Politics, scandal, gastronomy… Give the French a topic and they’ll give you an opinion. With a window on the world from inside one of Europe’s most opinionated nations, join FRANCE 24 journalist Sophie Pilgrim in decoding French news and views.
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The ‘truth’ is France's Roma are France’s problem – not Romania’s

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls defended his Socialist government’s razing of Roma homes on Wednesday and, in what might seem like a shocking admission, said that most of the country’s Roma community should “go home”.

French court bans Ricard Facebook campaign in judicial first

French judges have ordered pastis giant Ricard to scrap a smartphone app because it allowed users to share cocktail recipes on Facebook. They also banned a campaign by the brand, saying it painted alcohol as a social lubricant.

Naughty Nicolas Sarkozy can do no wrong with the right

Nicolas Sarkozy bounded back onto the political stage on Monday to great fanfare and jubilation, despite having lost 11 million euros of UMP party money to electoral debauchery.

‘Hands off Joan of Arc’, French Catholics tell Socialist women’s minister

France’s Catholic extremists are up in arms again, this time over gutsy Women’s Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who has been described as “an agent of Satan” after she was invited to speak at a ceremony commemorating the death of Joan of Arc.

‘Criminal’ French should be banned from Norway, MP argues

A Norwegian MP has come under fire in France for suggesting that groups of French people be barred from entering the country because of their notoriety as “troublemaking criminals.”
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Hollande handed spectacles in anniversary prank

One of France’s most outspoken politicians delivered François Hollande a pair of spectacles on Monday “in order for him to see the suffering of the French people,” as the beleaguered president celebrated his first anniversary in power.

Chief rabbi joins France's thriving liars’ club

While all French eyes were focused firmly this week on former budget minister and secret offshore banker Jérôme Cahuzac, France’s chief rabbi took the chance to quietly excrete his own admission of guilt.
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Les Miserables: a nation trained in gloom

After decades of poor happiness ratings in France despite the country’s excellent quality of life, a Paris-based anthropologist has set about discovering why the French are so much glummer than the rest of the world.
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Why are the British so fussy about horsemeat?

While the French huff, puff, point fingers and call for stricter controls on meat imports, there is one part of the horsemeat affair that has intrigued them even more than the scandal itself. Why are the British so revolted by eating horse flesh?
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France’s gay marriage bill has parliament in stitches... or playing Scrabble

The French government’s gay marriage bill has sparked a sense of hysteria among certain French lawmakers, with a late-night game of vulgar Scrabble and a bout of laughter stirring up an otherwise tedious process.
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Sarkozy son awarded teaching job... before finishing his own studies

Nicolas Sarkozy’s second eldest caused uproar this week when it emerged that the 26-year-old had been offered a position as a law professor at a top Paris university, before even completing his own studies.
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Cheated French warn Britain against EU divorce... and beef with jam

The French press reacted to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s EU referendum speech on Wednesday with an array of metaphors including tales of divorce, murder and religious sacrifice. Who would have thought European politics could be so exciting?
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French journalist boycotts ‘English only’ EU conference in Dublin

As journalists from across Europe flew into Dublin on Tuesday to mark Ireland’s EU presidency, there was one familiar face missing from the press room. French journalist Jean Quatremer refused his invitation, he said, for “reasons of principle”.

France aghast as Economist mocks baguette-wielding Obama

British news magazine The Economist has managed to upset the French again, this time by publishing a mock-up of Barack Obama in a stripy T-shirt, red scarf and blue beret, accompanied by the words “broken” and “lousy”.

Beer not welcome in wine-obsessed France

French beer-drinkers were hit with a 160% tax increase on their favourite beverage on Tuesday, making the cost of a pint one of the most expensive in Europe. What do the French have against beer?
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Sticky, smelly, cheesy soft porn? Only in France…

Most people tend not to associate sex with cheese. Except the French. Now in its eighth year, the latest edition of the ‘Cheese Girls’ pin-up calendar has got the Gallic press “salivating” all over again.
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Tea for two: France’s Mélenchon pays Julian Assange a peculiar visit

Julian Assange was the lucky recipient of a visit from French firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Thursday, when the far-left leader dropped into the Ecuadorian embassy to garner the pair a bit of much-needed media attention.

Shhh! Homosexuality still in the closet in French classrooms

Should gay historic figures be “outed” in school textbooks? Minister for Women Vallaud-Belkacem raised the debate this week when she condemned the “silence” of schoolbooks regarding the sexuality of prominent gay figures such as poet Arthur Rimbaud.
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The Paris sex shop its Catholic neighbours couldn’t ignore

Should sex toys be sold on the same street as a school? That’s the question France’s top judges will be asking themselves after the decision to close a sex shop ‘too close’ to a Paris school was appealed by its owner.
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How not to have an affair like a French president

What do France’s four last presidents have in common? They were all discovered having affairs. That’s the message a Canadian extramarital dating website is using to attract French customers. But can Canadians teach the French to cheat?