27 August, 2014

Angers university not favourable to the austerity policy of the new French government

Le récent remaniement ministériel, bien qu'incarné par des changements de personnalités, est aussi le reflet d'une divergence à propos de l'intérêt de la politique d'austérité budgétaire que le gouvernement veut engager. Un enseignant de l'université d'Angers a été consulté à ce sujet. Son avis n'est pas favorable à la ligne d'austérité promue par le premier ministre Manuel Valls reconduit dans ses fonctions.

The recent changes in French government make-up, as dramatic as they could be, were nevertheless due to a public split about the efficiency of budgetary austerity that one is the promoter. That point was submitted by the daily Le Figaro to some economic researchers and, among them, David Cayla, member of the Groupe de recherches angevin en économie et en management (Granem). Mr. Cayla was questioned by the newspaper about the effects of austerity measures on public deficit. Those measures apparently do not match the Granem researcher's approval.

That one is rather perplexed : "An austerity policy has few consequences on the deficit", thinks the Angevin

researcher who recommends "an economic boost and growth policy" supported by Arnaud Montebourg, the ousted Economy French minister. David Cayla also considers that the decrease of inflation is favourable to those who lend money instead of those who borrow money. Mr Cayla ads, in order to illustrate the uselessness of austerity that "the freeze of wages in civil service has no effect on economy".

Regarding the consequences of austerity programme on medium and popular households, Mr Cayla considers that lower social cotisations are "profits" for companies implemented by the government in order to increase investments. But that is not true, points out Mr. Cayla who recommends "an increase of minimal wages for households as a compensation of decrease of social cotisations for companies".

The Granem delegate was one of three researchers Le Figaro consulted over France. Others were one liberal and the other left think-tank. The Granem is a multidisciplinary team in economy, management and sociology. It includes 122 members, teachers, researchers and PhD students coming from Angers university and the National Institute in Horticulture and Landscape.

23 August, 2014

Middle-East confrontations in the centre of the Angers political summer

La trêve estivale observée dans le champ de la politique locale a été compensée par plusieurs initiatives découlant de la détérioration de la situation au Moyen-Orient. Divers appels et manifestations relatifs à la situation des Chrétiens et Yazidis d'Irak et de Syrie d'une part, aux populations palestiniennes prises entre les feux d'Israel et du Hamas d'autre part ont occupé cet été le devant de la scene angevine.

Apparently, the demonstration summoned in support of the Palestinian population in Gaza last August 22nd in Ralliement square was less attended than foreseen. While around 500 persons were there to the previous rally on August 9th, they were less than 200 last friday. Between those two dates, the Hamas, the religious armed movement settled in Gaza, recognized it was the author of the abduction and the death of three young Israelis which led later their country to retaliate against the muslim militia. Recently that one has announced that it had executed 18 Palestinian people because of the suspected support to Israel.

Nevertheless, right through, Angers, as other French cities, is the theatre of demonstrations related to the current middle-East atrocities. The massacres of Christian then Yazidi minorities in Syrian and Iraki territories by terrorists favourable to an Islamic State in Irak and Syria (Isis) led the president of the Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire, Christian Gillet, to launch an appeal for assistance to the persecuted Christians of those two states. Then the local medias reported that some Angers Muslims attended (with opportunism?) the Assumption service in the Angers cathedral. A few days later, the Angers representatives of a Yazidi community reminded publicly the dreadful fate of their co-religionists in Irak.

While the summer break comes to an end, it is possible that new demonstrations will be summoned in the weeks to come given no calming down is in sight in Irak and Syria as well as in the Gaza territory of Palestine. Already some Angers movements had, during the summer, pointed out their different analysis regarding the responsabilities in the Israel and Palestinan conflict (the Angers association "Two peoples two states" on one side, the "France Palestine Solidarité 49" on the other). The Angers decision-makers will have to monitor that the legitimate interest of some Angers inhabitants for those conflicts must not worsen and turn in the import of those conflicting debates in town.

22 August, 2014

Royal bones and bottles of wine

Les analyses des ossements de Richard III, découverts en 2012, révèlent que le dernier monarque Plantagenet d'Angleterre aimait bien boire.

While Angers medias didn't pay much attention to the 2012 discovery of Richard III's remains, the latest
Plantagenet king of England died in 1485, their English counterparts have had exactly the opposite behaviour. Hundreds of articles have been dedicated on the other side of the channel to the informations got after the analysis of the royal bones. Numerous English (and American) newspapers and tv channels reported the taste of Richard III for luxury goods and, as a descendant of the Angers culture,... wine.

