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Posts posted by Frenchy

  1. That article is just an extract from a much longer interview given in last Sunday’s ‘Journal du Dimanche’ (JDD).

    It’s been put online at the following page (for French speakers only!).


    I mentioned elsewhere the importance of domestic politics when presenting a bid and the statements made by Killy come as no surprise.

    He’s never hidden his right wing views and even sings Putin’s praise in that article brushing away any comments regarding the anti-gay laws in Russia. He’ll also be leaving the ioc after the 2014 WOGs at the ripe old age of 70.

    The fact that a winning bid could be presented at a time when the country is being run by a socialist government probably sticks in his throat. Hence the swipe.

    Then again, he’s got nothing to worry about as there will probably be no bid.

    One last remark. He claims that the French are perceived as, <yawn>, ‘arrogant’. Seeing as he’s one of the longest serving Frenchman at the ioc, he probably contributed to that image by his own attitude….and by this interview!

    I wish him a long and bile free retirement. :P

  2. Revealed: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves'


    Revealed: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves'

    Exclusive: Abuse and exploitation of migrant workers preparing emirate for 2022

    World Cup construction 'will leave 4,000 migrant workers dead'

    Analysis: Qatar 2022 puts Fifa's reputation on the line

    Link to video: Qatar: the migrant workers forced to work for no pay in World Cup host countryDozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar's preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

    This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.

    According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.

    The investigation also reveals:

    Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.

    • Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

    • Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

    • Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

    • About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.

    The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world's most popular sporting tournament.

    "We'd like to leave, but the company won't let us," said one Nepalese migrant employed at Lusail City development, a $45bn (£28bn) city being built from scratch which will include the 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final. "I'm angry about how this company is treating us, but we're helpless. I regret coming here, but what to do? We were compelled to come just to make a living, but we've had no luck."

    The body tasked with organising the World Cup, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, told the Guardian that work had yet to begin on projects directly related to the World Cup. However, it said it was "deeply concerned with the allegations that have been made against certain contractors/sub-contractors working on Lusail City's construction site and considers this issue to be of the utmost seriousness". It added: "We have been informed that the relevant government authorities are conducting an investigation into the allegations."

    The Guardian's investigation also found men throughout the wider Qatari construction industry sleeping 12 to a room in places and getting sick through repulsive conditions in filthy hostels. Some say they have been forced to work without pay and left begging for food.

    "We were working on an empty stomach for 24 hours; 12 hours' work and then no food all night," said Ram Kumar Mahara, 27. "When I complained, my manager assaulted me, kicked me out of the labour camp I lived in and refused to pay me anything. I had to beg for food from other workers."

    Almost all migrant workers have huge debts from Nepal, accrued in order to pay recruitment agents for their jobs. The obligation to repay these debts, combined with the non-payment of wages, confiscation of documents and inability of workers to leave their place of work, constitute forced labour, a form of modern-day slavery estimated to affect up to 21 million people across the globe. So entrenched is this exploitation that the Nepalese ambassador to Qatar, Maya Kumari Sharma, recently described the emirate as an "open jail".

    Nepal-embassy-record-008.jpgRecord of deaths in July 2013, from all causes, held by the Nepalese embassy in Doha. Photograph: /guardian.co.uk

    "The evidence uncovered by the Guardian is clear proof of the use of systematic forced labour in Qatar," said Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International, which was founded in 1839. "In fact, these working conditions and the astonishing number of deaths of vulnerable workers go beyond forced labour to the slavery of old where human beings were treated as objects. There is no longer a risk that the World Cup might be built on forced labour. It is already happening."

    Qatar has the highest ratio of migrant workers to domestic population in the world: more than 90% of the workforce are immigrants and the country is expected to recruit up to 1.5 million more labourers to build the stadiums, roads, ports and hotels needed for the tournament. Nepalese account for about 40% of migrant labourers in Qatar. More than 100,000 Nepalese left for the emirate last year.

    The murky system of recruitment brokers in Asia and labour contractors in Qatar leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. The supreme committee has insisted that decent labour standards will be set for all World Cup contracts, but underneath it a complex web of project managers, construction firms and labour suppliers, employment contractors and recruitment agents operate.

    According to some estimates, Qatar will spend $100bn on infrastructure projects to support the World Cup. As well as nine state-of-the-art stadiums, the country has committed to $20bn worth of new roads, $4bn for a causeway connecting Qatar to Bahrain, $24bn for a high-speed rail network, and 55,000 hotel rooms to accommodate visiting fans and has almost completed a new airport.

