News Digest: Macron’s Pension Reform Signed into Law & EU Issues ETIAS Scam Warning



News Digest: Macron’s Pension Reform Signed into Law & EU Issues ETIAS Scam Warning

Macron’s controversial pension reform bill has now been signed into law, but does that mean the end of the strikes? Plus, the EU issues a warning about scam ETIAS websites, and send us your visa and healthcare questions. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Macron signs pension reform into law

The latest news regarding Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform bill – the reason behind the ongoing strikes and protests that have hit France over the last three months – came last Friday, April 14th, when the Constitutional Council approved the bill. The constitutional ruling was the last legal possibility for preventing the government from moving ahead with the reforms, and they approved almost all of the bill’s key legislation, including raising the minimum retirement age to 64 and extending the years of work required to qualify for a full pension. The pension changes are set to come into action from September 1st, 2023.

There were six minor provisions rejected from the bill, specifically concerning contracts for older workers, and the Constitutional Council also overturned a bid for a referendum on the retirement age.

Off the back of the approval of the Constitutional Council, Macron signed the bill into law the next day (Saturday, April 15th). Yesterday (April 17th), the President made a live TV address to the nation, stating that he had “heard the anger of the French people” and stated a desire to “move on”, as well as insisting that his “door will always be open” for unions to discuss working conditions moving forward.

2. The latest on France’s strikes and travel disruptions

The pension reform bill might now be written into French law, but the strikes and manifestations surrounding it look set to continue… at least over the next two weeks. The next major day of protest is set for May 1st, a bank holiday or jour férié in France, when union-led marches are being planned across the country.

This Thursday, April 20th, SNCF workers have declared a “day of angry protest”, although a strike notice hasn’t been filed, and it’s not quite clear what this will entail. The CGT union has also called for a further strike on Friday, April 28th, but this won’t be a multi-union strike and is likely to cause much less disruption than previous strikes.

As with all other strikes, if you’re travelling on the aforementioned days, be sure to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements from your travel provider.

3. ETIAS scam warning

EU border agency Frontex has issued a warning over unofficial websites offering the ETIAS EU visa. Some 50 fraudulent websites have been identified as offering ETIAS tourist visas for non-EU travellers visiting France or other EU countries. The legitimacy of such websites has been called into question – some may be legal services offering to carry out the visa application on your behalf (for an inflated fee), others may be scams – and tourists are being warned not to give out their personal data or make payments to such companies.

The ETIAS visa scheme was set to come into action this year, but it has now been postponed until 2024, so you will not need an ETIAS visa to travel to France in 2023. When the visas do come into law, you will be able to register on the official website for a fee of €7. It’s likely to be a simple process, and the majority of tourists won’t need additional help to apply.

Read our  What Changes for Travel to France in 2023: EES, ETIAS, €7 Visa fees?

4. Send us your visas & health insurance questions

There’s still time to send in your questions for our upcoming FrenchEntrée Moving to France: Long-Stay Visa Applications & Health Insurance webinar, which takes place next Thursday.

Kicking off our new Moving to France webinar series, we’ll be focusing on long-stay visa applications and health insurance – the first steps to becoming resident in France. I’ll be joined by expert advisors from French Connections HCB and FAB French Insurance, who will be answering some of your most frequently asked questions on long-stay visas, the visa application process, and the health insurance requirements, with plenty of top tips and essential advice.

If you’re a non-EU citizen looking to move to France to work or study, plan to retire to France, or perhaps just want to enjoy a long stay at your French second home – this is your chance to put your questions to the experts! As always, you can send your questions in advance to me at [email protected].

Sign up for our free Moving to France: Long-Stay Visa Applications & Health Insurance webinar here on Thursday, 27th April or click the button below.

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

Previous Article Our Dream Home Near Nice: Real Life Stories
Next Article Second Home Owners: Do I Need to File a French Tax Return?

Related Articles

FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  •  David Wall
    2023-04-19 07:22:03
    David Wall
    We are coming to the end of our long stay visa after moving here in 2021 to live permanently. We had to leave the country to apply for a visa as we thought we could do it here. We bought our only home here for cash and I work around the world repairing wind turbine blades as an abseiler under my own UK Ltd company. We have applied online for a renewal of our visa, will we just get another visa or will it be a carte de sejour or similar. Also we are having problems with the fact I only work 6-8 months a year so providing the wages info they want is impossible yet I earn in excess of £50,000+ a year which far exceeds what they ask for. If there is someone we can pay to do this for us then please pass on a number, I’m not fluent in French so English speaking would be helpful. Thank you, Dave


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-04-19 21:16:08
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Dave, I completely understand the need for English-speaking experts, and I'd be happy to put you in touch with our partners who deal with visas and residency. Could you send me an email at [email protected] outlining your situation (as above), and I will make the introduction. Best regards, Zoe