Podcast: immigration referendum, childfree in France, the feline astronaut

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Is a referendum the answer to France's deadlock on immigration reform? Childless by choice in the European country with the highest birthrate. And the story of Félicette – the first cat to fly into space. After the reform of the pension system, the next thorny political issue is immigration, with parliament set to start debating a bill in November. But finding a compromise on such a polarising issue will be difficult. President Emmanuel Macron has floated the idea of a referendum, which could allow people to have their say on France's immigration policies. Amanda Morrow talks about the bill and why a referendum on the issue could be problematic. (Listen @2'50'')Women in France are having fewer babies and the birthrate, while still the highest in the EU, is at its lowest since the end of WW2. A small but increasing number of women are choosing not to have children, but they're accused of being selfish and contributing to France's decline. Bettina Zourli, 31, who launched the instagram account #jeneveuxpasdenfant (I don't want kids) in 2019 to connect with other childfree women, talks about never wanting to be a mother in a country where motherhood is idolised. (Listen @18'55'')In the early days of the space race, France became the first – and only – country to launch a cat into space. A trained feline astronaut named Félicette completed her mission on 18 October 1963, but her success was short-lived. (Listen @10'32'')Episode mixed by Vincent Pora.Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, Apple podcasts (link here), Spotify (link here) or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
12 Oct 2023 English France News

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