French News Weekly: New Voices Join the Record-Breaking Strikes

French News Weekly: New Voices Join the Record-Breaking Strikes

With 2020 firmly underway, we’re taking a look at the new decade’s first full week of news. Straight from the headlines, here is the latest from France.


The pensions reform strike has now broken records, making it the longest strike in French history. Though it was set to end today, it looks like numerous unions are not ready to concede. Very little headway has been made, and more unions have thrown their weight behind the cause; doctors, pilots and lawyers are also threatening to leave their places of work in droves. The tourism industry is feeling the sting, with cautious travellers cancelling their holiday plans. When will these protests end? Watch this space.

France has been given the go-ahead to collect and monitor people’s public social media posts to identify tax fraud. Permission was granted by the constitutional court, and will be rolled out on an experimental basis. Detractors say the move threatens the privacy and freedoms of users. If in doubt, keep your social profiles private; anything password-protected is legally off-limits from investigators.

Culture and current affairs

An eco-group, Agir Pour l’Environment, have called for a new pesticide ban to be cancelled, claiming the measures are insufficient. The new rules came into force at the beginning of this year and limits the use of dangerous chemicals.

Sports and showbiz

Chef Marc Veyrat has lost his court case against Michelin over their decision to strip his restaurant of a rare third Michelin star. The dispute (ostensibly over a mistaken ingredient) has enraged Veyrat, who even asked to be removed from the Michelin guide entirely. The chef’s case was turned down on the basis that neither he nor his business had suffered as a result of the removal of this star. As the restaurant continues to see 7% growth in annual bookings and the lawsuit was only seeking €1 in symbolic damages we expect Monsieur Veyrat won’t be smarting too badly.

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