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Tuesday, 29 April 2014


The main political events which are anxiously awaited in the coming month are;

     1)  - The May Day Military Processions in many countries, particularly in the Red Square of Moscow where Putin will present the might of Russia !

     2)  - The eastern Ukrainian industrial town of Donetsk wanted to vote on 11 May 2014 to join Russia.  After the euphorie of "Red Square" will Putin grant this wish ? If he does, how will the Western Powers react ?

    3)  - Will Putin also "invite" other former satellite countries on the borders of Russia to become part of Russia, like Crimea ?

   4)  - Ukraine will vote on 25 May 2014 to elect a new President.  Will this be a peaceful Election ?

   5)  - In the week ending on Sunday 25 May 2014, EU Parliamentary Elections will take place in all EU Member Countries. 

Will the expected swings to Far Right Nationalist Parties take place ?  Will  migration and immigration be a leading issue ? 

Compared with previous EU elections which were generally very calm, this time debates could be more than just lively in many countries.


Saturday, 26 April 2014


Putin knows Russia has weak spots but the West must now act to exploit them. 

A few weeks ago the winter was still very cold and the Siberian gas supplied by Russia to many countries in Europe was a basic necessity for heating purposes.

Spring has now arrived; this changes many things. Russia and Putin now urgently need and want to be paid for gas already delivered.  Not only that, they now want payments on account before future deliveries.  

This reveals the big soft spot !  The reality is that the Russian Rouble and the Ukrainian Hryvnia are both very soft currencies and both countries are on the verge of Bankruptcy !  

Putin is Sabre Rattling with Russian army exercices on the border with Ukraine, over-flying Ukrainian airspace, and threatening an invasion of Ukraine to protect Russian ethnic citizens.   Is Putin not at the same time also fanning the revolt by these Russians in Ukraine ?   

Should the Western allies, in retribution against Putin's stubberness to recognise International Laws, not agree to impose a moratorium on all financial payments to Russia and to Ukraine ?  Putin must be made to see reason !

There are too many consequences to list them all here.  For example, the Rouble and the Hryvnia would collapse.  Ukraine would probably need a supply of "Free Food Parcels" to survive !  Next winter the West may still need Russian Gas !

The Western Powers must not just talk but instead must decide to act !  Now is the time !


Friday, 25 April 2014


It is preposterous for Nick Clegg, as Deputy Prime Minister, who has sworn allegence to the Queen, to suggest that she should be relieved of her constitutional function as Head of the Church of England.

Has the Queen not performed this function as everyone expects, or is Mr Clegg just looking for publicity to enhance his personal image ?   Is this really what the senior Privy Councillor to the Queen should be proposing ?  Did he forewarn the Queen of his ideas ?

Other religions in Britain, Islam for example, would  welcome such a move.  The next move would perhaps be that Britain should elect a President !  Clegg's suggestion only opens the door to instability !
The best solution would be to name a new Deputy Prime Minister ! 

Thursday, 24 April 2014


Putin has been instructed by the Russian Parliament to do whatever is necessary to protect Russia and its Russian citizens.  For him this has become a divine mission and is now his dream !

The fact that Russia is a member of the UN, like almost every other country in the World, is of secondary importance and is not a handicap !  Russia has a Veto but also an inalienable right to protect its interests.

One could call this "Pan Russianism" and this is something which history has already encountered. Hitler in Germany just before the second World War also wanted "Pan Germanism" and annexed Austria and Sudetenland, the latter after the Munich Agreement in 1938 !

Then as now, all Diplomats only wanted to avert the possibility of another World War !  How long will it be before Putin will decide he must protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine ?  The only hope is that the UN is requested by Ukraine to send an International Peace Keeping Force into the country to restore order.



When there is a General Election, 75% of the votes usually go to the Left, Right or Center Parties;  they are the hard core which always votes the same way.  The other 25% are "floating" voters who can be pursuaded to change from how they voted last time.  They can often unseat a Government.

Farage has his project that Britain should leave the EU;  Salmond's project seeks Scottish Independence ! Both need to attract the voters to support their new project, but neither can really count on the hardcore 75% of habitual voters.  These they must attract with solid facts, figures and arguments to make them vote for their plans.

