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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Rama Yade under fire - again

It hasn't been an easy time recently for France's junior minister for sports, Rama Yade, who is trouble again.

This time around it's over her opposition to the government's plan to abolish the droit à l'image collective (DIC) des sportifs professionnels: a tax break if you will, which currently saves rugby and football clubs in particular millions of euros each year as up to 30 per cent of a player's income can be treated as "image rights".

Yade has refused to toe the line, warning that the change would be "dangerous for the competitive status of French sport".

This latest clash comes just a couple of weeks after she broke ranks with the rest of the government by expressing disquiet publicly over the proposed nomination (later withdrawn) of the French president Nicolas Sarkozy's second son, Jean, to head Epad, the development agency for business district of La Defense on the outskirts of Paris.

The reaction, and in particular criticism of Yade from her own party, the ruling centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP) , over her opposition to the DIC amendment, has been swift.

"(Rama Yade) has failed to show solidarity within the government," the prime minister, François Fillon, said on Tuesday.

"I have told her that the consequences will have to be faced."

Those consequences could see Yade losing her job entirely.

Already there have been rumblings from the Elysée palace (Sarkozy's office) that she doesn't "know how to be a team player" and that there will more than likely be another government reshuffle after next year's regional elections in March.

Oh yes - and therein lies another issue.

The UMP party wants Yade to contest the Val-d'Oise département in the Ile de France region surrounding the French capital.

But Yade is resisting the pressure saying she doesn't want to be perceived as an "ethnic parachute" and would prefer to stand in another Ile de France département, that of Hauts-de-Seine, where she is already a local representative.

Yade of course is no stranger to controversy.

Indeed during her time as junior minister for human rights from June 2007 until summer this year she almost seemed to court it, often at loggerheads with government colleagues and in particular Sarkozy.

She had more than a few run-ins with her big boss and was frequently been hauled in for private ticking-offs such as during the visit of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to this country in December 2007 for example, when Yade spoke out in public and criticised the Libyan leader's human rights record.

Yade was also the object of a more public dressing down when she refused to stand for election to the European parliament, preferring to concentrate on he domestic political career.

In June this year of course things came to a head. The position she had previously held was scrapped entirely and Yade became junior minister for sports: a post widely interpreted as a demotion and a way of keeping her quiet but not getting rid of her entirely.

The thinking perhaps was that while keeping her in government, after all she regularly ranks in opinion polls as one of the country's most popular figures, there was little she could do from such a position to draw attention to herself!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Job johnny!

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