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Inside France: Political psycho-dramas, party in the port and Tricolore textbooks

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
Inside France: Political psycho-dramas, party in the port and Tricolore textbooks
La Rochelle's players celebrate their European Rugby Champions Cup victory during a parade in La Rochelle. Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU / AFP

From the latest political dramas (and what they say about a chaotic party) to French binge-drinking, parties and textbooks, our weekly newsletter Inside France looks at what we have been talking about in France this week.

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Inside France is our weekly look at some of the news, talking points and gossip in France that you might not have heard about. It’s published each Saturday and members can receive it directly to their inbox, by going to their newsletter preferences or adding their email to the sign-up box in this article.

Psycho-drama

After achieving almost two weeks of relative calm, the French government is involved in yet another political row, although this time most of the drama was created elsewhere. 

Approached behind the scenes and asked if they would consider supporting the government's proposed immigration bill in parliament, the traditional centre-right Les Républicains party instead opted to launch their own immigration policy via the medium of an interview in the Journal du Dimanche. What they came up with would require changing the French constitution and possibly leaving the EU, and has been described as a "cut and paste from Marine Le Pen's manifesto".

It seems that the progress of the immigration bill is blocked for now, but this seems to be more about the internal psycho-dramas of the once-mighty Les Républicains (party of Sarkozy, Chirac and De Gaulle) than about the government's truthfully fairly modest bill.

Heading for obscurity after securing less than five percent of the vote in the 2022 presidential election, the party gained a new lease of life as the potential power-broker in parliament after the government lost its overall majority. But can a party truly be a power-broken if it either cannot (as with pension reform) or will not (as with the immigration bill) deliver the votes? 

Party in the port

I'm severely jealous of anyone who was in La Rochelle last week as the entire town erupted into celebrations when their rugby team won the European rugby tournament for the second year in a row. 

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The scenes from the Vieux Port on Saturday and during the team's victory parade on Sunday looked like a lot of fun.

 

Le binge-drinking

Meanwhile, the French rugby league released this joke 'sick note' for fans who might have overdone it to present to their bosses on Monday. A handy template if you ever need to write a sick note, it also dispels that myth about the French always remaining moderate drinkers . . .

 

Tricolore

The below tweet will probably only make sense if you went to a British school in the 1980s and 90s . . .

 

We discuss the mighty Tricolore in the latest episode of Talking France, along with that immigration row, the great divide between car-free cities and car-dependent rural France, free Olympics tickets and the weird things that happen along the Franco-Spanish border. Listen here or on the link below. 

 

Inside France is our weekly look at some of the news, talking points and gossip in France that you might not have heard about. It’s published each Saturday and members can receive it directly to their inbox, by going to their newsletter preferences or adding their email to the sign-up box in this article.

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