Chirac To Go To New York

photo: march in limours, sunday

The marché on Sunday in Limours.

Ladies Have Better Noses

Paris:- Monday, 10. March 2003:- "Nobody can predict in advance the results of a war. They are seldom positive." So said Président Jacques Chirac on TV this evening, when being questioned by journalists from the two main national TV networks here.

He confirmed his intention to go to New York on Tuesday or Wednesday, to attend a session of the Security Council - saying when it comes to a question of war, the highest political leaders are in the ultimate position of responsibility. Only they are capable of making the most crucial decisions.

In the question and answer session, Mr. Chirac repeated France's position of opposing war while UN weapons inspectors are continuing their task. He added that he thought thephoto: rue roger massive presence of US and British troops in the region of Iraq has probably contributed to Iraq's increasing willingness to cooperate with the UN inspectors.

But he was firm in insisting that the weapons inspections should allowed to continue according to the current resolution - until they are either successful, or the inspectors report to the UN Security Council that Iraq's disarmament is not real.

The Rue Roger in the spring that I don't believe in.

When asked about France's possible veto of a new UN resolution calling for an immediate war, the French president said that the UK and the United States had used vetoes many times in the past, without causing permanent damage to the UN system.

He also said - emphasizing 'today' - that he doubted that a new resolution would get a majority of Security Council members behind it. But if it did, he said he did not think France would be the only permanent member of the Security Council to veto the new resolution.

He repeated several times that 'war' was the worst choice, while also saying that France was not a pacifist country - not today, and not in history.

All of the president's statements conformed to the line taken by French diplomacy in recent weeks - that there is no need for war with Iraq as long as the UN weapons inspectors are reporting to the Security Council that Iraq is being disarmed, however slowly.

Full Noses for Ladies

The recent Salon des Grands Vins let loose a new wave of media attention concerning wine connoisseurs who claim to have better noses than men, because they use them more for fine things - such as perfume and food.

In a poll, 41 percent of the ladies said they wanted to be consulted about choices of wines, and 38 percent of men said they thought it was aphoto: old, closed shop good idea to have the cook have a say about what could go best with a meal.

An older closed shop - probably one that didn't sell wines.

For volume, most wine is sold in big shopping centres, and women already buy three bottles out of five sold in these places. Since they get to decide about so much else that lands of French tables, they want more say when it comes to choosing wines.

It is pretty much agreed that women have a more acute sense of taste and smell, and many more women are exercising these senses with skill.

Sandwiches Gain Popularity

According to a report in Le Parisien, the French consume 765 million sandwiches per year. The paper recently ran a taste test on seven models. Of those tested, only one was rated 'excellent,' two were rated 'not bad,' three were rated 'average' and one flunked the test completely.

Ready-made sandwiches have risen in popularity here because of the 35-hour work week. With so much increased free time, nobody has time to spend it eating. Slowly.

Safe Travel Better than None

Every year there is a big salon featuring travel ideas and destinations at Paris-Expo. The purpose of it is to have all offers in one place, in front of hordes of potential customers - who even pay to get in, pay to expose themselves to every temptation.

This year, because of an unstable geopolitical situation, some destinations are less desirable than others. Other destinations which have only an average attraction in normal years, are seeing increased interest.

For example, the French Antilles, which have been getting a bad press recently, are receiving a lot more bookings than, say, Iraq. Travellers who are seeking absolute security in foreign lands can't go wrong by choosing dozy Switzerland.

In general, holidayers who aren't avoiding foreign countries altogether, are choosing countries considered to be 'safe.' Some adventurous souls are betting against the house, and doing the opposite because they are buying into dumping prices.

For the aid of French travellers, Le Parisien has published a map that indicates countries that are 'sure' or are 'risky.' All of Western Europe is free of risk, and so is all of North American except for the United States and its state of Alaska.

In the Middle East, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria are thought to be less risky than Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Israel. Libya gets a thumbs-up, but not Tunisia and Algeria.

Finally, France itself is in a special category. It is neither white for 'risky' nor gray for 'no risk.' France is colored black, but the map's legend has no explanation for this category.

Travel operators are saying that a lot of clients are taking a 'wait and see' stance. Other say that there are customers who may have already booked their trips to desert lands, but may end up in Finland at the last moment - like they did in 1991.

A Destination In the 'Black'

Paris and the Ile-de-France saw a slight rebound of visitors in 2002, with an increase of 2.3 percent over 2001 figures. These numbers are always sketchy because they are based on overnight stays in hotels, and do not count Metropole readers whoown or rent apartments here.

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