30 March 2007

France: It ain't all stinky cheese...

And insufferably haughty waiters...

They've got a few other irons in the fire.

-- The conservative candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, wants to create a ministry of “immigration and national identity” that would require newcomers to embrace the secular values of the republican state.

-- The Socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal, wants every French citizen to memorize “La Marseillaise” and keep a French flag in the cupboard for public display on Bastille Day.

-- The far-right candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, of the National Front party, chortles that his rivals have stolen — and therefore validated — his message of “France for the French.”
Which, of course, brings us inevitably around to... shssssshhh...
For the past few years, France has struggled with economic and cultural issues related to its immigrants.

One is shared by much of the rest of Europe: how to stop the influx of illegal immigrants who drain a country’s economy and social services.

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