Global News: March 2010 Archives

This Wall Street Journal story left me scratching my head. A French politician, Dominique de Villepin, who served briefly as the final prime minister of Jacques Chirac's presidency, plans to split from President Nicholas Sarkozy's party and form a new "center-right" party with the aim of challenging Sarkozy when he's up for reelection in 2012.

Here's how the story contrasts de Villepin's views with those of Sarkozy:

A comeback by Mr. de Villepin could complicate the president's efforts to push through unpopular measures, such as raising France's retirement age, during the remaining two years of his mandate....

Mr. Sarkozy has reduced some taxes, hoping this would help energize France's economy. But Mr. de Villepin called Thursday for higher income and corporate taxes to help narrow the gap between rich and poor. While Mr. Sarkozy is cutting civil-service jobs, saying France needs to slim down its bulging state sector, Mr. de Villepin said the French need more state nurses, teachers and policemen....

Mr. Sarkozy has proposed anchoring France's secular values by banning the head-to-toe burqa worn by some Muslim women. Mr. de Villepin said it was dangerous to stigmatize a particular community....

His tenure as prime minister from 2005 to 2007 was marred by a failed attempt to pass a bill aimed at easing the entry of young people into the job market with a contract that would make it easier to hire and fire people. The proposal caused such a popular uproar that then-President Jacques Chirac dropped the bill.

But Mr. de Villepin said Thursday that he had changed his mind, and no longer believed loosening labor laws would help create jobs. "If we want French people to accept taking risks, we must provide them with guarantees," he said....

(Emphasis added.)

So, if I'm reading this correctly, this "center-right" politician wants to raise taxes, grow government, and surrender to political correctness and creeping sharia. He wants to make it harder for employers to get rid of dead-weight employees and hire young people. He wants to allow the ratio of retirees to productive workers to continue to grow as life expectancies grow. (The official retirement age in France is 60.) And he caps it all off with the nonsensical idea of providing citizens with guarantees so they feel safe in taking risks.

Granted that labels on the political spectrum are relative, but how does someone get labeled "center-right" when his economic program is indistinguishable from socialism?

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global News category from March 2010.

Global News: June 2009 is the previous archive.

Global News: April 2010 is the next archive.

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