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JohnnyRocket
4th Apr 2006, 09:02
The head of a low-cost airline has caused a row by branding the French "lazy frogs" after one of his planes was delayed flying back to Britain by protesting French students. Philip Meeson -- the chief executive of Jet2.com -- was incensed that French police allowed about 50 students to stage a runway sit-down that stopped around 100 passengers boarding a Boeing 737 at Chambery airport in the French Alps last night. Eventually the plane was able to take off for Leeds Bradford airport, where it arrived 90 minutes late. On his airline's website, Mr Meeson had complained last week about a strike by French air traffic controllers and called for "lazy frogs to get back to work". Interviewed on FIVE LIVE BREAKFAST, Mr Meeson defended his views:

Philip Meeson said: "jet2-dot-com flies to Nice, to Paris, to Chambery. Our passengers are frustrated. We want to give them a good service so our website is, you know, is a bit of fun. There's always lots of fun stories, interesting news items on it and we're just representing the views of our passengers"

Speed of Sound
4th Apr 2006, 09:07
we're just representing the views of our passengers"

I'm sure your passengers would like a better service and half-price fares. Are you going to represent those views, Mr Meeson?

SoS

bjkeates
4th Apr 2006, 09:17
I'm sure your passengers would like a better service and half-price fares. Are you going to represent those views, Mr Meeson?



That's irrelevant. There was nothing to suggest that passengers were unhappy with Jet2's fares and service. The matter at hand is that the flight was delayed because of circumstances outside the control of Jet2 but which could have been prevented.

In any case, the "Lazy Frogs" press release has been on the Jet2.com website since 30th March; this particular delay was on 3rd April. The BBC have reported on the delay and for some reason associated the 4-day-old press release with it; before then, it had gone largely unnoticed.

The Potter
4th Apr 2006, 09:28
Oh dear, Philip, foot firmly in mouth yet again. Can't wait to witness the Jet2 turn rounds in France from now on.:zzz: Maybe one day you'll learn the subtle art of diplomacy.

Phil Brockwell
4th Apr 2006, 09:31
To be fair,

It beggars belief that the airport security would let 100 students sit on a runway. I had a flight delayed by the same protest, and that was a medivac.

Can you imagine the response from Air France if 50 students were allowed to block the runway at BHX or LTN.



Phil

Wing Commander Fowler
4th Apr 2006, 09:32
........ the subtle art of diplomacy??? Well now, lets try to think who is the running the most successful airline in Europe at the moment and attempt to gauge the levels of his diplomatic skills shall we...??? MOL??? :hmm:

bigflesh2005
4th Apr 2006, 09:40
fly jet2 but expect us to insult you

woptb
4th Apr 2006, 09:50
Another 'hilarious' picture illustrating the plight of his own workers might be fun;Dressed as the grim reaper,with a sack in one hand & hoop in the other,maybe with a sign in the background pointing to Leeds.
He really is a cheeky chappie!

The Potter
4th Apr 2006, 10:05
Well now, lets try to think who is the running the most successful airline in Europe at the moment and attempt to gauge the levels of his diplomatic skills shall we...??? MOL???

Just a couple of points here WCF. Just because another person does, or is percieved to do, something wrong doesn't make it right for another to follow suite. As you have said yourself, MOL runs the most successful airline in Europe at the moment & he can therefore, rightly or wrongly, get away with more than can PM with regard to lack of diplomacy. He also operates to smaller regional airports where the local community benefits greatly from the presence of Ryanair. Nice doesn't particularly need Jet2.

Were PM's comments directed at a black person, using a derogatory term, would anyone find it acceptable? It's shocking that the owner of a European airline flying soley within Europe was daft enough to come up with an insulting & racist term for one of our closest neighbours. Good luck in France from now on.

despegue
4th Apr 2006, 10:13
So obviously, Jet2 doesn't want French passengers anymore as they are the subject of a severe insult.

This is reason for immediate dismissal.

I personally do not plan to use Jet2's services anymore, and I'm not French.

Plain.spotter
4th Apr 2006, 10:19
.....so we're allowed to be called "Ros bifs" and that's ok? Calling the French "frogs" is harmless fun and if it gets there backs up, so what?
i seem to recall Chrirac (was it) slagging off British food before they lost the Olympic bid.

EI-CFC
4th Apr 2006, 10:23
It does sound like he's trying to be MOL-lite. The Diet Coke of Evil..

woptb
4th Apr 2006, 10:29
It does sound like he's trying to be MOL-lite. The Diet Coke of Evil..

PERFECT:ok:

no sponsor
4th Apr 2006, 10:50
No doubt Chirac called the Brits something during the Olympic bid, but I think he made a remark about Finnish food?

Plain.spotter
4th Apr 2006, 11:08
it was that the British food was worse only to the Finns'!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/olympics_2012/4650663.stm

ALLDAYDELI
4th Apr 2006, 11:12
I'm with Brockwell on this one... how could this happen at an airport especially in todays security concious climate.

Elsewhere armed guards and police would soon descend on those responsible and have them forecfully marched off to a cell somewhere.

The commercial repercussions of this "action" as well are disgraceful and we can do without it.

Only in France...

Its time these antics stopped, look at the pathetic chaos and disruption it is causing. Do they get anymore symptathy for whatever cause, NO..
People are getting sick and tired of it, no where else does this happen.

G-CPTN
4th Apr 2006, 11:33
Simple answer - don't go there . . .

ezyBoh
4th Apr 2006, 11:42
Bonjour! Having worked for EXS in the past and obviously with Mr Meeson I can only say good for him! It's about time we stood up to these rioting, obnoxious so-called European 'comrades'.

Our Secretary of State for Transport or even President Blair should be on the 'phone to his counterpart objecting to the on-going French ATC strike and the misery it is causing passengers and airline staff alike. But we can't upset the French now can we?

If our ATC staff acted in the way that they have, ie cause chaos for the North Atlantic over-flying traffic, most of the so-called friendly Governments would be banging on the door of the Court of European Rights demanding compensation!

Yet again the French get away with doing what they like when they like! If they don't like it, perhaps they should leave Europe and leave us in peace!!

Peregrine falcon
4th Apr 2006, 11:43
It might even speed up turn-arounds as there won't be so many pax to board...??!!?:D

tallulah1978
4th Apr 2006, 11:47
I'm sure your passengers would like a better service and half-price fares. Are you going to represent those views, Mr Meeson?

SoS

As cabin crew for jet2.com I have to object the request for better service. I take pride in my job and always strive to provide a first class service regardless of the price someone has paid for their ticket. Mr. Meeson made his comments as an individual and did not speak for his crew!

opsguy10
4th Apr 2006, 11:55
Well the truth does hurt they are lazy frogs!! At the end of the day its abit of fun! But they are causing so much chaos. Even worse the situation with the ATC controllers so not only do they cause issues in there own country they effect spain etc aswell! Get into the 21st century unfortuantly no job is for life anymore and the longer this carrys on surley the more jobs will be at risk:}

SEND IN MAGGIE:}

PileUp Officer
4th Apr 2006, 11:56
Last time I flew as a passenger we were boarding next to a Jet 2 'Yorkshire' aircraft.
The one of the girls in front of me (Imagine a Chantelle from Big Brother/The Mother from Life of Brian voice) starting saying "Jeeeyt Tarh Yhawkshire? Eyerve never eard of em"
To which the other girl replied "Do they even ave ayrpawrts in Yhawkshire?" (With no hint of humour)

Grrr :mad:

tallulah1978
4th Apr 2006, 11:58
Not getting your point? Are we now also insulting people's accents?

PileUp Officer
4th Apr 2006, 11:59
And stupidity :p

tallulah1978
4th Apr 2006, 12:01
Are you referring to the people of yorkshire's accents and stupidity?

Please, being a yooorkshire gal I really am missing your point....?

PileUp Officer
4th Apr 2006, 12:06
No, no. I was meaning the Suveners believing that Yorkshire doesn't have any airports! :ok:

G-CPTN
4th Apr 2006, 12:06
I read the quotes as Stateside accents.
Hey up!

tallulah1978
4th Apr 2006, 12:09
Oh okay then - i'll climb off my high horse and stop being daft!

As cabin crew the french striking has caused problema for me in terms of being sat on runways for three hours and stuck in Plma for 4hours etc. It is frustrating ( for my family also).

When we finally did take off from Faro a few weeks ago following a three hour delay due to French ATC I had a passenger ask me for a beer. When I produced a can of Stella he practically threw it back at me and asked me if i was taking the P(&s offering french beer after such a lengthy delay. I hadn't the heart to tell him that Stella is Belgian and promptly handed him a can of Tetley!

PileUp Officer
4th Apr 2006, 12:10
Yeah, with hindsight they could be read as a lot of different accents. But rest assured they were schreechy Essex ones.

G-CPTN
4th Apr 2006, 12:21
handed him a can of Tetley!
There's Yorkshire for yer!
If it LOOKS like tea, and TASTES like tea . . .

(Apologies, I quite LIKE their beer.)

The late XV105
4th Apr 2006, 12:24
From a quick thread scan, I don't think this link has been posted yet:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/4874720.stm

XXTSGR
4th Apr 2006, 12:43
Whether Meeson is right or wrong, justifiable or not in his comments, they were hardly (a) diplomatic or (b) calculated to improve the service he receives from Franch ATC, handlers, etc. etc. I can just see it:- "Tower, Jet2-123 request startup" "123, negative, we do not 'ave a flight plan" "Er...." 15 minutes later "123, Tower, we 'ave found ze flight plan, but you will now need to apply for anozzer slot, as your previous one 'as expired" 20 minutes later "123, Tower - taxy via Lima to 'old Bravo two - we 'ave forty eight Air France flights to depart before you..." Etc....

ezyBoh
4th Apr 2006, 12:50
Who cares if his comments weren't diplomatic! Tough! Thats' the way Mr M operates. It's all this mincing around by so called Liberalists and the P.C. brigade that this Government has formed over the last 8 years that has led us to be in the postion that we are in!

Stuff the French and give then the red card! Bring out a true leader, Maggie!

Here, here, here!

tony draper
4th Apr 2006, 12:57
Seems to me France is becoming like Britain in the early seventies,but will the Gallic temperement be able to handle it in the manner we Anglo Saxons did? to triumph over adversity and come through smiling.
One doubts it,
It might be a start to throw them out of the EU,that would just leave Germany to be rid of, then of course we take over and run the place properly.
:rolleyes:

Peregrine falcon
4th Apr 2006, 13:08
Great link!!!

A bull in a china shop comes to mind. Great publicity, and it's free!!!:D

Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing.

to whom it may concern...

ICAO holding speeds 265 knots above FL140 :ok:

ORAC
4th Apr 2006, 13:15
Mr. Meeson made his comments as an individual
Not so, he made them on the company website, so they were stated in his role as a company representative.
http://www.jet2.com (http://www.jet2.com/News.aspx?id=65)

opsguy10
4th Apr 2006, 13:21
The comment on that link.....

