Europe inevitably dominated the off-the-record discussion when AAPA members met government spokesman and agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll days after the stinging defeat of ruling Socialists in May 25 European Parliament elections.


Le Foll and his advisers did not try to minimize the significance of the National Front’s first victory in a nationwide French poll. However Le Foll, a longstanding ally and confidant of Francois Hollande, expressed confidence in the president’s ability to bounce back from his record low popularity ratings.


About 15 members of AAPA also probed Le Foll on subjects including France’s failure so far to bring its public deficit within European limits, to how it plans to preserve the French welfare model.


-Mark John