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Budapest or Bucharest? A Tale Of Very Lost French Soccer Fans

Budapest or Bucharest? A Tale Of Very Lost French Soccer Fans
Clémence Guimier

Let's be honest, as European capital names go, Budapest (Hungary) and Bucharest (Romania) are pretty similar. It's even slightly closer in French: Budapest and Bucarest. Still, for six French football fans who wanted to watch last week's France v. Hungary match live, we can only wonder how this geographic blooper could have gone this far.

Oui, oui...the supporters of les Bleus wound up in Bucharest, watching the game on television, rather than the stadium Budapest where France and Hungary finished in a 1-1 draw.

It's unclear who bought the plane tickets, but as local Romanian newspaper Jurnalu National reports, these fans took quite a while to realize their mistake. Non, non, it wasn't at the airport or hotel: Indeed, they still thought they were going to see the game live when they spotted other football fans on the streets of Bucharest wearing yellow and blue outfits.

"We thought they were Hungarian supporters who were also going to the stadium," they told Jurnalu National. In reality, they were a group of Ukrainian supporters, who had arrived early before their country's game, scheduled a few days after in the Romanian capital. (Also, Hungary's colors are red and green ...)

The French fans eventually found out they travelled to the wrong country while sharing beers with the Ukrainian supporters. "We should learn more about Europe," one of the confused supporters confessed.

The European football championship is usually hosted in only one or two countries, but this year's matches are spread around 11 nations, giving soccer fans a chance to improve their knowledge in geography — or get lost on their way to the stadium.

Next up for the French team, which qualified for the round of 16, is Switzerland, a game that will take place Monday ... in Bucharest. So maybe our lovably lost fans just showed up early?

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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