Labour MEP Robert Evans said: "These cheap and derogatory remarks are beneath even a budget airline. We really have got to be more mature in our relationships."

So are we a lower class now.......

XXTSGR
4th Apr 2006, 14:01
Who cares if his comments weren't diplomatic!Er - the French perhaps? Can you not see the scenario I posted above? It all goes back, really to freedom of speech. Yes, he has the freedom to say what he did. He also has the freedom to enjoy(?) the consequences. :} I don't think his passengers will enjoy the consequences, though, so who has been served by his little rant? Nobody.

boogie-nicey
4th Apr 2006, 14:13
The French just don't want to do something, fine. However to literally hold hostage other thirds parties unconnected with their so called cause is just slefish and/or blind arrogance. If that had happened here we wouldn't here the end of it especially with the multitude of transatlantic flights pouring in from the US and they would have kicked up a big fuss. Are the French Police stupid yes I sadi stupid missing a vital moment of common sense where college kids sit down on a runway of all places. Have you ever seen students from Richmond college sit down on a major railway line with police idly standing by. There's no fun here and no point to be made by sitting in on a runway, just plain snobbish arrogance. There are many, many millions of people in REAL problems around the world but do they ever seem to resort to this type of protest?

What if that airport was needed in an emergency or the cost to operators? You can make a point by going and demonstrating outside the politicians home that will get their attention instead holding hostage numerous innocent parties some of which may only be transitting through France and yet are delayed in terms of connecting flights.

The PM is gutless anyway and would rather make love with his face than take on the French. The chap at Jet2, did nothing wrong and though he himself might well have been a colourful character in his own right he said what many must have been thinking. Get out of our way we are working.

And as for Know nothing MEP, they should sod off back to their gravy train and shut up especially after their absence during the strikes. Just because they aren't going to do anything about it or perhaps can't doesn't mean everyone else has to sit back too.

King Pong
4th Apr 2006, 14:16
The French have been disrupting the lives of the British for years and have been getting away with it. If it isn’t French ATC striking then there are the ferry strikes, dock worker strikes, lorry and fishermen blockades of the ports not forgetting the lazy inefficient French farmers who have grown rich on UK EEC subsidies. It is a real shame that we are only 25 miles from that shambles of a country.

ezyBoh
4th Apr 2006, 14:51
Here here here to King Pong, XXTSGR, have you been working 12 hour shifts dealing with the consequences of delayed flights, thousands of passengers delayed, crews out of hours? If you had you would have understood where I and Mr M was coming from, and indeed other people like King Pong!

It's your wet, Liberal, P.C. comments that do no good and enable the Socialist across the water to get away with what they have been doing for years! The French are only in Europe for themselves, they don't care at all about the rest of Europe. If you are so in Favour of the French go and live there, oh sorry, your flight has been cancelled!

boogie-nicey
4th Apr 2006, 15:23
Bravo King Pong and Ezyboh, that's right we are a trading nation and just as the French have little or no appetite for anyone whose noncoforming to their needs. It's state sponsored laziness with a good pat on the back for that tired 20th century system that is still desperately clinging onto their chic 1960's past. We in the UK are as much to blame for allowing them to hold us up. Once you hold them to account at the next round of meetings and say sorry sunshine you can't take the money and take the piss, you've got to give one of them up.

This just shows that when a real problem of practical proportions turns up our Dear Leader is inept and can't actually do anything he's only good for beating up on people, organisations, governments and individuals that's can't fight back or when there's something in it for himself. How about a boycott of French goods and get your picture in the local newspaper.

Give them the subsidaries but charge them a disruption fee call it a 'garlic charge'.

XXTSGR
4th Apr 2006, 15:47
ezy - are the UK, then, in the EU for the benefit of the others? I had understood that the only point was for what we could get out of it... :confused: I made no PC, liberal comments at all - I merely pointed out that comments such as have appeared on the Jet2 website are not going to encourage anybody the other side of the water to expedite Jet2's flights. It doesn't matter whether such comments are justified or not - I make no comment on them. Furthermore, I made no comment about the French at all - perhaps your "harumph! harumph!" comments deafened you to what anybody except "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" says... :rolleyes:

Wing Commander Fowler
4th Apr 2006, 16:09
"Lazy"...... nope - been called much worse than that before! "Frog"....... not such an odious reptile is it that we should take offence to such a name? Hmmm..... I have french mates who refer to themselves as Frogs. That's ok though isn't it since THEY have a sense of humour. That's the point here, there is a thing called humour in life and all too often a few people tend to forget that! Get a life people! FROGS FROGS FROGS FROGS FROGS FROGS FROGS FROGS FROGS! There! Come on everyone it's great therapy! Give it a go! "Désirent ardemment de phase la droite démocratique de la liberté de la parole" Long live freedom of speech!!!

Hehe! Now that's spoilt ya tea girls hasn't it??? :oh:

arthur harbrow
4th Apr 2006, 17:23
Is this the same France where you cannot take a photo at an airport, for security reasons, for fear of a fine?So, how does that fit in with people being able to get onto a runway?Perhaps not such a security risk as a person outside the perimeter with a camera?
As some poster said, dont go there, it`s a dreadful place, stinks of garlic.

tonker
4th Apr 2006, 17:41
Fog in Channel tonight...........Europe cut off!

charlie1234
4th Apr 2006, 18:08
After things that have been said about the british before I really dont think there is anything wrong with what he said ..... he only called then frogs!!! Whats the big deal with it all?

King Pong
4th Apr 2006, 18:41
Any nation whose people eat frogs legs and snails while its president condemns British cuisine is in serious trouble.

frogATC
4th Apr 2006, 18:49
Hi,
I'm French AND air traffic controller AND not on strike (amazing, isn'it?)

The words of Mr Philip Meeson are just unworthy of a boss of an airline. Calling French "Frogs" is/can be funny when you chat with friends, not when you write that on your official website as a chairman. Especially when you have to work with them.
And by the way, France is not only a "country with good food and lots of strike" (he forgot talking about garlics :hmm:.) Life is not so basic...

See you on our frequency...

PS: XXTSGR, I do agree with what you say, that was good to read your posts. Just one thing: I'm not sure if it was humour or if you really thought that, but there is no risk we postpone a Jet2 flight to favour an Air France plane. We are civil servants and we work exactly the same whatever the airline (and we don't care about what the Jet2's boss said...)

Wing Commander Fowler
4th Apr 2006, 19:19
I was going to lurk a while longer before I posted the "and how many of the protestors here are in fact French?" thing but in fact frogATC has lured me in early hehe! Ya see? A frog with a sense of humour!!! Go figure! So, and as our fine friend has so eloquently pointed out - to accuse him of being as petty as you do XXtsgr is actually MORE of an insult than a little jolly banter by name-calling.......

Eat yer hat girls hehe!

edited for swpolling

Grandpa
4th Apr 2006, 19:35
I had a few things to tell you:

1 - This Meeson of yours is a boss, only a boss, and if I may tell you, not the best kind of boss.
He had a point today with these "lazy french".
To morrow, he will turn to his employees, with the same uneducated manner, insult whoever isn't complying with his rules, the rules of The Best of The Worlds.
I met allready his French counterpart, and being a unionman, it was a pleasure for me, because men like this are not going to convince and lead people.

2 - I red this thread when returning from today demonstration in my neighbouring city of Nimes, after hearing the last news bulletin, I can assure you that French people are voting with their feet against this Maggie style projected contract.

3 - I'm pleased to confirm also that French workers are not alone in this game.
I red the interview of John Monks, leader or Europe Union Federation who assured us of the solidarity of all Europe workers (this including the Brits) against this last invention of ultracapitalism.
I wont tell you of all messages of same kind coming from many places in Europe: only one which was sent by Solidarnocz from Poland and went right to out heart.

4 - It would be stupid to make forecast about next developments. We may only think that our politician understood the lesson and will withdraw their project............because they are turning everybody against them, specially young students and workers.
General elections are scheduled for next year. Chirac is allready finished, Villepin and Sarkozy are only weighing their chances for the Presidential run instead of caring for what French people want.

5 - You will hear from these social problems again and again, because if French people is the first to react against the destruction of society, no doubt we will not be alone. German government has allready stopped his project to alter contracts as was intended here, and when your Bliar will retire Brit workers too will say their word.

tilewood
4th Apr 2006, 22:06
Grandpa:

Your response must be music to the ears of the Eastern Europeans,
Chinese and Indians.

Can you not see your workers soon will not have any work, because all
the so called rights, social contracts, and 35 hour weeks has priced
France and much of the old EU out of the global market.

The world has moved on, but Europe with it's red tape and restrictions
is rapidly being left behind.

Then who will the French, German and Italian workers blame?

crewboi83
4th Apr 2006, 22:30
despegue
Germans also refer to us as Island Monkeys, you gonna stop flying with german airlines as well.
We are very well known in the US for our bad dental care and our stif upper lip and are often the but of jokes there. You gonna stop flying with US carriers?
Im sure the french dont really care what PM said as they prob have little insults for us (my partner is french, and i can tell u, they dont like us as much as we dont like them) So stop flying jet2.com then! fly Air France if u like! they know as being thick English who can bearly string a sentence together in our own language, never mind trying to learn another one.

Regarding the comments about our serivce and prices at jet2.com
Im sorry but i take a great deal of pride in what i do, and im more than proud to say who i work for. On many flights we get positive comments, you just have to have a look at the comments we recieve, people are pleased with our service, out professionalism hence the rate we are growing.
Ive worked for other airlines and i can say when i admitted who i worked for i would hang my head in shame. I had people thank us personally by name on a recent flight as we diverted due to french atc strike and the passengers were very impressed with the service still.
Half of the people on here who slate jet2's service, have u actually flown with us? we often get X ba passengers commenting on our level of service, not comparing us to BA but rating us above them on flights. And at the end of the day its our passengers who rate us, and they are the ones you keep returning to us again and again!!!

amd can i just say, the french have us all by the balls, lots of flights use french air space every day. so they gt up and walk out cos they hanvt had a break in the last 20 mins and half of europe grinds to a hault. Do you see us british walking out? we have a much bigger hold on traffic as we are usually the first point of entry from the atlantic to europe, imagine the delays we could cause if we acted french!

chiglet
4th Apr 2006, 22:56
Grandpa.......
Nice to hear from you.
"Chirac is allready finished" ,hmmmm

This Meeson of yours is a boss, only a boss, and if I may tell you, not the best kind of boss. [but He had a point today with these "lazy french".
it was a pleasure for me, because men like this are not going to convince and lead people.

2 - I red this thread when returning from today demonstration in my neighbouring city of Nimes, after hearing the last news bulletin, I can assure you that French people are voting with their feet against this Maggie style projected contract.
Slightly "Free" with the Editing and Quoting.....BUT read the post :cool:
Many years ago....[yawn :bored: ] Britain WAS the "Sick Person of Europe" [Non PC....moi? merde ]
Now look at France [and the people]......I mean look at France...
Riots, Strikes, Blockades.....
1. You WANT a "Good Standard of Living" .....Don't we ALL?
2. You WANT a "Job For Life" . ....Don't we ALL?
3. You WANT to "Preserve Your Subsidys" [sp] ....Don't we ALL?

