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Glance around France: Hunters launch ‘app’ to stop people getting shot and farmers want meat on menus

Our round-up of the stories from around France on Tuesday include farmers in the north who want meat on school menus and hunters who have launched an app to help avoid members of the public getting shot accidentally.

Glance around France: Hunters launch 'app' to stop people getting shot and farmers want meat on menus
Photo: AFP
New crack plan for Paris
 
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced on Tuesday that a million euros would be handed over to help fight the problem of crack addicts in the north east of Paris.
 
The new plan comes after the increased presence of crack addicts and dealers in places like Place de Stalingrad which borders the 10th and 19th arrondissements.
 
The mayor intends the money to be spent on increasing accommodation options for addicts as well as funding charities to pay more visits to drug addicts.
 
The number of addicts and dealers around Place de Stalingrad has increased in recent months and is believed to be down to the fact that the police moved in and closed the so-called “crack hill” at Porte de la Chapelle.
 
 
 
World's first river turbine installed in Lyon
 
The world's first hydro turbine farm is set to be installed on the Rhône river near Lyon. 
 
The farm's four turbines will generate enough power for 400 homes and are set to be installed in the next few weeks near the town of Caluire in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in central eastern France. 
 
It is believed that over the next 18 years it will produce one gigawatt-hour of renewable electricity per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 300 tonnes per year.
 
The turbines will begin producing power by the end of 2018.
 
 
 
French farmers fight vegetarian school meals in northern France
 
France's main farmers union is set to meet with school representatives in north west France to make sure that children aren't being forced to eat vegetarian meals on certain days. 
 
The farmers from the FDSEA union will visit at least 27 schools to make sure there are no vegetable only options on the menu and to check on the origin of the produce being used in the meals served in schools in the Mayenne department. 
 
Tensions between farmers and vegan lobbies have been rising recently in France.
 
“Unfortunately vegans are pointing the finger at farmers. This movement is anti-agriculture and makes our fellow farmers unhappy,” Philippe Jehan, a spokesperson for the FDSEA told the French press.
 

 
 
Hunters launch mobile app to keep countryside safe in the east
 
The federation of hunters in the Isere department of eastern France has developed a phone app that helps anyone walking in the area identify in real time where exactly a hunt is going on.
 
The aim is to cut down on hunting accidents and to create a better rapport between hunters and walkers. 
 
There are human casualties every year during France's hunting season, when bullets from hunters' weapons go astray.
 
Among the casualties of last year's hunting season in France were a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead by his own grandfather, a Frenchwoman who was killed in her own garden after a hunter fired a shot through her hedge and a hunter who was shot dead during a wild boar hunt. 
 

 
Brittany tanker wreck is magnet for divers
          
Forty years after it sank, the remains of a super tanker wrecked off northwestern France have become a favourite spot for divers when the weather allows.
   
On March 16, 1978, the Amoco Cadiz tanker ran aground off the Brittany coast, causing one of the world's worst oil pollution disasters.
 
The 227,000-ton tanker broke up on the reefs off the small fishing port of Portsall, covering miles of coastline in oil.
 
Its hull, broken into three separate rusted parts and now covered in seaweed, is slowly sinking into the seabed.
   
Thousands of soldiers and volunteers spent three months cleaning up 360 kilometres (220 miles) of coastline and trying to save hundreds of oil-coated sea birds.
   
Local mayors and regional authorities spent 14 years tied up in court before winning compensation from the US company that operated the ship.
 
Photo: AFP
 
Tyre slashing in the Charente
 
If you're one of the 102 car owners in the Charente who had your tyres slashed then you'll be pleased to know a suspect has been arrested.
 
The vandal destroyed 102 tyres on over 40 cars in Angouleme and the town of Soyaux when he was drunk, reports say.
 
The suspect from Dordogne was caught red handed with an Opinel knife in his hand.
 

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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Snobs, beaches and drunks – 5 things this joke map teaches us about France

A popular joke 'map' of France has once again been widely shared on social media, sparking endless jokes at the expense of certain regions of France.

Snobs, beaches and drunks - 5 things this joke map teaches us about France
Image AFP/cartesfrance.fr
But while the map – created by cartesfrance.fr – is clearly intended to be comic, it teaches us some important points about France’s regional divides, local stereotypes and in-jokes.
 

 
 
 
Here are some of the key points.
 
1. Everyone hates Parisians
 
The map is purportedly France as seen through the eyes of Parisians, and contains a series of snobbish and rude generalisations about every part of France that is not maison (home) in the capital and its surroundings. The great majority of the country is labelled simply as paysans (peasants).
 
The general stereotype about Parisians is that they are snobs, rudely judging the rest of the country which they regard as backwards and full of ploucs (yokels) apart from small areas which make nice holiday destinations.
 
Like all sweeping generalisations, this is true of some people and very much not of others, but one of the few things that can unite people from all areas of France is how much they hate les parigots têtes de veaux (a colloquialism that very roughly translates as ‘asshole Parisians’)
 
 
2. Staycations rule
 
Even before Covid-related travel restrictions, holidaying within France was the norm for many French people.
 
As the map shows, Parisians regard the southern and western coastlines as simply plages (beaches) which they decamp to for at least a month in July or August. In the height of summer French cities tend to empty out (apart from tourists) as locals head to the seaside or the countryside.
 
 
In winter the Pyrenees and Alps are popular ski destinations.
 
3. Northerners like a drink
 
There is a very widespread stereotype, although not really backed up by evidence, that the people of Normandy, Brittany and the Nord area like a drink or two. Many suggest this is to cope with the weather, which does tend to be rainier than the rest of France (although has plenty of sunshine too).
 
 
Official health data doesn’t really back this up, as none of these areas show a significantly greater than average rate of daily drinkers, although Nord does hold the sad record for the highest rate of people dying from alcohol-related liver disease.
 
What’s certainly true is that Brittany and Normandy are cider country, with delicious locally-produced ciders on sale everywhere, well worth a try if you are visiting.
 
 
4. Poverty
 
The map labels the north eastern corner of France as simply pauvres – the poor.
 
The north east of the country was once France’s industrial and coal-mining heartland, and as traditional industries have declined there are indeed pockets of extreme poverty and high unemployment. The novel The End of Eddy, telling the story of novelist Edouard Louis’ childhood in a struggling small town near Amiens, lays out the social problems of such areas in stark detail.
 
However poverty is not just confined to one corner of France and the département that records the highest levels of deprivation is actually Seine-Saint-Denis in the Paris suburbs.
 
5. Southern prejudice
 
According to the map, those from the south are either branleurs (slackers) or menteurs (liars). 
 
This isn’t true, obviously, there are many lovely, hard-working and truthful people in southern France, but the persistent stereotype is that they are lazy – maybe because it’s too hot to do much work – and slightly shifty.
 
Even people who aren’t actually rude about southerners can be pretty patronising, as shown when south west native Jean Castex became the prime minister in summer 2020. 
 
Castex has a noticeable south west accent which sparked much comment from the Paris-based media and political classes, with comments ranging from the patronising – “I love his accent, I feel like I’m on holiday” – to the very patronising – “that accent is a bit rugby” (a reference to the fact that TV rugby commentators often come from France’s rugby heartlands in the south west).
 
 
In his first year as PM, Castex has undertaken a dizzying schedule of appointments around the four corners of France, so hopefully the lazy myth can now be put to bed.
 
And anyone tempted to take the piss out of his accent – glottophobie (accent prejudice) is now a crime in France.
 
For more maps that reflect France, head to cartesfrance.fr
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