France. Plans for changes in labor law triggered several months of extensive strikes and protests in the spring. A large proportion of voters, as well as a left wing within the ruling Socialist Party, opposed proposals to make it easier for employers to dismiss employees.
A protest movement called Nuit debout (“On the legs all night”) gathered hundreds of thousands of people to demonstrations around the country and came to apply even other than labor law. Despite this, in May the government passed the labor market reform without a vote in the National Assembly and subsequently managed to pass a vote of no confidence initiated by the opposition. According to countryaah, the current population of France is 65,273,522. The protests continued with strikes in public transport and at oil facilities and nuclear power plants.
On National Day July 14, according to thereligionfaqs, France was once again subjected to a major act of violence, which claimed the lives of 86 people and injured over 400. This happened when a truck plowed on the boardwalk in Nice where people gathered to watch fireworks. Only after 2 kilometers did it stop when the police shot the perpetrator, a 31-year-old Tunisian resident in France. He was described as a mentally unstable person inspired by violent Islamism.
The state of emergency that has prevailed since the terrorist attacks in Paris 2015 was just about to be abolished but was now extended instead.
Just a couple of weeks later, two 19-year-olds took several people hostage in a church in Normandy and cut the throat of an 85-year-old priest. The perpetrators, who swore allegiance to the terrorist sect of the Islamic State and tried to go to Syria themselves, were shot dead by police.
The attacks sparked a call for stricter regulation of Muslims and Muslim communities. The right-wing Republican leader, President Nicolas Sarkozy, advocated that up to 15,000 suspected Islamists be arrested or detained for prevention. About 30 resorts on the Riviera imposed a ban on the comprehensive bathing suit burkini, citing, among other things, that it would run counter to the country’s customs and secular state of affairs. The bans caused a loud debate, not least when pictures were spread of police ordering Muslim women on beaches to undress. At the end of August, the country’s highest administrative court upheld the Burkina ban in a case citing that it violated fundamental rights.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of FRA stands for the nation of France in geography.
The field cleared during the year ahead of the 2017 presidential election. Sarkozy announced that he wanted to aim for a return, but when the Republicans held primary elections in November, he was eliminated in the first round. The decisive vote was between the former two prime ministers François Fillon and Alain Juppé. Prior to that, Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron had resigned and announced that he would stand as an independent candidate, while the European Ecology-Green Party (EELV) appointed Yannick Jadot as his candidate.
The presidential election was thus expected to stand between Fillon and right-wing extremist National Front candidate Marine Le Pen.
President François Hollande announced that he would not run for re-election, citing the record-low support for him. Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Manuel Valls resigned to stand in the Socialist Party’s primary election in January. He was replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
A tug of war took place during the year around the informal migrant camp “The Jungle”, which for years has been in Calais at the mouth of the canal tunnel. Aid organizations objected to the government’s decision to demolish the camp and previous attempts had been canceled, but in October the demolition was carried out. A large part of the migrants now accepted to be relocated to one of around 300 refugee facilities elsewhere in the country where they could apply for asylum. Britain received a few hundred unaccompanied children from France.
Area: 543,965 km2 (world ranking: 48)
Population density: 123 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 21)
Official languages: French
Gross domestic product: 2,288 billion euros; Real growth: 1.8%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 37,970 US$
Currency: CFP Franc
Pariser Platz 5, 10117 Berlin
Telephone 030 590039100,
Fax 030 590039110
Head of State: Emmanuel Macron, Head of Government: Édouard Philippe, Exterior: Jean-Yves Le Drian
National Day: 14.7. (Storm on the Bastille 1789)
13 regions, 96 departments (excluding external areas)
State and form of government
Constitution of 1958
Presidential parliamentary democracy
Parliament (Congrès): National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) with 577 members (27 from overseas territories, 11 representatives of French abroad), election every 5 years; Senate (Sénat) with 348 members indirectly elected for 6 years (21 from overseas territories and 12 representatives from French abroad), partial election every 3 years
Direct election of the head of state every 5 years (one re-election)
Right to vote from 18 years
last count 2010: 62,765,235 residents. Proportion of foreigners 2017: 6.9%
Cities (with population): Martin-de-Viviés
Religions: 61% Catholics, 7% Muslims, 4% Protestants, 1% Jews; 25% without religion (as of 2017)
Languages: French; Regional languages: Occitan, German (Alsatian and Lorraine dialects, High German), Catalan, Basque, Breton, Corsican, Flemish
Employees by economic sector: Agriculture. 3%, industry 20%, business 77% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of all labor force): 2017: 9.4%
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 1.2%
Foreign trade: Import: 552.7 billion euros (2017); Export: 473.6 billion euros (2017)
In the south a Mediterranean climate, by far the largest part of the country with an Atlantic climate. Cool summers and mild winters are characteristic here. Depending on the region, rainfall is between 500 and 1,100 mm per year and decreases from west to east. Average temperatures in Paris are 19 ° C in July and 3 ° C in January.