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Aesma
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What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:26 pm

Everything is in the title, I'm asking non-French members to paint us a short picture from your memory if possible, just to get an idea. I'm reading foreign newspapers but only in English and they seem very ignorant, even ones that are supposed to be serious.
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Jetsgo
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:42 pm

Just real briefly off the top of my mind as I'm not the best at following international affairs...

I've been hearing about France and their deployment of troops throughout Africa in an attempt to quell the gross human rights violations. The reports tend to be written as if it's too little too late. Also continue to hear about the burka ban and how closed minded it is.

[Edited 2014-01-10 11:43:14]
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vandenheuvel
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:38 pm

Just this morning I've been hearing about Hollande suing some magazine for posting a story about his girlfriend.

There's a lot of talking about military action in Mali and the C.A.R. Most of this is positive.
 
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Aesma
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:49 pm

Thanks you two, I'll elaborate a little about events later on after more answers.
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Luxair
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:38 pm

Salut, I have read recently articles in the Luxembourgish newspapers that mediapart.fr is doing a survey regarding the ban of Luxembourg from the EU! Their main argument is that Luxembourg is an illegal tax paradise! Apparently the OECD states the opposite but it seems that the Luxembourg bashing from the french press and government is taken to another level. The political rudeness within the EU has since the crisis dramatically increased. The Germans are in the first row too when it comes to bash a fellow EU member in difficult times. All comes down to the fact that their politicians try very hard to deviate the attention from their own big financial mess and on the other hand they try to show their political power to the smaler EU countries. Interesting times ahead!
Of course no one denies that dubious financial transactions have been made the past by Luxembourgish and International financial institutions but times have changed also in Luxembourg. We can't blame the Government alone and btw the people who made it possible in first instance where the rich German and French industrials/bankers. Merkel, Hollande and company like to forget such little detail.
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:49 pm

You have a big socialist in charge and everyone hates him - including footballers.

No idea if that's true or not, but that's the generalised perception i hear.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:02 pm

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 2):
Just this morning I've been hearing about Hollande suing some magazine for posting a story about his girlfriend.

There's a lot of talking about military action in Mali and the C.A.R. Most of this is positive.

I listen to a lot of news on the radio here in the States and these are really the only two stories about France I've heard lately.

Of course, if I wanted to dig a little deeper a quick news search did bring up some articles in the US press about the anti-Amazon law, your economy and some comedian that is banned from France. It's just not real, important news like who your president is sleeping with.
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:09 am

Quoting Aesma (Thread starter):
Everything is in the title

All I want to say is, I Love France, especially Brittany. Forget politics etc, just enjoy the country, cuisine and more importantly the people. If I had the cash I would move there tomorrow. There is one downside though, I'm not a fan of Paris. Just like London.... Ugh! Probably not the answer you were looking for but just my honest opinion.

Vive La France.         
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ual747den
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:45 am

I have actually heard news that makes me proud of France for finally growing a pair and using millitary force where it's needed! I think in general we Americans think if the French as weak, but now you're showing us some power, I like that!

Just FYI I have only been to Paris and I wasn't a big fan at all buty wife wanted to go and that was her dream so we went! Even going there without a budget and splurging on everything it wasn't a very exciting time.
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AR385
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:53 am

Quoting Aesma (Thread starter):
I'm reading foreign newspapers but only in English and they seem very ignorant, even ones that are supposed to be serious.

I´ve probably been reading the same press in that regard and I have an idea about which you are referring too. So I really don´t know what to contribute. In the Mexican press it is being said that:

1) After the freeze in relations due to the Florence Cassez affair and Sarkozy´s handling of it, there´s a big relaunch of the relation being executed by the two countries.

2) Hollande has a lover
 
blueflyer
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:54 am

Let's see.... Miley is too much of a wrecking ball and Britney too much of a bitch.... Hollande has a new squeeze but doesn't want anyone to know because he still likes the old one... But maybe Hollande needs a new squeeze because he feels ignored by Merkel... Which may be because Hollande is getting tired of Merkel's austerity über alles attitude... Corporations are going to have to pay a 75% marginal income tax rates on the salaries of top executives... Depardieu can't decide whether he likes Belgium or Russia better (fries or vodka, tough choice)... Young French graduates are moving en masse to London to find jobs... Someone is on strike, was on strike or will be on strike...

