Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Textbook example of "diviser (between a minister and his secretary of state) pour régner". All critics of the President's policies aside, it seems to be one of the characteristics of the Sarkozyan system.
In the quarrels between Bernard Kouchner and the "Quai d'Orsay", Sarkozy acts in the same way as the judge of peace. And the nomination of Bernard Laporte as secretary of state can be explained in the same terms: nominate an outsider, whose position will be chronically weak and dependent on the President. Intrigues à la cour...