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Posts Tagged ‘France’

En Marche One Year On

Posted by hkarner - 17. April 2018

Date: 16-04-2018
Source: SPIEGEL ONLINE

How Macron’s Movement Is Transforming French Politics

Nearly one year ago, Emmanuel Macron became the president of France. Since then, members of his En Marche movement have begun reimagining the world of French politics while governing the country at the same time. Can it work?

When Christophe Castaner, 52, talks about his relationship with Emmanuel Macron, the man who created the movement Castaner now heads, he says there is an „element of being in love.“

When visiting Sacha Houlié, the 29-year-old deputy president of French parliament, in his office, it takes him less than two minutes to pull Macron’s autobiography off the shelf and proudly read the dedication aloud: „For Sacha, who started this revolution at my side — even before the first day.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Coordination on Syria Strikes Belies Simmering Tensions

Posted by hkarner - 16. April 2018

Date: 15-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Assault involved careful planning between the U.S., France and the U.K. despite divisions over other issues

The Trump administration’s close coordination with France and the U.K. to plan the strikes on the Syrian regime underscores an alignment between the U.S. and its European allies despite deep divisions over other issues.

The three countries launched airstrikes late Friday against Syrian regime targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical-weapons attack near the capital, Damascus, a week ago that killed at least 43 civilians and injured hundreds more.

The move was aimed at crippling President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical-weapons arsenal, targeting a research center and two production sites. The strikes also targeted a former missile base 15 miles west of the Syrian city of Homs.

U.S. and U.K. submarines armed with missiles moved within strike range of Syria, while a U.S. destroyer and a French frigate were in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Three more American cruisers and destroyers are deployed in the Middle East.

French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump emphasized that the strikes on Syrian targets were designed not to escalate tensions with Russia.

The assault capped a week of careful planning between the U.S., French and British militaries, despite tensions that have sowed divisions between the allies in recent months.

French President Emmanuel Macron has slammed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, pledged to push Europe to retaliate over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, and staunchly defended the Iranian nuclear deal against U.S. criticism.

Relations between the U.S. and Britain were tested when Mr. Trump called off a planned trip to London earlier this year to attend the official opening of the new U.S. Embassy in London. And in November last year, Prime Minister Theresa May criticized Mr. Trump when he retweeted messages from a British far-right group.

Further, Britain and France are on opposing sides over Brexit, with Mrs. May’s government seeking a clean break from the European Union and Mr. Macron having pursued a deeper union since his election victory last year. With two-year negotiations just past the midway point, critical issues over the U.K.’s divorce remain unsolved.

Mr. Trump was full of praise for the U.S.’s allies on Saturday, tweeting: “Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result.”

At a press conference in Downing Street, Mrs. May said the strikes were aimed at degrading Mr. Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons to attack his own people. A full assessment of the strikes is ongoing, but Mrs. May said the U.K. and its allies are confident they were successful.

“I believe that this action was necessary. I believe it was the right thing for us to do,” Mrs. May said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The US doesn’t need AI, they have Trump

Posted by hkarner - 6. April 2018

Date: 06-04-2018
Source: Technology Review
Subject: Here’s how the US needs to prepare for the age of artificial intelligence

Government indifference toward AI could let the US lose ground to rival countries. But what would a good AI plan actually look like?

Politicians worldwide are stealing one of the US government’s best ideas by drawing up ambitious plans to make the most of advances in artificial intelligence.

These AI manifestos, penned in Paris, Beijing, and elsewhere, follow the example of the Obama administration, which released a report on the technology toward the end of its tenure. This report did not include funding, but it made it clear that AI should be a key focus of government strategy.

The Trump administration has abandoned this vision and has no intention of devising its own AI plan, say those working there. They say there is no need for an AI moonshot, and that minimizing government interference is the best way to make sure the technology flourishes.