At least that's what happens when I rely on the international press rather than France 24 and Le Monde. Perhaps not as informative, but far cheaper (€15/month and all you get is a lousy app and lemonde.fr without ads?!? Ils sont fous!)

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 5):
You have a big socialist in charge and everyone hates him - including footballers.

And the footballers got really popular when the useless rich kids that they are threatened to go on strike (see, I did write someone was on strike - close enough) because their taxes are too high. If there are people who should shut up and thank their lucky star no matter what their tax rate...
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PhilBy
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:13 am

Ignoring the flag shown - I'm an expat here.

Africa- France is finally showing support for french ex-colonies in africa that may be an indication of accepting some responsibility for French involvment in the historical evolution of the region. Reports in defense press suggest that it would be an approprite arena for demonstrating european unity but no-one else wants to help (or is willing to put up with explaining how one of their soldiers was killed for no obvious direct benefit to the nation).

Hollande - Why does he care? Historically (in the UK) it is assumed that the French consider it accetable for French politicians and others in positions of power to have ' a bit on the side'. Wasn't there a case of an illegitimate daughter being given a place of honour at a state funeral?

The burkha - There are actually two issues but this is not accurately explained
1) secular education - Overt religious displays are not accepted in schools therefore crucifixes are targetted as well but this doesn't make as good a story as playing the minority discrimination charge.
2) Security - Hiding your identity - Following at least one terrorism case involving men wearing burkhas all concealment of faces in public are banned. (The law takes a similar approach to US tax loopholes where any aerospace manufacturer launching a new airliner to be manufactured in washington state in the next year or so is almost tax exempt) Unfortunately off the ski piste, where no-one asks you to leave your face uncovered, the most common public use of facial concealment is the burkha. The law would apply equally if I tried to walk down the street wearing a balaclava. I assume that the police would make some exceptions when winter arrives and I wear one while cycling. I'm not sure if the rule allows the wearing of one as long as you are willing to show your face to the police when asked.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 5):
You have a big socialist in charge and everyone hates him

Same as the rest of the world then everybody hates whoever's in charge.

Quoting Aesma (Thread starter):
I'm reading foreign newspapers but only in English and they seem very ignorant, even ones that are supposed to be serious.

Unfortunately UK papers devote most of their ink on the UK and France (and other european countries) is only mentioned to show how much better things are north of the channel. French press treats the UK in much the same way though so I suppose it's acceptable.
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:50 am

Quoting PhilBy (Reply 11):
Wasn't there a case of an illegitimate daughter being given a place of honour at a state funeral?

Mitterand's wife and their sons stood cordially side by side with his mistress and the daughter he had with her during his funeral.
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canoecarrier
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:59 am

What's this thread about?
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Aesma
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:33 pm

Quoting ual747den (Reply 8):
I have actually heard news that makes me proud of France for finally growing a pair and using millitary force where it's needed! I think in general we Americans think if the French as weak, but now you're showing us some power, I like that!
Quoting PhilBy (Reply 11):
Africa- France is finally showing support for french ex-colonies in africa

I find this point really interesting because in reality French troops have been on African soil continuously for centuries, with no end in sight despite increasing resentment from Africans and French citizens alike. For example in the Mali and CAR conflicts, the early deployment of troops was easy since we had troops in neighboring countries, or even inside the country already ! The real information here would rather be that every other country on the planet seems to think nothing important is going on there, while at the same time blaming us for the Rwandan genocide !
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:09 pm

In a nutshell, that France is racing downwards at an ever increasing pace.

- France being France is the main problem. Its nature is to search inwards in every respect, and observe with disdain any outside suggestions of influence. This also includes their unwillingness to speak a foreign language, particularly English. Their superiority complex might have worked 100 years ago, where languages (and navies, armies and air forces) such as French, German, Dutch and English fought for supremacy. But that battle has been long fought, and lost. The French will, however, forever presume that is not the case, and that France is superior in damn near everything.

- An economy that's absolutely shot to hell and back. If it wasn't for the pull France has in the EU, they would either have dragged the Euro down to oblivion or been thrown out. Bankrupt, in every sense and meaning of the word.

- Intellectually stagnant. French universities keep producing the same crop of civil servants cum industry captains it has for the last 60 years. Ever wondered why so few, if any, French leaders make it to top internationally? Even Airbus is run by a German ...

