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World View: France's Politicians Fear Widespread Unrest After Amiens Rioting

World View: France's Politicians Fear Widespread Unrest After Amiens Rioting

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • France’s politicians fear widespread unrest after Amiens rioting
  • German view of France: Nostalgic and Narcissistic
  • Multiple bombings create hundreds of casualties in Afghanistan
  • Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing with Gaza
  • Norwegian tourist falls asleep on airport baggage belt

France’s politicians fear widespread unrest after Amiens rioting

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets and deployed a helicopter toquell unrest in Amiens in northern France on Monday evening. Theywere responding to rioting by around 100 local youths who usedbuckshot, fireworks and other projectiles to injure 16 policeofficers. There is fear that the unrest may spread and become moreviolent, as happened in 2005. ( “Paris riots continue for seventh night”) Major riotingis nothing new in France, with the French Revolution in 1789 and theParis Commune in 1870 each killing tens of thousands of people inParis alone. It’s thought that poverty is the underlying cause of theriots, especially among immigrants from Africa. AFP

German view of France: Nostalgic and Narcissistic

From an article from Der Spiegel:

“France is a deeply nostalgic and narcissistic countrywhich is also, precisely for those reasons, very charming. Thecountry would like to be part of Europe’s north, but its heartbelongs in the south. It will take more than navel-gazing to getthe nation through the euro crisis unscathed.

A few weeks ago, French President François Hollande spoke in thegarden of the French Embassy in Rome. He had met that afternoonwith Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, German ChancellorAngela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and, onceagain, had opposed German demands for reforms. And then, in theevening, he gave a speech in which he bemoaned, at length, thedemise of French as an international language. It sounded oddlynostalgic, as if he somehow hoped to stop the global triumph ofEnglish.

Both appearances in Rome had more in common than it would seem atfirst glance. One of the reasons France is currently such adifficult partner in Europe is that the country Hollanderepresents is old-fashioned — and hopelessly in love with theidea of being old-fashioned. It lives in the past, and even whenit knows that it’s in trouble, it refuses to change. …

France’s problem is that it can’t decide whether it wants to bepart of the north or the south.

On the one hand, when it comes to economic power and politicalclout, the country compares itself almost obsessively withneighboring Germany. Its politicians leave little doubt as totheir conviction that they represent the most important country inEurope. But at the same time, what France cherishes about itselfis its southern side. It sees itself as a Mediterranean countryand is proud of its way of life, an area in which it feelssuperior to the Germans — and the rest of the world.

Both sides of the French psyche are in full evidence in Paris,where long lunches seem to be an essential part of doingbusiness. Some French employees are entitled to more than 40vacation days a year. Conversely, many work longer days than theirGerman counterparts. And there is also an elite consciousnessamong those at the top of society, which they have worked hard toearn in management schools and top universities.

But in rural France, for example in villages in the Corrèzedepartment, the former constituency of President Hollande, thereis a world in which time seems to have stood still fordecades. France’s old-fashionedness is both fascinating andgrounds for despair. This country sees no reason to conform to therest of the world, and it becomes stubborn when the rest of theworld wants it to do precisely that.”

Der Spiegel

Norwegian tourist falls asleep on airport baggage belt

Officials spotted the tourist when they saw this X-ray image on the baggage belt.  (La Repubblica)
Officials spotted the tourist when they saw this X-ray image on the baggage belt. (La Repubblica)

A 36 year old Norwegian tourist at Rome’s Fiumicino airport tried tocheck in for a flight to Oslo, and found no one on duty. So he laydown on the baggage belt and fell asleep. When the belt finallystarted up, he didn’t wake up, and reportedly traveled on the belt for15 minutes before he was spotted on the X-ray monitors. Telegraph (London)

Multiple bombings create hundreds of casualties in Afghanistan

In one of the deadliest days of the year for Afghanistan civilians,at least 39 people were killed and more than 100 injured in multipleterrorist bombings up and down Afghanistan. There were nearly a dozenwould-be bombers, though all but three were arrested or killed beforethe attack. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings, butit’s believed that the Taliban are responsible, and are showing theirpower as the American and Nato forces plan their withdrawal in 2014.LA Times

Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing with Gaza

The Rafah border crossing, that allows Palestinians and others totravel freely back and forth between Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai region,was closed following the August 5 attack that killed 16 Egyptiansoldiers, but was reopened on Tuesday. According to one observer,complete control of the streets in major areas and there seems to beno tribal infighting.” Daily News Egypt

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