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Sell those shares of Google now! The country that brought the world MiniTel is now out to replace Google with something bigger, better and... French.

The French president, Jacques Chirac, yesterday unveiled what he hopes will be his great legacy to France's struggle against the global dominance of the US: a series of technological projects including a European search engine to rival Google.

Mr Chirac, who walked out of an EU summit last month when a fellow Frenchman committed the grave offence of speaking English, styles himself as the defender of France in the globalised world.

After the biggest street protests in decades forced him to stage a U-turn on employment reform last month, Mr Chirac is keener than ever to be remembered for doing something positive for French pride. Yesterday, he announced that he would provide €2bn (£1.4bn) in funding for a series of innovative grands projets, including a Franco-German search engine to compete with Google and Yahoo!.

Why do I doubt that Eric Schmidt is going to be crapping in his pantalons?


There aren't enough people searching for frog legs, snails, and women's hairy armpits to justify such a search engine.

The French idea of a "grand project" is a new search engine?

Chirac needs to think really big...maybe a replacement for the ctrl-alt-del key combination.

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