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Thénard, Jean-Michel

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Libération - France | 19/01/2007

France pays hommage to its 'Justes'

To this day, over 2,700 French people have received the title of 'Juste' for having saved Jews during the German Occupation. The French President Jacques Chirac paid them a solemn tribute on Thursday, January 18th, during an official ceremony organised in the Paris Pantheon. "Allowing the French to look their past in the eye is something that Jacques Chirac will be remembered for", considers Jean-Michel Thénard. "The role of a Head of State is not to write history, but to help the people take it on in all its authenticity. With his speech in 1995, the first president of the Fifth Republic to recognise the responsibilty of the French in the deportation of 75,000 Jews turned the page on a pernicious Gaullist mythology. ... For having been fed on hero worship perpetuated by Mitterrand who compromised with Vichy, the French were taken by surprise. ... The repentance is now begining to fade, giving way to that 'light' emanating from the 'Justes'."

Libération - France | 10/07/2006

The French have lost their two stars

"Now that France has narrowly missed shooting the moon, it has to come back down to Earth. Zidane heads into retirement on an inglorious note, the country loses a star without gaining a second celestial body," writes Jean-Michel Thénard following the French team's defeat in the World Cup final. "Historians of civilisations will retain the following: that at the start of the 21st century, the Gallic nation had nothing aside from a football to foster a sense of shared destiny. As if the French took pleasure only in avoiding their lackluster reality. Just like their cousins on far-flung continents who shoot themselves up on football in order to forget their favelas. ... For the past month, France has been dreaming with Zidane. This morning, it woke up with Chirac. France, land of contrasts, which, when it plays football, comes within a hair's breadth of dominating the world."

Libération - France | 07/07/2006

The French claim the streets again

"France is continuing its great street show," cheers Jean-Michel Thénard two days before the World Cup final in Berlin. "The youth of the suburbs charged down these streets back in November in anger at being described as 'scum'. Students hunkered down in February to voice their refusal to be condemned to a life sentence of precariousness. Now, everyone has taken to the streets in recent days to celebrate the French team's triumphs, as if the Hexagon had two footballs for lungs. ... The politicians, whose value has depreciated too much, will not be able to claim for themselves the same joy for the game that highlights the French team's magnificent trajectory. But the values of this collectivist football, best expressed by Thuram, the great denunciator of the Sarkozian 'Karcher' [high-powered water hose], could be an omen of what is to come in the presidential debate."

Libération - France | 02/02/2006

International mergers

The daily criticises the European Commission's attitude toward the hostile bid launched by Indian giant Mittal Steel for the European company, Arcelor. "The Brussels commission only wants to consider matters from a legal standpoint, as it effects competition, and nothing but competition. It shows that it is hostage to its liberal dogmatism, to the point of forgetting the weight of its own history: European construction began with steel and it is highly symbolic that steel should be the issue on which the Union finds itself currently foundering. The only ones who have dared to pose the real questions are the unions. They are rightly worried about the social consequences of the dismemberment of a European industry that is incapable of facing up to a globalisation process that is channeling wealth to Asia. The fact that the EU's member governments are unable to provide them with any response has serious ramifications for the credibility of each one.”

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