La cacophonie de la Francophonie
One news item I missed because of the London terror attack was buried in this article, Chirac left with oeuf on his face (emphasis mine),
The 63-strong group of Francophone nations will demand the end of subsidies under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
The French president takes great care to nurture relations with la Francophonie and in particular with African countries. In 2003 he angered Britain by inviting President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to a French-African summit in Paris.
But in an article due to be published in today’s Le Monde, Abdou Diouf, the secretary general of la Francophonie and former president of Senegal, joins forces with Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth secretary general, in denouncing the “powerful and entrenched lobbies” that maintain rich countries’ farming subsidies.
“Increased trading opportunities are the most potent means of combating global poverty,” they write. “The single most important challenge is therefore to stop economic warfare against the poor through a distorted and unfair trading system.”
Aid agencies have long regarded the CAP, which overwhelmingly favours French farmers, as a prime culprit in destroying African agriculture by denying it access to European markets and flooding the world with cheap subsidised products.
The CAP is inflationary in Europe, too. Here are a few facts on the CAP:
- the CAP adds euro600 a year to the food bills of the average European family
- France’s receipts of some euro9 billion a year in farm subsidies make it the largest single recipient of CAP funds
- 80% of the EU’s farm subsidies go to the 20% of the Union’s farmers with the biggest farms
The Economists concludes,
The fact that France opposes these reforms gives the lie to its government’s argument that its support for the CAP is all about a principled desire to defend the unique lifestyle of la France profonde. The fact is that France is extremely proficient at intensive farming and it is intensive farmers who stand to lose most from Mr Fischler’s reforms. This concern, added to the French government’s fear of enraging its notoriously irascible farmers, is the real motivation behind France’s refusal to contemplate real reform of the CAP
La Francophonie have their work cut out for them.
Update In related news, Sarko announced he’s running in 2007, and gave his own Bastille Day party having attended Jacques’s for only 15 minutes. Jacques’s party was a convenient 100 yards away. Once at his soirée, Sarko let it rip and compared Jacques to Louis XVI.
I don’t have the menu but I can safely assume that no waffles were served at Sarko’s party.