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If this diary is deemed to defend Mr Sarkozy's presidency, so be it.

I don't think it's all that interesting to attack or defend Sarkozy. (To comment on his presidency, though, yes). At least some of us here have always said there was nothing behind the facade, that Sarko was all hat and no cattle, that he was just another populist politician, and I think we are being proved right. The Sarko-person is of no great interest.

Charles Bremner is a hired Murdoch hack and is of no interest either.

OTOH, there are assumptions about France in your diary that are serious and important.

part of the problem is caused by the French themselves who cannot go beyond the permanent 'assisté' mentality.

The famous mentalité d'assistés that anyone on the right trundles out without a second's further thought, just like US anti-welfare slogans ("welfare queens"), or "scroungers" in the UK. But who are the people who are being "assisted", helped? How much do they get? Are you talking about unemployment benefit? Family allowances? Minimum living wage (RMI)? Are you including the health service? And are you showing any proof that the existence of a social solidarity net is really a significant incentive to large numbers of people to consider that the world owes them a living? If that were the case, wouldn't it be logical to also consider the wealthier part of the population as assistés by numerous tax breaks and niches, and cuts in taxes on higher incomes, wealth, and estates, carried out under Chirac since 2002 and lately again by Sarkozy?

trying to turn France from being the sick man/ICU case of Europe into a "convalescing patient."

In our last exchange about that mendacious CER report, you cried off, citing exhaustion. I hope you're going to find the energy to substantiate what you write this time. Sorry if this sounds aggressive, but what you say here is offensive and misguided.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 19th, 2008 at 04:49:48 AM EST

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