A week after initial votes showed the far-right anti-Euro National Front party gaining ground in French municipal elections, it appears the ongoing disappointment in the ruling Socialists is increasing (amid record joblessness).
*FAR RIGHT MAKES FURTHER GAINS IN FRENCH MUNI ELECTIONS
*MOSCOVICI SAYS TODAY’S ELECTIONS ‘UNQUESTIONABLY A DEFEAT’
*MOSCOVICI SAYS IT’S ‘DIFFICULT TO REFORM FRANCE’
These are the first nationwide elections in France since Hollande took office and point to rather concerning lack of support for his party and his policies (and the core of the EU); but a record high 38.5% of votes abstained suggesting major apathy as the country’s north-south divide grows. Continue reading »
Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande will review plans to build up a trustworthy data protection network in Europe. The challenge is to avoid data passing through the US after revelations of mass NSA spying in Germany and France.
Merkel has been one of the biggest supporters of greater data protection in Europe since the revelations that the US tapped her phone emerged in a Der Spiegel news report in October, based on information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
When your manufacturing industry unions kidnap their business leaders, taxes reach extremes of duress, industrial production limps lower and unemployment hits record highs; it is hardly surprising that the world is a little nervous of piling its hard-printed cash into your country. But in the case of France, data reported by the UN shows the biggest collapse in foreign direct investment ever. Figaro reports that FDI fell to EUR 5.7 billion – a drop of over 75% year-over-year – and the lowest since 1987. Ironically, Spain’s FDI rose 37% and Germany’s quadrupled… Is France an Emerging Market now?
In keeping up with “breaking” and otherwise engaging news on par with this, to keep the broader population distract from more critical developments, here is the latest installment of what 99% of the French population will be talking about in the next several days and weeks (instead of the nation’s impending triple-dip recession).
François Hollande’s partner was said to have suffered a ‘very strong emotional shock’ after hearing claims of affair
A top aide to France’s first lady says she will remain in hospital for several more days to recover from the shock of a tabloid report that her partner, François Hollande, is having an affair with an actor.
Valerie Trierweiler’s chief of staff, Patrice Biancone, said on Monday she could stay in hospital for a further six or eight days. She was initially expected to leave the hospital on Monday. He said she suffered a “very strong emotional shock” and needed rest. One official said she was receiving treatment for “a severe case of the blues”.
When it comes to socialism, the world’s premier promoter of egalite - France’s Francois Hollande – is very aware that in a socialist utopia, no property is private. Hence everything can be shared, such as actress Julie Gayet with whom it was revealed last week he had an affair. The problem is that the First Lady, er, Girlfriend of France, Valerie Trierweiler, 48, did not share her boyfriend’s Marxist view. And, as Reuters reports, when Trierweiler found out about an affair between Francois Hollande and the aforementioned Julie Gayet, 41, she was hospitalized on Sunday morning “because of exhaustion.”
Almost a year ago, the French constitutional court ruled against Francois Hollande’s triumphal blast into socialist wealth redistribution, with his proposed 75% tax rate on high earners, and so indefinitely delayed the exodus of the bulk of French high earners (even if some, like Obelix, aka Gerard Depardieu, promptly made their way to the country that has become the land of solace for all oppressed people everywhere, Russia) into more tax-hospitable climes. That delay is now over, when earlier today the same court approved a 75% tax on all those earning over €1 million. The proposal passed after the government modified it to make employers liable for the 75% tax. As BBC reports, the levy will last two years, affecting income earned this year and in 2014.
And with the tax passage, the preparations for an exodus by all high earnings begin, first among the local football teams. Continue reading »
At our workshop in Chile some months ago, European MEP Nigel Farage blasted French President Francois Hollande as leading the pack “in the modern day Pantheon of idiots who are running countries around the world…”
You can see Nigel’s scathing remarks below, about 35 seconds in to the clip:
Of course, the French president had recently introduced a ‘hate tax’ on its countries most successful people, driving out whatever few productive people remain in France.
But this hate tax was just the tip of le iceberg.
Just look at what they’ve done or announced just in the last month:
The Germans “haven’t considered any military participation… and are still not doing so.” The Brits unexpectedly voted ‘not’ to join Obama in an attack on Syria , with Cameron adding that he didn’t think “it’s a question of having to aplogize” to Obama. But Obama can rest assured as the French remains undeterred. After France refused to join the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, but was quickly aided by the US in the military intervention against Islamist militants in Mali earlier this year, Hollande is vehement of the need to “punish” Damascus, “France will participate. It is ready.” Sounds like a resounding ‘we’re in,’ right? It seems Hollande is dead set on lower French unemployment… by making every jobless person a soldier in Syria (packing at least one backup white flag of surrender). But, don’t get too excited since, with lukewarm public support, Hollande has said he will summon the French parliament to vote on the debate… on September 4th (no rush…).
Moments ago the UK House of Commons, in a razor thin vote, rejected the Cameron proposal for military action in Syria with a vote 285 to 272. Cameron promptly said he would respect the will of the House of Commons and UK Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond confirmed there would be no UK military intervention in Syria. Incidentally, this may have been the best outcome for an already humiliated British premier who will avoid being dragged into an unpopular war having both sided with his greatest ally, the US, and also relented and listened to the voice of the people. More importantly, the “people” in the UK actually had a voice, which is more than can so far be said about developments in the US. And speaking of the US, the NYT reports that even as the Syrian war “option” is slowly being shut out for staunch US allies (except for France of course), that Obama is “willing to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria even while allies like Britain are debating whether to join the effort [ZH: and have now voted against it] and without an endorsement from the United Nations Security Council” citing senior administration officials.
Western countries, including Britain, are planning to take unilateral military action against the Assad regime within two weeks in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria.
David Cameron discussed launching missile strikes against key regime targets during a 40-minute telephone call with Barack Obama on Saturday night and also with the French President François Hollande on Sunday. While Downing Street said western powers had not ruled out seeking UN endorsement for military action they added that they were also prepared to unilaterally.
So the ‘official’ start of WW3 is within two weeks then?
Initially Limited Strikes Aim to Avoid Serious War Debate
Discussing the matter in a 40 minute phone call on Saturday night, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed in principle to start attacking Syria within the next two weeks. France, long calling for such a war, is also reportedly in on the idea.
British officials familiar with the situation say that they didn’t rule out seeking UN support for the war, but also don’t expect to actually get that support, and are prepared to ignore the UN and attack anyhow.
It has been confirmed that France will extend its moratorium on the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically-modified (GM) MON810 corn within its borders, despite a recent ruling by the French Council of State that the longstanding ban violates European Union (EU) law. As reported in a recent AFP article translated into English by GMWatch.org, French Head of State Francois Hollande made an official public announcement that the moratorium will, indeed, be extended in order to ensure the integrity of the nation’s agricultural system.
This would be Jerome Cahuzac, the French “budget minister” who was tasked with rooting out tax fraud by his socialist “75% tax or the capitalist pigs win” overlord, and who resigned two weeks ago to avoid “hindering” an investigation into allegations he had a secret Swiss account, all the while maintaining his innocence? Well, he was just exposed as the latest lying Eurocrat politicians.
FORMER FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS LIED ABOUT BANK ACCOUNT
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS HAS HAD THE FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS HAD EU600,000 IN FOREIGN ACCOUNT
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER APOLOGIZES TO HOLLANDE, AYRAULT
Where did he make the confession?
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER COMMENTED ON HIS BLOG TODAY
The take home:
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS `CAUGHT IN SPIRAL OF LIES’
In other words: just another politician.
But that’s ok: it got serious - he could have gone to jail or been fired in disgrace, so naturally he had to lie.
Precisely a month ago, when we last looked at the ongoing French campaign in Mali, whose diplomatic justification before the people of the “democratic” world was the eradication of “insurgents”, and various other “Al Qaeda rebels”, we asked readers, rhetorically, to look at a map of Mali and tell us what they see.
