It’s the enf of yet another year – and in keeping with the season, lonely editors and reporters, and dedicated ones too – take this down time to pull together the highlights of the past year. often compelling them into the “best of…’ whatever it is books, movies … whatever it is …of the year. Living in Paris has been very interesting politically. Being at the centre of a very centralised political entity – Paris is where most of the news happens in France. Given several cultural and historical factors – Paris is not only the de jure and de facto political, cutural, historical centre of France – it holds a monopoly over the entire country’s political agenda. At least this is what the past year’s news stories seem to confirm.
France 24 describes 2010 as the ” year of unrest and soul-searching in France, marked by political scandals, painful social reforms, a crackdown on Roma migrants and heated debates on national identity and the “burqa ban”. ” in this look at the “Big Stories of 2010”
Arguably, the common thread of 2010 has been the demonstration of the importance of the politics that takes place almost squarely here in Paris – and in the executive branch of government. And by implication, the absence of other viable centres of political power to counter balance “Paris” and the Champs Elysees. Next year will bear much of the same – if not more – as the presidency moves closer to 2012 where elections are due. As was the case in 2010, 2011 will likely only further underscore that France is perhaps not necessarily governed by ‘the people’ but is necessarily run from its disproportionately powerful centre, Paris.