That looks like a huge mistake. If it essentially ignores such a technological transformation, the US might never make the most of an opportunity to reboot its economy and kick-start both wage growth and job creation. Failure to plan could also cause the birthplace of AI to lose ground to international rivals. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Macron’s Education Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 8. März 2018

Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion is a professor at the Collège de France and at the London School of Economics, and a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Benedicte Berner is a lecturer at Sciences Po in Paris, chair of Civil Rights Defenders, and an associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

French President Emmanuel Macron has drawn fire for his pro-growth economic reforms, which some critics have characterized as giveaways to corporations and the wealthy. But, when considered in full, Macron’s agenda is clearly aimed at reducing inequality and boosting social mobility.

PARIS – Since eliminating a wealth tax and imposing a flat tax on capital gains, French President Emmanuel Macron opponents have quite maliciously compared him to US President Donald Trump, who slashed taxes for the wealthiest Americans in December. Some of his harshest critics even refer to Macron as a “president for the rich.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Viewed in full, Macron’s reform agenda offers a new and promising approach to tackling inequality and social immobility in France. And, at any rate, the United States and France are hardly comparable on these issues. Although income inequality has increased in France since 1990, it remains well below that of other developed countries. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Bretton Woods Moment

Posted by hkarner - 2. März 2018

Harold James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation. A specialist on German economic history and on globalization, he is a co-author of the new book The Euro and The Battle of Ideas, and the author of The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle, Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm, and Making the European Monetary Union.

Political leaders in France and, soon, Germany will have a chance to deliver the European Union from its malaise, but only by heeding the right lessons from the past. The success of grand bargains between France and Germany in 1963, and between the victors of World War II in 1944-1945, speak to the need for a bold, comprehensive approach.

PRINCETON – After years of paralysis during the debt crisis that began in 2009, the European Union seems to have regained some momentum. In France last year, Emmanuel Macron and his La République En Marche ! won the presidency and a strong parliamentary majority. And in Germany, after much delay, the center-left Social Democrats are currently voting on a new coalition agreement with the center-right Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.

The hope now is for renewed Franco-German cooperation and a new Élysée Treaty, updating the historic 1963 agreement negotiated by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle. A new arrangement might involve more spending at the EU level and overcoming old German taboos against a “transfer union.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Macron weckt den schlafenden Riesen

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2018

Stefan Brändle aus Paris, 26. Februar 2018, 07:00 derstandard.at

Frankreichs Präsident will die hochverschuldete Staatsbahn SNCF mit einer Rosskur auf die EU-Marktöffnung einstellen und legt sich mit der Gewerkschaft an

Paris – Für Macron wird es ernst. Seit Monaten reformiert er sein Land ohne nennenswerte Widerstände. Dank seiner politischen Legitimiation und Stellung brachte er im letzten Herbst sogar seine Arbeitsmarktreform glatt über die Bühne. Doch langsam verfliegt der Schwung der ersten Tage. Nun muss sich Macron einem Gegner stellen, der bisher noch jedem Staatspräsidenten getrotzt hat: Die 150 000 „cheminots“ (Eisenbahner) verkörpern Frankreichs letzte und mächtigste Gewerkschaftsfestung – ein schlafender Riese, der auf historischen Lorbeeren und ebensolchen Privilegien ruht und es nicht mag, wenn ihm eine Regierung auf den Zehen herumtanzt.

Macron hat indessen gar keine Wahl. Die von der EU 2016 beschlossene Öffnung des Bahnverkehrs in der EU tritt schon ab Ende 2019 schrittweise in Kraft. Damit fällt auch das Monopol der SNCF. Und die Konkurrenten stehen bereit. Das unterscheidet den Eisenbahn- vom Strommarkt: Dessen Liberalisierung änderte in den letzten Jahren faktisch kaum etwas an der Vormachtstellung der „Electricité de France“. Die SNCF hat hingegen mächtige Widersacher zu fürchten, allen voran die Deutsche Bahn (DB), die schon ICE-Züge bis nach Paris unterhält – und seit langem ein waches Auge auf den französischen Markt hat. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bruno Le Maire: „Steuerdumping wäre Selbstmord“

Posted by hkarner - 8. Februar 2018

Interview Stefan Brändle aus Paris 8. Februar 2018, 09:36 derstandard.at

Für den französischen Wirtschaftsminister soll die Besteuerung digitaler Konzerne in Zukunft einen wichtigen Teil der EU-Einnahmen ausmachen

Paris – Frankreichs Wirtschafts- und Finanzminister Bruno Le Maire fordert von seinen Amtskollegen Mut zu einer Finanztransaktionssteuer und erwartet, dass künftig die Besteuerung von Google und Co Milliarden einbringt. Denn man könne digitale Konzerne auch ins Land holen, wenn man Abgaben von ihnen einfordert. Steuerdumping in der EU wäre für ihn kollektiver Selbstmord, weil sich viele öffentliche Einrichtungen nicht mehr finanzieren ließen.

