Losing faith in democracy: France’s abstention problem
30 January 2022 | 3:59 pm
This week, we're exploring a key question ahead of the upcoming presidential elections in France: "to vote or not to vote?" As the list of candidates gets longer, the race is on to drum up support. But voter apathy is still a major concern and increasing numbers of would-be voters are turning their backs on politicians and the political system. Our reporters went to one Paris suburb with a particularly high abstention rate to meet some who are adamant they're going nowhere near a polling station this spring.
Paris hopes to use its six months at the head of the Council of the EU to tackle the bloc's "economic, educational, migration and military challenges." French President Macron will do it while facing an election at home.
Omicron cases are surging around the world, and France is the latest country to hit a new record reporting 60,000 more infections than the previous high. And - clearly losing patience, President Emmanuel Macron had some salty words for anyone still unvaccinated.
On January 6 of last year, thousands of supporters of Donald Trump poured into Washington. They were convinced he had won the 2020 presidential election instead of Joe Biden and were determined to stop Congress from confirming his loss. The rioters stormed the US Capitol building in shocking images seen live around the world. Some 140 police officers were injured, one dying the day after the attack. Four others who guarded the Capitol that day went on to take their own lives. In this special edition, we look back at the events of that fateful day.
In this edition we head to the Italian capital Rome, which has long attracted the cream of French artists. The prestigious setting of the Villa Medici is home to the Academy of France, and each year a select group of contemporary artists receive a fellowship, allowing them to work on their dream project in a uniquely cossetted setting. Our reporters Luke Brown and Xavier Chemisseur were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of what the artists-in-residence have been working on.
In France, it's estimated that more than 30 percent of people drink excessively. That means more than two glasses of wine per day and more than five days a week. These figures have gone up during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet the government's approach to alcohol has been not as forceful as with other types of addiction such as smoking. Indeed, some specialists say that's down to the power of lobbies within the industry. We take a closer look in this edition of France in Focus.
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef made a surprise appearance at the 2016 Bobs - DW's award for online activism. Youssef used plenty of sarcasm to describe the state of democracy in Egypt - but also critizised Western media for pointing fingers at others.
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In this edition, we take you to discover the High Plains of Vercors in south-eastern France. In winter, this area is devoid of permanent human dwellings – only animals roam the mountains. It's an immaculate but hostile landscape spread over 170 km² that forest warden Brice Palhec knows well. He takes us behind the scenes of this wild world, the largest nature reserve in mainland France.
France's foreign ministry has said the incarceration 'reduces trust' with Iran. The academic was previously under house arrest.
The press discusses the pressure being placed on French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer as teachers go on strike over confusing Covid-19 rules. We also discuss the outrage of the British papers towards PM Boris Johnson's Partygate mea culpa. We then discover how marijuana could help combat Covid-19 infections. Finally, the papers tell us of a blind date that went viral when a couple in China had to struggle through a sudden lockdown together.
Find these stories and much more when you grab a copy of The Guardian on Friday.
FRANCE 24 spoke to Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to France. He insisted Beijing was prioritising "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan, but said the Chinese authorities had "not ruled out the use of force" – not with the intention of targeting "the people of Taiwan", but rather to dissuade "separatists in Taiwan" and certain "foreign forces". The Chinese diplomat also said he was "sure" there would be no mass surge in Covid-19 cases during the Winter Olympics, which open in Beijing on February 4.
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