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By David Vance On September 26th, 2011 at 8:20 am

The question posed in the Irish Independent is a simple one; Is France is willing to swallow national pride and confront its own financial elite?

Christian Noyer, the Bank of France’s governor, denied on Sunday that French officials were mulling a capital injection of up to €15bn to beef up banks. “There is no plan, and we don’t need one. The banks are very solid. None of them is hiding any toxic assets,” he said.

What is the point of uttering such rubbish? The markets know this is untrue, and so does the IMF. It is an almost surreal refusal to recognize that investors are – for good reasons – terrified about French bank exposure to Italian sovereign debt. Mr Noyer encapsulates the mixture of stubborness and amour propre now threatening the world with disaster, and which is so like the French reflex as everything collapsed in mid-1931.

I entirely agree. The French Banks are MASSIVELY exposed to debt in Greece as well as Italy and Spain and everyone knows it. But the French dare not admit it less it intrudes into national hubris. However the problem about denial is that the longer one engages in it, the worse the outcome. Some further useful analysis here.


By David Vance On September 17th, 2011 at 11:04 am

A group of Muslims pray in front of an old barrack in Paris on Sept.16, 2011, as part of Friday prayers. A ban on praying in French streets came into effect today. - A group of Muslims pray in front of an old barrack in Paris on Sept.16, 2011, as part of Friday prayers. A ban on praying in French streets came into effect today. | PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

Seems that our Muslim friends have been FORCED to take to the streets of Paris owing to the shocking lack of…Mosques.

Muslims caught praying on the streets of Paris face police action after a new law was introduced. The radical move, which has infuriated many, followed complaints about hundreds of men lying prostate on roads and alleyways of the French capital. A lack of mosques is being blamed but the government said the practice had to stop. French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said praying in the streets ‘hurt the sensitivities of many of our fellow citizens’.

The French have a problem and with Islamists so adept at portraying themselves as victims it will be interesting to see how this works out.


By David Vance On September 1st, 2011 at 10:16 am

The Eiffel tower glows a majestic blue as it is struck by a bolt of lightning

Stunning image of the Eiffel Tower being hit by lightning. If I were Sarkozy and I was trying to pretend the Eurozone could still be saved, I would take this as an omen!


By David Vance On April 12th, 2011 at 8:42 am

Why does the UK Government shy away from banning the Burqa? Is it because…gulp..it is frightened to do something that Islam might not like? The French have no such qualms and are confronting the issue rather than running away from it…

France’s ban on full face veils, a first in Europe, went into force on Monday, exposing anyone who wears the Muslim niqab or burqa in public to fines of 150 euros ($216). A Muslim property dealer, who is urging women to keep wearing the veil if they want to, has urged supporters to go to Notre Dame cathedral in central Paris for a silent prayer during the day, and is also offering to help people pay the fines. France’s five-million-strong Muslim minority is Western Europe’s largest, but fewer than 2,000 women are believed actually to wear a full face veil. Many Muslim leaders have said they support neither the veil nor the law banning it.

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Here is the very definition of multiculti France. Which do you prefer?


By David Vance On April 10th, 2011 at 10:12 am

From tomorrow, it becomes ILLEGAL for women to wear the Burqa in public in France.

British Muslim radicals were among at least 61 people arrested in Paris today in connection with an illegal rally against France’s burka ban. They included Anjem Choudary, the radical cleric who advocates sharia law for the UK and who calls British soldiers murderers. Omar Bakri and Abu Izzadeen, who are also controversial figures, tried to get to the event but were stopped by police. Nineteen veiled women were arrested. Women face fines of £130 and will get ‘civic duty’ guidance if they break the law, while men who force their wives or daughters to wear full veils will face up to a year in prison and fines of up to £25,000.

Making Islamists integrate into French society is the aim of this policy – but I wonder will the UK ever follow it? If not, why not?


By David Vance On March 11th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Once again, the EU speaks with forked tongue;

“Yesterday saw France break rank with other EU member states on the Libyan crisis. Following a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Ali Essaoui – a representative of the Libyan rebel leadership, the National Transition Council (NTC) – told reporters that France had “recognised the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.” The statement was later confirmed by Sarkozy’s office, reports AFP.

The move met with immediate criticism from other EU member states.

EUobserver quotes German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle saying that the French position is “not the German position or the European position.” Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted, “Sweden recognises states – not regimes.

And most other EU countries are the same. Somewhat unclear on what France does.” EurActiv quotes UK Foreign Secretary William Hague saying, “We recognise states rather than groups within states.”

Reuters quotes a French official saying, “Extremely limited but targeted strikes in specific cases and not necessarily on airbases are being explored.”

Ahead of today’s emergency EU Council meeting, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy have written a joint letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, saying: “We support continued planning to be ready to provide support for all possible contingencies as the situation evolves…This could include a no-fly zone or other options against air attacks.” EU leaders are expected to agree to a joint declaration today demanding Libyan leader Col Gaddafi step down from power.

The EU, like the UN, is just embarrassing when it comes to these events.

La Loi et L’Odeur

By ATWadmin On May 9th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

First, some interesting trivia: did you know that the word “boycott” comes from a turn-of-the-century English land agent, Charles Boycott, who was ostracized for refusing to reduce rent in Ireland?

Second, despite the best efforts of the French language police, many English words, including “boycott” have been adopted in France for everyday use.