This also implies that all the "Pros and Cons" of their Projects have been examined and the Financial consequences have been highlighted in a Statement. The key information voters want is to know how they will be hit in the Pocket !

Really, the facts and figures of each Project should be verified by impartial Auditors and their report should be published !  Have Farage and Salmond done this ?

Nigel Farage is desperate for Britain to leave the EU.  His main fear is the Uncontrolled Migration and Immigration in the EU and into Britain.   But, has he weighed all the other consequences ?  For example, if Britain leaves the EU, how will the Balance of Trade with the EU be affected ?  Has he published these risks in a Statement ?

Alex Salmond seeks a vote for Scottish Independence !  He has made many enquieries but has he raised and explained ALL the problems ?   Has he detailed all the Assets AND Liabilities which Scotland will or will not accept ?   Has Westminster agreed the figures in his project ?  Will Scotland really be allowed to keep the English Pound Sterling as its currency ?

The EU Elections are next month.  The referendum on Scottish Independence is in September 2014 !  The deadlines are approaching !

For each project voters must be convinced to vote for what is proposed.  If a voter is not convinced, would it not be better to vote against the proposed project to avoid being remorseful later ?  There will always be a time for a another vote in a few years time !









Monday, 21 April 2014


When President Putin speaks one must carefully listen to what he says, but, at the same time one must not forget what he has said on previous occasions, and, one must be conscious of what he did not want to say this time ! 

Putin was worried about events in Ukraine and called for a Diplomatic Conference, which was held in Geneva on Thursday, 17 April 2014.   All sides signed the Official Communiqué, which stipulated that Protestors in Ukraine should disarm and disband.  Two days later three Russians were killed in cross-fire in the Donetsz region.

Putin is again worried !  The Russian Parliament has authorised him to do what is necessary to preserve Russian interests but he has said he does not want to use force in Ukraine !  There are however about 40 000 troops on the Russian side of the border with Ukraine completing Military Exercices !  Should one imagine that they are merely preparing for the the May Day festivities in Red Square and that Russia is much too small to have anywhere else for its army to prepare ?

Perhaps another possibility is that Putin, who managed to protect the Russian Navy by annexing Crimea in a bloodless coup, now wants to annex the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in East Ukraine where 60% of the population is ethnic Russian but also where most of the  Ukrainian factories are to be found !  Their biggest customer at present is Russia !   The interim Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, seems to be of this opinion !

There is perhaps a further aim on the "Putin Horizon".  The Ukrainian Presidential Elections are scheduled to take place on  Sunday, May 25, 2014.  This is also the last day for all the EU Parliamentary elections when the whole of Europe will be preoccupied with the results !  

Can one be sure that Putin or Russia will remain calm ?  Or will Ethnic Russians clamour for their "Mother country" and prevent the Presidential Election in  Ukraine to be held peacefully ?


Sunday, 20 April 2014


Le 25 mai prochain, auront lieu en France les élections européennes.  Un petit quiz réalisé auprès d'amis proches m'a permis de constater qu'à un mois des élections, les modalités du vote étaient encore mal connues !
Pour eux mais pas seulement, voici donc un petit rappel des règles en vigueur...

  -   La France élira 74 députés européens sur 751 députés que compte le Parlement.  Les Etats membres sont représentés de manière dégressivement proportionnelle; un Etat ne peut avoir plus de 96 députés, c'est le cas de l'Allemagne, ni moins de 6, Malte ou le Luxembourg par exemple.

  -   En France, le cadre des élections est la circonscription interrégionale; il y en a 8 au total, 7 pour la métropole et 1 pour l'Outre- Mer.  Les 74 sièges à pourvoir sont répartis entre les 8 circonscriptions proportionnellement à leur population.  Par exemple, la circonscription Ile de France (étendue aux français domiciliés hors de France) a droit à 15 sièges et celle du massif Central (Auvergne, Limousin et Centre) a droit à 5 sièges.

