Checking in on Macron, France

Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2017 08:54 am
Although I've read a couple of articles that lead me to think Macron is making progress toward realization of some of his forward-thinking goals, I noticed this today.

I'd like to keep an eye on Mr. Macron.


Did he commit unmask himself as a closet racist, or get caught in a politically difficult conversation?

Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2017 08:57 am
This was magnificent news. Hope the oil industry won't snipe him.


This alone would probably make me a Macron supporter were I a constituent.
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2017 04:39 am
His unfortunate comment about Africa is still making social media rounds, but I haven't heard of any significant fallout behind it.

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Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 09:41 pm
Macron's popularity tied with Trump's

Wtf has he done?

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Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 10:45 am
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Macron's popularity tanks to dramatic lows.


The text:

Mr Macron is proposing €850m (£750m) worth of military cuts as part of a programme to achieve €60bn (£53bn) of savings over five years – while upholding an election pledge to cut taxes.

The head of the French armed forces, General Pierre de Villiers, has quit his post following a public clash with the president over the proposed cuts.

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In a statement he said: “In the current circumstances I see myself as no longer able to guarantee the robust defence force I believe is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people, today and tomorrow, and to sustain the aims of our country.”

In response to discontent amongst his own, Mr Macron had told Le Journal du Dimanche: “If the military chief of staff and the President are opposed on something, the military chief of staff goes.”

Mr Macron ended up overruling his own prime minister by vowing to go ahead with tax cuts in 2018, and plans to cut housing benefits were received unfavourably.

The poll results come just 10 days after US President Donald Trump's visit with the French President, following an invitation from Mr Macron to celebrate Bastille Day.
French citizens cite cutting spending on public issues and the military, which he said he would do during the campaign. Authoritarian claims stem from him letting the Grand Military Poobah go when the Poobah disagreed with the cuts.

I can't find fault with Macron on this. He seems to be taking on the French Military Industrial Complex...*cough* goddammit, I couldn't get that out with a straight face, but still. I applaud him based on this partial tidbit of information.
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Reply Fri 25 Aug, 2017 08:18 pm
Is Donald Trump currently more popular than France's Macron?! Are they trotting out pop psychologists to discuss his sanity?

Muy interesante!

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Reply Sun 25 Feb, 2018 10:30 am
Macron has a bad day.


At one point he appears to have lost his temper when he stopped to confront two farmers who were complaining about the ban on the weedkiller glyphosate, which the president has said he will bring in within the next three years.

Mr Macron, clearly struggling to contain his anger, retorted that all studies showed that the weedkiller is a danger to health, which prompted one of the men to tell him to calm down.

“You were the one whistling at me behind my back. It’s not for you to tell anyone to be calm,” the president shot back, jabbing his finger in the direction of the farmer, who struggled to get a word in.


Gotta say, I wish to hell my country would ban Monsanto pesticides. I agree with Macron.
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Reply Sun 25 Feb, 2018 12:54 pm
Don't know how I missed this thread before. Thanks.
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2018 02:53 pm
Macron had a pretty good visit to India, during which he pledged to let the Indian fleet use the Djibouti harbor -- explicitly to counter China's maritime ambitions in the Indian Ocean. He hugged Moddi many times and signed a slew of contracts.

All this is based on, and strengthens, a long-term partnership, as explained in The Hindu:

The French connections
Rakesh Sood

MARCH 14, 2018 00:02 IST

The Macron visit underlined the growing strategic convergence that draws India and France together

With French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit to India, the India-France Strategic Partnership launched in 1998 seems finally to have come of age. In these two decades, both sides have gradually enhanced cooperation in diverse fields covering civil nuclear, defence, space, counter-terrorism, education, research and development in science and technology, culture, urban development, climate change, trade and economics and people-to-people contacts. The slew of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding signed, the detailed ‘joint statement’ and accompanying ‘vision statements’ on cooperation in space and the Indian Ocean Region, the boat ride in Varanasi, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s warmly reciprocated diplohugs indicate that the relationship has received a momentum that gives it critical mass and greater coherence.

A shared world view

As a country that has prided itself on its ‘exceptionalism’, France has always been sympathetic to similar Indian claims based on its ancient civilisation. This is why both countries were quick to voice support for global multi-polarity once the Cold War ended. French discomfort with the U.S.’s unipolar moment in the 1990s was evident when it described it as a ‘hyperpower’.

