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Opinion - We speak English
It's a myth the French won't speak English
'Hello sir, what can I get you?' Photo: AFP

It's a myth the French won't speak English

August 10, 2015

The French are renowned for being unskilled, reluctant, and even resistant when it comes to speaking English. But that's not fair - or true, says The Local's Oliver Gee, at least when it comes to the younger generation.

Guest blog - Strikes
French leaders should be more like French parents
Farmers stand next to carrots dumped during a November protest in southern France. Photo: AFP

French leaders should be more like French parents

July 28, 2015

The French government needs to take a leaf out of the book of the nation's fabled disciplinarian parents when it comes to dealing with rebellious strikers, argues Martin Dixon director of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Guest blog - French women
'What is this obsession with French women?'
French actresses Alice Isaaz (L) and Lola Le Lann (R). Time to end our obsession with French women? Photo: AFP

'What is this obsession with French women?'

July 22, 2015

An article in the British press on the "art of being a French woman" has irked many a Gallic female, many of whom it seems are fed up with the stereotypes written about them. One of them is blogger Muriel Demarcus, who penned this angry response.

A Local tête-à-tête
Should two expats in France 'faire la bise'?
Should expats in France "faire la bise"? Photo: AFP

Should two expats in France 'faire la bise'?

July 21, 2015

The Local's Ben McPartland and Oliver Gee disagree about what appears to be a touchy subject - performing a French greeting kiss or "la bise" with a fellow expat. Who do you agree with?

Opinion - Toilets in Paris
Are Paris café loos the worst in Europe?
The "Turkish toilet" once so beloved of the French can still be found in bars in Paris. Photo: Beth Bullock/Flickr

Are Paris café loos the worst in Europe?

July 09, 2015

Paris - the city of light, romance and bog-standard café toilets. It may be considered the most beautiful city in the world but venture behind the toilet doors of its bars and brasseries and the veneer is quickly flushed away.

Opinion - Brexit referendum
'Cameron what are you afraid of? Let us vote'
"Give the vote to Brits who know about the EU".Photo: Stephan/FLickr

'Cameron what are you afraid of? Let us vote'

July 08, 2015

While it looks like many Brits in France and beyond will effectively be barred from voting in the UK's "Brexit" referendum, the head of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce in Paris is not giving up the fight and sends this message to David Cameron.

Editor's blog
Lay off the French - They are not that rude
Surely the French aren't that rude to tourists. Photo: AFP

Lay off the French - They are not that rude

June 20, 2015

France's foreign minister and tourist chiefs think the renowned French rudeness to visitors is a problem that needs resolving but are they really unwelcoming and unfriendly to visitors? Surely it's time to put that cliché to bed, argues The Local's Ben McPartland.

Waterloo bicentenary
Tyrant or visionary? The French view of Napoleon
An actor playing the part of Napoleon at a reenactment of one of his famous battles. Photo: AFP

Tyrant or visionary? The French view of Napoleon

June 18, 2015

Thursday marks the 200th anniversary since Napoleon's final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. But even two centuries on French opinion is still divided over the former Emperor the English called "Boney".

Hollande entering 'money time' over jobless pledge
Hollande may have shot himself in the foot with his pledge that he won't stand for reelection if unemployment does not come down. Photo: AFP

Hollande entering 'money time' over jobless pledge

June 02, 2015

François Hollande's gamble of stating publicly that he won't stand for re-election in 2017 if he can't stem rising unemployment is looking increasingly like it won't pay off.

Opinion - Britain in Europe
'It's time to talk up what Europe has brought UK'
it's time to talk up what Europe has done for Britain, says the president of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Photo: Flickr/Kelham Neelanraju

'It's time to talk up what Europe has brought UK'

May 26, 2015

As a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU looks set to be announced in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, the President of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce in Paris, Bob Lewis appeals for the pro-European voices to be heard.

France's new spying powers
'France is not the US when it comes to spying'
Protesters demonstate in Paris against the government's controversial bill giving spies sweeping new surveillance power. Photo: AFP

'France is not the US when it comes to spying'

May 07, 2015

With France set to gain sweeping new spying powers in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, comparisons have been drawn with the US, post 9/11, when the controversial Patriot Act was rushed through. But are the two cases really similar?

Language Matters
Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?
"Did you just say tu to me?" Photo: Shutterstock

Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?

April 17, 2015

Everyone who has ever lived in France knows all about the social minefield that is tu and vous - and that goes for the French too. The Local France’s editor Ben McPartland and French language expert Camille Chevalier-Karfis argue over whether it’s time to ditch the protocol.

Opinion - Surveillance
Why new spying powers should worry the French
"I am being wire tapped" - Civil liberty supporters present on a twist on the famous "Je Suis Charlie" post terror attacks slogan. Photo: AFP

Why new spying powers should worry the French

April 14, 2015

French MPs are set to overwhelmingly back a draft law that would give intelligence services the capability to sweep up masses of data on suspected terrorists. Here three civil liberties experts explain why the French public should be very, very concerned.

National Front in crisis
High stakes as Le Pen mulls booting father out
Will Marine Le Pen oust her father from the National Front? Photo: AFP

High stakes as Le Pen mulls booting father out

April 09, 2015

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen declared open war on her father this week claiming he was "holding the party hostage". Some analysts say she must exclude him from the party before the 2017 presidential elections. But can and will she she do it?

Why we're on strike
French air traffic controllers justify strike

French air traffic controllers justify strike

April 08, 2015

With a 48-hour strike by France’s air traffic controllers prompting 40 percent of flights to be cancelled on Wednesday, The Local speaks to one controller who explains why their action is justified, even if it does cause travel misery for thousands of passengers.

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