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Treirweiler’s Bitter Tale — the Coup de Grâce that Brings Down Hollande?

Treirweiler’s Bitter Tale — the Coup de Grâce that Brings Down Hollande?

According to Valérie Trierweiler, 49, his embittered ex-companion, France’s beleaguered Socialist President François Hollande in unguarded private moments, reportedly refers to France’s rising number of poor people as “sansdentes“, or the toothless ones. The phrase appears in an explosive account of the breakup of their affair earlier this year set to be released in France […]

Despite Election Promises Hollande has Rowed Right Back on Professed Hatred For Banks

Despite Election Promises Hollande has Rowed Right Back on Professed Hatred For Banks

Two years ago Socialist President François Hollande declared his real enemies were bankers and the world of finance that destroyed the global economy in 2007. Today he sings a totally different tune. Well now just why might that be asks Wolf Richter, publisher of the hardhitting Wolf Street blog, in a post that followed the record fine […]

Despair, Poverty Driving the Vote for A Resurgent Front National under Marine le Pen

Despair, Poverty Driving the Vote for A Resurgent Front National under Marine le Pen

Despair, poverty driving French to far-right Front National (via AFP) “We’re dying here!” In Beziers and Perpignan the phrase has become something of a refrain of late, a shorthand way of explaining why the two southern towns are on the verge of falling into the hands of the country’s resurgent far-right party, the National…  

Front National triumphs, Socialists Hammered in France’s Nationwide Local Elections

Front National triumphs, Socialists Hammered in France’s Nationwide Local Elections

French far-right hails ‘exceptional’ results in local polls (via AFP) France’s far-right National Front party dealt a major blow to the ruling Socialists Sunday after several of its candidates took prime position in the first round of local elections. The main opposition UMP party also hailed a “big victory” as preliminary…  

Nantes: Riotous Assembly over an Ayrault-port

Nantes: Riotous Assembly over an Ayrault-port

Riots reminiscent of events in Kiev badly damaged the city of Nantes over the weekend as around 1000 leftist extremists battled police, water cannons and teargas at the end of a pacific tractor-led protest against 46-year-old plans to build a new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of the city. The carnage and damage shocked many including […]

The Roundabouts of French Election(s)

The Roundabouts of French Election(s)

An old and rather cruel joke holds that the best sign of a successful local Mayor in France is the number of impeccably landscaped traffic roundabouts he has managed to install in or around his town or village. Indeed there are reported to be more than 40,000 ornately-decorated rondpoints in France each costing an average […]

Hollande: Backlash Over Valerie Dumping

Hollande: Backlash Over Valerie Dumping

France’s Hollande feels backlash over Valerie dumping (via AFP) French President Francois Hollande has been hit with a backlash over the manner in which he dumped former first lady Valerie Trierweiler after being caught out having a secret affair. In a sign that the saga that has gripped France for weeks is not…  

Dumps Mistress before France Dumps Him?

Dumps Mistress before France Dumps Him?

The French president has finally dumped his widely-disliked partner Valerie Trierweiler just hours ahead of a nationwide “Day of Wrath” protest in Paris aimed at getting France to dump him. (This story has been updated, scroll to end) At 5.52pm on January 25, some 12 hours before an eclectic group the «Jour de Colère» collective, launched […]

That EU Recovery – 1% For The Next Decade

That EU Recovery – 1% For The Next Decade

Anyone who continues to be taken in by European Union leaders desperately talking up a non-existent recovery in the Euro-zone might care to read the latest Quarterly Report on the Euro Area. Key and worrying conclusions to the first section (The euro area’s growth prospects over the coming decade) set out at page 16, are as shown below: France and […]

Will 2014 Be the Year of the Quenelle ?

Will 2014 Be the Year of the Quenelle ?

