Skip to comments.Royal Accuses Rival of Apology to Bush on Iraq; Sarkozy Denies It
Posted on 04/27/2007 1:47:31 AM PDT by Cincinna
Ségolène Royal, the Socialist candidate in the French presidential election on May 6, accused Nicolas Sarkozy, her conservative opponent, on Wednesday of having apologized to President Bush for Frances decision not to back the United States militarily in Iraq.
Mr. Sarkozys campaign team called her words lies.
I am not for a Europe that aligns with the U.S., Ms. Royal said on France 2 television. I have never been, and will never, go apologize to President Bush for the position of France on the issue of refusing to send our troops to Iraq.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Royal is desperate. She has been shown a loser in the last fifty opinion polls. Her attempt to back-room deal with Bayrou to woo his supporters has backfired.
She has played the "hate America" card. I predict it will backfire.
Sarko may be France's last chance before sinking into an abyss.
Of course, there are no real French Conservatives, are there?
With only 10 days to go, this is starting to get really ugly. My guess it will get much worse has Royal gets more and more desperate.
FReepmail me if you would like to be on the FRENCH ELECTION PING LIST.
Here's hoping that the very unRoyal loses... big time.
I bet al Qaeda is planning to lend her their assistance...
My thoughts exactly.
I agree. Royal is desperate. French voters can see it also.
This thing is going to be down and dirty to the end since Royal is behind.
Her campaign has to totally trash Sarkozy at every turn to win.
So first Royal forms an “unlikely coalition” of leftists, liberals, greens, and socialists....
Then when she looses they immediately FREAK OUT, and blame voting machines, and how they were ‘screwed’ and the election stolen...
And then goes off on a totally unrelated tangent to attack Bush when he other ‘ideas’ don’t garner enough political support or favorable media.
Finally right on queue... the old grey whore, the NYT eagerly gobbles up the ‘juicy’ details...
Sarko needs to go on offense. State that this is the kind of desperate thing you might expect from Kim Jong Il or Hugo Chavez, but the French people know better and France is not so impotent that it needs to define itself as anti-America.
Gore, whatshisface in Mexico, Royal... all using the same playbook.
To quote Rush: “A liberal... is a liberal... is a liberal.”
“Of course, there are no real French Conservatives, are there?”
It depends on how you define “Conservative”. There are French royalists, still! And by a traditional measure of the word “conservative”, that’s pretty conservative!
If by “conservative” you mean people who believe in the American “Ayn Rand” model of unregulated trade (export manufacturing to China, because it’s best for stockholders; import poisonous food from China, because it’s cheap) and unregulated capitalism no, there is nobody in France who believes in that, and there never will be. Sarkozy is about as “conservative” in that sense as French people come, but he opposes American Ayn Rand style “free” trade completely, and although he wants to make French labor law more supple, he has never even hinted at privatizing national health insurance or privatizing national pension insurance, because even he thinks that such ideas are economically unsound and crazy. Nobody in France thinks like Americans do, economically. So, if economic organization is the measure of “conservatism”, then there are no French conservatives, there never have been any French conservatives, and there never will be any French conservatives.
Sarkozy, the former interior minister whose tough stances on law and order and immigration have brought him enemies in immigrant suburbs and beyond, is facing an “Anything but Sarkozy” movement that Royal and her allies are using to fan fears that he would “brutalize” and “divide” France.
“Why so much hatred?” he asked over and over in a campaign speech Monday, repeating the question 46 times.
With the left promoting an image of Sarkozy as a power-hungry, 21st-century Napoleon...
Heightening the drama, there have been calls on the French left for the Socialists to cast aside their historic ties to the Communists...
Asked on RTL radio if he was accusing Sarkozy of asking Canal+ television to cancel the debate, Bayrou said: “I don’t have the proof but I am certain of it.”
Bayrou said he based his accusations on testimony from people inside Canal+ and “all those who were interested in the debate and intended to broadcast it.”
“I say with certainty that we have before our eyes today the proof of this propensity or choice of Nicolas Sarkozy to control the news and debate, and this is harmful for France,” he said.
“It’s slander, a slanderous insinuation,” said Sarkozy’s normally restrained campaign director Gueant.
“It is extremely serious to make such remarks. These are Stalinist tactics. To assert things without proof is extremely serious,” he told Reuters.
