Le Buzz: beyond the French news

Emmanuelle-Tremolet-StreetArt-14_10_13This week: French politics, confessions of a former First Lady and Street Art are on the agenda.

According to IFOP, the Front national (FN) is leading polls for the 2014 European elections ahead of traditional parties, the Parti socialiste (PS) and the Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP). This is a first in France.

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The rise of the Front National in France

The Front national is considered an extreme right-wing party. Since 2011, Marine Le Pen, daughter of controversial founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been leader of the party.

Emmanuelle-Tremolet- Marine Le Pen -14_10_13So how do you explain the party’s growing popularity?

For a few years now, the new president of the FN has tried to make a break with the ‘fascist’ image of the party. The economic crisis, the weakness of the right-winged UMP and the traditional parties’ failure to clearly address certain problems are all elements that have contributed to the FN’s increasing popularity in France.

Recently, the FN has received support from French public figures such as lawyer Maitre Gilbert Collard and comedian Jean Roucas. Then it was actor Alain Delon who provoked a lot of talk by declaring to daily Swiss newspaper ‘Le Matin’ that he understood “perfectly well” the “prominent position” the extreme right party had taken in Switzerland and France – a rise he “approves and supports”.

What do you think about the rise of the FN in France? Join the discussion on Twitter @MaVieFrancaise #lebuzz

Confessions of a former First Lady: Cecilia Attias

Attias, founder and president of the Cecilia Attias Foundation for Women and ex-wife of France's former President Nicolas Sarkozy, attends the news conference for the Doha GOALS forum in DohaFrench celebrity Cécilia Attias created quite the buzz following her book release ‘A Desire for Truth’ in the Hexagon this week. You’ll remember her as France’s former First Lady who, during her ex-husband Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential term of office, decided to divorce him and start up with another man, Richard Attias. A first in the history of the Fifth French Republic.

In this book of confession, Cécilia explains that she no longer felt herself in the life of a political couple at the head of state. She also describes the political world as petty backstabbing.


The book responds to the misconceptions surrounding her. We knew her as a woman who influenced Nicholas Sarkozy, yet she describes herself as someone who worked alongside her husband so that he wouldn’t be isolated.

She casually talks about some of her friends who, learning of her separation, divorced their husbands in the hope of becoming France’s next First Lady.

But today, she’s on more peaceful terms with her ex-husband, father of her son, Louis: “I respect him, he respects me. I have an affection for him. And I like Carla a lot, she’s sharp, intelligent […].

“I left at an awkward moment for Nicolas, but I never wanted to embarrass him. Not then, not now”.

Cecilia Attias now lives in New York with her husband Richard Attias. She manages the Cecilia Attias Foundation for Women.

Don’t hesitate to share any French stories you’re reading on Twitter – @MaVieFrancaise, #lebuzz

A tribute to Street Art in the French capital

In another first, Street Art comes to the fore in Paris this month. An initiative of the Galérie Itinérance, street artists have totally covered a high-rise building in the 13e arrondissement, nicknamed ‘La Tour 13’, with their work.

Coming from all around the world, the artists have transformed this block of flats, destined to be destroyed, into a outdoor museum in the truest sense of the word.

If you like Street Art, the City of Paris has released an app called ’My Paris Street Art’, allowing users to find ‘œuvres de rue’ throughout the city.

Tour 13, 5 rue Fulton, Paris 13e is open to the public during October.

Take a walk around Paris and send us your Street Art photos via Twitter, @MaVieFrancaise, #lebuzz

Translated by Craig Schneider.
Image credits:
1.  Street Art à Paris, le géant via www.fatcap.com
2.  Marine Le Pen via philitt.fr
3.  Cecilia Attias via quebec.huffingtonpost.ca
4.  Affiche Exposition Tour 13 Paris via www.buzzwebzine.fr

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Emmanuelle Tremolet

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