French elections: 5 things you didn’t know about Yannick Jadot

A casual dresser who is passionate about environmental activism and unafraid to take on the hunting lobby - here's what you need to know about France's green candidate for the 2022 presidential elections.

French elections: 5 things you didn't know about Yannick Jadot
France's Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) party's candidate for the French 2022 presidential election Yannick Jadot. Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

1 He’s an activist

Before entering politics, Jadot worked for the environmental charity Greenpeace, co-ordinating the group’s actions in France.

He left Greenpeace in 2007 and was elected a Green MEP. He stood as the Green candidate in the 2017 French presidential elections, but withdrew his candidacy before polling day and agreed to support the centre-left candidate Benoit Hamon. For the 2022 race he was chosen as candidate at a primary of Green voters. 

2 He’s brave enough to infuriate la chasse

Hunting is a highly popular pastime in France and for this reason many politicians fear to suggest extra regulations on the sport. Not so Jadot, who is on record as saying that he wants to ban hunting at weekends and during the school holidays.

As well as the environmental concerns, he was also responding to safety worries, since every year in France passers-by (and hunters themselves) are killed or injured by la chasse.

3 He has a good regional powerbase

Jadot‘s personal poll ratings in the presidential elections are not good, but the Green party has been doing well on a local level.

Several of France’s largest cities including Grenoble, Lyon, and Bordeaux are now controlled by Green mayors, while Paris is ruled by eco-friendly Socialist Anne Hidalgo in co-operation with the Greens. 

4 He’s not keen on ties

Male French politicians tend to be very conservative (read: boring) dressers – dark suit, white shirt and plain dark-coloured ties are the norm.

Jadot, though, is more usually photographed in an open-necked shirt, although he is apparently willing to compromise on this. 

During a phone-in with France Inter, he told a listener: “For my part, I have never worn a tie. But I hear when, in my travels, people, including people of a certain age, who say that to be President of the Republic, one must wear a tie.

“And I hear them because I don’t want to be disqualified on the basis of an article of clothing.”

The photo on his election posters (without tie) was taken by Jonathan Mannion, an American photographer who more usually works with rap and hip-hop artists creating album covers.

5 He tweets in English

If you want to keep up with Jadot’s campaign latest and are not a French speaker, you can follow the ‘Yannick Jadot in English’ Twitter account.

It’s not actually him tweeting, it’s a bot account maintained by a colleague in the Green party, but it gives a fairly accurate translation of what the candidate is saying on his official twitter account (@yjadot).


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France proposes getting rid of penalties for ‘minor’ speeding offences

The French government is considering changing speeding laws so that drivers will not lose points on their licence if they are caught going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

France proposes getting rid of penalties for 'minor' speeding offences

France’s Interior Ministry is considering changing its current rules for minor speeding violations – proposing getting rid of the penalty for drivers who only violate the rule by going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

The Ministry has not laid out a timeline for when this could come into effect, but they said they are currently in the preliminary stages of studying how the change could be carried out.

“The fine of course remains,” said the Interior Ministry to French daily Le Parisien.

That is to say you can still be fined for going five kilometres over the speed limit, but there might not be any more lost points for driving a couple kilometres over the posted limit. 

READ ALSO These are the offences that can cost you points on your driving licence

Of the 13 million speeding tickets issued each year in France, 58 percent are for speeding violations of less than 5 km per hour over the limit, with many coming from automated radar machines.

How does the current rule work?

The rule itself is already a bit flexible, depending on where the speeding violation occurs.

If the violation happens in an urban area or low-speed zone (under 50 km per hour limit), then it is considered a 4th class offence, which involves a fixed fine of €135. Drivers can also lose a point on their licences as a penalty for this offence. 

Whereas, on highways and high-speed roads, the consequences of speeding by 5 km per hour are less severe. The offence is only considered 3rd class, which means the fixed fine is €68. There is still the possibility of losing a point on your licence, however. 

How do people feel about this?

Pierre Chasseray, a representative from the organisation “40 Millions d’Automobilistes,” thinks the government should do away with all penalties for minor speeding offences, including fines. He told French daily Le Parisien that this is only a “first step.”

Meanwhile, others are concerned that the move to get rid of points-deductions could end up encouraging people to speed, as they’ll think there is no longer any consequence.

To avoid being accused of carelessness, France’s Interior Ministry is also promising to become “firmer” with regards to people who use other people’s licences in order to get out of losing points – say by sending their spouse’s or grandmother’s instead of their own after being caught speeding. The Interior Ministry plans to digitalise license and registration in an effort to combat this. 

Ultimately, if you are worried about running out of points on your licence, there are still ways to recover them.

You can recover your points after six months of driving without committing any other offences, and there are also awareness training courses that allow you to gain your points back. It should be noted, however, that these trainings typically cost between €150 and €250, and they do not allow you to regain more than four points.