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The Sound Kitchen

The French Prime Minister’s response to the Yellow Vests

Audio 17:14
David Franklin/Getty Images/A Terrade

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about French Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe’s December 4th announcement to the Gilet Jaunes. There’s “On This Day”, music by request from listener Bernie Siben - and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow in the photo above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you have grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

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There’s a new musical segment on The Sound Kitchen – your favorite songs. We started with female singers, and now we’re moving on to male singers. What I want you to do is send in your favorite song by a male singer, and tell why that song and that singer are important to you. Every week I’ll play one of your suggestions, and then we’ll change to band, instrumental, film, your children’s favorites … but for January and February, we’ll focus on men, so to your pens! Write to me at, and be sure you include your city and country in your note – along with a link and a short translation, if you can. I think it is quite nice to share your favorite music as well as your thoughts about it – thanks to Daniel Singleton, the RFI English Head of Service, for the idea!

This week’s request was from Bernie Siben in Austin, Texas. Click below to read the lyrics to his favorite song – sung by Bernie himself – “I’m Still Here”, by Stephen Sondheim.

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Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club member: Sheriffo Ceesay from Banjul, The Gambia.

So glad you joined us!

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club ust write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

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This week’s quiz: On December 8th, I asked you a question about French Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe and the Gilets Jaunes, or the Yellow Vests. The Saturday before, December 1st, the violence surrounding their protests escalated. On 4 December Phillippe announced measures which the government hoped would appease the protesters. I asked you to tell me what those measures were.

The answer is: Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe announced that the government would suspend the tax rise on fuel for six months, which was the initial reason for the protests. The next day, the government announced the tax rise on fuel would be suspended throughout 2019.

He also announced that increases in the cost of gas and electricity, also set to take effect from January 1st, would be suspended for three months this winter.

Philippe added that a tightening of the technical assessment for cars, which was set to penalize heavily polluting older, mainly diesel, vehicles, would also be suspended for six months.

The winners are: Anita Gandhveer from Rajasthan, India and Jewel Ahmad from Sirajganj, Bangladesh. The president of the RFI Pak France International Listeners Club, Shahzad Shabbir from Sahiwal in Pakistan, is a winner this week, andthere are two RFI Listeners Club members on the list: Mrs Jahan Ara Hussain from Odisha, India and Dr DW Nabi from Middlesex in the UK.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: Handel: the first movement from the Harp Concerto No. 6 in B Flat Major, Op. 4, performed by harpist Nicanor Zabeleta with the Paul Kuentz Chamber Orchestra conducted by Paul Kuentz; the Rondino, called “The Soap Bubbles”, from Claude Debussy’s “Children’s Games” performed by pianists Philip Moore and Simon Crawford-Phillips; Rimsky-Korsakov: “The Flight of the Bumblebee”; "Little Ugly Girl, Empress of the Pagodas" from Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite performed by pianist Cyprien Katsaris, and Bernie Siben singing “I’m Still Here” from Stephen Sondheim’s Side by Side by Sondheim.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question. You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 11 February to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 16 February podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



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