Defence cooperation with France began in the 1950s when India acquired the Ouragan aircraft and continued with the Mystères, Jaguar (Anglo-French), Mirage 2000, Alizè planes and the Alouette helicopter. Joint naval exercises, later christened Varuna, date back to 1983.

Cooperation in the space sector has continued since the 1960s when France helped India set up the Sriharikota launch site, followed by liquid engine development and hosting of payloads. Today, it is a relationship of near equals and the ‘vision statement’ refers to world class joint missions for space situational awareness, high resolution earth observation missions with applications in meteorology, oceanography and cartography. Inter-planetary exploration and space transportation systems are cutting edge science and technology areas that have also been identified.

Yet the Cold War imposed limitations on the partnership. After the Cold War, France decided that its preferred partner in the Indian Ocean Region would be India. In January 1998, President Jacques Chirac declared that India’s exclusion from the global nuclear order was an anomaly that needed to be rectified. After the nuclear tests in May 1998 when India declared itself a nuclear weapon state, France was the first major power to open dialogue and displayed a far greater understanding of India’s security compulsions compared to other countries. It was the first P-5 country to support India’s claim for a permanent seat in an expanded and reformed UN Security Council.

Building a partnership

With the establishment of a Strategic Dialogue, cooperation in defence, civil nuclear, space, intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism has grown. An agreement for building six Scorpène submarines in India with French help was signed in 2005. Similarly, technology sharing and acquisitions of short range missiles and radar equipment were concluded. Joint exercises between the air forces and the armies were instituted in 2003 and 2011, respectively. The government-to-government agreement for 36 Rafale aircraft, salvaged out of the prolonged negotiations for the original 126 which were at an impasse, was as much driven by technical requirements as by political considerations. The ambitious offset target of 50% (nearly ₹25,000 crore), properly implemented, can help in building up India’s budding aerospace industry.

In the nuclear field, an agreement was signed about a decade ago for building six EPR nuclear power reactors with a total capacity of 9.6 GW for which negotiations have been ongoing between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Areva, and now EdF. Terror strikes in France in recent years by home-grown terrorists have enlarged the scope of counter-terrorism cooperation to include cyber security and discussions on radicalisation.

Even though these areas provided a robust basis for engagement, it remained primarily at a government-to-government level. In recent years, it was clear that for a wider partnership, strengthening business-to-business and people-to-people relationships was essential. Climate change and renewable energy resources, particularly solar, soon emerged as a new plank, reflected in the multilateral initiative of the International Solar Alliance. Another area identified was urban planning and management of services like housing, transport, water, sanitation, etc using the public private partnership model which the French have employed successfully. Mr. Macron’s visit has enabled progress to be registered across a variety of sectors including the strategic partnership areas.

There has been a growing convergence of interests in maritime cooperation. Like India, France has expressed concern about China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean Region. French overseas territories in the Indian and the Pacific Oceans provide it with the second largest exclusive economic zone globally. It has long maintained bases in Reunion Islands and Djibouti and established one in Abu Dhabi in 2009. This regional dimension is reflected in the Vision Statement on cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.

The signing of MoUs regarding the provision of reciprocal logistics support to each other’s armed forces, exchange and reciprocal protection of classified information and developing shared space studies and assets for maritime awareness provide the basis on which to strengthen joint naval exercises. With the U.S., naval cooperation has been easier with the Pacific Command which covers China and the region up to the Bay of Bengal but more difficult with the Central Command which covers western Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea because of Central Command’s privileged relationship with Pakistan. Therefore strengthening cooperation with France, particularly in the western Indian Ocean Region makes eminent strategic sense even as India develops its presence in Oman (Duqm) and Seychelles (Assumption Island).


Trade has grown in recent years but at $10 billion is half of the trade with Germany. The signing of nearly $16 billion worth of agreements at the business summit indicates that private sectors in both countries are beginning to take notice. There are nearly 1,000 French companies present in India including 39 of the CAC 40 while over a hundred Indian businesses have established a presence in France. In the past, Indian companies saw the U.K. as the entry point for Europe; now with Brexit approaching, Mr. Macron has cleverly pitched that India should look at France as its entry point for Europe and Francophonie! The flagship programme of Smart Cities in which France is focussing on Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry is taking shape as more than half the business agreements signed related to electric mobility, water supply, waste management and smart grids.