“Nothing. Mali is one of the most irrelevant countries in West Africa from a resource standpoint, and what happens inside of it is certainly irrelevant from a greater geopolitical standpoint. What is more important is what this map doesn’t show, specifically the name of the country located a few hundred miles to the south: Nigeria.
Now Nigeria is important: very important. Or rather, Nigerian light sweet, one of the highest quality crudes in the world, is. And thanks to the “bungled” French peacemaking attempt, the US now has a critical foothold in what is the most strategically placed stretch of desert in Western Africa, a place where US “military trainers” will now be deployed at will. Be on the lookout for curious escalations in violence around the capital Abuja, and key port city Lagos, in the coming months once the current Mali fracas is long forgotten.”
It appears that Nigeria will be drawn into the fray far sooner than even we expected following today’s news that Islamist militants from neighboring Nigeria abducted a French family of seven, including four children, in northern Cameroon on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said. Next up: Al Qaeda is mysteriously discovered to be aiding and abetting “evil” insurgent Malians out of Nigeria, and the French campaign, with the generous and stealthy support of the US, shifts slowly but surely southward to its ultimate destination: liberating all that Nigerian light sweet oil.
The preannouncement came Thursday evening: PSA Peugeot Citroën, France’s largest automaker, would have a write-down of €4.7 billion. On top of a hefty operating loss. It would be colossal. An all-time record. Rumors spread immediately that PSA would need a bailout. The second in four months.
PSA passenger car sales in France dropped nearly 17% in 2012 from an already awful 2011. In January they dropped another 16.7%. Sales for all automakers dropped 15%, and PSA’s market share had eroded further. Kia-Hyundai sales jumped 21.2%, the only major automaker with gains. Even Volkswagen Group got clobbered: down 23.9%. PSA isn’t internationally diversified enough. It doesn’t have much in China and nothing in the US, the largest markets in the world, both growing. It’s mired in Europe where auto sales have ground to a halt. It’s bleeding €200 million a month. It’s trying to lay off 8,000 workers and shutter its plant in Aulnay-sous-Bois. And its Banque PSA Finance was bailed out last October with €7 billion in taxpayer money.
The government was so worried that it was actively studying a bailout, sources told the Liberation after the losses were announced. It was just hypothetical. “But if a capital infusion would become inevitable, the state could participate,” the source said. Instantly, a cacophony of discord erupted—within the Socialist government.
Thirty years ago, the USSR was better known as the “Evil Empire.” Fast forward to today, when its successor Russia, is apparently the “Tax Free Empire“, and less socialist than France, at least to infamous millionaire expatriate Gérard Depardieu, who as reported previously has paid €145 million in taxes over 45 years, and who demonstratively decided to give up his French passport in the wake of France’s socialist 75% millionaire tax (subsequently ruled unconstitutional), and as of today, has just been granted Russian citizenship.
PARIS—The government of Socialist President François Hollande on Sunday said it would consider other ways of imposing a top income-tax rate of 75% on high-wealth individuals after the country’s top constitutional authority scrapped the plan.
The Constitutional Council’s decision is a political blow to Mr. Hollande, who had vowed to shift to the rich the burden of efforts to improve the country’s finances.
Last week the big story in French headlines has been the tax exile of Gerard Depardieu in Nechin, Belgium, half a mile from the French border. French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault called the French movie star’s behavior “minable” (pathetic). A socialist MP, Yann Galut, even suggested that M. Depardieu loses his French nationality. In an open letter in the Journal Du Dimanche on December 16, Depardieu, who famously starred as Obélix, the big Gallic fellow of Astérix, carrying menhirs on his back – and sometimes throwing them at the Romans, replies. With a taste of Ayn Rand’s famous character John Galt. Gerard shrugged.
