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Comments 47
Performance Review [Mr. Lovenstein]
  • Yeah, but the new guy's gonna be cheaper than the one with experience!

    I mean, think about the next quarter benefits! Stop searching for stuff like 'reliability' or 'long term'. That doesn't mean anything to the shareholders who'll jump ship the next month.

    (It's definitely an hyperbole, but it does raise a good point over hyper short-termism leading to mass layoffs for 'profitability'. The sick days are just the excuse needed to part the employes that will support their hyper toxic management structures from the ones who aren't 'team players')

  • A European Citizens Initiative wants to introduce a Wealth Tax (and they need your help)
  • For the first part, I agree with you. An international agreement, like what was done for baseline multinational taxes, would be preferable. However, given the sway many million/billionaires hold over smaller (autocratic) countries, I don't hold out much hope on that front, unfortunately.

    As for your second point on moving decision making away from the voter, this is ideology. The EU parliement needs to vote on every text, and members are directly elected by EU citizens. For me (in France), I feel as though the EU has been much more respectful of democratic pressure than our national institutions (point in case, all the chat control proposals so far have been dismissed, where as our president has passed many suveillance and other highly unpopular laws unopposed).

    There is certainly a point that can be made regarding regarding the fact that less populous countries send so few EU MEPs that they don't feel that they hold much sway ovet the EU, and we clearly need to find a better system than we do now.

    As for your last point, though I understand your position, I thouroughly disagree. There is no such thing as economics -let alone foreign policy- without politics, and it's something that was clearly meant to be with the establishment of the EU Comission, Council, and Parliement. There are many political topics that are difficult to being up on each single national levels, but that can cause positive effects in each EU country if not around the world (the so called 'Brussels effect', notably with standardisation of plugs, the creation of carbon emmission roofs for cars, or even GDPR).

    (btw I'm not one downvoting you, I think your point is interesting and needs to be discussed :) )

  • A European Citizens Initiative wants to introduce a Wealth Tax (and they need your help)
  • On the contrary, I feel as though a tax like that can only be done at EU level rather than a national level if it wants to have any efficiancy. The ultra-rich are not bound by the same rules of territoriality as the rest of us, and would have no problem moving to another country in the EU if a local tax displeases them.

    In fact, this has been a key argument put forward by right-wing politicians against high-wealth tax on a national level for quite some time, that they would flee the country the first chance they get. But by registering it at the EU level, the million/billionaires won't have anywhere to run if they still want to enjoy the benefits of being in the EU :)

  • French parliamentary election: Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) projected to win first round, beating the leftist NPF alliance and Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble
  • Culture wise? Probably. Institution wise though...?

    Our current republic was founded by de Gaule, and our constitution was written by him as well. The thing, he's a millitary general, who (much like a good chunk of the French population at the time) held disdain toward parlementarism, due to the lack of stability of the Fourth Republic.

    What that means? Our current system has much of the power concentrated in the hands of the gov (see 49.3 and to some extend 47.1 where the PM can just decide to override anu vote on law. It was something taboo, only used a fair few times before Macron, like once in 2014(?) and it ruined the PM (at the time Manuel Vals)'s carrier. Macron used it dozens of times throughout his years as President), leaving the National assembly with little manuveur than the censor motion (dissolves the current gov, but leaves the president in power).

    That and Macron preparing to sell our public media and hospital to the private certainly don't give me mich confidence in that regards if the RN were to win (' •_•)

  • Le Pen’s far right set for big win in first round of French election
  • From what I understand, he was hoping for :

    1. Destroy the incoming alliance between our two Far Rights parties (that worked)
    2. That the trad right party would implode (that worked)
    3. That the left would self-combust like always (that did NOT happen)

    And that he would thus be the 'only credible choice' against Far Right. (Note that in the last legislative elections, he was NOT given a majority in the National assembly so that he'd have to negotiate with other parties, which he refused to do anyway, except maybe with the small trad right wing party).

    Obviously, that didn't work out. As other in the French subs have pointed out, he's an ex-banker. He's used to making risky bets. But now's first time where he has to assume the consequence if he looses it.

  • Le Pen’s far right set for big win in first round of French election
  • (Here we go again)

    First things first, shame on you Politico for showing outdated projection results. The actual outcome has been published now (after big cities' votes, including Paris, have been counted) and Far Right lost 5% (they're now polling at 29.2%), barely ahead of the Left Alliance (28%). That's both lower than the polls (which were giving her a whoping 37%), and their result in the last presidential elections.

    Edit: source:

    Secondly, seat projections, right now are highly unstable due to our two turns system. RN (Far Right) might have some allies from the trad right wing parry who was utterly destroyed, but both the NFP (Left Alliance) and Macron's Renaissance* have said their candidates need to desist when they're third and Far Right is first to try to cumulate their votes.

    *Macron's PM Gabriel Attal has, for the moment, said there might be exceptions to that rule for the candidates of the radical left party France Unbowed which they consider to be be 'too extreme' for their taste so we'll see.

