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Updated: 55 min 28 sec ago

The magic of Christmas in Paris

Fri, 13/12/2019 - 13:31
During the Christmas season, Paris puts on a show. The whole city is immersed in a warm and magical atmosphere. The Christmas market at the Tuileries Gardens delights locals and tourists alike. Meanwhile, the Printemps department store shows off the handmade puppets in its shopfront windows. The festive season is also about food: French bakers and pastry chefs work frantically to please our taste buds, while butchers are equally rushed off their feet. FRANCE 24 takes you to discover the magic of Christmas in Paris.

Pension conundrum: Why is it so hard to reform France's retirement system?

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:42
France's pension system is an emotional and divisive issue. Critics say it's an expensive burden for the French economy, while defenders say it's a treasured jewel that needs protecting. Attempts to reform it (and there have been many) have driven a cross section of French society into the street and ground the country to a halt. President Emmanuel Macron came to power in 2017 with the promise of streamlining the pension system. Will he now succeed where others have failed?

France postpones G5 Sahel meeting after deadly Niger attack

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 09:26
French President Emmanuel Macron and Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou agreed on Thursday to postpone to early 2020 a meeting of Sahel country leaders due to take place in France later this month, the French presidency said.

'No Christmas break' in transport strike, French union warns

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 08:53
France's CGT union said on Thursday there would be no break in transport strikes over the Christmas period unless the government backed down on pension reform.

Full steam ahead: Macron unveils pension reform, shrugs off strikes

Wed, 11/12/2019 - 19:12
Emmanuel Macron may have outlasted the Yellow Vest movement. Now he has got the unions against him. The French government's formal rollout of its pension reform plan has prompted a rolling over of strikes - already in their seventh day - and triggering calls for massive demonstrations next Tuesday. Has Macron, who stormed to power in 2017 by bringing together reformers from the left and the right, finally chosen his camp? 

French government unveils new pension plan but crippling strikes set to continue

Wed, 11/12/2019 - 06:11
The legal retirement age in France will remain 62 with the new French retirement plan, but workers will need to work until 64 to get a full pension, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced on Wednesday.

French women may be the biggest losers under Macron’s pension reform plan

Tue, 10/12/2019 - 16:42
France’s high commissioner for pension reform has repeatedly maintained that women will be the "big winners" of the government’s new pension reform proposals. But advocates of economic gender parity are not so sure.

'The French health system has reached a point of major crisis'

Tue, 10/12/2019 - 10:10
We speak to one of France's senior doctors as he takes rare strike action to denounce poor working conditions. Julien Taieb of Paris's Georges Pompidou hospital says for the first time beds are closing and nurses quitting, and it's forced people like him to say enough is enough. It comes as some hospital staff who have already taken part in strikes over the health service also join huge strikes here in France this Tuesday over pension reform.

French unions stage new pension protests on sixth day of crippling strike

Tue, 10/12/2019 - 06:21
Roughly half the number of people showed up on Tuesday for demonstrations called by France’s unions as had rallied last week in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms.

'Everyone is very worried’: Paris shops hit by ongoing strike

Sat, 07/12/2019 - 15:22
Three weeks before Christmas, Paris’s landmark department stores are virtually empty of shoppers as a result of the ongoing transport strike. Shopkeepers are worried for their future if it continues.

Turmoil continues in France as nationwide strike extends through weekend

Sat, 07/12/2019 - 14:49
The most serious nationwide strike to hit France in years caused new weekend travel turmoil on Saturday, with unions warning the walkouts would last well into next week.

Macron ally, centrist leader Francois Bayrou charged over misuse of funds

Sat, 07/12/2019 - 10:47
French veteran centrist leader Francois Bayrou was Friday charged with "complicity in siphoning off public money" in a case related to the embezzlement of European Parliament funds, a judicial source said.

Discovering Brittany's bistros in winter

Fri, 06/12/2019 - 10:37
We head to the western French region of Brittany to discover its bistros. In a retro-style establishment, young and old alike enjoy playing games like shuffleboard or "little skittles". Meanwhile, whether it rains, snows or shines, it’s always party time at the Tara Inn bistro in Brest. Every Monday, the stage is open to all musicians, regardless of their background. The bistro also continues the tradition of "fest-noz", a festival created more than a century ago as a welcome break from the tiring work in the fields.

Only the beginning? Day one of massive strikes against Macron pension reform

Thu, 05/12/2019 - 19:04
This time, will Emmanuel Macron meet his match? Macron, who has managed to pass public rail reform and survive the Yellow Vest movement is now facing what could be the start of a long movement against pension reform that brings together hospital workers, teachers, students and even the staff at the Eiffel Tower.  

Striking not even an option for overstretched Paris Fire Brigade

Thu, 05/12/2019 - 11:00
As a nationwide transport strike makes it difficult for French people to get to work, one group of workers remain on the frontline: the "sapeurs-pompiers" or firefighting paramedics, who make up the backbone of the French capital's emergency services. The overstretched Paris brigade of 8,000 firefighters respond to half a million calls every year, many of which turn out to be unnecessary. Our reporters have been following one team in the capital who, like their colleagues in Marseille, don't have the right to strike. 

Macron says 'no consensus' with Turkey over definition of terrorism

Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:23
French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that no consensus could be reached with Turkey on defining terrorism, amid a row with Ankara over Kurdish militia groups.

Macron tells G5 leaders to address 'anti-French sentiment' for continued military cooperation in Sahel

Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:12
President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday demanded West African leaders dismiss growing anti-French sentiment across the region if they wanted France's military to continue its operations against Islamist militants.

France looks set for potentially its biggest strike in decades

Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:00
France is bracing itself for a widespread transport strike starting on Thursday, December 5. This looks set to be the most comprehensive strike the country has experienced in decades. Many are predicting the country will be forced to a standstill. It is possible the strikes could last until Christmas.

Petition to block Macron's plan to privatise Paris Airports hits one million signatures

Wed, 04/12/2019 - 11:30
Opponents of a French government plan to privatise Paris’s Airports received a boost on Wednesday after their petition garnered more than one million signatures, crossing a symbolic threshold that could trigger a referendum on the issue.

French students still affected by social inequality despite egalitarian 'façade'

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 19:31
France is still one of the countries where student performance is most affected by their economic and social background, the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) found in its survey published on Tuesday. It confirms an old tendency: although France's public school system is feted abroad, it does very little to solve social inequalities at home.