SALON DE L'AGRICULTURE
− live as well as transformed − will be on display for nine days on the vast grounds of this annual fair at the Porte de Versailles. Just returned from a visit to South America and to French Polynesia, where he was wreathed in flower garlands, he found quite a different reception at the Salon where his arrival was booed amid cries for his resignation. The angry farmers, who have been marching and disrupting traffic everywhere for over a month, claim that Hollande has not kept his promises and that they are hanging on by their fingernails, facing bankruptcy if immediate relief is not forthcoming. Worst off are the dairy farmers and pork producers who cannot compete with lower-priced products from Germany or Eastern Europe sold at French supermarkets.
|Hollande in difficulty at the Salon|
|Stand of Ministry of Agriculture destroyed|
|Calais Jungle after|
(blog 2/5/16). In an interview published on February 13 in the daily Le Figaro Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, Perpetual Secretary of the Académie Française, re-stated the position of the Académie: "A total opposition to any spelling reform but a conditional agreement on a limited number of simplifications that shall not be imposed by any authority and shall have to withstand the test of time." She insisted that the "limited simplifications" were proposed in 1990 by the Conseil Supérieur de la Langue Française and not by the Académie Française, "as the Ministry of Education has us believe." The fine distinction between the Council and the Académie might have escaped mere mortals, but Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Education, was not taken in and called on Mrs. Carrère d'Encausse to explain herself. The hair splitting that followed added little light to the situation but gave Mme Carrère the opportunity to slip in the fact that international studies have shown that the educational level in France has decreased over the years in comparison with other countries and that in 2016 we have one out of every five French students leaving school without proper reading skills. Ouch!