- A socialist PM who is a walking disaster, has comprehensively dynamited the economy and labour market, whilst simultaneously making the well-off flee head over heals from a 75% tax on top incomes.

- Producing a range of consumer goods that, by and large, only works in France. Blaming the rest of the world for not changing to French standards, assumes a position of incredulity when faced with massive losses.

- An agricultural sector which, given an reasonably long 8 years to come to terms with some rather profound changes in subsidies, is facing extinction. Being French, they had of course assumed all along the world would indeed spin the way they intended, and had thus made no provisions what so ever to accommodate the new rules. Having the world come tumbling down on them, the blame is - obviously, if you're French - placed squarely at the doors of Brussels

- The consumer goods they do export can be placed in two categories: Expensive bling for the rich, and poor quality crap for people who can't afford anything else. Hmm ...

[Edited 2014-01-11 05:11:19]
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Mortyman
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:24 pm

This is also what I have heard lately:

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 1):
Just this morning I've been hearing about Hollande suing some magazine for posting a story about his girlfriend.

There's a lot of talking about military action in Mali and the C.A.R. Most of this is positive.

Before Christmas, you banned the sale of sex

and ofcourse the operations in Libya
 
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Aesma
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:27 pm

Doom and gloom, it seems you're watching French journalists who never talk about what works ! This is very French too.
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Francoflier
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:37 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
Its nature is to search inwards in every respect, and observe with disdain any outside suggestions of influence.

You (and many other) mistake what is actually a lack of interest for disdain. The French do look outside the borders, they even travel a lot (don't tell me you can't see them when you are abroad, or even in your home country). They just
prefer to keep doing what they are doing, for lack of will to change. It is a problem, but not as you understand it.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
This also includes their unwillingness to speak a foreign language, particularly English.

True, however that is changing. The amount of English speaking French is increasing, and the proportion of the population living in English (or non-French) speaking countries is skyrocketing. Been to London lately?
Nothing we can or will do about the accent though.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
Their superiority complex might have worked 100 years ago

See the first point. You confuse superiority complex and lack of care.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
Bankrupt, in every sense and meaning of the word.

Not even close. Hell, if the US isn't bankrupt, France can be considered to be quasi-rich! It needs to improve a lot, however, and the main problem is that the elected government is not going in the right direction. At all.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
Intellectually stagnant.

Many French universities are sought after internationally, especially those that deal in business management. Language, as you put it above, has hampered the internationalization of many of them, but that again is changing.
Many public engineering schools and universities are still pumping out world class engineers and scientists, in a system that gives a lot more opportunities to lower class families' children than in many other nations.
Again, lots to be done, but certainly not catastrophic.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
A socialist PM who is a walking disaster, has compressively dynamited the economy and labour market, whilst simultaneously making the well-off flee head over heals from a 75% tax on top incomes.

No argument there. In fact you can extend that statement to the rest of the current government.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
Producing a range of consumer goods that, by and large, only works in France.

True for cars. The rest of the historically big exporters seem to be holding their own.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
An agricultural sector which, given an reasonably long 8 years to come to terms with some rather profound changes in subsidies, is facing extinction.

It is the World's third biggest agricultural producer, and, let me reassure you, the sector is not going anywhere anytime soon. It has (and still is) faced several crises however. Mostly human, as small producers are being unfairly driven away by the bigger ones and by international competition.


Just a few thoughts. I'll wait to see what the OP has in mind but I thought I'd nuance what looked as near as make no difference as a pure spite driven post.
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Aesma
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:29 pm

I had nothing in mind really but I've seen/read some ludicrous statements (like the newsweek article the other day, free nappies and 4$ for half a liter of milk in Paris) then the "French bashing" so my idea was to see if it was gaining traction or not, I see that things are more nuanced than that.
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wolbo
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:30 pm

A few things come to mind that have been reported in various Dutch media on France lately.

Hollande has apparently been driving around on a scooter visiting a female companion. Not much fuss is made about it as this seems to be a mandatory social activity for any French male in a position of power and influence.

The interventions of the French army in Mali and CAR have been reported on frequently. The tone is fairly matter-of-factly and non-critical. There is more reporting on Mali since the decision was taken to send some Dutch forces to support the intervention in a reconnaissance role.