The CSA broadcasting watchdog issued a statement denying it had ordered Canal+ and two other broadcasters to drop the debate, sparking cries of foul play from the Socialist camp.
“There is Sarkozy censorship in this affair, I’m deeply convinced of it. We know that Sarkozy always operates like that, through intimidation,” senior Socialist Jean-Marc Ayrault said on LCI television.
Bush to Sarkozy, “Welcome to my world.”
Royal will certainly pull out all the stops, and it will appeal to her base. It remains to be seen whether the majority of French will find it appealing to their national pride, or will see it for what it is.
The Muslim terrorists will certainly be doing some calculations here, too. Would a terrorist attack throw the elections to the defeatists, as it did in Spain, or would it finally wake the French up to their terrible danger? Hard to say.
Also, al Qaeda will be planning, but thousands of French “youts” will do whatever comes into their pointy little heads, so there may well be riots regardless of what the terrorist leadership chooses to do.
I’m still not sure if France can win even if Sarkozy is elected, but seemingly it will be their last chance, short of an outbreak of revolutionary violence and civil war.
This is a perfect example of French “foreign policy”, i.e. just do the opposite of whatever “les Americains” do, regardless of principle or issue. This French election campaign is all about who hates America more. They’re tripping over each other to “prove” it to the electorate. Pathetic opportunists.......so much for the French being sophisticated......
“Would a terrorist attack throw the elections to the defeatists, as it did in Spain, or would it finally wake the French up to their terrible danger? Hard to say.”
Not very hard to say.
A terrorist attack would anger the French, and push more of them to vote for the law-and-order candidate.
Spain, recall, was deeply divided on being in Iraq. The people didn’t want to be where the government sent them. When the attack came, it played on this weakness.
France isn’t in Iraq. The French are minding their own business, as far as the French are concerned anyway. They know terrorists want to attack France - the terrorists DID attack back in the 1980s. They don’t like the lawlessness and criminality. If there is a big terrorist attack in France, it will convince more French people than ever that they have to vote Sarkozy to fight it.
The disturbance in the Gare du Nord drove up Sarkozy’s numbers by about 2%, and drove down Royal’s by about 1%.
French people are dirigiste and really quite bad tempered. They want things run correctly. If France is just attacked out of the blue, within France, it will make French people mad as hell, and they will want the government to use its full powers to shut that sort of thing down.
All a terrorist attack would do would be to make more French people vote for Sarkozy. It’s not a bit hard to predict.
It will backfire. I agree Cincinna.
The secular left is scum.
The political fighting is getting goofier as it nears the end.
Hopefully, the terrorists understand this and won't try anything. Thank you for your analysis of things, and please keep postinng.
Royal really is hapless.
She should have walked away with this election.
I knew she was in trouble early, because I subscribed to her “Desirs d’Avenir” website, conversed with her partisans, posted thoughts there too. She herself did online chats there, and she posted her position papers.
Here was this bright, polished woman from ENA, attractive, and a mother of four to boot: she looked like a slam dunk, and should have BEEN a slam dunk.
But then she posted her opinion essays.
They were banal. Absolutely banal. There was no insight there. Platitudes like “Yes, yes I do believe that France has a future...”, followed up by calling those who webloggged for her cause her “militants”. It was like some sort of college student union pep rally. Flaccid, cabbage-headed, cud-chewing rhetoric. Abject.
I stopped reading after the second essay. And stopped saying that she was going to win. She was inept. When she proved as inept at international relations as she was in her Desirs d’Avenir, and the Guignols d’Info picked her up as a dimwitted suit, it was fading to black.
And then came the Gare du Nord and the reassertion of reality. After that, she was doomed.
Sarko is an excellent candidate who will good for France and good for the US.
It is not just that he is not a Socialist, like Royal, but that he is smart, capable, experienced, and has a spine of steel. He has shown throughout his career that he supports individual initiative, the work ethic, pay according to merit, lower taxes, and a strong relationship with the US.
At great political risk to himself, he met with, and was photographed with President Bush and Condi Rice. (see above photos taken September 2006) He was sending a strong signal that the anti-Americanism endorsed by the Chirac government was going to end.
I don’t think Sarko is a socialist, but he knows it is pointless to even try to undo the French socialist model that is currently in place, he simply wouldn’t have the mandate.
