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What’s coming up? The week ahead in France

This week sees lorry driver strikes, the opening of La Rochelle’s film festival, a judgement on the November 13, 2015 Paris terror attacks and the first stages of the 2022 Tour de France

We look at what the week ahead has in store in France Pic: sylv1rob1 / zosel / Radu Razvan / H Athey / Shutterstock

HGV driver strike 

Several unions representing HGV drivers in France have launched strike action today (June 27), demanding pay rises for workers. 

“The whole of the transport and logistics industry is on the minimum wage; things can’t continue like this,” Patrice Clos of the Force Ouvrière transport union said. “We were indispensable to the continuity of the nation’s way of life during Covid and we now see how all the workers have been forgotten.” 

The strike began at 03:00 this morning, across the industrial zones of France, with Mr Clos saying that this is “a first day.”

“If we are not heard, the government should know that we will launch longer strike actions from October.”

The CFDT-FGTE union has called for “the reopening of real obligatory annual negotiations across sectors included in the Convention collective nationale des transports routiers.” 

Unions have also criticised worker shortages caused by the fact that the job as it currently stands is failing to attract new recruits. 

“Higher-level drivers are paid between €1,800 and €1,900, others are on the French minimum wage [the Smic] or below,” Mr Clos said. 

The minimum wage in France is currently, €1,645.58 gross, €1,302.64 net.

The Tour de France begins 

Friday (July 1) will mark the beginning of this year’s Tour de France cycle race, which will begin in Copenhagen.

Read more: Tour de France 2022 route revealed: will it pass near you in France?

This 109th edition of the famous race will last until July 24 on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Copenhagen has prepared for its role in the event by painting cycle lanes yellow and creating a giant yellow jersey. 

The third day of the Tour, and the last in Denmark before the racers head for France, begins in the city of Vejle, which is known as the Kingdom of Cycling because of its steep hills. 

After the Tour de Suisse was affected by a series of Covid cases, there are concerns that the same will happen with the Tour de France. However, the event’s organisers have not imposed any additional infection-control protocols at this stage. 

President of the Assemblée nationale elected

Tomorrow (June 28) will also see France’s newly elected 577 MPs attend their first sitting in the Assemblée nationale, when they will elect a president. 

The Assemblée nationale president is charged with representing the institution at national and international events, as well as following particularly serious incidents, for the whole of the parliamentary term. 

The presidents of the different Assemblée nationale commissions, which include economic affairs, foreign affairs and national defence, will be appointed on Thursday (June 30). 

Verdict expected for Paris terror attacks trial

Following a trial lasting 148 days, judges at the Cour d’assises spéciale de Paris are expected to return a judgement on the November 13, 2015 Paris terror attacks case on Wednesday (June 29). 

On the last day of the trial today (June 27), Salah Abdeslam, the only member of the group accused of carrying out the attacks who is still alive, took to the stand and said: 

“I recognise that I am not perfect; I have made mistakes, it is true, but I am not a murderer, I am not a killer. If you condemn me for murder, you will have committed an injustice.” 

The trial surrounding the attacks, during which 132 people were killed and hundreds more injured, has been the longest since World War Two. 

Also on trial are 19 people accused of varying degrees of assistance to the terrorist team. 

The Musée du Louvre launches evening visits 

From July 1, Paris’ Musée du Louvre is extending its Friday opening hours from 18:00 to 21:45. 

This had been promised by the gallery’s new director Laurence des Cars, who was appointed to the role in September 2021. 

Evening opening hours have already been trialled on Wednesdays and Fridays and have proven popular with visitors. 

Some two million people visited the Louvre between January and April. 

The final week of the Montpellier Danse festival 

The Montpellier Danse contemporary dance festival will draw to a close this Sunday (July 3). 

The festival is an annual gathering of choreographers and dance troupes, through which members of the public can access many free performances in and around Montpellier. 

It also includes showings of documentaries exploring the history of dance, dance classes and discussions. 

You can find out more on the Montpellier Danse website. 

Beginning of the La Rochelle International Film Festival

As Montpellier Danse concludes for another year, this weekend (Friday, July 1), will also see the beginning of the Festival La Rochelle Cinéma (Fema) international film festival. 

Over 10 days, this festival will explore films old and new from all over the world, giving filmmakers, actors, directors, the media and the public the opportunity to discover new material. 

The festival does not involve prizes, but rather looks to uncover little-known and forgotten films for a new audience. 

This year’s event is dedicated to legendary actor Alain Delon, who appeared in films such as Purple Noon (1960) and The Swimming Pool (1969). 

You can find out more here.

The end of higher ticket restaurant spending limit 

On Friday (July 1), the maximum daily amount that workers can spend on meals and food goods with tickets restos will return to €19 per day. The limit was raised to €38 a day during the Covid crisis in a bid to support restaurants who had been hit hard by Covid restrictions, and this measure proved to be popular. 

The Commission nationale des tickets-restaurants has asked the government to keep the maximum at €29, and believes its request has a good chance of being granted. 

Related articles 

Discover France by bike this summer on one of its cycle holiday routes

Train ticket boost, airline strikes: nine France travel updates

Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France

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