Pity the humble quenelle. Long a stalwart of Lyonnaise epicureans, today it stands hijacked, disgraced even and unwittingly at the heart of an escalating row about the alleged resurgence of European anti-Semitism. Ever since Catherine de Medici, brought Florentine cooks into her court in the 16th century a move that later transformed Lyon into the […]

Rise in Jobless undermines Hollande’s Pledge

Rise in Jobless undermines Hollande’s Pledge

France jobless rise despite Hollande vow to buck trend (via AFP) France’s number of registered jobseekers rose by 17,800 in November to 3.29 million, the labour ministry said Thursday, challenging government claims to have bucked a trend of spiralling unemployment. Labour Minister Michel Sapin claimed President Francois…  

No, You Can’t Opt Out of French Social Charges

No, You Can’t Opt Out of French Social Charges

As the red-capped tax revolt rumbles on there is at least one group French authorities are watching very closely indeed – small businessmen gathered behind the too-closely-shorn-sheep protest. While Ras-le-bol (fed-up) has become one of the most widely-used headline catchphrases in France today, tax revolt groups are uniting under a national protest banner — the CNMP – Coordination […]

Revolutionary Headwear Turns All Signals Red

Revolutionary Headwear Turns All Signals Red

Red caps and Phrygian bonnets–powerful symbols of tumultuous earlier revolts — have shaken France’s Socialist government generating a frisson of fear among politicians concerned at early signs of what the leftwing Liberation newspaper warns is an incubating  insurrection. Ongoing street protest — spreading across the south west as this report was published — slow-motion traffic blockades […]

Francois Hollande: The Optimistic President

Francois Hollande: The Optimistic President

Francois Hollande: The Optimistic President (via NewsLook) Video News by NewsLook Last Sunday, President Francois Hollande celebrated the Bastille Day military parade and granted an interview in which he tried to reassure the French that, yes, France is going through a rough period of tighter budgets and higher…       Despite the optimism of […]

Senate Support May Save Auto-Entrepreneurs

Senate Support May Save Auto-Entrepreneurs

Support in the French Senate (or Upper House) may yet save the approximately 1-million strong Auto-entrepreneuriat from alternatives such as the dole or “exile” according to  leaders of a nationwide protest against government moves to kill the scheme. The support comes after intensive lobbying by more than 100,000 sole traders urged on by FEDAE-Federation auto-entrepreneur, an […]

Stop Le Coq from Devouring the Gaulois Chicks

Stop Le Coq from Devouring the Gaulois Chicks

Chantecler is threatening the livelihoods of some 1 million of its poussins or chicks and tens of thousands of roused French citizens are demanding a halt to what they regard as a looming employment “catastrophe”. For the Gallic rooster — personification of the early inhabitants of France or Gaul in those times — has, cannibal-like […]

Monsieur Faible Takes on the Self-Employed

Monsieur Faible Takes on the Self-Employed

French unemployment heads for an all-time record — 4.7 million are registered as work-seekers — Socialist President François Hollande’s popularity ratings plumb icy depths, and now l’Express pops up to label him Monsieur Faible. Can it get any worse for Mr Feeble?  Well yes it  seems it can. The President would probably be the first to admit he is trapped in a […]

Cahuzac ‘Lies’ Damage Socialist Credibility

Cahuzac ‘Lies’ Damage Socialist Credibility

At a time of national belt-tightening, deep worry over jobs and growing disenchantment with the Socialist government, it was a very low blow when the Budget Minister admitted telling parliament a “spiral of lies” about his own dodgy Swiss bank tax avoidance scheme. In this piece republished with kind permission, Wolf Richter (*) of the […]

Basta Bankers! Could Populists Crash the Euro?

Basta Bankers! Could Populists Crash the Euro?

Shortly after the electorate gave Italian dump-the-euro populist Beppe Grillo 25.5% of a national vote, France’s own populist Marine Le Pen jumped on Grillo’s anti-European bandwagon to demand a French referendum on withdrawal from the EU. The two populists are giving voice to the feelings of angered Europeans particularly the mass of jobless youth faced […]

French Union Anger as Socialists Fail to Deliver

French Union Anger as Socialists Fail to Deliver

An avalanche of French firms — Renault, PSA, Fauerecia, ArcelorMittal, Petroplus, Candia, Virgin, Sanofi, Fralib, Air France — face labour unrest over planned lay-offs as Europe’s Great Depression takes its relentless toll. Now, writes Wolf Richter (*) of the Testosteronepit blog, Paris fears social implosions.  Wolf Richter’s piece is republished with permission and thanks.  French Government Fears ‘Social […]

