National Front party could win two regions in local elections next month and might get as many votes as its conservative and centrist rivals combined.
France’s anti-immigrant, anti-euro National Front party could win two regions in local elections next month and might get as many votes as its conservative and centrist rivals combined, according to opinion polls published on Sunday.
Marine Le Pen’s National Front would get 28 percent of votes in the first round of elections starting Dec. 6, the same as a combination of parties including Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans and the centrist MoDem, according to an Ifop opinion poll published in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper. President Francois Hollande’s Socialists would get 22 percent, with as many as 54 percent of voters abstaining, according to the survey…(read more)
Source: Bloomberg Business
PARIS — The terrorist assault on Paris on Friday night was carried out by three teams of coordinated attackers, including one who traveled to Europe on a Syrian passport along with the flow of migrants, officials said Saturday.
“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France. It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”
— French President Francois Hollande
At a news conference on Saturday night, the Paris prosecutor, François Molins, said the attackers were all armed with heavy weaponry and suicide vests. Their assault began, he said, when two of them blew themselves up outside the gates of the soccer stadium on the northern outskirts of Paris.
A French security official said separately that one of the attackers had been linked to a Syrian passport. A Greek official had said earlier that the person carrying the passport had passed through Greece last month along the migrant trail into Europe.
The possibility that one of the attackers was a migrant or had posed as one is sure to further complicate the already vexing problem for Europe of how to handle the unceasing flow of people from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Details of the assault came after President François Hollande blamed the Islamic State for the terrorist attacks. Officials said Saturday night that the death toll had reached 129 victims, with 352 others injured, 99 of them seriously. Mr. Hollande declared three days of national mourning, and said that military troops would patrol the capital. France remained under a nationwide state of emergency. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
Sacré Bleu! De Blasio’s Doomed Imitation of French President François Hollande a Potential Nightmare for New YorkersPosted: January 7, 2014
Gotham’s new mayor sounds like François Hollande, and he risks similar results
Nicole Gelinas writes: In his inaugural address last Wednesday, New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, promised to “commit” the city he now leads “to a new progressive direction.” As Gotham embarks on a “dramatic new approach,” he promised, “the world will watch as we succeed.” De Blasio should be watching the world instead—particularly France. The policy prescription that brought de Blasio to office—higher income taxes on New York’s wealthy—is exactly what French president François Hollande proposed to win his own post nearly two years ago. Since then, Hollande’s approval rating has plummeted to record lows for a French leader. French citizens have grown tired of symbolic anti-rich gestures; they want real solutions to real problems.
Hollande, who won office in May 2012, was one of the first leftist Western politicians to benefit from two global trends after 2008: disillusionment with incumbent politicians and dismay at income inequality. Hollande’s opponent and predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, was well settled in office during the economic collapse of 2008—a toxic place to be for any Western leader. But Sarkozy, like former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, was also practically a cartoon embodiment of the second target of anger. Sarkozy was the “bling-bling” president who outfitted the presidential jet with a top-of-the-line oven so that he could eat gourmet food in the air, the president who traded in his (second) wife for a model-turned-singer-turned-movie-star, the president who loved hanging out with the world’s 1 percent on yachts and private beaches. In expelling a sitting head of state for the first time in three decades, the French made it clear that they wanted change.
But victory came almost too easily. Hollande didn’t have to put forward any serious policy proposals to win. France’s problems were straightforward and remain so: persistent deficits, caused not by the economic crisis but by ever-growing retirement costs; plus high unemployment, caused by high taxes and heavy social mandates on employers—including the near-impossibility of firing a permanent worker. Hollande had little to say about these issues. Instead, his plan was simple:tax the rich. He increased top-bracket income taxes from 41 percent to 45 percentand imposed a temporary two-year levy of 75 percent on income above 1 million euros. In his inauguration speech, he said that “to put France back on her feet, in a fair way,” he would “discourage exorbitant income and remuneration.” Though he acknowledged France’s intractable problems, the closest he got to a solution was to say that “Europe needs projects.”
Nabila Ramdani reports: Israel and not America was behind the hacking of millions of French phones, it was claimed today.
In the latest extraordinary twist in the global eavesdropping scandal, Israeli agents are said to have intercepted more than 70 million calls and text messages a month.
Up until now the French have been blaming the U.S., even summoning the country’s Paris ambassador to provide an explanation.
Paris has become Europe’s leading hawk. It actually isn’t an anomaly
With the British parliament’s no vote on Syria intervention, France has become President Obama’s most important ally as he plans strikes against Bashar Assad’s regime. And if the U.S. Congress follows in the footsteps of their British counterparts and votes against a military operation, France would emerge as the major military power most willing to intervene to punish the Syrian regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons.
French President François Hollande doesn’t have to get his Parliament’s approval before launching an attack, and he clearly stated in an interview with Le Mondelast week that he was “ready” to “punish” Assad. He will not go it alone, but if America does go ahead with the attack, France would embark on its third high-profile military operation in less than three years, after Libya in 2011 and Mali earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry »
French President François Hollande is said to be introducing a series of sweeping education reforms, including: an initiative to install tobacco-dispensing vending machines in boys and girls bathrooms, to provide free cigarettes, a weekly airdrop of candy baskets to schools in Paris, and the institution of “casual Friday”, where students are encouraged to wear bathrobes, pajamas, and lingerie to school…
Also under consideration: nationwide ban on Dental visits, a proposal to replace unpopular mathematics and history courses with free pony rides, and erecting a 300-foot-tall statue of Karl Marx, made entirely of dark chocolate.
With these initiatives, François Hollande will endear himself, not just to French school children, but to millions of
unemployable future state dependents and welfare recipients children, all over Europe.
This item, from TIME:
Last week, Hollande reaffirmed his pledge to make education one of his main domestic priorities by outlining key strategic changes to revitalize France’s school system. It’s a sweeping package of changes meant to reform a system critics claim is outdated and inefficient, but for headline writers it boils down to one concept: the French President wants to outlaw homework.
“Work should be done at school, rather than at home,” Hollande emphasized on Wednesday. He also proposes reducing the average amount of time a student spends in class in each day, while stretching the school week from four days to four and a half. It’s a bid to bring the country more in line with international standards and to acknowledge some of the current system’s shortcomings. Even the homework isn’t just an empty populist gesture — it’s meant to reflect the fact that many of the lowest-performing students lack a positive support environment at home…
- French President François Hollande Promises to Ban Homework as Part of Educational Initiatives (newsfeed.time.com)
- French President Francois Hollande promises to ban homework (coffeewithkath.wordpress.com)
- French President François Hollande Promises to Abolish Homework | NewsFeed | TIME.com (jcsenglish.com)
- EDUCATION REFORM, PROGRESSIVE STYLE: Ban homework. I kid you not. Progressive French President F… (pjmedia.com)
- French President pledges comprehensive education reforms (panarmenian.net)
- French president actually considering a ban on homework (hotair.com)
- French President Pushes Ban On Homework… (washingtonpost.com)