Friday, April 08, 2005
Paris Pooh Poohs Pope
PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) - As Catholics mourned the death of Pope John Paul, French leftwingers and a major teaching union criticised the government on Monday for ordering flags on public buildings to be lowered in a sign of respect.
Socialist senator Jean-Luc Melenchon and Yves Contassot, a senior Green party member on the Paris City Council, said the government had abused its powers in ordering the official tribute to the Pope, who died on Saturday.
The Unsa union said the government was guilty of double standards having ordered schools to take part in the tribute to a religious leader but banned Muslim headscarves in state schools in a drive to keep schools firmly secular.
"Let the Christians pay tribute to the head of their church, it's a private matter," Contassot told France Inter radio.
"Today, we have a government and a head of state who, clearly, for political reasons, are trying to take advantage of an issue that is a private matter," he said.
Private matter? You can see the queues from space. The remainder of the article discusses French precedent for lowering the flag - not that they should have to justify themselves to these miscreants.
I'd report Paris Indymedia's take on it if I could understand it, however it's down now anyway.
(Hat tip: Scott, The Environmental Republican)