Archive for the ‘France’ Category

“SEVENTY-FIVE!? Yeah, that’s different”

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Today’s hit-by-reality moment is brought to you by Will Smith,

On France’s TF1 in early May, Smith explained why he supported the idea of paying higher taxes, saying, “I have no issue with paying taxes and whatever needs to be done for my country to grow. I believe very firmly that my ability to sit here — I’m a black man who didn’t go to college, yet I get to travel around the world and sell my movies, and I believe very firmly that America is the only place on Earth that I could exist. So I will pay anything that I need to pay to keep my country growing.”

The interviewer then said, “Do you know how much in France you would have to pay on earnings above 1 million euros [French President Francois Hollande’s proposal]? Not 30 percent – 75 percent.”

At that point, Smith said, “75? Yeah, that’s different, that’s different. Yeah, 75. Well, you know, God bless America.”

Ooooh yeah.

Spain close to junk status, French lunacy, Estonian twitters

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

The rolling disaster that the European Union has become continues,

Spain downgraded again, at risk of junk status, or close to becoming a new bra size at Victoria’s Secret,

Spain’s sovereign debt rating was slashed three steps Thursday by credit rating agency Fitch, which warned that the nation is at risk of being downgraded into junk bond status.
The nation’s debt rating was cut from “A” all the way to “BBB,” the lowest rating that is considered investment grade. And the new rating was given a negative outlook, meaning it at risk for further downgrades.

France’s new president, François Hollande, must think this is a good thing (if he’s thinking)

France intends to lower the legal retirement age from 62 to 60 for a small class of workers, the government announced Wednesday, maintaining a campaign pledge by the newly elected president, the Socialist François Hollande, and partly undoing a major change by his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.

The change will allow people who entered the work force at age 18 or 19 to retire with full state pensions at 60, instead of 62, assuming they have paid into the pension system for 41 or 41.5 years, the period typically required to qualify for full state benefits. Exemptions for short periods of unemployment will be added and those for maternity leave will be extended.

The pension change is expected to bring more than 110,000 additional retirements next year, at a cost to the state of more than $1.25 billion, the president’s office said in a statement, but is to be paid for entirely by a 0.1 percent rise in taxes on employees and companies. The decree is expected to take effect in November.

As if France could afford the retirees it has now??

Meanwhile, the only EU economy with annual growth of 7.6% (a whopping FIVE TIMES the euro-zone average) gets dissed by Paul Krugman.

Yes, the death-panels-and-sales-taxes guy whose blog is richly titled The Conscience of a Liberal, who will tell you that “the French have it right” when it comes to healthcare. The very same Krugman who puts to use the good-old “lies, damned lies and statistics”, or, as Bruce McQuain calls it, statistical cherry-picking.

As it turns out, Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves (background here) saw Krugman’s tweet, and, voila! Flame war!

Go to the link in this tweet,

And maybe, just maybe, you’ll see why austerity may be what has made Estonia grow.

Estonia and Austerity: Another Exploding Cigar for Paul Krugman

France: Prime Minister Penis

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Lost in translation: Newsreaders in Arab nations have begun mispronouncing Jean-Marc Ayrault's name to avoid embarrassment

Starting the noveau regime off the wrong foot,
France’s new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault leaves Middle East red-faced… as his name sounds like the Arabic for penis

France’s new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has triggered confusion and embarrassment in Arabic-speaking countries – because his surname sounds like their word for ‘penis’.
Newsreaders in Arab nations have swiftly come up with a host of strategies to avoid pronouncing his name correctly.
In French, the name is correctly pronounced ‘Eye-ro’.

Now you know the word in Arabic.

Meanwhile, in France,

The French themselves changed the spelling of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s name to ‘Putine’, because it sounded like ‘putain’ – the French word for prostitute

The Spanish, well-deserving their potty-mouths reputations, didn’t bother change Putin, and pronounce it poo-TEEN, thereby calling him “little male whore.”

Which, of course makes me proud of my Iberian ancestors.

France: Hollande in, Ferraris out

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

French socialist Francois Hollande has won a clear victory in the country’s presidential election.

