Paris: Nearly 300 thousand people in France have signed a petition over the past two weeks against the idea of creating the position of ‘First Lady’ for Brigitte Macron. The French President had said he wanted to “end the French hypocrisy” on the role of the President’s partner and is preparing a “Charter” to define her role and the means made available to her. But the American tradition has little traction in Europe. Nearly 70% of the French polled are opposed.
Emmanuel Macron, whose popularity has fallen to a historically low 36% in only three months in office, may be creating an unnecessary problem for himself. The left opposition is at present, like all of France, enjoying their yearly holidays and building up strength for demonstrations planned this September against labor and tax reforms. Both the left and right oppositions oppose the majority’s decision to allow Macron to reform by decree. Parliamentarians are also being told to reduce their spending and many of their privileges.
Brigitte Macron has an office at the Elysée Palace, several “collaborators” and two security agents for an estimated cost of 450,000 euros a year, according to France Television. Elysées sources say that “in order for her to have a budget, she has to have an official status but she is not elected.”
In response to the outcry, the Presidential Palace on Tuesday promised to publish “at the end of August, beginning of September” a “communiqué” on the “public role” of the First Lady and the number of people working for her but, according to the Charente Libre newspaper, not the amount allotted to her budget.
Few people in Germany and Britain know much about the First Gentlemen and don’t seem to care. The official status of First Lady in the US allegedly dates back to Jimmy Carter.
The French presidential elections to be held in two-rounds on April 23 and May 7 are unlike any France has seen since the Fifth Republic Constitution went into effect in 1959. And if polls are right, the winner of the second round will have a hostile majority in Parliament. France may well become ungovernable. If France slips into anarchy, it could well take the European Union down with it. Continue reading “Understanding the French Elections”→
The Berlin Christmas Market attack should never have happened. How could the German police get it so wrong? German voters will decide in September who can best protect them and the freedom they love.
Stuttgart, January 15, 2016: Germany is already in full campaign mode with nine months to go until the elections and the public want to know who will keep them safe? After a year of terror attacks and terror threats and other forms of migrant violence, politicians are falling over themselves to reassure the public. But all agree, the Berlin Christmas Market attack could have been prevented; that “mistakes were made,” and “we must learn from our errors.” Continue reading ““Make Germany Safe Again!””→
Tübingen, Germany: When German comedian, Jan Böhmermann, did a satirical sketch on state run ZDF TV this month, accusing the Turkish president of “repressing minorities, kicking Kurds and slapping Christians” as well as suggesting he has “sex with sheep and goats,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan went ballistic and called for the satirist to be prosecuted under a little known German defamation law. The row has opened a Pandora’s box of troubles for German Chancellor Angela Merkel: should the law be scrapped; how far does free speech and satire go; what grip does the Turkish president have around the Chancellor’s throat? Continue reading “Don’t Insult the Turk! Merkel between a rock and hard place.”→
The EU must pressure foreign governments to punish parents who send their children on the perilous and illegal journey to Europe or face financial consequences. All too many parents in poverty stricken countries readily send their under-age children on the dangerous trek to Europe knowing that, if they make it, Europeans will care for them. These parents hope their children get papers and that they can join them in Europe later under Europe’s liberal family regroupment rules and that one day they get work and send money home. Europeans are alarmed that about 10,000 of these children are unaccounted for. Continue reading “EU Must Make Foreign Govt.s Punish Parents to Stop Child Migration!”→