Understanding the French Elections

UnknownThe 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”

Terror attacks blamed for sharp fall in Paris tourism.

Paris, Feb. 21: One-and-a-half million fewer tourists visited the Paris region last year and the November 2015 terrorist attacks are being blamed. Hotel reservations in the French capital were down nearly nine percent, according to a report released Tuesday by The Regional Tourism Committee. Continue reading “Terror attacks blamed for sharp fall in Paris tourism.”

French Center to “Deradicalize” Muslim Extremists is Empty

A Center for the deradicalization of Muslim extremists set up in Central France last September is empty. The last man to be “treated” at the chateau of Pontourny, in Beaumont-en-Véron, left on February 8.  Although France has listed thousands as “radicalized” in the police data banks, there were never more than six or seven at any given time and only nine people ever volunteered for the center which can house up to 30. Continue reading “French Center to “Deradicalize” Muslim Extremists is Empty”

Fillon’s Mea Culpa – Too little, Too Late?

images-1French conservative presidential candidate, François Fillon, said on Monday at a Paris press conference that he will not stand down despite an investigation by magistrates on suspicions of corruption.

After nearly two weeks of blistering attacks for allegedly using taxpayer money to pay his wife €830,000 for a fictitious parliamentary assistant’s job, the former Premier struck back, saying his wife was paid for real work. He did however admit that, although it is a common and legal practice for parliamentarians to hire family members, it was an error. Continue reading “Fillon’s Mea Culpa – Too little, Too Late?”

Berlin Attack Puts French Muslims in the Crosshairs

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France has some 15,000 Salafist radicals and nearly 2,000 French nationals have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight Jihad, according to French authorities. The French government has shut down scores of radical mosques, Koranic schools and associations since the State-of-Emergency was decreed in November 2015. Today the debate focusses on the estimated  five million Muslims in France (nobody knows how many for sure) who are accused, like the “good Germans” of Nazi days, of not stepping forward to denounce what they may see or hear. Continue reading “Berlin Attack Puts French Muslims in the Crosshairs”

War in Algeria: Remembering the Harkis – a dark page in French colonial history.

Paris, France. If there is one thing you did not want to be in France in 1944, it was a suspected Nazi collaborator or a woman who slept with a German. In 1962, the last thing you wanted to be in Algeria was a Harki; an Algerian who fought against the independence of his country and in favor of French rule.

Continue reading “War in Algeria: Remembering the Harkis – a dark page in French colonial history.”