European Energy with Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer – October 5, 2022
Via Europa: European Energy—A Difficult Situation with Bruno Comby – April 28, 2022
This week in Solari’s Via Europa series, I share a timely conversation with French nuclear physicist, author, and energy visionary Bruno Comby about European energy needs and the consequences Europe is facing as a result of the war in Ukraine.
By training, Comby is an engineer—a graduate of France’s prestigious Ecole Polytechnique and a nuclear physics postgraduate of Paris’s Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Techniques Avancées (National University of Advanced Technology). With a father who was himself a geologist and engineer working overseas for a French oil company, Comby spent time as a child in both Africa and North America.
A writer and lecturer of international renown in the fields of energy, health, and the environment, Comby is the founder of Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy (since 1996) and author of a book by the same name (translated into 15 languages) as well as nine other books. He is also the scientific director of the institute that bears his name (Institut Bruno Comby), within which he coordinates a team of scientists and doctors who carry out preventive health research, and founder of the Optimist Movement. He has been described as “the godfather of environmentalists who support nuclear power.”
Via Europa: Some Like it Red – January 12, 2022
To celebrate the New Year, I wanted you to meet Camilla Radford-Furman. When she told me she had recently done a remote / online wine tasting, I thought to myself that only she could embody so well the ability to adapt to circumstances and turn an obstacle into a strength. And that’s what I call Hope in 2022. Camilla is certainly a violin teacher and an outstanding cook, but above all a specialist in French and Californian wines. She has been organizing dinners and tastings of French wines for several years and runs her own business: www.navigatingfrenchwines.com/about.
Via Europa: France During COVID – May 14, 2021
We’ve recently been witnessing a series of unusual events in France that might indicate change is around the corner. I created this video on May 8th, V-day in France, when we usually celebrate freedom, remembering the end of World War II. Instead, we are still in lockdown although the situation is starting to ease up.
The first event that got my attention is political in nature. Twenty generals and military personnel, most of them retired, published an open letter in which they call on the French government for a change to avoid disintegration of the country. The letter and associated petition went viral. It is the first time members of the French military, even retired members, publicly sounded an alarm as they are supposed to stay politically neutral. At the same time, Philippe de Villiers, who had a career in politics, seems to be making a comeback, publishing books in which he denounces widespread corruption on many levels—EU, NGOs, Soros—and is also advocating for an urgent change.
Is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act a Trap? with Frédéric Pierucci – February 18, 2021
This week in Via Europa, you’ll have the opportunity to hear the incredible story of an exceptional man, Frédéric Pierucci. Frédéric is a former Senior Executive at Alstom, a French energy company with a global presence.
In the 1960s, the President of France, Charles de Gaulle, decided to focus on achieving energy independence through the use of nuclear energy, which today accounts for 75% of the country’s electricity production. Alstom was THE company that made this possible. Although the company experienced some financial difficulties in the early 2000s, it continued to expand its business.
In 2013, Frédéric Pierucci was appointed as the head of Alstom’s partnership in Asia and moved to Singapore. At the time, he visited the United States regularly as he had ongoing business there. On Sunday April 14, 2013, he was arrested by the FBI in a plane that had just landed in New York. The ensuing events make for a gripping story worthy of John Grisham’s thrillers.
In this interview, Frédéric explains the legal and financial traps that he and Alstom faced. From his high-security prison in Wyatt, Rhode Island—one of the prisons privatized in the ’90s—Frédéric began to assemble the pieces of a puzzle that eventually allowed him to understand why his fate was dependent on Alstom’s, and how the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was being misused to target foreign companies, particularly in Europe.
Via Europa with Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer – July 23, 2020
By Catherine Austin Fitts
This week, it is my great pleasure to announce a new quarterly series, Via Europa, from Vanessa Biard-Shaeffer. Via Europa will cover European politics and culture and connect trends in Europe to what is happening in the United States.
Vanessa wears many hats. A successful real estate broker in Paris, some of you know her from her political analysis and commentary on French TV and Internet. As a result of her leadership role in the Institute of General Semantics, she has significant cross-cultural experience with Americans and the United States. Some of you may also know her as the person who translated my online book Dillon Read & the Aristocracy of Stock Profits into French—a formidable task given the financial and legal complexities discussed.
Vanessa has a nose for the “trim tabs” that drive events, which others often do not notice. On a large ship, the trim tab is the rudder’s rudder. Turn the trim tab and you turn the rudder, which turns the ship. I am always interested in hearing Vanessa’s take on events—it invariably brings a fresh perspective. I also love watching her occasional TV panel—a group of commentators will be in the grip of the latest “spin” and then Vanessa shifts them back into the authentic in an unexpected way.
Vanessa chose the name Via Europa inspired by the ancient Roman road system that made a lasting contribution to Europe. The Romans built 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) of roads “extending from Britain to the Tigris-Euphrates river system and from the Danube River to Spain and northern Africa” (Encyclopedia Britannica). Built initially for military purposes, the Roman road network eventually allowed trade, communication, culture, and connection to flow and flourish.
In her introductory video, Vanessa addresses the recent municipal elections in France. In a second video, she offers a charming cultural tidbit to refresh our spirits.
I am delighted that Vanessa has agreed to offer Via Europa on The Solari Report. To live a free and inspired life, it is invaluable to build actionable intelligence globally.