A Tale of Two Percentages

Conseil_constitutionnelWith the stroke of a pen, on 30 December 2012, the Constitutional Council annulled François Hollande’s landmark policy of an exceptional tax on earnings over 1 million € set at 75%.  With that, the sorry saga of the 75% tax, is apparently at an end.  But without the 75% François Hollande would likely not have obtained another percentage: 51.64%, beating Nicolas Sarkozy in May 2012.

If Hollande owes his Presidency to his 75% policy, what happens now? Continue reading

The Demonstration for “All”

Protestors hold placards and balloons during a demonstration against a draft law to allow same-sex marriage in Paris“La Manif pour Tous” (the Demo for All) was without a doubt a massive success in terms of communication and numbers. Whilst the police may claim that 340,000 people marched on Sunday in Paris, crowding the Champ de Mars in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, those organising the march claim closer to 900,000. Le Figaro, in its most mouth-frothing headline of the year so far claimed “without a doubt” 800,000 (before the march had even finished).  However many were there, the march has left a mark on the tone of the public debate that has shifted in the days since. What now for equal marriage in France? Continue reading

If Wishes Were Fishes…

President Hollande perhaps on the lookout for a few wishes of his own…then we would all cast nets in the sea.  Perhaps this phrase above all others is on the French government’s mind as they contemplate what 2013 might bring.  It has been called the Year of all the Dangers by even their friends.

And yet the executive in France is in a privileged position, able, if it chooses, to guide political discourse and shape the beginning of the year due to both its constitutional power (it holds a large majority in the National Assembly, a slim relative majority in the Senate, and the majority of large municipal and regional councils) and the unique “Wishes Season” that dominates the month of January.  So what should the government use its wishes for?

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