  -   L'élection a lieu au scrutin de liste, à la représentation proportionnelle à un tour suivant la règle de la plus forte moyenne sans panachage ni vote préférentiel. En clair, on choisit une liste sur laquelle on ne peut rayer aucun nom ni changer l'ordre.
Pour être admise à la répartition des sièges, la liste doit avoir obtenu au moins 5% des voix.



The election of MEPs for the EU Parliament will take place next month in week 21 (22 to 25 May);

     -  751 MEPs will be elected, in

     -    28 Member States, by

     -  500 million electors.

The largest of the Member States, Germany, elects 96 MEPs.  The smallest Member States, like Cyprus, elect  6 MEPs.

Each Member State organises its own election rules but it must be on a proportional basis.   Some countries (France, UK, Ireland, Italy) devide their country into Geographical régions.  As a general rule candidates must belong to a Party.      

The next step is governed by the "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament", which can be consulted on the Internet under that heading. There are at present more than 200 rules and annexes; they are updated when necessary. These rules are available in the language of each EU country. 

An elected MEP must now adhere to one, and only one,  political Group in the EU Parliament.  There are at present 7 such Groups.  Any Group, to exist and be officially recognised, must have at least 25 MEPs who have been elected in at least 7 different member countries. 





Saturday, 19 April 2014


Before he was even a candidate for the Presidency of 2012 which he later won, François Hollande was renowned for his "off the cuff" witty comments, a type of humour widely appreciated when well executed.  His nickname was "Monsieur petite blague" (The little joker).

Hollande was a fighter with courage and this he ably demonstrated when he slayed President Sarkozy for not fulfilling his election promises.  Their heated television debate in 2012 ended in a crescendo with the now famous anaphora "when I am President" !

In one foul swoop he conquered Sarkozy and bemused the electors to become President !  He had France in the palm of his hand !

Then suddenly everything changed.  The happy and confident new President Hollande became serious !  He had doubts and he became hesitant.  All his 60 election promises were forgotten.  He nailed his future on the one  conviction that unemployment will fall before the end of 2013.

While waiting he increased taxation and other costs while diminishing benefits.  Worse still, he cracked fewer jokes, became serious but dithered instead of acting !  Then in January 2014 Paparazzi caught him wooing an actress which meant he was obliged (quite happily in fact !) to discard his current girlfriend  ! 

When recently hundreds of Socialist Mayors were routed in the Local Elections, Hollande knew he was obliged to act.  He named a new Prime Minister and reshuffled the Cabinet. 

Now there are no witty remarks anymore.  Now when he  speaks he weighs every word and journalists try hard to decipher, precisely, everything he wants to say !
Yesterday President Hollande acknowledged that if unemployment has not fallen before 2017, there is not the slightest chance of him being re-elected.  
Happy Hollande is hurt ! 







Friday, 18 April 2014



Judge Richard Bray in his retirement speech lamented the unofficial restrictions suggested or guidelines given to the Judiciary when sentencing criminals. I fully agree with his comments !

How can judges apply the laws of the land, enacted by Parliament, when politicians do not ensure that there are sufficiant Prisons to house Criminals ?

How is it that such restrictive guidelines are permitted ?

The ultimate result is that habitual criminals are never deterred from committing further crimes.  They run the risk of being caught and if caught, they know they could be softly admonished !

If, when criminals are sentenced, they are made to understand that the next time the sentence will be doubled, that would be a deterrent !

There would be less crime and Governments would not have to tinker with the real statistics on crime to save face with their electorate !


Thursday, 17 April 2014


The first task of the newly elected MEPs of the EU Parliament will be to appoint the President of the Commission to replace Manual Barroso whose second and last term ends in November 2014. 

This could become the start of a new era in the History of the EU.

After 60 years, with ever increasing fervour and speed, spent defining the laws of the EU and increasing the number of member countries, the time has come to stand back and agree adjustments,  to arrive at the final "finished article" ! 

National electors are dissatisfied with their local national MPs who have lost many decision making powers to Brussels.  Now Electors must choose their EU MEPs but they wonder whether any one of them can act to galvanise the stagnant EU !

