Archives pour la catégorie Hors catégorie

The snow was dirty (La neige était sale, Georges Simenon)

The snow was dirty or the hard job of a man

La neige était sale  ou  Le dur métier d’homme


The snow was dirty (1) is not a crime novel by Georges Simenon where the commissioner Maigret must find the author of a murder. It is, apparently, the black story of a young man who seeks his place in a world, complex, that he hardly understands, that he discovers little by little and who will condemn him for acts of which he knows nothing. . But it’s a lot more.

The novel, written in 1948, recalls the situation of many European countries during the Second World War: a country occupied by a foreign army. But there is nothing to say which country. The story takes place in an innominate country, an allegorical image of many others. If the main character who is not from a particular country, he is well of his time.

He will act steadfastly to accomplish the destiny he has chosen to be himself.

At what price !

La neige était sale  ou  Le dur métier d’homme

In this crime novel, the narrator is closer to the hero, both observant and observed. He shows the world as he sees it, feels it, guesses it, imagines it.

Simenon describes the society in which Frank lives: the inhabitants of the building where his mother runs a brothel and provides him with a financial well-being and some facilities…; the dodgy bistro where he meets his eldest friend of a few years and where he wants to conquer his place. In a city where cohabitate, mix or fight dangerous networks more or less powerful: resistant, traffickers, police … An outside world, dominated by appearances where everyone suspects everyone. But behind this world of appearances, there is another, discreet, occult, anonymous, violent.
Powerful.

The young Frank, fatherless, without real education, unscrupulous, determined, manages to make himself a place in this society governed by distrust, by fear, by a discreet police who belongs to another world. His desired amorality, without superego, contempt of men and even more of women, his refusal of any apparent sentimentality, love or pity, neither for himself, nor for others, allows him to become unique, in his own eyes, superior to everyone he meets. But alone.

La neige était sale  ou  Le dur métier d’homme

The assassination of an occupation officer near his house gives him the assurance of being at or above the level of the others. Assassination free, without reason, without any feeling of guilt, without even having to talk about it, to take glory. Successful technical operation. His next-door neighbor, the father of a young girl, understood that he is author of this assassination. He will not speak. This establishes a strange link between them. Reciprocal adoption. Quiet.

The revolver, stolen from the officer, provided him with new, obvious proof of his superiority. He can go further. To obtain money with the help of two accomplices, at the cost of the murder of an ex-nurse who recognized him. A murder committed by necessity, coldly, but which, this time, does not leave him indifferent, shakes him for a moment.

Having a lot of money, he can display his wealth and even his interpersonal skills, thanks to a card obtained from the occupant at the same time. This card ensures him a certain impunity, a discreet, perhaps dangerous consideration, and makes things easier for him. He has moved up in the hierarchy of the environments he frequents.

But he needs to go further to show himself that he is not just above all the others, those under-nothings he despises. He must affirm by a new crime, more serious and intimately, that he is above all morals and feelings. Including his own feelings, which he refuses. But that shake him up.


This time, his act accomplished, he is helpless but as he wanted: unique. Faced with his destiny… Without having seen what he thought he was seeing.

La neige était sale  ou  Le dur métier d’homme

This fate has a surprise in store for him. Absurd. He is arrested, not as he more or less thought, perhaps hoping, for one of the crimes he committed but for reasons that initially escaped him: the possession of money stolen from the occupant’s offices, his relations with people belonging to a network that he did not know about!

His fight then took on a different form. In another universe, prison, always alone and physically isolated: he must face the abstract machine of offices and these gentlemen, these grey, anonymous men, and resist torture sessions because

There’s no reason because… He has no reason to be here. Absurd: for crimes he didn’t commit. He doesn’t know what the machine and the grey men who torture him want to know. He has no reason to talk or not to talk. He only knows that even if he sometimes dreams of what his life could have been like with a beloved woman, hanging a child’s laundry out of the window, his destiny was not to be Frank, husband and father, his destiny is the one he chose, without because… to be resistant against everyone, against everything, against Frank.
To be.

He did what he had to do.

And the young girl who was his victim because he felt a love he refused to acknowledge. The one he thought, on several occasions, that she was like the others, is there. With his father. That he had chosen, not knowing why.
And she speaks neither of pain nor forgiveness, she knows that he is unhappy and says nothing about it. She’s not like the others. She came here, just to tell him she loves him.

With his father, who also understood. He whose son committed suicide and who puts his hand on his shoulder, like a father. And tells him about the hard job of being a man.

La neige était sale  ou  Le dur métier d’homme

1 – La neige était sale de Georges Simenon Livre de Poche, 1948, 284 pages

2 – Below, a brief note on the film : La neige était sale, film from Luis Saslavsky, 1953, 1h41

The snow was dirty. The film.

Based on Georges Simenon’s novel, Luis Saslavsky made a film, very different from the note presented above.

Franck’s behaviour is largely induced by his family environment, the absence of a father, of course, but above all by the conflicting feelings he has for a mother, a prostitute, who placed him as a nanny, who then became a brothel owner. Which ensures him a material well-being….
In a flashback, a scene illustrates this situation: the mother’s visit, accompanied by a potential father, to the nanny…

Without faith or law, Franck seeks his place in a dangerous environment. He stole and killed, twice. But is arrested for acts he didn’t commit.

The film is located: in France, during the German occupation of the Second World War. In this post-war period, a story that takes place during the Occupation cannot avoid talking about heroic resistance

He is incarcerated with the resistance fighters who take advantage of an air alert to try to escape. Uprising detainees are killed. But Franck took advantage of their rebellion to escape and return to his mother’s house. A brief escape, as he was denounced by one of his mother’s residents and became again a prisoner.

Frank is not a heroic resistance fighter. He’s just a thug in prison with some resistance fighters. For reasons of censorship, it is said that the story is set in a Central European country.

Franck’s story goes from an unhappy childhood to a criminal youth in a complicated world he doesn’t understand. He ends, however, by finding his redemption in the love shared with the young girl who has been also his victim. And a father at the same time

But too late.

The Black Lagoon An Insular Novel

Le Lagon noir Un roman insulaire

Le Lagon noir (1), two police puzzles in Reykjavík, capital of Iceland, and Keflavik, the neighboring American base. Two worlds connected only by the workers who, every day, go from one to the other.
The isolation of places and populations, the loneliness of people in an insular novel.

The policemen of the Criminal Brigade, Marion and Erlendur investigate, together, after the discovery of the body of a man, thirty yearsold, in the lagoon while the inspector Erlendur is interested, for personal reasons, in the unexplained disappearance in 1953 of a girl of 19 years.

Twenty-five years after this disappearance, life has changed even if the places are the same, if Icelanders will always work at the base.
 All US military now live on the base, a real city with shops, bars, bowling, cinema …

In the capital, the barracks, filthy, occupied in the fifties by the poorest families, after the departure of the American military, were replaced by buildings and a swimming pool. The shortage of the post-war period has diminished.
 But bringing alcohol, American cigarettes or marijuana from the base always provides some additional income at the cost of minor risks.

