Saturday, April 14, 2007

Who will win?

Despite the weather, we headed off to Sommieres this morning. Thankfully, the atmosphere was so much more relaxed than last week. Being able to shoot the breeze, sitting outside in a convivial atmosphere, with a few mates, is a distinct pleasure. It's not something that I did in the UK.


Having lived here for nearly five years and having too much spare time on my hands, I've started to form some opinions about what's wrong with France. What's wrong in a political sense. Thanks to poor management from Jacques Chirac, the country is weak economically, has high unemployment and a lot of social unrest. In my opinion, the country is in need of change, strong leadership and a change of attitude.
When you look at the front runners and you listen to what they say, and you put the needs of the French people first, then the best of the bunch looks like Sarkozy. This thought will probably upset a lot of people because of his right wing leanings but a clear alternative isn't obvious to me. His major rival, Royal, has lost an excellent opportunity to win the election. All I seem to hear her say is France needs more of the same. 'The same' that has put France in the mess that it's now in? More nanny state intervention, and even higher taxes. That's just plain stupid. I know a chap who was paid 80% of his previous salary when he was made redundant. I couldn't understand why he didn't have a job until one day he said "why do I seriously want to look for work, when I have 2 years at this income?" Amongst other things, Royal wants to up the benefit to 90%. That's stupid, the country can't afford it, and there is no incentive to get back to work.
Bayrou's platform seems to be one of coalition, bringing together left and right but he also promotes increased state help for farmers. Farmers who are being paid to grow what nobody wants. The EU pays 40% of its budget for farm relief to 5% of the EU population. What kind of sense is that? The only thing that all the candidates seem to agree on is to scrap the mandatory 35 hour working week. This article is interesting.
The country goes to the polls on 22nd April and I for one will find the outcome fascinating.

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