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Even Jacques Chirac Knows France Sucks

Chirac has figured out that France is a laughing stock, but he's got the wrong solution.

Chirac unveils his grand plan to restore French pride
· President hopes to secure legacy with rival to Google
· Six major projects to get £1.4bn state funding

The French president, Jacques Chirac, yesterday unveiled what he hopes will be his great legacy to France's struggle against the global dominance of the US: a series of technological projects including a European search engine to rival Google.

Mr Chirac, who walked out of an EU summit last month when a fellow Frenchman committed the grave offence of speaking English, styles himself as the defender of France in the globalised world.

After the biggest street protests in decades forced him to stage a U-turn on employment reform last month, Mr Chirac is keener than ever to be remembered for doing something positive for French pride. Yesterday, he announced that he would provide €2bn (£1.4bn) in funding for a series of innovative grands projets, including a Franco-German search engine to compete with Google and Yahoo!.

Named Quaero - Latin for "I search" - the search engine aims to be the first to efficiently sort through audio, images and video. It would search the growing array of podcasts and videoclips on the web and deliver the information to computers and mobile phones. Quaero has been a pet project of Mr Chirac's for some time. In his new year speech at the Elysée Palace, he spoke of the need to "take up the global challenge posed by Google and Yahoo!".

But his plan is not without its sceptics. The French satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné has mocked the project's funding as paltry in comparison with Microsoft or Google. Mike Lynch, chief executive of Autonomy, a Cambridge-based search software firm, wrote to the Financial Times calling the plan "a blatant case of misguided and unnecessary nationalism" and warning that by the time Quaero is developed the market will have moved on.

He's part right. Technology is the key. But if Jacques Chirac realy wants to restore some pride to his country he needs to spend that £1.4bn making a time machine. One that would go back to about 1939.

Comments (15)

Yep, another government own... (Below threshold)

Yep, another government owned company will fix the economy right up. Besides, Adam Smith spoke English, primarily, so he can't be trustworthy.

"But if Jacques Chirac real... (Below threshold)

"But if Jacques Chirac realy wants to restore some pride to his country he needs to spend that £1.4bn making a time machine. One that would go back to about 1939."


And beautiful

1939 is not far enough back... (Below threshold)

1939 is not far enough back -- need to go at least to 1936 and Hitler's reoccupation of the Rhineland -- had France thrown back the ill-armed German troops, which it could easily have done, no WWII, no holocaust, France still a great power today. But because the French people wanted peace too much, and fell for arguments about German rights to a piece of Germany, Hitler succeeded in his first step in his march to war and the total conquest of France.

France hasn't been a great ... (Below threshold)

France hasn't been a great country since... um... since... Damn... When were they EVER a great country???

(moonbat alert: READ NO FURTHER!)

The French need a shot in the arm such as what FDR gave our country in the '30s or Reagan gave in the '80s. It's not so much about government spending / programs as it is about somebody in authority assuring people that things aren't quite so bad and that steps are being take to put things right. It's mostly propaganda, but it CAN work.

I don't think Black Jacques Chirac is the man to pull it off, though.

man, just take a step back ... (Below threshold)

man, just take a step back for a second and imagine you're a middle aged frechman without a computer and, frankly (or francly), you don't know anything about search engines...and you hear your president saying 'we will rise above google and yahoo!'

I dunno, I thought it sounded funny.

What Chirac doesn't get or ... (Below threshold)

What Chirac doesn't get or perhaps doesn't want to get is that France with a population of 59 million has economy of roughly the same size as California with a population of 36 million. To add insult to injury California with it's pervasive left wing lunacy is by no means anywhere near being the best run US state. That the pride of a nation is dependent on a search engine.....France: Game Over.

France bled out her greatness in the trenches of the first world war.

Falze,What a hoot.... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:


What a hoot. Next add, "We will fart in your general direction".

When chIraq is done with his investment, it will be like logging onto CompuServe in 1980 with a 300 baud modem.

Those silly French folks! A... (Below threshold)

Those silly French folks! Always good for a laugh. How will they pronounce "Quaero"? Why not "Cherche"?

I can't wait for people to ... (Below threshold)

I can't wait for people to say, "Just Queer-Oh it."

PTG - Indeed!Since... (Below threshold)
Johnny Ringoes:

PTG - Indeed!

Since the name is in Latin, surely no self-respecting francophone will use it.

I'll match my software comp... (Below threshold)

I'll match my software company (not Google) and it's highly trained, highly skilled programmers working 40 hours a week against the "we can't fire them no matter how bad they suck" workers and their 35 hour work week any day.

My programmers are tops. They were hired because they out hustled thousands of other candidates. They are the creme of the crop honed by the fires of competition. My only competitors are really just other US companies and a couple of Far Eastern ones.

France is incapable of being competitive--not as as long as nursing off the government tit and mediocrity are considered acceptable.

How much does he think Goog... (Below threshold)
Andrew Paterson:

How much does he think Google initially cost when it was launched? Typical statist thinking, burning tax payers money to create a product nobody seems to want but it's not your money so you can take risk.... that's the answer folks!

If you ask me Jacques Chira... (Below threshold)
Sofian Ferchichi:

If you ask me Jacques Chirac is a jerk any way. He should not be leading a Republic and be worrying about comping out the US by making his own "Google" site.

france hates anyone who is ... (Below threshold)

france hates anyone who is the world power. The hated Great Britain. If France were the world power, god-forbid we hate them for the same dumb reasons they hate us.

Again and again, primitive ... (Below threshold)

Again and again, primitive Anglosaxon mongers spit their stinky venom against the French.
It's really funny to always read the same craps and clichés coming from ignorant and arrogant jerks.I'am sure that most of these assholes have never traveled in France, and repeat like parrots the false and silly French stereotypes. It's shows one thing: JEALOUSY,BIG JEALOUSY. Particularly these arrogant Brits. They always spit on the French, but in the same time they buy all the houses that they can find all over France. We are too kind to accept them. We should throw them away. And concerning US'ians, we don't have lessons to receive from this mongrel race coming from Europe, the murderers and thieves of the true Americans:the Amerindians.
i appreciate a lot their arguments against the French. They accuse the French to be arrogant and xenophobic, while at the same time, they use against them the worst racist and xenophobic clichés.
Don't confound people and their government. This asshole Chirac is certainly more hated in France than in the whole Anglosaxon sphère.
But you have to know this thing:HATE US,HATE US:






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