The French economic situation is reported on with some frequency and here the tone is critical and negative. It is widely seen that France is unwilling to take the measures that are required to restructure its economy and in this respect France is compared negatively with countries like Spain and even Greece. Incidents like the recent hostage taking of management at Goodyear do not help. There is also a worry about the effect a stagnant French economy could have on the recovery in Europe.

It was reported that the European Parliament had voted to have its future meetings in Brussels and no longer also in Strasbourg and this is a view that is widely shared in Dutch media.

The 'comedian' Dieudonne and his alleged antisemitism have been in the news the last week or so and are discussed in relation to freedom of speech.
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:45 pm

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 2):
Just this morning I've been hearing about Hollande suing some magazine for posting a story about his girlfriend.

That and the Dieudonne story is pretty much all I've heard as of late. Not that I'm going out of my way to look up stories about France though...
 
mham001
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:45 pm

I read about French intervention in Africa, another politician who can't keep it in his pants and a few other things already mentioned - if you dig deeper. Nothing much negative. France does not make the headlines here too much. I do find the tripe in French media about the US amusing. If one wanted to point out bad journalism.....

On another note, I dislike the influence French car design is having on my roads, mainly through Nissan. Butt-ugly.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 18):
Not even close. Hell, if the US isn't bankrupt, France can be considered to be quasi-rich! It needs to improve a lot, however, and the main problem is that the elected government is not going in the right direction. At all.

I don't know why you have to bring up the US, but don't get too haughty and smug - France ranks immediately below the US in debt-gdp ratio. And as you say, still in decline. Reminds me though of the gloating coming from that direction on Anet 3 years ago when the US was in recession. How quickly things changed.
 
AR385
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:01 pm

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 2):
Just this morning I've been hearing about Hollande suing some magazine for posting a story about his girlfriend
Quoting sojo (Reply 7):
There is one downside though, I'm not a fan of Paris. Just like London....
Quoting AR385 (Reply 9):
2) Hollande has a lover
Quoting PhilBy (Reply 11):
Why does he care? Historically (in the UK) it is assumed that the French consider it accetable for French politicians and others in positions of power to have ' a bit on the side'.

The interesting thing about this issue, and should be pointed out, is how politicians from all the spectrum in France have said publicly how this is a private matter and should be a non-issue. Even Marie Le-Pen has said that she finds any attack on private life such as this one, disgusting. Bruno Leroux has said that this is an entirely private matter and politics are not made on trash magazines. You compare this reaction with what happens in the US under a similar circumstance and the difference is striking.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 12):
Mitterand's wife and their sons stood cordially side by side with his mistress and the daughter he had with her during his funeral.

Le Pen says as long as public funds are not used to support Hollande´s escapades as opposed to the support given to Mazarine for a variety of things, then it´s a non-issue.

Very interesting and very logical.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:12 pm

Here in the UK the two major French stories are:

Hollande's domestic arrangements (though little different from his predecessors)

The chances of the French economy slipping back into recession for a 3rd time.
 
PhilBy
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:24 pm

Quoting mham001 (Reply 22):
On another note, I dislike the influence French car design is having on my roads, mainly through Nissan. Butt-ugly.

This must be cultural. In my end of the UK it's normally: if a car has style it's french or italian, if a car works it's german, if it's ugly and broken down it's american.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 18):
The amount of English speaking French is increasing,

Surprisingly most french speak english but will deny it unless you try to speak to them in French. I assume that this is linked to a lack of confidence in their abilties. I've always viewed it as rude to insist that they speak English when we can equally learn French.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
French universities keep producing the same crop of civil servants

French universities don't produce the civil servants. You have to come from a 'grande ecole' to be a civil servant or leader of industry.

Quoting wolbo (Reply 20):
Incidents like the recent hostage taking of management at Goodyear do not help.

This also is a cultural issue. Unlike the anglosaxon countries France views the standard of living of the average worker as important. Therefore the french public are less opposed to workers rights. The US unions would love to be French.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 15):
Producing a range of consumer goods that, by and large, only works in France.

In the UK the best saucepans are definitely TEFAL. I've imported these for a number of people. However in my opinion the best pressure cooker I've ever found is Swiss. For my opinion French wine is the best but most Fench have NEVER tasted English cheese and most that we give good English cheese prefer it to the French variant. Nowhere but Somerset can really produce good a Cheddar.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 23):
The interesting thing about this issue, and should be pointed out, is how politicians from all the spectrum in France have said publicly how this is a private matter and should be a non-issue.

