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Tag Archives: Art Goldhammer: French Politics

The New Italian Wars

Share the post "The New Italian Wars" It’s back to the Renaissance: France and Italy are at war. Will we witness a new Battle of Marignano, where the French were victorious, or a Battle of Pavia, where they weren’t? In case you missed the news that prompted this question, France has recalled its ambassador to Italy after a series of attacks on Emmanuel Macron, first by Matteo Salvini, then by Luigi di Maio. Frictions between European partners are hardly unusual, but...

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The Anti-Political Turns Political

Share the post "The Anti-Political Turns Political" The Gilets Jaunes, contemners of a political system they regard as rotten to the core, are in the process of discovering that the anti-political invariably leads to the political. Two “leaders” of the determinedly leaderless movement have now founded political parties. Ingrid Levasseur, a nurse, will head a list in May’s European elections. Jacline Moraud, one of the historic “founders” of the GJ movement, has formed a...

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Redistribution Under Macron–Updated Figures from the IPP

Share the post "Redistribution Under Macron–Updated Figures from the IPP" The IPP has released a new report on the cumulative effect of Macron’s budgets since taking office (h/t Ashoka Mody). Here is the executive summary: Cette note étudie les réformes des impôts et transferts portant sur les ménages qui ont été introduites par le budget 2019, en incluant les mesures les plus récentes annoncées à la suite du mouvement des « gilets jaunes ». Les résultats indiquent un...

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Comme une lettre à la poste

Share the post "Comme une lettre à la poste" I try not to be cynical–well, not too cynical–about politics. Too many people already are. But when the president formerly known as Jupiter takes up pen and paper and asks his citizens–ceux qui ont réussi comme ceux qui ne sont rien–to help him figure out how to run the country, my patience wears thin. Of course, he doesn’t mean it: a few sentences in, right after saying no subject is taboo, he indicates that restoration of...

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Marine Le Pen’s New Look

Share the post "Marine Le Pen’s New Look" Detest her politics as one must, one also has to admire the way Marine Le Pen has played her cards. After her disastrous performance in the final presidential debate, she seemed to have no cards left. Rather than fight a losing battle with the seemingly invincible Macron, she withdrew from the field to bandage her wounds, regroup, and await the enemy’s inevitable misstep. Her patience has been amply rewarded. The Gilets Jaunes...

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Competition: La Bataille du Rail

Share the post "Competition: La Bataille du Rail" To hear the Gilets Jaunes tell it, you’d think the government has nothing on its mind but how to squeeze the last centime out of the harried taxpayer. But every once in a while one is reminded that the government in fact has bigger–or at least other–fish to fry. There is China, for example. To combat the Chinese rail juggernaut CRRC, Alstom and Siemens want to hook up to keep Europe in the high-speed rail game. But the...

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The Wrong Way to Reform

Share the post "The Wrong Way to Reform" In his New Year’s vœux to the nation, Emmanuel Macron listed the reforms that would be at the top of his agenda for 2019. In particular: “Le gouvernement dans les prochains mois devra poursuivre ce travail pour changer en profondeur les règles de l’indemnisation du chômage afin d’inciter davantage à reprendre le travail”. It turns out that even before the president spoke these words, the government had issued a decree, without...

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Mes vœux et les siens

Share the post "Mes vœux et les siens" If I thought my opinion carried any weight in the world, I would be more circumspect in expressing it. I would worry that my exasperation with Emmanuel Macron would push him toward failure, which is the last thing I want to see, because I fear its consequences. If I thought there were any chance that my criticism would be heard in high places and encourage a course correction, I would express it more forcefully. As it is, I know...

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