"The pressures of ruling a country must be difficult - so it's perhaps no surprise that King Richard III turned to alcohol to drown his sorrows", writes The Telegraph adding that "he drank a bottle of wine a day". Moreover, "the monarch enjoyed a decadent menu including swans, heron, egret and freshwater fish such as pike, all washed down with up to three litres of alcohol a day. Nevetheless high alcohol consumption was hoever not unusual in the 15th century when beer and wine were safer to drink than water. Such drinks also tended to be weaker than today".

That alcoholic penchant was, according to the scientific studies, more visible in the end of Richard III whose reign only last two years (1483-1485). King Roi René d'Anjou, a contemporay of Richard III, would have probably approved.

20 August, 2014

Angers prepares the start of the school year

Au cours des semaines à venir, la ville d'Angers va accueillir plus de 30 000 étudiants. Plusieurs manifestations festives qui visent à faciliter l'intégration de ces jeunes dans leur nouvel environnement sont prévues. 

If Angers students are preparing their way back to school, Angers city is preparing the way back of students.  And they are 30,000 in town.The events it planned in that field associate the university and the different schools. City and education authorities aim to welcome students in order to make their life easier during the next ten months. A "welcome pack", in limited quantity, will give them all the sports (free entrances or discounted tickets in swimming pools, ice-skate or professionnal matches) and culture (museums, libraries, events) facilities available in Angers. But the candidates must fulfill an application form before September 18th.

Several concerts are also planned. Those who start their higher studies in September will be get a free ticket for a concert at the Chabada hall between September and December and all of them are invited to a welcome concert of Eastern music in that place on October 2nd with the Kadebostany Republic band. Before that, another highlight will take place : the Campus Day on September 25th. Picnic, sport challenges, plays, danse and miscellaneous hustel-and-bustle are planned under the patronage of numerous Angers university partners.

Some of the educational authorities will also organize a student orientation week. After that one, it well be time to get back to work!

18 August, 2014

English as main course of lunch-break at the municipal institute

L'Institut municipal d'Angers ajoute à la palette de ses formations en anglais une formule déjeuner en vue de la rentrée prochaine. Cette langue n'est pas si indigeste.

The Angers municipal institute will soon offer to inhabitants wishing to improve their English an original formula for the scholar year to come. Many adults attend conferences and lectures taught by the institute but they include a lot of persons who work and do not have time to dedicate additional hours after they left their offices or workshops. The idea consists in lectures at lunch time.

Those will be led by Mrs. Bonhours. The lectures enable the learners to use their knowledges with dialogs, role-playings, theatre plays, games and presentations. Each session approximately lasts 60 minutes. About ten kinds of charged lectures in english for different levels and with different contents are already planned by the institue for the next year.  Four no charged lectures are also in the programme.

Four history conferences in english will also take place during the next scholar year. They will be about the" Stuart England : civil war and revolution" (1603-1714). Since 1885, the Angers municipal institute offers trainings and cultural programmes as well as lectures to small audiences. English is the largest offer of the institute in the field of languages.

17 August, 2014

Angers will host a world horticultural event favourable to the international city recognition

Au plus creux de l'été, Angers a peut être gagné l'opportunité majeure d'une reconnaissance internationale qu'elle recherche depuis de nombreuses d'années. Elle accueillera en 2022 un événement scientifique et industriel de notoriété mondiale : le congrès international d'horticulture. Quelque 3,000 personnes sont attendues. 

Angers has get a fantastic opportunity to pull itself at the level of international identification it looked for during years. In 2022, the city will host the International Horticultural Congress, a world gathering of scientifics as well as educators, students and horticultural industry professionals. Such congress is planned every four years. The late took place in Brisbane (Australia) on 17-22 August, the next (2018) will be hosted by Istanbul and the following be located in Angers four years later. The congress is organized by the International Society for Horticultural Science (Ishs) whose 7,500 members covers the world. They include a substantial number of institutions and fifty countries. The Ishs is a major source of up-to-date information on global horticultural research.

The Angers mayor, Christophe Béchu, made no mistake about it. "By choosing Angers and France to host that congress, the Ishs recognizes the importance of the plant sector in our territory, a booming sector for economical, touristic, political attractiveness. The Anjou has considered the plant sector as a priority. That choice is now awarded by the reception of a major international event", said Mr. Béchu after he was told about the choice of Angers by the board of the Ishs. For 2022, the Anjou capital was in competition with... Beijing! That candidacy was promoted in Brisbane by an Angers delegation of researchers coming from the AgroCampus Ouest, the Centre de coopération international en recherche agronomique pour le développement, the Institut national pour la recherche agronomique, Vegepolys and the Angers convention bureau Angers Loire Tourisme as well as a chef, Val d'Evre Traiteur.