    The World Cup is part of an even bigger programme of construction in Qatar designed to remake the tiny desert kingdom over the next two decades. Qatar has yet to start building stadiums for 2022, but has embarked on the big infrastructure projects likesuch as Lusail City that, according to the US project managers, Parsons, "will play a major role during the 2022 Fifa World Cup". The British engineering company Halcrow, part of the CH2M Hill group, is a lead consultant on the Lusail project responsible for "infrastructure design and construction supervision". CH2M Hill was recently appointed the official programme management consultant to the supreme committee. It says it has a "zero tolerance policy for the use of forced labour and other human trafficking practices".

    Halcrow said: "Our supervision role of specific construction packages ensures adherence to site contract regulation for health, safety and environment. The terms of employment of a contractor's labour force is not under our direct purview."

    Some Nepalese working at Lusail City tell desperate stories. They are saddled with huge debts they are paying back at interest rates of up to 36%, yet say they are forced to work without pay.

    "The company has kept two months' salary from each of us to stop us running away," said one man who gave his name as SBD and who works at the Lusail City marina. SBD said he was employed by a subcontractor that supplies labourers for the project. Some workers say their subcontrator has confiscated their passports and refused to issue the ID cards they are entitled to under Qatari law. "Our manager always promises he'll issue [our cards] 'next week'," added a scaffolder who said he had worked in Qatar for two years without being given an ID card.

    Without official documentation, migrant workers are in effect reduced to the status of illegal aliens, often unable to leave their place of work without fear of arrest and not entitled to any legal protection. Under the state-run kafala sponsorship system, workers are also unable to change jobs or leave the country without their sponsor company's permission.

    A third worker, who was equally reluctant to give his name for fear of reprisal, added: "We'd like to leave, but the company won't let us. If we run away, we become illegal and that makes it hard to find another job. The police could catch us at any time and send us back home. We can't get a resident permit if we leave."

    Other workers said they were forced to work long hours in temperatures of up to 50C (122F) without access to drinking water.

    grieving-parents-Nepal-007.jpgDalli Kahtri and her husband, Lil Man, hold photos of their sons, both of whom died while working as migrants in Malaysia and Qatar. Their younger son (foreground photo) died in Qatar from a heart attack, aged 20. Photograph: Peter Pattison/guardian.co.uk

    The Qatari labour ministry said it had strict rules governing working in the heat, the provision of labour and the prompt payment of salaries.

    "The ministry enforces this law through periodic inspections to ensure that workers have in fact received their wages in time. If a company does not comply with the law, the ministry applies penalties and refers the case to the judicial authorities."

    Lusail Real Estate Company said: "Lusail City will not tolerate breaches of labour or health and safety law. We continually instruct our contractors and their subcontractors of our expectations and their contractual obligations to both us and individual employees. The Guardian have highlighted potentially illegal activities employed by one subcontractor. We take these allegations very seriously and have referred the allegations to the appropriate authorities for investigation. Based on this investigation, we will take appropriate action against any individual or company who has found to have broken the law or contract with us."

    The workers' plight makes a mockery of concerns for the 2022 footballers.

    "Everyone is talking about the effect of Qatar's extreme heat on a few hundred footballers," said Umesh Upadhyaya, general secretary of the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions. "But they are ignoring the hardships, blood and sweat of thousands of migrant workers, who will be building the World Cup stadiums in shifts that can last eight times the length of a football match."

    • Read the official response to this story

    • The Guardian's investigation into modern-day slavery is supported by Humanity United. Click here for more information

  3. Are you ready to support a Rome bid after the undercover schemes operated by the Pescante/Berlusconi duo (and another candidate city btw, which wasn't the winner) against Paris 2012? You're so forgiving.

    Nice to see there still are some people who wouldn't mind helping persons who plunged their head in the water a few years ago. Not sure if that's your case.

    Likewise, if you expect French IOC members to back a Rome bid, then I think you have a very fertile imagination. Which can be a quality, don't get me wrong.

    Anyway, after so much absence in North America and total absence in Africa, I can't imagine 2024 to go back to Europe. Especially with the memorable trace left by London 2012. Hence why people were not talking much about the city you mentioned. :)

    I know how you feel Pixie.

    I very well remember the grubby agreement Bliar had with the lecherous Berlusconi back in 2004/5 which gave way to the Jowellgate affair.


    Those two clowns will go down in history as the most despised post-war politicians in their respective countries.

