Podcast: France's healthcare crisis, 'deserting' agro-tech, fête de la musique

France's famously good public healthcare system is in crisis, as emergency services warn of shutdowns over the summer due to lack of staff. Graduates of prestigious AgroParisTech university make waves by turning their backs on an industry they say is "waging war on the living world". The annual Fête de la musique all-day music festival turns 40. 

French hospital A&E services are threatening to shut down over the summer due to staff shortages. The French emergency services association estimated a few weeks ago that 120 emergency rooms are facing difficulties – more than half of which have closed partially, at night or at weekends. Healthcare workers warn that this crisis is just the visible manifestation of the collapse of France's renowned healthcare system. Public hospital staff talk about burnout and lack of resources, exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, as the government says it is looking to overhaul the system. (Listen @1'50)

During their graduation ceremony, eight students at AgroParisTech – an elite university that trains the country's top agro-tech engineers – announced they were "swerving" away from the industry they'd spent years preparing for. In a speech that made waves in one of France's most important economic sectors, they denounced studies that were contributing to social and ecological devastation. One of the deserters, who lives in the ZAD (Zone to defend) in Notre Dame des Landes, near Nantes, talks about investing her knowledge and energy into collective, anti-capitalist projects and why others could follow suit. (Listen @14'50'')

On 21 June 1982, the French Culture Minister Jack Lang launched Fête de la musique as a cure for morosity and a showcase for France's known, and less known, musical talent. Forty years later the all-day music festival has spread to 120 countries. (Listen @10'05'')

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).
16 Jun 2022 English France News

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