    (Also, slight reminder that Politico is a property of Alex Kreuger, the German equivalent of Rupert Mudrock. Don't expect full neutrality.)

  • French parliamentary election: Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) projected to win first round, beating the leftist NPF alliance and Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble
  • The vote finished in the night and we got the official results now. Paris voted massively NFP and Renaissance, so Far Right is now at 29.3% while NFP is just behind them at 28.0%. Honestly? Given the polls we had, RN is lower than anyone could have hoped.


    I'm kind of surprised this image of France having a Far Right issue is only becoming a thing now though. These results are close (if not better for non far right voters) than the last 2022 Presidentals, and Far Right already had a huge score in 2017.

  • French parliamentary election: Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) projected to win first round, beating the leftist NPF alliance and Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble
  • 34% is already lower than what they polled (and it will go down more as cities' vote get counted). Though, you are right, the normalization of Far Right IS scary af. But it's not a recent thing in France, it started nearly two decades ago, but surged to an extreme during the past few years esp with:

    • Bolloré (our own personal Murdock) bought more and more media, fired the journalists, and put propagandist in their place.

    • Macron started taking Far Right's talking points (immigration), language ('national preference', which is a concept that makes no sense) and methods (just two days ago, his party made, published and propagated on social media a fake 'NUPES' (name of the last Left Alliance) website to calculate one's future pension based on their 'program'. As it turns out, the calculations were not based off their program at all and was nearly always defavorable to the person)

    • Macron, when asked about the surge of Far Right, had only one response: bUt WhAt aBoUt tHe LeFt? (And goes on and on to try and sell a 'both sides' to try and make himself more popular. Spoilers: it didn't work) It's also why it's refreshingly suprirsing to not hear him bash 'theLleft' tonight, and instead call on everyone to vote against Far Right.

  • French parliamentary election: Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) projected to win first round, beating the leftist NPF alliance and Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble
  • Gee, the title sure is sensationalist. Nothing has been 'won' yet. The actual percentage here don't matter, the system works using two rounds in each circonscription (subdiv of France which can elect 1 MP). What really matters now is who will call to vote for who. The NFP (Left Alliance) leaders said no vote for Far Right, and Macron (in spite of how much he shat on the left) called for a 'grand coalition against the RN' (RN being Far Right here).

    And I'll repeat it as many times as it takes 34% IS FAR FROM 50% (The RN is unlikely to find allies, as all the traitors of the trad right wing party have already gone to them)

    Edit: forgot to mention that not all votes have been counted yet, the big cities finishing up later, which will likely drive the NFP's score up and RN's down.

  • La surprenante lettre envoyée par Gabriel Attal
  • Eh, j'la connais celle la ! J'ai reçu une lettre similaire il y a une semaine du candidat Ensemble de ma circo (avec mon nom écrit au stylot et tout). Sauf que le candidat NFP en face n'est même pas LFI donc son message sur "JLM premier ministre bouh !" marchait quand même beaucoup moins bien ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Mozilla roll out first AI features in Firefox Nightly
  • AI may have its uses, but the easy counterpoint to your argument is to look at FTX at its peak and where it is now (bankrupt). The stock exchange is the exact opposite of rational, and is terrible at estimating the use one can get out of tech.

  • EU rebukes France, Italy and others over excessive debt
  • Oh boy.

    This timing is terrible for us in France. After seven years of Macron who made austerity measure after austerity measure and somehow made our budgetal deficit worse, I can guarentee you that everyone (the population) is sick of it and whoever gets elected in our current legislative will NOT go down the path of 'reduce public expenses to reduce debt' as it would be political suicide right now.

  • French left finds governing agreement for 'new popular front' alliance
  • All parties in the Popular Front are generally pro-Palestinians (in particular, Macron's long-standing refusal to even acknowledge that Israel is doing any wrong has been particularly shocking to them, and a good chunk of the population).

    In their program they say (translation by me from Le Monde's article):

    • they want to "act in favor of the liberation of the hostages detained since the Hamas' terrorist massacres, of whom they reject the theocratic project."
    • they also say they want to "immediately recognize the Palestinian State alongside the State of Israël"
    • they want to "cut (stop) the French government's culpable support for [Benyamin] Netanyahu's far right supremacist government to impose an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and enforce the ICJ's [International Court of Justice's] order, which unambiguously refers to a risk of genocide."

