France

Politics • European • France
France reports daily record of Covid-19 cases
Paris Place Charles de Gaulle  during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris Place Charles de Gaulle during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The French health authorities reported 13,498 new confirmed Covid-19 cases Saturday, a new record for daily cases. Since the beginning of the outbreak 442,194 were infected in the country.

France also reported 29 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 31,274.

Politics • European • France
Marseille, Bordeaux: Stricter Coronavirus measures to curb spread of virus
Bordeaux, France during lockdown in March, 2020
Bordeaux, France during lockdown in March, 2020 Credit: Patrice CALATAYU from Bordeaux, France / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Marseille and Bordeaux announced stricter measures to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. Work from home should be implemented wherever possible. Public transport companies are asked to reorganise to prevent overcrowding during rush hours. Major events are ordered to cancel or postpone. Sale of alcohol on the street after 8pm is now also forbidden in Marseille.

Christophe Mirmand, the government’s top official in greater Marseille area: "The virus has accelerated despite the obligation to wear a mask introduced earlier this summer. We need to take action to ensure health services can cope."

Politics • European • France
"Clear worsening" of Coronavirus spread in France, 42 départements on "red" alert
"Clear worsening" of Coronavirus spread in France, 42 départements on "red" alert
Credit: unsplash.com/Camille Brodard

France recorded almost 10,000 new Coronavirus cases on Thursday – highest daily record since March. 42 départements are now put on 'red' alert. The French government is currently avoiding tougher restrictions even though the Coronavirus is "circulating more and more"

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that testing for priority cases will be fast-tracked and additional testers will be recruited. Mandatory quarantine for people who have tested positive is down to seven days instead of fourteen. 

Politics • European • France
French new Covid-19 cases at a record high
Paris Champs-Élysées during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris Champs-Élysées during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

France reported 9,843 new Covid-19 infections Thursday, the highest single-day total since the start of the outbreak.

The French Government will hold a cabinet meeting on Friday with President Emmanuel Macron stating he hopes any new measures would not be too restrictive.

Politics • European • France
Emmanuel Macron refuses to condemn Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Prophet Mohammad
Emmanuel Macron in 2017 - adaption: Added background and blur
Emmanuel Macron in 2017 - adaption: Added background and blur Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The president defended citizens' right to freedom of speech. His remarks came as the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the target of a massacre by gunmen in 2015, said it was republishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday it was not his place to pass judgment on the decision by Charlie Hebdo to publish a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad.

Politics • European • France
Charlie Hebdo to reprint Prophet Mohammed cartoons ahead of trial
Flowers, candles, pens and many drawings and anonymous sketches remembering the people who died at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.
Flowers, candles, pens and many drawings and anonymous sketches remembering the people who died at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters. Credit: Patrizia Torres (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo announced Tuesday it would republish cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed to mark the start of the trial stemming from the massacre committed at its Paris offices in 2015.

Charlie Hebdo editor Laurent "Riss" Sourisseau wrote on the latest edition of the magazine: "We will never live down. We will never give up."

Politics • European • France
Spain reports 7,039 infections on Tuesday, 3,349 in last 24 hours
Fernando Simón
Fernando Simón Credit: Patria De Todos (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Spanish Health Department has notified 7,039 new infections on Thursday, 3,349 in the last 24 hours.

Fernando Simón, director of the Ministry of Health's Emergency and Health Alert Coordination Centre, stated that "at a national level we cannot say that the epidemic is out of control. Although in some specific points, we can".

Politics • European • France
Europe urges France to ban glue trap for birds

France is one of the last country to maintain a traditional hunting practice of coating branches with glue to capture birds. As it is against European laws, France might face significant fines, hence the new French government is currently considering outlawing this practice.

Hunting lobby is vigorously protesting and denounces a new persecution against hunters.

Politics • European • France
People in France will be fined €135 if they fail to wear mask in public places indoors
People in France will be fined €135 if they fail to wear mask in public places indoors
Credit: unsplash.com/Marco Testi

The French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces will be compulsory from next week on, tying it to a fine of €135 if people fail to comply. This expansion of the mandatory mask requirements comes after an increase in Covid-19 cases has been noted and comes in addition to the existing requirement of wearing masks on public transportation.

