April 1, 2009


Nicolas Sarkozy is a funny one. He is part of the right wing party, the UMP, and since the beginning of his term as president in May 2007 he has offered France some important reforms in education and government. These reforms have largely been met with resistance and it turns out that the little man is not very popular. Look at this:

So, the French, apparently, would like to 'divorce' Sarko for the following reasons:

1. He is incoherent in his response to the economic crisis.

2. The 'bouclier fiscal' (tax shield) was an unforgivable mistake. (The 'tax shield' was one of Sarko's earliest acts as President and was a measure to protect 50% of income - meaning no one would be taxed higher than 50%, which to many Americans already seems like a very high percentage. Socialists in France were really up in arms over this one and now with the economic crisis, even members of his own party are calling for the repeal of his tax shield).

3. And finally, the French are through with his "bling bling." Yes, this is a term that they often associate with Monsieur le Président. Furthermore, they suppose that this battle is hopeless, he is irrevocably so. (With his yacht, his fancy clothes, his model/singer wife - he's bling bling).

Well, so that is French opinion. But now Sarko has made himself rather unpopular on a larger stage (from the Wall Street Journal today):

"French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Mr. Sarkozy would walk away from the G-20 meeting if no progress was made on global financial regulations, where France wants stricter standards in areas such hedge funds than the U.S. and U.K."

I like him (maybe not this last antic, because it is not even consistent, but he's a good thing for France, in my opinion). I'm not a voter yet, but if I were, I wouldn't be asking for a divorce.

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