Locally, the plant industry incorporates 4,000 companies, 25,000 jobs, 450 researchers and 2,500 students while Vegepolys is one of the eleven world competitiveness hubs and one of the five in the horticultural "fields". The choice of Angers was far from to be won in advance. One year ago, the local decision-makers, and among them Mr. Béchu, had hard-won the presence of the Institut national des appellations d'origine contrôlées (Inao) bureau in Angers after that authority was due to leave for another destination. Now the city has more than a term to prepare itself to what could be a rare opportunity to get international acknowledgement.

10 August, 2014

Richard III, the last link between Angers and UK history, ressuscited with official funerals

Les restes du dernier roi Plantagenet d'Angleterre, Richard III, découverts en 2012 sous un parking de Leicester, seront officiellement mis en terre dans la cathédrale de cette ville en mars 2015. Avec la mort de Richard III, sévèrement dépeint par Shakespeare comme un tyran prêt à tout pour conquérir le pouvoir, s'éteignent les 331 ans de présence d'une famille d'origine angevine sur le trône d'Angleterre. La découverte des restes de ce souverain controversé ressuscitera-t-elle les liens entre Angers et le Royaume-Uni?

The last Plantagenet English king, Richard III, whose remains had been found two years ago under a car park in Leicester, will be buried like the others English sovereigns. Richard III, depicted by Shakespeare as a harsh king, was the ultimate heir of that first English royal dynasty which ruled the country from 1154 until 1485. The Plantagenet king was defeated by Henry VII, the leader of a new dynasty, the Tudors. The character of Richard III was revived by pure chance in Angers city two years ago, during the Accroche-Coeurs event, because of his responsability in Edouard IV's death, another character of the Plantagenet dynasty who could also claim to be the king of England.

The discovery of Richard III's remains put an end two a 500 years mystery about the circumstances of his death. The king was killed by Henry VII at the Bosthworth battle ("My kingdom for a horse" was his last statement before his death, in Shakes-peare's play) but since nobody had ever located it. For a long time, its was believed the former king's body had been thrown away in a river. In fact, he had been buried under the ground floor of a monastery. That was was a long time ago demolished and had left place to a car park. When that car park was in its turn demolished, archeologists found the structures of the monastery and, just in its center, a skeleton was brought to light.

Credit pictures : Leicester University

After Adn ana-ysis of the bones - and their comparison with Richard III descen-dants' Adn - it became obvious in February 2013 that the mysterious monarch had been discovered. He will be buried - definitely this time - in Leicester cathedral at the end of March 2015. And the English Channel 4 will dedicate a full week to Richard III.

08 August, 2014

Celebrations through exhibitions

Les années qui séparent 2014 de 2018 seront marquées à Angers comme en France, par de nombreuses cérémonies officielles. Celles-ci sont maintenant relayées par des événements plus culturels dont l'effet sur la mémoire collective est tout aussi effectif. 

Angers city is going to commemorate on August 7th its liberation by the American army in 1944. That event is part of regular anniversaries at local and national levels of historical facts dating back, for most of them, to the second and first world wars, more or less happy. On May 8th, the city, as France, had commemorated the German surrender. And on November 11th, the city will celebrate the armistice ending the first world war. Recently Angers paid tribute to Western fellow citizens, from supposed or true Jewish asccendance, who were deported towards extermination camps.

If celebrations of events whose contem-poraries are still living are normal, and even desirable, those related to facts definitevely part of history like the mobilization and the armistice, should be questioned given all their witnesses or participants are dead. This is the case with the first word war. In Uk, no such anniversaries are celebrated, even if the country faced heavy human losses during the first world war.

Angers town hall displays an exhibition about the liberation of the city which took place in August 1944 and another one about the first world war based on collections of families reminders (letters, postcards, pictures, miscellaneous items) which could be more effective on the yout collective memory. If history has to be regularly revisited, for celebrations of history, it could also be the same. If it important to be faithful to the past, it is not useful to be trapped by it because the over-sublimated France past will not come back.

07 August, 2014

Worrying clouds in the Angers economic sky

Les nuages pourraient s'amonceler dans le ciel de l'économie angevine à la rentrée. Une entreprise locale de plus de 100 personnes va disparaître. Les sociétés de travaux publics redoutent les difficultés financières des collectivités locales. Et la décision relative au choix d'Angers comme lieu de fabrication du compteur électrique intelligent se fait attendre...

