Friday, November 14, 2008
This gesture was first gently, then roundly criticized by a clear majority of the 30 or so members of NPA 14e for two reasons: 1) they want a much more flexible and open system of alliances within the far-left, rather than the old sectarianism of the LCR, and 2) (most interestingly) they don't know on what authority Besancenot can make NPA policy on this sensitive issue: no one has elected him to any NPA office, there are no mechanisms to do so, and in short he seems to have spoken out of turn. A motion to this effect was deferred, for lack of time, to the next meeting, but in a week's time the NPA 14e will almost surely send what amounts to a motion of censure to the CAN (temporary central committee), enjoining Besancenot from making unilateral pronouncements.I draw three conclusions from this:1) the media perception that NPA is a vehicle for Besancenot and/or a continuation of the LCR's highly centralized structure are completely at variance with NPA 14e's view of its role;2) the local or 'federal' basis of power in the NPA is already a fact for this local group; and3) both of the preceding ideas will be put to the test if and when CAN responds to NPA 14e's motion.
But ask her about Mr. Sarkozy’s proposal to establish a French “sovereign wealth fund” to protect companies in France from “foreign predators,” and she seems uncomfortable.Governments have been protecting industry in other countries, she said, adding: “It’s been going on everywhere.”
There is also a memorable quote:
Ms. Lagarde prefers to make light of any attacks on her, reciting one of her favorite quotes, from Eleanor Roosevelt.“A woman is like a tea bag: You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”
Of course the move will coincide with the end of France's presidency of the EU council. Does this personnel change signify decreased French interest in the EU? Not that there aren't other EU experts in France, but Jouyet has been closely associated with EU policy for decades.
The president wants to impose a global budget plan when nothing has been done at the national level. Furthermore, he wants to coordinate budget policies globally, although he hasn't succeeded in coordinating them at the European level.
Laurent's criticism isn't reserved for Sarkozy. Elsewhere he chastises Jean-Claude Trichet for his tardiness in cutting interest rates. But he gives good marks to the IMF for "being one of the rare institutions to clearly recognize the gravity of the crisis as early as last spring."