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A superconcise look at France this week IV

by Alex in Toulouse Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 08:23:25 PM EST

Week from October 4th to October 10th.

Previous installments:


Today's diary should be renamed:

A superconcise look at
this week

Why? Because I am doing a special on him this week. Again, why? Because I have decided that for all future installments of this series I will no longer ever mention him, regardless of whether he gets elected president of France next year (should my series run that long), and regardless of whether it would be expected for him to make the headlines of a week, thereby producing ET's first guaranteed French Sarkozy-Free diary series. Consider today's diary a good riddance tribute of sorts.

To assist myself in future weeks, I might have to equip my Firefox browser with Sarkremove (.xpi file), a Firefox extension by Mickaël Rémond, which removes all references to France's current Interior Minister in my favourite browser.

This will earn my series the following self-appointed label:

Attention deficit warning: To any PN lover out there, let's not get started about whether my series will truly be 100% Sarko-Free (on the basis of the label mentioning him once).

October 6th - Most uneventful event of the week - "Do not sow what you reap"

On this day Nicolas Sarkozy visited farmers in southern Britanny, and our majestically independent media have related the following about his visit: the man was a good listener.

However, between two bouts of listening, Sarkozy opened his mouth and said the following:

" Farmers are more in need of prices (Alex note: this is a Brussels call) for their products than subsidies. Subsidies are humiliating, lead to paperwork, and perpetuate the notion that we are coveted and assisted. [..] Farmers want to live from their work, they do not want to be civil servants and do not want to be France's gardeners. [..] I feel at ease here, Your values are mine: effort, merit, reward, patience, resilience »

October 5th - Most sordid event of the week - "Till the State do us part"

On this day, Sarkozy's holy "Law on the control of the validity of mariages" entered the Assemblée (lower house of Parliament) for a 2nd round of deliberations after the Senate slightly modified and ratified the text.

This law aims at, I quote:
"reinforcing controls exerced on the sincerity of matrimonial intent and fighting more efficiently against civil union fraud"

But what it really aims at are foreigners, through a series of measures meant to "verify" the veracity of Love vs the greater Evil of naturalisation fraud.

October 4th - Quote of the week - "Just kidding"

M. Nicolas Sarkozy, State Minister, Interior and Territorial Development Minister - « J'ai fait évacuer le squat de Cachan parce qu'il y avait une décision de justice et que ne pas exécuter une décision de justice, c'est ne pas respecter l'indépendance de la justice, ce que je ne puis accepter »

[ « I gave the green light for the evacuation of the Cachan squat because a judiciary decision asked for it, and not respecting a judiciary decision amounts to not respecting Justice's independence, which I cannot accept » ]

These were Sarkozy's words as published October 4th on the Assemblée's (lower house of Parliament) website, concerning the plight of "paperless people" temporarily squatting in a municipal complex in Cachan.

These words have to be replaced in context: two weeks ago Sarkozy criticized the youth Tribunal of Bobigny for not sending enough youths to jail, quote from then:

« I do not find it admissible that during last November's riots, the Bobigny youth's tribunal did not pronounce a single imprisonment verdict. In some youth tribunals, when you find multi-recidivists lying on the floor, waiting to be punished by the magistrate for the 22nd time, it's time to react »

October 9th - Number of the week - "Generation Gulf"

25. France Inter tells us that Sarkozy has now been elected for 25 consecutive years (at various positions). Since 1991. Oooohhh that long, ey?.Next morning Edit: I wake up to read afew's remark on this: 2006 - 25 is 1981, not 1991. So it was very late and I was a bit drunk, but I'm not going to change it, I think Generation Gulf is fine anyhow.

This is what our 51 year old man has to say about having been elected for half his life:

« I have been elected for 25 years. I am at the head of a large republican party [..] I am the political figure who has most often challenged Jean-Marie Le Pen. I believe I am one of those who can make him regress (Alex note: now of course this wouldn't be by stealing his voters). I defend my ideas with sincerity, with loyalty, with no hypocrisy. It's exactly the contrary of populism. »

October 5th - Picture of the week - "I comb my hair on the Right"

He was young, he was wild ... or was he? He wasn't. On this day L'Express magazine published a special on Sarkozy's childhood and studies, and in it we learn that in the 1970s in college, while a majority of the Western world's youths were flying high and trying to change things, this young man was a member of the UJP (Union des jeunes pour le progrès - Union of Youths for Progress), which unlike its name may suggest had little to do with progress but a lot to do with supporting the right-wing government in power at the time.

What the magazine also tells us is that this young man lost his UJP membership card somewhere on campus, and then found it photocopied on posters placated throughout campus with the label "No to power's servants! Fascists out!". One morning, a communist union student even tried to prevent him from entering college, with a crowbar in hand.

