French News Weekly: Storm Ciara and Coronavirus in France

French News Weekly: Storm Ciara and Coronavirus in France

As many of us in western Europe are battening down the hatches from Storm Ciara, we’re taking a look at the news in France. How has the winter storm affected our friends across the channel? And what’s the latest news on Coronavirus in France?


Delphine Batho, MP for Deux-Sèvres, has introduced a bill that would ban the use of digital advertising in public spaces. She argues that animated billboards and advertising screens are a waste of energy resources and a danger to public health. This come off the back of a proposed ban on advertising in public bathrooms.

Culture and current affairs

The whole of France is now experiencing a flu epidemic. Over eight thousand people have visited hospitals with flu-like symptoms, with 26 people having died. Last year there were 8,100 fatalities during flu season.

Meanwhile, in the Haute-Savoie, five British holidaymakers have been hospitalised with the novel coronavirus, linked to a fellow Brit who has recently travelled to Singapore. The local authorities say that the virus is contained and that none of the patients are in a serious condition. There have now been 11 total cases of coronavirus confirmed in France.

The Louvre museum is due to stay open for three solid days and nights, free of charge, to see out its current da Vinci exhibition in style. From February 21st the legendary venue will invite visitors to see the work of Leonardo da Vinci assembled in the largest ever single display of the artist and inventor’s work.

Two suspects have been arrested in the effort to retrieve a stolen Banksy artwork. The piece was painstakingly carved out of a metal sign near the Pompidou Centre upon which the original painting was left by the guerilla artist. The piece itself has yet to be recovered.

The ski station Mourtis, in the Haute-Garonne, has been forced to close early due to lack of snow. Despite many resorts opening much earlier than usual, a surprisingly mild late-winter ruined Mourtis’s chances of an extra-long season. Two young women were injured while sledding in January in an accident attributed to poor snow coverage.

A businessman was so fond of the small village of Montézic, in the Aveyron, that he bequeathed it €14 million in his will. Bernard Milhau left his entrie fortune to the commune, without telling any of the residents, by way of thanks for his many happy childhood holidays spent there.

Sport and showbiz

The head of France’s ice skating federation has resigned over accusations that he covered up sexual misconduct by a coach. Didier Gailhaguet has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that nobody within the federation was aware of the coach’s misconduct. Gilles Beyer has been accused of rape and sexual assault by numerous alleged victims.

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