The Secret of the West

"Journal de Genève et Gazette de Lausanne"† (back)
The late reference newspaper of French Switzerland. As of end of 1997, its two redactions were located at:
Rédaction Genève:
12, rue de Hesse
case postale 5160
1211 Genève 11
+41 22 819 88 88
Rédaction Lausanne:
7, rue Saint-Martin
case postale 765
1001 Lausanne
+41 21 331 07 07
Founded in 1826, the Journal de Genève disappeared in 1998 through a merger. It was the highest-flying newspaper in French Switzerland. An internationally reputed daily, so-well-documented, thouroughful and exhaustive that it permitted the reader to make up his own opinion, independently of the newspaper's line. The result of the merger is the daily Le Temps.

"Le Temps Stratégique"† (back)
10 rue de l'Arquebuse
1204 Genève
+41 22 322 34 92
Quarterly magazine attempting to focus on "the big picture", i.e. on issues relevant in the long term. Founded in 1982 and closed in 2001. The last issue (June 2001) was the nr. 100. Reached a selling volume of 3,000 copies, which was not judged sufficient by Edipresse Ltd, the owner since 1994. Directed by Claude Monnier from foundation till closure.

"La Recherche" (back to article May 98)
57, rue de Seine
75280 Paris Cedex 06
+331 53 73 79 79
A high-level, monthly, science popularization magazine, edited by the "Société d'éditions scientifiques".

"Région et Développement" (back)
Centre de Recherche en Economie Régionale et Industrielle (CRERI)
Maurice Catin (directeur de la publication)
Université de Toulon et du Var
BP 132
83957 La Garde Cedex

Institut de Géopolitique des Populations (back)
Jacques Dupâquier (président)
20 rue d'Aguesseau
75008 Paris
This institute was founded in 1999. It organizes academic conferences and publishes a quarterly journal "Introduction à une Géopolitique des Populations".

"Le Soir" (back)
120, rue Royale
1000 Bruxelles
+32 2 225 54 32
+32 2 225 59 14

"Le Républicain Lorrain" (back)
3, rue Saint Eloy
57140 Woippy
+33 3 87 34 17 89
+33 3 87 29 33 33

Institut pour la Démocratie en Europe (ID Europe) (back)
197 Boulevard Saint-Germain
75007 Paris
T +33 149 54 01 60
Institute founded in 1996 by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, former president of France.

Association Française pour l'Avancement des Sciences (AFAS)
Jean-Pierre Roucan (
Marie-Laure Blanchet (secrétariat)
Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie
75930 Paris Cedex 19
T +33 1 40 05 82 01
(back to Paris conference of Sep 00)
(back to article in Sciences Jan 01)
Association founded in 1872.

Association Euroscience (back to Geneva conf of Sep 1999) (back to Freiburg conf of Jul 2000)
Françoise Praderie, Secretary General
Observatoire de Paris
61, avenue de l'Observatoire
75014 Paris

International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations (ISCSC) (back to Newark conf of May 01)
ISCSC website:
Dr. Wayne Bledsoe, president (as of April 2001)
Department of History University of Missouri
Rolla Rolla, MO 65409-1260
The International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations was formally established in 1961 at a meeting in Salzburg, organized by historian Othmar Anderle and attended by fellow historians Arnold J.Toynbee and Rushton Coulborn. Sociologist Pitirim Sorokin was the Society's first president. The ISCSC edits the "Comparative Civilization Review".

History of Science Society (HSS) (back to review of Dec 99)
Executive Office: Johnson Hall, Room 236
University of Washington
Box 351330
Seattle, WA 98195-1330
United States
tel: (206) 543-9366
The History of Science Society was incorporated in 1924 in America to secure the future of Isis, the review that George Sarton (1884-1956) had founded in Belgium in 1912. Sarton had migrated to the United States during the First World War. The History of Science Society issues the quarterly Isis as well as a quarterly Newsletter. It claims to be the world's largest and oldest society dedicated to the history of science&technology and their interactions with society.

"NewScientist" (back to Sardar article)
151 Wardour Street (back to Fara article)
London W1F 8WE
United Kingdom
T +44 207 331 27 01
A quality weekly science popularization magazine.

