French Trade Minister Christine Lagarde said she gave up a well paid job at Chicago law firm Baker & McKenzie to come back to France beccause she thought she could help people get over their fear of globalisation.
‘I’ll always remember the frequency with which the words protect, protection and assistance are used in connection with what is alleged to be expected by the French people,’ she told a group of Anglo-American journalists before jetting off to the World Economic Forum in Davos. ‘The words I was acccustomed to use were encourage, entice, incentivise, prioritise. There is a huge fear and concern that results from globalisation and the movement of people, goods and services around the world.’
She came back to France, and may be seeking to run for mayor in her home-town of La Havre, because ‘deep down you are where you are born.’ As well as representing France on the world stage, Lagarde sees her job as educating French people of the benefits of globalisation, teaching school children not to be afraid.
Sarkozy, she says, is the answer. ‘It is the only solution for France to take action and reform itself, accept the changes around the world and accept that it is part of what is going on. There is a huge issue of confidence, courage, that needs to be addressed.’