    As for taxes, there's a lot of stuff (and I'm not translating everything on mobile lol). A lot of it boils down to revertibg all the terribly unbalanced and unfair tax policies of Macron like:

    • reestablish the ISF: the tax on one's fortune (generally seen as a rich tax) with a climate twist (not entirely sure what they mean by that, prob gonna make it even hugher if you things like private jets all the time)
    • abolish the flat tax: this one's a little complex and I'm really not an expert on this but it's seen as very unqaid. A left MP in 2018 said when this taw was introduced: "Whereas an employee earning 1.2 smic [the minimal salary in France] per month who gets a raise will pay a 14% tax rate on it, a billionaire who earns ten million euros more through a financial transaction will only pay 12.8% tax on this new gain"
    • reestablish the exit tax: that was a tax of "unrealized capital gains when taxpayers transfer their tax domicile outside France" (from what I understand, this was meant to fight against fiscal evasion like for when French company heads went to sell their assets in Belgium in which stock sale wasn't taxed. It was supposed to bring about ~800 mil eurosin 2016 had the tax not been removed by then when Macron was Minister of Budget)
    • new brackets to make taxes more progressive and fair
    • increase their number to fourteen for revenue tax
    • establish it in the CSG (generalized social contribution)
    • add some more on heritage tax, as well as adding a maximum upon it

    They also said they want to add a tax on products depending on how much they travelled throughtout the world (to be produced, I imagine), condition company subsidies to their respect of environemental & social norms (esp fighting discrimination within companies). They also want to tax financial transaction (I'm supposing they mean this at a EU level with the big 'Tax the rich' petition), agro companies super profits.

    On a related note, there are lots of stuff they want to do for the lower strada's budgets like:

    • make the first few kWh of electricity free of charge each months.
    • blocking the prices of some first necessity goods (food, energy, fuel specifically)
    • establish minimum prices at which the agro industry will have to adhere to to buy stuff from farmers
    • increase budgets for the creation of public lodgings to 1.4B euros (and increase by 10% the youth grants to help them find a place to live)
    • revert Macron's reform of the RSA (most basic and lowest income provided by the state that allows people to feed themselves if they don't have a job nor any other gov income like the one for unemployement (post-firing/post-resign to help until the person finds a new job). Macron's reform required that if somebody wants the RSA, they have to work at least 15 hours a week FOR FREE. You can guess how much the people who only had this, including the parts of the population who lives with a handicap took it)
    • returning to a max of 32 hours per weeks for physically demanding or night jobs.

    (Holy shit this took me one hour to write, hopefully I didn't forget anything)

  • French left finds governing agreement for 'new popular front' alliance
  • The Popular Front didn't 'name' him (unless you mean the article). In fact, parties won't 'get' to name anyone, that's the prsident who will pick the PM. However, he has to pick a PM whom a majority of the National Assembly (being elected here) will support, lest it gets 'censored' (destitued) by the Parliement.

    JLM is the leader of LFI (even if, particularly in the creation of the Popular Front, his detractors are slowly getting the better of him), and he was LFI's candidate for the 2022 Presidential Election. What the article mentions is that a few days ago, he mentioned on TV that he feels 'capable' of endorsing the role of PM. That does NOT mean the rest of the alliance will suport him (in fact, there's a 0% chance the socialists will).

    The people who are more likely to be named as PM (if the Popular Front wins a majority of the Assembly), are either François Ruffin (also LFI, but highly popular, is the one who launched the movement for this Popular Front, and a detractor of Melanchon's), or somebody more moderate without much political clout used to serve as the one on the ejectable seat when Macron's term is over (and said PM is likely to have become unpopular by then).

    For their program, I unfortunately wasn't able to find a translation nor a summary in english (tbf, it was published just this friday).

    Le Monde has a summary (in french) which you can translate with your favorite translator app if you want.

  • French left finds governing agreement for 'new popular front' alliance
  • To my knowledge, while LFI (but in particular Jean Luc Melanchon, who REALLY isn't even the cards to be PM) is certainly anti EU and made ambiguous statements on Russia as well as other countries, these views haven't passed on to the Popular Front. They have been perfectly clear in their program that they in support of Ukraine over Russia, and that they would continue (and increase) sending weapons it's way. This was the red line of the socialists, who are right now the biggest party alongside LFI, and supported by a majority of the rest of the aliance (esp the Greens).

    The Popular Front is Pro-Ukraine, and against Russia. Diplo wise, on the question of the EU, they have said they want to get rid of the CETA (which has been a demand of the Left for quite some time, with good reason), and that they are lukewarm on the EU electricity market (which was really disadventagous to France because our energy prod is cheap, but prices are driven up for no reason in an high-inflation context), but they are otherwise pro-EU (remeber! The Soc-dems and the greens are a big chunk of the alliance!)

    It's unfortunate foreign media (but our medias do it too) present the Popular Front as a LFI++ that is 'just as bad as far right' when it's a moderate left alliance against fascism.

  • EU to put tariffs of up to 38% on Chinese electric vehicles as trade war looms
  • No. China didn't do it 'overnight'. They started their transition over 20 years ago. Try telling ANYONE bar the greens in the west that they should transition all cars to electric back then and see how they would laugh to your face.

    The west is late because it lacked the vision to do it in the past, and is now paying the price by scrambling to do it late.

    But, I suppose it's better to be late than never.

  • French conservatives move toward far-right alliance
  • *some. While as much as I heavily dislike this party and their positions, I don't think they're all just okay with fachism. There's been a great number of high ranking officials from that party who denounced this proposal when it was announced out of nowhere on live TV yesterday.