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Friday, 25 April 2014

Friday's French music break - Faul & Wad Ad vs. Pnau, "Changes"

Friday's French music break this week is "Deep house".

Say what?

"A style of house music which fuses elements of Chicago house, jazz-funk, and Detroit techno." apparently, and whose "sonic qualities include slower beats per minute, fewer vocals, darker emotions, jazz-influences, and dissonant melodies."

Right well that's clear, if not a

And "Deep house" is reputedly the correct term to describe the music produced by French DJs Faul & Wad Ad as they "go up against" (versus) Pnau with "Changes".

Faul & Wad Ad (From Wikipedia - author Amolithis)

It's all in the art of "mixing" and "sampling" it seems, with Faul (Maxime - who seems to lack a surname) and Wad Ad (Camil Meyer) nabbing the "best bits" from the chorus of "Baby" by the Australian dance music duo Pnau and then doing their stuff in the studio.

The result?

A "Deep house" classic and an instant hit, variously described as a "beautiful dance monster" "with an irresistible warm vibe, impossible to stand still to" and which just calls out to us "to move and shake... with its tingling sax-riff that sits on a gorgeously structured beat.

Yes, clearly the song has not failed to prevent those apparently "in the know" from waxing lyrical without a hyperbolical care in the world.

Don't you just love music reviews?

Anyway, "Changes" might be familiar to some of you as it has been a commercial success in more than one sense of the word.

It has been a top 10 hit in more than a dozen European countries (including Germany and the United Kingdom) since its release in November 2013 and is still lingering at number 11 in the French charts.

And Mercedes decided to use it in the current TV campaign for its C Class.

Anyway, forget all those somewhat puffed-up critiques of the song and decide for yourselves.

Oh yes, and should you want to delve further into "Deep house" try checking out this link for more gobbledygook on the genre.

Take it away Faul & Wad Ad vs. Pnau (try saying with a straight face).

Thursday, 24 April 2014

A French football fairy tale - Luzenac Ariège Pyrénées

It's a touching tale, guaranteed to warm the cockles of any football fan's heart and probably those who usually aren't in the least bit interested - the rise and rise of Luzenac Ariège Pyrénées, LAP (formerly Union Sportive de Luzenac).

Forget all that high profile Qatari cash bankrolling a horde of international stars at Paris Saint-Germain as they attempt (with a degree of success) to buy themselves trophies.

Ignore all those Russian rubles Dmitry Rybolovlev is pouring into AS Monaco in an effort to keep pace with the excesses at PSG.

The real heart of the so-called "beautiful game" in France is, for the moment, alive and kicking elsewhere.

Because in the best traditions of fictional UK comic team Melchester Rovers,  LAP have just won promotion to the French second division.

No mean feat for a team originally from a village with fewer than 700 inhabitants who don't have a stadium large enough for the big time rigours of the professional league and in 2010 were on the verge of bankruptcy.

LAP celebrate after securing promotion to Ligue 2 (screenshot i>Télé report)

Their financial fortunes changed in 2011 when they were saved by Toulouse-based businessman Jérôme Ducros the following year.

He called on 1998 World Cup winning international Fabien Barthez (also originally from the département of Ariège) to act as honorary president and later general director to give the club a more professional approach to recruitment of players and staff.

And under trainer Christophe Pélissier, who has been with the club for the past seven years, LAP have moved through the ranks of amateur and regional divisions to become the smallest team to make it to the Ligue 2.

"If you had told me when I started at the club that Luzenac would be playing in Ligue 2 seven years later, I would have laughed at you," he said in an interview.

"But that's exactly what has happened...even though we still have a few problems coming to terms with it."

LAP trainer Christophe Pélissier (screenshot from official website

Luzenac's recent 1-0 win over US Boulogne was enough to give them the necessary points to secure promotion.

But as something of a poignant reminder about how fickle football fortunes can be, it's perhaps worth remembering that just a few years ago, Boulogne were playing in Ligue 1 alongside the likes of PSG and Monaco.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

How serious is François Hollande about (maybe) not standing for re-election in 2017?

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going," runs the cliché.

And if you just happen to be the French president, François Hollande, it provides an opportunity to throw in the proverbial towel a few years in advance - just in case.