The return from the summer holidays could be a little bit sobering for the Angers economy. One of the subsidiaries of Altia Industry (the French manufacturer of shopping carts, itself in voluntary liquidation) settled in Angers, has been put in liquidation by the city commercial court. It employed more than 100 persons. The business will continue until September 30th. 

A few days after the decision of the court, the president of the public works companies, Luc Durand, stated he was worried by the activity of his affiliates. These companies, which work frequently with territorial authorities, hear that their customers had no more money for, by example, the maintenance of the roads. But, he says, the works will be more costly if there is no maintenance during ten years. "The representatives have no long range vision. They act according to the electoral calendar. We will all die in", complains Mr. Durand. 

And, as that were not sufficient, it seems that the award of the contract for the manu-facturing of Linky, the intelligent electric meter, is far from to be done. So the re-industrialization of the Thomson site is unresolved. A decision was expected in June, then July. "Nothing will intervene before the end of the summer break", predicted the deputy president of the Angers Loire Métropole authority, Jean-Pierre Berheim. A trade union leader, Michel Bouyer, feels that "the hypothesis Linky becomes more and more unlikely". 

03 August, 2014

Happy Birthday

Angers Daily News wishes an happy birthday to Christine Misfud, one of its faithful followers.
Edgar Girondin

02 August, 2014

Empire slates building

L'un des plus somptueux hôtels du monde vient d'être inauguré à Paris. Le Peninsula, propriété de deux consortiums asiatiques, a demandé six ans de préparation et de travaux. Au nombre de ceux-ci figurent les toitures de l'hôtel entièrement recourvertes par les défuntes ardoises d'Angers Trélazé.

After four years of works, themselves arrived after two years of preparation, one of the most finest hotels of the world has been opened in Paris on August 1st. Two Asian groups have invested around 900 millions euros in the complete renovation and settings of the Peninsula hotel including 200 rooms combining the latest communication technologies and the finest hand-made know-how. Among those there are the famous and now deceased Angers-Trélazé slates.

One part of the roof of the Peninsula, located on Kleber avenue, has been completely renovated while
another part has been created, both with the slates sold by the centenary company Ardoisières d'Angers, making the new roof absolutely identical to the original one, set in 1908. The Angers-Trélazé mine has been definitively closed because of the exhaustion of raw materials. Only some veins would be preserved for the restoration of official buildings. So the Peninsula hotels is one of the latest buildings to be covered with Angers-Trélazé slates.

About 100,000 slates have been necessary to constitue the roof. Some of them have been hand-carved like scales of fish in order to fit with the shapes and the curbs of the structure. And  sprinkled blue and white bricks of the L'Oiseau blanc courtyard have been themselves be produced by an Anjou company.

01 August, 2014

Afone all over town

La ville d'Angers a chargé l'opérateur Afone de doter la ville d'un réseau internet haut débit en accès libre. Les habitants pourront ainsi bénéficier sur leur smartphone ou leur tablette d'une très large gamme de services. Pour la société angevine, l'initiative de la ville peut augurer d'autres marchés pour son réseau, WifiLib.

About one month after it was chosen by the French government to host the first city of connected items, Angers city has renewed its commitment to develop the electronic communications and the numerical economy. To do so, the city council has entrusted a local company, Afone, to spread out a network all over the town. Last year, the operateur had already settled several dozens of terminals in down town allowing internauts to be connected without subscription to a network 100 times more powerful than the usual networks for households.

Credit pictures : Afone and Angers city
With the enlargement of the network range, much more numerous holders of smartphones or tablets will get the opportunity to stay in touch to internet, to have access to videos and this, for free. The only formality is to enter his profile one time only. That one includes datas about the hobbies and interests of the internauts who will receive news related to their expectations, their tastes and the places they are with geo localization. Those services are themselves conceived by companies dedicated in telemonitoring, health, education...

Afone bets on the development of the needs in numerical technologies which, according to Eurepean surveys will soar until 2017. The Angers operator is in touch with other French cities themselves interested with its network, the WifiLib. Angers looks to be for Afone a propicious place because 50,000 students live there who are born with the no charged internet access era. The contract has been signed for ten years.

Afone was created in 1997 and got eigh years later its licence of operator. The company was the first to launch an offer dedicated to retail store keepers and self employed professionals. In 2009, the Afone gave to individuals access to a mobile phone offer. The 2012 turnover of Afone was 83 millions euros with 12,000 customers.