France was described to me as a meritocracy and I had a French teacher (French by birth) who explained this phenomemon to me. If they're good at their job, what does it matter that morally they're a little "loose".

For the economy the trouble is that, here, the standard of living of the workers is rated as highly as the profits of the investors (long live socialism). This unfortunately limits the severity of measures taken to boost the economy.
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:24 pm

Quoting Aesma (Thread starter):
What Are You Hearing About France Lately? 

Just for this week I can remember hearing about Dieudonné & Valls, Hollande's love affair and its potential impact on the upcoming elections, Brétigny-sur-Orge accident and of course Africa's military intervention.
 
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Aesma
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:07 am

Thanks for your answers !

The "Dieudonné affair" is certainly making the news here everyday, something I deplore and have since it began. I will not shed any tears over him or freedom of speech though, he's breaking our laws and has lost in court many times, something that puts him in the camp of Jean-Marie Le Pen and other "nice" people...

For our Luxembourgian friends, sorry but this is not talked about at all here, and when prompted about fiscal paradises people would probably mention Switzerland first, then either some islands or Singapore (see Cahuzac affair), then far behind Luxembourg. It would probably be mentioned before Austria, though.

President Hollande involved with a beautiful actress is certainly selling lots of gutter press and is talked about with a certain malaise by serious journalists and politicians alike. To be honest I have my doubts about the story, but wouldn't bother me at all, in fact I'd say he has better taste with that one compared to his current official companion or the previous one ! I'm wondering how it would pan out if true though, previous "first ladies" either put up with it or, in Sarkozy's case, Cecilia was the one having another man (known to him and since before the election), so she exited gracefully. The current one is known for her temper, on the other hand. Now that I think about it we only learned of the separation of Hollande and Ségolène Royal after she lost the 2007 presidential election, and only learned the reason years later !

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 1):
Also continue to hear about the burka ban and how closed minded it is.

Isn't putting women under a piece of black sheet close-minded ? A resounding majority of French citizens think so. Not sure why you heard about it though as it's not really a current subject, a court decision about another law somewhat related is, concerning an Islamic veil that got an employee fired. In her case it wasn't a banned face covering one but a more open hijab, and she was fired because the nursery where she worked didn't allow it and was considered equivalent to a school, where all religious clothing/accessories are banned.
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mham001
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:43 am

Quoting PhilBy (Reply 25):
This must be cultural. In my end of the UK it's normally: if a car has style it's french or italian, if a car works it's german, if it's ugly and broken down it's american.

Ironically, it is the French and Italian companies who did not make it here because of reliability issues. The only way they found to renter the market is with an alias, such as Chrysler and Nissan. But if the British find this design language stylish, well...




[Edited 2014-01-11 17:45:31]
 
Pyrex
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:14 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 18):
Mostly human, as small producers are being unfairly driven away by the bigger ones and by international competition.

And that is (one of) your problem right there, the belief that competition is inherently unfair. That is why French people who live close to Germany need to go across the border for their grocery shopping.
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wingman
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:20 am

I caught the Hollande story this morning in the US, and loved the street-level comments made by the locals that it's none of anyone's business. I agree with AR that it's a welcome change from the puritanical US response to such stories.

Outside of that I only hear what people tell me from recent visits and it confirms what I already know. The country is beautiful, the food is fantastic, Paris is the most beautiful city on Earth, and its residents are a general pain in the ass, as opposed to most French in rural areas and smaller cities.

And I am with those who admire this new found penchant of wanting to blow shit up in Africa and the Middle East. It's nice to have France back in this regard.
 
YVRLTN
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:46 am

1) McDonalds still serve your fries
2) So do Burger King
3) Quebec wants to be French
4) The French dont want to be associated with Quebec as they screw up your language
5) Hollande has an extra lady friend
6) Your colonies in Africa continue to bite you in the behind as you feel you have some duty towards them in peace keeping - and it seems you are doing a good job.
7) Pissed you didnt sell Rafales to Brazil
8) Your airline can not operate your pride and joy designed and built in TLS profitably - and their planes are still dirty.
9) You are going to suck at the world cup again

 
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Luxair
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:55 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):

Well maybe you're right and it's probably our media who blows it out of proportion  

As to B777LRF, i think you're view on our fellow French neighbours is a way to negative as you describe it above and your statements are far from reality! By ex., take the young french students, they have improved their english language since a decade ago enormeous and french cars have improved in quality too! Take Renault, they have one of the best engines on the market. Well it comes to styling than it is of course " une affaire de gout" but that is undiscussable because we have all our own taste.
 