In the EU everyone seems to want different things.  There are Socialists, Conservatives, Liberals, Nationalists, Greens and Ideologists ...   It will need a new, real Leader with the backing of a strong voting majority in the EU Assembly, to override the usual opposition of small ad hoc Coalitions to introduce badly needed changes in EU Treaties !


Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Au fil des quarante dernières années, le Code du Travail s'est considérablement alourdi : 600 articles en 1973, 3800 en 2003, et 10 000 actuellement !  A titre de comparaison, le Code du Travail de nos voisins suisses ne compte que 54 articles... 30 formes de contrat de travail sont disponibles en France contre une seule au Royaume Uni...

Il devient donc urgent de simplifier !  Lundi 14 avril, le député PS Thierry Mandon et Guillaume Poitrinal   présentaient leur rapport sur la "simplification" et ont préconisé de s'attaquer aux 4000 pages du Code du Travail.

On s'en réjouit, et on espère que cette tentative ne connaitra pas le même sort que les précédentes.

En 2010 déjà, Xavier Darcos, Ministre du Travail avait chargé Frank Mougin, directeur des ressources humaines du groupe Vinci, de formuler des propositions pour que le droit du travail soit "plus sûr, plus stable et plus simple"...

Plus récemment, en février 2013, plus de 100 députés, dont Bruno Le Maire et Christian Estrosi, demandaient dans une proposition de loi que le Gouvernement présente un rapport sur les simplifications à apporter au Code du Travail afin que ce dernier devienne "lisible, applicable et compréhensible par les entreprises et notamment les plus petites".

Montesquieu ne disait-il pas que "les lois inutiles affaiblissent les lois nécessaires".




During week n° 21, May 22 to 25, 2014 all EU countries will elect their MEP's for 5 years to represent them in the European Parliament. 

In the past these elections have provoked little interest and turnouts by voters have been low, but this year this could change. 

There is general dissatisfaction with the performance of EU politicians.   The main issues provoking discord among electors are the following;

     1)  Uncontrolled Immigration from Asia and Africa.

     2)  Migration inside the EU, particularly by "Roms" !

     3)  Instability of the EURO in spite of the golden rules.

     4)  Rising Nationalism after transfer of power to EU. 

     5)  Too wide interpretations of Human Rights Laws.

     6)   Ukraine problems together with the ever increasing size of the EU.

These are some of the issues but the complexity is that each voter has only one vote to express his dissatisfaction.  This may lead to what is already feared by certain groups of politicians, a higher proportion of votes for Nationalist or Extreme Right candidates to the detriment of traditional parties.

Nationalist Parties in several countries are keen to form a new EU parliamentary group like other existing groups of Socialists, Conservatives or Liberals.   In this way they would acquire the right to make themselves heard.

Nationalist parties could easily fight an election on all the six points indicated above !


Sunday, 13 April 2014


Bien équipée en ordinateur, + ordinateur portable, + tablette et + smartphone, il m'était impossible d'utiliser mes appareils dans toutes les pièces de l'appartement car le réseau sans fil ne s'étendait pas au delà de 10 mètres.  La pose d'un répéteur n'avait pas suffi à amplifier et répéter le signal Wi Fi.

Comment donc se connecter à l'internet alors que le Wi Fi ne passe pas partout dans la maison et que l'on ne veut pas être encombré de nombreux mètres de cables?

La solution, je viens de la trouver dans l'achat d'un kit Cpl (Courant porteur en ligne) à 500Mbits/s avec prise de courant intégrée et Wi Fi intégré : c'est le dLAN500 de la marque "devolo".

Son installation est extrêmement simple et, vous pouvez me croire, à la portée des plus ignares en informatique... Une seule réserve, le prix de ce kit Cpl: 149 euros 99.



The fundamental objective of a legal system is to seek Justice and that Justice must be seen to be done ! 

Simply said, court hearings of evidence in trials and the legal pleading must not be conducted behind locked doors and citizens must have the right to attend hearings without paying any entry fee.  Furthermore, a normal and acceptable legal system will always have procedures to permit exceptions if they are justified !

However, there is a huge difference between the right of citizens to attend a trial and be informed and the worldwide diffusion of a trial !

