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.
French President Emmanuel Macron has set up an anti-terrorist ‘Task Force’ which, once approved by parliament, sets the foundations for a police state. The Task Force will be directly under the control of the president with the power to set house arrest, day and night searches without warrant, shutting down prayer rooms and putting people in preventive detention with no judicial oversight. Continue reading “French Anti-Terror Task Force sets Foundaitons for Police State”
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”
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.”
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”
French 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?”
Despite another attempted attack at the Paris Louvre Museum and an EU summit in Malta to end illegal migration from Africa, the presidential debate in France has shifted from the questions of Islamic terrorism and immigration to ethics and corruption. Continue reading “France: Corruption Dominates Presidential Debate”