Paywall free


PODCAST: Macron’s big battles, France’s best coastline and are the French the world’s top strikers?

The Local's podcast Talking France is back - this week tackling the looming French parliamentary crisis, trouble over the World Cup, whether France's reputation as champion strikers is really justified and waving a fond farewell to the little cardboard tickets for the Paris Metro.

PODCAST: Macron's big battles, France's best coastline and are the French the world's top strikers?

Host Ben McPartland is joined by The Local editor Emma Pearson, journalist Gen Mansfield and political columnist John Lichfield to review the battles already raging in France and those to come – including an epic parliamentary showdown on Emmanuel Macron’s proposed reforms of both the pension and unemployment systems. 

John said: “I think Macron has decided to play hardball, after some weeks or months of apparent drift as he tried to decide what to do having lost his majority.

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

“A lot of Macron’s reforms in his first term were not actually completed, partly because of the Covid pandemic, so he’s looking at the possibility of having served two terms as president without having achieved a lot of what he set out to do.

“But to be constantly having to use his constitutional powers to push legislation through parliament without the agreement of MPs is not a good look, I think, it looks anti-democratic.”

We’re also looking at a more immediate problem for the government – the two senior figures who are likely to be facing criminal charges – and taking an overview of the biggest scandals of the Macron government, from lobster dinners to fake police officers. 

We’ll be examining whether the French reputation as the world’s top strikers is really justified, why French mayors are boycotting the football World Cup, taking a fond look at the little cardboard Paris Metro tickets and discussing the results of our listener poll – which area of France has the best beaches?

Finally, we’re recommending some films, TV series and websites that will help listeners find out a bit more about France, French culture and daily life here.

Are there are any topics you would like to see covered in Talking France? You can take our survey HERE to leave feedback or make suggestions for future episodes.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
Paywall free


PODCAST: Why France faces a ‘cold turkey’ winter and how French high streets stay independent?

From spiralling prices to Paris scooters, via independent shops, France's best-known philosopher and a few French life hacks, here's the new episode of the Talking France podcast.

PODCAST: Why France faces a 'cold turkey' winter and how French high streets stay independent?

Host Ben McPartland is joined by Local France editor Emma Pearson, journalist Genevieve Mansfield, political columnist John Lichfield and French language expert and founder of French Today Camille Chevalier-Karfis to discuss everything that has been happening in France this week. 

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

We start with looking at why France’s low inflation figures paint a perhaps misleading picture, and why the government should be worried about January, with John warning of a ‘tsunami’ of price rises to come.

We’re also looking at why France traditionally does badly compared to its European neighbours when it comes to learning English, with Camille suggesting that it may be down to a particularly French characteristic – fear of being ridiculed. 

And we also like to answer the big questions – such as how France manages to maintain so many independent shops and who is Bernard-Henri Lévy and why does his shirt always seem to be unbuttoned?

We’re also taking a look at why e-scooters could be banned in Paris, and finish up with Ben, Emma and Gen sharing some of the life hacks that they have picked up to make time in France easier, cheaper and more fun. 

You can find this episode of Talking France, on Spotify, Apple or Google podcasts, or find all four series HERE.