Simultaneous investigations into both cases help to keep the reader’s attention alive. By the hypotheses discussed by the policemen, their assumptions or those of the witnesses or suspects questioned … Specific to mislead the reader.
But also by the description of a person, a place before knowing its identity, by the change of inquiry from one chapter to another or, more abruptly, a paragraph to the another, from one sentence to another, on the occasion of exchanges or a thought that suddenly comes to the mind of a policeman …

Le Lagon noir Un roman insulaire

 First, the novel presents what will be the setting for some of the first puzzle.
The hangar for planes, with gigantic walls, at the vertiginous ceiling height, of the American military base, planted on the moor where only the most hardened plants survive, while the icy wind violently hits this obstacle. The envelope of his screams.
Suddenly, the fall of a pipe and then a thud as a falling body of the ceiling. And the silence of the night.
 

Le Lagon noir Un roman insulaire

Not far from there, a young woman heals psoriasis by going for solitary and nocturnal baths in a lagoon, where she appreciates the soothing softness of the water, the beauty of the place, magnificent and disturbing with its lava fields, the steam of rising water and the sight of a thermal power plant.
After an hour of bath, she barely discerns what she thinks is a shoe on the surface of the water … which turns out to be the foot of a corpse. Starting point of the investigation on the american base, essentially.

To solve the enigma of the corpse of the lagoon, to find the cause of its vertiginous fall, suicide, accident or crime whose possible mobiles could be drug dealing, espionage, passionate crime … the difficulty lies in the space: the extraterritoriality of the US sovereignty base, even though there is collaboration between the two inspectors of the Icelandic Crime Squad and a US military policewoman officer.

Le Lagon noir Un roman insulaire

The difficulty of the investigation into the girl’s disappearance comes from time that does not work in our favor as in many areas. In town, 25 years after the fact, witnesses have disappeared, memories fade. This obsessive search (2) of Inspector Erlendur is oriented by social or psychological considerations, sometimes mixed to explain the disappearance of a beautiful girl from a good family on the way to school that she took every day, along a neighborhood with a bad reputation …

For a reader who does not know, these two surveys show the country, the social situation in the city and even the Icelandic cuisine by the meetings of the inspector Erlendur with witnesses who help him to progress … The presence of Caroline, the American policewoman, unaware of everything about Iceland, is another way to recall the hard history of the country, a people accustomed to starvation, basic facts, political or cultural. A way to enlighten the reader also on the political situation of the 70s and the relations between the almighty United States and small Iceland. And even on some very discreet activities of the US Army …

All on a background of double isolation. Two islets on the same island.
A foreign military base, artificial life, autonomous, under the authority of the first world power, totally cut off of its immediate environment. Connected to the United States and Greenland by air. Where the inspectors feel like they are in Texas, a few miles from home.

The capital of a small, unbearable country, at the end of the world. Coldly swept by the wind. Without any real connection to the rest of the world.

These two islets, isolated from the rest of the world, rub shoulders, ignore each other or despise one another.
The Icelanders have only old ties with the outside world: a mother of Danish origin for one, a stay in a sanatorium in Denmark, of which there remains only one correspondence for the other, for a third, tastes sartorial and musical, longing for a stay in the United States …

The soldiers of the base are exiles, in penance, without any contact with the country.

Isolation and loneliness: all the characters live alone, widowed and single (sic), divorced, separated. Witnesses, friends or family members. Inspector Erlendur, recently divorced, is looking from afar at her daughter in the school yard. Commissioner Marion learns during the investigation of the death of his only friend. The American policewoman is there, following a breakup.
Happy times are in the past. Or finish there: the only person who had an emotional connection to the base and the city is found in the lagoon …

In these two worlds, the truth, the legality are variable according to the circumstances … At the bottom of the scale, small traffic with the excuse of the shortage or a need of cannabis to calm the pains of a sister with cancer. For the command of the base, preservation of a state secret in the context of the Cold War. For the three policemen Marion, Erlendur and Caroline, progress in investigations towards justice …
The three police officers, however, are marked by a contemporary humanism, quite formal, which makes them affirm their anti-racism, their feminism, their compassion for all those who suffer even if they do not conform: Caroline protects even the unfortunate who has treated hatefully for the color of the skin …
All this hides a personal crack mentioned more or less discreetly.

The author himself is the victim of this discreetly nationalist insularity: the victims in both stories are Icelandic, the culprits are an American soldier and an unfortunate psychopath of Danish origin … Battle of the polices, the American Goliath is defeated by the Icelandic David.
It is certain that this small people must be strong to survive in an environment, near or far, as difficult.

Le Lagon noir Un roman insulaire

A true black and cold novel. Where the positive points are rare. The professional respect and understanding of the American policewoman with the Icelandic inspectors to advance justice against all odds. The discreet reinforcement of the links between the two icelandic inspectors ….

It’s a pity that in this well-conducted novel, well located that makes known Iceland and its people, are some clichés, clumsiness of vocabularies, which are not always the fact of the characters and that must be attributed to the translator or the author … the vertiginous fall or scaffolding of a vertiginous height (15 times in the novel) were not essential, any more than the hangar or the gigantic walls (9 times).

1 – Le lagon noir Une enquête de l’inspecteur Erlendur de Arnaldur Indridason, Editions Métailié 2016/audiolib (10h05) lu par Jean-Pierre Delhausse.

2 – As a result of a personal misadventure, Erlendur’s obsession with those who have disappeared or those who have survived. Which of the two I am, the one who lives or the one who dies (Steinn Steinarr, 1908-1958, great Icelandic poet)

First Algerian November in Paris

Premier novembre algérien à Paris

First Algerian November in Paris

Since February, on Sunday, Place de la Republique in Paris, echoing the Friday demonstrations in Algeria, the Algerians of the Ile de France are coming together to support the peaceful, salmiya , and democratic revendications that are expressed in the country.

But Friday, it was not only a gathering on the place de la Republique but a march from the Republique to the Place de la Bastille, Algeria too, there are bastilles to take.

It was not Sunday but Friday, November 1, 65th anniversary of the outbreak of the struggle for national independence, the 37th Friday of the movement, hirak (1), since February, which has already obtained the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika , April 2, the cancellation of the presidential election scheduled for last spring.

Today, the protesters, for a new independence, against the presidential election scheduled for December 12, demand the departure of all those who, since 1962, govern Algeria, the system, which have perverted the ideals of the Revolution especially by corruption. Are targeted the governors some of whom are in jail but also the army which holds the real power, at least since 1965. Taking the political line of the congress of the Soummam (1956), congress of the FLN during the fight for the national liberation, primacy of the civilian over the military.

The slogans screamed Friday in Paris were essentially: the generals in the trash (of history), power-assassin and in the form of panels with or without photographs, free the political prisoners, free the hostages.

In the few images that follow, the biggest difference with those of Algiers is the presence of many Amazigh flags (2), banned by the Algerian authorities.

