Thursday, October 1, 2009

Clearstream

A stylish account of the trial.

Get Out of Jail Free

Ex-presidents of France carry a "get out of jail free" card for life. Here's Raphaël Bacqué on the relations between Jacques Chirac and his former prime minister Alain Juppé, who was sentenced for offenses in which it is hard to believe that Chirac had no part, although prosecutors this week recommended that no charges be brought against the former president:

Mercredi matin, Alain Juppé qui, lui, avait été condamné en appel en 2004 à quatorze mois de prison avec sursis et un an d'inéligibilité dans la même affaire des emplois fictifs de la Mairie de Paris, a rendu visite à Jacques Chirac, comme il le fait régulièrement. Les deux hommes ont évoqué enfants et petits-enfants. Un peu de politique étrangère. Mais pas un mot, ni de Clearstream ni de ces emplois fictifs où M. Juppé fut seul à être condamné.

L'ancien premier ministre est ressorti du bureau de M. Chirac très tranquillement. Avec juste le sentiment qu'en matière de justice, il pouvait y avoir des puissants épargnés et des "dindons de la farce".

IMF WEO

The IMF's World Economic Outlook is out, and growth for France in 2010 is projected to be 0.9%, ahead of Germany at 0.3% but below the US at 1.5. Germany is of course hampered by the sharp rise in the euro because of its export-led economy. If the projections turn out to be correct, you can be sure that we'll hear a lot of boasting from the government, even though France's relatively good performance will have been due more to structural factors than to policy. But luck should never be discounted in politics.