Paris Mayor - Bertrand Delanoë

photo: le madignan, blois

The closest bistro to Blois' château.

Europe's Sad Animal Time

Paris:- Sunday, 25. March 2001:- According to all sources available to an ordinary 'Internet Reporter for Paris' like myself, the left has not been in control of Paris 'for nearly a century.'

I have no idea why there has been no 'count-up' for this vital factoid, but right-wing control of the city ended today after 'nearly a century' when a majority - 92 votes out of 163 - of newly-elected city councilors elected Bertrand Delanoë to be Paris' number one mayor.

Jean Tiberi, President of the Jean Tiberi faction of the city council, intended to put his name forward for the post but the mainstream RPR-UDF-DL group was thinking of abandoning the fight.

For TV-news, this also seemed to be a ripe occasion to tell its viewers about Bertrand Delanoë's whole life and career, in audiophoto: entry petits degres st louis, blois and video clips, lasting about 150 seconds. I suppose doing this before voting took place might have been construed as free and illegal publicity, but better late than never, right?

We have learned that Bertrand Delanoë was a national spokesman for the French Socialist Party in the early '80's, when he was marching arm in arm with other Socialists such as Lionel Jospin, who is currently Prime Minister of France.

Simply an average doorway in Blois - not any sort of 'light at the end of any tunnel.'

At some date, which I did not catch, Mr. Delanoë switched from the national political scene to Paris' municipal combat.

In the name of parity, Anne Hidalgo was named first deputy mayor of Paris. For their part in the leftist victory, Les Verts saw their Denis Baupin get the tricky transport post and Pénélope Komitès was awarded parks and gardens.

Slightly before officially becoming Paris' mayor, Mr. Delanoë flew to Vienna on Saturday, to assist Social Democrats there in their municipal elections, which were held today.

No Houseclean?

Paris has 40,000 employees and a 'few hundred' contract workers. Some of the latter may lose their jobs if their bosses were not re-elected, but in general, the new powers in city hall want to keep all the expertise they can. They say.

Those they can't, they have pointed out - can pack their bags and move out to the 'Province' - where so many new right-wing mayors were recently elected, and are presumably in need of Parisian talents.

Even high civil servants serve their elected superiors, and some cannot avoid having become somewhat 'political.' If they were not too 'exposed,' they merely have to serve their new bosses by accepting the new political realities.

For some, according to a city Socialist, the only criteria are competence and loyalty. For others - well, there is always France.

Hoof and Mouth, Tooth and Nail

After the discovery of the first case of hoof and mouth disease in France on Wednesday, 14. March, it has taken until yesterday for a second case to be detected. The government immediately extended its restrictions concerning animals to the entire country.

While Britain suffers from a raging epidemic of the disease and is taking draconian measures to combat it, about five cases have been discovered in Holland - leading the European Community to stop all inter-country transfer of live animals.

What animal-health officials fear is the possibility that the disease has already been spread far and wide by the common practice of transporting animals between various countries.

A month after the outbreak in Britain, 500 tests of animals there have been positive, leading experts to fear that the number could rise to 4000 cases by June. Already, the army has been called in for its engineering expertise, to help dispose of destroyed farm animals - which are being slaughtered in the thousands.

According to all reports, hoof and mouth disease presents no health hazard to humans. In practical terms, because of quarantines, travellers may be required to expose themselves to disinfectants upon arriving in Europe or travelling between European countries.

It is also possible that sporting events, such as horse racing, may be seriously affected - for a long time to come.


Strikes by workers at the Musée d'Orsay and at the Château de Versailles ended on Friday, but the labor action being carried out by some workers at the Louvre is continuing.

Except in Paris, there are expected to be public transport strikes beginning on Monday in all major cities and towns.

According to news on the radio, Paris' turn comes around this coming Thursday, when a national strike is expected to hit SNCF operations. This will affect RER lines 'C' and 'D.' Trains headed east out of Paris were reported hit by labor action last Friday too.

Pedestrian, Cycle and Roller Day

This annual event, which marks the beginning of spring in Paris, rain or shine, took place today - when many of the city's streets were reserved for non-combusting engines - was not well-advertised as faras I could tell.

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