Saturday 16 December 2017

David Robbins: Why the French are fighting for La Belle Vie

Francophile David Robbins on the deep-seated reasons behind this week's street protests

Seeing orange: Protesters on the streets of Marseille this week
Seeing orange: Protesters on the streets of Marseille this week

A love affair with a country is like any other love affair. It has its first, rapturous phase, followed by a more realistic one, when faults at first disguised by love become more visible.

So it has been with my affair with France. When I went there first, 30 years ago, everything delighted me.

I wanted to move there, live in a garret in the 8th arrondissement and write novels, marry a haughty French woman and be awarded the Legion d'Honneur at age 70.

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