Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Protests, US, Hallyday


Protests
While Nicolas Sarkozy is vacationing on the Republic of Malta, he missed scattered protests and violence across France on the night of his election, resulting in 592 arrests and 730 burned cars.

Some of the most concentrated violence took place at Place de la Bastille in Paris where the police fired volley after volley of teargas cluster grenades that looked like fireworks before descending on the crowd of young protesters. At one point, the square — the site of the July 14, 1789, uprising that is celebrated annually — was thick with white teargas reflecting the orange glow of a car fire while silhouetted youths heaved paving stones at tight formations of armored riot police officers.


American reaction
Americans on both political aisles have gotten downright giddy, at least relatively speaking, and White House sources say that Bush was relieved he didn't have to congratulate Royal.

We certainly look forward to cooperation with the French,” Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, said Monday, adding: “We know that there are going to be areas of disagreement. But on the other hand, there are certainly real opportunities to work together on a broad range of issues.”

The two presidents will meet in Berlin next month for the Group of 8 summit meeting of industrial nations, and Mr. Sarkozy would be expected to visit the United States for the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, told CNN on Sunday, “It would be nice to have someone who’s head of France who doesn’t have a knee-jerk reaction against the United States.”

On the same program, Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, said that “Sarkozy would be favorable to the United States,” adding, “Clearly his views are more in line with ours.”

Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House, meanwhile, praised Mr. Sarkozy on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” on Sunday as “the candidate of change.”


May surprise
Although it may not turn out to be true, Sarkozy has been elected on a platform of competence, and that will mean that voters will expect results. Luckily, they only had to wait until today when singer Johnny Hallyday announced that he will leave his exile in Switzerland and return to France now that Sarkozy will cap taxes at 50%.

7 comments:

enigmatikmike said...

The FRENCH island of Malta????

Change that at once!!!!

Malta was only French between 1798 and 1800, not enough to earn it the thitle of "French". We're an independent republic member of the EU, if you please. :)e

Tatanka said...

Oh, yes, I like that!

Since you have our dear president-elect over there in Malta, you're now part of the French republic!

The "French island of Malta", indeed, Boz, you must have had quite a time over here!

Seriously, now, Boz, thanks for the coverage, I'll keep coming by to see what's new from time to time...

Alden said...

Boz,

50%!

We pay more than 50% in income taxes, plus we have property tax, plus we have a sales tax at 17%+, and gasoline taxes that mean that petrol costs 5 times what it costs in the States, plus we have a “net worth” tax. When we die, we even have a confiscatory inheritance tax!

Most people have nothing left over at the end of the month after they have paid all these taxes. Maybe now you can understand the Sarkozy revolution better!

Of course, we are supposed to have services for these taxes. Except that you will die waiting in line for medical treatment. Most people who can go to Switzerland or the US for medical care; even Mr. Mitterand, of course, he was fabulously wealthy Socialist so he could afford it!

Speaking of health care and the disaster in New Orleans, a few years ago in France 15,000 innocent people died in France in August because it was unusually hot! Can you imagine!! That’s five times the death toll of the Twin Towers. How many times the death toll in New Orleans after the hurricane?

Don’t buy into the Segosprach, its mostly lies.

Cheers

Vive Sarkozy, Vive la France!

Boz said...

Haha, my non-Euro-geographically attuned brain mixed up Corsica and Malta. Many apologies! Alden, I agree even 50% is high, although I have never lived in Europe so have no personal experience with the many government/welfare services. Obviously government has a responsibility that demands funding, but especially considering defense budgets are so low over ther (relatively speaking), I find it hard to imagine there isn't a huge amount that could and should be privatized.

Medical care might be better in the US, but I promise you that the system is just as broken here with millions uninsured, ridiculously complex insurance, and government promises that far outstrip future tax revenue.

Boz

enigmatikmike said...

I just put this in another post earlier but it's more fitting here. Just helping you keep up to date with Sarkozy's movements. Quote from www.timesofmalta.com:

French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, taking a break after his election win, spent the night on a yacht at Delimara before heading out to sea in the direction of Sicily, eyewitnesses said. Photographers using long lenses said a man who looked like Mr Sarkozy could be seen at the stern of the yacht this morning wearing a blue and white striped T-shirt. His son was seen on the bridge and later with his father on the stern. A Maltese patrol boat stood off the yacht. It was not clear whether Mr Sarkozy would sail all the way to the Italian island of Sicily, a trip that would take at least four hours, or return to Malta. Mr Sarkozy's advisers said he was taking a break to consider the formation of his government after his victory over Socialist Segolene Royal in Sunday's election. Mr Sarkozy arrived in Malta on an unannounced visit late yesterday morning and was driven to the British-registered superyacht. It spent the afternoon cruising off Malta's southern coast and spent the night anchored at Delimara Bay, the scene of a summit meeting between US President George Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1989.

Tatanka, Napoleon himself spent a few days in Malta after it became French. Maybe Sarkozy wanted to copy him, or maybe he just likes our country. At least we're not attacking shops and setting fire to cars here.

Boz, thanks for fixing the mistake. In bold, hehe. I agree with you that here in Europe: "I find it hard to imagine there isn't a huge amount that could and should be privatized." Unfortunately, a lot of people with a socialist mindset equate private ownership with some kind of feudal system. Its anathema to them that state "assets" should be liberalised. Unless this hate of privatisation is consigned to the scrapheap of history, there's not much we can do to move forward.

Tatanka said...

"At least we're not attacking shops and setting fire to cars here":

Yes, that's not something we can be proud of... I don't like him, but he's been democratically elected.
Shame on us.

"Napoleon himself spent a few days in Malta":

Errr..., I hope Sarko does not intend to be a new Napoleon!!

enigmatikmike said...

The riots do give a bad image to France, but we understand that it's just some criminal elements of society that do that, and it's just some general French malaise.

France needs to get tough with its trouble-makers and make them understand that violence is never justified, and that it just serves to nullify any argument the protesters may have.