Host Ben McPartland is joined by The Local France editor Emma Pearson, journalist Genevieve Mansfield and political expert John Lichfield to look at everything that is happening in France this week.
We begin, naturally, with the political crisis that has erupted around pension reforms – after a week of protests, some violent, Emmanuel Macron talked to the nation on Wednesday to try and justify his plans.
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John Lichfield told us: “I do wonder whether Macron can recover from this, especially as he faces four years without a parliamentary majority.
“Looking ahead to the next elections in 2027 – France, as we know, as a country that likes to regularly change its leaders so there is a fear that it will turn to the far-right, simply because it’s the only thing that the country has not yet tried.
“Personally I don’t think the French will do anything so silly as elect Marine Le Pen president, but there is a fear that the far-right could present itself as the only viable alternative to either a Macron-style centrist or the scattered and divided left.”
We’re also answering a question that many readers have asked – should you cancel a trip to France because of the protests and political upheaval?
Moving away from politics, we’re looking at why France does badly on international comparisons for how easy it is to settle in here – most people say it’s a combination of problems with the language or the bureaucracy, so we’ve got some tips on how to make both easier.
And as applications are now open for Olympic and Paralympic Games volunteers, we’re taking a look at the process for signing up and what you can expect.
And finally, we’re sharing some of the things that foreigners do that make French people feel awkward – and which ones our hosts are guilty of.
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