A dictionary of France,
including institutions, places, a few significant people (excluding
film stars and "people" people), French specialities, and a selection
of other useful or intriguing expressions....
L’Oréal is France’s and the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty
company. In 2006, it took over the Body Shop in a move that angered
many of the
latter’s customers, since L’Oréal uses animal testing in its
laboratories – a
practice contrary to the Body Shop ethic. L’Oréal is a CAC 40
company. L'Oreal is owned 30% by the
Bettencourt family and 26% by Nestlé. In 2010, chief shareholder
Bettencourt, daughter of the company's founder, was at the
centre of a media frenzy over allegations of tax evasion and political
involving President Sarkozy's Minister for the Budget Eric Woerth.
Born 1940. The Passionaria
of French politics in the last third of the 20th Century. A
Trotskyist, she was the high-profile leader of the left-wing Lutte
(LO) political party for over 30 years, and holds the record for the
number of times she has stood as a candidate in Presidential elections,
six. In 2002, she polled over 5% of the vote.
: Many people in France get passionate about the principle of laïcité
to a degree that their neighbours often find hard to understand. Laïcité
litterally translates as ‘secularism’, and refers
to the principal of
the separation of church and state, and the fact that there is no
established religion in France. Most frequently, the term is nowadays
used in two contexts, on the one hand as a reminder that there is no
place for religious instruction in the state education system, and on
the other to counter the development of Islamic fundamentalism.
It has often been argued that the issue
arouses such heated passions among some of its activists inFrance, that
it is almost a religion in its own right, a form of atheism.
Passions over laïcité
are a heritage of the years of the French Revolution, notably the time
of the Terror, when religion was temporarily outlawed. The principle of
education was established in 1881 by the Jules Ferry
law, and the separation of church and state finally established by law
in 1905. While the Communist party, and other far left
are the most stalwart defenders of laicité
in modern France,
politicians of all parties, both left and right, regularly express
their attachment to the principle. The principle of laïcité
is one that applies to public life, and does not infringe on the
individual's right to practice religion.
Born 1946. Lalonde was the first "green" politician
France to gain a position of influence in French government. President
of the Student Union UNEF during the events of 1968, he later founded
the French branch of Friends of the Earth, and subsequently became a
Greenpeace activist, campaiging against French nuclear tests in the
south Pacific. He was director of campaign for the first green
candidate in a presidential election, René Dumont in 1974,
subsequently ran for president himself. In 1990, he founded the first
successful Green party, called Génération
and was appointed Minister of the environment in the Socialist
government of Edith Cresson, a post he held for just one year.