...Continued from page 1

Despite all of its power, Avis Bohlen suggested that the United States will need help to extricate itself from Iraq. Olivier Giscard d'Estaing called for a solution to be brokered multilaterally, or by the United Nations.

It seems to me that the fundamental difference between the United States and France is the definition of the necessity for war 'only as a last resort' – which is how the French government put it last year.

It hardly matters now that events have shown that unilaterally having a war with Iraq was not a 'last resort.' The thing has been done, right or wrong, and what is now needed is a speedy way to conclude it in a manner that saves some 'face' for all concerned, as well as saving some lives.

G8 + US = Private Revenge

The coming summit meeting of the 'G8' in Savannah already has a surprise in store for the press. The organization of the press centre, several dozen kilometres distant from the location of the summit meeting, has been turned over to a private catering company. For a chair they are charging $350, plus tax.

A mini TV studio costs $2500, but includes one table and two chairs. A lamp costs $95 extra, and an additional chair, $40. A telephone line has a charge of $295, and a telephone rents for $30. For a video–conference hookup to the summit meeting location, the charge is $23,000.

Le Parisien laconically notes that last year at Evian everything was on the house, and meals were tossed in, free, TTC.

New Campus for U of Chicago

I must read the wrong newspaper. Friday's Le Parisien notes that Laurent Fabius will be spending a couple of weeks teaching at the University of Chicago beginning on Tuesday, 25 May – without mentioning that the University of Chicago inaugurated its first foreign centre in Paris last Thursday and Friday.

For the occasion Chicago's mayor, Richard M. Daly, was on hand along with the university's president, Donphoto: rue campagne premiere Michael Randel. Two hundred other 'friends of the university' were in Paris, to meet with the Senat and with Paris' mayor Bertrand Delanoë. Also on hand was ex–Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, who will be a senior lecturer at the university's Chicago campus.

Not just a language school, The University of Chicago's Paris centre intends to enroll students in courses in English, economics, political science, history and mathematics, in addition to offering French and civilization courses. The Paris site, in an area being redeveloped into a learning centre, will have other activities such as colloquia, debates and conferences, that are open to researchers from France and elsewhere in Europe.

The University of Chicago considers itself to be the most European of American universities. In 1991 the French government recognized the university's standing by awarding an annual grant towards funding its 'Chicago Group on Modern France' program. France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs entered an agreement with the university in 2000 to create the 'France Chicago Center,' which promotes courses on modern France. More than 70 Nobel Prize winners have been associated with the university. Chicago and Paris became 'sister cities' in 1996.

Hooray! – the Chunnel Turns 10

It seems like only yesterday that the tunnel under the Channel opened for business, but it was ten years ago, possibly on 7. May 1994. Other than this uncertainty about the exact date, the Chunnel is real. I've been through it twice, and my feeling was that it is an extension of Paris' Métro, but with fancier wagons.

To celebrate, there have been several press features about it – mostly to bemoan its financial problems and political shortcomings. According to one opinion the Chunnel's greatest failures are the non–view from the Eurostar train and that cars can't drive through it.

This might be one of its political advantages. Suppose Napoléon or Hitler wanted to invade Britain – they would have to take the train, wouldn't they? Putting an army into Britain via the Chunnel might remove its element of surprise, but it might also make its eternally whining stockholders happy. Am I the only one who dumped the stock while there was something left of it?

But it is these other stockholders for whom the Chunnel was built. Unluckily for them, the Chunnel only makes enough to cover its operating costs by hauling seven million Eurostar passengersphoto: passage d'enfer a year through its 50 kilometres of concrete lying on the seabed between Calais to Folkestone. Car ferries and airlines handle the rest of cross–Channel traffic, but none are as fast and convenient as the Paris–London trains.

The Chunnel was conceived in the time of Margaret Thatcher, who no doubt insisted that it had to be a private–capital deal, despite ample hints that a huge infrastructure project like this would never become a blue–chip stock value. Thatcher was wrong about a lot of things, but her fans are still willing to vote for her.

Nearly everything written about the Chunnel focuses on its financial plight, and nearly nothing is ever written about what a sweet ride it is – to get on the train in London and get out less than three hours later at Gare du Nord in Paris. In my case, I switch directly to the RER and get out at Denfert–Rochereau, a ten–minute walk from my door. No ferry or airline can match it, and nobody intends to have a birthday for either.

Contre l'Antisémitisme

Between ten and 20,000 took to the streets to march on Sunday to eliminate the 'silence about anti–semitism' in France. On the tribune installed on the steps of the Opéra at Bastille there were prominent members of the government and of the opposition, plus anti–discrimination leaders.

There was some disagreement about whether the display should be purely against anti–semitism, or against all forms of discrimination. This problem was resolved by having two parades, with the second one following the first by 50 metres.

horz line
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