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Aesma
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:17 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 31):
4) The French dont want to be associated with Quebec as they screw up your language

I'm sure we would still take an opportunity to expand, we take Wallonia too, there is always the possibility to teach them the right French after all ! (I have cousins in Montreal)

Quoting mham001 (Reply 28):
But if the British find this design language stylish, well...

Actually most of these and Nissan US offering in general are not sold in France. And I'm not sure of the French content in the design department of Nissan, after all most platforms, some engines, are shared with Renault, so the main distinction is the design. Anyway I liked when Renault was offering very original designs (Avantime, Vel Satis), however these sold horribly so now they're going the boring way, even selling a Samsung car as a Renault.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:49 am

Quoting PhilBy (Reply 25):
Quoting francoflier (Reply 18):
The amount of English speaking French is increasing,

Surprisingly most french speak english but will deny it unless you try to speak to them in French. I assume that this is linked to a lack of confidence in their abilties. I've always viewed it as rude to insist that they speak English when we can equally learn French.

I've always taken it to be an expression of French pride and culture that they expect visitors to at least attempt to speak a few French words, as a citizen of the UK I can't criticise them for it, as expecting the majority of shop staff, waiters etc here to speak any foreign languages is laughable at best.

One of the retrograde steps I saw in France on my last visit a few months back was the explosion in numbers of edge of town supermarkets and even worse McDonalds springing up everywhere. The heart is being ripped out of many rural communities.
 
MD-90
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:41 pm

Quoting PhilBy (Reply 25):
This must be cultural. In my end of the UK it's normally: if a car has style it's french or italian, if a car works it's german, if it's ugly and broken down it's american.

This is really amusing since British cars in America have historically had terrible reputations for unreliability.

Last thing I remember hearing specifically about France was intervention in Mali.
 
GDB
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:15 pm

Quoting ual747den (Reply 8):
I have actually heard news that makes me proud of France for finally growing a pair and using millitary force where it's needed! I think in general we Americans think if the French as weak, but now you're showing us some power, I like that!

France has never had to 'grow a pair', they were on to the dangers of Islamist terror before either the US or UK.
Remember, they busted an attempt to crash a hijacked airliner on Paris way back in December 1994.

They had been going after Islamist terrorists to an extent that most of those jailed prior to 2001/2 were in the French penal system.

The disconnect with the US stems from France often having foreign policy concerns that did not overlap with those of the USA.
Like it or not, their warnings about what would result in the 2003 invasion of Iraq were proved correct.
You did not have to like Chirac to realise that as a young man in the military, he had first hand experience in Algeria with insurgencies in that part of the world, unlike Bush or Blair.

Ironically, President Hollande has had success in the interventions he has ordered overseas, in stark contrast to the domestic front.
The worst part of his apparent affair with this actress, are the images of him on that scooter, not with anything else.
I sometimes think that the French attitude to the often complex private lives of their leaders is in part a reasoning that it shows that they can multi task.
As well as them just being more grown up about these things, in contrast to the mix of the puritanical and sniggering of the US and UK.
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:39 pm

Quoting wolbo (Reply 20):
It was reported that the European Parliament had voted to have its future meetings in Brussels and no longer also in Strasbourg and this is a view that is widely shared in Dutch media.

The view that the absurd travelling circus should end is widely shared not just in the Netherlands but all over the EU... maybe with one exception and that exception has already shown its determination to go to the extreme (i.e. take the EP to the court) to maintain status quo.
Howver, no matter how convincing the EP vote was, it still was just a symbolic gesture as it requires a change in the Lisbon Treaty to be able to get rid of the Strasbourg nonsense.
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:06 pm

There is so much hate towards the EU colloquially called "Brussels" that taking a new start and moving to Strasbourg instead could help ! Then the status of Brussels if Belgium falls apart wouldn't matter that much.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
GDB
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:55 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 35):
This is really amusing since British cars in America have historically had terrible reputations for unreliability.