Charles Veillon SA† (back)
Vente par correspondance
Route de Buyère 2
1017 Lausanne-Bussigny
T +41 21 706 92 17
The Veillon Company is dying. The firm specializes in selling clothes per post in French Switzerland. However, it missed the turning point of internet selling, it fell victim to larger competitors (LaRedoute, Neckermann, Quelle, Otto) because of the opening of the borders, all this in a shrinking market (a correspondance selling market made smaller by hard-discounters shops like Zara and H&M).
With a turnover of 162 million CHF in 2002, Veillon had cumulated a total loss of 20 millions by the end of the year. In 2003, the total loss was widened by 6 million. From 530 employees in 2000, Veillon will have only 120 left in 2004, working in the new merged Ackermann.
On October 23th, 2002, it announced the outsourcing of its logistics to Ackermann, a Swiss competitor, based in Entlebuch, Lucerne, and 194 layoffs. The number of layoffs was finally reduced to 170 following grueling negociations with the workers. On June 10th, 2003, Veillon announced its merger with Ackermann for January 2004, and the firing of 160 more employees. Only 120 employees shall remain in 2004, managing only the catalogue under their previous brandname Veillon, and the customer service. Logistics, IT and accounting will be done by Ackermann.
The Veillon Fondation was created by the owners of the Veillon Company, to support cultural work in French Switzerland.

Editions Arléa SARL (back)
Claude Pinganaud, Anne Bourguignon
16, rue de l'Odéon
75006 Paris
T +331 43 26 98 18
F +331 44 07 04 88

The Editions Arléa SARL were founded in 1986 by Jean-Claude Guillebaud, a journalist and collection director at French publisher Le Seuil since 1977. Le Seuil had suggested this move. The aim was to gain more publishing freedom without engaging and "risking" the Le Seuil brand name. Arléa could rely on the same powerful distribution network (diffuseur) as Le Seuil while working under another brand name.

The newly founded Arléa settled in the locals it had acquired, the rooms of a a previous bookshop at Rue Odéon 8 in the pleasant publishers' and bookshop's 5th district of Paris. The new bookshop was christened "Les Fruits du Congo" in honour of one of the first author to be published by Arléa. The decorative motives around the bookshop's door and show window was adopted by the young Arléa to become its logo.

Arléa has moved later into its present offices, at rue Odéon 16. It no longer has a show window, but it has maintained its logo. The bookshop at Odéon 8 is now a passementerie.

Arléa started with a capital of 240,000 French Francs (FF) and with a current account of 240,000FF as well. The 8 shareholders brought each 30,000FF to the capital and 30,000FF to the current account. The amount paid to the capital was irrevocable, whereas the amount in the current account might be withdrewn, provided it did not jeopardize the society's survival. Thus the 8 founders each held an 1/8th of Arléa. Among these initial 8 founders were Jean-Claude Guillebaud, Claude Pinganaud and Le Seuil.

After a few years, C.Pinganaud having withheld his current account remained an owner at 1/16 only. Jean-Claude Guillebaud took more distance to the society, in order to devote himself to his new essay writing career. He ceded his shares to his wife Catherine Guillebaud, who was anyway the CEO of Arléa.

Arléa SARL went through a series of crises.

In March 2000, Arléa came to the brink of disaster. Total sales amounted to FF4.5mio in 1996, FF4.2mio in 1997, FF4.0mio in 1998, FF3.5mio in 1999. In 1997 and 1998, cumulated losses reached FF0.5mio. The tiny profit of 0.12mio in 1999 did not suffice to really improve the situation. Worsening it all, Arléa's bank reduced year after year the credit limit for the society, due to the more severe credit risk approach overwhelming the banking world. As of March 2000, Arléa's current account was slightly in the black, but only due to an emergency help from the Le Seuil publisher. Arléa, it was feared, would not survive beyond the year 2000.

External consultants estimated the company's value at FF0.4mio at this time, mainly due to the books' copyrights. Arléa reached an agreement with its authors relinquishing up to FF0.7mio in rights arrears. This theoretically brought Arléa's value up to FF1.1mio.

In April 2000, a wealthy contact poured FF0.2mio into Arléa as a loan. In June 2000, this contact agreed to raise his committment to FF0.4mio and to convert it into a share of Arléa (not payable back). Another contact agreed to pay FF0.6mio to enter into Arléa's capital.

Altogether, Arléa had received FF1.0mio of fresh liquidity influx. It was saved for a while.

However, the profitability picture did not improve over the following years. In 2004, the situation was just about as bad as it had been in 2000. The company had €0.16m in arrears to pay to the printer and €0.20m to its authors, seemingly without any chance to ever get this money.

In August 2004, however, a miracle happened. LVMH, the giant luxury group, with which the publishing house had been in contact, offered to purchase Arléa. Claude Pinganaud met Nicolas Bazire, LVMH nr 2. The deal was clinched. In October 2004, LVMH purchased Arléa. All problems were solved at once, like in a fairy tale. Arléa's figures, however bad, were several orders of magnitude lower than any of LVMH's numbers.