Even Ronald Reagan understood that “entitlements are forever.”
Royal is again trying to change the rules after the game has been played. This time in a Soviet-like manipulation of the media and electoral process.
Royal is going against the will of the people who voted massively (85% turnout) in a democratic election to have a runoff between Royal and Sarko. They voted to eliminate Bayrou, not make him part of the process.
Two thirds of the elected officials of Bayrou’s party, UDF, have thrown their support to Sarko.
Bayrou is proving himself, once again, to be the bitter, disappointed loser. He lost, and wants to turn his position as a loser into that pof a Queen maker.
IMO Sarko is handling it very well. He is keeping his cool and showing he has the strength of character and disciple to deal with things like this.
By calling attention to the “Stalinist” and “Soviet-like” actions of Royal, he is again focusing attention on the fact that she is a Socialist, no matter what kind of cockamamie “centrist” groveling she is willing to go through to get elected.
They were banal. Absolutely banal. There was no insight there. Platitudes like Yes, yes I do believe that France has a future..., followed up by calling those who webloggged for her cause her militants. It was like some sort of college student union pep rally. Flaccid, cabbage-headed, cud-chewing rhetoric. Abject.
Fascinating, I noticed one of the “charges” that Royal laid against Sarkozy is that “He talks like an American”. What an odd thing to say.
Is that an attempt to point out that Sarko is the son of immigrants? Or that he is anti intellectual?
And folks, if you cannot see the next charge that Royal will throw up against the wall to see if it sticks, let me guess
After the only debate, Royal or a sycophant will say
“Sarkozy is secretly planning on sending our military to Iraq to Fight Bush’s war of imperialism, we have secret insider information on this..”
And the media will run with the story.
’Sarkozy is secretly planning on sending our military to Iraq to Fight Bushs war of imperialism, we have secret insider information on this..’
And the media will run with the story.”
Yes, but then Sarkozy will respond firmly that he opposed the American war in Iraq, and still opposes it, and state categorically (and truthfully) that France will never be sending any troops to Iraq during his Presidency.
Sarkozy has always opposed the American intervention in Iraq.
He is of the same mindset of many in the French right. Americans never listen to this, and they won’t now, but I am really going to try to explain where some thinking French people, people like Sarkozy (and Chirac, actually), who have no dislike for America at all, were and are on Iraq.
The problem for Sarkozy and Chirac, and those on the French right who like America but opposed the invasion was this, and always this: the belief that America could not possibly win in Iraq, that America would never be able to devote the amount of force or the degree of force necessary to actually conquer the country. The French know the Arabs better than anybody: their empire was the Muslim world, they fought an endless insurgency against the Algerians. They think of themselves as understanding the degree of fanaticism and of ruthlessness that the Arabs would bring. They also looked at the Middle East and saw, and see, a whole bevy of bad regimes. It was never just Iraq. It was Iraq and Iran and Syria and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and Libya and the Sudan and Somalia too. And Pakistan. The problem of terrorism and support for it, and bad government, and Islamism, was not and is not confined to one country. To invade the Middle East was to invite open-ended war, and the French did not believe that America had anything like the political will to commit the sort of resources necessary to win, for as long as it would take to win. What France feared was another Vietnam, another Lebanon, another Mogadishu, in which the Americans faced fanatics, suffered a lot of casualties, could not militarily win a political problem in so many countries, and would end up leaving in defeat, and leaving the place worse off and more radical than ever.
That was what the French feared. Of course, they also feared losing their oil concessions, but that was then. The concessions are lost. NOW Sarkozy looks at Iraq and sees that America is losing the war. Public will in America is slowly but steadily declining. Tony Blair is practically cooked given how discouraged and disgusted England is with the war. The “Coalition of the Willing” has fallen apart. The Americans still don’t have enough troops. The adventure turned into precisely the fiasco that Sarkozy and other well-meaning French conservatives thought it would, and for precisely the reasons they thought it would. So, obviously Sarkozy is not going to hitch France’s star to the falling American star in Iraq. The Americans are going to lose the war in Iraq. The French were convinced of it from the beginning. The French thought that Iraq would be another American Vietnam. They were convinced of it, and time has borne them out. So, folks like Sarkozy AND the French left are more confident then ever of their own strategic insights, given that they opposed going in with the US on the Iraq adventure.