As did the (relatively few) American cars sold in the UK.
Along with terrible plastic, badly made interiors, poor handling and often being rather primitive technically in general.

The recent export figures from Jaguar/Land Rover and other UK designed and made high end vehicles, including to the US, suggest the prior negative impressions have largely gone away.
if only the rest of the sector, outside luxury vehicles, aerospace, drugs/medical technology and a few other more specialist markets, was doing so well.
(Though the buffoonish comments made in a book by the losing contender in the US 2012 election about the UK, does suggests old impressions run deep, or more likely in his case, just that toxic mix of hubris and ignorance).

For all that I understand the big US car firms are doing better now, including exports and have a better reputation.

Back to France, we in the Anglo Saxon world I think often don't 'get' France due to the difference in political culture, legal systems and often, general attitudes to life they have.

Take the wearing of Burka in public places ban.
For some it's a much needed clamp down on fundamentalism that many would like to see here and in the US, though the problem in the latter is having plenty of their own fundamentalists.
Though to be fair, many Americans, regardless of the extent of their faith, would oppose it on purely constitutional grounds.

But it's the French Constitution that is a factor here also, since being required by dogma (in a minority of the followers of Islam), for women to have to cover themselves so much is seen as against the founding principals of the French Revolution, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
It can be seen as an affront to the dignity of the Republic as much as an instrument of repression of one gender to another.

The main economic issues with France seem to be the dragging effect of an over-large, very hard to reform, public sector on what is still an often world class and successful industry.
The US as we have seen seems unable to tackle it's problems due to political deadlock, I would argue that their dragging effect is the bloated military/industrial complex.

The more you look at it, the more you can be struck by how so often France can act rather like the US and visa versa, despite the very difference political cultures and often general outlook.
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:29 pm

The French Senate has become useless in a way similar to the US, with the right-wing opposition and left-wing opposition voting in concert against the center-left government. Fortunately in France the Senate can only slow down things.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:48 pm

I hadn't even heard about Hollande's affair until reading this thread (I'm glad to say) but one thing that I am reading about a lot at the moment is Front National and their chances in the European Elections.

Other than that I am reading mostly positive things about the intervention in CAR, although I understand that you are struggling somewhat in Mali.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:08 pm

Yes the Front National is likely to take first place in the European elections (at least in voters, maybe not in seats), in part because it has been getting traction for a long time, and in part because many political parties split into smaller ones at these elections, along with many parties created for the occasion, so it's messy. And of course the ruling Socialists and previously ruling UMP have little credibility on the European front, for too often blaming everything bad on the EU and taking credit for everything good. Since the situation is not great, voters conclude that Europe is bad and our politicians can't change it, so they vote FN, an anti-EU party.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:36 am

In NZ we usually hear nothing unless there's some big rugby event, and then it's a quick story of the town an ex-all black has headed off to.

For some reason the hospitalising of Mr Hollande's wife did make it to the media here, but probably just as a novelty and to coincide with everyone's planning of their yearly France / UK holiday.
 
romeobravo
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:01 am

Quoting ual747den (Reply 8):
I have actually heard news that makes me proud of France for finally growing a pair and using millitary force where it's needed! I think in general we Americans think if the French as weak, but now you're showing us some power, I like that!

True strength is knowing when not to use a gun.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:13 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
I hadn't even heard about Hollande's affair until reading this thread (I'm glad to say) but one thing that I am reading about a lot at the moment is Front National and their chances in the European Elections.

My opinion is that the UMP has much more to gain from all the most recent events than Front National. Populist/protest votes are never a good thing.

The "Hollande" case is making the rounds in the UK press.

Hollande ’used Corsican mafia apartment for affair with actor’

Latest revelation that Paris address used for clandestine meetings with Julie Gayet was mafia haunt threatens to turn spotlight away from French president’s reforms announcement

www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/1...llande-corsican-mafia-claim-affair
Rue du Cirque (Circus street) is where Hollande had his secret love rendezvous with the actor
bwahahahahahaha

  

First Lady in hospital after Hollande ’tryst in mafia flat’

Valérie Trierweiler being treated in a Paris hospital after learning of affair allegations ; apartment said to be used for tryst linked to a Corsican mobster

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/e...-Hollande-tryst-in-mafia-flat.html

Some pretty good comments following the article

At least Prince Albert of Monaco is financing all the babymamas with his own money and he now has a legitimate spouse which he also pays for. Carla Bruni had the advantage of being a wealthy aristocrat with her own fortune which she used on herself while she resided at the Elysée.

