French would-be visitors to the US are in trouble because they can’t get biometric passports, which means they need a US visa. The union of government printers has blocked the government’s plans to have the new documents printed by private firm.
France is the only one of 27 countries with visa-free travel to the US that has not managed to produce biometric passports in time.
The Trib reports on the fallout, featuring some great quotes.
In the meantime, the union’s secretary, Jacques Floris, tips his hat to his French comrades standing in the cold, waiting their turn for a visa. But the government, he said, has to respect the union’s rights.
That’s small comfort for Xavier Leclerc, who joined the line for visas and passports at 7:30 a.m. and later abandoned his place to get to work on time. In January, he missed a training conference in the United States with his new employer, Google, because he couldn’t obtain a visa. So did another colleague in sales.
“I know that this is happening because of the strike-related problems here,” he said. “But to be honest, French people are a bit proud and it makes me feel a little like I’m coming from a third world country to get a visa. And now I will have to wait again in line in the cold.”
Perhaps he could try the French embassy in Sarajevo to get the genuine experience of coming from a third-world country and being humiliated by arrogant, corrupt staff because you had the absurd idea of visiting their country, or better still any Western embassy in Africa?