Podcast: Union of the left, SOS trees, celebrating Britain's 'francophile' Queen

A first-time candidate for parliament campaigns for the newly unified left. Why a Frenchman has set up camp in one of Gustav Eiffel's ancient plane trees. France marks the jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

One of the most interesting parts of the upcoming parliamentary elections in France is the way the famously splintered left has come together. For the first time since the 1970s the left is unifying, rallying behind hard left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who hopes to become prime minister. Mélenchon’s France Unbowed party has joined forces with the Greens, Socialists and Communists to form NUPES – New Popular Ecological and Social Union – with the different parties fielding just one common candidate per constituency. In Paris' 7th district, the NUPES candidate is lawyer Caroline Mecary. A newcomer to party politics, she never expected to run for a seat in parliament but is approaching the task with energy and conviction as she tries to unify disparate parts on the left in her first ever campaign. (Listen @0')

Thomas Brail, an arborist from the south of France, has set up camp in a 200-year-old plane tree at the foot of the Eiffel tower. The tree is one of three planted in 1814, before the Eiffel was built, but which were protected by Gustav Eiffel himself. Their existence is threatened, however, by a development project backed by City Hall in preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Brail, founder of the National Tree Surveillance Group (GNSA), says France needs to do more to protect trees – "our allies" in the fight against climate change. (Listen @12'45'')

France is joining in Britain's celebration of Queen Elizabeth's jubilee – marking the 70-year reign of a francophile monarch who has made more visits to France than any other foreign country. (Listen @8'55'')

This episode was mixed by Cecile Pompeani.

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
2 Jun 2022 English France News

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