Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Same name as Australian mountain

France's newly-appointed 34-year-old State Secretary in charge of Ecology has the same name as Australia's highest peak (2,228 meters), whose official spelling now includes an unpronounceable letter "z": Mount Kosciuszko. The mountain was climbed for the first time in 1840 by a Polish explorer and geologist, Count Strzelecki, who named it in honor of Thaddeus Kosciusko, a Polish military hero.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet [often referred to as NKM] is a descendant of this man. In fact, she comes from a distinguished family on the recent French political scene. A graduate of the famous Polytechnique, she specialized in biology, and then trained as an engineer in the national school of rural management, rivers and forests. Attached to the super-ministry now attributed to Jean-Louis Borloo [who replaced Alain Juppé, who resigned after his electoral defeat], NKM is an experienced militant in the ecological domain.

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