Depardieu begins by saying that what is pathetic is to call his behavior pathetic. Although he does not want to justify the many reasons of his choice, he makes it clear that he leaves after paying 85% of taxes on his income this year and € 145 million through his entire life; He leaves because the French PM thinks that “success, creation and talent, in fact difference, must be punished”. He then reminds Jean-Marc Ayrault that he set up companies that employ 80 people. Depardieu says he is ready to give up his French passport and his “Social Security” (the French public health care system, which he claims he never used).
Three months ago many were angry and surprised (or not at all, as realistically this was a perfectly logical move), when Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH and the richest man in socialist France, decided he had had enough, and would move to Belgium to avoid Hollande’s punitive taxes on France’s wealthiest. The indignant media’s mocking response in France was fast and furious, with many delighted to see the billionaire leave. We wonder how the media will respond as more and more wealthy Frenchmen decide, now that the seal has been broken, to do just that and leave France to its grassroots movement where it is only “fair” that those who have more income and/or wealth, pay more than everyone else to keep the myth of the ponzi scheme formerly known as the welfare state alive and well. Such as one of France’s most popular actors, Gerard Depardieu, who is the latest high profile departure to leave his native country and go to Belgium to avoid the second coming of the “fairness doctrine” (the first one of course, doing less than spectacularly with that whole USSR thing).
Why France could become the biggest danger to Europe’s single currency
THE threat of the euro’s collapse has abated for the moment, but putting the single currency right will involve years of pain. The pressure for reform and budget cuts is fiercest in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, which all saw mass strikes and clashes with police this week (see article). But ahead looms a bigger problem that could dwarf any of these: France.
The country has always been at the heart of the euro, as of the European Union. President François Mitterrand argued for the single currency because he hoped to bolster French influence in an EU that would otherwise fall under the sway of a unified Germany. France has gained from the euro: it is borrowing at record low rates and has avoided the troubles of the Mediterranean. Yet even before May, when François Hollande became the country’s first Socialist president since Mitterrand, France had ceded leadership in the euro crisis to Germany. And now its economy looks increasingly vulnerable as well.
Whereas some may have welcomed the latest development in the Great French Socialist Revolution chronicles, primarily those 8-16 year olds who would directly benefit from president Francois Hollande’s attempt to capture the vote of those still ineligible to actually vote, by promising to do away with homework (because it encourages “inequality” as homework apparently “favors the wealthy”), everyone else saw right through it for the sad attempt at populism it was. Luckily, the impact of this idiotic policy, if it were to actually pass, would not be visible for at least a decade at which point French society would be so dumb (not to mention poor) that few would actually care. However, another proposal being currently contemplated in France may have far more immediate terminal consequences to the life expectancies of those personally experiencing the reincarnation of wholesale of socialism. Because as Bloomberg notes, “Heating a French home could soon require an income tax consultation or even a visit to the doctor under legislation to force conservation in the nation’s $46 billion household energy market.” Congratulations Europe: in your ongoing crusade of wealth redistribution (when all this could have been averted if you, and the US, had simply allowed the banks who control your society to collapse), you are about to make heating one’s home a privilege for the despised Bourgeoisie, an act which must be monetarily punished, and socially ostracized.More on this sad and pathetic at the same time development, coming to broke socialist countries near you: Continue reading »
Homework favors the wealthy. This is the position that the increasingly imbecilic President of France is taking in proposing a ban on homework as part of a series of educational reforms. As ABC reports, Hollande sees “education as a priority” but work should be done during school hours rather than at home “in order to establish equal opportunities.” But before the children of France rejoice, Hollande is unlikely to garner their future votes, as his proposal also looks to extend the French school week to nine half-days a week to be spread over four, five, or six days (as opposed to the current four days a week with Wednesdays off). Though we may sneer at this oh-so-socialist ideal of ‘sharing’ the homework load into the school-day, it is perhaps noteworthy that the US still lags France in Math (US 31st in the world vs France 22nd). Continue reading »
The French cabinet recently approved its “toughest budget in 30 years.” The budget is a major political test for President Francois Hollande, who is resorting to a 75% tax rate on the rich combined with spending cuts to shore up budget deficits. France needs to make an estimated 30 billion euro in savings in its next fiscal year to reach Hollande’s ambitious target of reducing the country’s deficit from 4.5 per cent in 2012 to three per cent by 2013. The three percent figure is the EU’s mandated deficit ceiling for member-states.
