MADE IN FRANCE: how far would you go to support your country?

Ever wondered how many of your daily life products are actually nationally made? If you take a quick look around you’ll realise next to none actually are. Journalist Benjamin Carle decided to do an experiment of living 9 months only with French–made products. Not to manifest his extreme patriotism but as a reaction to French politics pushing citizens to buy local products instead of foreign ones. Benjamin Carle set out to discover how accessible French-products really are and how realistic it is to favour them. His documentary is set to come out this month, let’s take a sneak peak at his 9 months living exclusively in blue-white-red.

Photograph: Pierre Andrieu/AFP

Photograph: Pierre Andrieu/AFP

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The Illusion of Choice

by Laura Vilaça

Two years ago, the Occupy Movement made a stand with the slogan “We are the 99%”. They were referring to, as Wikipedia puts it, “the concentration of income and wealth among the top earning 1%, which reflected an opinion that the “99%” are paying the price for the mistakes of a tiny minority within the upper class”. Though this was an American movement, their protest expanded around the world, with Europeans feeling this inequality as well.

The world is run by a few – that we all start to realize. But how few are they? And how do they become so big? Well, dear reader, not only but also, because of you. We are part of the oil that makes these giant, transnational corporations run smoothly, earn market power and, consequently, political influence. An example: Breakfast. You have a Nescafe coffee. Then a shower, using L’Oréal to wash your hair and Garnier to cleanse your face. Moving on, you moisturize your body with products from The Body Shop, put on your Diesel jeans and grab a KitKat for the way. In a simple, standard morning routine, all things used are owned by Nestlé.

William True - "Nestlé's Milk Project" (1901)

William True – “Nestlé’s Milk Project” (1901)

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Is the European Union kaputt?

 by Laura Vilaça

I moved to Germany – more specifically to Hamburg – little over a month ago. And you know what I realized? I haven’t been able to prove a single stereotype I got about Germany from the media in my Southern European country. And along with me, many others agreed on this. So why does the media from my country – and that of the other PIGS (acronym for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, the European countries in financial trouble) – insist otherwise?

I’ve realized that people are foolishly patriotic. And more than being that, they’re patriots who choose to trust ignorance instead of facts. And the question is: why? Because they are not necessarily given the facts. The media, much like the average citizen, has proven to have little knowledge of economy and, being so, is not capable of translating the heavy economic jargon. And this interests the heads of state, because blaming someone else is always less of a hassle than having citizens mad at you. They vote, they choose who gets what (or at least they are led to believe so) – and this misinterpretation of the political play helps supporting floating promises and inflamed speeches about Europe. The European political scene is a circus – and everyone juggles it the best they can.

merkel

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Havens on the Wane

By Camy Roch

States are like people. At least, sometimes they do have the same survival instincts, especially when it comes to money. I mean, what would you do if  you’re short on money but still craving  a refreshing beer? You desperately rake up your pockets. And if you still can’t find any, then you go rake the neighbour’s. At least, that’s what I would do.

Let’s leave the metaphor there. It seems like today, due to economic hard times, states are struggling to afford that goddamned beer. Leading the European Council to gather in Brussels two days ago, with the firm intention to scrape some money together. Here to understand: tackling once for all tax evasion, and putting an end to the reign of tax havens and bank secrecies. (As I said, if you can’t find coins in your own pockets, go for the neighbours’).

As sad as it may sound, not every tax haven does look like that.

As sad as it may sound, not every tax haven does look like that.

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And the worst job is … news reporter. Mmmh is it?

by Veronica Sanchez

Being a farmer, a dishwasher or a maid is much better than pursuing stories for a media outlet. At least it is for Career.Cast.com, which classified the newsreporter job as the worst for second year.

For the firm based in California, this is the most badly in terms of environment, income, outlook and stress, the criteria they used to rank the jobs from better to worse.

According to the report published last week, the “shrinking of the newsrooms, the reduction of the budgets and the competition from the Internet” have toughened the conditions in the newspapers.

But do not think that this low rank is just for the reporters. Just 12 positions above them the US website placed the photojournalists.

If this is not discouraging enough for all the aspiring journalists (as for the ones that are already in the business this is not a surprise) both professions also appear in the top 10 of the most stressful jobs of the US website of this year: the photojournalists in the 7th position and the news reporters in the 8th.

Nader and Ahmed, butcher of the Bazar Vest. Part of a photostory to be exhibited in Aarhus (DK). By Veronica Sanchez

Nader and Ahmed, butcher of the Bazar Vest. Part of a photostory to be exhibited in Aarhus (DK). By Veronica Sanchez

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