If there were a way to bail America out, Sarkozy probably would, because he and Chirac both have stated what a disaster an American defeat and pullout will be. But France is not going to send in a bunch of troops to lose a war anyway. The French are going to simply watch, and folks like Sarkozy will shake their heads sadly and say it’s a tragedy, but if you had just listened to us in the first place you would have never gotten into this mess.
Americans do not want to hear it. It enrages them. But enraged or not, that is PRECISELY what Sarkozy and the whole French nation thinks about American in Iraq: America will lose, for the same reasons America lost Vietnam, France was right to refuse to get involved and to counsel so loudly against it, we told you so, you didn’t listen, and now it’s come to the ugly end we predicted all along.
That’s what he thinks.
That’s what they all think.
Now, he’s still pro-American, but he isn’t going to be sending troops into Iraq. He is not going to hitch his own star, and France’s, to an American defeat.
Hopefully, he and Chirac and the rest of France will be proven wrong, and resistance in Iraq will collapse before the American electorate gives up and elects a government that will end the war. But as of right now, the French think they were right, and Sarkozy is no different from Royal on this. Whether it is Sarkozy or Royal, or had it been Bayrou and Le Pen, no matter who is elected, France will continue to firmly oppose the war in Iraq, and will not be sending any assistance to the United States effort in that country. The reasons are different. Royal may well like to see an American defeat. Sarkozy never wanted an American defeat, but in Sarkozy’s eyes, an American loss was inevitable from the moment that America committed to invade Iraq. That’s why he opposed the war from the beginning. And now that, in his eyes, the war is nearly loss, sad as it is, he cannot allow France to be dragged down in defeat along with the Americans in the foolish operation that America launched against Chirac’s and his advice.
So, in Sarkozy America does have a friend. But America has a friend that expects them to lose the war in Iraq, and who is not going to commit France to what he always saw as a monumental strategic error.
Expect Sarkozy to be gracious to the US in public discourse, much moreso than other French Presidents have been. But do not expect on troop or dime of support in Iraq. Sarkozy, in his own view, was right. Had America listened to him she wouldn’t be in this pickle. She didn’t, and now it’s up to America to do what she can. France cannot bail her out of her own self-inflicted wound, executed contrary to the advice of France.
That’s the way it is.
That’s the way Sarkozy thinks.
And that’s the way he’ll behave as President.
I think your mistake is assuming that Sarko is anyting like Chirac. Different generation, different experience. The son of an Hungarian refuge,someone who fled the economic, religious repression of Communism, his experience is something Americans can relate to. Never forget that Hungary has always been the most conservative country in Europe. The Hungarian community in America, which votes almost 75% for the GOP is carefully following this election.
Chirac, aka Jacques Iraq, is a lifelong Arabist with close personal and financial ties to the repressive regimes in the Middle East like Syria and libya. His great close personal and financial relationship with Saddam explains more his anti-US policy than anything else.
Americans are smart enough to understand the arrogance and anti-Americanism of the French elite. They are also smart enough to recognize a friend and an ally in Sarko.
They don’t call him “Sarko the American” for nothing.
Interesting, I will say the book on Iraq has not been closed ...yet...but the final edits are being drawn up. It would have been better if the Neocons had been jettisoned earlier and a practacable strategy been implemented, but it is what is, the dog barked but the caravan left anyway...
For myself, nations act in their own best interests, if France’s interests are not in fighting for a pie in the sky vision of Iraq, the Democracy, that is understandable.
Sarkozy Imo, would be far more helpful to the US than Royal would ever be, she is running against Sarkozy but mentions the US all the time, Sarkozy mentions the US but in a different light.
As I recall, France had “won” in Algeria, the insurgency was defeated, but when the methods that were used were made public in France, the public outcry forced a withdrawal from Algeria.
It is also my opinion that France perhaps needs and economic shot in the arm, just for the good of France as whole, I think Sarkozy is far more likely to do that, then Royal would ever be.
“As I recall, France had won in Algeria, the insurgency was defeated, but when the methods that were used were made public in France, the public outcry forced a withdrawal from Algeria.
It is also my opinion that France perhaps needs and economic shot in the arm, just for the good of France as whole, I think Sarkozy is far more likely to do that, then Royal would ever be.”
As to Algeria, it would be more truthful to say that the corner had been turned, and the French Army was defeating the insurgency, but the way that it had to be done resulted in mass death of civilians. It wasn’t so much immediate public outcry as DeGaulle’s decision, having just created the 5th Republic and now leading it, that Algeria was a millstone around France’s neck, sucking all of the life out of the country. And what’s more, what France was having to do in order to hold onto a wrecked country was essentially changing the nature of what France was. He decided the game wasn’t worth the candle and pulled the forces out. Suffered a coup attempt too, as a result (the Army was NOT pleased).
As to the economic thing, France’s economy has been steadily expanding since 2001, and joblessness has declined into the mid 8% range, and continues to go down. There is no “Big Boom” economic strategy for France, but to the extent that Sarkozy is able to rationalize Europe and prevent labor madness from getting WORSE (Royal is talking about 32 hours now. Hell, why not 12?), it will bring stability. Sarkozy needs to not provoke the damaging general strikes, but he also needs to put a firm hand on wildcat public sector strikes, which are illegal. Deregulation is more of a Bayrou thing. Sarkozy wants to cut taxes, but cutting taxes without cutting expenses is an American Republican gimmick, and ultimately a fool’s game.
Sarkozy’s economic plan runs the risk of being a fiasco, with ill-advised tax cuts and headstrong anti-labor tactics that end up costing milliards in lost time due to furious strikes. My hope is that he will restrain his natural elan and tendency to be a muscle-flexing jerk, and focus on law and order. Bring down the crime rate and you make everybody’s property a lot more secure, and THAT is good for the economy.
Yes, Sarkozy IS an ally, and will be the best ally America can reasonably expect to get in a French President.
But no, he is not going to follow America into Iraq.
So, do not get your hopes up.
He doesn’t applaud Chirac for Chirac’s stance on Iraq in order to brownnose the old man.
He means it.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
It is delusional to believe that France’s economy is in good shape.
High taxes, less ability to work freely, the extremely high cost of living, and enormous unemployment rates make France’s economy “at risk”.
Taxes plus expenses are not higher than in the US if you compare what you GET for those taxes in France, compared with taxes plus the private expenditures you have to make in the US to get the same thing.
The unemployment rate is progressively lowering. The problem is the racial and geographical concentration of it. Perhaps Sarkozy will make soup out of the Arabs and this will reduce that problem.
Housing is expensive in Paris. This is because Paris is desireable. That is not such a bad thing.
If you add up all the taxes in France, income tax, social charges, TVA, and a tax on everything you possess for people having a new worth over $75,000, including their home, taxes are over 60% for middle class working people.
So Sarkozy is more appealing to you because he has a much stronger Law & Order intention if elected?
And not economic reform, but rather a stabilization that makes few changes one way or another?
Interesting that Sarkozy’s Conservatism is just that, conserving the status quo in France.
“If you add up all the taxes in France, income tax, social charges, TVA, and a tax on everything you possess for people having a new worth over $75,000, including their home, taxes are over 60% for middle class working people.”
The wealth tax on fortunes hits above 750,000 Euros, which is to say about $1 million, not $75,000. Anyway, wealth taxes are the way to go. Eliminate the income tax, the sales tax and other taxes that burden the active economy which creates all the jobs. Eliminate capital gains and dividends taxes. Just tax absolute wealth, at a flat rate. That is definitely the fairest and least distorting tax of all.
But yes, if you add up taxes in France, it is about 60%. But remember what you are getting for that 60%! You are getting medical insurance, a pension, and a free college education, not to mention a clean and swift transport system and electrical energy self-sufficiency.
In America, the average middle class person spends about 36% of his income on taxes. But when you add in the cost of medical insurance and pension savings, and college education costs and savings, these total costs add up to about 67% of the American’s paycheck.
So yes, in France the taxes are higher, no doubt about it. BUT the overall person pays a lot less in the aggregate for the same bundle of services (government + health insurance + retirement security + college education) than Americans do.
Big insurance pools for necessary things (like medicine, pensions and education) should be paid for through a single-payer state system. The French way of doing it is more economically efficient for French families than the American way. To put it plainly, after the cost of government, medical insurance, education and pension savings, the French family has 45% of their income left. After paying for the same costs: government, medical insurance, education and pension savings, the American family has only 33% of its income left. Which means, to me, that the French way of doing it is more economically efficient, especially given that wages are lower in France, so it’s 55% of a significantly lower salary that provides services as good as what the Americans get for 67% of their much higher salaries. I think that, over time, American companies are buckling under the American model and are going to force French-style public pensions and health insurance on the American government. The American way of doing it is unsustainable.
