Current events in France (#5) To better understand a country, it is useful to read its press and watch its TV. You can see what are the main issues for the people, what are the current controversies (the French are very good at that...). In this section, I try to register, month after month, the main topics for the French.
 WARNING ! The comments below do NOT reflect MY own opinion but are a tentative synthesis of what comes out from the French press and TV in a given month ! I do express my own opinions on page Editorial !

This page concerns 2017 and 2018 : for previous years, click here.

  • More in Harriet's diary...
Webmaster Philippe Rochefort and wife Harriet, with a friend, discussing current world affairs in a French bistrot.
What was making the headlines in 2017....  

What is making the headlines in 2018....

  • January 2017
    • The French are amazed by the way President Trump speaks and behaves. The least that can be said is that he has very few supporters in the country. They were very shocked by his first press conference.
  • February 2017
    • The same week, the winner of the Primaries of the Right, Francois Fillon, is involved in a scandal (his wife and children secretely paid by the State for years : 1 m Euros), the President of the Extre Right Party (FN) Marine Le Pen is sentenced by the European Parliament to reimburse funds paid by the E.P. and misused to the benefit of her party (0,3 m Euros) and the winner of the Primaries of the Left, Benoit Hamond, is elected on the program of distributing to every Frenchman from age 18 a permanent income of around $800 per month (Revenu Universel) which, if ever implemented, would represent more than the current total budget of the State! A busy week ... Read about the French and money.
  • March 2017
    • In France, everything revolves around the Presidential election to come next month : read my special page about it.
    • The first round and the likely victory of Emmanuel Macro illustrate some major changes in French political life.
  • May 2017
    • Now a new President, young, never elected to any office before, a former banker with Rothschild is elected against the extremist National Front 65% to 35% ! Read about Emmanuel Macron
  • December 2017
    • Almost the same day (Dec.4 and 5), two of the most-loved French celebrities died : Jean d'Ormesson and Johnny Hallyday. The first one was a novelist, an aristocrat, a member of the French Academy, charming, brilliant, erudite and simple. The latter was a rock singer, a star, a great show-man and a living myth.
  • February 2018
    • The French are horrified to learn that Johnny Hallyday, who died two months ago creating a wave of emotion all over the country, had left a will desinheriting two of his four children and leaving his (considerable) wealth to his last wife ! A ferocious legal fight in view ! Under the French law, his four children would receive 3/4 of the estate and his will could dispose only of the remaining 1/4.
  • March 2018
    • The whole country is deeply moved by the sacrifice of Colonel Arnaud Beltrame who (March 23rd) offered to take the place of a hostage held by an Islamic terrorist and was killed by him. A national ceremony was organized in his honor in the courtyard of the Invalides.
  • April-May 2018
    • Strike and more strike : while the unions at Air France keep trying to kill the poor company with endless strikes to increase their salaries (already the highest in the industry), the unions of SNCF (train operator) invented a new form of strike (two days every five days, for three months)
    • In May, the strtikes are competing with vacations days : 3 days in addition to the week-ends, two of them making a "bridge" possible...
  • July 2018
    • The whole country (like most Europeans) is horrified by the behavior of President Trump and the various statements he made on his last trip with a NATO meeting, a visit to Queen Elizabeth and a meting with Wladimir Putin. Read more about Trump and Europe.
  • October 2018
    • Difficult days for President Macron! Both Left and Right are against him, like pro more Europe and pro less Europe, etc.
  • November-December 2018
    • Like most Europeans, the French are baffled by the behavior and the tweets of President Trump. His visit to France for WW1 celebrations is one more example. Result : many articles on the theme "What's happening with America" and a rise of anti-Americanism.
    • .France seems to enter one of these revolutionary events she is familiar with : the "Yellow Vest" upheaval. Attacks on police forces, cars burning by hundreds in cities all over the country. Read about French revolutions in history.
 To related pages : previous years : 2013 to 2016 (#4), 2009 to 2012 (#3), 2007&2008 (#2), 2005&2006 (#1), French society, major French issues, strengths and weaknesses of France, etc...

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Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books:

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

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