Manuel Valls, France’s new prime minister, is often compared to Tony Blair. He even describes himself, without apparent irony, as “Blairiste”. Surprisingly, this hasn’t done him much harm. In recent months, Valls has emerged from relative obscurity to become by far the most popular member… Read More
Is France going into a deflationary spiral? Some economists — a minority, admittedly, but a growing one — fear it might be. If so, the consequences for France, for the eurozone and ultimately for the UK, would be serious indeed. In 2013, inflation in France… Read More
Saint Denis was beheaded on the hill looming over northern Paris now known as Montmartre. The legend is that he picked up his own head and carried it several miles north, before finally collapsing and expiring on the site of the present day suburb that… Read More
‘The shape of a city changes too fast, alas!, for the heart of mortal man,’ wrote Charles Baudelaire in one of his most famous poems, The Swan. Baudelaire wrote it around 1859, when many of the narrow old streets of Paris were being bulldozed by… Read More
François Mitterrand, French president between 1981 and 1995, died 16 years ago. Well, so they said. But turn on French radio or TV, look around a bookshop, or scan the feature pages of a French paper, and old Tonton is still with us. Perhaps it… Read More
This is a stand first.
Almost as soon as you drive off the ferry at Calais there are signs for the Camp du Drap d’Or – the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’ – the site of the infamous meeting in 1520 between two of the biggest egos of 16th… Read More
Far from the May Day rallies, François Hollande visits Nevers to invoke the ghosts of the French left.
A leading figure in the far-right Front National (FN) has offered to endorse Nicholas Sarkozy for Sunday’s deciding second round of the presidential election, but only on condition that the president backs FN candidates in June’s parliamentary elections wherever they face a direct challenge from… Read More
Marine Le Pen grabbed the headlines in yesterday’s vote, but in politics, like football, results are everything. Le Pen will not be in the second round run-off on 6 May. The salient facts are that François Hollande comfortably surpassed François Mitterrand’s first round score in… Read More