Sunday, February 20, 2011

L'Image de la France

There has been much talk this week of l'image de la France ... celle qu'on aime, celle qu'on n'aime pas. In France's new ambassador to Tunisia, we have a little of both. Watch this clip:




The good news is that this young diplomat speaks Arabic. The bad news, which begins at about 3:00 of the clip, is that he seems to be à l'image du Président Sarkozy, who appointed him and whom he served previously at the Interior Ministry. The veneer of diplomatic politeness falls away, and we have a very Sarkozyesque confrontation with the press, puncuated with aggressive franchements, accusations directed at reporters for asking questions débiles, etc. etc. To judge by appearances, M. Boillon is very young and still unseasoned (although he served as ambassador to Iraq from 2009 to 2011). Perhaps we should allow him time to grow into his job and acquire the diplomatic niceties. But already Tunisians are demonstrating to have him recalled.

5 comments:

Mark said...

Did you catch at the end of the interview with the young journalist at the end: "Pourquoi vous avez parlé de ça? C'est lamentable et c'est nulle." The speech about Tunisia having given a lesson to the world earlier on is the height of hypocrisy. It'd be nice since he's ambassador if he could straighten his tie and button jacket.

Anonymous said...

I had noticed him when he was shown arriving in Bagdad as new French ambassador. Appalling. Looking like an overbearing commercial traveller.

Mélanie

Louis said...

Interesting. Anybody able to translate for us the last part in arabic, where the journalist obviously gets on his nerves and has him leave the room?

The body language is fantastic. C'est la diplomatie à l'estomac. Tu'm cherches, toi? hein? tu m'cherches? Qu'est-ce t'as dit sur mon pote Nicolas? Tu la veux ta claque?

Incredible.

Anonymous said...

Between MAM and this Sarko clone French foreign diplomacy / representation has a dramatic problem...Maybe some vacation in Mexico will help...

Mark said...

Did you catch this extra twist to in this story, Art? Now there's no doubt he's a narcissist. He posted hunky pictures of himself in his bathing suit on his facebook profile, which apparently anyone can access although I haven't tried myself:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-02-21/sexy-photo-undiplomatic-comments-trip-frances-tunisia-ambassador/