For example, the current trial of Mr Pistorius who is accused of murdering his girlfriend in South Africa, is widely covered in great detail daily and relayed worldwide on television ; does this guarantee a fair trial ?

From day one, everything said in the courtroom has been reported.  Comments have appeared in every newspaper imaginable, in dozens of languages.  It has become a TV soap opera !
How can any lawyer or the defendent in the case have the necessary peace of mind required when asking or replying to questions ?
How can the Chief Justice of South Africa, or the Trial Judge, permit and justify such a "circus" to televise everything in court ?
How much and to whom are TV Companies paying for the right to televise this trial ?  Is Mr Pistorius (and other Court Actors) paid a fee for his performance ?
This case could become a dangerous precedent for what might happen in the future if strict guidelines are not adopted quickly on an international basis. 

How many books will be published on this gruesome trial ?  How many other trials like this one will be televised in future ?  Will films also be made ?

Saturday, 12 April 2014


En 2013,  72 000 employeurs de personnel à domicile (femmes de ménage, nounous...) se sont "volatilisés" et le volume total des heures déclarées a chuté de 6,1% (source : Agence centrale des organismes de Sécurité Sociale, ACOSS, la caisse nationale des URSSAF).

"La Crise" et la baisse du pouvoir d'achat des ménages ne constituent pas la seule explication !

C'est une conséquence directe mais prévisible du nouveau mode de calcul des cotisations patronales et salariales introduit par la loi de finances 2013, ainsi que nous l'avions déjà anticipé dans ce blog le 19 septembre 2012:  "Des aides ménagères plus coûteuses".

En effet depuis le 1er janvier 2014, les cotisations patronales et salariales sont calculées sur une base non plus forfaitaire mais sur la base du salaire réel versé. Cette disposition a entrainé une hausse de la cotisation patronale et une augmentation de la cotisation salariale sans que l'employeur puisse la répercuter sur son salarié.

Ainsi que nous l'indiquions, pour une femme de ménage payée 15 euros net, cela allait se traduire par un salaire  brut passant de 17,40 euros à 19,51euros soit une augmentation de plus de 12% !

Nous nous étions alors inquiétés: cette mesure n'allait elle pas favoriser le travail au noir ou contraindre des familles, des retraités, ou des personnes âgées à renoncer à des services devenus trop onéreux ?

Aujourd'hui c'est donc confirmé !




Friday, 11 April 2014


When David Cameron says he wants changes to EU Treaties before proposing a vote on "staying in or getting out" of the EU, he is faced by a battery of criticism.  Smug politicians always want to "score points" but what they never do is to present any serious calculations to support what they say ! 

For example, it is easy to say that Britain wants selective immigration.  If for this sole reason Britain quits the EU how much "trade" would Britain lose ?  What savings could Britain expect ?   If there are other reasons for quitting the EU, what is the economic impact ?  Would there be more or less job losses in Britain ? 

There is a duty to be constructive when one criticises, whether one is in the Opposition, in a Coalition, or in the Government. 

Next month the EU election of MEPs will take place.  UKIP expect to win many more seats than 5 years ago simply by vowing to fight to get Britain out of the EU !  Have they really done their homework ? 

Has Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, calculated the economic effect of the changes to certain EU Treaties which David Cameron wants to negotiate ?  Who has "verified or audited" the UKIP calculations and project to get Britain out of the EU ?  Was a report published ?

One should never try to hoodwink the electors !


Thursday, 10 April 2014



The next meeting of Russia, USA, EU and Ukraine has at last been scheduled !  It will be held on 17 April 2014 in Vienna ! 

Needless to say, from press reports and pictures from satellites, the situation on the ground in Ukraine is changing daily.  Ethnic Russians in the east of Ukraine have watched their Crimean "brothers" achieve independence as a new Russian state !  With the direct encouragement of Moscow, they now also want the independence of becoming a Russian State !

Putin cannot and will not accept the punishment the West wants to impose on him and on Russia for having "illegally" interfered in the internal affairs of the independent Country of Ukraine !  Putin simply believes that Ukraine is part of Russia !  At the "meeting" in Vienna he will plead just that !

His troops are ready to "protect Russian citizens" and nothing more !  If he wants to increase this protection, who can now stop him ?

Is it too late to send in UN Peace Keeping Troops ?   Putin has already prevented this in Syria !

The flaw in the armour of the West is that European Nations need Siberian Gas in Winter !  If nothing is done about this, Putin will always exploit this weakness !  



This morning we heard the latest news on the current game of musical chairs leading to the last political appointments of the new Valls Government.
The comments on the appointment yesterday of Harlem Desir as the new "Secretary of State for EU Affairs" have  been very critical but are merited ! 

After the catastrophic Local Election results suffered by the Socialists last week, Harlem Desir as Secretary of the Socialist Party has been replaced.  After his failure there, he has now been promoted as the new Secretary of State for EU Affairs; the third in twenty-two months since the election of President Hollande !  

Is this right ?  Do two or three wrongs make a right ?  Should he not have been put out to grass, to spend some time in the political wilderness ? 

Harlem Desir himself may yet rue this appoinment !  France today is already the bad boy of the EU or the EUROZONE with its balance of payments and budget problems !   Added to this are the imminent EU Parliamentary elections on 25 May 2014 and the upsurge of the National Front (or Extreme Right) in France ! 

Harlem Desir will be replaced by Jean-Christophe Cambadelis as the Secretary of the Socialist Party and where other illustrious predecessors have been Martine Aubry and François Hollande !  


Wednesday, 9 April 2014


Manuel VALLS, aged 51, the new French Prime Minister, yesterday made his maiden speech in the National Assembly.  He presented the outlines of the legislation his Government intends to introduce during the next three years.

He started by clearly identifying the underlying causes of the disatisfaction expressed by electors in the recent Local Elections, which saw hundreds of Socialist Mayors voted out of office, even in safe Socialist strongholds.

The reasons identified for this discontent were -
     -  Continued high unemployment all over France,
     -  Increased living costs and taxes,
     -  Insufficient new housing,
     -  Too high company taxation.

Valls has promised to act quickly to reduce the burden of low taxpayers of whom about 700 000 recently paid taxes for the first time !  He also intends to reduce employer costs and charges bourn by lowly paid workers.   

In his Speech Valls was very confident and clear.  He admitted and identified the problems that needed to be solved.    50 billion Euros of cost savings are required but Valls never revealed exactly where they would come from.

Some measures will be ready before the next Presidential elections in 2017; other Plans like new Regionalisations and more company tax reductions, will culminate in 2020 or later ! 

Manuel Valls obtained the "Vote of Confidence" he expected, but that is all !  His every move from now on will be more than just closely scrutinised ! 




Percutant et incisif, tel a été le discours de politique générale présenté par le nouveau Premier Ministre, Manuel Valls, devant l'Assemblée Nationale ce lundi 8 avril.
Toutefois sur les économies à réaliser, Manuel Valls est resté dans "le flou Hollandais"!
Les 50 milliards d'économies ont en effet été ainsi détaillés : 19 pour l'Etat, 10 pour l'assurance maladie, 10 pour les collectivités locales, "le reste viendra d'une plus grande justice, d'une mise en cohérence et d'une meilleure lisibilité de notre système de prestations".
 En clair qu'a-t-il voulu dire ? 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Apres la diffusion du documentaire de Franz Olivier Giesbert sur FR3 "que se passe-t-il dans la tête de François Hollande ? ", le mystère reste entier...
Un Président  insaisissable qui pratique l'art de l'esquive.
C'est ce que nous écrivions déjà en juillet 2012 et que nous republions ci dessous !


July 15, 2012


Si c'était un poisson, ce serait une anguille! celle qui vous file entre les doigts.  C'est ce qu'on dû se dire les téléspectateurs qui attentifs ont écouté la seconde interview du Président de la République, depuis le début de son quinquennat, et réalisée ce 14 juillet.

On savait François Hollande passé maître dans l'art de l'esquive, mais aujourd'hui on est encore resté dans le flou et comme disait la grand mère de Martine Aubry: "quand c'est flou, c'est qu'il y a un loup".


