News in brief
France’s three biggest broadcasters (also historic competitors) have joined forces to see off the cultural threat posed by American giants such Netflix and Amazon Prime, to provide a French-born film and TV streaming service. France Télévisions, the state-owned public broadcaster, and the private networks of TF1 and M6 are coming together to launch a subscription service called Salto which should launch next year. The service will offer live and catch-up programs but the aim will be to eventually produce exclusive shows too.
Police in Strasbourg have been robbing dozens of tourists and residents to prove how vulnerable they are to pick-pockets. A campaign to attract tourists back to France which has been ongoing for the past few years has proven so successful that the country is struggling to cope with record numbers of visitors. The charm offensive was set up after terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice put tourists off from visiting, but France was the most visited country in the world in 2018. Visitors are having to queue for hours at sites such as the Louvre, Mont-st-michel and the Loire Valley châteaux, and are being encouraged to book tickets well in advance.
France is introducing a law to punish ‘upskirting’, whereby someone tries to take a photo or film under another person’s skirt or dress. Up until now, the offense was in a legal grey area but offenders could now be fined up to €30,000 and receive a prison sentence of up to two years.
The French Constitutional Court has ruled that a farmer who helped hundreds of migrants enter France illegally had acted on the “principle of fraternity”, underpinning the very essence of France’s Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité motto. Olive farmer Cédric Herrou had been fined and given a four-month suspended sentence but this recent ruling questions these penalties and blurs the lines for future offenders.
A French government think-tank has issued a plan to get rid of 1c and 2c euro coins in a bid to reduce fraud and phase into a cashless economy.