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Sarkozy 101

Parislogue readers, you know I’ve been devoting a number of posts to France’s new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, even though I’m not normally a politically-minded person – I’m more interested in individuals who stand out from the crowd.

In the past, most of my references have been to articles written by French journalists either in Le Figaro or Le Parisien, so now I’m delighted to link you to an English-written article by Walter Wells, a retired executive for the International Herald Tribune for the monthly magazine France Today. Sarkozy’s Running Start does such a good job of summing up the last several months of pre-and-post election France. After reading Wells’ article you should have a good idea of Nicolas Sarkozy’s stance – and savvy. You’ll also have a good handle on the difficulties that he may face regarding opposing political parties and labor unions this fall. What does this mean for you as a traveler? Strikes? Quite possibly.

France Today: Magazine of French culture and travel is in its 22nd year of publication. Keeping their finger on the pulse of France and providing authoritative and in-depth coverage of current events is the magazine’s goal. With contributers like Wells, I’d say they’re off to a running start.

There are a number of good reasons to brush up on current events before traveling to France. First, from a practical viewpoint, if you know for example that the Rugby World Cup will cause most of the hotels in Paris to be fully booked in September and October, or if you know that Fall is traditionally the season of strikes, then you can prepare – at least psychologically for the inconveniences.

Maybe even more important, having some idea about European politics and current events will allow you a starting point for conversations about the topics that matter to French residents. It’s bound to make your trip a better one – and more fulfilling.