Mr Hollande has called for a renegotiation of a hard-won European treaty on budget discipline championed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mr Sarkozy.

The Socialist candidate has promised to raise taxes on big corporations and people earning more than 1m euros a year.

He wants to raise the minimum wage, hire 60,000 more teachers and lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers.

The president-elect — who campaigned on the promise of spending more and who, 30 minutes ago, stated forcefully that he was a “socialist” — said that he expects much of Europe to “breathe a sigh of relief” in view of his election to the French presidency and that the European Union will not be all about austerity from now on.

The Ferrari owners are breathing the air in Switzerland,

This photo of a fleet of Ferraris purportedly fleeing to the Swiss border captures the feeling of many rich French people today. The socialist candidate François Hollande has defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy — the first time a socialist has been elected President of France [since] the Mitterand years.

Won’t be the first time that money flees France after a Socialist victory.

American Power is also blogging on France.

DSK, lord of the ring?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Dominique Strauss-Khan is the gift that keeps on giving, and this time he’s giving bail,
France Probes Ex-IMF Chief for Sex-Ring Link

French magistrates placed former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn under preliminary investigation for his alleged involvement in a French prostitution ring, prosecutors said, putting the onetime presidential hopeful back into a harsh spotlight.

The magistrates on Monday ordered Mr. Strauss-Kahn to refrain from communicating with plaintiffs as well as with anyone else being prosecuted in the investigation, prosecutors from the northern French city of Lille said in a statement. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who wasn’t detained or arrested, was also ordered to pay a €100,000 bail ($133,500).

A lawyer for Mr. Strauss-Kahn said that his client “strongly and firmly” rejected the preliminary charges of “aggravated pimping.”

Prostitution is legal in France, but pimping isn’t. To indict him, prosecutors would have to prove that he played an organizational role in the alleged prostitution ring.

Investigators had considered investigating Mr. Strauss-Kahn for allegedly illegally benefiting from prostitutes paid through corporate accounts. At least one company has filed a complaint to prosecutors that corporate funds had been diverted for that purpose by the alleged prostitution ring, the people familiar with the matter said.

But on Monday, the Lille magistrates opted not to probe that allegation, the people familiar with the probe said.

Through lawyers, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has said that he had no knowledge that company funds may have been misappropriated by the alleged ring.

I wouldn’t know if he did, but you can bet he’s p****d off someone who wants him out of the French political scene.

Depardieu likes Sarkozy and Castro but not Strauss-Kahn

Chirac guilty

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Former French president Chirac convicted of graft, escapes jail time

Popular former French president Jacques Chirac was convicted of graft on Thursday but escaped jail, receiving a suspended two year sentence for running ghost workers at Paris city hall.

The 79-year-old statesman, who was excused from court on medical grounds, was found guilty of influence peddling, breach of trust and embezzlement between 1990 and 1995, when he was mayor of the French capital.

In their ruling, judges said Chirac’s behaviour had cost Paris taxpayers the equivalent of US$1.8-million (1.4-million euros).

Readers of this blog may remember Blacque Jacques sipping piña coladas earlier in the trial; now his lunch money shenanigans while he was mayor of Paris earned him a slap in the wrist while others are in the clink,

He was tried alongside nine alleged accomplices. Two were cleared, but the rest were convicted of helping Chirac run a system at Paris city hall under which political allies were paid municipal salaries for fake jobs.

The city of Paris, which is now run by a Socialist mayor, dropped a case for damages over the case after Chirac and his UMP party agreed to pay 2.2-million euros to cover the embezzled funds.

Chirac — who lives in a luxury Paris flat overlooking the Seine near the Eiffel Tower paid for by the family of the late former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri — repaid 500,000 euros out of his own pocket.

He was convicted of hiring members of his political party for non-existent municipal jobs, using the civic payroll to employ his own campaign staff.

In all, 19 fake jobs were created in Paris and its suburb Nanterre between 1990 and 1995, ahead of Chirac’s successful presidential bid.