Hollande's statement last week that he might not run for a second term in office in 2017 if he didn't succeed in lowering unemployment in France must have gasted a flabber or two because it was hardly a sentiment you would expect from someone holding the highest office in the land.

“If unemployment doesn’t improve between now and 2017, I have no reason to be candidate and no chance of being re-elected,” Hollande said during a visit to  Michelin's Ladoux research and development site just north of the company's headquarters in the town of Clermont-Ferrand.

And he added - just as he has for the past couple of years - that all the government's energy would be put into fighting unemployment because, "the challenge was the most important one the country faced."

François Hollande during a visit to Michelin (screenshot France 3 report)

Well at least Hollande was being consistent as it's a pledge the French have heard repeatedly ever since he took office in May 2012.

Every month, the (now former) employment minister, Michel Sapin, massaged and reinterpreted the figures to show that while unemployment was on the increase, the rate at which it was rising had slowed down - or so he wanted everyone to believe.

Doubtless, now that Sapin has been moved to the finance ministry, his successor François Rebsamen will (be forced to) do the same.

Meanwhile Hollande, who had promised an absolute decrease by the end of 2013, stuck his head in the sand in true ostrich style and continued repeating his Méthode Coué mantra that unemployment would drop before finally admitting (well he had little choice in the end) that he had failed to reach his objective in one year.

Clearly not one to learn from his mistakes, Hollande has now extended the deadline by another three years and all the time, once again staking his political future on the same objective.

So is it really time for the Socialist party to begin looking around for another potential candidate for 2017 allowing the political manœuvring to gather steam (not that politicians need much encouragement).

Is it simply Hollande blustering and preparing the country for another three years of rising unemployment?

Perhaps it's potential political suicide as some pundits have suggested, should Hollande not be able to pull it off.

Or maybe his apparent commitment is a courageous, but at the same time foolhardy, one.

It's probably anybody's guess - even among those who profess to understand how (French) politics works.

There again, Hollande's definition of what might eventually constitute a turnaround could remain as vague as much of his policy direction has during his (almost) two years in office.

One thing's for sure. Hollande's statement is hardly one which inspires confidence and it surely just adds weight to the belief by many, even within his party, that the cause for the bad showing in the recent local elections was not so much the former government's policies but...Hollande and his style of "non leadership".

Friday, 18 April 2014

Friday's French music break - Angela Gheorghiu and Piotr Beczała, "La bohéme"

True to form this week's Friday's French music break isn't

Still, the setting of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's 1896 (yep, bang up to date) opera "La bohème" is Paris (the Latin quarter to be exact) and what is probably one of his best-known and popular works has just finished the first of two runs at l'Opéra Bastille.

Setting the opera in the 1930s as the (now 20-year-old) Jonathan Miller production does, might have upset some aficionados down the years, but quite frankly with Romanian soprano (and ace diva) Angela Gheorghui up there on stage as Mimi, supported by Polish tenor Piotr Beczała as Rudolfo, who gives a damn?

The pair reprise the roles they performed together in San Francisco five years ago.

Angela Gheorghiu and Piotr Beczała (screenshot from San Francisco Opera preview, 2008)

Angela Gheorghiu and Piotr Beczała (screenshot from San Francisco Opera preview, 2008)

Gheorghui, suitably capricious and coquettish (both vocally and in terms of behavious with nobody quite knowing how she would perform on the night) in a role that has become one of her "fetishes" or signature pieces.

Beczała with a fine voice, but perhaps lacking the resonance of others who've sung the role and finding himself almost competing at times with the orchestra under Israeli conductor  Daniel Oren the

Ah "La bohème"!

Yes the libretto is far from being mindblowing. It's all about romance; "a love affair between a poor poet ( Rudolfo) and an equally hard-up seamstress" (Mimi) - doomed because, although they're made for each other, he's jealous of her flirtatiousness and she has consumption, to which she succumbs in the final act.

That's the not-quite "Brodie's Notes"-like plot version. Full of melodrama and lacking the great themes of some of Puccini's other works perhaps.

But - and it's a big but - "La bohème" is stuffed to bursting point with heart-rending arias and the most exquisite arrangements.

Puccini could pen a tune or two!

Anyway, Gheorghui and Beczała's  run came to an end on April 11.