SO WHY DO YOU ALIENATE THE REST OF EUROPE WITH YOUR ANARCHIC TRAVAILS???
watp,iktch

Grandpa
5th Apr 2006, 06:33
You will awake in afew years and find the world have changed.

People are tired from the usual profit propaganda saying we must obey such "economy laws", only recently designed in the interest of owners and reducing workers to a new kind of slavery.

While poverty and unemployment are spreading all around the world due to this illplanned "globalisation", we are setting the pace to lead people out of this mess.

I wonder how you can take Chinese dictatorship as an example.........may be a dream of what your boss could impose on you if only he had the Chinese regime opportunities?

boogie-nicey
5th Apr 2006, 08:53
Grandpa, have you ever thought that work itself in life isn't such a bad thing. After all in India you will work outside in 45 degree heat with a lunch break and perhaps later on a tea break. Do you think after that they will go home at 5pm, think again. Do you think they'll get a pension? Can they book a couple of weeks annual leave, subsidised vocational education programme? You and the rest of your French socialists are pure dreamers and now you're addicted to your cosy self serving lifestyle. Work is actually a good thing it develops you in many ways and opens up all manner of opportunities in life. Look at how immigrants have come to UK , Canada, US, etc and made a very prosperous and successful life due to those countries' economical models. Compare that to the almost pathetic econmic offerings of France, where immigrants are part of a "we're closed" economic culture.

Globalisation isn't the problem but the small minded, protectionist attitudes of countries like France. Even the laws of physics say you will inevitably get less output than input due to internal loss. Yet you not only think that's not true but feel that you'll get more output than input, I think not.

I have a significant experience of the Indian and Chinese mindsets and I can assure that it's not as simple as a cheap labout their is FAR more to the threat than that. France might be brave to resist but will be quite simply overwhelmed if it and other parts of Europe don't pull their finger out.

You need to move onto the next chapter I'm sure you've had your fun post WWII but we're in the 21st Century now and things have changed and we desperately need to respond after we loose out.

kaikohe76
5th Apr 2006, 08:59
At last, someone who speaks his mind & to hell with the consequences.

Well done Philip Meeson, at least you appear to have a backbone & the courage to state openly, what's been quite obvious for a number of years.

I do not work for you or use your airline, however at least you have shown our so called leaders a bit of plain, honest, talking for a change.

Well done again

Ricky Whizz
5th Apr 2006, 09:14
To the Jet2 crews - I have flown with you many a time and am very happy with the service - ta muchly! :ok:

frogATC
5th Apr 2006, 09:51
The question is not to know if jet2's crews are great or not... I'm sure they are.
The question is to wonder if a chairman can, on a public official website, qualify compare all French people to "lazy frogs always on strike", and urge French ATCs to get another job.

Now, as Mr Meeson give me an advice about my career, I 'd give him mine: he should be a little more polite, and I dare, more clever when speaking in public. Except if he just wanted to have articles about him and free publicity in English media. In that case, he reached his goal, but in a shabby way.

SXB
5th Apr 2006, 10:44
I've lived in France for the last ten years and I can tell you this country is dying. You have to understand the mentality of French people and their belief that the "cradle to grave" responsibility of the state should continue, the problem is that the country can no longer afford it, no-one wants to invest here because of the employment laws and lets not hear any comparisons to the German model, German employment law does allow employers some flexability in the early years of a contract.

France must change, some of the employment practices here are ludicrous. For example did you know that there is a special law which means that pilots, despite being very well paid by French standards, pay a lower rate of tax than someone earning the same in another profession ? This law also applies to journalists as well. Train drivers working for SNCF receive a special "coal allowence" I could go on. Income tax evasion is also a national sport here, this explains why France has probably the highest rates of indirect taxation anywhere in the civilised world.

That said you can't blame them for trying to hold on to what they have got. I work for a well known international organisation based in France and my contract of employment is based on French law, I work 35 hours a week, I get 9 weeks holiday per year, I get superb healthcare and there is no legal way for my employer to ever get rid of me. You can't argue that this is obviously a great position to be in but the problem for the French is that they just can't afford this system anymore.

Are French people lazy ? Of course not, I don't see any difference between people here in Strasbourg and those I met in London where I lived for 10 years also.

Was this CEO wrong to call the French lazy Frogs ? Of course he was, it's a ridiculous thing for the CEO of an airline to say simply from a PR view, he won't be getting many French customers anytime soon.

Ps I'm not French

crewboi83
5th Apr 2006, 11:51
The question is not to know if jet2's crews are great or not... I'm sure they are.
The question is to wonder if a chairman can, on a public official website, qualify compare all French people to "lazy frogs always on strike", and urge French ATCs to get another job.

Now, as Mr Meeson give me an advice about my career, I 'd give him mine: he should be a little more polite, and I dare, more clever when speaking in public. Except if he just wanted to have articles about him and free publicity in English media. In that case, he reached his goal, but in a shabby way.


FrogATC, your right, the question isnt about the crews, but as a post a little ealier was getting at the crew when this is about ATC. So as most other loyal employee, who wouldnt defend their company?

I personally think Mr Meeson had valid reason to use his "lazy frog" comments, but these people are tarnishing our airline with a bad reputations. The average Joe Bloggs dosnt give a toss why his flight is delayed, the fact is ITS DELAYED! and he will tell all of his mates, he went with Jet2.com and was delayed 3 hours. He prob will forget its becasue the french had an ATC strike, or the aircraft was teach etc etc.
So as the leader of a VERY successfull airline i think it was justified what he said, he has the repuatation of his airline at steak here, and like every other CEO/MD he is trying to defend his company. So by striking you guys are not only getting your point made (im sure its valid, i have no doubt but is there a need to strike every other day????) but you are also tarnishing airlines repuations across europe, i mean come on, its not as if there is anything we can really do about it is there?

Grandpa
5th Apr 2006, 13:48
First one Boggey: you are not heading to 21st century.............but back to 19th, when children had to work 12 hours in mines (please tell us about your model India where poors are starving and must accept any condition from their boss).
And please tell us why so many immigrants left these paradises in China or India?

Then SXB, why do you fancy imaginary lack of foreign investment in France...........when it's one of the countries where foreign investments are the highiest?

And about pilots taxation scheme, you should know that they are now subject to the same law as others, and may only substract proffessionnal expenses from their salaty.........as does your boss I think?

"There is no way for my employer to ever get rid of me"
How lucky you are!
Because your employer is entitled to sack you immediately for "faute lourde", or if he doesn't need your work anymore.
He only needs to write the reasons for it, and allow you to meet him in presence of a delegate: good to avoid convenience or faulty sacking of workers for fake reasons.

I wonder where you people get this amount of lies about life in France: was it printed in your newspapers, TV or radioed.........?
Tell me please.

SXB
5th Apr 2006, 14:49
Grandpa
Firstly, I'm not slagging off France, I choose to live here because the quality of life is significantly better than that in my home country (UK) My point being simply that the country cannot afford to continue enjoying its present lifestyle.

For foreign investment I'm not sure how you arrive at your conclusion that France enjoys one of the highest levels of such investment, foreign investors are deserting the country in droves, mainly heading for central Europe.

French pilots do pay less tax than an equivelant professionals in the private sector (remember Air France is basically still a state owned entity) earning similar gross salaries. Air France has historically received huge subsidies from the French government.

As for getting rid of people in the workplace - In France there are 5 million 'fonctionnaire' - civil servants to the brits. Most of these people enjoy CDI contracts and it is virtually impossible to get rid of any of them. Even in the private sector it's difficult to fire establish staff.

A lot of the stuff written in newspapers in Britain about France is complete rubbish but there are elements which are true.

boogie-nicey
5th Apr 2006, 15:02
It's from first hand experience of meeting and indeed working with my French colleagues most of whom are nice people. My issue is with the framework of society and the corporate landscape of France.

The issue of immigrants was simply an example (one of many) and was not meant to substitute or compare life in France. Even the laws of nature differ do you think an athlete woul;d improve by having excessive rest periods, if you want Gold who will do the most. Agreed we can't work ourselves to death but nonetheless we must strike an effective balance between productivity and leisure. France is increasingly alone in it's inheritant stance to being the 'odd kid' on the street corner after long you'll have no friends at all.

You refer to others as having been force fed almost propoganda by the media well if that's the case then the same will apply to you. How can you claim that the French have the highest foreign investment in Europe, one report will justify this whilst another will dispel it, there's no easy way to measure it.

I have nothing against France but the addiction it's currently suffering from it's takes a good friend to make you realise this and help put things right. Just like the French did (whatever the hidden real agenda) to make the US pause for thought before rushing headlong into the Middle East war, that was admirable. Now people are saying that French culture can survive like ever other corner of the globe WHILST upgarding itself and it's conscious.

By the way my name's Boogie (dancing Homer Simpson style) not Boggey and the second part 'nicey' - well nice!

panda-k-bear
5th Apr 2006, 15:55
Interesting one, this, isn't it? By the very fact that you're all outraged and are all discussing it (outraged either at the controllers or jet2) it proves they have succeeded in bringing their name to the front. The one of you who says that he won't fly jet2 doesn't now anyway, so no loss there. And all of these comments are all over the U.K. press - Red Tops, Express, Mail, Guardian - you name it. So now lots more people have heard of jet2. Well played that man. Indeed, the red top readers, the Express and Mail readership may well use jet2 today, them being a budget carrier to places that the red top readers are striking out and the places where the others have second homes, and many may agree with the sentiments (The Sun is already playing up to it - but they would, wouldn't they?!).

Strikes in France are irritating but the French Union attitude that everyone should sacrifice themselves, including non-French nationals, to show solidarity for the cause (whatever that cause may be this week) is particularly irritating. However, when you live there you just take it in your stride. Is the weather getting better? Yes? Oh good, strike season then! (can't have the poor little dears out in the cold in winter, can we).

Reading some of the responses from the French Unions are a little telling, though. Saying that the jet2 CEO "doesn't understand the issues" is no doubt true. However they seem to think that he would care if he did - and that's just naive.

The 150 odd people on each flight don't care what it's about. They care that they won't be at home with their families tonight and they will take great pleasure in blaming whoever they can. Be that the airline or the militants.

At least the French have the balls to stand up for what they believe in. The method is a pain in the @rse, but at least they do rebel against unjust government policies - not like in the U.K. where the populace just rolls over and plays dead.

frogATC
5th Apr 2006, 16:39
SXB, I (unfortunately!) have to agree with 90% of what you write about France and French.

I think, like you, that our conditions of work and life are much better than English ones...

