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NewsletterDecember 2008

Seasons Greetings/Joyeuse Fêtes from Americans in France!

Ice-Skating Rink in France

Photo of my town’s Patinoire (Ice-Skating Rink) open from November 22nd to January 4th 2009.


France’s main opposition party, the Socialist Party elected Martine Aubry the mayor of Lille as their new leader. Aubry beat out Ségolène Royal, the party’s 2007 presidential candidate. The vote was ever so close, 102 votes out of 135,000, meaning that the Socialist Party is much divided. Socialists hoped that the election of a new party leader would put them back on the road to national power.

In French national politics the presidential election is the key to getting power; the next one is planned for 2012. The candidate of the party that wins the presidential election will then certainly win the legislative elections that follow soon after, meaning that it is very important for the Socialist Party to have a strong leader, someone to rally around. For now it doesn’t look like the election of a party leader has moved the Socialist Party closer to that goal.

The election turned out to be more an exercise in stopping Royal from taking control of the Socialist Party than anything else. Many of the so-called Elephants (the party establishment) weren’t happy that she was the party’s candidate in 2007 and it showed, as the party wasn’t 100% behind her. Some, like Laurent Fabius and Dominique Strauss-Kahn (known as DSK in France and now president of the IMF) weren’t happy that she leapt over them to become the party’s presidential candidate. They have more experience in public office than Royal. Even François Hollande, the outgoing party leader and father of Royal’s four children joined the anti-Royal crowd.

Aubry ran as a traditional Socialist, willing to look for alliances to the left and far left, whereas Royal wants to look to the center and a possible alliance with François Bayrou leader of the centrist Mouvement démocrate (MoDem). Bayrou was third in the 2007 presidential election and was offered the job as Prime Minister by Royal should she have won in return for Bayrou supporting Royal in the second round. Bayrou didn’t take the offer and Royal lost and many in the Socialist Party don’t understand what she was thinking trying to make an alliance with Bayrou. Bayrou was considered on right before moving to the center.

This all means that Aubry is the leader of a much divided party, one that couldn’t settle on a leader or path to power.


I thought I’d suggest other newsletters that I read. Each is run by one person:

What's On Where?© - The dynamic information source in Herault. A monthly newsletter about what is happening in the Herault department of France. You can see the December issue or contact What's On Where?© to be added to the mailing list.

The TaxBarron Report – Newsletter from Barron's International Tax Service. Great to keep abreast of the latest international tax developments affecting American expatriates.

Paris In Sites Newsletter - Travel and tourism news from and about Paris and France. – Newsletter is by the author of The Insider Guide to Living in France and is a French jurist. Has detailed and in depth with Q&As.

Skiing in France

Just a reminder that my good friend Mike Beaudet, aka Megeve Mike, is ready to help with your skiing needs. Should you be a beginner or advanced, Mike will make skiing even more enjoyable. Mike is based in Megeve very close to the Mont Blanc, for more info see - Ski Pros Megeve.

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