Thousands of Algerians, Franco-Algerians, there were even Belgo-Algerians, united in a joyful and hopeful enthusiasm. The event must be exemplary … repeated the sound at the time of departure when the participants had to leave the Place de la République to take the Boulevard du Temple …
  Without police, without television …
  To make the front page, it would have been necessary …

Of the thousands of protesters, how many have thought of the Les balles du 14 juillet, 1953? Of October 17, 1961?
To day, a normal demonstration of thousands of Algerians, Franco-Algerians in a quiet Paris.
They were right. Today is a new fight. In another context. In this walk, there was joy. And the hope of a peaceful transition to democracy.

As in many other countries, against corruption, for democracy, for social progress.
Over there, here. For them. For us. For everyone.
 

Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris
Premier novembre algérien à Paris

1 – Hirak, movement in Arabic: this word was used in 2009 in Yemen and in 2016 in the Moroccan Rif.

2 – Cultural and identity flag created by a Kabyle, Youcef Medkouri. In the 1970s, the Berber Academy presented the first Berber flag. In 1998, the Amazigh World Congress formalized in Tafira in the Canary Islands, once populated by the Guanches, former Berber people (wikipedia).

Seeing again the films of André Cayatte

Seeing again the films of André Cayatte

Revoir les films de André Cayatte


Each year, for 10 years, the Lumière Festival of Lyon presents numerous films from the international repertoire, about 200 films this year, screened in 60 locations in 23 municipalities of the Lyon metropolis, including retrospectives: of Francis Ford Coppola who received the Prix Lumière 2019 for all of his work, and of André Cayatte (1) with 14 films that allowed us to see or see again Justice est faite (1950), Nous sommes tous des assassins (1952), Avant le déluge (1954), Le Miroir à deux faces (1958), Piège pour Cendrillon (1965), Les Risques du Métier(1967), Mourir d’aimer (1971).

Some of the films seen or reviewed on the occasion of this retrospective made it possible to find the Cayatte which made more lively discussions on the death penalty and justice in terminale and to escape the difference in nature and degree of an imperturbable professor of philosophy. But also the insertion of Cayatte in the society of his time and commitment, the topics discussed and his courage in the way to treat them. Notably by the portraits of woman perhaps passed a little unnoticed.

Justice est faite, the first of Cayatte’s films on justice, is the trial, Court of Assizes, of a woman (Claude Nollier) who killed her husband, at his request, to shorten his long suffering. She assumes her act by telling her sister-in-law and, with dignity, in front of the jury of the Assizes. But her husband was rich and she had a recent lover. Given the ambiguity of the situation, the members of the jury share, not as they are asked according to their intimate conviction, but according to their personal lives.  Finally, the judgment will be wobbly. Neither convicted of treasonable crime nor acquitted. But justice is done.

Revoir les films de André Cayatte

Nous sommes tous des assassins deals with the responsibility of society in the death penalty, thirty years before its abolition in France, with the upheavals that we know, thanks to the battle of Robert Badinter, Minister de la Justice, garde des Sceaux in 1981.

Four persons sentenced to death cohabit illegally in the same cell because of the shortage of places in prison. Here again, the crime is known: the father (Julien Verdier) killed his child with a poker stroke because he could no longer stand his permanent tears, the young Corsican (Raymond Pellegrin) committed a crime of honor and dies with the Catholic sacraments, the husband (Antoine Balpétré), he, denies killing his wife, agnostic he will accept the last sacraments next time … Cayatte dwells on the young René Le Guen, played by Mouloudji, resistant by chance who has first, killed on order … and who did not understand that the war was over … In the last picture of the film, his lawyer is suspended on the phone waiting for a possible presidential pardon …
In reality, the young man who inspired the character of Le Guen to Cayatte, was pardoned by the President of the Republic, Vincent Auriol. The film may not be foreign to this decision.  

If in Justice est faite, it is the subjective and random side of the jury that is questioned, here is the responsibility of society that accepts the death penalty … And if Cayatte extends to René Le Guen who did not understand the passage of time for to time against, it shows the different circumstances that could lead men to capital punishment … Doubt about guilt, honor crime, extreme misery who are not, maybe not, of the same nature but …

Revoir les films de André Cayatte

One of the interesting facets of Cayatte’s films is to camp remarkable women. In Justice est faite, first but also in Le Miroir à deux faces, Les Risques du Métier or Mourir d’aimer … In Le Miroir à deux faces, Marie-José (Michèle Morgan), thanks to the aesthetic surgery that takes off in those years, escapes the sentence imposed on her by a nose Cyrano-Like and whose sudden surgical beauty finally allows her to assert herself … In Les Risques du Métier, the courage of a head woman, Suzanne (Emmanuelle Riva) who assumes her life and her confidence in her teacher husband face unfair accusations of touching, rape by some of his students of which he is a victim …  In Mourir d’Amour, according to the Gabrielle Russier affair, he paints a portrait of a post-sixty-eight female teacher, Danielle Guénot (Annie Girardot), who has a dangerous relationship with one of her 17-year-old students …

Piège pour cendrillon is especially a reflection on the identity, already present in Le Miroir à deux faces. Marie-José (Michèle Morgan) while changing of nose is she the same person? Certainly not for her husband, Tardivet (Bourvil) who had married any woman, submissive, to his measure, and can not stand that she became beautiful, fulfilled, independent. He’s going to kill the surgeon who stole his wife from him by transforming his nose …   Piège pour cendrillon , the question of identity is even more complex: two cousins, very similar, both played by Dany Carrel, are caught in a fire, one dies, the other survives, amnesic. Surgery makes a beautiful face … which one is she? Michèle? Dominique? Or a third, amnesiac, completely changed by the drama?


Far from the schematism of which he was accused, André Cayatte, a brave filmmaker of his time, a filmmaker a little too forgotten.

Revoir les films de André Cayatte

1 – La fausse maîtresse (1942), Pierre et Jean (1943), Le dernier sou (1943), Les Amants de Vérone (1949), Le retour de tante Emma, one of the 4 sketches of Retour à la vie (1949), Justice est faite (1950, Golden Lion in Venice 1950, Golden Bear at the 1951 Berlin Biennial, unique case of this double reward, Golden Lion and Golden Bear), Nous sommes tous des assassins (1952, Special Prize of the Jury in 1952 in Cannes), Avant le déluge (1954), Le dossier noir (1955), Œil pour œil (1957), Le Miroir à deux faces (1958), Le passage du Rhin (1960, Lion d Gold in Venice in 1960), Piège pour Cendrillon (1963), Les Risques du métier (1967), Mourir d’aimer (1971).

Bertrand Tavernier, président

Bertrand Tavernier, président

Référendum d’initiative partagée (Referendum of shared initiative) or requiescat in pace

Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace

At the request of parliamentarians, deputies and senators, and after consultation with the Constitutional Council, the government had to put in place the collection of signatures in favor of a possible referendum on the privatization of Aéroports de Paris.

The procedure of the referendum of initiative shared (RIP), established in 2008, is activated for the first time, on April 10, 2019: 248 deputies and senators (the law demands at least a fifth of the parliamentarians) of the opposition, communists, rebellious, republican, socialist, submit a bill for the group Aéroports de Paris (ADP) is considered a public service. On May 9, the Constitutional Council judges that the required conditions are respected and fixes the number of necessary supports to 4,717,396. The Ministry of the Interior opens the online platform to collect support for the bill whose collection is open until March 12, 2020 (1)(Referendum.intérieur.gouv.fr).