Several people were convicted in connection with the ghost worker case in 2004, including Juppe, who was found guilty of mishandling public funds but is now a key figure in the government of Chirac’s successor Sarkozy.

C’est la vie, mon mes amis.


TIME’s Paris bureau chief: Charlie Hebdo asked for it

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Yesterday in Paris, Charlie Hebdo got firebombed out of existence for daring to publish a special Charia Hebdo issue.

TIME Mag took the side of the terrorists:
The tab title is “Offices of Satirical French Newspaper Charlie Hebdo Get Firebombed.” Innocuous enough. If you look at the official article title, Firebombed French Paper Is No Free Speech Martyr; it goes on to state,

So, yeah, the violence inflicted upon Charlie Hebdo was outrageous, unacceptable, condemnable, and illegal. But apart from the “illegal” bit, Charlie Hebdo’s current edition is all of the above, too.

However the article’s original title, i.e., how the author posted it initially, is “Firebombed French paper a victim of islamists, or of its own obnoxious Islamophobia?”

You can see it on the URL:

Had TIME kept that title it would have saved having to read the rest.

Now, you’ll say, “another op-ed by a freelancer or a guest.”

Not so.

Bruce Cromley, the author of the piece, is described by TIME as,

Bruce Crumley, Paris bureau chief for TIME, helps shape TIME’s coverage of France and Europe in areas including business, politics, religion, terrorism and sports.


He has been particularly active in TIME’s coverage of al Qaeda-sponsored terrorism since September 11, 2001-an area he has followed closely since 1994, when France became the favored European target of Islamist extremists.

Helping “shape TIME’s coverage” with full sympathy for the arsonists.

This is what Charlie Hebdo’s offices look like now,


France: Charlie Hebdo firebombed

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Charlie Hebdo, the Paris satirical paper that in 2006 was the only in the country to publish the Mohammed cartoons, was firebombed last night, since they wouldn’t submit:
Satirical Magazine Is Firebombed in Paris

The office of a French satirical magazine here was badly damaged by a firebomb early on Wednesday, the publisher said, after it published a spoof issue “guest edited” by the Prophet Muhammad to salute the victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections. The publication also said hackers had disrupted its Web site.

The magazine, Charlie Hebdo, had announced a special issue for publication Wednesday, renamed “Charia Hebdo,” a play on the word in French for Shariah law.

Here you see it,

Gateway Pundit reports,

Meanwhile, a play that [has] Jesus covered in crap is also playing in Paris.
No firebombs were reported.

¡No Pasarán! has more.


France declares victory over ketchup

Friday, October 7th, 2011

France bans ketchup in cafeterias

Jacques Hazan, president of the Federation of School Pupils’ and College Students’ Parents Councils, told the Times of London that the new regulations are a “victory.”

However, they will still allow ketchup over French fries.

No word on whether Belgian exchange students eating at French school cafeterias will be allowed to eat their fries with mayo.


In other ketchup news, Heinz designed a better ketchup packet,


Black Jacques Chirac, sipping piña coladas, excused from trial

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Remember Jacques’s City Hall escapades?

[In March of 2005] I posted that 47 people were on trial for rigging public works contracts (ah, a whiff of New Jersey chez le Seine?) and that on Nov. 2002 Chirac had avoided prosecution over his exhorbitant food bills (which avearaged 600 euros (£420) a day on average between 1988 and 1995) from back when he was mayor of Paris because the statute of limitations had ran out.

Jacques, as you may recall, also had shenanigans in the Clearstream affaire, Jacque’s part in a coup in the Comoros, Jacques’s own secret service mentioned above, and the Chirac connections in the Oil-For-Food scam.

Jacques is now on trial for embezzlement charges during his tenure as mayor of Paris – this time the statute of limitations apparently didn’t run out?

But fear not, Jacques will not be unduly stressed: French Court Lets Chirac Skip Trial, because he had his physician sign something saying Jacques is (conveniently) suffering from memory loss.

Maybe he ought to lay off the hooch,

Mr. Chirac was seen in good shape this summer, sipping piña coladas in Saint-Tropez or eating mussels with a beer in Brittany.

Sing it, Jimmy!