This is the first post under the heading ” THE BEADY- EYE”
The Beady eye will take a look over the course of the year at the track record in presa form of the Worlds most Powerful. ( People/ Corporations/ Organisations.)
Where best to start than France where I reside.
So Let’s turn the Beady Eye on President François Hollande who celebrated on May 6 the third anniversary of his election to the highest office in France. He was the first candidate in 31 years to unseat an incumbent president after a single term.
This invites us to look at the record of the man and his policies.
In May 2012, François Holland became the seventh president of the Fifth Republic. Born August 12, 1954 in Rouen. François Hollande received a Catholic religious education which he considers “a good experience” but defines itself as “non-believer” with “no religious practice” and having his “own philosophy of life”
He was discharged from military service because of his myopia.
As President he is;
- Grand Master of the National Order of the Legion of Honour.
- Grand Master of the Order of Merit.
- Canon of honor of the Basilica of St John Lateran, the Cathedral Saint-Jean-de Maurinne, St Julian of Le Mans,and Saint-Etienne Chalons, churches of ST. Hilary of Poitiers, of Saint-Martin Tours and Saint-Martin d’Angers.
- Proto canon of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Embrun and Our Lady of Clery .
and Official decorations.
Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit of law as grand master of the Order (15 May 2012).
Knight of the Order of the White Eagle (Poland) on 16 November 2012.
Knight Grand Cross with Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic on 21 November 2012 .
Order of Wissam Mohammad El, exceptional class ( Morocco) on 3 April 2013 .
Grand Cross of the National Order of Mali (15 July 2013) .
Order of the White Double Cross, First Class (Slovakia) on 29 October 2013 .
Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Charles (Monaco ) on 14 November 2013 .
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion ( 20 January 2014).
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Bath (UK) 0n the (5 June 2014.
Mr Hollande UNICEF’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny Prize for his contribution to peace and stability in Mali.
François Hollande, was elected in 2012 to bring an end to austerity and to tax the rich, has turned into a liberal. Or at least a social-liberal.
The image of the President three years provided a much darker than the picture the candidate wanted to sell back in 2012. “Mister Little Jokes” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17675980, he seems to have strayed into the dark side of farce.
At the age of 59 years in true French style he was engulfed in a sex scandal just like the kind of private-public muddle that had damaged the early months of Nicolas Sarkozy’s term of office. He left his common law politician wife, Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children. Royal had political aspirations of her own and, in 2007, ran for the presidency against Hollande’s wishes.
For six years he lived with his girlfriend Valérie Trierweiler.
Valérie Trierweiler, had enjoyed the high-life luxuries of a presidential wife – costing taxpayers a fortune. The perks of her life as first lady include five staff, multiple homes across France, a stunning wardrobe, private jets and cars.
In Trierweiler’s former life, she was also a mistress to the president.
He progressed to another affair with a sex kitten actress Julie Gayet, 41 divorced with two children. The apartment where Hollande and Gayet had met was said to have connections to the Corsican mafia.
He went from the President of Kisses’ to ‘President of Hisses.’
Politically Mr Hollande claimed that unemployment would drop by the end of 2013. When this looked absurdly unrealistic, he vowed instead to “invert the trend”, a semantic contortion by which he meant stopping the total rising, something that has yet to happen either.
A little less denial and a healthy dose of realism may thus be welcome.
At over 45% of GDP, France’s tax take stands with Belgium’s as the highest in the euro zone. Fewer than 20% of voters believe in his ability to turn the economy around. Frances largest export is Capital.
Mr Hollande famously promised during his election campaign to slap a 75% top income-tax rate on the rich—yet his government vowed that nine out of ten households would not be touched by tax increases. The 75% tax was thrown out by the Constitutional Council. Not before the French actor Gerard Deparieu did a runner and is granted Russian citizenship by President Valdimir Putin. However most ordinary people have seen their tax bills rise.
The December Euro Plus Monitor from the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think-tank, notes that France is the only big European economy beset by serious problems not to have taken bold steps towards reform.
Beneath his bon homme exterior, he displays few declared convictions, always ready to compromise, Francois Hollande is now ideologue.
While French industry is waning, both by lack of demand, lack of competitiveness, and lack of funding.
He is imposing on France unending budgetary rigor, growing unemployment, rolling back the French political and social model, and introducing rules that deprive citizens of their sovereignty and freedom, and he does it all without qualms.
Even though France recently showed a 0.06% rise in it economy it is collapsing under the blows of foreign competition and non-economic pressures.
If he is serious about lowering charges on business, he also needs to make serious spending cuts. These are always harder than tax rises.
Therefore the inexorable rise in unemployment should come as no surprise.
Add to that an unthinking and largely unfair tax policies, and we can understand why demand is stagnating, but also the wrath of the middle and working classes, resulting in truly disastrous poll ratings for François Hollande.
Hollande has refused to acknowledge the structural dimension of unemployment in France, which he says is largely due to membership of the euro zone. It is the fact that today there are about 600 000 people suffering burnout while at the same time we have almost 4 million unemployed people without counting the severely underemployed.