Bravos all round as each member of the cast took their individual bows at regular intervals after the final performance with Gheorghui pausing just long enough to let everyone who was really the star, before making her way on to the stage.

But you can still catch ""La bohéme" at La Bastille in July with another Romanian soprano, Anita Hartig (who made her New York Metropolitan Opera debut debut in the role at the beginning of April) , and Italian tenor, Massimo Giordano, taking over the main roles.

Well worth seeing.

For the moment though, here's a "preview" video clip of excerpts of Gheorghui and Beczała performing in "La Bohème" in San Francisco in 2008.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Do polls "predicting" François Hollande defeat in first round 2017 French presidential elections make any sense?

Ah political polls. Don't you just love 'em?

The frequency with which they're commissioned and published in France would have you believe the French do...well at least the country's media does when the news schedule is slack or journalists feel like a good old job of "professional" political speculation.

The latest "nonsense" poll to be published is one carried out by OpinionWay for Le Figaro and LCI telling us that if the 2017 presidential election were to take place today (well, you know how these things work) François Hollande would not make it past the first round.

He would only win 18 per cent of the vote in the first round, trailing both the far-right Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen (25 per cent) and the (presumed) candidate for the centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP) Nicolas Sarkozy (29 per cent).

In other words the presidential second round in 2017 would be between Le Pen and Sarkozy.

(screenshot OpinionWay poll of voting intentions)

"Allô ! Non mais allô, quoi," to quote a great modern day French thinker.

What's this all about.

Seriously - forecasting results three years hence, based on a poll taken today is...well, misleading to say the least.

Of course it's probably one of the drawbacks of the "quinquennat" or the five-year presidential mandate passed by Jacques Chirac in 2000 and first used in 2002 to replace the previous seven-year term in office.

No sooner has a president been elected in France, than attention seems to focus on what might or could happen five years down the line.

Of course Hollande is unpopular at the moment. We know that because...well the polls keep telling us and the media delights in repeating it.

But predicting that Hollande might not even make it past the first round in 2017 when he's not even halfway through his term in office is...well surely complete and utter nonsense.

In fact it's a non story and one of pure fiction.

Sure it feeds into the widely-held (according to those very same opinion polls) belief that Hollande is incompetent, lacks clear vision and was the major reason for his Socialist party's defeat in last month's local elections,

But in and of itself, the survey says nothing about the likely outcome in 2017. Rather it's just a snapshot of current opinion and the image those polled have of Hollande.

After all, if a week is proverbially "a long time in politics", what the heck does that make three years?

Not convinced? Then just take a look at what a poll, taken at a similar stage during Sarkozy's term in office, predicted for the first round of the 2012 election - two years before the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair hit the headlines.

Sarkozy followed by Martine Aubry and François Bayrou.

(screenshot La Nouvelle Edition, Canal +)

The actual result (just in case you needed a reminder) Hollande 28.63 per cent, Sarkozy 27.18 per cent and Le Pen 17.90 per cent.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Friday's French music break - Compagnie Blanca Li, "Robot!"

Friday's French music break this week is something a little different.

First of all it's not French.

And second of all (don't you just hate it when people say that?) it's not music.

Instead it a performance of "Robot!" (with music of course) from the Blanca Li dance company.

It's the Spanish choreographer's latest creation and one which premiered at the Festival Montpellier Danse 2013 and then ran for a series of 11 dates at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris at the end of last year and the beginning of 2014 before going on a national tour of France.

Images (screenshot from video trailer of "Robot!" on Blanca Li official site)

Li sets out to explore the relationship between human beings and machines - in all their forms including robots, computers, vending terminals, cash distributors, barcodes and GPS.

And in the process she poses questions such as "whether our robotic alter egos will one day express feelings?" And if so, "would they be a reflection of what humanity unconsciously wants to represent?"

To help her explore these (and other) issues, Li enrolled the help of the most bizarre and "wonderfully whimsical" music composed and played by the Japanese art group Maywa Denki and their "elaborately over-engineered electronic and mechanical instruments and devices".

And the miniature NAO robots (provided by the French robotics company Aldebaran), taking their very first steps, "dancing" in unison or giving a rendition of "Besame Mucho" (with Li's voice).

