A tale of dosh and France's complex reaction to money


President Emmanuel Macron's recent reference to the “shedloads of dosh” that the state pays out in benefits has sparked a lot of discussion about money in France. The controversial phrase was followed by revelations about a huge payout awarded to the outgoing chief executive of a major French company, a controversy over the cost of presidential crockery and a mini-row over footballers' pay. But as Hubert Huertas explains, how people in France react to discussions about money depends on where that money comes from - and who is receiving it.

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It was a curious affair. In the way it was staged, President Emmanuel Macron's comment about the “shedloads of dosh” the state spends on benefits came across like an edgy fly-on-the-wall documentary as he addressed the faithful. In fact it was no such thing. It was simply part of yet another official press release issued by the Élysée's PR team to glorify their leader's actions.