Paris is a Continent N°9

Watching French incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech in Marseille Sunday night (his second speech since announcing he’s seeking a second term last week), I was hoping for a reference to how the financial crisis — the millstone round Europe’s neck, a politician’s nightmare — has hit the banlieueus. I should have known better. His words on the European financial crisis referenced the “Greek civil servant with his salary cut” and “the Portuguese retiree with his pension cut” but “France was not swept away by a crisis of confidence”. He’s talking confidence in the French economy, not in his person. Presenting himself as the country’s savior (“I’ve avoided France from a catastrophe”), he showed himself the ‘respectable’ fanatic people have started to suspect him to be. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is this: there’s a whole world in between the Champs-Elysées and Greece. It burned in 2005, as French-Cameroonian rapper Mac Tyer reminds us in his new ‘Justice’ video, and it has been left smoldering since.

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