Society

American CEO Adds To Long History Of French-Bashing

And don't forget: bad blood runs in both directions!

THE GUARDIAN (UK), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

PARIS – The CEO of a U.S. tire company sent an open letter this week to France's Industry Minister that was little more than your basic anti-French rant.

Maurice “Morry” Taylor Jr, the head of the Titan International tire company and 1996 U.S. Republican presidential candidate, wrote his scathing letter after French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg suggested he might like to take over an embattled Goodyear tire factory in the north of France, reports the Guardian.

Taylor wrote: "The French workers are paid high wages but only work three hours. They have one hour for their lunch, they talk for three hours and they work for three hours. I said this directly to their union leaders; they replied that's the way it is in France.”

He laid out his alternative: "Titan is going to buy Chinese or Indian tires, pay less than one euro an hour to workers and export all the tires that France needs," Taylor said. "You can keep your so-called workers. Titan is not interested in the factory.”

French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg wrote back, saying “Can I remind you that Titan, the business you run, is 20 times smaller than Michelin, the French tire technology leader with international influence, and 35 times less profitable,” reports Reuters. Montebourg’s letter said Taylor’s comments were “as extremist as they were insulting.”

But French bashing isn’t a new sport -- in fact, it's been around for about as long as American-bashing has existed in France.

Here are some examples of tumultuous French-American relations:

DE GAULLE VS LYNDON JOHNSONon nuclear proliferation:

[rebelmouse-image 27086326 alt="""" original_size="800x565" expand=1]

Photo German Federal Archives

De Gaulle: “I like Johnson. He doesn’t even take the trouble to pretend he’s thinking.”

From Schwartz" Lyndon Johnson and Europe.


CHIRAC VS BUSH JR – on Turkey being part of the EU:

[rebelmouse-image 27086328 alt="""" original_size="600x398" expand=1]

Photo White House

Chirac: “It is not his purpose and his goal to give any advice to the EU, and in this area it was a bit as if I were to tell Americans how they should handle their relationship with Mexico."

From CNN.


CUBBIE'S VS FRENCH FRIES – after France's opposition to the invasion of Iraq:

Photo Spigoo


MARK TWAIN ON PARISIANS:

Photo Facebook

Mark Twain: “In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language."

From linguaspectrum.com.


THE SIMPSONS – and then National Review's Jonah Goldberg – VS EVERY FRENCH PERSON:

Fortunately, there are still Americans who believe France can be a valuable source of inspiration. Here's Bill Maher:


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Mariam Nabattu, a religious studies teacher, must work at two schools in central Uganda to make ends meet.

Patricia Lindrio/GPJ Uganda
Edna Namara and Patricia Lindrio

KAMPALA — Allen Asimwe has dedicated more than two decades to teaching geography at a large public high school in southwestern Uganda. Her retirement age, as a public servant entitled to benefits, is just six years away.

She doubts she will wait that long.

“I am determined, I want to quit,” she says, calculating that she could earn more by shifting full time to the salon she opened six years ago to supplement her income. “Given the frustration, I cannot continue in class anymore.”

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