Images (screenshot from video trailer of "Robot!" on Blanca Li official site)

In the midst of all this are the company's eight dancers who put on a sometimes graceful, often gymnastic and always exhausting physical display.

Sure, "Robot!" isn't everyone's choreographed cup of tea but it's entertaining and innovative nonetheless.

And there's something rather thought provoking surely about the idea of those in the audience perhaps pondering (or not) as to what the heck they're doing watching a robot "sing and dance".

There are still a handful of dates scheduled in France for both ""Robot!" and another show the company is currently performing, "Elektro kif".

You can find out when and where on the official website.

For the moment though, here's a glimpse of what you might have missed...possibly without regret. But there again dance, just any other art form, is a matter of personal taste.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Human rights group given the heave-ho by far-right Front National mayor

He promised during his election campaign that he would do it and Steeve Briois, the newly-installed far-right Front National mayor in the town of Hénin-Beaumont in the northern French département of Pas-de-Calais has proven true to his word.

Steeve Briois (screenshot AFP report)

In his first political act since taking office, Briois has suspended the grant to the local branch of the Ligue des droits de l’homme (Human Rights League, France - LDH) and ordered the association to vacate the premises it had occupied free of charge under the previous mayor.

"For years, the LDH (in Hénin-Beaumont) has benefited from grants and has been allowed the free use of local government-owned office space," said Briois.

"No lease been had ever been signed between the extreme left association and the previous mayor and the grant was completely illegal."

Hello? The LDH an "extreme left" assocation?

Well apparently so, as far as the FN is concerned because during the recent local election campaign, the president of the Ligue des droits de l’homme - Pas de Calais, Alain Pruvot, had warned "of the danger of the FN" and of the need to "block its way".

"We are quite aware of the danger there could be from the Front National gaining power in  Hénin-Beaumont and we want to make voters aware of that," Pruvot said at a press conference back in March.

"We want to counter ideologically the FN and show how dangerous it potentially is."

For Briois, that was tantamout to a non-governmental organisation meddling in politics, and cited a 2002 ruling by the Conseil d'Etat which declared that "organisations that fought a political party whose existence was legally recognised could not be subsidised."

In reality though, Briois was probably just following a line set down by the party's leader, Marine Le Pen, during the run-up to the local elections when she had said in an interview with Le Monde that associations should be "put up against the wall, to show them that they mustn't  interfere in the political debate."

As far as the LDH is concerned, the FN's arguments might be legal but they also come "with a whiff of a witch hunt."

"The LDH is a political organisation but not a partisan one," its regional delegate, Georges Voix, said.

"We're not fighting a political party but an ideology."

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Christine Boutin, "Homosexuality is an abomination"

No prizes for guessing which particular ex-minister came up with that delightful sentiment.

None other than Christine Boutin, housing minister for two years in François Fillon's first two governments under Nicolas Sarkozy.

The founder and, until last year leader, of the  Parti chrétien-démocrate (Christian Democratic Party, PCD) is well known for her tolerance and understanding of all things gay.

An "outraged" Christine Boutin refuses to answer questions about being married to her first cousin (screenshot LCP May 2013)

The now 70-year-old made her name on the national political stage during the parliamentary debate in 1998 when the government of the day, under Socialist party (PS) prime minister Lionel Jospin, introduced legislation to allow civil union between same-sex or opposite-sex couples; the  pacte civil de solidarité (civil solidarity pact) or PACS.

Boutin was vehemently opposed, most famously giving a five-hour speech during which she said (among many other things) that the legislation was unacceptable because it would  (paraphrasing) "put homosexuality and heterosexuality on the same, level, leading to the demise of society and seriously jeopardising the education of children."

Fast forward 15 years and Boutin was back on her soapbox, spouting her family values, predicting "civil war", the end of (French) society and marching at the front of the "Mariage pour tous" demonstrations against legislation to allow marriage between couples of the same sex.

She was in her element once again, insisting she was not a homophobe while also talking about (shortly after the legislation passed) what appeared to her to be "an invasion of gays".

So the editors of the quarterly political magazine Charles must have known Boutin would be good for a quote or two when they invited her to answer questions about her "vision of sexuality and morals" (and her views on Dominique Strauss-Kahn) in their most recent issue.

