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Insight: Weak at home, France seeks grandeur abroad | Reuters

(Reuters) - The hero of France's top movie comedy of the moment is a French foreign minister who complains about American isolationism and says the Germans must be humored - but above all kept off the U.N. Security Council.

One reason for the box-office success of "Quai d'Orsay" - named after the 19th century palace by the River Seine where France conducts its world affairs - is how closely it flirts with real-life policy.

Another reason, underlined by a weekend poll showing two-thirds of French mired in pessimism about the next decade, is that it transports local audiences into a domain where their country continues to flex real muscle.

November has been a torrid month for France, rapped by the European Commission for failing to reform its economy and hit by a new sovereign debt downgrade. Nationwide anger at rising taxes has sparked often violent protests, notably by Breton livestock workers up in arms over a planned road freight levy.

Yet abroad, it has exuded self-confidence and strength: it played hard ball in major-power nuclear talks with Iran that brought a landmark deal on Sunday; it is gearing up for a risky new peace intervention in ex-colony Central African Republic; and some 1,200 French troops took part in a NATO exercise in eastern Europe - five times more than the U.S. contingent.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 03:22:19 PM EST
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Central African Republic PM says France to increase troops to 1,200 | Reuters

(Reuters) - France will triple its troop strength in the Central African Republic to 1,200 to help bolster security in the war-torn country Paris has warned is on the verge of chaos, the Central African nation's Prime Minister said on Monday.

Speaking in Paris after meeting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Nicolas Tiangaye said France had told him an increase in French troops would take place once the UN Security Council had voted on a resolution over the next week.

"We spoke about the security question. France has 410 soldiers now in Bangui and that will be strengthened by 800, to take the number to 1,200. More if needed," Tiangaye told Reuters.

The mineral-rich but impoverished nation of 4.6 million people, has descended into violence and chaos since Seleka rebels, many of them from neighboring Chad and Sudan, ousted President Francois Bozize in March.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 03:26:40 PM EST
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NGO demands suspension of Central African Republic military commander | World news | theguardian.com

Human rights activists have called for a military commander in the Central African Republic (CAR) to be suspended over the pillaging and burning of a town in what they say is a crucial test of the government's authority.

The NGO Human Rights Watch identified general Abdallah Hamat as responsible for a raid which saw residents flee as hundreds of homes were looted and torched and at least three people were said to have been killed.

President Michel Djotodia has been unable to control the Seleka rebels who brought him to power in a March coup and now stand accused of gruesome massacres of civilians. Former colonial power France has warned that the CAR is on "the verge of genocide".

however...

Gaston Mackouzangba, public labour minister and government spokesman, gave a more pessimistic assessment. "If they don't stop the killings, it will become a genocide or civil war. The Seleka are killing thousands of people in the provinces and Bangui. Every day they kill, everywhere you find corpses. Even as ministers we are afraid. Maybe one day they can kill us.

"The president is also afraid. He declared yesterday that they are menacing him. He does not control them. The government has no control outside Bangui. Even control of Bangui is an illusion."



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 05:34:29 AM EST
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UN: Central African Republic Needs Peacekeeping Operation   HuPo

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- A U.N. peacekeeping operation will be needed in the Central African Republic, which is descending into "complete chaos" that may lead to religious and ethnic conflict with "mass atrocities" and even civil war, the U.N. deputy secretary-general said Monday.

Jan Eliasson urged the Security Council and the international community to take decisive action to support the African Union-led peace operation in one of the world's poorest countries and prepare for its transformation into a U.N. peacekeeping operation.

Eliasson said the desperate security situation and "virtual meltdown" in the Central African Republic require a multi-faceted response to address the root causes and protect civilians who are "enduring suffering beyond imagination" including sexual violence, extortion, arbitrary arrests, torture, summary executions and never-before-seen sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 02:07:03 PM EST
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"...Germany should leave the Eurozone."

"(The) asset management and investment banking subsidiary (of French bank PBCE) Natixis, released a zinger of a study designed to influence policy. It's titled, "On a purely macroeconomic basis, Germany should leave the Eurozone."

Germany should get out of the way so that the remaining countries can devalue in a big way what would remain of the euro. France, Italy, Spain, Greece, etc. have always done that, one way or the other, before the euro took that nifty tool of sudden money destruction away from them. It would be the ideal solution for France.

After conceding that there may be non-economic reasons to form a monetary union, the report lays out five reasons why Germany needs to exit. But it offers an alternate solution: if Germany wants to stay, it needs to pay.

The five reasons:

  1. Asymmetries in the economic cycles.
  2. Weakening economic ties between Germany and the rest of the Eurozone.
  3. Structural asymmetries.
  4. Different needs in exchange rates.
  5. Incapacity in the rest of the Eurozone to impose "internal devaluation."


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 11:33:05 PM EST
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World?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 01:39:10 AM EST
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A review of the French press reveals that this Natixis study is completely off the radar.

Interesting that we should only hear of it thanks to an American commentator.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 03:03:34 AM EST
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Here it is (in French). It needs to be promoted.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 04:11:39 AM EST
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It also needs to be translated into English. :-) Great graphs, if I don't mis-translate the captions.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 10:53:52 AM EST
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it seems logical that if the euro devalued germany would benefit too from increased exports, no?

wouldn't increased profits balance out the inflation (if there is any)?

isn't there pressure on the ECB to play nicer with the PIIGS from german export industries?

otherwise growth in the EU is being blocked by the fears of a few german savers that their hoard will lose a few percent in value, right?

how did they get so much power over the rest of our fate?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 07:04:35 AM EST
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And don't forget Germany had HYPERINFLATION in 1923!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 10:57:37 AM EST
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And then invaded Poland in 1924... Oh, wait!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 11:00:58 AM EST
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so basically the rest of us get hyper-deflation so the few avoid inflation.

ok then...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 27th, 2013 at 05:05:47 AM EST
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The alternative is for Germany to engineer fiscal transfers to the periphery, directed to capital formation.

Foreign direct investment wouldn't cut it because it would still contribute to Germany's current account surplus (if I'm nt mistaken) but it would be better than nothing.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 07:14:27 AM EST
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Mig, I suspect that German FDI in peripheral countries could help now but exact a cost later. After what we have seen why should any peripheral expect that a German FDI was anything other than an asset grab in disguise - whether it was or not?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 10:51:44 AM EST
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The capital intensity of the periphery needs to rise. That's the only way for incomes to increase, too.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 10:55:59 AM EST
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Agreed. But finance has recently found it more profitable to sell the improvement but deliver a failed project and a debt - see Ireland.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 11:19:04 AM EST
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"Yet abroad, it has exuded self-confidence and strength: it played hard ball in major-power nuclear talks with Iran that brought a landmark deal ..."

France's Hollande played hardball and to what effect?
FM Laurent Fabius: 'France could ease Iran sanctions in December'
Back in Tehran, nuclear negotiators get a hero's welcome

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 03:01:18 AM EST
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