All The More Reason


François Bayrou
February 18, 2007, 5:40 am
Filed under: French Politics

This week, on the French TV programme A vous de juger, François Bayrou was the guest. He is presenting himself as a centrist who is an alternative to the frontrunners of Royal or Sarkozy. Some of his ideas and points were the following:

– No police or military in the schools (this was based on the statements from both the left and the right of putting gendarmes or militaires in schools for restoring order). According to Bayrou, the point of education is to learn that the law of might is right is not the only law of the land, and that the presence of the military would undermine this point. His solution for the problems of discipline in the schools would be to remove those students that were causing the greatest problems and to encourage the presence of more male teachers as role models, and authority figures bien sûr, for the students.

– He had spoken with some muslim single mothers who had considered or had already, I can only assume, put their children in private catholic schools because their safety could not be guaranteed in public schools.

– In order to fight against the dominance of China in manual labour, France and the EU would have to put pressure on the value of the undervalued Chinese currency. Bayrou believes that the U.S. is incapable of doing this because the Chinese have already bought so many U.S. dollars.

– Non–French citizens living in France for 10 years or more should have the right to vote in local elections, but not in presidential elections.

Perhaps of most interest to me in the debate was an idea that I’ve never heard before. One woman complained about how she couldn’t get together the three months rent required in order to get an apartment with heating (the landlord refused to fix the heating where she was staying). This requirement in France to have a guarantor and two or three months rent (it really depends on the apartment) can be a difficult hurdle for many people to jump. Bayrou stated that there should be an insurance that an individual could pay, of roughly 5 euros a month, to cover the default on a lease or rent of an apartment. Selon moi, that’s a good idea.

J.S.

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