That's when she seized the opportunity to make, what she sees, as an important distinction between a homosexual or lesbian and the sexual act.

"I have never condemned homosexuals," she said. "Homosexuality is an abomination. But not the person," she continued.

"Sin is never acceptable, but the sinner is always forgiven."

Yes, Boutin at her "best" - and too much even for the leader of the centre-right Union pour un mouvement populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP) and the man she had backed in the battle to win that position in 2012, Jean-François Copé.

He turned to Twitter to give his reaction to Boutin's views, calling them, "intolerable, unacceptable and unforgivable."

Although Boutin no longer holds elected national office in France, you can expect to hear more from her during the upcoming campaign for the European parliamentary elections.

She has launched the list "Force vie" with candidates (including herself) offering an anti-system alternative to the established parties, which for Boutin includes the PS, UMP and the Front National.

Watch out Strasbourg!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Olivier Falorni - well and truly "April Fooled"

Remember Olivier Falorni?

He's the man who, after having received the support of that infamous Tweet from the former first lady Valérie Trierweiler, went on to beat Ségolène Royal, the Socialist party's official candidate for La Rochelle, in the 2012 parliamentary elections.

(screenshot Le Grand Journal, Canal + January 2014)

It was a defeat which stymied Royal's chances of being chosen to be the president of the national assembly and left many wondering whether she would ever make a return to frontline politics.

Meanwhile Falorni took his seat in parliament, joining the group of the Parti Radical de Gauche, (Radical Party of the Left, PRG) rather than that of the ruling Socialist party.

And little or nothing was heard of him in the national media...until last week that is.

Because the 42-year-old was the "victim" of an April Fool: one played on him by the comedian and impersonator, Gérald Dahan.

April 1 was the day the newly-appointed prime minister, Manuel Valls, was busy putting together "his" new government - and an ideal opportunity for Dahan to continue his practice of playing pranks on well-known people (and especially politicians) by ringing them under the guise of being someone else.

He has done it before to the likes of, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Nicolas Sarkozy and, yes, even Royal.

It might not always be particularly clever or amusing, but it invariably reveals more than the butt of the joke might wish to be made public.

And that's exactly what happened on April 1.

Dahan rang Falorni, pretending to be Valls and wanting to know whether the 42-year-old would be interested in a job in the new government.

During the course of the conversation, Falorni disclosed what he (and many others) thought of Royal: how she was "uncontrollable and unpredictable" and how working with her (or under her as a junior minister) would be unthinkable.

But as you can hear from the clip which Yann Barthés and his team at Le Petit Journal on Canal + (inevitably) played on Friday evening's edition, Falorni eventually agreed to accept a position in the government with Royal as his immediate boss.

There are also some delicious behind-the-scenes disclosures from Falorni as to how many of those public alliances between "leading" members of the Socialist party are...well "surprising" to say the least.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Friday's French music break - Boulevard des Airs, "Y siguen pasando"

If you like a Spanish flavour to your music, then you'll  probably enjoy this week's Friday's French music break.

It's "Y siguen pasando", a track taken from "Les Appareuses Trompences, the most recent album (released in 2013) by Boulevard des Airs (or BDA for short).
(screenshot from YouTube video)

On their official site, the nine-piece band describe themselves as "an alternative rock group", although with such diverse self-declared influences as Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers and (inevitably perhaps) Manu Chao, their music is difficult to pigeon hole.

The lyric-driven tradition of the French "Chanson", reggae, ska, pop, rock and latin rhythm all figure in the group's assorted repertoire and they sing in French (of course) Spanish and English.

And the "group of mates", which includes brothers Florent and Jean-Noël Dasque, from the southwest of France aren't hard up for choice when it comes to mixing intrumentals into their music.

Accordion (don't groan) trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, piano, ukelele, guitar and drums all play their part and make those lives performances - and there have been plenty of them, because this is a group that thrives on the contact with its public - a real treat.

"We've more or less reached our goal, which was to be able to earn a living while making music," group member Sylvain Duthu said in a 2013 interview

"We've also had the chance to play a lot of concerts primarily in France and the reaction we've had from audiences acts as a spur for us to carry on."

