Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Does France need Tony Blair?

Paris Link has a good editorial on why France is at a point similar to where the UK was in the 1970s, and why a man like Tony Blair is needed to save the day. Unfortunately, this writer finds that neither major candidate appears too promising.

This year, France is faced with a difficult choice - once more, the plethora of candidates will make it a minefield for the leading players, but Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy are expected to win through. Which of the two will drag France from the morass it finds itself in? The chances are that neither has the nous to do so. Royal has been hazy on concrete policies, while Sarkozy has constantly talked a good game without achieving.

France today is the equivalent of Britain in the 1970s - social upheaval, unhappy with itself and desperate for change. The potential is there - some of the highest-educated graduates in Europe come from France, and the country's multi-nationals are among the most successful in the world. Technically, France is light years ahead of its neighbours while its tourist industry is the envy of the world. What the country needs now is a Tony Blair to put a smile back on the face of the man in the street, put some euros in his back pocket, and give l'hexagone a kick up the derrière. It needs a leader who will force the country to become a little nicer to those who are not French - or those who don't appear to be French. It needs a leader brave enough to stick to decisions that are for the good of the country, one that can take the dynamism France shows outside its borders and apply it within its borders, giving young people the chance to earn more than 200 euros a month and employees the chance to pay their mortgages.

Tony resigns on 31st May this year. There might be a job waiting for him in France.

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