Advertisement

Inside France For Members

Inside France: Violence, QR codes and stuffed animals

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
Inside France: Violence, QR codes and stuffed animals
Prison officers protest at the Bordeaux-Gradignan jail in Gradignan after two officers were killed during a jailbreak. Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

From violent unrest in a French territory to the QR codes required at the Paris Olympics, via D-Day and weird taxidermy, our weekly newsletter Inside France looks at what we have been talking about in France this week.

Advertisement

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.

High tension

After a relaxed week with a double holiday and most of the country taking a break, it seems that the news has come roaring back this week - first a highly dramatic jailbreak that left two prison officers dead and a fugitive at large, then the worst rioting in 30 years on the French island of Nouvelle Calédonie which left five people dead, and finally a man shot dead by police while apparently trying to set fire to a synagogue in northern France. It seems that there's barely been time to breathe. 

These three things are, of course, not connected and in the case of Nouvelle Calédonie have followed years of political and ethnic tensions on the Pacific islands.

But it's not surprising that people feel a bit punch-drunk at this series of events. Already right-wing parties are attempting to make capital out of this ahead of the European elections - a favourite tactic of the far-right in recent years has been trying to portray France as in the grip of an uncontrolled wave of crime and violence.

While no-one would deny that France has crime and that there are problems with violence, the statistics do not bear out this image of a 'lawless' country'

QR codes

Talking of security, the big topic in Paris this week has been whether we need QR codes to get around the city during the Olympics, after the security plan for the Games was unveiled in detail.

For many people this will bring back bad memories of Covid restrictions, attestations and health passes - although once you dig into the detail of the Games QR codes you realise that they won't actually affect all that many people.

The areas that they cover are limited and the most onerous restrictions are only in place for the week leading up to the Opening Ceremony. You can find a complete guide to whether you need a code, and how to get one if you do, HERE.

Advertisement

Talking France

We look at the QR code situation on this week's Talking France podcast, as well as France's economic reality, the quirks of the French health system and the new 'drive like a woman' campaign.

Plus John Lichfield talks about his involvement in projects to commemorate D-Day in his Normandy home, and why the 1944 landings still hold such a special place in French hearts. Listen here or on the link below. 

 

Advertisement

Get stuffed

But my biggest question about France remains unanswered - why is weird taxidermy furniture so popular? If you've spent time at a French brocante you will likely have come across stuffed animal parts made into a variety of items from coathooks and ashtrays to - as below - chairs or stools.

 

Answers on a postcard, please.  

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.

More

Comments (1)

Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Pam Gully 2024/05/18 14:21
Grotesque! I've noticed, though, that young French couples don't have them in their homes. They do, though, have artificial flowers and plants, (which aren't to my taste).

See Also