fry-France has organised round table events and talks surrounding his work, involving journalists, diplomats and lecturers from France and the US.

A day to combat food waste 

September 29 is when France marks the Journée internationale de sensibilisation aux pertes et gaspillages de nourriture (International day against food waste). 

Some 10 million tonnes of food is thrown away each year in France according to the Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (Ademe), equating to 30kg per person per year.

You can find out more about the day, along with resources to help you reduce food waste in your household, on government website

Read more: Organise your fridge, know labels: French experts’ food-saving tips

A strike over spending power

On Thursday (September 29), members of the CGT, Solidaires and FSU unions will go on strike demanding greater protections for the spending power of the French population. 

Unions are calling for general pay increases, as well as a minimum wage of €2,000 per month, a lowering of the retirement age to 60 and a 32-hour week.

There are demonstrations planned in towns and cities across France, but there will not be a main protest taking place in Paris. 

The FO, Unsa and CFDT unions have not joined this strike action. CFDT said: “Who believes that demonstrating together in Paris will solve the [salary] issue? It is company by company, industry by industry that we must act.”

A demonstration on abortion rights 

On Wednesday (September 28), demonstrations are being planned in Paris and across the country in defence of abortion rights. 

The Unsa union is calling for the right to a termination to be enshrined in the French Constitution and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Read more: France proposes bill to enshrine right to abortion in constitution

Related articles 

London-Bordeaux trains, winter flights: Eight France travel updates

Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France

French air traffic controllers call off this week’s three-day strike

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