Educational links

Potentially, the most significant was the focus on youth and student exchanges. Currently about 2,500 Indians go to France annually to pursue higher education, compared to more than 250,000 from China. A target has been set to raise it to 10,000 by 2020. The agreement on mutual recognition of academic degrees and the follow-on Knowledge Summit, where 14 MoUs between educational and scientific institutions were signed, is a welcome move.

Tourism is another area that has received attention. A target of a million Indian tourists and 335,000 French tourists has been set for 2020. Given that France receives over 80 million tourists a year and India around nine million, these targets may seem modest but reflect that while there are only about 20 flights a week between India and France, there are four times as many to Germany and 10 times as many to the U.K.

The Strategic Partnership has already created a solid foundation; other aspects have now received the much needed focus and with proper implementation, it can add to the growing strategic convergence that draws India and France together.

Rakesh Sood is a former Ambassador to France and currently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation. E-mail: [email protected]

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Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2018 03:01 pm
Same here.
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Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2018 03:09 pm
While Brigitte "brought her bold personal style" to India...


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Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2018 08:14 am
Sarkozy is in custody. Can't believe it finally happened! Razz
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Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2018 09:20 am
Congratulations! I wish we could round up some of our corrupt politicians.

42 mil from Quaddafi. How do politicians successfully hide so much bribe money...well, without ‘foundations’?

How’s Macron faring with the general French population these days?

I’ve liked the majority of what I’ve heard recently.
Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2018 09:59 am
Sarkozy didn't hide his dirty dealing with Khadafi well enough, evidently.

Macron is doing fine. Of course his popularity is liwer than it once was, but given that he's actually changing stuff that previous governments stayed away from by fear of trade unions etc., i think he's doing wonderfully.
Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2018 04:04 pm
BTW, the Sarkozy story is very big, with indications that the Libya war was launched in earnest by Sarko in 2011 (?) in order to take out Gaddafi so that he wouldn't speak... This story was brought out by a generally (not always) correct online investigative media called Mediapart (in English, with subscription).
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Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2018 04:18 pm
42 mil from Quaddafi. How do politicians successfully hide so much bribe money...well, without ‘foundations’?

There's an interesting technical response to this question here. The money was stored in banknotes in a large bank coffer rent for the purpose. They said to the police the coffer was rent in order to store Nicolas Sarkozy speeches. LOL...
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Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2018 06:53 am
Attractiveness of France to foreign investors at  highest level since 10 years
Ouest-France, with AFP, 03/04/2018 [transl. by o5 with Google help]

Nearly 1,300 foreign investments were made in France in 2017, generating more than 33,000 jobs. This is indicated by a report from Business France published this Tuesday, April 3. [That represents] 16% more than the previous year (1,117) . This has been the "best year in 10 years" , noted Business France.

"I believe this is the most concrete demonstration that France is back," welcomed the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire presenting the annual report of Business France, Tuesday, in the premises of the American group  Cisco in Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine). "The strategy of attractiveness that we developed with the President of the Republic is working."
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Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2018 05:47 am
This seems hilarious. I was googling around, checking in on Mr Macron and found this fun piece.

Is there some connotation about Macron that goes along with this fun language thing he has going on?

How’s it playing in the stands?


Is this about coolness?

Macron’s bottom-up language is upside down to most French people
Pauline Bock
The president’s love of franglais may go down well with elites, but for many his overuse of English verges on caricature
Fri 6 Apr 2018 12.45 EDT Last modified on Fri 6 Apr 2018 17.00 EDT

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In a speech on Thursday, Emmanuel Macron angered many of his compatriots by declaring: “La démocratie est le système le plus bottom up de la terre” (“Democracy is the most bottom-up system in the world”). He meant “inclusive”, “participatory” or “non-elitist”. But there is a phrase for that concept in French: it’s démocratie ascendante. There’s also one for English words in French: franglais.

From “basket” and “chewing gum” to “blockbusters” and “bestsellers”, English words are common in my language. The film industry regularly “translates” English film titles using another English phrase, usually more transparent, to look “cool” (for instance, Silver Linings Playbook became Happiness Therapy).

But to many French people, “bottom up” is more confusing: was Macron making a risqué joke? Was it “bottoms up” (or “cul sec” in French)? His words, coming only days after he had launched a grand plan to promote the French language, were heavily criticised. “This sentence devalues French-speaking democracy,” Bernard Pivot, a fervent defender of the French language, tweeted.

