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TALKING FRANCE

PODCAST: France faces an autumn of strikes, Eurostar derailed and are mussels in danger?

Our Talking France podcast is back with a new episode that ranges from the mussel beds of Brittany to the mushroom fields of south west France - via the controversial subject of pension reform, the woes of the Eurostar and a certain fashion-conscious French minister.

PODCAST: France faces an autumn of strikes, Eurostar derailed and are mussels in danger?

Host Ben McPartland is joined by The Local France editor Emma Pearson and journalist Gen Mansfield, while writer James Harrington joins us from south west France and political expert John Lichfield from Normandy. 

We start by tackling the thorny subject of pension reform – Emmanuel Macron is pushing ahead with a second attempt to reform the French pension system, but the last one led to the longest transport strikes since 1968.

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

We have a look at whether we’re headed for more strikes and why Macron is determined to do it anyway.

John told us: “I think pension reform is unfinished business for Macron and he I think has come to see it as the key to all other reforms, which in a sense it it. 

“It’s also become a sort of sea serpent that he has to slay to prove that he is still able to do something in his second term, despite not having an overall majority in parliament.”

After a damming letter from the CEO of Eurostar was published we take a look at the problems of the international train service, and whether they’re likely to be resolved soon.

From Paris’ only vineyard to troubles in the mussel beds of Brittany we’re taking in some French news, as well as talking about one French minister’s choice of jumper, and why it’s important.

Also Gen and Emma debate the relative merits of France’s Vendée and Brittany resorts and Ben reveals the French word that is the bane of his life. 

You can listen to Talking France on Spotify, Google podcasts or Apple, and you can find all previous episodes HERE. The podcast is free, but supported by subscribers to The Local France – if you would like to support us, you can become a member HERE, or alternatively you can rate us or leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

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TALKING FRANCE

PODCAST: How good are French American relations right now, tips for Paris Olympic tickets and why is Alsace so different?

As Emmanuel Macron is in the USA, Talking France takes a look at the long and sometimes complicated Franco-American relationship, as well as talking French Christmas festivals, baguette news, Olympic tickets and the life of one of France's greatest icons.

PODCAST: How good are French American relations right now, tips for Paris Olympic tickets and why is Alsace so different?

Host Ben McPartland is joined by two special guests – veteran CNN correspondent Jim Bittermann and French Today founder Camille Chevalier-Karfis, plus Local France editor Emma Pearson and journalist Genevieve Mansfield to talk about everything that has been happening in France.

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

As Macron is wined and dined by Joe Biden, we look at what’s happening beneath the surface of this state visit, and why there are some tricky conversations ahead.

Jim Bittermann, the Paris-based CNN correspondent who has been covering France for more than four decades, told us: “President Macron is one of the few French leaders who can say he has had two state visits to the White House and I think at least in part this visit is about soothing ruffled feathers over the AUKUS submarine deal.

“On this visit I think they’re really concerned about the issues surrounding Ukraine, how they will get Ukraine through the winter, and what they can do to help with the energy crisis – but there are a couple of more difficult topics including the Inflation Reduction Act which France and Europe sees as unfair competition and the price of American liquified natural gas that is flowing into Europe.”

We’re also talking a look at the ups and downs of the French-American relationship through history, from the Revolutionary war to the ‘freedom fries’ of the 2000s.

We’re also talking bread – and why the French baguette has finally been recognised by UNESCO – and the latest on the Dijon mustard shortage.

We discuss the life of the great French icon Simone Veil, and why she’s back in the news this week after a ground-breaking event in parliament, and why the historic region of Alsace has a special Christmas festival.

We’ve got tips and getting tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics and life hacks to make your time in France a little easier.

Find the latest episode and all four series of the Talking France podcast HERE.

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