‘We need a social life’: French café culture defies coronavirus shutdowns

At lunchtime in a busy Paris restaurant area, hundreds of people are soaking up the sun, eating, chatting and smoking on cafe terraces and adamant that the coronavirus will not get in the way of their lives.

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France is a republic and the largest Western European nation. Through expansion and colonisation in the 17th and 18th centuries France became a great power and still retains territories around the world. It has a seat on the UN security council and is the world’s fourth most wealthy country with a high standard of living and strong cultural identity.

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