Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The current issue of The New Yorker has a mid-length piece (not available online) by Adam Gopnik on the French political climate.  The best I can come up with is this bit from their press release:
In "The Real Thing" (p. 36), in the August 22, 2005, issue of The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik reports on the looming political crisis facing France. The causes include the recent French rejection of the draft of a new European Constitution, the loss to London of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and even the closing of Paris's famed Samaritaine department store, which, Gopnik writes, "remains not so much a symbol of the French crisis as an example of the thing itself: a beautiful and legendary success of modernity, trembling at the approach of the postmodern, with plenty of money behind it but no clear path forward, caught in a miasma of regulation, rumor, and discontented workers." Phillipe Manière, the director of the Montaigne Institute, says, "The situation in France is nearly pre-revolutionary," noting the elements that make it so: the rejection of the constitution, the overwhelming mistrust of conventional politicians and politics--or, worse, the absolute lack of attention to what they do or say in public, especially among the young--and the decades-long tenure that makes them so difficult to replace. Gopnik reports that for many people, hope lies in the improbable figure of Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who is more or less running for President, and who is remaking himself as a French Giuliani, but Gopnik writes, "It's hard to believe that Sarkozy is not another Chirac, and pursuing the same cynical opportunism."

For one who's never been to France, it's an interesting article, and if anyone with direct knowledge of the political scene in France has had a chance to read it, I'd be interested to read their take on it.
by The Maven on Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 08:20:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series