Friday, August 25, 2006

[presidential election looms] vive la nouvelle france!

Good article from The Age, abridged here:

What is France’s place in the world? Can it keep its character and difference, or will it be overwhelmed by globalisation?

President Jacques Chirac's decision on Thursday to commit 2000 troops to the Lebanon peacekeeping force was also about national identity: France's standing on the world stage.

Last year's riots in poor suburbs, the failure to win the 2012 Olympics, France's catastrophic loss of primacy within the European Union after its voters rejected the European Constitution in a referendum in May 2005, the end of labour market reform and the presidential hopes of Dominique de Villepin] have not been good for French pride.

As people return to work after the long summer break, the country enters the last nine months before the presidential election in May. Some commentators say the nation's future hangs on the result.

Full text here.

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