France News 10.12.08


Here are a few headlines from France for your Sunday reading pleasure:

Sarkozy pledges €400 million for green cars

The French have long been called “frogs” and now they are living up to their nickname by turning green. On Thursday, October 7, French President Nicholas Sarkozy pledged €400 million ($549 million) in state support for hybrid cars. While the French have long had a reputation for economizing vehicle-wise with their teeny, tiny cars (often inciting ridicule from Americans) this new pledge by President Sarkozy hopes to boost research and development of nonpolluting vehicles. Sarkozy is also calling upon other European countries to take loans from the European Investment Bank in order to develop their own lower emission vehicles.

French car maker Renault, which the French government owns 15% of, is working with energy company Electricte de France to jointly develop the infrastructure needed to recharge electric vehicles. The goal is to have a vehicle launch by 2011.

With the French charging up for an electric car infrastructure, maybe the next time you vacation in France you will find yourself plugging in your rental car rather than gassing up.

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>>Read the full International Herald Tribune story

The Brits take punch at French for Nobel prize

The British and the French love to hate one another, often acting a lot like siblings and never hesitating to take jabs at each other. That’s why I got a chuckle out of The Guardian’s recent headline about French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio winning the Nobel prize for literature. The headline reads, “Nobel award restores French literary pride: Winning author denies France has stagnated, Country dreams of return of Sartre.” And, if you didn’t find the headline sarcastic enough, the leading sentence of the story says, “The cult French writer JMG Le Clézio yesterday won the Nobel prize for literature, lifting Paris out of its depression over the nation’s cultural decline.” The story continues, “Le Clézio, known as France’s “nomad novelist”, lives mainly in New Mexico in the US, in near seclusion, and is the opposite of Paris’s current trend for writers’ navel-gazing accounts of their sex lives.” Could the Brits be any more overt in their insulting tone and condescending attitude? Probably not. But, it sure is funny.

>>Read the full Guardian story

Sarkozy and bank of France reassure the French their savings are safe

The U.S. is not the only country feeling the effects from the recent economic downturn—France has also been touched by the global economic crisis. With French citizens nervous about their lifetime savings, Christian Noyer, Governor of the Bank of France, recently confirmed the statements of President Sarkozy, fully reassuring the French people that despite the recent economic downturn, all French savings accounts are guaranteed in full.

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