The video below shows a group of green t-shirts (Green Shirts) walking through a supermarket in France, removing product imported from Israel from the shelves. By-standers caught shopping, and employees — probably wishing for invisibility cloaks, or some kind of a StarTrek transporter system — stand by.

Watch this video and tell me what you think. Is this a “boycott” ? Or, is it theft and intimidation?

I think it’s theft, and I also think that it’s very intimidating.


ht: powerline


By ATWadmin On January 13th, 2009 at 7:39 am

I see that those infamous French “youths” have been busy, this time throwing molotov cocktails at a synagogue north of Paris.

“Molotov cocktails were hurled at a synagogue north of Paris, the latest attack in what France’s interior minister said Monday is a new wave of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attacks over the violence in Gaza. …Firebombs broke a window and charred the walls of a pizzeria on the ground floor at Chabad House Ohr Manahem, in the town of Saint-Denis, said Isroeil Belinow, the synagogue’s assistant rabbi. Belinow said police found 15 other unignited firebombs nearby.”

Fascinating to the read that the Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has said that France has faced a “very clear increase” in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attacks since Israel started an offensive against the militant group Hamas in Gaza on Dec. 27.

She declined to provide specific figures on the increase….

As Powerline rightly points out she may have a reason why she cannot any detail on the anti-Muslim attacks she chooses to reference – there have been none!

This is rancid political equivocation – she is making up the idea that there have been attacks on French Muslims so that the attacks on French Jews don’t look quite so …. anti-semitic! And who might be carrying out these attacks on the synagogue in the above story …..mmmmm, more “youths”? Ssshh – don’t say Muslim – it might only upset those gentle inhabitants of les banlieues.

love it when a plan works out!

By ATWadmin On December 26th, 2008 at 11:38 am

Back in the ‘good old days’, those that were epitomised by the Muslim ideal of a perfect marriage of a man marrying a virgin was set in law (Sharia Law, yes, but still a law which was clung to by many of the faithful) if the man found out that his perfect virgin bride wasn’t all she claimed to be, he could seize the day, go to the local mosque, present his tale to the local leader of Imams R Us, and be granted an annulment on the spot. He might also have to repay the bride’s family the dowry paid on the morning of the marriage, but that was usually a subject of negotiation.

All was perfect for this young muslim couple living in Lille, France; perfect that is until they decided to marry, and after the ritual unveiling bit, the husband found (how is not disclosed) that his bride had, shock horror, ‘known other men’! He returned her to her father’s house, demanded his annulment and got it pronto. The young woman decided that discretion was indeed the better part of whatever, and kept ‘shtum’ along with her ex-partner. And that was that, but unfortunately, not all was well in France the land of ‘see no evil’ etc. The marriage, and subsequent annulment, happened in April 2006, and like all civil actions, it had to take it’s place in the groaning and overwhelmed French judicial calendar. So the Lille High Court handed down the official annulment of the marriage, based solely on the husband’s claim that, as she was not a virgin, his wife had not demonstrated an essential part of the marriage contract.

Unfortunately for the now-separated couple, they live in the age of the Internet, as well as a France whose President Sarkozy had, to keep campaign promises, installed Rachida Dati, the daughter of Algerian immigrants, as his justice minister; and after the once very-closely reported case was placed on the judicial websites and picked up by an enterprising journalist for a whole heap of unwelcome publicity, the same Dati decided to become involved. She appealed the Lille Court decision, stating that it was indeed ‘shameful’ for a man to require virginity as a condition of marriage, and others stating that that particular requirement was the cause of high numbers of muslim women getting ‘hymen’ re-instatement’ operations in hospital (clever, these French surgeons).

So the divorced couple were legally re-married, and that was the end of that. Well, not quite, because the bridegroom had got himself hitched to another muslim bride (this time presumably a virgin,) so that little mess is also wending it’s path through the French judicial system. What no-one seems to have figured out is what happens to the second bride’s virtue, as the presumptive virginity has also long disappeared! France seems to have been a little late in picking up on the problems of assimilation of some 8% of it’s population, whose way of life is somewhat different  to the majority in that once happy country!


By ATWadmin On October 23rd, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Oh no. Say it ain’t so BUT it looks like in these economically challenged times, the French are deserting their bistros and heading for the Great Satan’s diner of choice – MacDonalds!

“While rising prices and record low consumer confidence drive the French to throw their culinary pride to the wind and embrace le Big Mac, traditional bistros are hurting. About 3,000 independent French restaurants filed for bankruptcy in the first half, a record 27 percent higher than the same period a year earlier, according to Paris-based statistics office Insee.  A hamburger patty and fries in a bistro around the corner from my office costs almost twice as much,” said Alexandre Cavanel, a 27-year-old computer programmer, as he tucked into his 8 euro ($10.70) double cheeseburger menu meal with colleagues at a McDonald’s in Paris’s Opera district. McDonald’s, accused by Jose Bove — the activist farmer who ran last year for president — of serving “malbouffe,” or junk food, said French revenue will increase 12 percent this year. In contrast, the fate of traditional French restaurants may worsen as a slumping economy drives more people to swap offerings such as duck dish “confit de canard” and “blanquette” of veal for hamburgers and fries, economists said.”

Zut alors and pass the mustard! I love Parisian bistros and in a way it is sad to see this happen but in the final analysis, the customer decides and even the French will vote with their Euros.