But, as you pointed at, my country is ill (I'd not say "dying" as you said however :oh:), and we may go straight into the wall. That will continue until our politians start to think at the country's interest instead of their next elections. Nowadays in France, each time there is a new important law, it's always the same. First,politicians vote/impose the law, then unions call for strike (whatever the law says), and that's a mess.... Negociation is a word we don't understand very well... That's sad but that's the way it works here (or don't work ;)). But we can also understand that French people are fighting to keep their so-called "privileges".




Crewboi43, I wasn't on strike, and a big majority of French ATC's went not on strike as well. But Meeson's statements are just ridiculous, wrong, opportunist, outrageous, stupid and he musn't be well behaved to speak like that.

He could have just said what I've just read on Ryanair (which has not always been very keen on French ATC...) website: "As a result of a the ongoing strikes by government and trade union workers in France we have been forced to cancel the following flights (...) We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers by this strike action, which is outside of the control of Ryanair."
That would have been fair and your passengers would have understood as well that it wasn't your airline's fault.
Just imagine, Air France's CEO saying on his website something like "Air France is fed up that all its flights are delayed in England because 'les Rosbifs' want to advantage BA's flights. Whilst English tea is undeniably good, we urge English controllers to stop cheating or to get another job".
What would you have said ?


Panda-k-bear, yes, Meeson did that to make the headlines without spending one pound. What I found a little bit more disappointing is that many people on this thread found what he said wonderful and backs him. Some English people must spend to much time reading high quality newspapers like the Sun and so on.

G-CPTN
5th Apr 2006, 19:42
http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-13517469,00.html
A holiday jet returning to Britain was told it could not land because an air traffic controller was having a tea break.
The Thomson flight had to circle Cardiff Airport for around 25 minutes before touching down.

Grandpa
5th Apr 2006, 19:48
.................but when I read approximations or judgements far from French reality I feel like I must bring an answer to correct faulty affirmations.
Then, France isn't perfect!
OK?
About the level of foreign investments in France, I'm too LAZY to search a link for you
You will have to do the work yourself (it originated in an American institution researching in the field of economics, and was published some monthes ago as a yearly data).
About French workers productivity, it's also well known that it's one of the best in the world. (..........what about UK's?).
For Panda: I know we could give anything for a joke...........but "strike season" seems irrelevant, for this movement began two month ago.........and last until now only due to the stubborn Villepin autocratic governance.
(If my memory is good this movement is equal if not bigger to the anti-Juppé wave of demonstrations and strikes which culminated in October 1995.
................and yes Boogie-nicey, you have a pleasant name, but my slow typing is pushing me toward abreviations, not allways correct. Sorry I apologise.................and still hold my opinions about the propaganda spread on all of us around the world by partisans of the present economy policy, allways favourable to big societies owners.
We allways hear of the necessary sacrifices workers have to endure ("globalisation", "free market", "competition".....) and, at same time we learn that big conglomerate societies are increasing their huge profit, and fills their owners and managers pockets with extra golden shares increasing by 20% step a year or more.
That's the reality: the actual system is destroying societies (French or not.....) to fulfill the desires of a minority who has all the levers, and among them the press.
I read also of protectionism: I haven't forgotten about USA protecting their harbours against foreign management.
Why this kind of decision should be correct across the Atlantic and not here?
About the number of civil servants: it's precisely there you should understand how you can destroy a society, talking of productivity and forgetting utility.
We need civil servants: schools, hospitals, road and bridges, railways......
We refuse to see our good public services destroyed only because right think tanks are ready to fight for God Free Market with same blindness as communists from old were fighting for Workers Paradise.
The fact that these modern zealots use unemployment to reach their goal isn't much different from Proletariat Dictatorship in socalled "People Republics" .
They will not last longer, for humanity's sake.

ILS Repeater
5th Apr 2006, 19:50
Yes PM is no stranger to courting controversy, but what is that old saying: There's no such thing as bad publicity !

PPRuNe Radar
5th Apr 2006, 21:47
At least do some basic research G-CPTN :hmm:

There was no strike at Cardiff for starters, so no similarity there.

UK ATC staff are legally bound to take breaks after a certain time period on duty, so any inferred 'laziness' is wide of the mark. The controller most likely had no choice, especially if his/her relief controller had gone sick.

The inbound flight arrived 3 hours late (due to a certain strike). Had it been on time, or only delayed 2 1/2 hours, then either the fully manned previous shift, or the legally compliant ATCO who featured in this news item, would have dealt with it without any fuss.

Passengers want cheap air fares, which means that airlines want to keep their costs down to do so, which leads to ATC providers providing a cost effective and 'lean' staff roster to meet the demands placed on them by said airlines (indirectly the passengers make the demand). The gamble is that if someone then calls sick, there will be periods where cover cannot be provided in order for staff to comply with the law (no discretion). Not the first time it's happened, and won't be the last. Lazy b*ggers eh ?? :ouch:

PS Blame the French ... it's a Forum rule :D

G-CPTN
5th Apr 2006, 22:01
I bow to your superior knowledge and information. Thank-you for clearing that up.

We have the situation in our area that Ambulance Crews on teabreak are not being called to respond to emergencies, leaving crews from other regions to travel long distances (and greater times). Several fatalities have occurred during such call-outs (though no-one will say whether the deaths could have been avoided).

Lon More
5th Apr 2006, 22:31
The controller most likely had no choice .... inbound flight arrived 3 hours late
I don't have all the facts - e.g. what other traffic did he work in that time, but he must have had some indication of when the flight would be expected and possibly could have taken a break earlier. If this was the case, then , yes, there is a similarity.

Methinks a lot of people here are protesting too much; jealous that the French just go ahead and look after number one?

chiglet
5th Apr 2006, 22:49
PS Blame the French ... it's a Forum rule

Well, the other day, I was watching a "live" news feed from Paris showing the "Students" having fun :ok: The Commentator then spoke to a [as I gather] senior French Spokesman. As I recollect, the conversation went...
M. Xxx does this not give a bad impression of your Country through out the World?
Ahh non, as you can see there are only a few hundred students there :rolleyes:
watp,iktch

G-CPTN
5th Apr 2006, 22:57
Reported speech:-
"During Tuesday (evening) several non-French departures were postponed whilst several Air France departures were scheduled in a group . . . "

tony draper
6th Apr 2006, 00:48
I think the French are going to have to go through their own Thatcher Era,and why not? why should they escape.
:E

lorddee
6th Apr 2006, 00:51
Well Said Phillip Meeson ,
I have worked for many airlines over the years and one of which was Sabena and this airline had more millitant people than ever including those not employed directly ..e,gbaggae handlers would decide that it,s too cold to work or the fire service would hold wild cats strikes ..OnE OF THE BEST which happend every day was that the radar was broke.. erm think not just Lazy people .(planting flowers on the runway springs to mind).It beggers belief how Air France continue operate ?? do they make a profit etc ... or what .Sabena went Bankrupt partly due to the amount of strike action held by belgium people .
I think that they have now awoke and realised that going on strike resolves nothing only puts jobs at risk in the long term..

Don,t get me wrong Ba has strikes ..

I think pm is correct to slate the French he is only standing up for his pax and crew o.k. some free advertising as well

The french need to understand this life is for real and not a trial run


Bring it on JET 2 plus any other Airline which would like to add comments

OllyBeak
6th Apr 2006, 01:32
God (which one, your choice) bless the lad for speaking his mind. "Not diplomatic" say some; to me that's a compliment. You mean he's not a lying, wormy shit? Great.

I'm in the enviable position of knowing nowt about airyplanes and the business, but why didn't the captain request permission to take off, then do so? Militant students or whatever, they'd likely bugger off with a dirty great machine bearing down on them.

Having brought cat and pigeons into close proximity, I shall now retire and grin evilly over a glass or six of French wine...

kippax
6th Apr 2006, 02:54
I agree with Jet 2's comments, although he could of been more diplomatic

The French are now on strike until 8th April !! - with no real news of an end date

This will cause numerous problems!!!

I certainly will not be going to France in a hurry - rather fly over at 35 thousand feet, when were allowed to that is, without picking up 100 mins delay!!!!!

Kp

Grandpa
6th Apr 2006, 06:33
Got a chance to meet young students from UK, Italy, Belgium (.........about Sabena, for the ignorant, the collapse cause was BAD MANAGEMENT....OK?).

I noticed a bus from a well known UK college parked next to Nimes Roman Circus, and while young ones were making photos of our peacefull demonstration, under a bright sun, I could remark few of them - in fact none at all - had a coloured skin, which amazed me......

ILS Repeater
6th Apr 2006, 07:17
Grandpa I'm confused by your last post, why should this observation amaze you? Perhaps the students with, quote, "coloured skin" elected not to visit your country !

tilewood
6th Apr 2006, 07:50
Grandpa:

The more you post the more it makes me despair for France, if your comments are representative of French public opinion in general.

The awful thing is that such rigid and backward thinking is dragging
down the rest of Europe.

Whilst Asia and the US power off into the future poor old France is
left drifting in their wake blaming everyone else for it's own failure.

I have a feeling harsh economic reality will intrude soon, and it won't be pretty for France.

Paul Wilson
6th Apr 2006, 08:35
The only new law France really needs is one to ban secondary picketing. Why, if a union has a dispute with their employer should they be allowed to picket and disrupt someone elses business?

I await with interest the summer, when no doubt the Fishermen will blockade Calais, the Truck drivers will blockade Calais, the Farmers will blockade Calais, the crews of a French ferry operator will blockade Calais.

What do these people have to do with a British ferry operator and the Port of Calais - nothing. So yet again we will set up Operation Stack on the Motorway into Dover, and cost many (totally unconnected to the French Union) British businesses millions of pounds.

Disgusting.

boogie-nicey
6th Apr 2006, 08:56
If the French model is so good why hasn't it been adopted on a wider scale across the globe? It is an almost unique glove that fits only one hand that of the French.

The desperate clinging on to the past is the delusions of a drunk that needs to sober up and realise the present ...... no it's too late for that .... go straight onto the future. I'm sure a lean and mean France could well utilise it's educational system in an effective manner with a knowledge fuelled economy. The same goes for it's culture we all like to try and embrace new cultural styles of living, dining, fashion, etc. Therefore I'm sure the French could export that quite well but that only comes along with trade as the core. The only significant trade that France seems interested in is Arms sales. Granted numerous other so called civilised nations do this too but they also export numerous other lines of industry too.

But I digress and the essential fact here is that of work which is a respectable activity and always has been throughout history. Great achievements have always been accomplished by great effort and that forumal is still true today. How can students demonstrate when they themselves have minimal work experience let alone life experience and have been eductaed at the direct or indirect expense of society itself. What next kids telling their parents who to behave and telling them off when they misbehave, I think not.

As a precious post has mentioned this a real life and in this race others are raging ahead with very little chance of keeping up let alone catching up. When things 'dry up' in ceratin corners of the world out so called leaders won't care they'll just move to the new economy in Asia or wherever the action is and we'll be the ones who are left abandoned. Work for your own future and that of your kids, neighbours, friends and others in society.

Productivity in France I highly doubt that I'm not really one for statistics you only need to walk down a British town or city centre to see the numerous shop closures and offices available for rent. Use your own judgement and not that's been presented to you with bias built in already.

frogATC
6th Apr 2006, 09:29
Reported speech:-
"During Tuesday (evening) several non-French departures were postponed whilst several Air France departures were scheduled in a group . . . "
Just wondering where you've heard that. That's absolutely rubbish, slots are decided by Eurocontrol in Brussels, not by Air France's CEO or one of his friend... Now, if your good reliable source is a passenger looking at the window in CDG :confused:, well yes, there are at this airport more Air France planes than English ones, which can explain the feeling he had.


It beggers belief how Air France continue operate ?? do they make a profit etc ...

Yes they do. 489 millions euros last year (I found it on their website)

PPRuNe Radar, what you explain about the Cardiff incident make me think French ATC is not so bad after all. Ok, there are maybe too often strikes, BUT we never (as far I know) close an airport or a part of sky because one guy is ill, or because there is not enough staff when one has gone for his legal break. And by the way, French sky is cheaper for airlines than British one. Harebrained Meeson forgot to say that.
Of course, I don't blame English controllers: I just wonder if your privatization has been a good thing for airlines, and for NATS staff.

Plain.spotter
6th Apr 2006, 09:46
There's a vote on the homepage of www.travelomole.com (http://www.travelomole.com) (left-hand panel). Vote "yes" if you think PM was wrong, vote "no" if you agree with him.

boogie-nicey
6th Apr 2006, 10:13
The incident at Cardiff is a very rare event unlike the regular occurences in France. As for Air France profits, they have a nice little cosy arrangement of subsidaries whether direct or indirect.

XXTSGR
6th Apr 2006, 10:17
boogie, do you mean "subsidiaries" or subsidies"?

flyblue
6th Apr 2006, 10:35
It beggers belief how Air France continue operate ?? do they make a profit etc ...

Here, have a look at "poor Air France's " last results:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 5:13:24 AM ET
Dow Jones Newswires (http://www.newratings.com/analyst_news_by/dowjonesnewswires.html)

0901 GMT [Dow Jones]--Air France-KLM (3112.FR) shares trade at three-and-a-half year high of EUR19.41, up 2.2% on back of solid January traffic data. London-based air transport analyst says nearly 10% passenger traffic growth "is in line with what we've seen from them" and continues Air France-KLM's out-performing of British Airways (BAB) and Deutsche Lufthansa (LHA.XE). (GLK)



And at how "pooor Air France" is ranking :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_airlines#Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_airlines#Europe)

And without subsidies, which have been forbidden maaany many years ago, but that Europe is funnelling into the Rail Industry, which is the real competitor in the French domestic market (32 billion € per year). For our Industry, only fuel price increase and taxes, which are more than 50% of the price of a ticket.

Please get updated before making it obvious that you don't know what you are talking about.

PPRuNe Radar
6th Apr 2006, 11:02
FrogATC

PPRuNe Radar, what you explain about the Cardiff incident make me think French ATC is not so bad after all. Ok, there are maybe too often strikes, BUT we never (as far I know) close an airport or a part of sky because one guy is ill, or because there is not enough staff when one has gone for his legal break. And by the way, French sky is cheaper for airlines than British one. Harebrained Meeson forgot to say that.
Of course, I don't blame English controllers: I just wonder if your privatization has been a good thing for airlines, and for NATS staff.

Hi Colleague :ok:

Our strict UK fatigue laws are there primarily for safety, to ensure that ATCOs are fit and well enough to carry out their duties. I don't know if France has a similar scheme, but it really is very worthwhile as it stops incidents like this during night shifts :}

Air traffic controller nodded off

An aeroplane was forced to circle for more than half an hour after an air traffic controller dozed off.

The pilot of the cargo plane said he attempted a number of times to contact the controller for permission to land - but got no answer.

He was forced to circle around Nice Airport in France until the sleepy controller was woken up by security officials more than 30 minutes later.

French air traffic control service DGAC described the case as "extremely rare" and said the cargo plane "had never been in difficulty".

An internal investigation has now been set up to find out why the controller fell asleep on the job.

So, extremely rare - but then the Cardiff incident is just as rare, ne c'est pas mon ami ?? :cool:

French sky is most certainly cheaper. But when you go 'private' then there is no choice but to be transparent and have a 'user pays' finance regime where all costs have to be recouped from the customer. For better or worse, the UK Government even had that system when the ATC company was a Government agency. Other countries ATC are financed to a greater or lesser extent by Government funds (as well as being topped up by user charges) and these enable a much lesser user charge to be levied, but without the extra funding having to be declared too publicly. Spain used to be particularly proud of this, bueno suerte mis amigos. Ireland has used the EU community funding to great effect as well, and fair play to them for doing so.

But the world is changing and I don't think this kind of thing will go on much longer. Single Skys, Functional Airspace Blocks, SESAME, etc, etc, will all bring about a globalisation of ATC in Europe, where the bean counter becomes more and more important. More privatisations and mergers are inevitable. The way companies operate will have to change and ultimately join the real world of profit and loss. The customers will demand it. C'est la vie !!!! And don't miss the boat :}

Dom_
6th Apr 2006, 12:38
Any nation whose people eat frogs legs and snails while its president condemns British cuisine is in serious trouble.
Chirac was just stating the obvious there.

Concerning frog legs and snails according to those who dare eat them, what represents the most controversial part of our cuisine, they are actually very good.

Speaking from experience, I can only approve Chirac. If it was not for McDonalds, Burger King and other fastfood, each year there would be several hundreds foreigners dead from starvation in the street of england. Each time I went in England I lost 20 pounds (I still can't believe my host family tried to feed me with cucumber sandwich during my trip).

I don't understand why overweight people spend their money in expensive products such as slimfast or weightwatcher, a 2 weeks trip in england will put anybody on the good side of the balance.

boogie-nicey
6th Apr 2006, 12:59
Whoops , you're right my friend I should have got my spelling and grammar checked. I meant subsidies, sorry about that.

All I know is free markets and yes they have their downside but ultimately it's a 'system' where anyone who wishes to take part can do so and eventaully reap the benefits too. We do indeed need some form of ethical guidance in terms of a social perspective to accompany such a system but that needs to come from the people rather than government authorities. Striking Frenchmen and women probably don't travel very much other than their own back yard and few if any venture to South America, Asia, Middle East, etc so they don't know how they fit into the greater scheme of things. If they widened their outlook they could dispense with silly strikes and get on with building a brighter and DYNAMIC future for themselves.

Look at French Canada and compare it to Western Canada which is more prosperous. Even though the French portion neighbours the busy North East quadrant of America it still hasn't been able to utilise that massive advantage for trade and bring better prosperity. This is due to their reflective French thinking and modelling of society and as a consequence they are languishing behind the British Colombia which is surging ahead.

Isolation in terms of a mindset is as bad as denial, the real world won't stop , you'll just get left behind.

woptb
6th Apr 2006, 13:03
Why come to the UK, you can get le Big Mac anywhere in la belle France!

strafer
6th Apr 2006, 13:07
I prefer the French burger chain Quick - as in 'Quick, ou est les toilettes!'

BenThere
6th Apr 2006, 13:10
You can knock France for any number of reasons and I frequently do. But I don't think a critique of French cuisine will get you very far. Theirs, in my opinion, is unequaled anywhere.

I had the best meal of my life at Beaumaniere in Les Baux des Alpilles, Provence. With the XO, wine and all course feast, I think it set me back about 400 euro, but I'll never forget the perfection of it all. And I was able to enjoy a fine cigar at my table for a finish, something I can no longer do at home.

It's not just the fine, Michelin-starred restaurants, either. You can by a 5 or 6 Euro plat du jour at any small establishment and be assured of fine ingredients, careful preparation, and creative flavor blending. I enjoyed many of these at Arles, Aix, Salon, Marseille, Nimes (are you paying attention, Gramps?) and every other part of the South I visited.

Now Chirac? French politics? Don't get me started....

strafer
6th Apr 2006, 13:24
I'd have to agree with most of that BenThere. Some of my best culinary experiences were in the South of France. I also have a 3-starred Michelin chef as a friend of the family, which helps keep the cost down!

However, a lot of the innovation in French food is now going on around London. Heston Blumenthal et al. Have a look at this:

http://www.worldpress.org/Americas/2090.cfm

Sorry, back to slagging off the lazy fromage-mangers.

boogie-nicey
6th Apr 2006, 13:51
Cuisine isn't enough to make the grade on it's own. Especially when it requires a couple of hours to sit and eat, clearly no intent to get to work.:O

SXB
6th Apr 2006, 14:21
Ben-There and Strafer,

I spend a lot of time in restaurants in France (because I live there) and restaurants elsewhere in Europe (because I travel a lot for work) and I can tell you that the general "prix/qualité" of food in France has declined in the last few years and the days of being able to walk into any french restaurant and virtually guarantee a good meal have gone. Also I don't remember the last time I had a plat du jour and paid €5-6 per head, it's normally always above €10.

The Michelin system is also flawed, in France some restaurants specifically tailor their services in order to be awarded stars where most quality restaurants in the UK don't give a damn about Michelin concepts, this is borne out by the fact that the Uk has only 2 or 3 three star Michelin restaurants where I think in France we have more than 30. I ate in a two star Michelin restaurant last week (au crocodile in Strasbourg) and both our meals could be described as only "acceptable" and with a €450 bill my view is that it was unacceptable. On the positive side I visited the Auberge de l'ill which is a three star and was absolutely superb though the bill could be described as extremely substantial.

One very good feature in nearly all French restaurants is that when you book a table it is yours for the entire evening, When in London a few weeks ago I was horrified when told I could book a table at either 7.30 or 9.30 because they operate a two sitting policy which is a scandalous practice in my opinion....

BenThere
6th Apr 2006, 14:44
SXB,

I imagine you're quite correct as my time in France was 1999-2003. I spent about two of the four years there and the rest of the time in the States.

I lived in Italy (Napoli) for a year in 2004 and, while I loved the food there, too, it generally lacked the quality and variety I remembered from Provence. As I was paid in dollars during my Italian sojourn and the dollar was very weak at $1.30/euro, I found the pricing of everything somewhat shocking. I was paid in dollars while in France as well, but a dollar bought more than 1 euro the entire time, adding to my perception of French food as a bargain, I suppose.

My perception of France is one of general decline, and, Alors!, perhaps the malaise has taken its toll on dining as well.

I agree with you on star ratings. I've dined at French Laundry in Napa Valley and found it to be overpriced and unexceptional, yet Strafers link says its in the world's top ten? Don't think so. Also have to agree with you regarding owning the table for the evening. After coming to expect it in Italy and France, I find the rush to move you on as practised in virtually all American restaurants highly annoying.

I have one final point. It's hard to get a great steak in Europe. Try Morton's or Ruths Chris, high end American chains for a fantastic steak dinner such as a 40 ounce porterhouse.

frogATC
6th Apr 2006, 15:04
FrogATC

Hi Colleague :ok:

Our strict UK fatigue laws are there primarily for safety, to ensure that ATCOs are fit and well enough to carry out their duties. I don't know if France has a similar scheme, but it really is very worthwhile as it stops incidents like this during night shifts :}
Hi,
I completely agree with you. I wasn't criticizing at all the fact the controller needed a break, I just found surprizing that during his legal and deserved break, no one was here to work at the tower.

About the Nice incident, you made a point. But I think it's not exactly the same problem. At Nice, it was the controller's fault: he fell asleep.
At Cardiff, if I have well understood, the controller who went for his break didn't make any fault. But where was the controller who was supposed to work during his colleague's break ? Either he "forgot" to come and work (and that's his fault, like in Nice's case), either no controller was expected because they were short of staff (and telling me there was nobody because the flight was 3 hours late - because of French strike- is not a good excuse. If there is an emergency flight which wants to land immediatly at Cardiff and no ATC, what happens ?). And in that case, that's NATS system which is faulty.
I just make suppositions from what I've read, I may be all wrong :rolleyes:


French sky is most certainly cheaper. (...)
But the world is changing and I don't think this kind of thing will go on much longer. Single Skys, Functional Airspace Blocks, SESAME, etc, etc, will all bring about a globalisation of ATC in Europe, where the bean counter becomes more and more important. More privatisations and mergers are inevitable. The way companies operate will have to change and ultimately join the real world of profit and loss. The customers will demand it. C'est la vie !!!! And don't miss the boat :}
On that point, I don't agree. You say French sky is cheaper. I don't think French sky is more dangerous than any other sky. So is there anything wrong with French ATC ? We are cheap, we are safe. What's more do people want ?
So, telling me there are more and more privatized skies around us (which is true) is not a good argument for me. Why should we change if it works well like that ? Maybe it will be hard for us to avoid privatization, but, trust me, we are ready to fight.(and the French Frog who is telling you that has NEVER been on strike)
Now, from your personal point of view, are you sincerely happier since NATS was privatized ? I've talked with some English controllers. And most of them were regretting the time before privatization. Do you agree with your colleagues I've met ? (and who were, by the way, very nice and very welcoming, thanks :ok:)

About French food, you can still find lots of restaurants were you can get starter, main course and dessert for less than 10 pounds. Even in Paris which is not the cheapest town :{ ! But that's true , a few years ago, prices were about 6 pounds for the same quality. It's because our "wonderful economic system which everyone is envious of" allow us to pay a lot as French people are very rich. Just kidding of course :cool:

PPRuNe Radar
6th Apr 2006, 18:05
FrogATC

There are 2 controllers rostered to work on night duty at Cardiff. A likely (but unconfirmed as yet) scenario is that one of them was ill and could not attend for duty. The single controller can work a maximum of 2 hours before a mandatory 1/2 hour break. As the shift started at 2200 and the aircraft landed at 0018, it implies that the controller took a break early to allow the aircraft to be handled (let's assume the controller came back on duty 10 minutes before landing, he must have taken a break at 2338 approximately). So maybe he was working on a predicted arrival time from a DEP mesage and the FPL, worked out he needed to be back at perhaps 0015 to handle this flight, and then got caught when it turned up early (maybe due to direct routeings issued over Europe). It's feasible.

The legal rules allow controllers to 'break' the law in exceptional circumstances (with all the usual form filling for the beaurocrats afterwards). An aircraft in an emergency would be such a case, so don't worry too much about that :ok:

But as neither I, nor you, were there, we don't know what precise circumstances faced the controller, and what he based his decisions upon. All we know is the law is there and lays down some constraints.


On the general theme, I don't believe I linked cheaper ATC to safety in any way. My point was more that the 'cheapness' often comes from finances provided by areas other than the customers, such as Government subsidies or capital financing of projects or infrastructure. Until there is true transparency of all the costs and where the money comes from to pay them, it's difficult to provide a meaningful comparison of any ATS provider. From my own reading of the situation, many in Europe (at the highest Government levels) want ATC costs to be met by the users. This frees up their Government cash for other things (good and bad), or to bribe the voters at election time. They want the many diverse ATC providers in Europe to be cut to provide a more streamlined and cost effective environment. The airlines want the latter as well, except they probably don't realise yet that costs will go up when the Governments stop bankrolling everything.

Personally, I think there is scope for Europe to be streamlined to a degree, perhaps with Upper ACCs being rationalised, leaving terminal and airport operations as the domain of the individual countries. But I also think that Governments have a duty to provide ATC as a public service and not privatise things. Unfortunately responsibility and duty costs $$$ or £££ or €€€. And no one, least of all politicians, ever wants to pay for something if they can get someone else to do so.

I'd be interested to see a DGAC or DSNA Rapport Annuel to compare with NATS, if they do one, provided it contains their annual accounts of course :ok:

Merci !!

Conan The Barber
6th Apr 2006, 18:38
And so it was. Whenever they could, there was great satisfaction in extoling the virtues of their vesicoureteral efflux. Oh yes, they said, smugly, just look at yours. A mere trickle you have, therefore, ours must be a fountain, no!

I put it to you, surely we rule the waves, even the yellow ones. So there, they said, with great delight.

Grandpa
6th Apr 2006, 19:56
About privatisation of ATC............: does anyone remember this accident in Swiss airspace, a few years ago?
Midair collision, one cargo, one Russian passenger flight, some mismatch between Tcas orders and ATC clearance...............but the conflict of trafic was not initially detected on time, and it was revealed that ATC had not enough controlers on duty at this time................because private organisation needed to make profit.
(and years later a Russian parent of victims came back and killed ATC officer!)

May I make a critic of France?

Our decision makers are too often animated with a system of thinking, and would not deviate one inch from their principles for an empire.
This is driving them to many mistakes, or in the present case to total lock of society.
They want to work so called "market laws" by the book.
They allready lost elections since two years, among which Europe Constitution Project Referendum, which could have opened their eyes and make them rethink the political practicability of their projects.
They didn't bother and continued on their fast track to destruct labour laws.
They turned one by one all categories of French people against them, and in the end they are going to lose this political battle.

I'm not really fond of Tony Bliar, but this guy is more clever and use pragmatism.

He is also definitely a servant of ultracapitalsim, and could be called the proud successor of Maggie..................BUT..............he knows where to stop to keep the popularity margin which saves him his job.

Look at the number ( I was told more than 300 000....) of civil servants, nurses, teachers, hired during the last years in UK: quite irrelevant if you follow the rules of free market, but clever decision if you want not to be ejected.

That's an active attitude Chirac, Villepin and Sarkozy are unable to understand.

SXB
6th Apr 2006, 20:35
And without subsidies, which have been forbidden maaany many years ago, but that Europe is funnelling into the Rail Industry, which is the real competitor in the French domestic market (32 billion € per year). For our Industry, only fuel price increase and taxes, which are more than 50% of the price of a ticket.

Please get updated before making it obvious that you don't know what you are talking about.

FlyBlue, I think you were replying to a post by Boogie-Nicey when you made this post implying that AF are no longer being subsidised and I don't believe you're being entirely fair.

It simply is not true to suggest that AF is no longer being subsidised by the French govt. Up until about 2003 AF was receiving several billion euros each year from the state, this was in a period where other european airlines of similar size were not. Add up all the money they received throughout the 90s as well and that adds up to a lot of new airbus. The French govt knew that the EC would not allow this to continue but they made sure they were able to build AF to a point where they could dominate parts of the market.

The EC have now stopped the cash gravy train rolling into the AF station every year but from the point of view of their competitors a great deal of the damage has already been done.

The indirect and "grey" subsidies continue, the French govt. still owns a large part AF and as such their employees are regarded as govt. employees (fonctionnaires) and often the line of who works for AF and who works for other parts of the state is unclear, as is whether AF are actually paying for some services being provided by the state. AF also collabarates with other state owned entities and offers customers transport deals which may be doubly subsidised both by AF and again by SNCF. It is simply not an option for BA to enter France and offer similar services because the major shareholder they would need to negotiate with is the French govt and they will not play ball.

There are also some very strange arrangements concerning PSO routes, while I can understand PSO routes from the south pacific to paris some others don't really make a lot of sense, the one that springs to mind is ORY-AJA. I could speak also about the AF pension fund, or the lack of it for that matter and where the money comes from to fund it, is it coming from the central fund perhaps? I bet you guys at BA and LT would like to retire well before you reach 60 with an index linked pension approaching 80% of your final salary, wouldn't you ?

Lets finally put to bed the suggestion that AF does not receive state subsidies because it definately does, I could go on for hours about other indirect subsidies received by AF but I won't bore you any further....

SXB
6th Apr 2006, 20:53
Grandpa
Just to illustrate the difference (and not passing judgement) between the French and British political systems I think I am right in saying that Villepin , the Prime Minister of France, has never held an elected office of any type ?

frogATC
6th Apr 2006, 21:10
There are 2 controllers rostered to work on night duty at Cardiff. A likely (but unconfirmed as yet) scenario is that one of them was ill and could not attend for duty. I think that's part of the problem. Always reducing costs mean here less staff and ,at the end, disruption of service.


But as neither I, nor you, were there, we don't know what precise circumstances faced the controller, and what he based his decisions upon.
Sure, that's why I wrote in my previous post "I just make suppositions from what I've read, I may be all wrong :rolleyes:"



My point was more that the 'cheapness' often comes from finances provided by areas other than the customers, such as Government subsidies or capital financing of projects or infrastructure.
That's not true anymore: due to an European decision, we had to create a specific budget dedicated to civil aviation. On that specific point, Meeson was not wrong when he wrote "holidaymakers pay your wages".


I'd be interested to see a DGAC or DSNA Rapport Annuel to compare with NATS, if they do one, provided it contains their annual accounts of course :ok:
You'll find everything you need I hope here:
http://www.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/html/publicat/rapports/dgac/sommaire_gb.htm
Cost/revenues figures are in "Implementatioon of the BAAC in 2004"

I've also found on the website that in 2006 French charge rate is 60.13 eur whereas English one is 81.70 eur. Despite certain posts, competition is not always the best thing, even for the costs...

BenThere
6th Apr 2006, 21:43
Grandpa, it's true there is a conflict between profit and efficiency, and the minimum level of safety. Defining the balance isn't easy.

I understand the draw you've expressed for fairness to the worker, limits on the power of management, and the need for government-provided security. Socialism as a concept is altruistic and noble.

However...

Tens of millions have been murdered under its banner. And those who have lived under its authority and saw that authority lifted want nothing to do with it. Hence the Polish plumber, and the futility of your philosophy.

Grandpa
7th Apr 2006, 06:57
Happy AF employees!
Hope you don't include pilots and crew members SXB............
Because I don't even reach 50%, you could say I am not very clever, but I can tell you I worked more than 40 years as a pilot and my pension is at the best level for Air France pilots.

You are right xith Villepin's career, he was never elected before his Prime Minister job.
We could agree both our political qystems are not a perfect illustration of democracy: I heard Tony Bliar is governing with the support of a minority of Brits voters, and here there is no proportion between voters and MPs......

Ben please don't live in the confusion between socialist ideas/realisations in western Europe and communist theories/practice in Russia, China.....because with this kind of amalgam you could accuse our reformist socialist leaders of connivence with Nazi criminals as the latter named their parti NAZIONAL SOCIALIST...........
I know you can do better Ben: you know socialist ideas have led to welfare state, and it is this very concept which is at stake with ultracapitalism globalisation.

Same as communism religion has failed ultracapitalism (sometimes allied with him as in China.........) will be rejected by people.
Only hope it will be crushed before its crimes reach Stalin/Mao atrocities.

SXB
7th Apr 2006, 08:10
Grandpa
For pensions I was referring to the "fonctionnaire" element of AF, I don't know the details of pensions for flight crew but I'd be surprised if they are retiring with only 50% of their last salary. For those reading who are not familiar with French pension systems it is commonplace for state (and some private) employees to retire with a pension of over 80%. For example I work for a well known European organisation that everyone in the UK hates, if I retire at 60 I will have 35 years service and will retire with a pension of 70% of my final salary. This is a fairly good deal as my salary is calculated on international scales but my employment and pension regulations are based on the French Civil Service. It's important to add that one of the reasons that the French enjoy such high pensions is that salaries here are extremely low compared to the two other major EU members (Germany and UK) It's also worth pointing out that last years strikes (I think it was last year but we have strikes here every year) were because the French govt. wants to increase the retirement age because they can no longer afford to pay such pensions.

For anyone visiting France and wanting to avoid trouble the favoured day for a strike is normally a Tuesday but if that isn't "doable" then a Thursday will do. Strikes never occur on a Wednesday because teachers (the most militant MFs in the whole of France) don't work on a wednesday so not much point striking. If you're doing a business trip then come on a Monday morning and go back mid afternoon on Wednesday and you should be ok.

Ben-There
We often joke here in France that it's the last bastion of communism in Europe and to an extent it's true, though they did a hell of a better job than the Soviets

flyblue
7th Apr 2006, 08:36
SXB,
yes, I am a little bored of reading comments of people who don't know what they are talking about, and only write unsubstantiated platitudes about how they think things are. Especially about everything French.
Your post is a list of obscure allegations and exaggerations that you are not substantiating by any kind of proof. Fonctionnaires? AF employes stopped being fonctionnaires a years ago. A pension of 80% of the last salary??? Well, I should tell that to one of my best friends, who retired in December and is now getting a pension of a little more of 40% of her last salary.

"AF also collabarates with other state owned entities and offers customers transport deals" Really, and what should they do? Go LYS-LHR-CDG with BA to get to CDG??? Or maybe the German Bundestag, that is also one of AF's valued customers, is subsidising AF too??

The situation of the French transports is very peculiar. People incorrectly think that the lack of competition in the internal market is due to monopoly, while it's only due to due to the fierce competition of the rail system (especially with the TGV), that is extremely efficient and offers very good prices.

AF is not getting any subsidies, and has not got any subsidies since the 90ies, when the employees had to accept pay cuts and increase in productivity to get a recapitalisation after the disaster of the first Gulf War. Since the arrival of J.C. Spinetta at the helm, his strategies have put AF at the top in EU and at the first 4 places in the world market. To say that this results are only funded by state subsidies is simply ridiculous.

boogie-nicey
7th Apr 2006, 08:57
Hong Kong is a million miles away from France's backwards mentality and look at the stark difference. What City does France have that comapres to HK?

There's no socialism of any kind in HK and even under Chinese control it has a very economically exempt feeling about it.

SXB
7th Apr 2006, 10:15
Fly Blue
yes, I am a little bored of reading comments of people who don't know what they are talking about, and only write unsubstantiated platitudes about how they think things are. Especially about everything French
Yeah, me too. There are a lot of "statements" on here

Your post is a list of obscure allegations and exaggerations that you are not substantiating by any kind of proof. Fonctionnaires? AF employes stopped being fonctionnaires a years ago. A pension of 80% of the last salary??? Well, I should tell that to one of my best friends, who retired in December and is now getting a pension of a little more of 40% of her last salary.
Fonctionnaires ? Yes. What type of contract you have with AF depends on when you joined, if you join now your contract is similar to other private companies, if you joined years ago your contract is still much the same as all the other Fonctionnaire. Then there are all the other Fontionnaire associated with AF, is it unsubstantiated ? well, it's a grey area and if it were that transparent the EC would of put a stop to it.

The situation of the French transports is very peculiar. People incorrectly think that the lack of competition in the internal market is due to monopoly, while it's only due to due to the fierce competition of the rail system (especially with the TGV), that is extremely efficient and offers very good prices.
Only true to an extent. The TGV is a good (albeit expensive) system but only covers certain parts of France, the rest of the French train system is very old and very slow. Everyone here wants to have the TGV come to their city (as long as the track doesn't come within 3kms of their house) but because of the amount of capital investment both central and regional govts. are reluctant to fund it, why? Take my city for example - Strasbourg. Air France have a nice little monopoly running 10 flights a day between SXB and the two Paris hubs but we've been screaming for a TGV link for years and years. The govt aren't stupid, they know that spending billions of €€ on a TGV link is not going to significantly increase the numbers travelling between these two cities and they will just be robbing Peter to pay Paul with a net result of a €10 billion tax bill to pay for the capital investment. Because of political reasons Strasbourg will now get it's TGV link and we'll lose some AF flights but, for sure, AF and SNCF will get together and fix the price. There are many other cities in France which won't get their TGV links because they don't have the political influence of Strasbourg (home of European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe, European Parliament etc, etc) and the normal rules of competition do not apply as both carriers (AF and SNCF) are owned by the same people

panda-k-bear
7th Apr 2006, 12:15
Oooh, tough comments from a lot of you!

SXB is no doubt correct in that AF saw a long time ago what position it needed to be in about now and no doubt used subsidies to manoeuvre itself into that position. Go back and look at the books over the 1990s and watch what happened up to the present day. Quite some warchest that was accumulated. It was a very shrewd move and there is also no doubt that Spinetta has been very good for AF. Whilst the French government retains the large shareholding that it has, it's hard to say what is REALLY happening, isn't it?

flyblue we all get a bit tetchy when our company is under fire, but may I make a few observations? Over the last month I have made 8 flights with Air France. 1 of them was on time. I do not check my bags when I fly Air France because I am 90% certain that they will not arrive with me. I carry on as much as possible, which causes chaos with the overhead stowages because I'm far from the only one. Now I know that it isn't AF's fault, it's ADP. But the perception is that it IS Air France - it is Air France, after all, that is providing the overall service. In my experience, and it is quite some exerience, I assure you, AF either offers a very, very good flight or a very, very bad one. There's no in between. But my experiences of CDG are, without doubt, always very bad - again, not helping AF. Transit is a nightmare and it's very very confusing to get from one place to another.

And Grandpa, you can't deny that there is a strike season in France. It's very well known by the expats who live there, and that season is spring. It may bea little joke but really, it is most assuredly true!

Grandpa
7th Apr 2006, 12:17
I told you I don't get more than 50% of my salary for pension.

Your answer: "I would be surprised....."

Not only you talk without knowing , but confronted with people who have got direct knowledge, you still deny their declarations.

What should I do: post my pension form, my bank records, my income tax form.

If you want to build your own idea about France, more to discuss about it in any forum, you should first rely on real data, not about what you hear in a pub after 3/4 beers

panda-k-bear
7th Apr 2006, 12:34
OK Grandpa, you income tax form will do. But we'll have to wait until May for that this year, won't we? Used to be February, then March. Now May. Why do they get later every year?

boogie-nicey
7th Apr 2006, 14:47
dear me, all these comments about TGV, AF, pensions, local Government, etc.
It all smacks of protectionism abeit desperate protectionism at that.

France is rapidly descending into the isolated school boy mentality that will yield a successful future.

The reserves are running out for this nation the 19th century was on the back of ill gains from the Napolean era and the early 20th from the lucky fact that with the help of the allies Germany was defeated and a few French Engineers started to come through and invent things. The 60s was nothing more than frustrated Americans who had descended on Paris to separate themselves from their countries every deepening descent into fighting communism in Asia. This brought a chic new image to France and kept things going along whilst still reaping the benefits of manufacturing and selling arms during the cold war. Now that it's all over and there are no freebies left other than harsh reality France has stuck their heads in the sand. No one in China, Japan, Korea, Russia, India, Singapore, etc are going to care about forming a worldwide brotherhood of union with overrested, overpaid, protectionists from France. Those countries are marching on and I doubt very much they have even left first gear. What happens to France's lush demands when the Asian countries form the truely unthinkable concept of FREE TRADE they won't be anyone in the world that'll be able to keep up let alone touch them. Think now, act now before you're an irrelevant piece of history.

frogATC
7th Apr 2006, 17:31
OK, boogie-nicey, everything is bad in France.:*

Just before you find it , I give you that hot news (French are barbarous):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4888182.stm

Thanks for your reading of French History, that was captivating (even if you forgot to speak about Waterloo, and Collaboration betwen cowardly French Frogs and Nazis).

I've lived (and worked, yes, lazy Frog did work) for 6 months in England and definitely enjoyed my stay there :ok:(even if I met guys like you who were full of "cliches" on France). I've (nearly) only good memories of your country and English people, honestly. (by the way, how long have you lived in France to know so well my country ? Or does your information come from the Sun, Daily Mirror etc ?)
Now, at that time (about 1999), English trains were late, expensive and , worse, there were many accidents and casualties. (sorry to tell you that French trains are cheaper, quicker and last accident occured in the early eighties). Privatization is not always good.

You medical system was drowning and expensive (and I had to pay for medicine).

A certain press was literally insulting every day France and French people because of the ban on British beef. (you could say it was once again protectionism, but I guess that most of mad cows were British, not French). And that press was forgetting that several European countries decided the ban, not only France. But it's so easier to criticize and caricature always the same ones.

So, you see, everyone can have 'cliche' on the others.

BenThere
7th Apr 2006, 19:15
I hear what you're saying, frogATC. Americans get it all the time - stereotypes, misconceptions, cliches, and such. We've all got skeletons as well as good qualities. Some sense of fair play is all one can ask.

Grandpa
7th Apr 2006, 19:18
I'm not often in the office of Finance Minister, and don't allways know why they decide this or that.

As I was told, they allready know everything about our income.
They will send us a form allready completed with our salaries and we have only to add or suppress what we think is relevant.

As for me, I do it on internet since two years and it works well.

