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Rachida Dati’s (verbal) slip…

…is one of my favourite French headlines today. After all, it is easy to mix up “fel-” with “infl-“ — even if the result is oral sex…

Also, is Lagarde inspiring Jean-Francois Copé ? The Business Secretary said on the weekend the so-called “bouclier fiscal” would change a little bit. The latter is one of Sarkozy’s flagship measures, which describes the fact that no one in France is taxed more than 50 percent of his/her income.

UMP-head Copé now challenges another French institution: the 35-hour workweek. “This question definitely will have to be discussed”, he said. Tax-wise, he even talked about an “alignment with German legislation”.

Meanwhile, the German neighbour’s newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports the EU is planning to initiate proceedings against France and up to four other EU member states, because of their anti-Roma policies. The council of commissioners will make a final decision this Wednesday.

But the German government is also facing (internal) pressure: unions, opposition parties, and associations for the socially disadvantaged are up in arms about the recalculation of unemployment benefits. The so-called “Hartz IV rates” will thus only increase by 5 euros. Opponents expected a higher rise and say the government has “distorted the numbers”.


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