Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where the Readers Are

Where readers of French Politics are located:

Country/Territory Visits Avg. Time on Site
United States 23912 145.3459351
France 10645 129.6762799
United Kingdom 3013 78.03186193
Canada 1679 91.33948779
Australia 653 84.01378254
Netherlands 500 76.682
Germany 389 52.75064267
Belgium 288 96.04513889
Portugal 220 120.5681818
Japan 214 92.84579439
Ireland 210 104.9619048
Czech Republic 200 48.58
Switzerland 193 94.12953368
Spain 188 71.02659574
Jordan 179 1388.385475
Italy 168 99.83333333
India 133 64.95488722
Sweden 111 57.91891892
Greece 108 85.67592593
Brazil 105 69.61904762
Norway 99 71.36363636
Israel 91 57.14285714
Luxembourg 85 38.29411765
Turkey 84 126.547619
Finland 81 154.7283951
Singapore 77 46.88311688
Thailand 69 166.8405797
Denmark 61 7.950819672
South Korea 59 39.33898305
Malaysia 59 37.18644068
Poland 58 37.24137931
Philippines 58 51.12068966
Hong Kong 57 143.8947368
Egypt 52 27.34615385
New Zealand 51 150.6470588
South Africa 51 62.19607843
Austria 50 34.92
Mexico 40 90.8
Russia 37 86.67567568
Morocco 36 101.6388889
Taiwan 36 199.9722222
Romania 35 115.5142857
Kenya 29 32.82758621
Argentina 27 31.37037037
Iran 27 109.962963
Slovenia 26 11.15384615
Indonesia 25 43.64
United Arab Emirates 25 14.12
Hungary 24 19.20833333
Lithuania 23 170.1304348
Malta 23 23.13043478
Serbia and Montenegro 22 102.8181818
Saudi Arabia 22 15.68181818
Lebanon 21 13.66666667
Venezuela 21 172.7619048
(not set) 20 176.85
Chile 18 10.44444444
Bulgaria 18 82.11111111
Monaco 17 122.9411765
Slovakia 17 0
Estonia 17 1.764705882
Mauritius 15 0.733333333
Ukraine 14 155.4285714
Sudan 14 173.8571429
Mali 14 37.64285714
Algeria 12 4.75
China 11 34.09090909
Panama 11 380
Senegal 11 425.1818182
Sri Lanka 10 16.8
Pakistan 10 39.5
Colombia 10 2.6
Qatar 10 115.5
Iceland 9 0
Croatia 9 308.4444444
Kuwait 9 0
Vietnam 9 47.22222222
Cambodia 8 71.125
Cyprus 8 91.75
Rwanda 8 0
Reunion 7 6.285714286
Haiti 7 241.7142857
Tunisia 6 56
Latvia 6 151.5
Puerto Rico 6 0
Costa Rica 6 5.5
Tanzania 6 167.6666667
Nigeria 5 321.6
Ghana 5 124.2
Bolivia 5 27.6
Burkina Faso 5 48.4
Afghanistan 5 0
U.S. Virgin Islands 4 0
Ivory Coast 4 0
Macedonia 4 0
Bermuda 4 168.5
Bosnia and Herzegovina 4 0.75
Uruguay 4 0
Guatemala 4 0
Dominican Republic 4 0
Iraq 4 0
Trinidad and Tobago 4 9
Mozambique 4 71
Cameroon 4 285
Nepal 4 0
Bahamas 4 60.75
Bangladesh 4 0
Benin 3 0
Peru 3 2.333333333
El Salvador 3 602.3333333
Jamaica 3 26
Barbados 3 0
Andorra 3 24.66666667
Turks and Caicos Islands 3 0
Georgia 3 0
Fiji 3 38.33333333
French Guiana 3 33
Gambia 3 463
Botswana 3 0
Guam 2 69.5
Dominica 2 179.5
Zimbabwe 2 0
Palestinian Territory 2 0
Mongolia 2 0
Yemen 2 23
Libya 2 0
Brunei 2 0
Bahrain 2 0
Suriname 2 250.5
Armenia 2 0
Uganda 2 0
French Polynesia 2 246
Netherlands Antilles 2 86.5
Chad 2 0
Martinique 2 0
Togo 2 0
Kyrgyzstan 2 0
Honduras 1 82
Guadeloupe 1 31
Saint Kitts and Nevis 1 0
Paraguay 1 0
Cayman Islands 1 587
Gibraltar 1 28
Aruba 1 0
Cape Verde 1 0
Laos 1 0
Nicaragua 1 0
New Caledonia 1 0
Macao 1 0
Zambia 1 0
Uzbekistan 1 0
Ecuador 1 284
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1 1188
Kazakhstan 1 1218
Congo - Kinshasa 1 0
Oman 1 37
Antigua and Barbuda 1 0
Moldova 1 0
Maldives 1 0
Gabon 1 0

