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France Travel News 01/20/2011

  • Romania v France: Let us in

    Bucharest was once known as the "Paris of the east". But Parisians might be advised to steer clear of the Romanian capital, at least until the latest row between the French and Romanian governments blows over. Relations between the two countries have largely been smooth since Romania's accession to the European Union in 2007. At least until last August, when Nicolas Sarkozy ordered the expulsion of Romanies illegally living in France, most of whom had Romanian citizenship. It wasn't long until accusations of opportunism and even racism came flying France's way.

  • Nicolas Sarkozy in Alsace gaffe

    Mr Sarkozy made the slip during a speech in the Alsatian town of Truchtersheim, less than 20 miles from the German border. Speaking to representatives of the agricultural industry, Mr Sarkozy said he could accepted unfair competition between China and India, but not between Germany and France. "I'm not saying that simply because I'm in Germany," he said, before correcting himself to say: "I'm in Alsace." The crowd immediately began jeering and then booing Mr Sarkozy, who appeared shocked by what he had said " putting his hands up in the air as if surrender.

  • New £300m Nike France Kit Is ‘A Bit Italian’

    This is France’s first ever Nike kit, which can lay claim to being the most expensive football kit of all time. It cost Nike around €300m (€42m per year until 2018) to buy the rights (previously held by Adidas) to dress the French team with a swoosh (several swooshes actually). Which is a ridiculous price, frankly.

  • Skiing in Andorra: Tiny Place, Tall Mountains

    It's less than 20 miles from border to border. It has two heads of state — one a bishop from Spain and the other the president of France — but its official language is Catalan. Its mountains rise higher than 9,000 feet, and they're home to some 125 miles of ski slopes. This is Andorra, a tiny landlocked principality that's nearly all vertical, tucked in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain. Historically, it occupied important trade routes through the mountains, and it continues those trading ways today with duty-free goods.

  • Cruise company offers bike tours

    European river cruise specialist Avalon Waterways has just announced a new activity for its passengers in 2011 – optional bike tours. The company will be featuring the tours in conjunction with stops at four European cities – Maastricht in Holland, Lyon in France, Durnstein in Austria and Breisach in Germany. Including bike, helmet and the services of a guide, the tours last two to five hours and are designed to provide a novel way to see the charming towns. Prices range from $55 to $120 per person.

  • French festival show announced

    On Sunday, 3rd July, Coldplay will headline the Main Square Festival at Arras in Northern France. Other acts performing that day include Portishead, PJ Harvey and Elbow.

  • EJP | News | France | Le Pen daughter eyes new era for French extreme-right

    For 40 years, one tough man has dominated French extreme-right politics. Now it's makeover time, with Jean-Marie Le Pen's youngest daughter Marine expected to take the helm of his anti-immigrant National Front. If Marine, 42, is crowned successor to her 82-year-old father this weekend, as is widely expected, she will see in a new era for the Front (FN) and pose a big challenge for President Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of the 2012 election.

  • French reality TV stars sue producers in bid for wages for ‘real work’

    Shovelling cowpats on a blind date, running around a desert island in limited swimwear, squeezing your wife's spots on a crowded Thai bus or panicking over the consistency of a crème brulee. French reality TV might look like a laugh for its rising stars, but exhausted contestants are staging a rebellion, demanding huge cash compensation for being endlessly bossed around by producers. A series of legal battles threaten to force French production companies to pay out hundreds of thousands of euros to reality TV participants who argue that acting natural, looking effortlessly sexy and taking part in absurd challenges is actually hard work.

  • Film covers Sarkozy’s rise to power and divorce of his wife – The Connexion

    NICOLAS Sarkozy’s rise to power as president has been captured in a film to be released later this year, the first time a sitting president has been covered in a movie. Due in the cinemas in May, La Conquête (The Conquest) covers the five years in the run-up to his election in 2007 and his split with his then wife, Cécilia. Film-maker Xavier Durringer has gone to extreme lengths to ensure accuracy and the film may be extremely embarrassing for Mr Sarkozy. Historian Patrick Rotman wrote the screenplay and interviewed many of the leading figures to unearth intimate details, such as Sarkozy’s search for his wife as he starts his first day in power. She had refused to vote for him.

  • TGV fares to rise as part of SNCF reinvestment programme

    TGV fares are to rise by between two and three per cent at the end of this month, with the extra money spent on improving some of France's worst-performing routes.SNCF president Guillaume Pepy said the profits from the fare increase would be "entirely reinvested" and outlined an "emergency plan" to improve 12 key lines.