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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 01:21:25 AM EST
Battle of Mont St Michel erupts - and it's all about car parks - Europe, News - The Independent

President Nicolas Sarkozy has been asked to adjudicate in a village quarrel that has global implications: the future of the Mont St Michel, the most visited tourist site in provincial France.

The new mayor of the island-abbey-village (population 30; annual visitors 3 million) is campaigning against plans to banish tourist car parks to a new site almost one mile inland.

Eric Vannier, elected mayor in March, claims that, from 2012, visitors may have to pay up to €25 (£19.70) a person to reach one of the most beloved places of religious, and tourist, pilgrimage in Europe. If the plans go ahead, he says, the Mont - both its medieval abbey and its single, winding street of shops and restaurants - will become accessible only to a wealthy "elite".

M. Vannier has launched an appeal to President Sarkozy to intervene and reverse some of the decisions taken two years ago as part of an ambitious project to flush away three million cubic metres of silt and sand and restore true island status to the Mont St Michel.

by Fran on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 05:16:20 AM EST
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Bonjour Françoise: France in thrall to Sagan | News | guardian.co.uk Books
She was a hedonistic, tomboy beauty who drove racing cars barefoot round Saint Tropez, won literary acclaim and took so many drugs that her pet fox-terrier overdosed from sniffing her handkerchiefs.

The novelist Françoise Sagan may have died leaving a debt of more than €600,000 (£470,000) after tax evasion and corruption scandals, but she is enjoying a surprise revival as France indulges a craze for historical literary women whose work, life and bedroom antics challenged the norm.

With an acclaimed new biography, a memoir by a female lover, a cinema biopic and the reissue of nine of her books for the first time in years, the literary magazine Lire has predicted 2008 will witness Sagan's literary renaissance. Le Figaro called her "the woman of summer 2008". Even the news weekly L'Express this week ran a fashion special on how to dress in her trademark blue-jeans and moccasins.

Sagan's debts and scandals ensured that the years before her death in 2004 were spent in misery as the taxman hoovered up every last penny. Her estate was such a mess that publishers did not want to touch many of the more than 40 novels, plays and essays she wrote, and they fell out of print. Her son, who now looks after her legacy, is hoping that Sagan-mania, and a potential Hollywood adaptation of her first novel, will prompt enough interest to allow her to be published again for a new generation.

by Fran on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 05:19:42 AM EST
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The Hoi Polloi Are Coming: Vienna Uneasy about Approaching European Championships - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

ienna is much more comfortable in the world of theater and high art, coffee and cake. But next weekend, thousands of football fans will descend on the city for the Euro 2008 soccer championships. Not everyone is pleased.

It was an historical moment. In 1978, the first subway line in Vienna opened for business, and the celebration was full of the pomp one would expect. Finally, residents from the working-class district of Favoriten could cruise into the heart of the city in less than 20 minutes. Not all, however, were pleased about the new train line. Now, complained the Viennese daily Die Presse, the city will be flooded with the hoi polloi. Not a few agreed with the paper.

PHOTO GALLERY: MIXED FEELINGS AHEAD OF EURO 2008

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (16 Photos)
This year, the masses are descending on the city once again. In just over a week, Euro2008, the European championship soccer tournament, will kick off in host countries Austria and Switzerland. And many of the fans are planning on heading straight to Vienna. Once the opening match between Switzerland and the Czech Republic on June 7 is out of the way, authorities predict that some 2 million fans in total -- or 100,000 guests per day -- will find their way to the Austrian capital. Tens of thousands from Poland and Croatia and a further 400,000 from Germany -- all teams in Group B along with Austria -- are expected.

The three and four star hotels in the city have been booked out for months. Even the ultra-sumptuous Hotel Sacher across from the Viennese Opera, will be packed, says Director Reiner Heilmann. The waiting list is extensive, and there is little chance of relief, even once teams are eliminated in the latter stages of the tournament, he says.

by Fran on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 05:20:32 AM EST
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FIFA votes for foreign quota despite EU red card - Radio Netherlands Worldwide - English
World football's governing body FIFA is on a collision course with the European Union over its plans to introduce a maximum quota for foreign players. FIFA's president Sepp Blatter says he is convinced that the EU will endorse his proposal to have no more than five foreigners per football team. The "6+5" plan, which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the FIFA Congress on Friday, also includes a rule to have at least six home-grown players per team.

But the European Commission insists that this contravenes EU labour laws and cannot be introduced in European clubs:

"No hope"
"They have no hope at all of getting this through," says John McDonald, spokesman for sports at the Commission. "The FIFA rule is based on discrimination on the grounds of nationality, which is incompatible with Community law."
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 06:32:07 AM EST
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