France is mired in a stagnating economy. The private sector is under pressure, auto manufacturing is heading into a depression. Unemployment hit a 13-year high of 10.2%, leaving over 3 million people out of work. Youth unemployment of 22.7%, bad as it is, belies the catastrophic jobs situation for young people in ghetto-like enclaves, such as the northern suburbs of Paris. The “solution”—fabricating 150,000 jobs for the young at taxpayers’ expense—has been tried before, with little success. Gasoline and diesel prices are hovering near record highs. So there are a lot of very unhappy campers.
In a BVA poll, 55% of the respondents were dissatisfied with President François Hollande’s efforts to tackle the economic crisis. By comparison, only 31% were dissatisfied with Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 at the end of his honeymoon. Devastatingly, for a socialist: 57% believed that he didn’t distribute the “efforts” equitably—same as Sarkozy, the president of the rich.
The problem with voters is Hollande’s “inaction,” after some initial half-measures, such as the partial reinstatement of retirement at 60 and raising back-to-school aid for families. Now people “seriously doubt his ability to change things.” They believe that the government spends its time trying to “unravel Sarkozy’s legacy” and “sitting around in meetings,” rather than making decisions.
few months ago when the new French socialist president gave details of his particular version of the “fairness doctrine” and said he would tax millionaires at 75%, we said that “we are rotating our secular long thesis away from Belgian caterers and into tax offshoring advisors, now that nobody in the 1% will pay any taxes ever again.” While there was an element of hyperbole in the above statement, the implication was clear: France’s richest will actively seek tax havens which don’t seek to extract three quarters of their earnings, in the process depriving France (and other countries who adopt comparable surtaxes on the rich) of critical tax revenues. It took three months for this to be confirmed, and with a bang at that. The WSJ reports that Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, and the richest man in France, has decided to forego hollow Buffetian rhetoric that paying extra tax is one’s sworn duty, and has sought Belgian citizenship.
Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is seeking Belgian citizenship, a move that comes as President François Hollande prepares to press ahead with a controversial tax on the country’s wealthiest citizens. Continue reading »
While Belize is comfortable buggering bondholders, the Greeks (following this morning’s headlines) remain beholden to their euro-zone overlords – having survived a few more months on the back of reach-around ‘bailouts’ and ponzi-financing – all in the effort of providing more time for the ‘rest of Europe’ to figure out how to handle the ‘Athens moment’ that is surely coming. With September and October critical ‘event-rich’ months, Patrick Young, of DV Advisors, provides the clearest and least ‘rose-tinted’ perspective on where Greece has been, where they are now, and where this will all end. From the forged application for euro-zone membership to Oz-like fantasies of growth and austerity targets that remain pipe-dreams (and are constantly being missed), the bold Irishman in this brief clip explains “Greece has not done anything to really help itself, missed every deadline its been given” and the PM’s comments on their ‘spectacular come-back’ clarifies the ‘utter delusion’ among the Greek political class because “Greece is bankrupt; full stop; game over” and Merkel must agree to ‘let’ Greece leave the Euro (post Troika) – as the rise of civil unrest, since whatever new money flows their way exits right out the back door and never ‘helps’ the people, is inevitable. Especially following these mixed headlines (via Bloomberg):
*HOLLANDE: PEOPLE SHOULD STOP ASKING IF GREECE WILL STAY IN EURO
*HOLLANDE SAYS GREECE HAS TO DEMONSTRATE CREDIBILITY
*SAMARAS SAYS GREECE WILL STAY IN THE EURO ZONE
Alexander Dobrindt, general secretary of the Christian Social Union, said he sees no way around Greece leaving the euro area, Bild am Sonntag reported, citing an interview.
Dobrindt sees Greece out of the euro in 2013
Greece should receive EU support when it leaves the currency union and have the option of returning: Dobrindt