At my first job as a journalist in Paris, four colleagues and I shook the hands of two bosses every morning, but gave bises to each other. Photograph: Getty

“The bise has disappeared,” France’s newspaper of record, Le Monde, decreed last March, three days before the lockdown started. “Coronavirus has impos(...)

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel during a joint video press conference on Monday. Photograph: Andreas Gora/EPA

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday announced a joint initiative for a €500 billion EU recovery plan to hel(...)

In Europe’s greatest health crisis in a century, the youth and vigour of French president Emmanuel Macron have been outshone by German chancellor Angela Merkel’s age and experience. Photograph:  Ludovic Marin /POOL/AFP

French media and politicians are asking why Germany has fared so much better than France in the Covid-19 pandemic. France’s near obsession is matched(...)

World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus meets President Xi Jinping in Beijing on January 28th. Photograph: Naohiko Hatta/Getty Images

The Covid-19 pandemic is turning the World Health Organisation (WHO) into a battleground for superpower rivalry between Beijing and Washington. Though(...)

Airport employees unload  material arriving from China, including thousands of masks, at the international airport of Nice, southern France. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

France has expressed its “disapproval” over disinformation published by Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to Paris, on his embassy’s website by summoni(...)

French president Emmanuel Macron talks to employees as he visits the Kolmi-Hopen face mask factory in Saint-Barthelemy-d’Anjou in central France. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Until they were laid low by the coronavirus pandemic, few in Europe or the United States realised how much their countries depended on vital healthcar(...)

A woman works on a table with face masks and hand sanitiser inside a Paris public hospital. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP via Getty

The coronavirus epidemic is severely testing fundamental principles of European integration, including the notion of solidarity and the free movement (...)

Two months after the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in France, and more than 1,300 deaths later, the epidemic has not peaked yet. Photograph: Stephane De Sakutin / AFP

My friend’s children, a daughter and son-in-law in their 40s, are holed up in their apartment, aching, coughing and barely able to move or look after (...)

French president Emmanuel Macron promised overtime payments and a ‘gratitude bonus’ to medical personnel. Photograph: Getty

France is “only at the beginning” of the coronavirus epidemic, said President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday night. “But we will hold on . . . because w(...)

The Chantelivre bookshop in the rue de Sèvres has window display of 36 books about hospitals, epidemics and quarantine. Photograph: Tala Skari

“Read!” president Emmanuel Macron exhorted his compatriots when he announced France’s coronavirus lockdown on March 16th. Perhaps only the French cou(...)

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