5 things you didn't know about life at the Elysée palace

This week, the magazine of French newspaper Le Monde features an exclusive behind-the-scenes report at the Elysée presidential palace. For one week, a journalist and photographer were given rare access to President François Hollande and his staff.

Unpopular but underestimated? Valérie Trierweiler’s legacy as French first lady

She may certainly be the most unpopular French first lady in recent history, but does Valérie Trierweiler really deserve all the criticism over her time at the Élysée palace?

'French answer to Playboy' makes heady comeback

While a UK campaign to ban so-called "lads' mags" is gathering speed, a men’s magazine with a distinctly macho flavour has just relaunched here in France. And it's selling like hot cakes.

Why is France's finance minister so happy?

Despite working 17-hour days in a bid to help revive the economy, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici recently said he was a "happy man”. Find out why...
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Animal rights activists march in Paris demanding closure of slaughterhouses

This Saturday, hundreds of people marched through southern Paris calling for an end to the killing of animals for food. I went along to see what the atmosphere was like.
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Bad luck and political vengeance: the downfall of French budget minister Cahuzac

The downfall of France's former budget minister, Jérôme Cahuzac, who has admitted lying about having an offshore bank account, has its roots in a mixture of bad luck and political vengeance that Machiavelli would have appreciated.
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French wives encouraged to cheat… as protesters march against same-sex marriage

This week, leaflets in support of this Sunday’s march against same-sex marriage in Paris were distributed to Parisians outside metro stations. But once inside, commuters came face-to-face with posters encouraging them to cheat on their partners.
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French psychiatrist convicted of manslaughter after murder by… her patient

In a verdict that could affect the way psychiatric patients are treated in France, a court in Marseille this Tuesday handed a psychiatrist a suspended sentence for manslaughter after her patient committed a gruesome murder. Read more…
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The day I met the French president - in his garden

This Sunday was only the second time that the gardens of the Élysée palace, home to one François Hollande, were open to the public on a Sunday. I decided to take a look - and managed to meet the French president in the process.

Pets abandoned in their thousands: the dark side of summer in France

Summer is not a good time to be a pet in France. Between 60,000 and 100,000 furry creatures are abandoned every year when their owners go on holiday, according to animal welfare groups. Intrigued by these figures, I decided to find out more...
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