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Author Topic: France's new PM is a railway enthusiast!  (Read 363 times)
Hal
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« on: July 03, 2020, 04:41:03 pm »

Jean Castex, appointed Prime Minister of France today, is apparently a railway enthusiast. According to Le Figaro’s portrait of him, he has written a book about the famous Little Yellow Train that runs over a spectacular route in the eastern Pyrenees.

Castex is also mayor of the nearby town of Prades, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that he should be promoting one of the region’s great tourist attractions.

But Castex is best known as the minister for unlockdowning post-Covid in president Emmanuel Macron’s government. His strategy for taking France back to normality - or as near as possible - has attracted considerable admiration.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 04:45:17 pm »

I hadn't even heard they had a new PM. But most of all, I want to know the French for "unlockdowning".  Cheesy
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
Hal
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 04:46:32 pm »

Deconfinement (with acute accent on the E).
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2020, 01:57:56 pm »

Jean Castex, appointed Prime Minister of France today, is apparently a railway enthusiast. According to Le Figaro’s portrait of him, he has written a book about the famous Little Yellow Train that runs over a spectacular route in the eastern Pyrenees.

Castex is also mayor of the nearby town of Prades, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that he should be promoting one of the region’s great tourist attractions.

But Castex is best known as the minister for unlockdowning post-Covid in president Emmanuel Macron’s government. His strategy for taking France back to normality - or as near as possible - has attracted considerable admiration.

I wonder if that is a book for enthusiasts. It's called La ligne de chemin de fer de Perpignan à Villefranche-de-Conflent (Prélude de la ligne de Cerdagne), so it's about the line from Perpignan up to Villefranche where le petit Train jaune starts. That's the same line that runs through Millas, now so tragically well known. The book is really about the building of the line from 1863 to 1877, including all the politics, so perhaps more of a technocrat's book.

Which would fit the man, a classic French technocrat - he studied history, then politics (Sciences-Po) then via ENA into the civil service. He won a place at the Cour des comptes, but chose a career in health administration - hence his role as M. déconfinement. Now (or up to yesterday) he's not only mayor of Prades, but president of the communauté de communes Conflent Canigó covering the area around Prades and including Villefranche-de-Conflent (5 km up the valley), and conseiller départemental (sort of county councillor) representing Pyrénées Catalanes (which includes the whole route of le petit Train jaune). He has been a regional councillor, and an unsuccessful parliamentary candiate, in the past; always politically a Conservative.

Castex, by the way, is a small village about 100 km west of Prades, in the Gers which is the area he comes from.
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