Meanwhile back in France…

…Nicolas Sarkozy is the least popular president, at the one-year mark in his five-year term, of any French president in polling history. Twenty-eight per cent approval rating, and he doesn’t even have Peter Van Loan spinning for him.

As always, the underlying current is that the French dearly wish the Omniprésident would simply get on with the job. Eighty per cent think fiscal restraint is unavoidable — duh — but nearly 60% don’t trust Sarko to deliver it. When Russia was failing its transition to a market economy, Tom Toles drew a cartoon in the Buffalo Daily News showing Boris Yeltsin piloting an old-fashioned biplane. There’s a banner behind the plane with the word REFORM. The plane is on the ground, motionless. The banner is lying on the grass behind the plane. And there’s a Communist Party apparatchik in the seat behind Yeltsin’s, shouting: “Fly slower!” Mutatis mutandis, Sarko is his own apparatchik.  Here‘s one of his more interesting cabinet ministers, launching a ginger group to try and imagine how France could have a functional economy by 2025. Which is Eric Besson’s polite way of saying he has already written off the government in which he serves.

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