DSK contra IMF, QED

François Bonnet points out that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who attended a Socialist renovation forum this weekend, broke his pledge to the IMF not to participate in partisan activities and observed that "the government has good reasons [sic] to be sanctioned by the French people." Yet DSK's IMF issued the same government a good report card just over two months ago: "France is moving again. The election of a new president and the nomination of an avowedly reformist government offers France an historic opportunity to resume its growth ..."

A Scandalous Lawsuit

Daniel Carton referred to three journalists covering Ségolène Royal's campaign as, among other things, "militant groupies." As "embedded journalists" (journalistes embarqués, in Philippe Cohen's phrase) accompanying the campaign, they became sympathizers of the candidate, Carton contends. As a result, the three journalists have sued him for slander.

Though I am familiar with the difference between French and American libel laws, I find this suit scandalous. M. Carton is entitled to his opinion, and if he wants to call a journalist a militant groupie or worse, by what right does the law prevent him? If the press is to be free to judge the competence of public officials, why shouldn't public officials, other journalists, and ordinary citizens be free to judge the competence and independence of the press? If M. Carton can't attack reporters, must reporters stop asserting that this or that press baron is suppressing negative stories about Sarkozy or photoshopping his love handles out of existence? The suit is scandalous and should be dismissed.

The Marshall Plan for the Suburbs

The "Marshall Plan for the Suburbs" that candidate Sarkozy promised has been rebaptized "Suburban Hope." It was announced today, sort of, by Fadela Amara and Christine Boutin, Amara's hierarchical superior at the Ministry of Housing and Cities. As far as I can tell from the early press dispatches, Amara is promising 45,000 new jobs for the most seriously depressed urban zones. Her timing couldn't have been worse, as the CAC40 dropped another 5 points today for a total of nearly 20 over the past week. Job creation does not seem to be on the horizon, and, as Sarko said two weeks ago in regard to purchasing power, "the coffers are empty," so what can the state do about any of these woes? Meanwhile, we have the spectacle of the minister bickering with her secretary of state and attempting to steal her thunder by making her own announcement first. Yet of course both are to be upstaged next week by the president, when he unveils the real plan for the suburbs.

Foreign Press Roundup

One can almost feel sorry for Sarkozy on reading the mauling he has been receiving from the foreign press.

Thank You

French Politics is pleased to have been noticed by La Vie des Idées.

"Historic" Labor Accord

Francis Kramarz gives a balanced assessment of the recent labor accord, yet his final assessment is "disappointed but not surprised." Among his reasons for disappointment: the report is full of good intentions about assisting job-seekers with training and employment counseling, but nothing is said about financing. The new provisions for termination by mutual consent of employer and employee provide for unemployment benefits in such cases, but the burden is to be born by the state, not the firm. It is expected that 20 percent of terminations will be converted to this procedure. Nothing is done about reform of union financing, which creates certain perverse incentives. Nothing is done about the rules governing layoffs for economic reasons or the manner in which such cases are judged if appealed. The report, Kramarz believes, "acts as a smokescreen."

Good additional comments here.