Friday, September 28, 2007

Vive la France!

The Christian Science Monitor posed a rather interesting question today: Who's a better friend to America – Britain or France?

Here are a few notable highlights from the article.

"…Under the turbocharged presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, France isn't that old France anymore, while England's new Prime Minister Gordon Brown seems to be trying to assume the role of former French president Jacques Chirac.

…[Sarkozy’s] domestic policies make Socialist and union leaders' teeth itch: Cut a third of the civil service, pay for performance, encourage overtime, undermine the 35-hour workweek by any means necessary, rationalize the pension plans of half a million public workers, put work at the center of French life, and make heroes of those who, as he puts it, "get up early."

…In foreign policy, Sarkozy has gone American most notably in his policy toward Iran. He famously laid out the choice of "an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran." Iran's possession of nuclear weapons would be an "unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world," he said this week in a speech at the UN General Assembly.

"I want to tell the American people that the French people are their friends," he told The New York Times recently. "We are not simply allies. I am proud of being a friend of the Americans."