Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Yes, it's the famous (or rather, infamous) "odeurs" quote. Let me assure you that this quote is not forgotten in France and comes out regularly.

It taints Chirac's otherwise admirable record of not compromising with the Front National, one of the few things I will give him credit for.

As a note, it came out at a time when the country was debating exactly the same thing as today - what to do with the banlieues. The problems were the exact same as today (possibly worse as this was just after the terrible period in the 80s with massive layoffs in thebig old industries like steel, coal, heavy manufacturing which put a big number of immigrant workers on the unemployment rolls), and the political debate not much different.

It's just one more argument to say that Sarkozy is Chirac redux, 15-20 years later.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 9th, 2005 at 04:55:36 AM EST
Has Chirac ever recanted or apologized for this statement??

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Nov 9th, 2005 at 05:04:02 AM EST
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I'm sure someone will know the answer to this, butr my impression is that Chirac is a clever populist, turning in the wind, so he probably abadoned that view during the 1998 World Cup victory at the latest (when Le Pen had to eat his hat after that bunch of immigrants and darkos were feted in all France, and Chirac himself tried to steal some of Zizou & Co's shine.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 9th, 2005 at 08:46:37 AM EST
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Hey Dodo, nice to find you here then (I followed your way into eurotrib.com, this place looks nice!).

Chirac is a master politician, who indeed always tries to face the direction in which the wind is blowing to avoid getting his hair messed up.

Like Jérôme says, his infamous "bruit et l'odeur" quote is indeed encountered everywhere, from a line in Asterix and Cleopatra (the movie), to a song by a popular music group from here in Toulouse, Zebda, whose chorus is "le bruit et l'odeur, le bruit du marteau-piqueur".

It's also become a common pun/joke among so many French people. For example, when a friend of mine tells me that I wrote a very vivid description of something, I generally reply "et encore je n'ai pas rajouté le bruit et l'odeur", which means "well imagine if I also added the noise, and the smell ..."

ps: Chirac when he was a young communist ...

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 02:08:43 AM EST
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Hello, Alex in Toulouse, from afew near Toulouse.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 02:19:14 AM EST
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Hello afew!
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:09:32 AM EST
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Chirac? Apologise?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Nov 9th, 2005 at 11:57:49 AM EST
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