LVMH (the word stands for Louis Vuitton / Moët Hennessy) was the world's number one luxury products company, with sales at €13.9bn in 2005 and a gross profit of €2.7bn. LVMH owned such prestigious brands like "Christian Dior", "Lacroix", "Kenzo", "Louis Vuitton", "Céline", "Moët & Chandon", "Pommery", "Hennessy" and "Château d'Yquem". The French group was specialised in perfumes, fashionable bags and quality wines. Bernard Arnault (1949-), who owned a controlling stake in LVMH, was France's richest person, with an estimated net worth of $21.5 billion US dollars, according to a Forbes report of March 2006. He also was the world's no7 richest person. In other words, Arléa, with its turnover of €0.8mio in 2005, was a negligible quantity for LVMH, financially speaking. On the prestige side, however, Arléa played a distinctively more interesting role in enhancing LVHM's portfolio's quality, fineness and distinction.

LVMH had a media tentacle already: DI Group (derived from Desfossés International) was a division of Bernard Arnaud Group owning and managing the financial newspaper La Tribune (previously La Tribune de l'Economie). DI Group is led by Nicolas Bazire.

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Les Editions L'Harmattan (back)
Editions L'Harmattan
16 rue des Ecoles
75005 Paris
T +33 1 40 46 79 11
Diffusion L'Harmattan
5-7 rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique
75005 Paris
T +33 1 40 46 79 11?
Les Editions L'Harmattan bear the name of a desert wind, which blows in Mauritania, towards the south-west. This wind steadily threatens to bury the capital city under sand. L'Harmattan was founded by Denis Pryen in 1990(?). It boasts an exceptional number of book titles and publication rythmus.
In Dec 2003, L'Harmattan had 14,396 titles on offer, distributed in 422 collections authored by 9,042 writers! This feat derives from L'Harmattan's innovative business model. It lets the main part of the work to the authors themselves. These have to correct writing mistakes, prepare printproofs and send the proofs themselves to the printing press. This lowers massively the books' production costs. Which allows to publish a large number of books each year, even books with very weak sales. This allows L'Harmattan to accept much more confidential book than other publishers. However, this has the shortcomings to reduce the printed quality.
Capital: €1 million. €5,5 million sales. 40 employees.

"Fenêtre sur l’Europe" (back to article of Aug 14, 2007)
3 Allée de la Treille
77400 St Thibault-des-Vignes

According to its website as of August 2007, "Fenêtre sur l'Europe" (Windows upon Europe) is a not-for-profit association founded in 2000 in order to inform as large a public as possible about European news. Based in St-Thibault les Vignes, a town of 6,400 in the Seine-et-Marne departement (dept number 77), 20 km east of Paris, France. The site holds more than 6,000 articles, feature articles and videos. Some 250,000 pages are being visited every month.

"Fenêtre Europe" announces as members of the board of directors:
Jean-Michel Flochlay, Didier Besseyre, Christian Carlo, Xavier Grosclaude, Philippe Laurette, Roland Meynadier, Michel Theys, Alain Vautravers, Claude Vigier, Piotr Wichman.
and as members of the editorial board: Jean-michel Floc'hlay Raphaël Mahfoudh Dalar Arslanyan
and as communication manager: Xavier Grosclaude

"Le Sud Ouest" (retour)
Bordeaux, France-based daily covering the southwestern part of France, i.e. the sector of Angoulême, Périgueux, Bordeaux, Biarritz.
Circulation: 320,000 copies
Rédaction Sud Ouest
1 place Jacques Lemoîne
33094 Bordeaux Cedex
T 00335 56 00 33 33

"Le Figaro" (back)
Leading French national daily newspaper, center-right
Circulation: 440,000 copies (340,000 paid + 70,000 free, 2005)
Le Figaro Redaction
14, boulevard Haussmann
75438 Paris Cedex 09
T 00331 57 08 50 00

"Le Monde" (back)
Leading French national daily newspaper, center-left
Circulation: 350'000 copies (paid copies)
Rédaction Le Monde
80, boulevard Auguste Blanqui
75707 Paris Cedex 13
T 00331 57 28 20 00

"La Liberté" (back)
Swiss daily newspaper, Fribourg, 30'000 copies
Rédaction La Liberté
Bd Pérolles 42
1700 Fribourg
T 0041 26 426 44 11

"Sciences et Avenir" (retour)
French science popularization magazine
Circulation: 250'000 copies
Rédaction Sciences et Avenir
33 rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
T 00331 55 35 56 46

"Valeurs Actuelles" (back)
Center-right national daily
Circulation: 80'000 copies
Rédaction Valeurs Actuelles