...Continued from page 1

The majority right-wing party, the UMP, claims it had nothing to do with this - on the grounds that it had no wish to 'divide the country.' Put another way, no desire to show the left any 'red capes.'

Five unknown associations were the co-organizers of the 40,000 who filled a small part of the Placephoto: video rental de la Concorde. The police put the number at 18,000, and the organizers put forward the number as 150,000.

The official season for mass strikes and demonstrations is over until the fall. The big issue at the 'rentrée' will be the 'reform' of the state health system.

Nothing on TV? Easier to rent a video than buy a pizza.

One right-wing protester characterized the left in France as the most anarchic 'in the world.' There is also a familiar phrase for the right-wing, and it is 'the world's dumbest.'

So far, according to Le Parisien, the majority UMPs are managing to restrain their arrogance, and except for some minor internal disagreements are managing to remain united.

This probably has to do with the types of relatively minor problems that can be handled with administrative decrees - such as intolerance with speeding on the autoroutes, or deporting people who have no valid residence papers.

But 'reform' by decree won't work. As long as the government has a majority to push it through, it will be resisted by the out-of-parliament opposition.

This can be overcome for a time, but if the majority swings back to the left, it can undo what the right has wrought - just as easily as the right is undoing 100 years' worth of social legislation now.

Late Score for the Fête de la Musique

Paris has a few Sunday papers, plus dozens of radio and TV stations, but for some reason an all-day all-night party involving thousands of performers, 20 arrondissements - plus all of France - with perhaps millions of spectators, received next-to-no coverage, and no estimated attendance score.

My own rough estimate of the capacity of the Champ de Mars, was that it was nearly full. Without an overhead view, it is impossible to guess how many were there because after sundown, it was kind of dark.

Other witnesses said that hordes of pedestrians took over the streets of the Quartier Latin, and there were very few cars trying to move about. There was, they said, a lot of dancing in the streets.

The police on duty in Paris, announced in advance as numbering a thousand, made 81 arrests in the city. Most of these, as reported, were the 'usual suspects.' Of those arrested, 54 were retained in custody.

Update - found, by chance, on Le Parisien's third last page, the report of the TV coverage from the Champ de Mars.

The report says the Préfecture de Police estimated the crowd at 200,000. Following the manifestation 'rule-of-thumb,' this means there were probably 350,000 present. If it had been a union event, the guesstimated figure would have been 550,000.

France-2 TV estimated its audience at a mere three million, lowered most likely by the affair being an active people's event in the streets rather than a passive TV-only event.

TV focused on a 34 square-metre stage for four hours. The invited guest-stars numbered 38, some of whom played other public venues such as the Place de la République.

TV's sound quality was criticized, and one announced performer never was located. In person, near the Ecole Militaire end of the Champ de Mars, no sound at all was audible as music.

The 'Concert of His Life'

Only a week earlier, Le Parisien devoted two whole pages to one 60 year-old French rock star, who gave an 'unforgettable' performance for a mere 55,000 life-time fans of all ages, from all parts of France, at the Parc des Princes stadium.

The newspaper even had good things to say about TF1's TV coverage - which was restricted to an average-sized stadium rather than a whole city - except to remark on a 'trés regrettable' commercial break at 22:45.

And for the short of memory, this 60th birthday concert by Johnny Hallyday was compared to the one he gave for his 50th birthday, in the same stadium. No doubt true fans are already planning for Johnny's next concert, and perhaps his first retirement announcement, in 2013.

Airbus Gets Gravy

The Salon du Bourget came to an end this weekend after getting a fair amount of TV coverage during its two-week run. One of its low points was one of the few remaining Concordes coming in for a final landing, before becoming an exhibit at the airport's Air and Space Museum.

On a higher- flying note, Airbus triumphantly announced that it had picked up 64 firm orders forphoto: poster soirs d'ete its passenger jets. Of these, 26 were for its new super-big A380 model, which is not expected to be in the air before 2005

Korean Air ordered eight A380s and nine Boeings, the only ones Boeing sold during the Salon. Other big customers for Airbus were Emirates and Qatar Airways, both based in the Persian Gulf at Dubai.

Despite the 2000 passenger jets currently parked and inactive, Airbus is optimistic about the future. The European consortium foresees the world's fleet of 11,000 aircraft increasing to 20,000 in 2020, which will require 15,000 new machines - because most of today's 'parked' fleet will never fly again.

Rumor has it that Boeing will even abandon the civil aviation business, and rely on Uncle Sam's military needs for its future orders.

Online Weather Warnings

We are in the bright grip of summer now and it seems to be going about it about more sunnily than in past years. In contrast, France-Météo's online alert service is very short-term. Its level '3' and '4' warnings are changed to colors for TV presentation, with orange indicating 'beware.'

Mainly these warnings will about areas beyond the area of the Ile-de-France. But summer is summer and even Paris is not completely immune to passing storms.

If you are curious or need to know more about France's summer weather, give the MétéoFrance Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts.

Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini