Debbie and I are at Le Bristol, Paris just a few blocks down from Élysée Palace, the official residence of the French president. During the last French presidential election, we were able to stand directly in front of the Élysée’s front-entrance gate while celebrity interviews were underway. Later on, with no real sense of urgency the National Police (NP) asked us to move on. How things in Paris have changed. Last evening on the way out to dinner at the Plaza Athenee (La Relais Plaza brassiere), the NP rerouted our walk away from the street we had often taken in the past, which is now closed to auto and pedestrian traffic. As rain began to fall, we ducked into a doorway to await its passing. In front of us were two loaded NP police vans and a couple of far from inconspicuous “plain clothes” cars sitting on stakeout for god knows what. Down on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, police barricades prevented any movement in either direction near the presidential residence.
So you get the picture of change. “Official” Paris seems to be on high alert this morning due to a combination of recent tragic instances instigated by Paris’ radical Muslim population and the recent European wave of “economic immigrants” from the Middle East and North Africa. I recently posted a formula from ex-Cia operative Michael Scheuer for dealing with the immigrant wave.
Angela Merkel is telling members of the EU that Germany is willing to take in one million of the Middle Eastern and North African Immigrants. Among the many problems here is that Merkel will not be able to sort out potential ISIS infiltrators nor be able to prevent this radical group from sifting into any other EU country because of the open border policy instigated by the formation of the EU. For years, Europe’s far right nationalistic parties have been up in arms because of the immigration problem. Marine Le Pen is stridently vocal in her party’s (FN) demands to seal French borders, deport radical Muslim troublemakers, and pull France out of the EU. Le Pen has support all over Europe from emerging nationalistic parties, headed by Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.
On our way into Paris from Charles De Gaulle Airport yesterday, our driver told Debbie and me how “worried” he is about the burgeoning Muslim immigration crisis for France in particular and Europe in general. Patrick’s perfect English had us thinking he was from the U.S., mais non, he was born and raised in Paris and is fluent in four or five other languages. Today we look forward to speaking with an array of French citizens in the hospitality and small business community as well as local Parisian residents and travelers from around the world. We will be able to get an even clearer sense of the tone on the immigration and radical Muslim issue and what it means for France, Europe in general, the euro, and the fate of the EU itself.
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