Friday, July 15, 2005

First, he didn't like the food... 

Jacques Chirac doesn't think the French should look up to the Brits:
"I have a lot of esteem for the British people and for Tony Blair. But I do not think the British model is one that we should envy. Certainly, their unemployment is lower than ours. But if you take the big elements in society - health policy, the fight against poverty, ... spending involving the future - you notice that we are much, much better placed than the English."
That may all be true - depending on what your preferred national lifestyle is - but the question is, is it sustainable? In other words, how long can you afford to spend more on welfare and social services when a tenth of your workforce doesn't contribute to the economy and the growth has stopped?

One person thinks that the Brits aren't necessarily to be sneered at:
"Who would have thought that in 30 years, Great Britain would become a leading light in the world ? They have modernised the country, fundamentally revised their values, abandoned taboos and achieved a great ambition."
That's Nicolas Sarkozy, Chirac's main rival within the ruling party and the man most likely to take Chirac's job in 2007. For more background on this Hungarian-French law and order pol who likes America and is tough on anti-Semitism, check out this profile.


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