54. If you do not understand it, you better ignore it?

The editorial staff of Aujourd’hui en France / Le Parisien decided that they would simply stop commissioning opinion polls ahead of the 2017 French presidential election. They say  – inter alia – that polls and surveys failed to predict the results of the Brexit referendum and of the US presidential election. I am utterly outraged by this argument, not to mention by Read More …

53. “Women ” prove the FN is a divided party

​Earlier, I suggested in some of my analyses and interviews that the FN was a divided organisation, as internal power struggles are routinely present within the party. In recent days we have seen many evidence of this, since a nasty conflict erupted between Marion Maréchal-Le Pen and her aunt (party leader Marine Le Pen), as well as between Vice President Read More …

52. The year of political death

For an analysts like me, it is kind of obligatory to consider the passing year. Whose year was it? What was the year about? I could easily say that 2016 was the year of the Fillon-surprise, but in fact, it was rather the year of political death. In 2016 – unexpectedly or not – France executed a major part of Read More …

51. Marine Le Pen: one step closer to the presidency

So far, when people asked me about the French presidential elections, I have always answered that whosoever won the Republican primary on 27 November, was likely to become the next French president. In this sentence, the keyword is “so far”. Donald J. Trump’s victory has created a whole new situation, at least mentally. Marine Le Pen’s presidential chances have considerably Read More …

50. Someone please tell me what Hollande is doing…

A book based on about 100 hours of interviews with François Hollande was published by two Le Monde journalists, Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme. The title “A President Shouldn’t Say That…” practically tells all. I do not know what Hollande’s intention with this book was. To improve his image, or to enter the presidential campaign? Instead, he just gave his Read More …

49. French government intervenes to save iconic Alstom industrial plant from closure

Sarkozy’s “affairs” and Hollande’s book are certainly interesting and entertaining for those interested in French politics. The “big issue” of September, though, is the planned closure of Alstom’s TGV industrial plant in Belfort in 2018. The announcement of Alstom has forced almost all political actors to make resolutions. And the government came up with a fairly expensive one.

48. Disappointing growth, suffering tourism

Economic success would be necessary for President François Hollande to reduce unemployment and to legitimate his 2017’s re-election bid (and people also want that growth badly – for obvious reasons). But outstanding economic growth remains a mere dream. As it recently turned out, GDP growth (on a year-on-year basis) was exactly zero in the second quarter, while tourism is also Read More …

46. Governance is like Nutella

Many people think that public health taxes are good and useful. After all, people do not need that much refined sugar – moreover, the health care system does not need those diabetic patients either. The so-called Nutella tax also belongs to this group. The French, for their part, really wanted to tax palm oil, the main ingredient of the yummy Read More …