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Opinion- Air France strike
'Pilots' strike shows how France cannot reform'
Air France pilots' resistance to reform shows how France is difficult to modernize, some say. Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP

'Pilots' strike shows how France cannot reform'

"All French people are a little like Air France pilots". This is the view of French Economy expert Nicolas Bouzou, who argues that the crippling Air France pilots' strike is representative of a country that appears incapable of reform. READ  

Tête-a-tête - Service
'Give me a grumpy Paris waiter any day'
Is restaurant service better in the US than France? Joshua Melvin (left) says yes but Ben McPartland (right) says no. Photo: Jessie Acosta

'Give me a grumpy Paris waiter any day'

Would you rather have the brusque and serious Parisian 'serveur' or the tip-driven and smiley American waitress? The Local's Joshua Melvin (left) and Ben McPartland (right) battle it out here over whose service is better. READ  

Guest Blog - French rail service
'Forget the strike, I love the French rail system'
A Britain explains why he loves the French rail system. Photo: TGV/Ostill.

'Forget the strike, I love the French rail system'

With all the anger and confusion over the unending rail strike in France, British comedian Ian Moore has come to the defense of the French rail system which he loves so dearly. Though he thinks French trains could do with a bit more alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour. READ  

Reader Rants
Why 'sacked' French ministers deserve no pity
Ministers who lost out in the reshuffle have plenty to fall back on, unlike France's thousands of unemployed laments Dan Macguill. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Why 'sacked' French ministers deserve no pity

In the latest of our Reader Rants series writer Dan MacGuill takes a swipe at the French ministers who, after losing out in the recent cabinet reshuffle, have wallowed in a bit of self-pity, despite having other well-paid, taxpayer-funded jobs to fall back on. READ  

Reader Rants
French and charity - why don't they go together?
Why don't the French do charity? Photo: Shutterstock

French and charity - why don't they go together?

In the latest of our Reader Rants series, in which we give you a chance to get something off your chest, Paris-based banker and serial fun-runner Gavin Doughty from the UK, laments the problems he has persuading the French to dip into the pockets for a good cause. READ  

Tête-à-tête
'Paris is pointless if you live in the suburbs'
Life in Paris: Is life better inside or outside the Paris Périphérique? Josh Melvin (left) says yes but Ben McPartland (right) says no. Photo: Jessie Acosta

'Paris is pointless if you live in the suburbs'

Would you consider living in the suburbs of Paris? For the first in our series of tête-à-têtes, The Local France's Josh Melvin (left) and Ben McPartland (right) square up to each other on the issue of whether life is better inside or outside the Périphérique. Who do you side with? READ  

Reader Rants
'The French just can't take a gentle bashing'
The French just can't take criticism, argues British author Piu Marie Eatwell in this week's Reader Rants. Photo: Chariserin/flickr The Economist

'The French just can't take a gentle bashing'

In the second of our Reader Rants series, in which we give you the chance to get something off your chest, France-based author Piu Marie-Eatwell, from the UK, laments the fact that the "sensitive" French can't take a little bit of gentle criticism. READ  

Reader's Rants
'Love locks have made Paris a visual cesspool'
Love locks on the Pont de l'Archevêché, with Notre Dame cathedral in the background. Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius.

'Love locks have made Paris a visual cesspool'

For the first of our "Reader's Rants" series, in which we offer you a platform to air your views, we hear from two Americans who have fallen out of love with Paris's love locks, claiming they are a stain on the City of Light. Respond with your own rant below. READ  

'First ever' bill proposes legal cannabis in France
French lawmakers propose 'first ever' marijuana legalization bill. Photo: Jacques Demarthon.

'First ever' bill proposes legal cannabis in France

France is no Amsterdam when it comes to marijuana laws, in fact it has some of the toughest possession statutes in Europe, but a first of its kind bill proposed this week could change that. The lawmaker behind the legislation tells The Local why marijuana should be legalized in France. READ  

'French women do get fat': curvy beauty queen
The winner of Miss France Ronde 2014, Solange Marais (wearing tiara). Photo: Robert Muller

'French women do get fat': curvy beauty queen

If you were to conjure up the image of a typical French woman she would be perfectly coiffed, well-dressed and almost certainly slim and slender. The newly-crowned Miss Ronde France, a beauty contest for bigger women, tells The Local the truth is a little different. READ  

Tête-à-tête - Prostitution
Should France fine those caught buying sex?
Is imposing steep fines on those who pay for sex the right way to go? France thinks so. Photo: Remi Gabalda/AFP

Should France fine those caught buying sex?

With France's National Assembly set to debate a controversial bill that would hit clients of sex workers with hefty fines, The Local spoke to a French prostitute vehemently against the proposal and two organizations backing the plan, to hear their views. READ  

Opinion - Expats in France
Daily Mail cartoon 'last straw' for British expats
Spot the difference? A Daily Mail cartoon about elderly British expats (L). 81-year-old Englishman Brian Cave and his wife Helen, in southwestern France. Photos: @xxtigger_ukxx/Brian Cave

Daily Mail cartoon 'last straw' for British expats

A provocative cartoon in the Daily Mail newspaper about winter fuel payments to elderly British expats was the "final straw" for 81-year-old France-based Englishman Brian Cave. He tells The Local that the British government and media are scapegoating their own citizens abroad. READ  

Readers' views
'I would be a fraud if I pretended to be French'
Traditional pubs are the favoured hangout of many expats, but that's not because they are "lazy and scared" of integrating with the locals, argues one reader. Photo: Jamiecat/Flickr

'I would be a fraud if I pretended to be French'

The question of whether expats should integrate with the French is clearly a divisive issue, as seen by the reaction to an opinion piece in The Local last week in which foreigners who didn't mix were labelled "lazy and scared". Here's a selection of some of the responses from readers. READ  

Opinion - Expats
'Expats who don't integrate are just lazy'
"You make the effort to come here, but then just hang around with people from home? I just don’t see the point." Photo: Salady/Flickr

'Expats who don't integrate are just lazy'

Have you moved to France, only to find yourself frequenting expat bars, and not mixing with the locals? In this no holds barred column, Englishman Neil Kreeger explains why Anglos who only socialize with other Anglos are "lazy and scared" and missing out on the benefits of integration. READ  

Opinion - weight
Bigotry against curvy women 'as bad as racism'
19-year-old Marion Bogaert (L) takes to the catwalk with another competitor, Isabelle, before winning the 2011 Miss Curvy France competition. Photo: Philippe Huguen

Bigotry against curvy women 'as bad as racism'

When fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld blamed France’s healthcare deficit on "fat people" this month, it was the final straw for French activist Betty Aubrière. She tells us why her group is suing Lagerfeld, and how bigotry against curvy women is as bad as racism and homophobia. READ  

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