Mali – Paris has Ulterior Motives – Belgian MP

Mali – Paris has Ulterior Motives – Belgian MP

Belgian MP Laurent Louis has taken a forthright and controversial stand against any Belgian support for France in the war against what French President François Hollande calls Islamist “terrorist elements” in Mali.  Addressing the Belgian Chamber of Representatives (parliament) January 17, Belgian MP Laurent Louis (32), one of that country’s more controversial French-speaking Young Turks and Parti Populaire MP for the Walloon Brabant constituency, set […]

The High Priest of the Presidential Table

The High Priest of the Presidential Table

Bernard Vaussion, chef de l’Elysée, executive chef at the presidential palace, retires soon after 38 years feeding French presidents, a career making him France’s culinary high priest yet leaving him relatively unknown in the guidebooks of haute cuisine. For this Chefs des Chefs, is more of a secret agent than a culinary super-star. After all, he […]

How Bankers Bust The West and Killed the Kids

How Bankers Bust The West and Killed the Kids

Forgive the hyperbole of a headline probably more suited to the title of a horror movie  — (bankers did not kill kids, just crippled their careers) — but it is six years since the crisis hit and many are wondering just when the pain will stop. The fact that the euro zone has not yet […]

Obelix Fights the ‘Fisc’, Depardieu Departs

Obelix Fights the ‘Fisc’, Depardieu Departs

Will there be a public backlash against France’s six month old Socialist administration for its hapless handling of the Gérard Depardieu tax exile affair? PM Jean-Marc Ayrault reportedly called the well-loved, highly successful and very wealthy actor “pathetic” and “unpatriotic” for popping off to buy a house in Nechin — a Belgian village 1.6 kms from […]

I’m François Hollande’s Tipsy Tie

I’m François Hollande’s Tipsy Tie

I’m François Hollande’s tie and I’ve been badly-knotted 166 out of the last 288 times I’ve been shown in public, says the running tally on François-TaCravate, a Bordeaux-based web site that tracks presidential wardrobe malfunctions in fashion-conscious France. It doesn’t stop with the presidential tie. The sartorially-challenged ‘Mr Normal’ is also under fire for his shirt cuffs, […]

Ayraultport Warriors Hijack the French PM

Ayraultport Warriors Hijack the French PM

Angered farmers, local residents, eco-warriors and tree-dwelling squatters are embarrassing French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and fuelling tensions between Socialists and Greens in government as an increasingly confrontational 40-year-battle continues around Nantes over efforts to build a new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. (This story has been updated  scroll to end) On November 10  skirmishes took  place at Rennes over […]

A Storm is Stirring Over the 35-hour Week

A Storm is Stirring Over the 35-hour Week

Despite 25 reports in seven years warning that excessive payroll charges and a 35-hour work week are damaging competitiveness in the economy, French Socialists are reportedly shocked by demands for urgent change.  “If France wants to  create jobs and ensure industry does not decamp en masse, social charges on labour must come down.” — Carlos Ghosn, CEO […]

Les Pigeons Make a Royal Mess on Hollande

Les Pigeons Make a Royal Mess on Hollande

Shortly after France’s Socialist government unveiled a confiscatory tax budget end September– in the teeth of the worst unemployment figures in a decade — angered entrepreneurs set Les Pigeons (suckers) on him, forcing promises of a budget rethink . Wolf Richter (*) of the Testosteronepit blog reports on the outrage of parts of the business community below. (His article […]

European Coup D’Etat And Rape Of Democracy

European Coup D’Etat And Rape Of Democracy

A French Rebellion Against Unelected Bureaucrats: “European Coup D’Etat And Rape Of Democracy” by Wolf Richter of Testosterone Pit  blog – reprinted here with thanks and by kind permission of the author. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 When the German Constitutional Court nodded with a stern smile on the ESM bailout fund and the Fiscal Union treaty, […]

Let’s Hear it for (Charlie) Hebdo

Let’s Hear it for (Charlie) Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo has once again been flying an increasingly battered flag for freedom of opinion and expression despite global threats of real fire and brimstone, but will the French hold out as others in the West cave in? The magazine has a long, proud and iconoclastic tradition in France for piercing pompous egos and defending the right […]

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