With modalities such as the first candidates to support the petition, probably the most motivated, have often had to do it several times! How many citizens have given up or will give up during registration?

The signature can be done also in some town halls. In each canton, the most populated municipality has been mandated to register them. It is therefore necessary to sign the petition by internet, either to go to the town hall of the town or to another town hall of the canton !! Additional barriers to support.

This petition is intended to support the organization of a referendum for or against the privatization of ADP.  Indeed, if the necessary number of signatories is reached, the National Assembly and the Senate will have six months to consider or not the proposal. If neither chamber examines the text, the President of the Republic must hold a referendum for or against privatization.


But if one or both Houses take the text, whatever they do, there will be no RIP. Given the government’s overwhelming majority in the National Assembly, it will be easy for it to put the proposal on the agenda and block the referendum and popular debate on privatization.

The government’s bad faith is focused on the democratic and political nature of the process. It wants to prevent any possibility of direct decision-making by the French people.

Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace

The RIP is a perfect demonstration of the democratic nature of the Republic: it must remain in its constitutional box. With even the intention proclaimed by the candidate Macron to facilitate its use (2). But fiercely attacked by his government and its supports from the announcement of a beginning of procedure: the Republic, at least the representative democracy, would be in danger if one applied a constitutional law put in place by the Parliament and whose procedure is triggered by parliamentarians !!!

If the RIP can not be applied without risk for the representative democracy, it is useless to speak about the RIC, referendum of citizen initiative wanted by the Gilets Jaunes ! The Giets Jaunes (Vests yellow) can not be deluded on the question: the RIC will not see the day …

The bad will of the government is explained. Some of its decisions, automatically endorsed by a National Assembly with orders, could be challenged by a RIP on the initiative of some parliamentarians.

What is much more surprising is the silence of the groups and parliamentarians who are behind this petition.

How many public meetings? How many collectives? How many leaflets? How many posters have been organized, published, broadcast? What made the interest of the 2005 referendum is not only the result, which was despised by parliamentarians. It is above all the popular mobilization which has been of political value and which has allowed the understanding of the Draft European Constitution, and its rejection by very many citizens.

Those who govern have learned the lesson. This profound movement of concrete democracy must not happen again.  Politicians and the media have understood that it is easier to amuse voters with policy-related issues like doping with sportsmen or with rivalry between candidates as they do for a sporting event.  If the candidate, once elected, does exactly the opposite of what he announced, there is no possible recourse for the fooled citizen.

It is not the same for a text that everyone can read, explain, dissect, publicly or in small groups. And refuse.

Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace
Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace

French democracy, like many others, is the power given to the oligarchs, the competents. Who know what is good for all. In their eyes, the people are competent to elect, freely, one of their interchangeable candidates. It is no longer able to read, discuss, understand a text and determine essentially according to this text. To vote after a real debate.
Emmanuel Macron does not hide his game. He has shown what he means by A Great National Debate.


The petition launched, the number of signatures obtained can have a considerable impact. It would be a serious political mistake to neglect to participate. It can change the ratio of political forces.
If the signatures are few, it will support Emmanuel Macron in the idea that he has carte blanche to continue his austere policy. Not only the privatization of ADP or any other nuclear company to hydroelectric dams but its liberal policy of destroying the state and social laws. As he already did for the labor code.
A successful petition will not necessarily stop the privatization of ADP. The procedure can be blocked at the level of the National Assembly. But a very large number of signatures, despite the governmental obstacles, will change the balance of power. Already, the battle of the Gilets Jaunes, even if they have not obtained satisfaction on everything – just think of the ISF (wealth tax) or the APL – requires Emmanuel Macron to be less brave and hold his whip …

The petition can show him that he can not always override the will of the people, that he simply has the choice to submit his policy to the judgment of the people that can be done by referendum or by …. new yellow, red, green or rainbow vests …

From this perspective, it is extremely desirable that collectives set themselves up to multiply signatures. The debate is important. It is not about the privatization of ADP alone or …

But on the possibility for citizens to take control of some of the power and to facilitate the realization that we can not leave in place a person who only defends the interests of some! Do not sign the petition, it is not only to take a stand for the privatization of ADP, it is to vote against the practice of the RIP, it is to leave the hands free to Macron.

Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace

The result would be terrible for Macron if millions of citizens claimed a real debate. The defeat would be terrible if the 4 million signatures were not obtained regardless of the maneuvers undertaken to limit the mobilization.

If the number of necessary signatures is not obtained, it means a wide avenue open to Emmanuel Macron on privatizations and not only …

The RIP will be able to rest in peace in the texts. The citizens will have been voted out. How will they react? What color will the next vests be?

Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace
Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace

1 – The citizen who wants to support the petition must, with his identity and elector cards , complete a questionnaire on his civil status. It should mention the information as it is written on his cards including all the first names.  The collection officially ends on March 12, 2020 at midnight. For now, the pace of collection of signatures is largely insufficient to obtain the number needed for success. See adprip.fr website


2 – On April 25, President Macron says he wants to « go further » on the RIP « by simplifying the rules, allowing the initiative can come from citizens, a million citizens who would sign a petition and that it can prosper in draft law and if it was not examined by the assemblies, go to the referendum « (L’Express 16/05/19).

Référendum d'initiative partagée  ou  requiescat in pace

Yellow, dream or nightmare ?

Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?

The French people and its government have yellow in common, dreaming for some, a nightmare for others.

Even the trees start to yellow early, and the lawns …
And François de Rugy who, after his yellow card makes amends, refunds the excess drinks of his guests, and replaces the champagne bubbles by the yellow pastis, less « people » and more « peuple », much cheaper. As well for François de Rugy as for the taxpayers.

Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?
Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?

The fans have eyes only for the yellow victorious Gilets jaunes(1), certainly expensive suffering, and the yellow victorious Maillot jaune at the Rond-Point (des Champs Elysées) or on the Champs (Elysées)…
Alone, Emmanuel Macron laughs yellow (2) in his Palace before crossing the street to go, fear in the stomach (1), shake the hand of people for whom it is a great honor to be in yellow (3).


Maillot jaune ? Gilets jaunes ?

Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?
Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?
Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?

1 – Les braises de la crise des gilets jaunes couvent toujours et… quelques milliards d’euros ne suffiront pas à apaiser le pays assure l’un des ministres présents. Le Président nous a dit de partir en vacances la peur au ventre. Le Monde 23/07/19

2 – Un humoriste c’est un philosophe qui rit jaune. (Émile Coderre). Emmanuel Macron est-il un philosophe ? Un humoriste ?

3 – Julian Alaphilippe

Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?
Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?
Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?
Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?
Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?

4 – The yellow is also  » Atelier des Lumières Van Gogh, la nuit étoilée, must be seen in Paris.

Jaune, rêve ou cauchemar ?

