President Plus Prime Minister: Cause for Confusion?


Jack Lang has been around as long as I can remember – and that’s a long time. Back in the 1980s, starting in 1981 he was minister of Culture.

We can thank Jack Lang for initiating the Fete de la Musique, the creation of Zenith concert halls. Now Nicolas Sarkozy has invited this longtime fixture of the Socialist Party to participate in a Committee of Reflection.

And even before joining the committee, Lang had to do some serious reflection as to how his fellow socialists might react to his crossing over to the other side of the street (if, even as he suggests, he did so for the noble cause of “combating to reform institutions.”




Lang euphemistically describes the reaction in the socialist camp as a ‘tropical storm’ but suggests that after the rain comes the good weather. Paris’s mayor, Bertrand Delanoe enthusiastically supports Lang (Lang also ran for mayor of Paris but was defeated by Delanoe).
Delanoe also used a weather metaphor when discussing the possibilities of running again for mayor of Paris. He suggested that he might run for another term, simply to groom a future mayor to take his place – ‘I’m not an – ‘after me, the deluge’ kind of guy’ in other words. He also suggested that it’s the socialist party that’s been cast into a state of confusion (by the usual suspects).

Much more so than any confusion between the roles of the president and the prime minister in the current government. Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Fillon. What’s so confusing?

Meanwhile, according to today’s “Le Figaro”, Lang’s first suggestion as member of Nicolas Sarkozy’s ‘Committee of Reflexion’ is to do away with the post of Prime Minister. I hope Prime Minister Fillon is having a strong cup of coffee with his croissant.

The second suggestion is limiting the number of terms a president may serve. “Like they do it in America” (This is the guy who was vehemently anti-American culture back in the eighties BTW) He hasn’t mentioned anything yet about how many terms a culture minister should be allowed to serve.

Here is a suggestion. If the Committee of Reflection does suggest doing away with the post of Prime Minister, how about making Francois Fillon Vice-President – “like they do in America”?