Alarm bells in Europe (1/3/2022)

#PARISFOMO and other stories from France
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So you may have noticed that I haven’t sent a newsletter over the past couple of weeks. (Or not noticed at all, there is a lot going on in the world and this is hardly that important!)

It was actually school holidays here in France and we decided to go off on a break from smoggy city life to the mountains.

Now, I was going devote the newsletter to the French love of skiing, when the “2020s” struck again and “War in Europe” came up on the bingo card. Being in the Alps, on the border with Germany, Italy and Switzerland, all of a sudden those jokes about world wars don’t seem so funny any more.

French President Macron has been active in negotiations, even meeting with Russian Vladimir before the bombing in Ukraine started. But the gulf has remained as long as that ridiculous bargaining table:

In case you are wondering, in French the name “Putin” translates from Russian to “Poutine”, which sadly has nothing to do with those gravy-dripping cheesy french fries that Canadians love so much. (And who wouldn’t want cheesy fries to be trending on twitter instead of this current mess, I ask you!?)

The situation seems so serious that even the pro-Putinists like French ultra-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon, and ultra-right wingers Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour have started to back track and desperately try play down their previous tv clips expressing support.

President Macron has also been active shelving other itineraries, including changing his plan of announcing his candidacy in the French election which he was supposed to do this Saturday in Marseille. (There is no suspense, he is going to run again, he is just waiting for the last minute to avoid candidacy constraints.) For now it seems, the election will take a back seat

On a rather astonishing note, an old tv interview by Macron’s former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has been making the internet rounds. Either he is the new Nostradamus (who was French as well ndlr) or he had access to some amazing secret intelligence.

The clip is in French, but it dates back to 2018 and in it he says “within the next 5 years, we need to prepare for a serious pandemic and imagine if Russia will invade Poland.” You can see the clip here, if you understand French:

He says it rather jokingly, not quite believing it himself, but goodness the man should start playing the Euromillions lottery. Just enough to set off the conspiracy theorists!

Anyway, if you would like to donate the Red Cross is operating in Ukraine as is UNICEF. Let’s hope this all descalates soon, shall we?

In other news:

  • If you are planning a trip, France has loosened its travel restrictions on Feb 12th as follows:
    • For travelers vaccinated, no more tests is required on departure. Proof of a complete vaccination schedule is sufficient to arrive in France
    • For unvaccinated travellers, the obligation to present a negative test to travel to France remains.
    You can find more current information about the restrictions here.

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