France is starting to close dozens of schools because of a heatwave, with temperatures expected to climb above 40 degrees celsius in some regions today. About 50 schools in the Essonne region, just south of Paris, are being shut, as they lack sufficient air conditioning. In parts of northeastern Spain, the heat is expected to reach 45 degrees celsius on Thursday. Germany and Italy are still below 40 degrees celsius. The exceptionally hot air has blown in from the Sahara. Switzerland is also sizzling, but the authorities insist that schools will remain open, because working parents cannot be expected to look after their children during the day. French officials decided that in Paris and Lyon, only the least polluting vehicles would be allowed on the roads from today. Paris is especially prone to smog in hot weather. Parisian drivers are also being offered free parking places to encourage them to use public transport instead.