A Week in France / August 18: No Summer Rest for the Weary

Photo: Quinn Dombrowski for flickr

Photo: Quinn Dombrowski for flickr

Every Sunday, La Jeune Politique looks back on the events that made the news in the past week, giving you the chance to catch up on the articles you missed and more.

As always –except perhaps in election years – the first half of August is the slowest time for French politics. Politicians and journalists are gone for their well-deserved holidays after an intense and often divisive year. But since the crisis has emerged, new expectations have arisen. Politicians are now perceived more and more as privileged, and the time when they were allowed to spend their holidays in some tropical paradise is gone. Hollande made no mistake about it: rather than the Fort of Brégançon on the French Riviera, the French President spent his holiday week in the Castle of the Lantern in a Paris suburb. He even ordered his ministers not to leave the country. Perhaps this is a little excessive. Of course, high-level politicians are privileged, but they (or most of them, at least) work hard and where they spend their own money on holidays should not be of public relevance. With that said, they still enjoy several other privileges off of tax payers’ money that we should be more concerned about.

Tuesday, August 6

Toptal, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, accused professional network giant LinkedIn of “extreme sexism within the tech community.” LinkedIn disabled ads featuring female engineers and later deleted Toptal’s account. The chain of events began in late July when Toptal’s chief operating officer…

Wednesday, August 7

Lyon police have arrested a French Air Force officer after uncovering plans to attack a local mosque. The as yet unnamed 23-year-old soldier was detained at the Lyon – Mont Verdun Air Base on Wednesday, August 7 and has been in custody since. After undergoing four days of interrogation, the young man confessed to plotting…

Monday, August 12

While the French government is opposed to Russia’s new anti-gay law, it does not support a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to Minister of Sport Valérie Fourneyron. In Moscow for the 2013 World Championships in Athletics, Fourneyron told her Russian counterpart Vitali Mutko that France…

Wednesday, August 14

Last week, French egg producers smashed thousands of eggs on the streets in response to a lowering of egg prices. This year, their eggs are worth only 70 euro cents (94 US cents) per kilogram, down from 1.10 euros in 2012. The decline in price resulted from several factors, including overproduction and renovation costs, which French farmers were forced to execute on hen houses to meet new European regulations. The protests took place in…

Coming up next week on La Jeune Politique

During these summer holidays, the government takes no rest, as Ayrault takes over during Hollande’s brief respite and takes pride in the country’s surprise growth over the second quarter. Meanwhile, France criticizes repression in Egypt, the nation fails to shine in the latest Shanghai University Rankings, and more on the lawsuit Twitter.fr faces after several homophobic trending topics. And of course, the latest news as it develops.

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