About the clash of civilizations

A propos du choc des civilisations

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR, good news, triumph of the Western world, seen from the West … universal peace, eternal ….
Some thought that the story would end the day when a consensus on liberal democracy and the market would put an end to the conflicts: end of the ideologies, end of the history, end of the conflicts …

Twenty years of peace after the first world war? Seventy after the second? Periods of peace, in fact no direct war between the great Western powers and under the constant threat of a clash between them grouped around the United States and the Soviet Union and its allies! It was easy to forget the continuity of the many armed conflicts, perhaps exotic or local for those who led or benefited them but not for those who suffered them: civil wars or internal guerrillas, colonial conquests and anticolonial armed struggles, border disputes, external interventions of great powers. Just type wars or conflicts in the 20th century on a search engine to find a long list on wikipedia, unfinished …

The Soviet Union, empire of evil, according to Ronald Reagan, barely gone, here is the great Satan, Islam, and the clash of civilizations promoted new sources of conflict. This time, the West chooses Islam as the main subject of confrontation. Relegating to the background – for the moment? – China or other social, economic or political realities, just as conflicting ..

The last two world conflicts were triggered by European powers. It is not sure that they can have such a bad role in the future. Describing Islam as the main enemy, in different forms such as the Taliban, El Qaeda, Islamic State, Iran, … the United States take an option for a possible relay …

Some European states are committed and want to involve the European Union in this change of perspective.

Yesterday, under the tutelage of the United States and against the Soviet Union, European states, 6, 9, 12 … have tried to unite to avoid new conflicts between them, homogenize their economic and social situation and constitute a relative power against the USSR.
 This union has, in the eyes of some, the great merit of having ensured more than half a century of peace. Peace in Europe probably due more to the balance of terror between the United States of America (US) and the USSR. But not on the outside wars in which France took a large part of Indochina (1946-54) to Algeria (1954-62) or Portugal in Angola (1961-75), Guinea ( 1953-74) or Mozambique (1964-75) … While noting that the Franco-Israeli-British expedition during the nationalization of the Suez Canal (1956-57) was interrupted under international pressure (USA, USSR) and not European countries. And currently, the intervention of European states, especially France, in the Sahel … Not to mention small local conflicts in Europe: Slovenia (1991), Croatia (1991-93) Yugoslavia (1991-2001), Bosnia (1992-95) , Kosovo (1998-99) and the unfortunate Franco-British initiative in Libya (2011) …

Following the lead of the United States, a number of Europeans today want to build a Europe no longer in the name of democraty (in the face of the Soviet Union) but in the name of European civilization (facing the Muslim world). As for building national unity, nothing better than to find a common external enemy to try to achieve an European unity and especially the difficult European Union, while giving it a new internal orientation.

In the context of the confrontation with the USSR, it was necessary to value democracy as opposed to the Soviet dictatorship and social democracy so that the workers do not join en masse the powerful communist parties. The communist danger passed, it is possible to assume the austeritaire nature of capitalism: austerity and authoritarianism. President Macron is the incarnation obvious now: counter-economic-social reform, the Communist Party has disappeared, the left is not dangerous, more energetic repression, satisfactory for the right …

The confrontation with Islam as religion, Islam as civilization, often difficult to differentiate in the speeches implies to redefine Europe. No longer as a state or a group of states, democratic in the face of one or more undemocratic states, threatening, like the Soviet Union yesterday, but the European civilization which is no longer necessarily democratic, like the illiberal democracy of Viktor Orbán but identity, white, Christian. And even Judeo-Christian, recently. Faced with the Arab-Muslim world, which may justify the search for an alliance with Israel, some anti-Semitic parties or states. And promote a common anti-immigration policy, of African or Asian origin, sometimes colored and Muslim.

With a touch of national identity sovereignty, which today allows alliances within the European Union but can become factors of nationalist disunity and confrontation.

Faced with the first conception of Europe, capitalist and pro-Atlantic, the left opposed its will to another Europe, social or even socialist, neutral, denouncing, while benefiting, the US nuclear umbrella.

In the clash of civilizations, a certain left wing starts from an old principle: if the right says the United Kingdom is an island, the left must assert the United Kingdom is not an island. Rather than thinking about the concrete situation and building a bridge … As the right speaks of shock or war of civilizations, for them, there is no shock or war of civilizations.
  Indians in the Americas do not have to agree absolutely. Which have been virtually exterminated, physically or culturally. Like all the colonized peoples …

Another way of challenging the clash of civilizations is to show, especially when talking about Muslim countries, that there is no Muslim world, that Muslims are very divided. The Muslims are not, mainly, Arab, are divided in multiple currents, Sunnism, Shiism, kharidjisme, with, in addition, a division into nations, for some more operational than the preceding ones. Moreover, some surveys can show that what concerns Muslims in general is not to confront, to invade, to conquer, to convert non-Muslims.
  All this does not seem questionable.

One can argue, exactly the same thing for Westerners. The Christian world is equally divided: not all Christians are white, they are not only Europeans, there are many currents, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Anglicans …, not to mention those, more and more who say they have no religion. And there is no doubt that the fundamental preoccupations of the majority of Western peoples is not, never was to convert, colonize … the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, the people were trained yesterday and can be trained tomorrow, to participate, willingly or by force, in wars that the majority disapproved or disapproves.

A propos du choc des civilisations
A propos du choc des civilisations

To avoid the renewal of deadly clashes, it is useful to demonstrate the heterogeneity of each other, to show the diversity of interests within these large, supposedly homogeneous masses and to denounce why some push others to kill…
But this is not enough. It is necessary to fight the warring parties on both sides who exploit the clash of civilizations, to build bridges between the two camps, whose well-understood interest is not confrontation but dialogue and exchange.

The battle does not oppose Muslim religion / Muslim civilization and Christian religion / Christian or Western civilization. Despite a long history of conflict. But those who, in each camp, defend the universal values of justice, democracy, equality and those who, in each camp, try to use the differences to perpetuate their power, their domination.
The list is long of peoples who have risen in both camps for more freedom, equality, democracy. Who found in front of them their traditional masters who had the political, economic, financial, military support of the masters of the opposing camp.

A propos du choc des civilisations

The clash of civilizations based on religions is only the new formulation of identity shocks that have always existed on different scales and often at the root of violent conflicts: nations, regions (small nations), religious obediences (yesterday Catholics and Protestants here and there, Sunnites and Shiites today) and that we can even find within current societies, struggle of communities ….

Should we theorize, amplify these struggles?

A propos du choc des civilisations
A propos du choc des civilisations

Cinema found again in Bologna

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne


At the XXXIII edition of the cinema ritrovato, cinema found again (Bologna, June 22-30), more than 400 films of 250 directors were presented in 6 rooms and, in the evening, in Piazza maggiore.
Hence an embarrassment and frustration at the moment of choice when we can only see a few tens …

These films were made between 1896 and 2018: short films of a few seconds from the beginning of the cinema (including 41 of the year 1919, centenary obliges), first hand-colored films, films in technicolor, recent feature films, sometimes more three hours on widescreen.  All presented in a catalog of 400 pages.