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Last night FR3 presented a two hour long T V program entitled "What's going on in the head of François Hollande ?".  It analyzed the "operating methods" of President Hollande through interviews and reporting extracts of anyone who had been in regular contact with him, since and before, his election in May 2012 ! 

The basic question became, "Were they sure that Hollande was of their opinion after a basic discussion with him ?".

The reply was astonishing, because everyone thought he was "non-committal".  He would agree or let others think that he agreed with them, but finally he did not act as they then thought he would !  To put it another way, if he was not forced to act, he then did nothing !

This was totally true of Internal French problems.  With respect to Foreign Affairs he did act, but it did not mean that he had taken the advice of anyone in particular.

In this Blog I have frequently written that the President "dithers" !  This is perhaps another way of expressing the foregoing opinions.  However, things may now be on the point of changing in France !

President Hollande has this last week been obliged to change his Prime Minister and shuffle his Cabinet in the wake of disasterous Local Election results.  Some disgruntled, minor Coalition Partners seem to have withdrawn their support.

He has chosen as his new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls,  the previous Minister of the Interior. Valls says he is from the left but is considered as having been the least left wing of Ministers in the previous Socialist Government.  

This afternoon Valls will present the Plan of Action for his Government during the next three years and then seek a Vote of Confidence from the National Assembly.

The Key Proposal he will outline is how 50 Billion Euros of Savings can be raised and then be used to kick-start the French economy !  


Sunday, 6 April 2014


Jean-Louis Borloo vient d'annoncer qu'il démissionne de toutes ses fonctions et tous ses mandats politiques, en raison de son état de santé.
Nous saluons avec beaucoup de respect cette décision courageuse du Président de l'UDI.
Il y a trop d'exemples d'hommes politiques qui ont tenté de rester "aux Affaires" alors que leur âge ou leur condition physique ou mentale ne leur permettait plus, de toute évidence, d'assumer pleinement leurs fonctions ou leurs responsabilités. 


Les salariés ayant atteint l'âge de la retraite à taux plein étaient jusqu'alors exonérés de la cotisation d'assurance chômage puisque, en cas de perte d'emploi, ils ne bénéficient pas des allocations de chômage.

Le nouvel accord sur l'assurance chômage signé le 22 mars 2014 met fin à cette exonération et assujettit à une "contribution spécifique de solidarité" cette catégorie de salariés de 65 ans et plus, à partir du 1er Juillet 2014: 6,4%,  4% à la charge de l'employeur et  2,4 %  à la charge du salarié.

Un versement qui n'ouvrira à aucun droit : en cas de perte d'emploi, ces salariés, en mesure de bénéficier de leur retraite, ne peuvent prétendre aux allocations de chômage.
Mauvaise surprise donc, mais c'est aussi l'application du principe de solidarité !

Toutefois au nom de ce même principe de solidarité, ne serait il pas possible de relever progressivement la contribution des fonctionnaires au  financement de l'assurance chômage, fixée à seulement 1% depuis 1983 !


Friday, 4 April 2014


In the tempestual "Wind of Change" created by President Hollande after the Local Election Results last Sunday, he unceremoniously sacrificed his old Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and then replaced him with the previous Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls, who is now the new Prime Minister !   

The old pack of Cabinet Ministers was reshuffled and 14 have been retained to form the new Cabinet !  There are only 2 new faces, Ségolène Royal and François Rebsamen which makes 16 Ministers at present !

The frank and clear impression in France is that nothing has really changed !   François Hollande is still President and one wonders if he himself has changed or if he has changed any of his old aims or policies ?  

To go further, the real question now being asked in the local Streets and Markets is, "Has President Hollande really understood why the Socialists were battered in the Local Elections last week ?"

Will the old team which never managed to stem unemployment suddenly find the spark to solve the problem ?  Will Taxes suddenly stop rising and Benefits stop declining ?  Will the new Cabinet reverse this revolt by "Die-Hard Socialists" ?

Or will the Socialists in France do nothing new and run the huge risk of another crushing defeat in the EU Elections of MEPs by the Extreme Right on May 25, 2014 ?



