...Continued from page 1

Mayor Slams Parents

The deputy–mayor of Draveil in Essonne, Georges Tron of the UMP party, today said that he intendedphoto, cheese by night to immediately cut off municipal aid to families with a member who has been convicted during the urban turmoil.

According to reports the official instructed the town's social services to stop distribution of food tickets, access to baby sitting or the community centres. This measure was announced last Wednesday in a letter to parents, but seems to have had little effect because nobody convicted seems to have a family receiving aid.

From the street opera – 'Cheese by Night.'

In fact, according to the report, the number of convicted is unknown. All the same the deputy–mayor intends to be absolutely firm. "I'll tell them that if they want their kids to eat in the school canteen they must start by not burning the canteen down." Draveil has had several public and municipal buildings targeted by troublemakers.

Verts Object to 'Urgency'

When the Assembly National meets on Tuesday to vote on the measure to prolong the 'sate of urgency,' the three deputies belonging to the Les Verts party will vote against it. Deputy Noël Mamère told France–2 that the Verts are not 'on the same line as the Socialists,' adding, 'which has hesitations.'

"It is not by force, by repression, order or fear, that the problems of the banlieues will be resolved," he said, adding, "It's only with an attack on the cause of this desperation, that we can open a dialogue."

Monsieur Mamère was commenting about the action of Georges Tron Draveil in Essonne. He guessed that this is already part of the presidential campaign. "It's a remake of 2001, about insecurity, but this time comes from the suburbs, with the people considered to be foreigners of the interior."

Attention Surprises France

The government, seemingly hardly aware that television news has evolved since 1960, has expressed surprise at coverage of events in France over the past three weeks by foreign audio–visual reports. Unable to call the images back, the government decided instead to hold a charm session this afternoon.

Government spokesman, Jean–François Copé, was again host. An attempt by him to 'de–shock some images that deformed the reality of facts,' kind of missed the essential, which is to put shocking images on TV–news regardless of whether they reflect reality.

Saying that it was merely a 'minority of international media that caricatured events' was pointless. "They talked about a France on fire, for example," he said, "that anyone could tell, is far from the truth."

But the clincher, Monsieur Copé asserted, "What's has happened in France has already happened in other countries and might happen in other countries tomorrow."

However the nominal host of the foreign press in France, foreign minister Philippe Douste–Blazy, chose to say that if he were invited, he intended to appear before all the Anglo and Latino television cameras possible.

He noted, "I've seen with pleasure that all of them have said it could happen to them too." He alsophoto, center of the world, vavin said he noted that foreign reporters have reported that the violence is decreasing, and that a poll claimed that three out of four French are behind the government on the subject.

Centre of the World at Vavin glitters more.

France is riding on tricky ground if it thinks its foreign image is going to improved by saying 'it could happen to you.' Of course it could, but TV–news isn't anybody's friend. If your house is burning today, then you are today's story. No hard feelings.

The government should be thinking about its own problems instead of trying to control external PR, The way it looks is not the problem. Saying 'it could happen to you' suggests the government doesn't have a clue about what's going on, or what to do about it.

Europe Chips in

Despite cool relations between Paris and the Portuguese patron of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, he is willing to send a gracious 50€ million to France to buy some calm, while letting it be known that more can follow.

The 'more' amounts to a billion but it is not exactly a gift either. The initial 50 million is part of an already–voted package called the 'Urban program,' for the period 2000–2006. As for the billion, it is part of the 'Structural Funds' available for problem regions in France, but has not yet been allotted for specific projects.

There will be a meeting this week between the Commission and French delegates to decide exactly how to cut this cake. Not on the menu are any embarrassing questions about what France did with the pieces of cake it has already received.

For news updates during the week look for News on the contents page.

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