France is through the worst of it economically. The French economy is growing steadily, and French unemployment is slowly but steadily shrinking. So, France will keep its model, because it works better that you seem to think. I predict, in fact, that America will be forced by economic reality (of spending far more per capita to do the same things) towards the French single-payer model.
“So Sarkozy is more appealing to you because he has a much stronger Law & Order intention if elected?
And not economic reform, but rather a stabilization that makes few changes one way or another?
Interesting that Sarkozys Conservatism is just that, conserving the status quo in France.”
I think the French economic model is very good. Public insurance for health care, pensions and university education are the proper way to finance such things. It is far more cost effective. Public guidance has created French electrical energy self-sufficiency. Private industry could never produce a marvel as well-organized and disciplined as either the US Navy or the French nuclear power program. 80% of French power comes from nuclear power, and the other 20% from hydroelectric, wind and geothermal. France burns no fossil fuel to generate electricity. This is an enormous advantage, not only for the environment, but for national security as well. Further, it creates an export industry: France exports electrical power to its neighbors, and exports its superior nuclear technology around the world. Similarly public transport. The New York public transport system plus Amtrak are a humiliating embarassment compared to the French RER and Metro and SNFC. Once again, proper funding and intelligent planning, of the sort that can only be done by national government, has produced a superior product in France.
The proof of the wisdom of the French model lies in competition. The American airlines and auto companies, all of them, are buckling at the knees under pension costs and health care costs. Meanwhile, Air France is the world’s largest airline, now, in terms of revenue. Renault and Peugeot and Citroen do not produce the sexiest cars in the world, but they are not going under either, like the Americans are. The airline industry, in particular, competes head to head. So why is Air France rich while the Americans are all going bankrupt? It is so simple as to be axiomatic: in France, each person pays entirely for his own health insurance and pension, through the social charges imposed on his income. But in America, it is the employer’s job to subsidize health insurance, and to provide matching funds, etc., for pensions. Older-style American pensions are a staggering burden on US industry, sapping its ability to compete with an Air France that just has to fly planes and get there on time.
Oh, and it helps that Air France doesn’t have to hire the ugly ones for stewardesses.
I think the French economic model is overall more resilient and better designed than the American, and have no desire at all to see any change in the basic principles of public insurance change into an American-style free for all which benefits, primarily, the private insurers and their investors.
Most French people do not want to change their acquired rights.
Labor law and business regulation are separate cases. Of course labor relations and business need to be regulated. The “Ayn Rand” style of American deregulation is stupidity incarnate, because men are greedy and venal, and men who strive for great wealth are no different. The half-trillion dollars that American taxpayers paid out of their own pockets to repair part of the damage left by Reagan’s idiot economics, deregulating the Savings and Loan industry, ought to have taught Americans the lesson that it is profoundly foolish to deregulate finance. The California power experience should have taught the same.
So no, France does not need American-style deregulation.
However, French regulations have become TOO rigid, with time, and not well thought out. There are some things that the state simply cannot do as well as individuals can, and individuals and private agencies should be left more alone to do those things. More alone is not the same thing as alone. Nobody must ever be completely free of the law and regulatory oversight. Every industry that the Americans ever completely deregulate, in their periodic outbursts of deregulatory zeal, becomes the poster-child industry for massive corruption and billions in losses on the front page of the papers within a few short years. One can improve the performance of some industries by reducing the rules and oversight, but all industries are ruined swiftly by the internal buccaneers whenever they are deregulated to the point that the government is no longer monitoring them to enforce the rule of law on them. It is a simple fact that businessmen are greedy. That is why they are capitalists: they love money and want more of it. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is equally a simple fact that they will take absolutely as much as they can get from the system, and push right up to the very limits, the most successful ones will. Remove those limits, and every great fortune will be predicated on great crime. This has always been the pattern in human history, and always will be, men being men. It is well to earn a great deal of money working under the oversight of the laws. Remove the oversight of the laws and the controlling presence of the public inspector, and the most aggressive will simply steal the money, not make it. They will drive for monopoly to put their competitors out of business, and resort to political influence and corruption to prevent being held accountable. We see this in America right now with an industry that is very cozy with the Bush administration, and THEREFORE able to employ illegal aliens at will, evading all American labor laws, because the Administration turns a blind eye to these practices.
