Jacques Chirac

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Detail of Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix, in the Louvre Museum, Paris. Photograph: JMN/Cover/Getty Images

France’s culture minister, Aurélie Filippetti, took an emphatically negative position yesterday in the growing controversy over whether Paris should l(...)

Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande at the official memorial service for Nelson Mandela  in Johannesburg. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When French president François Hollande invited his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy to accompany him to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral, the inv(...)

Only 73 French people have been interred in the Pantheon in Paris, more than half by Napoleon. “Pantheonisation” is one of the last privileges left to a French president, but like everything else, it has turned into a dilemma for François Hollande. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It was a day devoted to the quest for heroes, in an age that no longer seems to produce them. Three former prime ministers, six of France’s leading hi(...)

 French National Front leader Marine Le Pen:   If François Hollande faced Le Pen in the 2017 runoff for the presidency, some conservatives predict the right would vote massively for Le Pen. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Marine Le Pen, president of France? It may sound far-fetched, but a victory by the leader of the extreme right-wing National Front (FN) is a frequent (...)

 Fireworks light up the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.   Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Divining the real cost of an Olympics Games is as impossible as parsing the motives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members for choosing (...)

French interior minister Manuel Valls. Photograph: Reuters

Like Nicolas Sarkozy a decade ago, the French interior minister Manuel Valls is a media creature. He’s dominated headlines all summer, making a speech(...)

French businessman Bernard Tapie claims he was the victim of a plot to discredit Nicolas Sarkozy. Photograph: Fred Dufour/Reuters

A few nights ago, I was surprised to hear an 82-year-old grandmother from the Parisian grande bourgeoise defending Bernard Tapie at a family dinner. “(...)

French President Francois Hollande. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Exactly one year ago next Monday, newly elected French president François Hollande made his victory(...)

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