He has buried his promise of tax reform. What’s more, Piketty said last year, the degree of improvisation in Hollande’s fiscal and economic policy “is actually quite appalling.” He is edging away from traditional Socialist policies and is chipping away at the generosity of the welfare state.
To employ anyone in France remains a nightmare to this very day.
Hollande is President, but of which country?
On January 8, 2015, he decreed a day of national mourning following the attack against Charlie Hebdo. In the wake of Charlie Hebdo attack the French government has approved new Surveillance laws giving massive and limitless surveillance of the population.
Francois Hollande likes to don the clothes of the defender of freedom and human rights, but one is forced to question his position in light of the new Surveillance laws recently passed.
Hollande’s campaign promises, to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption for same -sex couples it is now a matter of freedom of conscience for mayors of each city/town/village.
Over the last five years Islamic State is thought to have earned £75million ransoming more than 50 captives. Four French and three Spanish hostages have been released this year after money was delivered through an intermediary.
There is growing international anger that France is funding IS jihadists by paying ransoms to free hostages.
In the mean time he is selling arms.
Francois Hollande was the first foreign head of state to attend a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Here he signed a contract under which Qatar has agreed to buy 24 Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets in a deal worth $7 billion. The deal comes as most of the Gulf states look to boost their firepower amid regional instability.
The case of the two Mistral helicopter carriers is another prime example.
As a result of the Ukrainian crisis, Hollande took the decision to suspend delivery to Russia. But he travels in person for the signature of “Rafale” combat aircraft contracts with Qatar and probably with the United Arab Emirates.
It looks like that China will purchase two amphibious assault ships that were originally intended for Russia.
So where is the red line? Certainly not on the issue of democracy.
The attitude of Francois Hollande, and more precisely its different attitudes with respect to Russia and these countries could therefore translate well latent Eurocentrism, at best, and at worst a form of racism, hidden under the mask of condescending smile.
The question of the presence, or absence, of Francois Hollande at the May 9 victory day parade in Moscow, something that has nothing to do with disagreements he may have with Putin, but which is rich in the symbolism of these same principles, may confirm this.
Unless this cynicism hides something much more serious.
Last week Cuba unveiled new data it said confirmed there were billions of barrels of oil beneath its Gulf of Mexico waters.
On Monday Hollande said France “will be a faithful ally” to Cuba as the country reforms it’s centrally planned economy and tries to re-enter the global economic system.
Speaking at the University of Havana, Hollande said: “France will do everything it can to aid the process of opening Cuba and help get rid of measures that have so seriously damaged Cuba’s development.”
Hollande also met with Cardinal Jaime Ortega to award him the Legion of Honor, France’s highest honor, and inaugurate a new building for the Alliance Française cultural center.
In Cuba he was accompanied by five of his ministers and nearly two dozen French executives, including representatives of Pernod Ricard beverages, hotel company Accor, Air France, supermarket Carrefour and the telecommunications company Orange.
Cuba announced an oil exploration deal with France in the Gulf of Mexico.
French oil major Total signed an agreement on Monday to explore for offshore oil with Cuban state oil monopoly Cuba Petroleo (Cupet). Cuban state-run television reported the exploration agreement without giving further details.
France s bow to the dictator for oil.
This man ‘who made history’ – as says François Hollande – seized power in 1959, shot, trapped, turned his tropical gulag island, hunted homosexuals and, in fifty-six, found neither the time nor the inclination to hold free elections. ”
( Picasso painting has sold a little over $ 142 million on Monday night in New York ” This sale reflects the fact that some in this world, do not know what to do with their money, preferring to inflate the bubble of the art market rather than invest in creative activities of wealth and employment. In this sense, the fate of the Women of Algiers demonstrates the disturbances of the world today. Fortunately, this has not much to do with art itself. There will always be men and women to take a sheet of paper and a pencil.)
To be fair top diplomats from Japan, the European Union, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia have visited the island in recent months in bids to stake out or maintain ties with an island that suddenly looks like a brighter economic prospect amid warming US-Cuba relations.
Other examples of Mr Hollands hyperventilation hand shakes.
France – an ally of the Rwandan government that ruled before the genocide – stayed away from last year’s 20-year commemoration after rebel-turned-President Paul Kagame renewed accusations of a direct French role in the killings.
To his credit Hollande seems to have taken on the role of regional gendarme in the enormous Sahel region.
The EU has no shortage of crises on its borders and beyond, it is hard to see that she will succeed in galvanizing European governments into a more coherent foreign policy.
His recent reception in Haiti leaves a lot to desire.
On Thursday he said he would not seek a second mandate if he fails to deliver on his pledges to expand national wealth and lower a long-running rise in joblessness.
“We have to go further with reforms concerning youth employment, integration of long-term unemployed people, improve the performance of our businesses, facilitate the financing of our economy,” he added.
What are his prospects for success in 2017? Zero.