Skip to main content
The Sound Kitchen

Will France remain the 'worker's paradise'?

Audio 26:07
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI
33 min

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the French pension reform. There’s information on International Mother Language Day, the Sound Kitchen mailbag, great music – and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow 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’ve 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.

Send me your music requests! I’ll make programs of your favorite music when I can’t be in the kitchen to cook something up new for you … write to me at

For our DX enthusiast and shortwave listener friends: I am sad to announce we no longer have a shortwave frequency; we have severe budget constraints which no longer permit us to broadcast via shortwave.

"Paris Live", our afternoon news program, is on-the-air Monday – Friday, from 13:00 to 14:00 UTC/GMT. You can hear "Paris Live" on our website,, or on  World Radio Network.

For North America: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 05:00 to 05:59, from 09:00 to 09:59 and from 15:00 to 15h59 UTC/GMT.

For Africa and Asia: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 05:00 to 05:59, from 09:00 to 09:59 and from 15:00 to 15h59 UTC/GMT.

For Europe: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 06:00 to 06:50, from 11:00 to 11:59 and from 19:00 to 19:59 UTC/GMT.

In Paris, you can hear us on World Radio Paris on DAB+, Monday to Friday from 16:00 to 16:59.

To listen to our features (now podcasts only), go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose Listen to RFI / Features, and you’ve got ‘em ! You can either listen directly, or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is

Did you know there’s an RFI English newsletter? If you subscribe, you'll receive our newsletter every day. Just click on Newsletters, fill out the form, and you'll stay up-to-date with RFI English.

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( and Chrystelle Nammour ( from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send them your quiz answers! Email overload!

We’ve made a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. It is a closed group, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

RFI’s Planet Radio department is sponsoring an e-POP (e-Participatory Observers Project) competition. It’s a video contest, with some really great prizes! This is the first year that English speakers have been invited to participate, so let’s show RFI how many of you are out there, and are an active part of the RFI English service!

It’s a really cool project: Planet Radio is looking for two-minute videos about climate change, told by the humans who are experiencing it first hand – the people we rarely get to hear from. Your grandfather. Your aunt. People in your community. Your video should be inter-generational: interview an older member of your family or in your community who has lived the changes climate change has brought. This project is about humans; that’s the whole point of ePOP, how climate change has affected the “ordinary” citizen . Your video can be in any language – you just have to provide the translation into English to Planet Radio. And it can’t be more than two minutes. It’s open to everyone, although there is one prize for women under the age of 25 (Young sisters! Get to work!).  Most of the prizes involve a trip to Paris, and I would get to meet you! Plus there’s video equipment to be given away – as noted, the prizes are great!

Here’s the link for the guidelines.

The deadline for entries is 15 March. I fully expect Planet Radio to be bombarded with entries from you, the RFI English service listeners!

This week’s quiz:  On 18 January, I asked you a question about the French government's pension reform plan - the plan which led to massive strikes which you heard a lot about from us!

On 12January French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that the government was willing to compromise on the biggest proposal to the pension reform that all the French unions – even the moderate CFDT union - would not accept. I asked you what that hotly contested proposal is.

The answer is: the so-called “pivot” age. French workers would be required to work until they are 64 years old, instead of the current 62. It is to go into effect in 2027.

The government has given the trade unions three months to figure out how to fund France’s pensions without raising the retirement age. The unions have until the end of April to come up with an alternative plan.

The winners are: Mrs. Anjana Parvin, the secretary of the Shetu RFI Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh; RFI Club members Zenon Teles for the Christian- Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Association of Listening DX-ers in Goa, India and Helmut Matt from Herbolzheim in Germany. From Tamilnadu, India, there’s Selvaraj and from Muzaffargarh, Pakistan, Malik Nadir Abbas Khokhar - a member of the Sungat Radio Listeners Club.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: “Bangla Dhun” by Ravi Shankar, performed by Ravi Shankar & his ensemble; “Aquarium” from The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns; “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Harold Arlen  and Johnny Mercer, performed by the Bill Evans Trio; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Gypsy Rag” by Romane, performed by Gypsy Swing ensemble, and  “Ami banglai gaan gai” by Pratul Mukhopadhyay, sung by Mahmuduzzaman Babu.

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 23 March to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 28 March 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


By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Page not found

The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore.