Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Old fogies turning out reports "de merde"

"To say that the Economic and Social Council [Conseil économique et social] is a bunch of old fogies turning out shitty reports is an abusive shortcut" quips the vice-president himself of the CES, France's third-most important assembly, following the National Assembly and the Senate.

"In five years, certain councillors have never shown up", says one of the 231 members of the assembly with only consultative powers (but with a good salary and high benefits). "Only some 50 ever do any serious work." Some people can be seen reading magazines, says Robert Belleret. Others are going through their mail. Still others are trying to stifle their yawns, but not with too much effort. Fodé Sylla asks his neighbor (Luc Ferry) to pass some sweets down the line. Although the sessions are open to the public, the galley of the Palais d'Iéna is deserted.