    And the Brits would still have you believe that they played clean!! :D

    Still, if the games had to go to Europe sometime in the future Rome would be as good a place as any. I believe it’s one of the most stunning cities in the world………after Paris! :P

    • Like 1
  4. Saw this article the other day (in French):


    Basically, the French NOC (CNOSF) and the sports minister, Valérie Fourneyron, aren't speaking to each other any more.

    It's all down to public funding which is drying up and the setting up of a national sports council.

    Last July Denis Masseglia, head of the CNOSF, actually walked out of two meeting with the sports minister.

    Doesn't really bode well for the future.

    Does it?

  5. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said late Sunday that the country could be "serious candidates" for 2024 with either Milan or Rome.

    I’m sure Italy will organize an extraordinary SOG in 2024 and wish them all the best.

    I look forward to travelling to Rome for the games.


  6. Well I am in the Netherlands, so I don't think I am so far from France (300 km) that I can't judge the situation. I watch French television, I read French newspaper and I still have a lot of friends in France. And I am in France twice a month.

    But to give an example. My specialty is astronautics: no perspective in France with the downscaling of the space sector. And when I moved from France to the Netherlands, my salary went up 100%. If I had been specialized in carving stones in gothic cathedrals or restoring XVIIIth century paintings or writing history books about French Occupation by Germany I think i would have had a better time finding work in France. So yes museum country.

    Hi hektor,

    Gothic cathedrals and 18th century paintings are precisely what bring visitors to France in droves. Not astronautics. Anyway, last time I looked Kourou was in France not Holland.

    May I suggest you try reading this book. It's a bit dated but still topical:


    I’ll stop there because we both run the risk of seriously going off topic….. :)

  7. Agree with everything you say. Except for one thing; London showed a great young and generational impetus that showed them too were passionate. If France started to trust young people more instead of pre-retired technocrats wanting to remain with each other, lots of progress would be made...

    Ah. The old « énarchie » debate!

    Bit of a chestnut, non?

    Then again, you may be right.

    But it’s not what lost us the 2012 bid.

    If you have time to spare (or waste! :D ) you might want to read the following books:




    I agree with your other post elsewhere, this ‘Paris 2024’ debate is slowly turning into an obsession for some.....

  8. It's sad to see that France thinks of itself like this

    :( Surely an Olympics could do you a power of good, to show the world & yourselves that France is still relevant & modern, to give France a lift. :)

    To be fair, only a minority like hektor, who doesn't live here btw, think of France as he does.

    The rest of us are quite proud of our country in spite of some of her failings.

    As for doing good, I agree that organising a SOG would have been quite uplifting.

    That's precisely why we bid in 2005 for 2012.

    Unfortunately the ioc preferred playing politics and Russian roulette rather than giving the games to the only city who was genuinely passionate about its bid.

    That was then.

    This is now.

    Today everyone here believes that the present political, economic and social climate isn't conducive to a successful bid for 2024.

    Too bad........

  9. The point with which I don't agree, is that France does not need the Games. France is an old country, a gloomy country, and is slowly turning into a kind of museum-country. I think that hosting the Games would inject a well-needed dose of dynamism and optimism to Paris and to the country.


    You sound like Donald Rumsfeld and his dim-witted president back in 2003!! :D (remember “the French don’t have a word for entrepreneur” ? :lol: )

    TGV, la carte à puce (smart card), ITER. . . .

    Hardly the achievements of a museum country!

    As for dynamism EDF, Vivendi, Orange etc are hoovering up utility companies the world over.

    I fail to see, like most of my countrymen, what a SOG would add in the immediate future.

  10. Even without indicating it's even thinking of bidding, Paris is the common city on just about everyone's list of early favourites. In the atmosphere after the vote yesterday, it definitely is one city that just has to say Oui and it would be installed to frontrunner status in many people's minds.

    Every French member on this board though says it's not under consideration or has much popular support to go. We all probably hope they'll go for it, but I can see why they might be a bit gun-shy, and it's up to them to go for it or not.

    If there’s one lesson we’ve learnt from previous experience it’s that bidding for a SOG is a filthy, dirty and brutal affair (2005 is the perfect example) with the prize, usually but not always, going to the filthiest, dirtiest and most brutal bidder.

    Quite frankly it’s a bother we can well do without.

    Besides, holding a SOG means three things:

    - locking down a city for two months and turning it into a target for every loony terrorist on the globe

    - handing the keys to a group of men and women, the ioc, who haven’t been the friendliest of people to us (Rogge gave an interview back in September 2005 to l’Equipe Magazine in which he basically spat in the eye of the French bidding team. We’re still reeling from that interview today….)