STANDARD: Seit der Wahl von Präsident Macron befindet sich Frankreich in Aufbruchstimmung. Erlebt das Land gar ein neues Wirtschaftswunder?

Le Maire: Solange die Franzosen nicht das Gefühl haben, dass sich die Dinge wirklich geändert haben, kann man nicht von einem Wunder sprechen. In Frankreich ist ein tiefgreifender Wandel der Wirtschaft im Gange. Unsere Arbeitsmarktreform von 2017 hat mehr Flexibilität erlaubt; unsere Steuerreform ist die wichtigste der letzten dreißig Jahre. Die Kapitalbesteuerung abzubauen, um die Wirtschaft besser zu finanzieren, bedeutet eine totale Umstellung.

STANDARD: Setzen Sie die Reformen 2018 fort?

Le Maire: Wir werden sie noch beschleunigen, und zwar im Bereich der Berufsbildung und -lehre. Mitte April werde ich zudem ein Gesetz für das Wachstum und die Umwandlung der Firmen vorlegen, denn anders als in Deutschland sind viele zu klein, um im Ausland zu reüssieren.

STANDARD: Fürs Erste äußerst sich die Reform des Arbeitsrechts vor allem in der Zunahme der Entlassungen … Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Paris is all wet again

Posted by hkarner - 1. Februar 2018

Date: 31-01-2018
Source: The Economist

Two years after it last struggled with floods, the metropole is reeling once more

IN mid-2016 the River Seine in central Paris burst its banks. It rose to 6.1 metres, briefly closed the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, disrupted trains and affected businesses and homes. The cause: intense rainfall in much of western Europe, which led to the worst flooding in the city for 34 years. Now the waters are back. By January 29th the river had reached the 5.8 metre-mark, causing similar disorder. Some 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes. Rats are fleeing sewers. Locals at one vulnerable spot downstream from the city, Ile de Migneaux, told a newswire, L’Agence France-Presse, that they have endured eight swampings in two decades. Are such floods becoming more common, and more disruptive, in Paris? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Eurozone Economy Records Strongest Growth in a Decade

Posted by hkarner - 31. Januar 2018

Date: 30-01-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Future growth prospects may rest on France and Italy, two large economies that have lagged behind since the start of the recovery

The eurozone economy outpaced its U.S. counterpart for the second straight year in 2017 as it recorded its strongest growth in a decade, aided by a revival in investment spending by French businesses.

The European Union’s statistics agency Tuesday said gross domestic product—the broadest measure of the goods and services produced by the eurozone’s 19 member countries—was 2.5% higher in 2017 than in 2016, the fastest growth rate since 2007.

That was further evidence of a synchronized pickup around the world, with the U.S. and China having already reported accelerations in 2017, to 2.3% and 6.9% respectively. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Horses, Handshakes and Hugs

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2018

Date: 25-01-2018
Source: SPIEGEL
Macron Leads France Back into Diplomatic Limelight

His seemingly never-ending handshake with Donald Trump may have attracted the most attention. But beyond the headlines, French President Emmanuel Macron is changing his country’s role in the world.

Emmanuel Macron Takes On the World

It was back in November, on Armistice Day in France, the day on which the end
of World War I is celebrated, when Vésuve de Brekka trotted up the Champs-Élysées in a steady rain with French President Emmanuel Macron. Not quite two months later, he then accompanied Macron to Beijing, where the nine-year-old gelding ended up in a paddock in a Beijing suburb — quarantined in conformance with the regulations.

The horse was the gift Macron brought along for his first state visit to China. At the banquet held in his honor, Macron presented Chinese President Xi Jinping with a photograph of the beautiful animal taken in the stalls belonging to the Republican Guard in France. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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