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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
As promised, here is a short account of the latest antics of the President of the area in which I live (Languedoc-Roussillon). He is currently awaiting trial for what amounts to racist remarks (disguised in a charge of "insulting behaviour") towards a section of the French society, called "the Harkis", who were/are proud of their attachment to France, and of the fact that they fought and died for France in the last war. Of course, everyone is allowed to their own opinions, but as a politician, in the limelight, it is to be expected that the President of a Department/Region does not go around informing members of minority groups that they are "sub-people" (German="Untermensch"), or if he does, that he expects to be taken to task for it. Not Mr. Freche, his only excuse (to date) is that he said what he said in a moment of aberration, and anyway it was taken out of context! I have heard the comments, in the context of which they were said, and no "out of context" was involved! Maybe Mr Freche was over-excited in a Gallic fashion, but this is not the first time that Mr Freche has been "over-excited".
If one thinks of the fact that he is a Socialist, or professes to be so, one asks oneself what type of comments the French right wing may think they can allow themselves.
Mr Freche has only just escaped from his last outing, an attempt to change the name of the Department/Region of which he is President, from a very successful and well-known "Languedoc-Roussillon" to a strange sounding "Septimania", which recalled something to do with bad or poisoned blood, "Septicaemia"!
This little outing cost the taxpayers in the Region quite a few million of Euros, and was categorically refused by all and sundry - except Mr Freche and a few cronies.
Changing official stationary, publicity, altering the regional magazine's name to "Septimania" and then back again, plus a hundred of other little "items" cost millions, so much so that this years' local taxes saw increases of up to 30%! These increases are, of course, passed on down by the rich to the poor, rents increase, services are more expensive, etc and all due to a megolamania of a single individual, who is STILL in power.
Incidentally, the proposed new name "Septimania" was apparantly the name given by the Romans to the area, many centuries ago. Maybe they knew why, but Mr Freche most certainly didn't! In fact, his effort to immortalise himself, was so badly/secretly done, that very few residents of the Region were even aware that the name was changing! I had occasion to write to the editing staff of the Regional Magazine called, at the time, "Languedoc-Roussillon"to ask them when it was proposed to change the name, and after some weeks waiting, I received the answer that they were not aware of a region called "Septimanie". Well, they were in the same boat as 90% of the Residents!
Time to go, Georges, I guess Industry will still find a place for you, but don't make expensive mistakes like you did in Politics - you may have to pay for them!