How about you?

frogATC
7th Apr 2006, 19:20
I hear what you're saying, frogATC. Americans get it all the time - stereotypes, misconceptions, cliches, and such. We've all got skeletons as well as good qualities. Some sense of fair play is all one can ask.
Ben There, you've sumed up perfectly what I meant :ok: Thanks !

panda-k-bear
7th Apr 2006, 19:27
Grandpa, when I lived in France I had no choice, it had to be done with a pen. Most times it was correct when I received the paperwork back. Once or twice it was not - and there was some deliberate "misunderstanding" by my hotel des impots (blame it on me not being French, I suppose, even though my employer made it VERY clear to them - and my employer was French). Interesting that the fisc are now filling in the forms on your behalf. Much scope for misunderstandings there, of course.

As for now - well I live in a country where the paperwork is always in order - it has to be.

Interesting and telling, though, that you don't feel some empathy with BenThere and the Americans, isn't it?

SXB
7th Apr 2006, 19:55
Grandpa
Read my posts again, In no post have I ever doubted what pension you, personally, receive. After all I have no idea of your position with AF or what type of contracts you had while in their employ.

I agree with Panda-k-Bear to an extent about AF, I travel extensively for my job and although I live in Strasbourg (which is in France though I get told all the time by Brits that it's in either Belgium, Germany, luxembourg or Austria) I very rarely travel by AF because of their insistence in using CDG as a feeder hub, CDG is, without doubt, the worst airport in Europe (and I'm including eastern Europe) I think my baggage has been mis-placed to the same percentage as Panda. Also the place is absolutely filthy and using the toilets is an unpleasant olfactory experience. I prefer to make my way to Frankfurt, which in any case has a better network of direct routes or I'll take the Austrian Airlines flight from Strasbourg and pick up a connecting flight in Vienna.

Interesting point someone made about FlyBlue being an AF employee, this explains his aggressiveness in some of his posts, maybe he should sit this one out and leave it to us customers.

FrogATC
I wouldn't worry too much about the British press, some of them are not known for "quality" journalism. I've spent half of my adult life in Britain and half in France (nearly 10 years in both places) I can say that from a work point of view the people are no different. From a life point of view just about everything here in France is better, health services, employment conditions etc etc and to an extent I can understand peoples anxiety when faced with change (not that I've so far met anyone here opposed to CPE) For an expat there are bad things too, the first being the language but this is part and pacel of living in a foreign country. This is something that mosts Brits can't comprehend, you go to London and stop a random Brit on Oxford street and ask them in French where the nearest tube station is located and they'll think you're a nutter so I can't understand their frustration when they do the same thing in English in Paris.

Grandpa
8th Apr 2006, 06:04
....................but "American" is another notion, if you judge by recent polling and treason he soon will be charged for in Palme affair......but you are pushing me into Hamster's hole!

SXB do you imagine I got a special contract?
It was standard, you can check with any of my colleague.

You talk subsidies?
Turn you eyes to Ryanair: THIS airline got a lot of subsidies, discount.....with local Chambers of Commerce here "to impulse their airports traffic".
This was placed into court, and Ryanair lost.
Yes, I know, this is French justice, so it's rubbish.

Now that the level of discussion has degraded to toilets, did you travel to Russia, China, these model states where "free" market rules slave workers?

About French administration please!
Is your Administration so pleasant?

Today French are not ANXIOUS, they are ANGRY SXB, you should meet other people than those in the little professionnal circle of yours: it's easy to meet people opposed to CPE;
Just walk in the streets, wait for the next demonstration and ask one of the thousands marching in, he/she will tell you!

SXB
8th Apr 2006, 12:52
Grandpa
I take your point about Ryanair and I assume the mention of the Chamber of Commerce means you're talking about the flights between Stanstead and Strasbourg.

It's probably only fair to quantify what happened there, the SXB Cha
mber of Commerce (representing business in SXB, the local CUS and both Rhin departements) came to a commercial agreement with Ryanair and agreed to meet certain costs if Ryanair flew two flights a day from London Stanstead to Strasbourg. This arrangement was highly beneficial to Alsace based business, the SXB CUS, both Rhin departements, Ryanair and upwards of 100,000 tourists per year who were flying into Alsace and spending their money. Of course the only people losing out were Air France because everyone stopped using the SXB-GAT, AF had been ripping people off for years charging approaching a €1000 for a midweek return trip (I used to use because I had no choice) . Surprise surprise AF instigated court action and it was ruled that they were receiving illegal subsidies, even though Ryanair was publicly supported by the French authorities. Fair enough though, if a court rules that it's illegal then it's illegal but you can understand the view of local Strasbourg people who somewhat perplexed by a decision which seemed to benefit everyone, except AF of course.

Credit to AF though as they did bring their prices down when the Ryanair flights were stopped, though this was more to do with the fact that Ryan air moved the service 40kms over the border to Baden-Baden. I've no idea whether a similar arrangement is in place there.

As for CDG I don't see how anyone can defend it, It is, without doubt, the worst airport in Europe and yes, I've travelled extensively around Russia and found nothing as bad as CDG. In fact the airport at Pristina, before it was rebuilt, was better than CDG and that was in the days when they had 1 tractor to carry the baggage, the immigration was done by the Russians and ATC by the Italians. I accept that there may be 1 or 2 airports in Africa which are worse than CDG.

As for CPE and normal French people, I'm sure I know as many as you, my wife is French and doesn't work in the same industry as me. In fact, surprise, surprise she works for AF....Most French people are not angry about CPE, most of the demonstrators are students (mostly first year as the rest of them want to do some work), Teachers and people connected to the transport industry, in other words - the usual suspects... Ordainary French people understand that something needs to be done to combat the chronic unemployment among the young in this country. In fact, most of the French people I know feel only contempt for some of the demonstrators simply because of the further damage being done to the image of the French nation abroad.

Time to put this one to bed but feel free to have the last word if you must.

Grandpa
8th Apr 2006, 16:55
....will be for William Pfaff, writing in International Herald Tribune, Paris edition, March 30 2006, about French students movement:

"Their action, which could appear retrogade, could prove to be prophetic."

I recommend you the rest of his article, which shows some understanding of changes in economy since the 60s, supported by studies on the subject. ( could you please think about Ricardo's quote?).

It's very pleasant to see that French turmoil isn't an isolated rearguard battle, and the facts it's now understood and we benefit from solidarity coming from Europe's unions makes me feel the turning point is not far to stop downgrading workers conditions of life IN THE WORLD.

How funny your poor justifications for Ryanair subsidies, we could replace Ryanair with Air France, Chambers of Commerce by French Government and be back 15 years ago when Air France got the last money from our taxes.

About CDG, I can't appreciate how angry you are with this place.......Seems to me you have got a personnal interest against someone there, because your extreme assertions could not match the growing success of CDG (and AF...) in term of number of passengers ,PKT, turnover, profit....

(Hey! Nice to hear me praising this capitalist efficiency..........Where shall I end?)

boogie-nicey
9th Apr 2006, 19:06
FrogATC,

Sorry my friend I was merely expressing an opinion and I try my best to shy away from rubbish propaganda like the tabloid press like the Sun, Mirror and other comics (in fact you can get more truth these days from Car Alarm enthusiasts monthly magazine:) ). I haven't lived in France but feel that certain opinions can still be 'qualified' to a certain extent. Throughout my posts I have tried to express a "hope for the future if not the present" in terms of France as I feel you can go on to make great and positive contributions for the international community. I don't hold the simplistic view that one French defeat equates some kind of comical statement about France strategic history, because that can be applied to almost every country it's just conviently erased from history books :) The French soldier is indeed a lion but unfortunately lead by asses (in terms of your inept officer class and equally incompetent political figureheads).

The UK is as you've observed no paradise neither especially with our current Blair regime that take the credit for other external factors and flaunt them as their own. Our NHS is a sham and is inherently weak but needs to fade away slowly rather than immediately superseded by an alternative system. Our trains are getting better but are still a couple of leagues behind. But one thing for sure I know the rail network and train companies will get better in fact I can already see the spring buds starting to appear in that industry.

Take care ......

SXB
9th Apr 2006, 20:38
Boogie-nicey
Just a comment about the French Armed Forces, this whole thing about them being white flag waving surrender monkeys simply isn't true. Their Air Force is first class and by european standards their Army and Navy is first class as well.

I spent a lot of time in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 90s and 2000s and I can tell you the different sector commands (Kosovo, for example was split into several sections, five I think, and each one had a lead command country one being French) were a real eye opener. The most professional were the British but they were closely followed by the French. In Kosovo the French forces were let down by their political leadership, their rules of engagement were somewhat different to everyone elses. That said the diplomatic and negotation skills of their officer class were excellent and I saw them successfully avoid conflict between the locals on several occasions. The Americans struggled with this type of soldiering and never really grasped what their role actually was, probably because they hadn't much experience in peace keeping roles though since Kosovo they've had a lot more.

boogie-nicey
10th Apr 2006, 10:22
SXB:

There's no doubting the French officer class has in recent years excelled but I was refering in a historical context about how previous leaders had let France down. It's always the poor old guy in the mud that gets it whilst political masters are far from the reality of the situation.

One thing is for sure the French are many times better than the Americans in fact who isn't their officer classes are abysmal to say the least. I cringe everytime I see their know nothing so called officers who have little educational grounding in geo-politics, overseas issues, strategic studies or anything else for that matter. No wonder they trip over their own shoe laces, not fair on the American soldier that they get sub standard leaders (US Navy excepted :) .

But we digress from the point of Frances eco-social system that is struggling under it's own weight. Perhaps we can have one of thosee reality programmes where a bunch of patronising television presenters go to a country every week. They tell the prime minister/president if you don't change your diet this is how you'll country will look in 20,30,50,100 years time :) :)

The presenters can then get someone from the IMF (another laugh) to plan a new 'diet' for them and see how the country gets on. Week 1, give up smoking, give up corruption, back handers and in general sticking your head in the sand. Week 2 give up protectionism and to a greater extent nepotism, instead try a fresh new diet of small company grants to chew on and setup specialist research facilities clustered together in a small part of the country with taxes incentives. Week 3 take up jogging, give up higher taxes and intice shipping and ports to flourish by offering more goodies. Week 4 cut back on the fatty foods and cut back on unnecessary spending on items you really don't need just to satisfy foreign governments (Saudi Arabian arms sales please take note). Week5 take up an evening study course, spend more time with the kids and using the money clawed back from your recent cuts in excessive public spening start building a trunk communications infrastructure. Week 6 you should now be 3 sizes smaller with alot more dynamic energy and yes IT WAS POSSIBLE and don't you just feel so much better, with more money flowing through your nation's system and more foreign interest. Lets look at what you looked like 6 weekds ago and now please show yourself as the new you, wow you look great a real change for the better.

:ok:

boogie-nicey
10th Apr 2006, 10:25
Ah I forgot and also cut back on the excessive 'over the top' ATPL exams that prove how self serving you are. Silly because aircraft aren't falling out of the sky elsewhere in the world without JAA.
:ok:

PPRuNe Towers
10th Apr 2006, 10:40
3 man hamster wheel