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RFI France

A daily report on France: breaking news, top stories, analysis, trends and more

A daily report on France: breaking news, top stories, analysis, trends and more
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Paris, France


RFI France


A daily report on France: breaking news, top stories, analysis, trends and more






116, Avenue du Président Kennedy Paris, France 1 5640 1212 / 2907


Demand outpaces supply in Paris housing market

Housing remains an ongoing issue in France. The French government recently announced plans to double the amount of student housing in the next few years, to reach 700,000 housing units. In the Paris area, advocates and even the Mayor say there are not enough apartments for everyone, not just students, and they want the government to pitch in. Real estate agents have their eye on the Grand Paris urban renewal project. When you talk to real estate agents about the housing market in France,...


Artists, curators protest at culture cuts

The exhibition Manet, the Man Who Invented Modern Art at Paris's Musée d'Orsay is expected to pack in the crowds. But French curators and artists complain that lavish art shows in the capital hide cutbacks in culture budgets across France.


French state resists Muslims' calls to police halal fraud

As France's ruling party debates secularism, Muslim groups are calling on the state to introduce rules to stamp out fraud involving sloppy halal practices. But inspectors say regulating halal practicises would be contrary to France's secular principles.


Muslims study French secularism

A France's ruling UMP debates secularism, a group of French Muslims study the French tradition of separating religion and the state.


French anti-racist watchdog swallowed by Rights Defender

The fight against racial discrimination in France is far from won, many campaigners say, but the country's official watchdog is being wound up and its duties taken over by a much broader mediation outfit. By the end of April, the Halde, the high authority against discrimination, which since 2004 has helped victims of discrimination, will be replaced by a Rights Defender body, which will have a broader mission. Campaigners worry discrimination will be not be a priority, though hiring...


Debate on Islam divides Sarkozy's party

After polling badly in last weekend's local elections, Nicholas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party is divided over a proposed debate on secularism - or laicité. It is set to start next week and to concentrate on "the role of Islam in France", prompting outrage among French Muslims and rights campaigners. UMP MP Jacques Myard comments.


Is the extreme right on the rise in France?

After they polled at 15 per cent in the first round of last weekend's cantonal elections, all eyes were on how the far-right National Front party would do in the second round on Sunday. In total, close to 400 National Front candidates made it through to the second round run off. One of those candidates was Pierre Antoine-Lebault, who stood for election in Sevran, a town in the northeastern suburbs of Paris.RFI got the opinions of voters in the area...


Front National puts Sarkozy's party in a bind in local polls

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP is set to see votes drain to the far-right Front National in Sunday's second round of local elections. The threat has caused discord in his party and a toughening of his stance on law and order and immigration.


Radiation fears grip French Toyota factory

Japanese auto parts are raising concerns of radiation contamination in a northern French town. Trade unions representing workers at a Toyota factory in Onnaing threatened to call 3,200 employees to strike if the management did not meet their demands for participating in safety tests, following a shipment of auto parts that arrived from Japan on Monday.


Should France be worried about nuclear cloud?

As the radioactive cloud from the Japanese nuclear disaster hits Europe, RFI examines just how much of a threat it poses to France and whether the population needs to be worried.


Could Sarkozy gain popularity points with Libya crisis?

France was the first country to recognise the Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council as the country's legitimate government and French planes were the first to launch airstrikes on Libya last weekend. So with French President Nicolas Sarkozy struggling domestically, could a successful intervention in Libya give his popularity rating a much-needed boost ahead of next year's election?


Far right profits from Sarkozy's popularity slump

France voted Sunday in local elections seen as the last concrete political test ahead of next year's presidential ballot, as President Nicolas Sarkozy's popularity plunges and that of the far right Front National rises.


Hidden artists come out of the woodwork

France is the proverbial cradle of artists, but some artists are more visible than others. The Paris-based European Chamber of International Business is creating a network of hidden artists who are better known to the outside world as economic and financial movers and shakers.


Live from the Libya crisis meeting in Paris

European and Arab League leaders, along with the US, met in Paris Saturday for a crisis summit on Libya. Leaders were expected to finalise details of air strikes against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces. RFI reports from the French Presidential palace.


UN Libya vote a victory for French diplomacy

The United Nations Security Council has voted for a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. With 10 votes in favour, zero against, and five abstentions, the result of the vote can be seen as a victory for French diplomacy. Behind the scenes lobbying resulted in abstentions of countries often opposed to western military action, notably China and Russia, two of the five permanent members that have the right to veto.


France's nuclear companies feel the heat

As a result of the nuclear disaster in Japan, where nuclear reactors in the Fukushima plant are overheating, French nuclear energy outlets are facing trouble as well. Nuclear companies Energie de France and Areva sell a substantial amount of their material to Japan. As a result of the disaster, EDF shares fell 5.28 per cent, and Areva shares 9.61 per cent. Areva decided, last Wednesday, to stop a shipment of combustible Mox, a mix of uranium and plutonium, to Japan. It had been due to be...


Concerns over France's nuclear energy industry

Worries about the nuclear disaster in Japan has forced French politicians to think again about the country’s reliance on nuclear energy. On Wednesday French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a check-up on all French nuclear facilities. However environmentalists say the government's response is far too weak.


Illegal trade of artifacts on the rise

The illegal trade of antique and modern artifacts amounts to approximately 6 billion dollars per year, and the figure is rising. At the root of the problem are grave looting, museum theft and the scavenging of historic sites. This week, the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Unesco Convention for the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property was celebrated in the organisation's headquarters in Paris. There was particular interest in Egypt, as cultural heritage sites were...


Clinton in Paris to discuss Libya intervention

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Paris on Monday to attend a meeting of the Group of Eight countries on Libya. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has recognised the Libyan rebels as the true government of Libya, while Clinton has said Libyan President Moamer Kadhafi has lost the legitimacy to govern after his troops attacked civilians.


Japan disaster shakes faith in French nuclear

Fears of a nuclear disaster in Japan are also worrying people in France, where there are over 100 nuclear facilities all over the mainland. The French government has been quick to downplay the potential dangers, but anti-nuclear campaigners say that even the slightest risk is one France shouldn't be willing to take.