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.

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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President Hollande: what a difference a year makes

Just one year after his election, French President François Hollande is at a record low in the polls. What has he done to deserve this? And how can he hang on for another four years?

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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No humour, please: France’s Hollande under fire for cracking jokes

With a reputation for wisecracks, French President François Hollande has earned the nickname of Monsieur Petites-Blagues (Mr Little Jokes) over the years. But in the past few weeks, his bons mots have got the right-wing opposition all worked up.

French MPs: is there a deontologist in the house?

The past couple of weeks have seen some rather strange goings-on in France's National Assembly, or lower house of parliament. This comes despite the fact that the Socialists only took power a few months ago. Read more...

French presidential elections: drawing a blank

Having now just about recovered from the excitement of covering the French elections, I would like to point out that France’s new president, François Hollande, did not actually win as many votes as it may appear. Find out why...

French presidential elections: Journalist provokes ire of web users for ‘insulting’ marginal candidates

This week, all ten French presidential candidates were interviewed on prime time TV. Afterwards, two political journalists were called upon to analyse their performances for viewers - and one of the two managed to kick up a huge stink online...

French presidential elections: Sarkozy copies Mitterrand

So it’s official: French president Nicolas Sarkozy has still not announced he is running for re-election. At first, it was thought he might do so during Sunday night’s hour-long TV interview. But it was not to be...

French Socialist primaries: the week I felt sorry for the ‘third man’

This week, much media attention in France was devoted to Arnaud Montebourg, who surprised everyone by finishing third in the first round of the Socialist Party primaries. But with this success came a dilemma.