Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm not sure he'll succeed. As a short term strategy, he will, but I don't think he's counting on what the change in the economic circumstances will bring, and given current political institutions in France are systematically incapable of addressing those circumstances, he'll find that he is on the wrong side of history.

At rush hour in Paris, it could be Mother Theresa holding up traffic and a Parisian would find a way to find her a ticket to hell, that is predictable. But old media, and Sarko's deft use of it, is increasingly less relevant for larger segments of the population. The information disintermediation isn't just an American phenomenon, and I suspect, in destroying more or less credible State media, Sarko is hastening it. (And helping RTL along the way, like in the old days.)

The good news is that, in a recession, media concerns are sytematically put in a nasty position, and many (especially print) were already under pressure, so the decredibilisation of old forms of media would have accelerated on its own.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Jan 16th, 2009 at 05:11:10 AM EST
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You're right, of course, that the evolution of the crisis is the unknown that may change everything. I was evaluating the state of the communications game as it stands.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 16th, 2009 at 05:27:36 AM EST
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I think that the economic and social crisis will have huge effects on the French industrial relations system. There are two possible strategies for the government: either they try to foster social dialogue and build national and local pacts (employers, unions and public authorities) to save employment, develop skills and raise the workers' purchasing power, or they try to use the crisis to break the unions and impose "reforms". It looks like Sarkozy is adopting the latter.

I agree with you: it is not sure he will succeed. And Sarkozy is a pragmatist: if he faces strong opposition from the unions and the civil society, he will backpedal...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Jan 16th, 2009 at 06:10:23 AM EST
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