Skip to comments.Paris Olympics failure is a blow for Chirac
Posted on 07/06/2005 12:37:08 PM PDT by Pikamax
Paris Olympics failure is a blow for Chirac Wed Jul 6, 2005 7:16 PM BST
By Timothy Heritage
PARIS (Reuters) - Paris's defeat by London in the race to host the 2012 Olympic Games was a bitter blow for French President Jacques Chirac that was all the more painful because he lost out again to his rival Tony Blair.
Chirac badly needed a victory to lift his political fortunes after a French "No" vote on the European constitution that left him sorely wounded and a furore over comments attributed to him criticising British food.
The prime minister not only emerged as the winner in what was billed as another showdown with Chirac following a row at a European Union summit last month, but he did so with the flair normally attributed to the French.
"Tony Blair acted brilliantly. He has a dynamism which makes him win all his bets, win all the gambles he takes and win all the challenges he sets himself," said Pierre Durand, an Olympic gold medallist in equestrianism for France in 1988.
"They have the luck to have a prime minister who is young, emblematic, charismatic, deliberately looking to the future and at odds with 'Old Europe'. You can feel it on every level."
How galling such comments must be to Chirac, who failed in his own gamble of going to Singapore at the last minute to lobby members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
How unfortunate for Chirac that his flight from Singapore took him only as far as Scotland where the 52-year-old Blair will be his host at an eight-nation summit -- and the cooking will be British.
Newspaper Liberation said Chirac cracked jokes to Russian and German leaders about bad British food on Sunday. "You can't trust people who cook as badly as that," it cited him as saying.
CHIRAC OFFERS CONGRATULATIONS
"I am of course, like all French people, disappointed by this decision," Chirac told reporters on arrival in Scotland, where he said he would have the chance to pass on "warm and personal congratulations" to Blair and Queen Elizabeth.
Chirac, 72, had hoped that securing the Olympics would have lifted the sagging confidence of French voters and given a boost to the sluggish economy by creating jobs and generating revenues for tourism, construction and the service sector in general.
Critics speak of a "fin de regne" (end of reign) after Chirac's 10 years as president. His hopes of winning or even running in the next presidential election in 2007 are now slim.
Chirac's popularity has dropped since French voters rejected the EU's constitution on May 29 -- partly out of discontent with his policies -- and he suffered a new blow late last month when a row with Blair meant the EU did not agree a long-term budget.
Chirac labelled Blair's stance "pathetic" at the EU summit after Blair said he would make concessions on Britain's budget rebate from the EU only if the bloc agreed to a wider review of spending, including the hefty subsidies French farmers receive.
The two men also took opposing positions over the U.S.-led Iraq war, in which Blair was U.S. President George W. Bush's staunchest ally while Chirac led resistance to the invasion.
Chirac has little to encourage him on the economic front because growth is slow and the unemployment rate is at a five-year high of 10.2 percent. Opinion polls show many French centre-right voters would also prefer Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to be the conservatives' presidential candidate in 2007.
"What is certain is that there is a feeling of a France that doubts itself, and this vote will accentuate it," said political analyst Pascal Boniface.
"Bizarrely, one would not ask questions about a British decline if Paris had won and London were second."
"New York Olympic Failure is a Bigger Blow to Hillary."
She was part of the team that presented to the Olympic Committee.
It's good to see the words "Paris" and "blow" in the same headline and know it's not about some slut/brat that's heir to a hotel fortune.
There is a God in Heaven and He hates France, too!
Can't think of a nicer bunch of folks to get the olympic nod. Prime Minister Blair served his people well.
"New York Olympic Failure is a Bigger Blow to Hillary."
Too bad. And "Big Blows" was something that Hitlery was never really good at -- at least that what Bill said to Monica!!!! :-)
Hey Jacques...enjoy your dinner with the Queen. My best to Tony also.
Two of the Olympic judges are from Finland.
Hey, wait a minute. The meeting was in Singapore. That's pretty close to the PRC. I'm thinking the Singapore meeting gives Hitlery a plausible deniability while she meets with her peers in China.
At least they still have the Tour De France. (with an American as the winner once again!)
Britain defeats both Chirac and Hillary. Lovely, utterly lovely.
"Heard last night that Chirac really stepped in it when said only Finland has worse food than England.
"Two of the Olympic judges are from Finland."
Is it possible the Chirac is the reincarnation of George
Wow... this is really Chirac's year huh?!
Sorta makes one want to believe in Karma.
In other news, former Pres. BJ Clinton is desperately seeking Paris Olympics' phone number.
Yep, and don't hold your breath waiting to see that headline.
non (EU) non (Olympic) and another non! (next president election in France)
As one of the UK's most respected representatives, please accept America's heartfelt congratulations, and give our love to Cousin Lizzie.
Hurt his hands and arms. Officer in hospital with an ankle injury.
Bush is being blamed elsewhere on the internet (by nuts). I prefer to think it was Hillary's charm.
And the beat(ing) goes on.
Not the year of the frogs.
"I'm the closest thing to American royalty anyway," she said. Hilton has written to Prince Charles, begging for permission to hold her dream day at one of the venues.
Somebody should explain to Paris that walking around Los Angeles in a tiara doesn't automatically make you royalty. In fact, wearing a fake crown and pretending you're a princess actually makes you the opposite of royalty. And I'm not sure what the opposite of royalty is, but I believe it's something along the lines of a walking vagina shaped like a mantis.
French upon hearing the 2012 olympics will be in london..
I thought of you, when I heard the news........I am so happy for you. And all the Brits who are like you...
In turn, I invite all our American friends to London for 2012. Let there be much rejoicing...and a lot of alcohol. ;)
They were so looking forward to planting trees so the German team could march in the shade.
lol, yea I guess the reason they did not get it is because their history includes a parade of nations! through their streets.. And what nation does not have a parade because at some point theybeat the french (Mexico, Haiti, ....)...
Sounds like a plan. London is going to put on a good show.
Yes, maybe Chirac could become a gay taxi dancer.
Okay, everybody, hear that? It's Family Reunion time in London--2012! Send your family photos to Mad Ivan.
Wots second prize? Hosting two Olympics? Don't take this the wrong way, but I was relieved that it wasn't New York. 225 miles is a lot closer'n I ever want to get to the 'Limpics.
France deserves the Olympics, Britain oughtn't elect politicians who engage in these ego trips. (Nor should 'Merica, but haven't we apologized for the Clintons enough?)
Is Crow a French national dish?
You just had to work out the lead in tonight for CBS didn't you?!
I can just read it now, they'll be citing "Mr. Wyrm, a reliable conservative scoure close to the Administration" that the President is considering resignation now that New York failed to get the Olympics. The American Empire is now over and conservative Republicans are marching to the sea like lemmings to drown themselves for the shame of it all.
I don't get it. Do we feel any less significant or less relevant because N.Y.C. was not selected? I sure don't. Our national ego wasn't dependent on the U.S. being selected. How small of an economy must you have to rely on hosting the Olympics 7 years in the future?
The BRITs ought to let the french cater the affair since they believe their cusine is superior to the BRITs .
Chirac has just invented a new dish.
"Le pied braisé avec la compote de framboise."
Chow down Jacques.
Sacre bleu!! Eet must, how-you-say, suck to be Jacques Iraq. It must truly bitez le big one.
He is up merde's creek sans paddle.
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