France to Push Through Health Service Reforms

France’s national health service may be one of the best in the world, but it urgently needs reform to make it more efficient and less costly, Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, told a breakfast meeting with 25 AAPA members on June 16.
Speaking in her ministry’s dining room with a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower, Ms. Touraine spent nearly 90 minutes explaining in plain terms her thoughts on a variety of topics ranging from her plans for the health system to euthanasia and alcohol abuse.
She said she is against euthanasia, but in …

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[19 Jun 2015 | par AAPA France | ]
Annual Gala Reflects Thriving AAPA

Nearly 100 AAPA members and their guests had reason to cheer when they gathered for our annual Gala garden party – traditionally our most prestigious and well-attended event – on June 10.

Once again, we were lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy the gardens at the British Ambassador’s residence, where we were hosted with customary warmth and good cheer by Honorary Co-President Sir Peter Ricketts and Lady Ricketts.
As the champagne flowed, the mood was jovial and convivial and it was a great introduction for several new members and …


[11 Jun 2015 | par AAPA France | ]
Minister Warns on Militant Secularism in Schools

France must avoid being overly dogmatic in the interpretation of rules separating church and state, and “militant secularism” of the kind that bars mothers with headscarves volunteering on school outings is “counter-productive,” Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told the Anglo American Press Association on June 1.
In a 90-minute meeting with over two dozen AAPA members at her ministry, France’s first female education minister fielded questions on a broad range of subjects, from secularism to her controversial collège (middle school) reforms to the opposition UMP rebranding itself Les Républicains.
On the laws banning …


[12 May 2015 | par AAPA France | ]
Eurozone’s Greek Strategy Is Flawed: Piketty

It would be a catastrophe for the Eurozone if Greece were pushed out,” Thomas Piketty, France’s ‘super economist’ told over 30 members of the AAPA, as it would “spell the beginning of the end for the single currency”.
Mr. Piketty, author of the best-selling book ‘Capital in the 21st century,’ met with over 30 AAPA members at the Paris School of Economics where he gave his views on everything from France’s socialist government under President Francois Hollande, the UK general election, the Eurozone’s future and his specialised topic of growing inequality …


[1 May 2015 | par AAPA France | ]
Helping in Trouble Spots Carries Risks, Fabius Says

France is eager to help out in the world’s trouble spots, but there’s also a risk that a big Western power coming to the aid of the citizens of a foreign country can actually aggravate a situation, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told more than 30 AAPA members on April 16.
Meeting “on-the-record” for over an hour with us in the ornate salons of the Quai d’Orsay, Mr. Fabius said: “There are indeed many, many crises, difficulties, hot spots in the world. The risk – and we should bring what help …


[30 Apr 2015 | par AAPA France | ]
Philharmonie Seeks to Break Down Social Barriers

AAPA members enjoyed a rare privilege on March 25 when they visited the Philharmonie de Paris, the city’s brand-new classical music concert hall.
Located in the north east of Paris near the Porte de Pantin, a popular, working class area known better for its “Zenith” rock and pop music venue, the Philharmonie opened in January to resounding success, confounding critics who predicted that it wouldn’t attract the well-heeled classical music aficionados who frequent concert halls in the more genteel areas of Paris.
The project was first conceived in 2006 out of a …