Thursday, October 14, 2010

Meet France’s Number 1 scroungers

Pff… strikes, strikes and more strikes. There I was, only yesterday, railing on a metro platform with my two plastic bags at all these sluggy, pasty faced, socially-assisted scroungers running France into the ground, when my train turned up 30 seconds late and I got to work on time. To think that three million of these good for nothings, born with “a hair in the palm of their hands” as the French perfectly say, had the effrontery to go marching yesterday in “protest” against raising retirement age, and probably also against pension slashes overseen by caring Eric Woerth, the minister connected to that tax-evasion scam that involves his wife, an heiress and a butler.

Obviously, they’re being brainwashed by the looney left media, and not listening to proud President Sarkozy who’s been saying till he’s blue in the face that “there is no money to finance the Social Security deficit” which stands at an absolutely apocalyptic €20 billion euros. And speaking of do-nothing scroungers, those socially assisted Trotskos over at French news site Mediapart (who are probably on holiday right now) have been jabbering on about the state financial institution Conseil des Prélèvements Obligatoire” study revealing that French companies pull in “good years / bad years €175 billion to €200 billion in fiscal and social tax breaks” - delightfully called “niches” in French. Perhaps tainted by some Marxist Leninist left-handed deviance themselves, the Conseil des Prélèvements Obligatoires insists that these measures “are not very efficient with regard to the objectives they have been attributed - ie stimulating competition and job creation.”

Snakelike Mediapart ridiculously writes that “these gifts particularly benefit big CAC40 groups whose heads are part of the inner circle of friends present at “Fouquet’s Night” (the tasty dinner Nicolas "Great" Sarkozy attended the evening he was elected).” And what’s wrong with that? They include “advisors and friends of the President at TOTAL, GDF Suez, Lafarge, Sanofi Imerys, Pernod Ricard, without forgetting M. Arnault, France’s greatest fortune, Bouygues, Bolloré...etc ” who are totally brilliant and deserving, Mediapart would have added, if they weren’t such swivel-eyed, beardy, Jean Paul Sartre reading hunchbacks, that is.

Mediapart amazingly imputes that all this money lines the pockets of Medef members – the glorious Mouvement des Entreprises de France ("Movement of French Enterprises, or for hair-on-palm people, the French “bosses’” union). Madame Parisot, who is the fantastic boss, “hasn’t enough words to explain that the unemployed are socially assisted and that workers in this country had better keep working and this for even longer.” And straight-spined, right-footed people like us see no correlation absolutely between the €20 billion Social Security abyss and the €200 billion carefully going to deserving unscroungelike cigar-smokers. As the Medef website optimistically explains – “In 2010, more than ever, entrepreneurs must demonstrate creativity, energy, an exceptional ability to bounce back. With the crisis, this will be more difficult, but behind your daily struggles, Medef is there to help you and to create the most favourable conditions to prepare the future.” They'll be behind us indeed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Frontex flies under the radar

Frontex anyone? What sounds like a brand of prophylactic actually is one - an EU body charged, among other chores, with keeping illegals out of Europe. Of French inspiration, a crunch of Frontières Exterières (ie External Borders), Frontex, in its own words, provides “particular added value (my italics) to the national border management systems of the Member States.”

In the UK, not even the richest sources on EU news, which spring, ironically enough, from the Eurosceptic press - The Telegraph etc – bother much about Frontex. And you could have easily overlooked a 3 October article from Le Monde reporting that on 28 September (i.e. nearly a week after the event) a Frontex chartered plane flew out of Warsaw to repatriate fifty-six Georgian citizens arrested in Poland, France, Austria and Germany. Frontex heads enthused that the Lithuanian Boeing 737 going for €100,000 was “the cheapest” on the market. Gil Arias Fernandez, vice-director, chirped that European capitals would no longer have to “carry the burden”, such is the “embarrassment, and even public disapproval”. You could tell he was really happy about this. After all, this was the first time the Warsaw based org became a de facto airline for foreign undesirables.

Human rights organisations have been watching Frontex for a few years though, and have commented on its rapidly expanding powers, its increased militarisation, its lack of transparency, and the absence of independent monitoring and democratic accountability of its power. For instance, since 2006, Frontex has overseen the extension of Europe’s external borders by using Spanish navy ships and helicopters to harbour hunt the Senegalese coast for boat refugees seeking passage to the Canary Islands. Like the best prophylatics, Frontex has remarkable stretch.

And as the Fernandez remarks imply, with their utter lack of self-consciousness, the “added value” for democratically elected governments is obvious. After all, when a state expels migrants, messy stuff happens like media coverage, open debate, and eventually an electorate holding it to account. Frontex’s calling card is that it takes the naughtiness out of the political issue that is immigration and turns it into a technical process that goes underneath the media radar. How about that?