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What’s coming up? The week ahead in France

This week begins with a ‘working’ public holiday and ends with the start of the French legislative elections. There is also a chance to see inside the Pagode de Paris

We look at what the week ahead will bring in France Pic: Petr Kovalenkov / Kiev.Victor / Regormark / HJBC / Shutterstock

Whit Monday public holiday

Today (June 6) is Whit Monday or lundi de Pentecôte, a public holiday in France. However, many people will still have gone to work this morning because today is also a journée de solidarité

On this day, some people work seven hours for free and their employers pay their gross salary for the day to the state’s Caisse nationale de solidarité pour l’autonomie, to fund public provision for the elderly.

Read more: Faire le pont: When are France’s four-day weekends possible?

The journée de solidarité was introduced in 2004 to help fund the care of elderly and disabled people following the fatal heat wave of 2003, which resulted in nearly 15,000 deaths. It concerns both private and public employees. 

In 2020, the journée de solidarité raised an estimated €3billion. It normally replaces Whit Monday, but can be worked on any other public holiday apart from May 1.

Companies which require their employees to today will specify this in their employment contracts. Firms are free to set a different day with their staff for this solidarity day.

First round of France’s legislative elections 

The first round of France’s legislative elections will take place on Sunday (June 12), with the second round being held a week later on June 19. 

The vote enables citizens to elect a député (MP) for their area. There are 577 seats available in the French Parliament, the majority of which are currently held by representatives of President Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche.

In this election, any candidate who receives an absolute majority and a vote total equating to at least 25% of the registered electorate in their constituency will be elected in the first round. 

However, if no candidate manages this, a second-round runoff will be held between the candidates who received at least 12.5% of the vote. 

The latest opinion poll from Cluster17, held between May 30 and June 1, suggests that NUPES – the alliance of parties whose ideology aligns with that of left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon – will gain 31% of parliamentary seats. 

President Macron’s representatives from La République en Marche and affiliated parties – forming the Ensemble group – are predicted to gather together 27% of seats. 

Read more: How can Mélenchon become French prime minister and how would it work?

Read more: 11 questions on the legislative elections this month in France

Tax declaration deadline for some French departments 

This week will also see the income tax declaration deadline for departments 55 (Meuse) to 976 (Mayotte). 

People living in these departments must complete their declarations by 23:59 on June 8 at the very latest.

If they were filling in paper returns, their deadline will already have passed on May 31. 

If you fail to return your income declaration before the deadline, you will be subject to a 10% increase to your bill. 

Read more: What do you risk if you are late with your French tax declaration?

Pagoda Paris opens its doors to public for one-off free event

The famous red pagoda which sits in Paris’ eighth arrondissement will be welcoming visitors for free between June 8 and June 16 to mark the fifth Printemps Asiatique Paris (Paris Asia Week). 

The Pagode de Paris was created in the 1920s by Chinese art dealer Ching Tsai Loo, who bought a building near the Parc Monceau in 1880 and remodelled it into a house inspired by the style of his home country.

The house had jade green roof tiles, sixteenth and seventeenth-century wood panelling, an Art Deco glass ceiling and a lacquer and wooden lift. 

It fell into disrepair following Mr Loo’s death, but was eventually bought by a French investor in 2010 and developed as a cultural venue.

Beginning on Wednesday, visitors will be able to enjoy a week-long exhibition of Asian art from some of the world’s most prestigious galleries.

The pagoda is located on the Rue de Courcelles. 

France to play Croatia and Austria in Nations League

France’s football team will be playing Croatia this evening (June 6) in Split, as part of the 2022-3 UEFA Nations League. 

Both teams have lost their opening games, with France being beaten 2-1 at home by Denmark last Friday. Croatia lost 0-3 to Austria on the same night. 

Later in the week, on Friday evening (June 10), France will also play Austria in Vienna.

New exhibitions open at the Château de Chantilly 

The Cabinet d’Arts Graphiques of the Château de Chantilly has opened an exhibition called ‘Clouet, portraits des enfants royaux’ (Clouet: portraits of royal children) this week. 

The exhibition will retrace the history of representations of royal heirs and heiresses from the time of François I, Henri II and Catherine de Médicis.

Visitors are also invited to explore the Les pionniers du livre imprimé (Pioneers of the printed book) exhibition situated in the château library. 

This exhibition explores the origins of the printing press, first developed by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany in the fifteenth century, through rare preserved books from the château collection, including a 1462 bible.

Both exhibitions will run until October 2.

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