2019 – France's year of fire and fury

Audio 15:11
2019 was a year that was marked by weekly street protests in France
2019 was a year that was marked by weekly street protests in France ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP

2019 marked a tumultuous year for France, opening with Yellow Vests riding the early high of the protest movement and ending under crippling strikes against pension reform. Fury on the street was momentarily overshadowed by the fire that ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral, with the restoration proving slower, more complex and more expensive than expected. Click 'Play' to listen to the podcast.


The Yellow Vest movement carried on into 2019 with sound and fury, leading to Macron proposing tax cuts for French workers.

The year ended with nationwide protests and un unlimited transport strike against President Macron's pension reform plan.

European parliamentary elections in May saw far-right Marine Le Pen's National Rally overtake President Macron's Renaissance group.

2019 - France's year of sound and fury

Incumbent Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo's opponents started their campaigns for the municipal elections next year

Former President Jacques Chirac passed away at the age of 86.

Other highlights of the year

The year was marked by a much-needed exposure to domestic violence and femicide in France.

An accidental fire severely damaged the main spire and the lead-covered roof of the Notre-Dame cathedral.

In October, an administrative agent at the police headquarters in Paris killed four people in a knife attack.

An unprecedented heatwave in France saw temperatures rise up to 42.6 degrees in Paris.

Listen to all this and more on our podcast by clicking 'Play' above

(Thanks to radio technicians Yann Bourdelas and Guillaume Buffet)

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