News from France January 2023

With grey wintry skies overhead, dreaming and planning for a summer garden.

The news from France concerns a government focussed on reforming the country’s multifarious retirement systems, oddly concentrating on the age of retirement. Internationally President Emmanuel Macron is indicating more support for Ukraine.

This week:

Covid vaccines are to be made available for all adults from the end of the month

Police protested over fears for their own safety

François Pinault’s contemporary art museum opened in Paris

and France came close in the Eurovision song contest.

Vaccines against Covid 19 will be available for all adults from the end of the month the prime minister announced this week.

People in priority professions such as teachers, police officers and bus drivers, can be vaccinated from tomorrow, Monday.

Restrictions were loosened this week with cafe terraces and large retail stores opening again and the overnight curfew starting from the later time of 9 p.m.

There were 12,611 new Covid cases reported in the previous 24 hours on Sunday.

The health minister said this week that France could expect to ‘turn the page’ on the Covid crisis by the end of the year.

Police unions said 35,000 people joined their demonstration outside the French parliament building on Wednesday.

They were protesting over attacks on officers and growing fears for their own safety. They are calling for tougher jail sentences for people convicted of targeting police. Several officers have died in the last year.

Interior minister Gérard Darmanin took part in the protest – although he was not allowed by organizers to address the crowd. He told French radio “I will be there to show my support.” The minister’s job is to oversee France’s police and security forces.

Organizers said there would be no “playing politics” with the protest which was held just weeks ahead of local elections and a year ahead of the presidential poll.

French billionaire Francois Pinault’s new museum opened in Paris this week.

Housed in the renovated corn and flour exchange built in the 1760s, the Bourse de Commerce has ten exhibition spaces.

Many of Pinault’s artworks have been exhibited at his museums in Venice (Palazzo Grassi & Punta della Dogana.)

It has taken the founder of the Kering luxury group – which includes the Gucci and Pomellato brands – more than 20 years to achieve his project to house his collection in the French capital.

and French singer Barbara Pravi came close in the Eurovision song contest held in Holland last night.

Singing a strong ballad, she lost out by just 25 points to Italian rock group Maneskin.

Switzerland won the jury vote where Italy came fourth, but the 4-piece Italian rock band won the public vote, leaving the Swiss singer in 3rd place behind Barbara Pravi – who also came second in the jury vote.

This has been News from France for Sunday 23 May 2021.

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