...Continued from page 1

Some stores intend to be open on all Sundays and others only on a few Sundays. This is a timid initiative compared to the Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Elysées, which is proposing to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The fnac in the next block will have to consider their neighbor's plan as well.

On the hotel front, the estimated 250,000 foreigners and 350,000 residents of France expected to be staying in Paris, have not filled up all the hotel rooms. People in the business even think clientele will drop 10 to 15 percent off normal for the time of year. Many of the French stay with friends and relatives, and foreign non- SportsFans have planned their visits for some other time period.

Bernard Tapie Gets Suspended Sentence

Mr. Tapie has been living a quiet life, with only occasional court visits. On Thursday, an appeals court at Aix-en-Provence reduced a sentence of three years, with 18 months suspended, to three years suspended and a fine of 200,000 francs. Mr. Tapie, an ex-government minister, was also stripped of his civic right to vote or run for office for five years.

This was the 'OM Accounts' case, which involved the Olympic Marseille football club and its books. The court decided, in effect, that Tapie hadn't personally 'enriched' himself as a result of fiddling the club's accounts, and was merely somewhat responsible for the irregularities.

Mr. Tapie served nearly six months in prison after being convicted of being involved with fixing the outcome of a football match between Olympic Marseille and Valenciennes - in Marseille's favor.

He faces another appeals court on 24. June when his 18-month conviction for fraud in the yacht case - the 'Phocéa Dossier' - comes up for a decision. Even if he can get this one reduced to a suspendedphoto: cafes rue cloche perce sentence, high-powered Paris anti-corruption judge Eva Joly has begun another investigation into the former wheeler-dealer businessman's affairs.

Three restaurants edge to edge in the rue Cloche-Perce make table-hopping easy.

Bernard Tapie used to specialize in picking up run-down companies for little and setting them back on their feet. He did this with 'Wonder' batteries and when Addidas got in trouble, he pumped new life into it - until Crédit Lyonnais pulled their loan out from under him, which contributed to his downhill slide.

Besides businesses, he ran the Olympic Marseille team up to the top of the French league, was a government minister, occasional movie star and frequent TV personality; and generally had a high profile life style, while maintaining a discreet private life.

Saving companies, having winning football teams, being a Mr. Dynamic and appearing as a TV personality are not thought to be 'French' traits in certain circles. When Tapie went down the word 'schadenfreude' gained new depths - except with his friends and Olympic Marseille supporters.

If Mr. Jospin is really interested in making something out of Air France, he might be able to persuade Mr. Tapie to take on the job of fixing it up - so long as he pays him a symbolic franc to do it.

Big Weekend Events I Missed:

La Grand Fête National de la Pêche. Mom's Day; again! The 24 Hours of Le Mans Marathon High-Speed Rain Race. Europe's Bike Day. The End of Roland Garros for This Year. Le Parisien Discovers Today the Two-Week 'Euro'-coin Day Ends in Marly Next Weekend. The Prix de Diane Hermès à Chantilly.

Not a weekend event, but I missed it until now: it looks like the Ville de Paris has sold the entire area of the fountains at Trocadéro to Addidas for a 'football park.'

The 'NikePark' at La Défense has been bugging me because I have to walk a long way around it every time I'm there; but at least it is built in the concrete desert that passes for cozy out at Paris' low-grade 'Manhattan' copy.

But Addidas taking all of Trocadéro! I don't think even Tapie could have pulled this one off. Suppose it gets hot? Those are public fountains underneath and although you are not supposed to cool off in them, a lot of people do. Enough anyway, to have established a 'right-of-way,' I should think.

SportsNews - Anyone for the Complete TV Program?

Since I can find no spectacular news of any stupendous sporting exploits by residents of France other than horses, how about the WC'98 TV program?

Le Parisien has the program divided into 'Absolutely Must Watch,' 'Watch If Possible' and 'If You Don't Have Anything Else To Do.'

Scotland against Norway on 16. June doesn't sound boring. Neither does Chile against Austria on 17. June. But I think I'll mark my calendar so as not to miss the match between Japan andphoto: skateboarder Jamaica on Friday, 26. June. Oh, darn! The small print says it will only be video clips from the game.

A sidebar to the feature says there are no more TVs with liquid-crystal displays left in France as they have been snapped up for use in offices, in buses, in the métro and by street sweepers.

Metropole's fast-action live and exclusive sports photo of the week.

All that are left are old-fashioned black and white tube models. They run on current or batteries and apparently their only drawback, besides lack of color, is that you have to change the channels by hand. 'Like a radio,' Le Parisien explains.

I keep feeling that Le Parisien will escape the '50's at any moment, but on other days I'm not sure. Next week, I'll tell you about the re-vamped 'France-Soir,' which will downsize to tabloid format on Monday - and cost a franc less than Le Parisien. Is it a morning paper, I wonder?

The SportsBar Has Moved to the Fútbol Page for the duration. Bon chance!
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