That is what happens in unregulated, uninspected industries, and it breaks down the economy over time.
So, France needs her labor laws and regulation. But they should be made a degree more supple, a degree more sane, so that time and aggravation are not expended on silly things. Bayrou’s idea of forcing the government and the administration to obey all of the labor laws, and indeed all of the other laws, is a stroke of genius. There is no better way to ensure a reasonable labor law than to impose the labor law on politicians’ hiring and firing of their political aides-de-camp. Sarkozy will never do that, of course.
Sarkozy wants to change the labor law and make it more like America. Bad idea.
Sarkozy wants to slash taxes. Bad idea. France cannot do without any of its major social insurance programs, so slashing taxes will just cause the debt to balloon, which will in turn mean that interest payments on the debt will grow, choking out the rest of the economy.
Sarkozy’s big plus is that he will be tough on criminality and will reimpose the rule of law on the hoodlums. Nobody in France can ever be allowed to be above the authority of the state and its laws for even an instant, and these gangs directly defy authority. They need to be beaten into submission, but no President has had the courage to do so. Sarkozy may. He shows the signs. This is why some fear him as a fascist, because he has it in him. To control crime, France needs a fascist for awhile. It is the only way.
Sarkozy will be just another chiraque, but at least he’s not french.
Of course he’s French.
“Nicolas Sarkozy is the son of a Hungarian immigrant, PÃ¡l SÃ¡rkÃ¶zy de Nagy-BÃ³csa (Hungarian: nagybÃ³csai SÃ¡rkÃ¶zy PÃ¡l; some sources spell it Nagy-BÃ³csay SÃ¡rkÃ¶zy PÃ¡l; Hungarian pronunciationÂ (helpÂ·info)), and a French mother, AndrÃ©e Mallah.”
Class warfare, tax the rich. That is the class warfare crap that usually comes out of Democrats, not Conservatives.
The wealth tax in France is a YEARLY tax on your total net worth including your home. If you have a decent apartment in Paris normally worth more that 750,000 Euros you are taxed every year, on top of real estate taxes and other assorted taxes. Then you are taxed again on everything when you die. It is a confiscatory tax system that is designed to redistribute wealth, even before it is created.
The transportation system in France is not free. The trains are excellent. though very expensive. The Metro, the equivalent of our Subway system is less efficient, doesn’t run all night, is definitely not free, in fact it is more expensive than the NYC Subway system.
NYC has an almost free education system from kindergarten through graduate school.
There is no University in France that is free that compares to the high quality of higher education in the US which is why all the French who can afford it, from Socialists like Dominique Strauss-Kahn on up send their own children to school in the States.
Same for the medical care.
I come from a family with many many doctors. They all treat many Europeans, particularly people from France. The French people who can afford it come here for major health issues. The same for dentists. The “free” dentists in France are worth exactly that... nothing. The free market dentists are excellent, and most of them have trained in Dental Schools in the US. They charge about the same as dentists here.
Why do you continually mislead people here into believing that France is some kind of social paradise, if only the Muslims would go away? The French themselves don’t believe that for a second. They know their system is bloated, outdated, and in need of massive reform and change. The high income earners and professional people are leaving France in record numbers to earn more and have more opportunity for advancement.
The stupid French retirement system of forced retirement that you so highly praise has forced people like Dr. Luc Montaignier, the discoverer of the AIDS virus, to move to the US and work and teach in an American University (Queens College, part of the NYC University system) because the French system refused to employ him after he turned 65. Four out of the last 6 French Nobel prized were awarded to French living and working in the US.
If it weren’t for the Muslim question, would you be in the Socialist camp?
Of course Sarko is French. He was born and raised in France. His mother is French, his father, a Hungarian immigrant, who escaped to France after the failed Hungarian Revolution.
Very interest WIKI profile. It seems like Sarko is related to the Bouvier family. Does that make him a distant relative of Jackie Kennedy...nee Jacqueline Bouvier?
I’m not too sure that Jackie’s real father was her real father. :’) Her mom was a gold-digger, Jackie didn’t take after any strangers.
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