News in brief
The French government has made a deal asking four major telecoms companies to spend more than €3bn to improve 4G coverage across the country. It is hoped there will be no more 4G coverage gaps by 2020.
A group of British expats chartered a plane to fly curry from Hampshire to southwest France. Akah restaurant, in Southsea, charged £32 a head to deliver a ‘Curry by air’ to 50 hungry Brits living near Bordeaux. Macron is backing a bid by French bakers to have baguettes added to UNESCO’S list of ‘intangible heritage’.
The birth rate in France is falling, although it is still the most fertile country in Europe, new figures from INSEE reveal. A total of 767,000 babies were born in France last year – 2.1% fewer than in 2016 – but French mothers still have on average 1.88 children, the highest rate in Europe.
France and the UK have signed a treaty to speed up the processing of migrants in Calais. The Sandhurst Treaty aims to reduce the time taken to process migrants from six months to a month for adults and 25 days for children. The UK has agreed to pay £44.5m to reinforce the Channel border’s security.
Reports from the UN World Tourism Organisation reveal that France remains the most visited country in the world while Spain looks set to replace the US as the second most popular tourism destination.
Normandy is to get its very own local currency, which will be available through a smartphone app. The currency should be released at the end of March, although a name for it has yet to be decided.
Celebrated chef Paul Bocuse has died at the age of 91. His funeral was held in his native city of Lyon on 26 January.
A Catholic church in Paris has introduced contactless card collection baskets. The St-françois de Molitor church in Paris’ 16th arrondissement has transformed wicker baskets into contactless payment terminals, allowing people to donate €2, €3, €5 or €10.