More on Defense Minister Herve Morin in Thiberville, June 6, 2007


Defense minister Herve Morin will be running in the legislative elections today (June 10th) (He must win these elections for his elected post as deputy for the region before he can then hand the post over to assume duties as defense minister).

Major points of defense minister Herve Morin’s speech:
(these are my jotted notes while listening to lightening speed french with the aid of a videotape to jog the memory!) I also need to make mention of the mood in the room when Minister Morin arrived. Although he is a ‘homeboy’ born in Pont Audemer (Eure) and residing in Epaigne for a good part of his life, one cannot deny the aura of energy that he embodies – he arrives in a rush and immediately goes into a flurry of handshaking, kisses on both cheeks in true Norman fashion – he has a word for practically everyone in the room (there are over 120 of us present). The sense of energy is undeniable, palpable.
“I don’t want us to fall into pessimism. 35 years ago the French buying power was comparable to that of the Americans. We were among the best countries of the world in the fields of space, armaments, trains, nuclear power centers. 25 years ago France was capable of feeding the totality of Europe. “

Main points: Strategic defense – with an emphasis on research and development.
Development of university degrees in defense and defense R&D.

Stopping France’s braindrain.

Reorganizing the medical field to transfer some of the General Practitioners’ visits to be done by trained nurses (i.e. flu shots) Creating more regional medical universities.

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Service militaire – reinstitution – “impossible” What is possible will be a 6 month civil service commitment which could take the form of work in education or various aspects of ‘solidarite’.

RE: Defense these would be the first steps:
1. reflection on the strategic risks
2. what are the menaces – and what are the alliances to be made?
3. From that point, a ‘nouveau format’ can be constructed.

Why did you leave the UDF party: One can’t always criticize. You have to build.

RE: Immigration – particularly in regards to Africa.
Solutions. There will be a restraint on movement, particularly by confirming that families have sufficient means of living before bringing in more family members.
But the key element, Morin points out is that “We need to do the same thing that the United States did for Europe after World War II when they installed the Marshall plan. The key word here is ‘Help them!”

In response to a question re Russian president Vladimir Putin’s recent proposals,
“Maintain dialogue.”

Speeding tickets – talked about the gendarmes coming over from Le Havre to Cormeille (because the locations were ‘easy’ spots to catch speeders) (Le Havre is one of France’s major ports. Cormeille is a very small village located in the heart of the departement).

One of the veterans (and farmers) asked the question re retirement. “We were veterans during the war, we were asked to help supply France with food at the end of the war, and we were promised that we would be compensated – I receive a veterans’s pension of $800 Euros per month and my wife receives $400 Euros.”

(Unfortunately I didn’t catch the answer to this question – although a sliding scale was suggesting for medical costs – and particularly for medical deductibles. This might alleviate the retirees’ concerns about healthcare costs, but I didn’t hear any solutions to paying such other fixed expenses such as electric and telephone bills!)