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Some French odds and ends

Our French chums are chafing at the latest price hikes for cigarettes - base line for a pack of 20 is €5.10, and €5.60 for a packet of Marlboros.  If memory serves, the average smoking Briton would think a fiver for a packet of Phillip Morris's finest quite the bargain, and doubtless the tabacs and grand surfaces of Calais and thereabouts prove that.  Anyway, estimates from BAT have some 22% of all fags smoked yonder hailing from neighbouring countries or over the internet.  

Showing the usual governmental disdain for free trade when it interferes with an ability to act as the casino's rake, the French do to internet imported cigarettes what ours does.  Why, I wonder, does the EU not do something about this stark violation of the principles of the single market?

Meanwhile, what do our Gallic chums think about taxation without representation, or as the pollster puts it, should non-EU nationals be allowed to vote in French local and Euro elections?

Overall, the split is a tolerably creditable 50 pro, 48 anti.  The greatest recorded pro high was 57% in 2003, and the highest anti high 69% in 1996.

As ever, the real fun is in the demographic detail, with the younger, better educated and better off more likely to be pro.  Socialists, Liberals and the section-worthy left are the most pro, and the FN (fancy..) the most anti.  However, one has to note that 36% of the far left, 28% of Socialists and 40% of Greens are anti.  So much for workers of all lands uniting, brotherhood etc etc. 

Sticking with the Gauche, IMF head honcho Dominique Strauss-Kahn gets the nod as the favoured leftist candidate for the Presidency next time round, with 49% of left voters thinking he's be a good  president.  Not the most ringing of endorsements, frankly.  Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë follows at 46%, Martine Aubry at 40% and Sego at 39%.  And then the terrifying bit - 31% think that Trotskyite Olivier Besancenot would be a good president, ahead of 31% for Liberal leader François Bayrou.

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