Wednesday, May 11, 2011

11 May 2011: News of the day

While reading Le Parisien...

Nothing to speak of in the Paris section.

In the national section, more on the "Sarkozy Bonus". France already has two forms of profit sharing, one mandatory and the other voluntary. Now Sarkozy is stealing money from large-ish firms (50+ employees) that pay dividends. If the dividend last year was more than the average of the previous two years, some sort of exceptional bonus must be paid to employees. It will be (mostly) free from payroll taxes. So, if you happen to work for a company that paid a dividend, you get a taxpayer-supported bonus, but if you don't, you'll just pay for it. Demagogy at its peak.

Another full page on the anniversary yesterday of Mitterrand's first election as president. Yawn.

I'm glad to see the nasty Finance Minister Christine Lagarde finally getting caught in her double dealing with regard to Bernard Tapie. Tapie is the Trump of France (sort of), and lost a lot of money by fraud on the part of his bank, the state-owned Crédit Lyonnais. He won his case against the bank, but lost on appeal to the high court, which sent the case back to be judged again in the normal appeals court. Instead, the parties agreed to arbitration, and Tapie was awarded a huge sum. The question is now why Lagarde as Minister of Finance allowed this arbitration (never before used in a case involving the State), and more important, why she did not appeal the arbitration decision, as she could have, with a good chance of winning, given the grossly excessive damages awarded to Tapie. Lagarde is now being investigated for "abuse of power". Why would she have done this? Because Tapie is an annoyance to the left, and giving him some cash kept him sweet on Sarkozy... and it's not Sarkozy or Lagarde's money, so what do they care?

Chantal Joanno, Minister for Sport, who I appreciate for her stand on homophobia, seems much more tolerant for racism. After coming out strongly against the discriminatory projects of the French Football Federation, she has used her ministry's internal investigation of the matter to make it all go away. Boo!

It's the Cannes Film Festival, and once again, we're supposed to care. The Woody Allen film is getting a lot of attention. I may break my rule of never ever seeing a Woody Allen film again. Or maybe I'll just watch Thor.

Once again, French TV is killing a TV series: TF1 bought ABC's FlashForward for a very high price, but is now broadcasting it Wednesdays at 11pm. When no-one watches, they'll cancel it after four weeks. Or just move it to Sunday morning at 6am, right after the hunting and fishing show.

No comments: