La Rochelle

Irish coach of French rugby team a hit with franglais pep talk

International — Link

Former Ireland international Ronan O’Gara, now coach for French rugby club La Rochelle, has become an internet and social media star after a video began circulating showing him giving the team a rousing pre-match pep talk in expletive-laden franglais, telling them 'L’opportunité est fucking énorme'.

Aftershocks aggravate damage from 5.8 earthquake in west France

France — Link

An earthquake of between 5.3 and 5.8 on the Richter scale which struck western France on Friday evening, whose epicentre was close to the coastal town of La Rochelle, was followed overnight by two aftershocks on a scale of 5 and 3, worsening damage to buildings, while no fatalities were reported. 

How France's Atlantic ports still ignore their grim slave trade past

France — Report

France's west coast port cities of Bordeaux, La Rochelle and Le Havre followed in the footsteps of Nantes by amassing much of their wealth from the Atlantic slave trade. Yet unlike in Nantes, in these three cities this history remains largely forgotten or hidden from view. And as Lucie Delaporte reports, in the forthcoming local elections which take place on March 15th and March 22nd, neither current councillors nor many candidates seem much inclined to revive these painful memories.

How the Socialist Party is now France's 'Democratic Party'

France — Analysis

The ruling Socialist Party is continuing its inexorable drift towards the centre ground of French politics. As Stéphane Alliès reports, prime minister Manuel Valls's key-note speech on Sunday to end its summer conference underlined the extent to which the party has turned its back on other parties of the Left and has instead become a “rallying call for progressives”.

French Green defections continue as divided Socialists hold summer conference

France — Link

Departure of EELV's Senate leader Jean-Vincent Placé follows decision by a senior MP to quit the environmental party.

French PM Valls wears velvet glove in plea for socialist unity

France — Report

Amid deepening divisions over government economic policy, France’s ruling Socialist Party held its annual end-of-summer conference this weekend at the port of La Rochelle, in south-west France, culminating with a much awaited speech by prime Minister Manuel Valls. The long-planned venue coincided with the government reshuffle earlier this week which saw the exit from the cabinet of party left-wingers, and notably the arrival of a former banker, Emmanuel Macron, as economy minister in replacement of the outspoken anti-austerity leftist Arnaud Montebourg. Valls, who earlier this week told a conference of the French employers’ federation of his “love” of business, was promised a fiery reception from the rebel Left of his party at his Sunday appearance. From a tense conference hall in La Rochelle, Stéphane Alliès reports on the address by Valls, who defiantly told a small group of journalists afterwards: “A speech will not be sufficient [...] but I’m continuing, I’m not giving up on anything.”

Jeers as French PM arrives at socialist conference camp

France — Link

Manuel Valls was met by a booing crowd when he arrived in La Rochelle for his party's annual national meeting of militants and officials.

Mussel 'catastrophe' puts French moules-frites at risk

France — Link

Restaurants relying on foreign imports and west coast growers call for emergency state aid as mussel production plummets 90 per cent.

DNA tests fail to solve French school rape case

France — Link

No DNA from 539 male pupils and staff matched genetic material on the clothing of a teenage girl who said she was raped in a dark bathroom.

French school rape case: only one student refuses DNA testing

France — Link

Police investigating rape at lycée in La Rochelle say the student, aged over 18, declined to give sample for personal reasons.

French school to test DNA of male pupils and teachers to find rapist

France — Link

In a controversial move more than 500 male staff and pupils face genetic testing at Catholic school in La Rochelle after a 16-year-old girl was raped.

French socialists sound 'ideological' battle cry against extreme right


The fight against the far-right Front national was the central theme of the ruling Socialist Party's summer conference that took place at the weekend. Some on the Left fear that if they do not start campaigning now, Marine Le Pen's party could attract the largest share of the popular vote at next year’s European elections. However, as Lénaïg Bredoux reports, just what form the 'crusade' against extremism will take is still unclear.