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Inside France For Members

Inside France: Political bonding, croissants and social spending

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
Inside France: Political bonding, croissants and social spending
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron in a series of 'romantic' photos. Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP

From the budget deficit to yet another Macron 'bromance', via croissants, social spending and a very unfortunate diving board fail, 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.

Crunch the numbers

It's been a numbers-heavy week in France - after the news that the country's deficit has gone 'wild' comes the inevitable plans to cut public spending with a detailed programme of cuts expected the week after next.

Also inevitable is the chat about whether France's generous social model is sustainable - I have my own views on this but it was very interesting to hear from our readers on how they see France's 'high tax - big spend' model and how it compares to their own countries. The questionnaire is still open if you want to share your opinions.

This was also the main talking point in this week's Talking France where I appear to have gone off on a bit of a rant about my love for the French social contract . . . There's much more on offer in the episode though, from big changes in Paris and Champagne to threats to French regional airports and whether you really need to worry about wolves and bears when hiking in France. Listen here or on the link below.

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Taking the plunge

You can't help but feel for this poor kid - it's bad enough to fall off a diving board but to do it in front of your country's president and the assembled national media . . .

 

Fortunately he seems to have a sense of humour about it. The occasion was the formal opening of the new aquatics centres, one of just two new-builds constructed for the Paris Olympics (the other being the athletes' village). I had a nosy at the centre last time I was up at Stade de France and it does look very impressive - let's hope the diving board fail is not an omen. 

La La Love

Talking of the president, it's good to see that either Emmanuel Macron or the staffer who deals with his social media has a sense of humour about all those memes of his 'wedding' photos with Brazilian president Lula

 

We've become used to headlines about a 'bromance' whenever Macron meets foreign leaders but I'm always struck by how happy he is to plunge into crowds here in France to meet and greet, pose for selfies and share hugs and kisses with members of the public.

I imagine his security detail absolutely hates him.

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Pastry pride

And finally, please enjoy the determinedly unimpressed reaction of this Paris pâtissier on learning that his new pastry creation has sparked a TikTok craze: "It's just some cookie in a croissant, it's not some revolutionary invention."

Asked whether he intended to patent his new invention he replied: "What for? To find myself in court with half the planet?"

Call me a grumpy old traditionalist but I'm not sure I will be rushing out to try his cookie dough and croissant combo. In fact, as something of a fundamentalist, I believe that there is nothing better than a plain well-made, buttery, flaky croissant au beurre (accompanied by good coffee) - adding anything at all to the croissant only diminishes it. 

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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