Archive for September, 2011

“Autolib”, Public car sharing scheme to launch in Paris Oct 1

September 28th, 2011 1 comment

Autolib is a new public car sharing scheme that will launch in Paris at a limited number of places this Saturday October 1st. Its name from comes “Vélib” (vélo + liberté = bike + freedom), so it means “car freedom”.

Stations will be opening gradually throughout Paris, with the network completion date set for May 31, 2012.

The total number will be around 1120 stations throughout the region, with on average 6 cars per station, where they can be recharged. There will be a clear touch screen at each station to help customers with the steps for renting. As you could expect, they’re also hiring.

You can see some preview pictures here and below. Below the pictures you’ll see an article in French describing the launch.

You can also read this New York Times article from April that mentions the program.

Les Autolib de Bolloré en avance sur le timing
le 27 septembre 2011

Les premières voitures électriques en libre-service Autolib, conçues par le groupe Bolloré, circuleront dans les rues de Paris dès le samedi 1er octobre, soit deux mois avant le lancement précédemment annoncé. A l’occasion de la Nuit blanche parisienne, 66 Blue Car seront mises en service et 33 stations ouvertes, avant une montée en puissance progressive. Le Syndicat mixte Autolib avait signé le 25 février dernier une convention de délégation de service public avec le groupe Bolloré, qui va investir 50 millions d’euros dans l’affaire et prendre en charge l’entretien et l’assurance des véhicules. Vincent Bolloré, PDG du groupe, a affirmé au début de l’année que d’ici à 2016, jusqu’à 5 000 véhicules électriques pourraient être offerts en libre-service à Paris et dans sa banlieue. Le prix de l’abonnement devrait être de 7 euros la demi-heure et des abonnements mensuel et hebdomadaire seront aussi proposés.

Expat relocation workshop in Paris Oct 1

September 27th, 2011 6 comments

The “BLOOM Where You’re Planted” seminar and workshop is annual event organized by the Women of the American Church of Paris (WOAC). They have an all-day program full of workshops on adjusting to expat life in France.

It will take place this Saturday Oct. 1 at the American Church of Paris (in the 7th arrondissement).

You can find more details about the event here.

Nicolas Sarkozy in the US for bilateral talks and visit

September 23rd, 2011 No comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been in the US over the past couple days on a diplomatic visit.

He met with President Barack Obama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on September 21. Their remarks are below.

He also joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “to celebrate 125 years of friendship between France and NYC.”

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 21, 2011
Remarks by President Obama and President Sarkozy of France

Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York, New York

4:53 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA: On the anniversary of September 11th, President Sarkozy gave a speech at our embassy in Paris, and he reminded the people of France, but also the world, of the extraordinary friendship that had developed, in part, because of the great sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made over the decades to preserve freedom and democracy. And so, not only am I grateful for the expression of deep friendship that President Sarkozy expressed, but I want to affirm the mutuality of feeling that we have towards the French people.

That partnership has been evidenced by the extraordinary work that we’ve done together in Libya. And I want to thank President Sarkozy for his leadership, as a coalition helped the Libyan people achieve the kind of freedom and opportunity that they’re looking for. That partnership is evidenced in the work we did together in Côte d’Ivoire to ensure that the rightfully elected leader of that country was put in place. And our partnership and our mutual leadership will be required to deal with a range of international issues that have been discussed here at the United Nations and are going to be critical in the months and years to come, including trying to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also trying to find a coordinated world strategy, global strategy, to deal with a economy that is still far too fragile.

And, of course, we still have the joint project to bring stability and transition to Afghan governance. And we are extraordinarily grateful for the sacrifices that the men and women in uniform from France have made in that effort.

On a personal note, I consider Nicolas a friend as well as a colleague. Thank you for your leadership. Welcome. And I look forward to a very productive discussion.

PRESIDENT SARKOZY: (As translated.) I should like to say just how delighted we are to be here in the United States, in New York, alongside Barack Obama.

Now, for we, the people of France, I must say, it’s actually easy to work with Barack Obama. Whatever the crises we’ve had to face together, whatever the initiatives we have taken jointly, on every single occasion we have found a listening, open-minded attitude on the part of our friend, Barack Obama. In particular, when tackling the crisis, which is still upon us today, the leadership that President Obama has shown, and showed at the time, have been of a special value to us all.

There is still much to do, in particular in paving the way to the G20 summit in Cannes. This is our priority; our number-one priority — let me make this very clear — is to find the path to growth worldwide.

Lastly, I wish to say to what extent I am sensitive to the boldness, the courage, the intelligence, and the sensitivity of President Obama, my friend. I liked him before his election; I liked him once he was elected; and I especially appreciate him now, when the tough times are upon us.

And there’s one thing I want to say, perhaps on a more personal note, and that I really mean from the bottom of my heart. When things are as tough as they are right now, when the going gets as tough as it is right now, it is especially precious and important to be able to speak to what is the world’s number-one power — to someone who listens; someone who is sensitive to others; someone who is respectful and aware of other people’s redlines and prepared to take them into account, especially at a time when, as I said, we are facing fresh difficulties, and we really need, together, to go forward.

(Speaking in English.) She speaks like me. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much.

5:02 P.M. EDT

Sep 11 memorial commemorations in France

September 9th, 2011 No comments

I hope this somber anniversary we will be safe in remembering those lost. As we move closer to a sense of closure, we can’t forget to move forward positively.

The BBC has a special report on this year’s annivesary, the Economist as well.

French daily Figaro also has a special dossier.

The famous French daily Le Monde printed a moving op-ed the day after the attacks of September 11, 2001 (available in English here, image of newspaper cover here).

Ten years later, the French have not forgotten their old ally in commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks. There are several events throughout the country. These are a selection. If you have more, feel free to post in the comments section for all to see.

The American Embassy in Paris also has a very informative page on 9/11 in Paris.

-Sep 11, 4:30-7:30pm: The American Church in Paris Sep 11 “Becoming a Blessing”

-On Sep. 11 at Paris Trocadero, a French association will be honoring the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with small replicas of the Twin Towers. Information can be found on Facebook, from FACC Chicago and this website.

-Sep 11, 11am Grenoble region: Association France-Etats Unis with Peachtree Fire Department of Georgia. Event PDF

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