Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Something is rotten in the state of France 

This story had only popped up very briefly in the world media for a day or so in late March, but other than that it hasn't really made much waves outside of France - possibly because no greedy American oilmen were involved. Reminiscent of the recent scandal in Canada, but dwarfs it in magnitude. The opening paragraph from a story in a Polish magazine (my translation):
" 'The trial of the century,' 'the noose tightens around the president,' thunder French newspapers. In court, 47 people, including four former ministers and several directors of prominent firms, accused of funneling over 90 million Euros to political parties. Everything was working perfectly. In the early 1990s, each contract for the renovation of a Parisian high school included a 2 per cent "voluntary" donation. Later on, the bribes were shamelessly shared by the ruling right and the opposition left. Several of the accused are facing up to 10 years in jail. The man who was then the mayor of the capital is safe from prosecution, protected by his immunity. His name is Jacques Chirac, and since 1995 he's a president of France."
European politico-bureaucratic-business elites are rotten to the core. One day, when all the corrupt dealings between the Big Government and Big Euro Business finally bursts into the open, it will make Enron look like a secretary stealing pencils and post-it notes from work. But the European are starting to slowly wake from their slumber. If the EU constitution referendum goes down in France on May 29, it will be partly a well-aimed swing at Brussels and partly a slap for their own previously untouchable elites.


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