    - and spending an inordinate amount of money for the privilege, money that will never be recouped whatever some might say.

    It’s a ‘privilege’ we can well do without in the present climate.

    There are also the domestic issues. François Hollande was elected with the smallest of majorities in 2012 and his only solutions to France’s economic woes were to increase taxes. So much so that after twelve months in office he has reached a level of unpopularity which it took Sarkozy four years to reach previously! With local and mayoral elections looming in 2014 the last thing the French elector wants is new spending. Any candidate who so much as mentions the word ‘Olympics’ runs the real risk of being voted out of office!

    Neither is being a frontrunner or a favourite necessarily the cosy trip it’s made out to be as we well know. When you’re a favourite you seem to be spending more time fending off attacks than trying to put your message through to the ioc. Again, why bother?

    It’s not like we really needed the games after all. We might be happy to host the games, even be proud to host them but don’t really need them. Paris is already the most visited city in the world. It’s the capital of style and glamour. It’s where every woman wants to be taken to! :wub: It’s the city that put the ‘A’ in A-list! So it’s not like we needed to be on the map. We’re already there!

    If you add to the equation the fact that France already hosts a bevy of internationally known sporting events (TDF, Roland-Garros, 24h du Mans, le Vendée Globe, la Route du Rhum, Grand Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, etc, not forgetting our role in football, rugby, handball….) the argument for going through the mangle of bidding then hosting an event such as the SOG really starts to lose its attraction.

    Then again, I may be completely wrong and Paris will be bidding for 2024!! :D

  11. Paris is the capitol of the world, not a single man dies without ever seeing Paris. For the Olympics to not go there is a crime on all cities.


    Why, thank you kind sir!


    One of the main reasons the 2012 bid failed was due to the fact that Paris played it too safe.

    Very true.

    ..they have learned their lesson.

    Wise words......

  12. It's not just Rome though, there's strong reason to suspect we'll get a bunch of Euro bidders, including Paris, if Madrid misses out.

    I think you're jumping the gun a little too quickly there SR. As I said elsewhere there's little or no chance that Paris will be bidding for 2024 even if Tokyo does get the nod....again. The reasons are manifold and too numerous to list, mainly economics and political. Also the mood just isn't there any more....

  13. Les JOJ sont une belle arnaque, ça n'intéresse personne, pas étonnant que le CIO ne trouve personne, il n'y aucune intérêt la dedans...

    Killy est un homme du passé, il a mené Albertville à la victoire, on le disait être le Monsieur JO d'hiver, qu'on l'écoute à ce niveau là, résultat 7 votes... A croire qu'il a dit de ne pas voter pour la France... pourtant je pense qu'en terme de JO d'hiver on partait avec bien plus de facilité que les Coréens... Guy Drut est aussi un homme du passé, entaché d'un scandale au CIO, bref on ferait mieux de le remplacer...

    Le CIO à force de mépriser les pays qui ont fait sa gloire (USA, France...) ils finiront par se faire manger pas des évènements "privés" qui deviennent de plus en plus populaire et dépasse les JO. L'exemple parfait est les Xgames aux USA qui sont entrain de devenir bien plus populaire et surtout bien plus rentable que les JO... Je ne souhaite qu'une chose que certain pays fort quittent le CIO et que les JO deviennent un évènement de seconde zone... Il n'y a qu'un seul candidat pour 2020 bizarre...

    Totalement d'accord avec tout ce que tu dis Tulsa.

    Rien à redire.

    Désolé pour Annecy mais j'ai également le sentiment que sa perte était courue d'avance.....

  14. C'est pas avec Bertrand Delanoé que Paris pourra gagner... Veulent ils seulement tenter l'aventure?

    BD a été relativement claire, il n'a nullement l'intention de présider ou diriger une nouvelle candidature pour Paris (maintenant que ses ambitions présidentielles sont passées à la trappe!!).

    Il laissera ce privilège à d'autres.

    Tout est dit les JO sont à vendre.

    C'est maintenant que tu t'en aperçois?

    Quand j'ai vu la dégueulasserie qu'a été la course pour 2012, je m'en suis tout de suite rendu compte!

    2018 Pyeongchang (Acheté par Samsung et le gouvernement Coréen...)

    A leur décharge, cela faisait quand même 3 fois qu'ils se présentaient.

    Tant mieux pour eux et tant pis pour nous.....

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