Wednesday, 2 April 2014


After the heavy losses suffered in the Local Elections by the Left in France, the new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls and President Hollande have named the Members of the new Cabinet.

As expected there are  fewer Ministers (16 now, 20 before) of which half, as before, are males and half  females. Except for two Ministers, all have served in the previous cabinet...  the Secretaries of State will be named next week. 

The "Greens" decided they did not want to remain in the Socialist Coalition and therefore are no longer in the Cabinet.  Ségolene Royal, the former compagnion of President Hollande and mother of his four children, is one of two new Ministers ; her nomination, as Minister for Ecology, has been favourably received.

Everyone will now closely follow how Valls and Hollande will work together on current but urgent problems.  They must try to kick-start the French economy !

Hollande needs to find 50 billion Euros before his stated date of April 15, 2014 to finance his "Pact of Responsibility" and his "Pact of Solidarity". Unemployment in France has not declined like Hollande had expected each month even since his election as President nearly two years ago.

The reasons behind the "unexpected high losses" in the Local Elections have served as a "Wake-up call".   The next elections on the agenda are the EU Parliamentary Elections on May 25, 2014.  Once again in France, as was the case last week in the Local Elections, large gains are expected for the National Front (or Extreme Right).

To complete the picture, Regional Elections will take place in France in 2015 and the Presidential Elections in 2017, if not before !



Ainsi la très contestée Christiane Taubira reste Ministre de la Justice !
N'est ce pas Christiane Taubira qui affirmait ne pas être au courant des écoutes téléphoniques concernant Nicolas Sarkozy ?
N'est ce pas Christiane Taubira qui s'est abstenue de sanctionner les auteurs du "mur des cons" ?
N'est ce pas Christiane Taubira qui est à l'origine du projet de réforme pénale que Manuel Valls alors Ministre de l'Intérieur jugeait trop laxiste ?  
François Hollande a-t-il donc mal entendu le message des français ou bien le message a-t-il été mal compris ?


Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Au lendemain des élections municipales, le Président Hollande a fait avec beaucoup de lucidité le bilan de ses 22 mois d'erreurs: "Trop de lenteur, trop de chômage, trop d'impôts, pas assez d'efficacité dans l'action publique, trop d'interrogations sur la capacité de notre pays à s'en sortir".

Dommage qu'il lui ait fallu une débâcle électorale et près de deux ans pour en prendre conscience !

Et comme chaque fois qu'il s'est adressé aux français en attente de solution, François Hollande a lancé une nouvelle idée: le pacte de solidarité...

Après le pacte de responsabilité destiné aux entreprises, lancé en janvier dernier mais dont François Hollande semble seul encore à en connaitre le contenu, le pacte de solidarité sera destiné aux ménages avec à la clef une diminution des impôts d'ici 2017 et des charges salariales...

Au nouveau Premier Ministre, Manuel Valls d'en préciser les contours.

Manuel Valls sera-t-il l'homme de la situation ou des coups de menton ?  Par exemple le projet de réforme pénale présenté par Madame Taubira, qualifié de "catastrophe pour la délinquance" par François Copé, et très critiqué alors par le Ministre de l'Intérieur, Manuel Valls, sera-t-il retiré sous l'impulsion du nouveau Premier Ministre ? 



When President Hollande announced that Manuel Valls was his choice to become the new Prime Minister of France, he also made it clear that he had understood the cry from the electorate and that they want changes in his future policies.

The immediate next step today is to form a new streamline Cabinet of reliable Ministers with Valls to attain the objectives outlined by Hollande yesterday. 

In France Valls is seen as a Right Wing Socialist which really means he will have to win the support of the left.  The task will be rude and it means Valls will have to curb his style.

The TV coverage after the announcement yesterday went into great detail on the problems that lie ahead.  The only thing that was not discussed was whether President Hollande also will change his old habits ?   Will Valls be able to make Hollande act or will he just continue to hesitate as before ?

Hollande has already put a date on when he expects the fruition of the results of the new policies.  It is simply 2017, the date of the next Presidential Elections !

Much water will flow under the bridges in the meantime !