There’s some good news (finally!) for motorists regarding petrol prices in France, plus flu vaccines are now available and the ECMWF is predicting an unexpectedly warm winter throughout Europe. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Petrol Price Subsidies Extended
With petrol strikes and shortages still ongoing and today’s nationwide transport strikes pushing more traffic onto the roads, it’s been a tricky time for motorists in France. There is, however, a little bit of good news…
Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced yesterday on TF1 that the current fuel subsidies will be extended until mid-November. French motorists currently benefit from a government-subsidized 30-cents-per-litre reduction in petrol and diesel prices, applied to all fuel stations around the country. This was set to fall to 10 cents per litre from November 1st (therefore increasing current prices by 20 cents per litre), but Borne confirmed that the 30-cents-per-litre rebate would remain in place until the middle of November before falling to 10 cents per litre.
Don’t get too used to the government aid, though – Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stressed that the rebates would not be continued past January 1st, 2023, insisting that the government cannot continue subsidising fossil fuels while meeting its objectives on environmental policies.
Regarding the aforementioned petrol strikes, the government are in meetings today to discuss action as the unions and oil refineries remain in deadlock over pay. Find out more about the strikes and how to check supplies at your local fuel station here.
2. France Set For Record Temperatures This Winter
In last week’s News Digest, we laid out the government’s winter energy-saving plans along with our own tips for reducing your energy bills, but if you’re among those holding out on turning the heating on until winter is well underway, there’s encouraging news. Not only are this week’s temperatures set to break records for October, reaching up to 28°C in the southwest, 19°C in Paris, and 20°C in Nantes, but this winter is set to be warmer than average.
Weather forecasts released last week by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) have predicted a warmer-than-usual winter across Europe, which should provide welcome relief for your household energy bills. However, France should prepare for a cold snap around December, the forecasts warned.
3. Flu Vaccines Now Available
France rolls out its annual flu vaccine campaign this week, with vaccinations opening for high-risk groups from today (Tuesday, 18th October). If you are over 65, have a chronic or long-term illness (including heart, respiratory, and liver diseases), are obese, are pregnant, or work in the healthcare, childcare, or elderly care sectors, you are eligible for a free flu vaccine.
High-risk individuals are being encouraged to receive the latest Covid-19 booster shot at the same time as the flu vaccine. Read our guide to How To Get a Flu Vaccine in France for all the details.
4. The Carte Vitale Goes Digital
If you live in France and are registered for the French state healthcare system, you will know how important the Carte Vitale is. The bank-card-like identity card is not only proof of your social security number, but it grants you access to France’s state health system and is required at doctor’s visits, visits to specialists, and pharmacies.
Starting this month, France has started trialling a digital version of the Carte Vitale accessed via a smartphone app. Eight areas of France are currently part of the trial: Bas-Rhin, Loire-Atlantique, Puy-de-Dôme, Saône-et-Loire, Sarthe, Seine-Maritime, Rhône, and Alpes-Maritimes. If you live in one of these areas and already have a standard Carte Vitale (currently, the scheme is not available for new applicants), you will soon be able to download the app and begin using it at doctor’s appointments and pharmacies. The app is intended for roll-out throughout the country in 2023.
As I live in one of the eight trial areas, I’ll be trying it out for myself once it’s available, so if you want to know more about how it works, watch this space!
Leave a reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *