Week in review: France goes on strike, the ‘biggest losers’ of pension reform and Brittany’s bistros

French strikes cause travel chaos, how women could lose out under France's proposed pension reform, the wonders of exploring Brittany’s bistros in winter and considering how far we have come in a decade of TV.  

ARTICLES

Commute chaos kicks off pivotal week for French pension reform

A crucial week for Emmanuel Macron’s signature pension reform began with a heavily gridlocked Monday morning rush hour in the French capital under a pounding rain. Skies are apt to darken further this week for commuters, tourists and businesses alike as the reform is fleshed out and unions dig in.

Disgraced French mayor launches reelection bid from jail

Barely two months into his five-year prison sentence for money laundering, the mayor of the posh Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret this week launched a surprise reelection bid – from his jail cell.

French women may be the ‘biggest losers’ under Macron’s pension reform plan

France’s high commissioner for pension reform has repeatedly maintained that women will be the "big winners" of the government’s new pension reform proposals. But advocates of economic gender parity are not so sure.

 

French unions stage new pension protests on sixth day of crippling strike

Roughly half the number of people showed up on Tuesday for demonstrations called by France’s unions as had rallied last week in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms.

 

Brexit: Tories rely on anti-Corbyn sentiment in affluent London seats like Johnson’s own

A mainly centre-left city, London has long been difficult terrain for the Conservatives, and this time the British capital’s vote against Brexit has exacerbated the Tories’ challenges there. But amid disillusionment with the political choices on offer, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is an unpalatable alternative for many voters in prosperous London seats like Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge.

Scotland’s Stirling caught between unionist Brexiteers and pro-independence Europhiles

Scotland’s first capital Stirling voted to stay in both the UK and the EU in recent referendums, leaving many of its constituents with a dilemma ahead of Thursday’s elections as they face a two-horse race between the unionist, Brexiteer Tories and the pro-independence, Europhile SNP.

 

SHOWS

REPORTERS

Libya: The infernal trap

FRANCE 24 brings you an exclusive documentary filmed in war-torn Libya by Catherine Norris Trent, Julie Dungelhoeff and Abdallah Malkawi. Our special report takes you to the front lines of the conflict and to the heart of the huge migration crisis unfolding there.

 

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Pension conundrum: Why is it so hard to reform France's retirement system?

France's pension system is an emotional and divisive issue. Critics say it's an expensive burden for the French economy, while defenders say it's a treasured jewel that needs protecting. Attempts to reform it (and there have been many) have driven a cross section of French society into the street and ground the country to a halt. 

THE INTERVIEW

Photojournalist Tommaso Protti captures deforestation of Brazil's Amazon

"A haunting portrait of crisis in the Amazon rainforest" is just one of the descriptions of a striking series of images taken by Italian photojournalist Tommaso Protti, winner of the 2019 Carmignac Photojournalism award.

 

PERSPECTIVE

'The French health system has reached a point of major crisis'

We speak to one of France's senior doctors as he joins the strike action to denounce poor working conditions. Julien Taieb of Paris's Georges Pompidou hospital says that, for the first time, hospital beds are being curtailed and nurses are quitting. 

ENCORE

TV series show: Now and then – A look back at 10 years of TV

From the second season of Amazon's star-studded Indian cricket soap "Inside Edge" to the third season of Amazon's Emmy award-winning show, "The Marvellous Mrs Maisel", plus Netflix's collaboration with French channel TF1 on 19th-century drama "Le Bazar de la Charité" or "The Bonfire of Destiny". They also look back at the last decade in this golden age of the small screen as we enter a new era.

Hip-hop star Akon: 'I’ve always wanted to put out multiple albums at the same time'

He's one of the world's hip-hop superstars. Akon sat down with FRANCE 24 to talk about the release of not one, not two, but three new albums. The author of the 2005 hit single "Lonely" is now trying out different styles. Whether it's hip-hop, latino or pop music, Akon says he doesn't want to be limited to just one musical genre.

 

FOCUS

Ivory Coast: Young footballers at risk from people smugglers

With the number of African footballers playing for teams around the world at an all-time high, thousands of youngsters dream of following in their footsteps. According to the NGO Foot Solidaire, over 6,000 minors leave Africa every year in the hopes of being recruited abroad. Some hand over their savings to unscrupulous middlemen for the dubious promise of a trial with a foreign club. Today, both amateur and professional players are trying to prevent aspiring footballers from falling victim to traffickers.

 

YOU ARE HERE

Discovering Brittany's bistros in winter

We head to the western French region of Brittany to discover its bistros. In retro-style establishments, young and old alike enjoy playing games like shuffleboard or "little skittles". Meanwhile, whether it rains, snows or shines, it’s always party time at the Tara Inn bistro in Brest. Every Monday, the stage is open to all musicians, regardless of their background. The bistro also continues the tradition of "fest-noz", a festival created more than a century ago as a welcome break from tiring work in the fields.


SPECIAL REPORT
‘The rhetoric is dangerous’: Female candidates face toxic politics in Britain

More than three years after the murder of MP Jo Cox by a far-right supporter, female candidates in Britain’s December 12 general election face an increasingly hostile climate – an alarming trend many blame on the poisonous divide generated by the Brexit referendum. FRANCE 24’s reporters spoke to two women MPs battling to hold on to their seats.