The connection with the audience during concerts is probably the real strength of the group which formed in 2004: that and the fact that they all seem to be having a ruddy good time on stage (watch the second video which is a compilation of some of their live performances from 2013).

Little wonder then, that BDA were nominated in the category Group or Artist Stage Révélation of the Year in 2013 at Les Victoires de la Musique (losing out to multi-winners C2C).

BDA are currently in Madrid for a series of concerts but will be back in France, playing at a town near you, from the end of May.

Enough of the "Bla Bla" (incidentally, the title of their most recent single). Here's "Y siguen pasando" followed by that compilation of live performances from 2013.

Have a good weekend.

Local elections in France and the case of Maurice Fritel - a very bad loser

The battles have been fought, the results have been digested and the post-mortem has been done.

The French local elections are over for another six years.

Up and down the country, mayors and their councils are now busy installing themselves comfortably while the losers are returning to life as normal.

Well not quite. At least not in the village of Saint-Germain-d'Aunay (population 174) in the département of Orne in northwestern France.

You see the former mayor, Maurice Fritel, has left those who will succeed him, a less than pleasant welcoming gift - or two.

Maurice Fritel (screenshot France 3 television report)

First up, Fritel, who hadn't been planning on for standing for re-election as mayor for health issues but wanted to remain on the council, decided to dig up the only path leading to the salle polyvalente, or village hall, making it impassable for vehicles other than tractors or four-wheel drives.

The 69-year-old was well within his legal rights as although the land on which the village hall stands is public property, the path he ploughed and which leads to the building...well that belongs to him.

(screenshot France 3 television report)

But Fritel, who had been mayor of the village since 1978 didn't stop there.

He also "nicked" all the chairs from the mayor's office: chairs he had himself "donated" to the local council some years back.

"People who supported me asked me to remove him (Fritel) from the list," the newly-elected mayor, Louis Toqué, told France 3 television.

"They were the same people who had stood against him in the last elections and his removal from the list this time around clearly upset him."

You don't say!

Fritel is far from being contrite though.

In fact he seems rather amused and satisfied with himself.

"I didn't hide anything from anyone," he said. "All you have to do is take a look at the property register to see that the land belongs to me."

The cost of building a path (on communal land) allowing vehicles access to the village hall will be around €6,000.

Sounds like a great place to live.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

French Green party's "absurd and immature" decision not to take part in Manuel Valls' government

All right, raise your hand if you understand what the French Greens are playing at.

Speculation (yes it's a cliché but what the heck) as to the composition of the government to be announced by France's brand spanking new prime minister Manuel Valls.

But one thing seems certain. It won't contain any members of the Greens - or the Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) to give the party its proper name.

When the French president, François Hollande, formally announced on Monday evening (wisely missing the April 1 dateline by a few hours) that he had asked Valls to form a new government, former Green ministers Cécile Duflot and Pascal Canfin (who?) quickly responded by saying they wouldn't accept any position offered.

Canfin even went as far as to say that Duflot had turned down the post of number two in the new government and an important portfolio for reasons of "political coherence" (never the Greens' strong point, as will soon become evident).

But there was still hope that others within the party might see sense. After all the Greens were the (very) junior party in former prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's government and could still have had their say in forming policy.

On Tuesday four of the party's big wigs, Emmanuelle Cosse, Jean-Vincent Placé, Barbara Pompili and François de Rugy toddled off to meet Valls and have a good ol' chinwag about the party's possible participation in his new government.

Or not, as it turned out, because it all came to nowt.

After a natter among themselves in the evening, the party's executive office took a vote, deciding, as they announced on the official website, that despite the propositions made by Manuel Valls, the conditions for their participation in his government hadn't been met.

A decision which was both "absurd and immature," as far as Green parliamentarian François-Michel Lambert was concerned.

While for de Rugy, one of the party's co-presidents in the national assembly, it was "incomprehensible decision and a blow for the ecologists."

Jean-Vincent Placé (screenshot BFM TV

It's easy to understand their frustration especially as on Wednesday morning Placé appeared on Jean-Jacques Bourdin's show on BFM TV to confirm that "no member of the party would be included in the new government, not even in an independent capacity" even though during Tuesday's talks Valls had offered the post of...wait for it...minister of the ecology, environment and energy.

Oh well. That makes perfect a member of the French Green party.

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