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This was reflected in a poll that indicated that the truckers had an 88 percent approval rating for their actions in France. How many pedestrians were polled was not indicated.

Constitutional Change Ho-Hum

The proposal to change France's seven-year presidential term to five years, which will be decided at ballot boxes on Sunday, 24. September, seems to be meeting general indifference.

Polls indicate that only 40 percent of registered voters intend to vote. Of these, possibly 77 percent will vote for the reduction of the term of office.

Polls also indicate that voters are very confused, with only 78 percent of 'oui' voters actually approving the constitutional change. However this eclipses the voters who will vote 'non' - who can only muster a 68 percent disapproval rating.

Of the 100 percent who have been predicted to abstain entirely, 75 percent think society faces more important challenges. Half of this group think abstaining will send a high-tax protest message to somebody, while the other half thinks the opposite.

Robert Hue, secretary general of the French Communist Party, is for 'active abstention.' I think this means that the number of voters who don't bother to go to the polls, regardless of how many, is or is not a 'vote' in itself.

Paris' Official Carless Day

For the past couple of years, there has been an official 'carless' day in France. This day was certainly never entirely 'carless' in Paris, but it was a step in this direction.

This year it seems as if Paris will not be officially involved with the project organized by the Ministry of the Environment.

Apparently the city has to propose the measures it intends, and it did, and these were rejected by the ministry. Even 'reading between the lines,' I cannot figure this out.

So the mayor ordered a new proposal, based on last year's idea of a near total traffic ban. This time it was the Préfecture of Police that pleaded it hadn't enough time to put the more ambitious project into action.

The Green faction in the Hôtel de Ville claimed that the mayor was showing his 'true face' on the problem of pollution. The mayor's office insisted that Paris would have its carless day, without the official label of the Ministry of the Environment.

Web Life In France:

France's Patrimony Weekend

This coming weekend set aside annually to take a look at cultural heritage which includes all of Europe as well as all of France.

In France, the 'Journées du Patrimoine' take place this coming Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17. September. The heritage of the 20th century is the theme, with emphasis on its European aspects.

Classed by subjects such as home, neighborhood, education, sports and arts - and many more - the Web site forphoto: street gas pump this year's 'Journées du Patrimoine' program' should have complete details for you. You can search through the program by text or by geographic areas.

Last Wednesday, this Paris filling station was still filling cars' tanks.

On the ground - in past years - this weekend has offered the possibility of visiting many sites that are not ordinarily open to the public. If you are in France at this time, it may be your 'chance of a lifetime.'

Public Access Internet

After the RATP set up its free-access 'Cyberdecks' in certain RER and métro stations last March, the idea is attracting new operators.

France's La Poste offers to furnish everybody with an email address. These are accessible via the thousand post offices equipped with iMacs. The rechargeable 'Cyberposte' card costs 30 francs per hour, after paying an initial 50 francs for the first hour's connection for it.

Not wanting to be left out of the game, France Télécom has started to set up 3000 'Netanoo' stations throughout France. These will also be activated with a card, for about 90 centimes per minute. Within a short time, these should also accept normal debit cards too.

During the summer, Photomaton, the operator of the ID-photo cabins, announced that it would set up Internet access points near its photo vending machines.

Present and Past Olympic Games

The Olympic Museum has the history in text, photos and video of the Olympics, plus all the latest developments - including, I suppose - ample presence of all the logos and stadium slogans that add so much to the visual aspects of the games.

In case you are wondering what the Olympics used to look like, the Olympic Television Archive Bureau has a Web site with old films, plus new films showing all the logos and stadium slogans in color.

The 'Official' Weather

Météo France gets another run this week on account of delivering good weather today. This is the official source for France's TV-weather people. If you don't get French TV where you are, you can get the weather from where they get it. Because it is 'official' - meaning: as true as possible - don't expect forecasts to exceed 24 hours.

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