The films were grouped according to different criteria: ritrovati e restaurati (found again and restored), actors (Jean Gabin), directors (Henry King, Filippo Edouardo, Youssef Chahine, Keaton Buster, Felix E.Feist, George Franju, Musidora), country (USSR, South Korea, West Germany), years (1899, 1919), types of films (documentaries, cinemalibero) …

Some films were presented in Italian or English with translation, sometimes in French, before the screening. In addition, eleven lezioni di cinema (masterclass) including Bertand Tavernier on the great composers, especially French, of music of film and Thierry Frémaux …††

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Bertrand Tavernier and Gian Luca Farinelli, director of Cineteca di Bologna and Cinema ritrovato

In this film abundance, some remarks, arbitrary. Two Italian films, Napolitani a Milano by Eduardo de Filippo (98mn, 1953) were presented in theaters and, in Piazza Maggiore, Miraculo a Milano by Vittorio de Sica (100mn, 1951). Which relate to similar situations: confrontation of badly housed people and speculators real estate. But while Napolitano a Milano deals with the question in the classic Italian neo-realistic style, with Miraculo a Milano, Vittorio de Sica and Cesare Zavattini (scriptwriter), continue this vein and go beyond it, by a wonderful tale with a great imagination at the level of the scenario that announces the Italian comedy. Imagination served by technical feats. All this justifies the thousands of spectators who came to the Piazza Maggiore to cheer a film, in black and white, made 56 years ago !!!

From the same period, in Technicolor, Moulin Rouge (120mn, 1952) by John Houston and Gigi (115mn, 1958) by Vincente Minelli, films by American directors about the Belle Epoque in Paris. Moulin Rouge whose central character is the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the drama of his life and those he paints, who live around him. Gigi presents only the superficial aspect of this era with the help of a Maurice Chevalier, equal to himself, the French seducer with a queasy and satisfied smile …  Two films that on the same Belle Epoque, one above ground, the other still more beautiful with the description of this same society but which does not forget the social reality on which it rests. †

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Exhibition of paintings by Silvano Campeggi at the Bologna Library

Several films for a tribute to Jean Gabin including a biography (Un Français), nommé Gabin (104mn, 2017) by Yves Jeuland, illustrated with extracts from 50 of his 95 films, remarkable for the fans of Jean Gabin. But also 8 films, with Jean Gabin actor. From Pepe the Moko by Julien Duvivier (94mn, France, 1936), En cas de malheur by Claude Autant-Lara (121mn, France, 1957) that allow to see Jean Gabin before he becomes the caricature of himself. In these films, if Jean Gabin has the leading role, he does not always have the best: Pépé le Moko, a caïd locked up in the Kasbah of Algiers comes out, by love, only to get caught; En cas de malheur, respectable lawyer, he is dragged into his fall by a Brigitte Bardot who is the pawn; Coeur de lilas by Anatol Litvak (90mn, France, 1931), little caïd, he pushes the ditty and receives a good correction (Fernandel, as a singer) … Au delà des grilles by René Clément (104mn, France- Italy, 1948), he arrives in Genoa, at the end of the race, without being able to rebuild his life …

The plot of these films describes the atmosphere of a small French town or district of Paris, Du haut en bas by GW Pabst (80mn, France, 1933), and the films often inspired by novels by Georges Simenon : La Marie du port by Marcel Carné port (97mn, France, 1949), Maigret tend un piège by Jean Delanoy (119mn, France, 1957), Le Chat by Pierre Granier-Deferre (86mn, France-Italy, 1970).  With Le Chat, the death of a couple and a neighborhood: in a dead end of the suburbs in the middle of the urban reorganization, Gabin has affection only for his cat and no longer corresponds with his wife (Simone Signoret) that by small papers … Le Chat is the first victim but the couple goes out in a neighborhood that disappears … ††††††

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Apart from Jean Gabin, several tributes were paid to women.  Musidora, la dixième muse by Patrick Cazals (65mn, France, 2013) with an exhibition on Musidora, she was producer, war godmother of French aviation soldiers, essayist, novelist, actress, singer, variety artist, archivist of the Cinémathèque française, actress for Germaine Dulac, Louis Feuillade, Jacques Feyder, George Franju and director (Pour Don Carlos with Lasseyne, 1921, Soleil et ombre by Lasseyne, 1922, La Tierra de los Torros, 1924).

La passione di Ana Magnani by Enrico Cerasiolo (60mn, Italie, 2019).

Essere Done by Cécilia Mangini (28mn, Italie, 1964), documentary on the status of women

Segretarie, una Vita per il cinema by Raffaele Rago et Daniela Masciale (64 mn, Italie, 2017),
series of interviews with secretaries of great masters of Italian cinema.

The restored films, Bologna is an important world center of film restoration, some presented in Piazza Maggiore, allow to browse the cinema and its history, masterpieces of cinema and less known films: Charlie Chaplin’s Circus (71mn, United States, 1928) where Charlot is pursued by a policeman in a mirrors galerie, a sequence often taken up in the cinema, especially by Orson Welles in the Lady of Shanghai; The Cameraman by Buster Keaton (69mn, United States, 1928); Toni by Jean Renoir, first passion of an immigrant on the French screens (91mn, France, 1935); Under capricorn by Alfred Hitchcock (117 mn, United States, 1949); Los olvidados by Luis Bunuel (81 minutes, Mexico, 1950); L’eau à la bouche by Jacques Doniol-Valcroze with the couple Bernadette Lafont and Michel Galabru, music Serge Gainsbourg (95mn, France, 1950); Les Bicots-Nègres, Vos voisins of Med Hondo despite a somewhat dated speech (100mn, Mauritania-France, 1974); Jane Campion’s Piano (121mn, New Zealand-Australia-France, 1993) …

In Piazza Maggiore, Apocalypse Now, with a presentation by Francis Ford Coppola, had a triumph: the film had to be screened at the same time in two cinemas in the city! This film was too long according to Coppola, initially 4 hours, was reduced to 3 hours, for its release in room, at the request of producers. This is the last version (final cut), 183 minutes that was presented in Bologna.

Apocalypse Now, with multiple awards, won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, in 1979. Designed during the Vietnam War, on and against the war. Where the heroes, fascination by the war, complex, confusion in the war, remain American individuals, against the anonymous Vietnamese people …

As Gian Luca Farinelli, director of the Cinetca di Bologna and the Cinema Ritrovato festival and Thierry Frémaux did during a lezione di cinema, in his speech, Francis Ford Coppola took a clear position in favor of cinema facing platforms. : true, Apocalypse Now seen on a phone must lose some of its wings …

But the battle continues. Netflix covets the Egyptian Theater, on Hollywood Boulevard, a prestigious cinema built in 1922, to be able to easily fill the conditions of candidacy to the Oscars: broadcast 7 consecutive days the film in a cinema of Los Angeles ..

For Winding Refn (in Bologna for its cult film Drive), digitization is a way to promote the conservation of films: by creating a film museum for future generations … The digital revolution is the third Brother Lumière … with new attention on classical cinema, rather to the detriment of television than cinema.

Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne
Cinéma retrouvé à Bologne

Piazza Maggiore, Francis Ford Coppola, program of films screened on Piazza Maggiore from 17 June to 14 August

Algerian impressions

Impressions algériennes

Algerian mpressions, very subjective, without any particular political ambition in this important moment for Algeria, following a 3-week flash trip to Algeria (late February-early March), after having lived from June 1963 to June 1972 and made a brief visit a few years later …
Friendly and touristic visit: a few days in Tamanrasset, Algiers and Tipaza, Arzew-Oran with getaways in Mostaganem and Tlemcen finally Constantine via Djemila.


Nostalgic retreat of places. The people known at that time have disappeared or been lost sight of outside the two friends of fifty, since 1964-65, who welcomed us into their families. Very partial rediscovery visit of a new, unknown Algeria, at the moment when a new story seems to begin.

Returning to Algeria, after such a long separation, is strange. It is to see a friend we have lost sight of, we find, the same and different, familiar here, changed there, unknown elsewhere.

A country that was known by name, before coming, the places and personalities, become familiar because of the long war that had corresponded to the student years. And Independence came, we discovered the physical reality, traveling the country in all directions, and a little life in the daily work, in accordance with our own professional choices.
A country that was being built, new. A country whose achievements were followed with the same hope of success as nationals.

A country we knew or thought we knew. A country whose complexity we felt with, at the same time, a proximity of language, which allowed the dialogue, the sharing but of which an important part escaped us. Because we were not Algerians. Because we do not speak Arabic, despite weak attempts not encouraged by the Algerian entourage, and even less, the Berber-Tamazight, (Kabyle, Chaoui …).

Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes

But the country has changed a lot. Upon arrival, at night, by car from Dar El Beida airport to Ben Aknoun, we hope the Moutonnière, traveled twice a day for 6 years, and we go through the entrance to Los Angeles or any other metropolis. The sheep road is lurking somewhere, on the right, in darkness and memory.
The next day, with the light, we find the familiarity of the center, the Grande poste, the streets Larbi Ben M’hidi, Didouche Mourad, the boulevard Mohamed V, the place of the Emir, the apartment, the cinematheque and we fun to see what has not changed and what has changed …

It will be the same in Constantine, with the Place de la Breche modified (place of November 1st), the Direction départementale de la Santé, the Centre parmédical, the Lycée El Hourrya, the Monument aux morts, the Rhumel and its bridges and its new big bridge, the arcades of the street Abane Ramdane, the place Amirouche (Place de la pyuramide) …

Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes

When we return from this trip, some people ask us the same questions about the trip that they or others were asking us in the sixties … And security? You were safe? How were people with you in the street?

Curiously, the answer is the same, today and then: impression of absolute security even if, in Tamanrasset, gendarmes accompanied us to ensure our safety, as foreigners, in the excursions outside the city. And the extreme kindness of people.
 

At the time, the war was over, and for them and for us, almost forgotten. Not erased. We were there because this war had taken place and had marked us. But we were Frenchmen who came to work in the new Algeria.
Today, this era is almost forgotten. The vast majority of the Algerian population was born after our departure. The passage of cooperants in the years after Independence is not known to those we meet in the street. We are probably nostalgic pied-noses for them. And the kindness is the same.
The war in Algeria is over, well done. Well almost.

Because France remains the former colonial power, the present neocolonial power. And as at the time, also remains the refusal of foreign interference (to hear from France). Yesterday proclaimed by the government and today common to the system in place and to those who want to bring it down. Immixtion, for some, manipulation of opponents, for others, support of Bouteflika and the regime.

In the air, a little something has changed. Yesterday, some mutual knowledge-complicity supposed with everyone. With the Algerian friends, a common language, the same language, we shared the same jokes, nationalism and fraternity went hand in hand, because we had a common political past even if it was at very different levels. And a common hope.

Today, our story is no longer common. We slowly moved away. Nationalism has been distilled by fifty years of speech, teaching … without sharing. Without human contact, relativising. And our attention to Algeria was not as intense as during the war …

When a man in his fifties, who speaks perfect French, tells us, during a conversation about schooling and education, that in Algeria there are two languages, Arabic and English, he says two clear things: he asserts an identity, he is Arab (actually Chaouia origin) and Muslim (he asks us soon after what we think of Islam), rejects the officially recognized Tamazight, – language of the division? – and the French language, language of colonialism, still taught and widely used, for the benefit of the English language …

Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes

The veil-scarf is in question in France. Here, what strikes when one walks in the streets, it is the total disappearance of the traditional veils which made it possible to distinguish, at the first glance, the Algeroises, Oranaises or Constantinoises, dressed according to the tradition beside those who had adopted Western fashion. Today, women dressed in the Western fashion, mainly in pants, hair in the wind, are numerous. But, in all the cities covered, the most frequent dress is the scarf associated with the long dresses: the traditional veils have completely disappeared! We saw in 3 weeks, a Constantinoise and an Oranaise. And a single integral veil …, coming from the suburbs of Paris said young friends …

This phenomenon, a little anecdotal, speaks of our look yesterday and today. Yesterday’s look, attentive and benevolent, at the same time to Western tradition and evolution, normal for us, today’s surprised look at an autonomous, unexpected evolution.

During our stay, began the Friday and Tuesday demonstrations for the students. To which we have, of course, not participated and we have seen little.

There are many young people in these events. Because the Algerian population is young. But also because a major effort was made at the level of education: more than 1,655,000 students – 60% of them female students – entered the university in September 2017 while another 324,000 left with a diploma in hand.

These young people, students, are demonstrating with others today. They are the children of fathers and especially of mothers who, all, were educated and this phenomenon is perhaps not foreign to their importance presence in the demonstrations …

Schooling, especially for girls, is reminiscent of the Tunisian situation. It is in Tunisia that the Arab spring began, it is also in Tunisia that it went the furthest …

The entry into Algiers, coming from the airport, is the first testimony of the investments made in infrastructures. The highway that crosses Algeria from the Tunisian border to the Moroccan border is another testimony. For the moment free from end to end but on which are being built the future toll stations …

But what strikes the most is, in all the cities visited or crossed, outside the urban traffic jams especially in Algiers, it is the number of houses built or under construction … There was, at the time of Independence , 10 million Algerians, they are today 43 million!
We see everywhere buildings under construction or apparently completed but uninhabited (unassigned housing …) or actually completed and inhabited.
The city of Constantine, 200 000 inhabitants in 1960, counts more than 460 000 today, without counting the neighboring cities and in particular the city of 500 000 inhabitants, Ali Mendjeli, under construction !!!

Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes

These investments in infrastructure, housing, are at the origin of a phenomenon that everyone talks about, people of the street to the highest political authorities and that weighs heavily in the current events, corruption. And which affects, to varying degrees, many people in many other sectors of the economy and the social: import licenses, housing allocations, privileges …

There are sometimes reports in the press of the presence of Chinese workers in Algeria and sub-Saharan migrants crossing it to Europe. We have seen practically neither one nor the others. If the significant presence of Chinese workers has been confirmed, we have seen only a few Asian girls crossing the street.
In addition, some beggars who were assured that they were sub-Saharan …
Two employers who hired undocumented workers, in full view of everyone, without problem. One of them, a Cameroonian, told us that he was planning a trip to his country in a few months and come back …

But all this, like young people who offer to sell or buy all kinds of currency at Port Saïd square in Algiers, is just anecdotes of passing tourists.