Poor Nicolas. We applaud his resolve, we are determined to congratulate him for persevering in his fight against communistofascist scumbags. Clapclapclapclapclap.

A few hours late, but this week's installment is still more or less on track. I'm off to bed now for a night of Nicolas-filled dreams.

And then when I wake up, boom, this series will be:

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 08:41:14 PM EST
sarko free also means sarko bashing free, which is a temptation even harder to resist.
And considering your sense of humor, I'm not entirely sure I wish you succeed.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i really do not get what you do not like with Sarkozy.

he is realistic and try to solve the problems, what s wrong with that.

i am confident he will be the next president.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 10:39:31 PM EST
Then you'll be able to come back to France, huh, fredouil? Must be terrible to have been chased out by communists with crowbars... ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:55:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not communists with crowbars, it was the Eurabians that did it.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 05:21:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but not far enough, even here, the small Muslim community is totally freak :



by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 06:05:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He may try to solve problems but he generally fails.

His years as Minister of the Economy have made him be dubbed by officials and employees over there: "Mystery of the Economy", because he didn't do anything.

As an Interior Minister it's no better: personal violence is literally exploding, and so is police violence. 45 000 cars were burned last year, it's a record. Delinquency has even increased in rural places: for instance +100.46% increase in delinquency in the Haute-Saône, +19.95% in the Lot et Garonne, +27.47% in the Gers (etc). The Canard Enchaïné dated 23.08.2006 reports an overall 7% increase in violence on people and a 10% increase in gratuitious violence. Meanwhile police brutality has augmented by 15%. Oh, and school violence has increased by 73.2% since he's the Minister of Order and Tranquility.

Why is he so inefficient? Because all his laws and measures target tiny things meant to maximise popular approval and minimise effort. He is the ultimate politician, basically, even better than Chirac at playing politics.

So he is anything but realistic, he is only good at hypnotising people like you into thinking that he is, with all his "candid talk" and "je ne me mâche pas mes mots" bullshit.

by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 05:01:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a fabulous pic of Sarko as a student. He looks (even down to the fat gut he already had) exactly like today, with a wig on.

<PN ALERT> (BTW, he was first elected in 1981, not 1991... 25 years ago... local councillor of the swanky suburban town of which he is still the mayor). </PN ALERT>

On farming: farmers do want prices rather than direct subsidies. Having to fill in forms to get money from the State makes the poor dears feel like they're not real men. Those who can remember it, think back to the old CAP where prices were managed and a farmer's job was to get the highest possible yields to earn the most money (not all this sissy stuff about managing the environment). In other words, Sarko's appeal is to uncontrolled productivist agriculture.

Just one problem: prices fixed by the market would be too low compared to real costs. All the farmers would go out of business. Unless they were supported by subsidies... So Sarko is talking absolutely empty demagogy. Nothing new.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 02:11:31 AM EST
Ouch, you can tell it was 2am when I finished this diary, after having several glasses of Tariquet at a friend's house. How could I come up with 1991, no idea? But it will do anyhow, bah.
by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 05:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree, subsidies are so girly, yuck. It's time we farmers stood up for our rights and demanded prices.

What price do you want me to sell my tomatoes at this year? How much??? Oh shit, ok, so I'll have to sell the tractor, and perhaps put more fertilizer and reap earlier. Too bad for the taste. Oh shit I hear Madrid is doing better, guys there are producing tomatoes for half that price. Ok, let me call them to see if we can directly import their tomatoes. Oh crap, there is an early freeze announced for early October. Damn, my last tomato plants are going to die. Ok how about I forget tomatoes and concentrate on potatoes then. Ah shit, I can't, the river overflowed this summer and drowned my potato plants. Ah shit shit shit.

by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 05:35:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He was elected mayor of Neuilly in 1983. If he was a conseiller municipal before that, he must have been elected in 1977 when the previous election took place (which isindeed what wiki says)

So he will soon have been an elected politician for 30 years, not 25.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 06:46:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I remember checking this myself some time back for a diary.

You're ahead in today's PN points race..!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 09:00:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
M. Sarkozy could control agricultural prices without subsidies and guarantee unending prosperity for farmers, if he really wanted to.

He just needs to impose a sufficiently high legal minimum price for domestic produce and high tariffs on foreign produce (backed by the death penalty for smugglers of cheap, better quality foreign vegetables).

It might breach a few treaty obligations and make consumers pay more, but a politician who truly believes that the farmers are the most important part of society would not shrink from drastic measures.

by Gary J on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:15:33 PM EST

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