Source:Le Figaro (Paris)
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
France's Constitutional Court (le Conseil Constitutionnel) has rejected an attempt by the ruling Socialist Party to abrogate the "Concordat" which affords 2 additional non-working public holidays to 3 of France's administrative departments (Alsace and Moselle).
The 1801 Concordat, an agreement between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII, spelled-out the relations between Church and state in France, until a 1905 law on the separation of church and State in France abrogated it. However, from 1871 until 1919, the 3 departments of Alsace-Moselle were part of Germany, and as part of Germany, they were granted 2 additional public holidays (Good Friday and Saint Stephen's Day) in 1892. As part of the 1919 negotiations aiming to return Alsace-Moselle to French rule, the citizens of Alsace-Moselle insisted on keeping the Concordat and subsidiarily the 2 additional public holidays.
In 2011, during his presidential campaign, the current President of France, François Hollande, had threatened that he would abolish the Concordat. However, the immediate backlash in Alsace-Moselle made him back-off in early 2012. The attempt to abrogate the Concordat was thus relegated to a proxy fight using the "Association pour la promotion et l'expansion de la laïcité" association.
Links and References
Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "France Regional Public Holidays Maintained" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.