France’s Hollande Tells Ministers To End Roma Row

Syria refugees protest in France, seek to go to Britain

France is a proud country, perhaps too proud, but what I want to say has nothing to do politics, ideology or nationalism. One of the main ingredients of a good beer is water and you can find it in Alsace, France where French beer is excellent. Most of their lamb comes from areas where thyme grows wild and the lambs are free to partake of it. This is what gives their meat such a unique flavor. Their seafood is from an area that is known for quality and freshness, we are talking about Marseilles. Their ham is from pigs that eat natural food which makes their meat tender and gives it a flavor to die for. Their mushrooms have an excellent quality and taste, especially the king of them, the truffle; with a combination of bouquet, aroma, scent and perfume. Chesses are different, from all over the country, soft, hard, pungent, salty, sweet, creamy and sometimes, smelly. There are hundreds of different types of cheeses. Their wine , Champagne, Cognac, liqueurs, cordials, aperitif are consumed all over the world and each of them have a place, a special place where they have been produced. For a long time, maybe always, French women have been admired by the rest of the world. Who can ever forget Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, Francoise Sagan in Bonjour Tristesse, Catherine Deneuve in Belle Du Jour or Joan of Arc, such a horrible death? Now what I want to say about French women is how most of them have dominated the art of eating, they eat anything they desire, yet they are able to keep a slim or appetizing shape. They are able to accomplish this by practicing the art of moderation. The French women can eat butter, pastries, succulent sauces, rich and fatty meats, but within limitations.

Seeking to heal a widening rift between centrists and left-wingers in his coalition over the issue, Hollande took both Duflot and Valls to task at his weekly cabinet meeting. “I insist that all ministers pay full mind to their mission, their behavior, how they express themselves and of course, how they act,” Hollande told the meeting, according to presidential aides. “Being a member of a government does not mean you cannot have your point of view but it does mean you have to strictly apply the rules I have just set out,” he said, adding: “the debate should be inside the government not in public”. The dispute not only exposed tensions within Hollande’s 17-month-old coalition but raised new questions over the authority of the president, whose poll ratings have fallen to 23 percent amid dissatisfaction over his record on the economy and jobs. Hollande said he was also asking Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is suffering from low popularity ratings too, to ensure better coordination in the government. The far-right National Front has signaled it plans to make the Roma issue a central campaign theme for next March’s municipal elections. It is hopeful it can tap a protest vote against Hollande to score gains in town halls across France. Valls’ tough talk on law and order has made him Hollande’s most popular government minister. A poll released at the weekend showed three-quarters of French agreed with his comments on the Roma. Hollande’s government has sought to distance itself from a hard-line policy under conservative former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who explicitly accused Roma of links to crime and launched a program of deportations. Yet since the beginning of the year some 13,000 Roma have been evicted from illegal camps and welfare groups say the failure of schemes to re-house their inhabitants means they find themselves on the streets or simply set up new camps elsewhere. Moreover France this week said it was currently opposed to Romania and Bulgaria joining the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone when current restrictions on the movement of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens end in January 2014.

FRANCE, FOOD AND WOMEN

Stuffed carnival squash recipe

On the second day of the protest and hunger strike on Thursday, the asylum seekers put up slogans scribbled on cardboard proclaiming: “Take us to the UK,” and “We want to talk to David Cameron.” They occupied a footbridge of a ferry terminal at Calais port from which ships leave for British ports. Many voiced disenchantment with France, which recently pledged to speed up asylum requests for Syrian refugees. Most of them arrived a month ago in Calais. Some 40 Syrian migrants who want to go to England block a pedestrian bridge leading to the ferry ter “We thought that France was the country where human rights are respected,” said Tarik, a 19-year-old from the southern city of Deraa near the border with Jordan. “But we live outside like dogs, hunted down by the police, we see we are not welcome, how can we seek asylum here?” he said. The former engineering student said he was convinced he would find “more humanity” in Britain and eventually bring over his mother and younger brothers currently living in Egypt. Ali, a 38-year-old, can barely hide his anger, saying although French President Francois Hollande had taken a strong stand against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons, the French were not welcoming at all. “Why does the president say one thing and the police another?” Ali said, adding that he had spent $13,000 (9,500 euros) to come to a country where the “president said ‘we must help Syrians.'” Some 40 Syrian migrants block for the second consecutive day a pedestrian bridge leading to the ferr “Here even animals are better treated than us,” he said. Zakarya, a 45-year-old from Aleppo said: “Our choice… is to go to England because the procedure for Syrians is easier than in France or other countries.” “We will stay as long we can stand,” she said. The UN refugee agency has said 17 countries, including France, have agreed to receive quotas of refugees fleeing the bloody conflict in Syria.

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