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France: President - Do As I Say, Not As I Do

  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  France Video Feeds
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
click to see where France is on the map

The recently elected President Francois HollandeFrancois Hollande of France got the top job because he promised that he would be "normal", compared to the previous occupant of the Elysee, Nicolas Zarkozy, who was known as the bling-bling president.

He had his cabinet sign a charter that stated that when they would be going somewhere they would go as cheap as possible, and respect the rules of the road 100%.

To give him his due, when he went to Brussels, Belgium, he took high-speed train, his predecessor would take 2 airplanes (one for backup). Of course the bedlam in the railway stations was something else.

His ministers are indeed taking the metro, one went to Berlin and onwards to Rome flying a low cost airline. Of course, the Minister of Foreign Affairs could not give his press conference afterwards, since the low cost airline was not going to wait for him.

Yesterday, the President had to go to Caen Click for map in Lower Normandy, a 2 1/2 hour road trip trip. Normally, the Presidents before him would take a helicopter, but this Socialist president decided to take the car (he obviously has the time for 2 x3 hours). But like Presidents before him, and going specifically against his own orders, the parade of cars and motorcycles were speeding. According to the reporter in the video, he had plenty of time, and did not need to speed.

You'll see in the (French) video below that he goes into the tunnel of La Defense (outskirts of Paris), limited to 70 kph, doing 140 kph. Once on the motorway, he is doing 180 kph, the autoroutes in France are limited to 130 kph.

You'll also notice in the video a couple of motorcycles with pillions. They are not journalists, but cops. They do not wear uniforms, they only have an orange armband, and their job is to keep other cars away from the Prez.

When he arrives close to the city, they stop are a parking rest place, and take a break and place the presidential flags on the car.

Couple of thoughts on this. 1) It's good that the Executives of the country are doing their thing to reduce cost; they are setting an example. 2) Their way of travelling can make major obstacles for the other people who are travelling. 3) Going a distance by car does increase the chance that there's an accident...

President Hollande Speeding To Caen (1 minutes 17 seconds)

Click to see the Video clip

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