Friday, March 24, 2006


when you speak in that foreign tongue:

French President Jacques Chirac defended Friday his eye-brow-raising exit from an EU summit session, accusing the French head of Europe's employer union of piquing French pride by daring to speak in English.

.... "I was deeply shocked that a Frenchman would speak at the council table in English," he told journalists, explaining for the first time his abrupt walkout when the summit opened on Thursday.

"That's the reason why the French delegation and myself left so as not to have to listen to that," he added.

Meanwhile, the answer to, 'Is Paris Burning?', is yes:

Rampaging French youths set fire to cars and looted shops in Paris last night, marring protests against a youth jobs law that Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin had agreed to discuss with unions.

....In Paris, riot police fired tear gas in clashes with youths, dubbed "casseurs" by the French, in the Invalides areas near the Foreign Ministry, Reuters witnesses said.

Youths threw stones at police and set fire to the door of an apartment building in running battles at the end of a largely peaceful rally by thousands of students and workers against the CPE First Job Contract.

"This time, there are lots of young criminals on the march who are there to steal and smash. This discredits the movement," said Charlie Herblin, a 22-year-old worker on the Paris march.

Organisers said between 450,000 and 550,000 people rallied across France, with about 140,000 taking to the streets in Paris in protest against a contract they say will create "Kleenex workers" whom employers can throw away at will.

Would that be, 'le Kleenex'?

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