Christine Lagarde: being the unlikely candidate has consistently been the making of her. Photograph: Saul Loeb

“No, no, no, no, no, no,” Christine Lagarde said last year when asked if she was interested in running the European Central Bank (ECB). What she meant(...)

Marine Le Pen, leader of the  Front National, during a recent rally. “The influence of Le Pen continues to grow,” says political scientist Pascal Perrineau. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Prof Pascal Perrineau, one of France’s leading political scientists, says it’s 95 per cent certain that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right(...)

 Riot police charge protesters amid a clouds of tear gas during a demonstration in Paris, France,  May 26th, 2016. The demonstration took  place as part of widespread protests against the French government’s labour reform project. Photograph: Jeremy Lempin/EPA

The Euro 2016 football tournament is scheduled to begin two weeks from today. It is difficult to imagine how 51 matches in the month-long tournament(...)

Ten years ago: a warehouse burning on November 4th, 2005 in Aulnay-sous-Bois on the seventh consecutive night of violence on the ouskirts of Paris. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images.

Ten years ago today was a school holiday in France, in the Muslim month of Ramadan. Bouna Traoré, aged 15, the child of immigrants from Mauritania, an(...)

Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré. Photograph: Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP

If policeman Sébastien Gaillemin had cried out a warning to Bouna Traoré (15) and Zyed Benna(17) on that evening in the autumn of 2005, telling them t(...)

French prime minister Manuel Valls after delivering a speech before the vote of no confidence. The outcome shows that President François Hollande’s administration no longer commands a reliable majority. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The French government has survived a vote of no confidence, but has been weakened by the necessity of using an obscure constitutional instrument to p(...)

Bertie Ahern has been a frequent visitorto China in the years since his departure from the Irish political stage Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

When he was taoiseach, the former Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern launched what was called his Asia Strategy. Cynics might joke about him wanting to a(...)

Laetitia, a 30-year-old unemployed Frenchwoman and member of CVStreet group, uses a brush to paste posters of herself and others unemployed people in the streets of Marseille. The main idea is to break the anonymity for the unemployed by posting their portraits in the street.

French governments have struggled with the jobless young issue since 1977, when then prime minister Raymond Barre launched the “pact for youth employm(...)