Replay
The Sound Kitchen
The walking library
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/20 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/20 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/20 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/20 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/20 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/19 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/20 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/19 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/20 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/20 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/19 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/20 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/20 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Urgent

Paul Bocuse, nicknamed the "Pope" of French cuisine, has died at the age of 91 at his restaurant near Lyon.

Economy

Thousands blocked on icy roads as France recovers from surprise snowfall

media Pedestrians on the streets of the eastern town of Cambrai Tuesday Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

Eurostar and Thalys train services between Paris and London and Brussels resumed on Wednesday as the heavy snow that fell Tuesday began to melt. But thousands of motorists spent the night in their vehicles and ice left roads dangerous, as Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warned of disruption for a further 48 hours.

High-speed links to London and Brussels stopped on Tuesday as unusually heavy snowfall and icy winds struck northern France and much of the rest of northern Europe.

Rail passengers were stranded, particularly in Normandy, and the SNCF rail company said that it had put up 1,000 people in hotels near stations and couchette sleeper trains.

Interactive map of France

Lines from Paris to Amiens, Rouen and Caen were running again Wednesday morning, the SNCF said, but there was still disruption to Paris regional rail networks and bus services, although they were reported to be recovering as the day went on.

Commuters in the Paris region seemed to have taken the government’s advice and stayed at home on Wednesday morning, although school holidays meant that many were not working anyway.

Despite thick ice on many roads there were fewer traffic jams than usual, traffic monitors reported.

The snow headed south overnight, cutting off electricity to 30,000 homes in the south-west on top of the 30,000 in Normandy on the Channel coast and 4,000 in Brittany in the north-west. By midday power had been restored to all but 19,800 in the south-west, officials said.

In other developments:

  • About 2,500 cars and lorries were lined up on the A1 motorway between Paris and Lille, coffee and croissants were served to many during the morning, traffic began moving again late in the morning;
  • The A2, A26 and A29 motorways and the RN13 between Caen and Cherbourg were also blocked on Wednesday morning, in some cases by lorries left abandoned on the road by their drivers;
  • Helicopters were sent out to spot stranded motorists on the roads;
  • Flights to and from Lille-Lesquin and Beauvais airports resumed;
  • Production stopped at PSA Peugeot-Citroën’s factory at Sochaux, eastern France, because the supply of gearboxes coming from Valenciennes in the north had run out;
  • A dozen soldiers, part of a group of 27 sent to help restore the power supply on the Channel coast, were set to work clearing access to the nuclear waste plant at La Hague, which houses the largest amount of radioactive matter in Europe.

The bad weather has blown up a political row with the government forced to defend its handling of the weather on Wednesday.

Accusing the Socialist leadership of Paris and the Ile de France transport network, Stif, of “culpable inertia” he Paris region leader of the right-wing UMP, Valérie Pécresse, demanded an inquiry into the Stif’s response to the “chaos”.

“Everything that could have been predicted was predicted,” responded Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier, while Environment Minister Delphine Batho insisted that it was the government that had mobilised a crisis cell and told the weather service to restore a state of alert in several areas on Wednesday.

UMP member and former transport minister Dominque Bussereau was more temperate than Pecresse, declaring that there was “good and not so good” in the response and said there would be no demand for a parliamentary inquiry.

“I’ve experienced Roissy [airport] blocked, I’ve experiences blocked motorways. The transport isn’t going to go out with a shovel and unblock every road himself,” he commented.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.