On the Today programme on Friday, the French ambassador to the UN, François Delattre, defended Macron’s choice of words, declaring that although “bottom up” is not exactly proper French, “it’s like weekend, rugby, football, and so on”.

He was right in the sense that in a typical conversation among friends, franglais is common: – Tu fais quoi ce weekend? (“What are you doing this weekend?”)

– Je joue au foot. (“Playing football.”)

– Cool!

Macron has never hidden his love for franglais: many on la team présidentielle refer to him as le boss.
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2018 06:38 am
Honestly most French don't care about 'proper French' that much. Ours is a bastard language, belonging to everyone, full to the brim of words from other places, especially in slang and day to day language. From 'toubib' (Arabic for doctor) to 'estofi' (from 'stockfish') to 'vasistas' (roof window, from German "what is that?"). Superdupont has lost.
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Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2018 11:50 am
Macron, at the Barricades, Warns of Rising Nationalism in Europe

By the NYT Editorial Board
April 18, 2018

Not long ago, the things Emmanuel Macron said this week would not have needed saying. Yet, addressing the European Parliament, the French president — barely 40 and not yet a year in office — sounded almost like a biblical prophet, warning of the rising fascination with antidemocratic and “illiberal” ideas, “the deadly tendency which might lead our continent to the abyss, nationalism, giving up of freedom.”

Mr. Macron did not mention anyone by name — not Viktor Orban of Hungary, not Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland, not the populists who won in Italy’s national election, not the far-right parties that have spread across Europe on hatred of immigrants, xenophobia, disdain for the rule of law, intolerance of dissent and suspiciousness of international cooperation. Nor did he name Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin, though they are clearly an inspiration and model for the European far right.

He did not have to. The struggle between the traditional values of Western liberal democracy and the new forces of authoritarianism, intolerance and nationalism has become a defining challenge of the times. Invoking the title of a well-known German trilogy by Hermann Broch about the deterioration of values in the years before World War I, Mr. Macron said: “I don’t want to belong to a generation of sleepwalkers that has forgotten its own past. I want to belong to a generation that has decided forcefully to defend its democracy.”

Mr. Macron’s crushing defeat of France’s reactionary National Front last May raised hopes that the tide of illiberalism was turning in Europe. But Prime Minister Orban’s easy win in Hungary’s national election on April 8 and the success of antiestablishment parties in Italy a month earlier have signaled otherwise. To the east, Russia’s brazen violation of international norms has only increased despite broad economic sanctions — witness the chemical assault on a double agent in Britain, while to the west, the Trump administration relentlessly pursues its chaotic assault on American values and traditions.

Mr. Macron said political change was inevitable, but it should not mean abandonment of democratic principles.

“Indeed, in these difficult times, European democracy is our best chance,” he said. “The worst possible mistake would be to give up on our model and our identity.”

He added, “We see authoritarians all around us, and the answer is not authoritarian democracy, but the authority of democracy.”

Mr. Macron is not without political weaknesses. He has been called “Jupiter” for his haughty style, and his economic reforms at home are being challenged by a wave of strikes. His proposals for a closer financial convergence in the eurozone have been met with a cool response in Germany. Yet the French president is one of the rare European leaders who unabashedly believe in Europe’s future, especially as Britain prepares to exit the European Union and America’s leadership erodes. Though he has cultivated a strategic rapport with President Trump, providing French forces for the punitive strike on Syria last weekend, for example, Mr. Macron drew a distinction in his speech between Europe and an America that was “rejecting multilateralism, free trade and climate change.”

It may be that the West is going through a temporary backlash against globalization, terrorism, migration, social upheavals and technological change that have swept so rapidly around the world, and that Mr. Macron is exaggerating when he sees a “certain European civil war” in the political turmoil. Yet, in Hungary, Mr. Orban opened his fourth term as prime minister with a national hate campaign against George Soros, the Hungarian-American funder of liberal projects, and with plans for a legislative campaign against nongovernmental groups that help immigrants and refugees. Late last year the European Union formally put Poland on notice that its assault on the judiciary was a serious breach of union rules. And the vulgar soap opera in Washington shows no signs of ending.

Mr. Macron said his goal was to open a critical public debate on what Europe is about. That debate should not be limited to Europe. This month, Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, warned that fascism posed a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II, and the danger was “enhanced by the volatile presidency of Donald Trump.” When a 40-year-old French president and an 80-year-old former American secretary of state sound the alarm, one hopes that the sleepwalkers will awaken.
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