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TALKING FRANCE

PODCAST: France’s plans for language tests and new passport controls

The Local's Talking France podcast is back for the fourth season - and in this first episode we're looking at the divisions with the French far right, why immigration and passport rules are a hot topic and why the Miss France contest is in trouble.

PODCAST: France's plans for language tests and new passport controls

Host Ben McPartland is joined by The Local France editor Emma Pearson, journalist Genevieve Mansfield and political columnist John Lichfield to look at what is happening in France right now.

There have been some major shocks for Marine Le Pen and her increasingly influential far-right party, which is now facing internal divisions and the suspension of one of its MPs after a racist outburst in parliament.

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

John Lichfield told us: “Since the election, the Rassemblement National party in parliament have been deliberately trying to appear quiet, respectable, hard-working. Le Pen wanted her new MPs to be serious and respectable in the hope of appearing as a government-in-waiting – an alternative to Macron.

“But then with this incident of the MP being suspended the veneer has cracked, as is often the case with Rassemblement National, and you see behind that respectable image to see what you’re really dealing with.” 

The row comes as immigration is back on the table in France, with compulsory language tests for foreigners again on the table.

We’re also looking at why the Miss France contest is in trouble (and why so many people still watch it), which winter festivals to try out and whether France will have Christmas lights displays this year.

We’re answering reader questions about new EU passport control checks, and you can also hear Ben try to pass the quiz for Miss France contestants.

You can find the podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google podcasts or download it HERE, and find all of series 1-3 HERE

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TALKING FRANCE

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.

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