Politics • European • France
France: Mandatory masks in public indoor places
Women wearing face masks on public transport
Women wearing face masks on public transport Credit: unsplash.com/Marco Testi

Face masks will be mandatory in public indoor places starting next week. Until now, masks have been compulsory on public transport and in public spaces where an adequate distance couldn't be maintained.

Politics • European • France
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigns
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigns
Credit: Mueller / MSC (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Ahead of changes in the French government prime minister Edouard Philippe has resigned from office. President Emmanuel Macron is aiming to change multiple positions in order to win back voters as his popularity has dropped in polls. One of the presidents' main goals is to cater to climate and environmental topics. Edouard Philippe can still be re-appointed as French prime minister as it is expected that the prime minister resigns before a government shuffle.

Politics • European • France
French citizen council decides on climate tax, inland flight ban and other matters
French citizen council decides on climate tax, inland flight ban and other matters
Credit: unsplash.com / Dorian Hurst

The citizen council established by the French president Emmanuel Macron has decided on multiple climate change matters. Following their vote dividends from companies over €10 million should provide a 4% fee for climate purposes, inland flights should be banned from 2025 on, and highway speed limited to 100 kilometres per hour among other decisions. The council is composed of 150 randomly selected people with the aim to represent a miniature France through people that come from different parts of the society and are representative for the demographics of the French population. The decisions are non binding but president Macron has announced that he'll hold a referendum on the questions to amend the constitution to include the protection of the environment and the question if the "ecocide" should be made a criminal offence.

Politics • European • France
French ex-Prime Minister François Fillon found guilty of embezzling public funds
Former French prime minister François Fillon
Former French prime minister François Fillon Credit: European People's Party (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The former French prime minister François Fillon and his wife, Penelope Fillon, were sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds. The conservative politician was found guilty of paying his wife and two of the couple’s children €1.156 million for work they never did as parliamentary aides.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, three of them suspended, and to pay a €375,000 fine. She was given a three-year suspended term.

Politics • European • France
France: Controversial police chokehold method to be banned
Christophe Castaner, during a meeting with Emmanuel Macron in 2016
Christophe Castaner, during a meeting with Emmanuel Macron in 2016 Credit: clement vaillant / CC0 (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

France's Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner announced the ban of controversial police chokehold method. French police watchdog reported over 1500 complaints filed against police officers last year. In a press conference Castaner said the chokehold would no longer be taught in police and gendarmerie schools and that racism did not have a place in the country's society.

Politics • European • France
France: StopCovid contact-tracing app released
StopCovid App
StopCovid App Credit: StopCovid France, Gouvernement Francais; Mockup via AhmED ElqSas

StopCovid is available to download in France since June 2nd. The app uses Bluetooth to connect with nearby phones. If someone tests positive for coronavirus, the app will alert people who had been in contact with that person. The app sparked a lot of debate over privacy issues and laws.

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"Freedom will become the rule, bans the exception", France's PM Philippe on lockdown easing

Restaurants and bars will reopen in all of France's green areas where the spread of the virus has slowed. In Paris, still an orange area, eateries are only allowed to reopen outside terraces. Édouard Philippe said, "Freedom will become the rule, bans the exception". Travel bans will also be lifted as of June 2nd.

Politics • European • France
French Prime Minister announces that "significant" pay raises for workers in health care

The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced that as part of an overhaul of the countries hospital system, the workers in health care would "without any ambiguity" receive "significant" raises in their pay. The countries starting salaries for nurses are currently among the lowest in the OECD group.

Politics • European • France
Drone surveillance banned by the French State Council

Since the 11th of May, end of the COVID-19 full-lockdown in France, the French government is using drones in Paris to ensure citizens are applying the post-lockdown rules properly.

Today, after a complain from different NGOs, the French State Council, highest administrative court in France, considered drone surveillance was a dangerous threat to privacy, and ordered the Government to stop their usage immediately.

Politics • European • France
France set to Impose a two-week coronavirus quarantine for travellers

Health Minister Olivier Veran stated travelers to France, including citizens returning home, will be imposed a two-week quarantine and possible isolation when they arrive in the country to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Veran said the duration and conditions of quarantine for asymptomatic people and isolation for those showing symptoms of COVID-19 would be defined in a decree to be published.

Decisions to isolate people would be scrutinized by judges to ensure they are justified and fair, he added.