Sacré Bleu! Leftist Front-runner or Conservative Challenger? Either way, Paris Set to Get Historic First Woman MayorPosted: March 28, 2014
PARIS – Two women are at war to be the new face of Paris, the first time in this city’s long history that the mayor won’t be a Monsieur.
The discreet, hard-working Socialist Anne Hidalgo is the favorite to win municipal elections that start Sunday, which would keep this leading tourist destination in leftist hands despite the deep unpopularity of President Francois Hollande’s Socialist national government.
“A woman at the head of one of the most important cities of the world … will have of course a very, very important influence,” Hidalgo told The Associated Press. It will also send an important message to leaders and voters in a country where women only got the vote at the end of World War II and where sexist attitudes persist toward women in power.
“A woman at the head of one of the most important cities of the world … will have of course a very, very important influence”
– Socialist Anne Hidalgo
Hidalgo, 54, has experience on her side, after 13 years as the deputy to outgoing Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. In all recent polls, Hidalgo leads center-right challenger Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a 40-year-old rising star of former President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s party known by her initials NKM.
The race for Paris mayor — one of the most coveted jobs in French politics — is one of several thousand underway across the country for municipal elections held in two rounds March 23 and 30. Read the rest of this entry »
Liberté! Egalité! Fatigué! Is France Losing its Savoir Faire? … its panache, its je ne sais quoi?
A. A. Gill writes:An Englishman and a Frenchman are discussing the definition of the expression “savoir faire.” “Well,” says the Englishman, “as I see it, savoir faire is when you come home from work early, walk in on your best friend humping your wife, and have the presence of mind to say, ‘Sorry—do carry on.’ ”
“Hollande’s perfectly predictable affair was so revealing of the French state of affairs, and affairs of state, not because it happened…but because of the utter lack of savoir faire involved…”
“Mais non,” replies the Frenchman. “That is a very Anglo-Saxon attitude. That is not savoir faire—that is your politeness. Savoir faire is husband comes home from work early, walks in on best friend on top of wife, and says, ‘Sorry—do carry on.’ The savoir faire part is being able to carry on.”
“…First, he was caught on a moped. Really, how pencil-dick is that?”
Maintenant, France looks like it’s losing its savoir faire—its adroitness, that innateje ne sais quoi understanding to do just the right thing in just the right manner. France has never looked quite so laughably en détresse as it does at the moment—so utterly out of step, so wrong-footed. Let’s begin with the marvelously dropped gâteau of President François Hollande’s love life, and what it represents for civilization’s chosen people.
The EU is attempting to ban American companies from using the names of European cheeses to describe their own products. As part of ongoing trade negotiations between the European Union and United States, the EU has requested that only cheeses imported from Europe should bare the appropriate name.
This would mean, for example, that American-made Parmesan would have to change its name as it is not made in the Parma region of Italy. Similarly, feta cheese will only be allowed to be described as such if it comes from Greece.
The EU has already concluded a similar agreement with Canada, where feta cheese manufactured domestically can now only be marketed as “feta-like” or “feta-style”, and the use Greek symbols on packaging is forbidden.
American dairy producers are fighting the plans, which they say would hurt the $4 billion domestic cheese market by confusing customers and making their products seem inferior.
The Washington Post‘s Max Fisher reports: Since 1991, Gallup has been asking Americans about their views of France. Americans tend to like other Western liberal democracies. But in 2003, after France opposed the Iraq War, only 34 percent of Americans said they have favorable views of France. That’s roughly on par with attitudes toward Saudi Arabia or Cuba.
It took more than a decade, but American views of France have now fully rebounded to a very high 78 percent favorable. That’s more than double – much more than double – what it was at the bottom. French President Francois Hollande seemed to hint at that trajectory when he joked at Tuesday night’s White House state dinner, “We love the United States and you love the French, but you don’t always say so because you are shy.”
But have American views of France really substantially changed? I’m not sure.Jokes about the French – a form of ethnic humor that would be a fireable offense if it referenced any other ethnicity but is considered widely acceptable in the United States – long predated 2003 and the “Freedom fries” era.
Andrew Katz writes: Nineteen police officers were injured and about 250 people detained in Paris on Sunday, authorities said today, at a protest against the leadership of French President François Hollande.
No injuries were critical, police said, after an estimated 17,000 people took part in a largely peaceful demonstration against the president’s handling of the economy. Some 50 associations were involved, including far-right and conservative groups.
Poll finds that 55 per cent of French men and 32 per cent of French women are unfaithful and that infidelity is on the rise but that the French are champions of forgiveness
From Paris, Henry Samuel reports: A majority of French men and a third of French women cheat on their partners, a new poll, has found indicating that infidelity is on the rise in France among both sexes.
The study also found that Left-wing French are more likely to cheat on their partners than those who identify themselves as on the Right
In figures that could help explain why so many French are unfazed by the dalliances of their president, François Hollande, the Ifop study found that some 55 per cent of French men and 32 per cent of French women admit to cheating on their other halves.
First Japan buys Jim Beam. Now this.
Roberto A. Ferdman writes: Japanese beverage giant Suntory is acquiring Beam, which makes Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, among other spirits, for $16 billion. The two companies control nearly 10% of the global whiskey market, according to International Wine and Spirit Research. Combined, they will obviously be going after a larger share.
A quick gander at global whiskey consumption helps show where the promise lies. India is far and away the world’s biggest guzzler, owing in part to its large population. Roughly half of the world’s whiskey is drunk by the sub-continent, according to Euromonitor. Most of it is made by UB India, the world’s largest whiskey company by volume.
But when those numbers are broken down per capita, India falls well outside of the picture. France, Uruguay, and the United States soar to the top…