top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

10, 50 and 100 years ago in France – January 2020

What happened in January 10, 50, and 100 years ago? Burqa ban, SMIC and the president that fell out of a train

JANUARY, 2010 Burqa ban approved

On January 26, 2010, France announced it was to introduce a ban on the burqa and other full-face veils (niqāb) in public spaces, saying “it is contrary to the values of the Republic, namely freedom, fraternity and dignity of people”.

The law came into force on April 11, 2011. Two days earlier, 61 people were arrested in Paris for an unauthorised protest against the move.

On October 23, 2018, the ban was deemed an infringement of human rights in a landmark United Nations ruling following complaints made in 2016 by two French women convicted four years earlier of obscuring their faces in public by wearing veils.

The UN said the ban disproportionately harmed the women’s rights to exercise their religious beliefs.

JANUARY, 1970 France introduces the SMIC

Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas (pictured) announced the creation of the minimum wage in France, the SMIC (salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance) on January 2, 1970.

An earlier version was launched in 1950 (the SMIG – salaire minimum interprofessionnel garanti) but while it took into account inflation, it did not reflect the growth in average wage so became stagnant.

Its replacement the SMIC is indexed both to inflation and to wages.

In 1970, the SMIC was 3.27 francs an hour. It is currently €10.15 gross an hour (€8.03 net an hour, €1,219 net a month).

JANUARY, 1920 President fell out of train

Paul DeschaneL was elected president of France on January 17, 1920, after playing an important role in World War One as an orator.

However, he only served for seven months due to mental health issues.

In May 1920, he fell out of a train after taking sleeping tablets and was found wandering the tracks in his pyjamas.

Later that year, he was found half-naked in the lake at Château de Rambouillet, an incident that prompted his resignation.

After three months in a sanatorium, he was released and elected to the Senate, on which he served until he died in 1922.

He is one of only two presidents to have been born outside France – he was born near Brussels.

The other is Valéry Giscard d’Estaing who was born in Germany.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now