Monday, June 17, 2019

Back to the future in France

On Saturday, clergy in hard hats celebrated Mass in a chapel of Notre Dame, two months after the blaze that destroyed the cathedral's roof and spire and nearly brought the whole thing down. Those who attended were all or mostly religious and cathedral workers.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Vests who have more or less brought France to a standstill every Saturday since November has mostly hung up their gilets jaunes, allowing President Macron to edge back into his (really very modest) labor reforms, which have already improved the economy somewhat. He has not, however, ventured to talk of the gasoline tax that set off the movement that for a month put upwards of a hundred thousand protesters on the streets of Paris and other cities. So that is some recompense for all the fuss and property damage.

In another wonderfully French moment, I find that the Friends of Notre Dame still haven't updated their website to take account of the fire. Certainly you can make a tax-deductible contribution, but for what? I clicked through the link entitled "The Problem" and found this rather outdated reason for helping out: "Although the recently restored western façade is radiant, the same cannot be said of the rest of the building."



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