March 25, 2012

Hollande champions growth, but too soon

March 20, 2012

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Socialist candidate François Hollande has picked a new bad guy that isn’t the world of finance – austerity. A great pick, since it is currently Europe’s favourite bad word. Ever since the Greek crisis, European governments have been tightening up their belts to cut down on public debt, with mixed results and a lot of […]

Posted in: Europe, Eurozone

Why bashing the rich scores points for Hollande but not Sarkozy

March 8, 2012

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The rich are an easy target to hang in France. François Mitterrand, a former Socialist president, called money “that [which] rots the very conscience of people.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is running for re-election, was pooh-poohed for being a  “president of the rich”, handing them tax breaks and bandying about with wealthy businessmen. Cashing […]

Posted in: Taxes

In France, women’s issues warm the benches

March 8, 2012

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For the men, it is an obligatory campaign stop. For the women, it is pressure to perform. International Women’s Day drew some pointed looks at France’s presidential candidates for their lack of discourse on women’s rights and gender equality thus far in their campaigning. Women’s rights group “Osez le Feminisme” have accused the candidates of […]

Posted in: General

Sarkozy’s Facebook vs. Hollande’s Twitter

March 2, 2012

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Everyone is taking to cyber-campaigning, but few sport Facebook profile pages as aesthetically pleasing as Nicolas Sarkozy’s. The man clearly has a top team working for him. The timeline presentation is impeccable, going back as far as the 70’s when Sarkozy apparently looked every bit like an elitist, dreamy college graduate of the times – […]

Posted in: General

France bids final adieu to the franc

February 17, 2012

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Today is the last day for the French to exchange their francs for euros. In Paris, hundreds of people are lining up outside the Banque de France, holding worn envelops filled with the extinct currency. The franc has been out of circulation since the beginning of 2002, when the euro was first introduced. The central […]

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Posted in: Eurozone

France has a cold, but it’s not the real illness

February 17, 2012

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Judging by the local news, you’d think France was being hit by a snowstorm. La Dépêche called it “the Siberian cold” and “the polar cold”. Everywhere else, it was “la vague de froid” or “le froid glacial” – the cold wave or the glacial cold. Amongst French Twitter users, #LeFroid turned into a sort of […]

Posted in: Energy