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PODCAST: Travel, politics and Covid: What’s in store for France this summer?

The Talking France podcast is back for the final episode of this series and taking a look ahead to summer - from the possibility of early elections to eating snails, the French tourism industry and the vital cultural importance of les grandes vacances.

PODCAST: Travel, politics and Covid: What's in store for France this summer?
Image: The Local

Host Ben McPartland is joined by Local France editor Emma Pearson and reporter Genevieve Mansfield, plus political expert John Lichfield to take a deep dive into everything seasonal.

We’re looking at why the summer vacation is such a big deal in France, to the point that cities empty out, and how the long-standing French tradition of ‘staycation’ might help France’s vital tourism industry withstand the challenges ahead.

You can find the Talking France podcast on Spotify, Apple or Google, listen on the link below or download it HERE.

Usually politicians also take a summer break, but with the ongoing political crisis things might be different this year.

John Lichfield told us: “I think much depends on what happens when the parliament meets properly next week, whether this fragile alliance will allow the government to pass necessary bills like extending the fuel rebate.

“If they can manage to get through that without the system collapsing or gumming up entirely then I think we will see a summer break and hostilities recommence in September.

“Autumn elections? I think not, but it’s hard to see how there won’t be a new election next year, possibly in spring or early summer.”

One of the political challenges ahead is the possibility of changing the constitution to enshrine the right to abortion – Genevieve Mansfield explains how France’s constitution works, the steps required to change it and which constitution lasted just one year.

Strikes and traffic jams are also something of a summer tradition in France so we have tips on dealing with both, and we’re also answering the question that many tourists have asked – in tones ranging from curiosity to disgust – do the French really eat snails, frogs and horses?

Like most of the country, Talking France will be taking a break over the summer, but you can find all our previous episodes HERE, where we answer questions on topics as diverse as the country’s electoral system, regional rivalries and why a woman’s maiden name is so important.

We’re also keen to hear feedback from listeners and we love to get questions – email [email protected] with your thoughts, suggestions and questions.

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Property bargains, energy prices, and myth-busting: 6 essential articles for life in France

Where you could bag a property bargain in France, how energy prices aren’t soaring in France, and why the leaves are falling earlier than usual - plus a couple of myths well and truly busted - here are six essential articles for life in France.

Property bargains, energy prices, and myth-busting: 6 essential articles for life in France

While French cities such as Paris are notoriously expensive, there are many areas outside the cities where it is still possible to buy spacious homes for less than €100,000 – particularly if you don’t mind a bit of renovation.

MAP: Where in France can you buy property for less than €100k?

Speaking of property – here’s some potential good news for some second-home owners; the French government has put in place a new online process for regular visitors in France to get a carte de séjour – here’s who is eligible for this and how to apply.

Can second-home owners in France get a carte de séjour?

Reasons to be cheerful about living in France: as energy prices soar around Europe, France is the notable exception where most people have seen no significant rise in their gas or electricity bills – so what lies behind this policy?

And no, it’s not because the French would riot if their bills exploded, or not entirely, anyway.

EXPLAINED: Why are French energy prices capped?

It might look like autumn outside in certain parts of France, but it certainly feels like summer.

So, why are the leaves falling from the trees? And what does that mean for your garden?

Reader question: Why are the leaves falling in summer and does that mean my garden is dead?

The Da Vinci Code starts here – with the legend of a penniless priest who once stumbled upon gold hidden in the French countryside. It’s a story that still inspires treasure-hunters.

We look deeper into the myth – and help you decide if you should stock up on a shovel and a metal detector.

French history myths: There is buried treasure in Rennes-le-Château

Speaking of myths, apparently, kids and long train journeys do mix…

Hoping to do his bit for the planet, perhaps save some money and avoid spending any time at Charles de Gaulle airport, The Local’s Europe editor Ben McPartland decided to travel 2,000km with his family from Paris to southern Portugal by train rather than plane.

Here’s what he had to say about the experience.

Yes, train travel from France across Europe is far better than flying – even with kids