The question today in Algeria is the future of the movement which, since February 23, peacefully assembles, in the streets of large Algerian cities, and place de la République in Paris, thousands of people to say its rejection of the system: not only Bouteflika who had to give up his fifth candidacy, not only ministers or oligarchs some of whom are now in prison, but of all those, including the military, who, since independence, have occupied the power.

Delicate period of transition with the unlikely threat of a Sudanese-type evolution. Sudanese were Place de la Réoyublique in Paris this Sunday …

Difficult period because, thanks to popular unity, the repayment of the system can succeed but will this unity persist for the establishment of new institutions? And especially for the implementation of a new economic policy that would exceed the simple use of oil revenues to calm discontent …

Impressions algériennes

Below, some pictures of the Sunday meeting of Algerians on the Place de la République in Paris, June 16, 2019.

Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes
Impressions algériennes

Thanks to Ahmed M and Rachid H.

Représentative democracy in danger

Démocratie représentative en danger

Representative democracy in danger

If Democracy is the government of the people by the people, there are many ways to turn it into a diversion according to the interests of the dominant people. Who do not hesitate to democratically change the rules to prevent the people from governing. To ensure the permanence of dominant’s power. Last example: the privatization of Paris Airport (ADP).

Alas, this diversion of democracy is not a French specialty. It is found, in forms adapted to each country, in all so-called democratic countries. It is not surprising that, everywhere, the first party is that of non-participants in the elections. They are obviously too biased.

In France, the rules are a mixture of presidential and parliamentary system that allows a minority to seize power: the president has won the votes of less than a fifth of adults in the country, it has an overwhelming majority and unconditional in the National Assembly. This makes it the absolute master of the agenda and legislative initiative.

Jacques Chirac was elected, in the second round of the presidential election, with a comfortable majority of votes, not for his program but to block Le Pen father. Elected, he forgot who made him president. Emmanuel Macron, champion of a new world, has understood the old one. Elected, under the same conditions, in front of Le Pen daughter, he took the opportunity to satisfy his real constituents to the detriment of the majority of those who voted for him.

Finally, a yellow explosion leads everyone to recognize that there is a small anomaly: it would be necessary to put, a little, in play the neglected intermediate bodies, to discuss, a little, to explain to the people the intelligent measures inflicted for its good …

After 6 months of yellowing, 3 months of Gand Débat National (1) – conscientiously used as a mid-term election campaign and to prepare for the European elections – President Macron took off the double democratic advance he had set: in the face of the citizen’s initiative referendum (RIC) claim, he proposes a facilitation of the RIP, référendum d’initiative partagée ie referendum of shared initiative (2) – with a reduction of the number of necessary signatures – and a significative proportion in the legislative elections.

The future of these proposals, however, is uncertain.

First of all, it must be emphasized that the initiative is not shared: only parliamentarians (deputies and senators) can trigger the process. They must be 185 to make the request. They were 248 (PS, PC, LR, FI) on the privatization project of Paris Airport.
This initiative must then be recognized by the Constitutional Council, a well-known assembly of extremist antiparliamentarians, perhaps discreetly infiltrated by Gilets Jaunes (yellow vests). Anyway, this second stage is crossed.


But the authorization of the Constitutional Council does not mean that the referendum will take place. First, it is necessary to obtain the agreement of more than 10% of the electorate, ie more than 4.7 million signatures within 9 months. If successful, to block the eventual referendum, it will be enough then that the National Assembly or Senate seize the proposal. This will allow the large presidential majority in the National Assembly.


All in all, it is not a referendum but the possibility of putting a subject on the Parliament’s agenda. It is not a shared initiative but a parliamentary initiative supported by a significant portion of the citizens. Which does not seem to question parliamentary democracy. On the contrary, it gives an opportunity for initiative to parliamentarians who must receive the support of citizens in a clearly defined constitutional framework.

Démocratie représentative en danger


The day after the decision of the Constitutional Council, the title ADP fell on the stock market of 9.73%. Editorial editors panic. Democracy is in danger!


Yet the decision to privatize everything is widely disputed. The exemplary nature of the past privatization of highways is strongly questioned: some even speak of the calamitous precedent of the privatization of motorway companies. The economic and financial interest of such privatization is strongly discussed. Like the announced hydroelectric dams.
These privatizations are not required by the European Union. They simply aim to relieve today’s budget constraints to the detriment of permanent financial inflows.


For the Government, if each time a majority passes a law, 185 parliamentarians can delay its application by more than 9 months, this would create a dangerous situation for the conduct of public action.
But all the way knows that the Constitutional Council is there to limit, according to the law, the possibility of RIP, in certain cases envisaged by the Constitution: organization of the public authorities … reforms relating to the economic, social or environmental policy … The ratification of a treaty.

This risk, even if it is limited, will not lead the President of the Republic to rush to instil, as announced, a little proportional in the legislative elections. This could only increase the number of opponents in the National Assembly likely to put again at stake a possible RIP.
This will comfort the president in his desire to reduce the number and means of MPs and senators.

After 6 months of demonstrations of the GJ, supported, according to the polls, by the population despite the strong repression and the imprecations radio-televised, in spite of 3 months of Great debate, the answers that proposed Emmanuel Macron to answer the demand of the RIC seem badly gone.


There is a good chance that the President of the Republic regains wisdom and sacrifices his desire to facilitate the RIP and to introduce a significant proportional proportion.


We have known for a long time. It is the people who rule if they want what the dominant people want. If not, there is always a way around its will. In strength or softness.


The circumvention of the results of the 2005 referendum, which had not been requested by a RIP, it did not exist at the time, has shown. And the passage in force of the law on work. And the brutal repression of yellow vests … And tomorrow ???


Failing to restore the ISF, if not facilitate the RIP, if not proportional, the president may delete the ENA that no one has requested. It is not sure that it satisfies and les Giets jaunes, and the population.


Who puts a risk to democracy, representative or not, already sick? Those who want to limit or eliminate a possibility of parliamentary initiative that has never been used since 2008? Those who want to reduce the number of parliamentarians and their means? Those who want to go into force to impose measures that compromise the future and are rejected even by the support of the powers that be?
No, it is obviously those who demonstrate, whether trade unionists or Gilets jaunes to defend the general interest against the privatization of national investments depreciated for a long time and now profitable?

Is this the answer to les Gilets jaunes? Or will it need the irruption of Gilets rouges to convince the oligarchs?

Démocratie représentative en danger


1 – Great Debate, to give the floor back to the French on the development of public policies that concern them and relate, among others, democracy and citizenship …

2 – Constitutional Law of 23 July 2008 on the modernization of the institutions of the Fifth Republic adopted almost unanimously by the right and center parliamentarians. Contested during its first attempt at application: it becomes a serious problem of democracy according to the entourage of the Prime Minister.