It is a different case for French President Hollande. V. Trierweiler's upkeeping is all off tax payers money. She does not work for Paris Match anymore. She has got her own wing at the Elysée Palace (dubbed Aile Madame) with staff, chauffeurs, own quarters and everything else that she wants or needs while her President BF goes frolicking around with his other lovers. I am not happy that my tax money is going toward her upkeep.
Hollande had children with two of his former mistresses, Ann Hidalgo (one son) and Segolene Royal (4 children)
He never married. He wants marriage for all other than himself. He now has Trierweiler as the official companion and Gayet as a second.... talking about dignity.... The love trio dates from about a year according to Elle and other mags.

I will end with the bikini picture
http://www.2tout2rien.fr/wp-content/...%2Bbikini%2BBregancon_aout2012.JPG

There is no such title as "First Lady" inscribed in the French Constitution.

     
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
mham001
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:33 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
American
Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
the US
Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
the US
Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
the US
Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
the big US
Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
the US
Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
many Americans
Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
The US

....and France 6 times and the UK once.

Why is it important for you to spend so much time telling US what's wrong with US when discussing France?
 
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Aesma
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:52 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 45):
At least Prince Albert of Monaco is financing all the babymamas with his own money and he now has a legitimate spouse which he also pays for. Carla Bruni had the advantage of being a wealthy aristocrat with her own fortune which she used on herself while she resided at the Elysée.

Both sentences are utterly ridiculous. Carla did cost a fortune to the taxpayer (and still does), as for a prince "own money"...
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:17 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 47):
as for a prince "own money"...

You don't seem to appreciate royals or successful entrepreneurial people for that matter. You rather seem to prefer a nanny state like France.

Prince Albert's parents, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace have made Monaco world famous. They attracted world class tycoons such as Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos to house their companies world headquarters in the Principality.

Prince Albert is the World's 9th richest royal. He has inherited his money from ancestry. No one seems to be complaining about him as a ruler. No one has ever talked about having him overthrown. He is rather liked by his people on his own grounds.

Like it or not, the Royals personal wealth is their own. It belongs to them.

Forbes has issued a list that featured the richest Royals in the world, below is the ranking along with the net fortune, you can also see the photo of each one sorted from left to right, up to down.

1: King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand – Net worth: $35 billion
2: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of United Arab Emirates – Net worth: $23 billion
3: King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia – Net worth: $21 billion
4: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei – Net worth: $20 billion
5: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai – Net worth: $18 billion
6: Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein of Liechtenstein – Net worth: $5 billion
7: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar – Net worth: $2 billion
8: King Mohammed VI of Morocco – Net worth: $1.5 billion
9: Prince Albert II of Monaco – Net worth: $1.4 billion
10: Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman – Net worth: $1.1 billion

http://www.nairaland.com/1298349/forbes-list-worlds-richest-royals

Most of these Kingdoms have an economic growth rate that is far superior to France.
Their monarchs are inventive and daring and surrounded by shrewed advisors. Some of them such as the Monarchs of Qatar and Saudi Arabia are presently buying off France. Monaco provides thousands of jobs on the French and Italian Riviera. People travel every day from Cannes to San Remo to work there.

Rather than being envious of any of them I am rather admiring them as they provide hundred of thousands jobs and investment possibilities to expatriates in their tiny nations including in the world's largest airlines.

Meanwhile most entrepreneurs are leaving France because of government overtaxing.

        

[Edited 2014-01-13 10:22:35]
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zhiao
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RE: What Are You Hearing About France Lately?

Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:34 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 18):

Why would the US be considered bankrupt? It has the worlds reserve currency, plentiful natural resources, dominance is various economic sectors, and actually when you exclude what govt owes itself, a lower debt than most rich countries, including well below France. Even if the US had much higher debt it wouldn't matter. Also, at the regional level, most states have balanced budgets and have reduced debt. The US economy is in a better position today than it has been since the 90s IMO, which is why it will grow over 3% this year.

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