Lunchtime News Tuesday 7th September 2021


National tribute to Jean Paul Belmondo to take place on Thursday - The Elysée has announced that the national tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo will take place on Thursday, September 9th at the Invalides in the French capital. The actor, who died on Monday at the age of 88 at his home in Paris, was one of the most popular figures of French cinema, with 80 films to his credit, from action films to the finest hours of cinema.

Scientists call for vaccinated people to still respect barrier gestures - Researchers from the Institut Pasteur have warned of a fifth epidemic wave as scientists call for vaccinated people to continue to respect barrier gestures and to wear a mask "to protect themselves from infection and avoid infecting their loved ones".

While figures are decreasing the researchers say, “that the current efforts being made to limit the spread of covid must be maintained and people must remain vigilant in the face of any deterioration of the situation".

Pension reform - French media is reporting that President Emmanuel Macron could relaunch part of the pension reform in the coming weeks, to complete it before the end of his term in office. According to reports Macron intends to reopen the reform which will undoubtedly be discussed this Wednesday during the Council of Ministers meeting.

The reform could well pass, at least in part, before 2022. The text would be a lighter version than that of 2019-2020. It would simply include the abolition of special schemes and the establishment of a minimum pension of 1000 euros. The increase in the age of retirement and the second step of the transition to a points system would then take place, during a possible new five-year term.

However, during his speech on July 12, Emmanuel Macron assured 22 million French people: "I will not launch this reform until the epidemic is under control and the recovery is well assured".

Asked on Monday on the subject, government spokesman Gabriel Attal delayed by explaining: "in principle, we have never given a timetable or excluded anything, the priority is economic recovery". The Elysee has assured that "nothing is decided".

It remains to be seen how Emmanuel Macron plans to pass this sensitive issue, eight months before the end of his five-year term. To avoid debates in Parliament, a decree is being considered by the executive. But for several sources within the majority, to pass such a sensitive subject by decree "would be" absurd ".

Feeling hot - Parts of France which have had a rather gloomy summer, notably in the north, are expected to experience highs of up to 40 degrees today. In the French capital temperatures should exceed 30 degrees unheard of at this time of year. The good weather however, is not expected to last with thunderstorms arriving from the West on Wednesday, which will cause temperatures to drop by 4 to 8  degrees.

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