France about to strike out

Airport staff, bus and train drivers, teachers, postal workers and armored truck drivers who stock cash machines will join refinery workers and others in a day of nationwide strikes against Mr Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age. Fuel shortages will worsen as refinery strikes go into an eighth day, and the authorities will be alert for any escalation of sporadic violence on Monday in some cities, with small groups of troublemakers torching vehicles and scuffling with police.

The French are deeply unhappy with the way they have been governed, but their main grievance is about pension reform, which is seen as a cynical ploy to make ordinary people work more for inferior entitlements, while bailed-out bankers and the rich get tax rebates and continue to enjoy the high life. Over the past month, five national demonstrations have gathered together an estimated average of 3.5 million people per action day. The latest, on Saturday, was a big success and another is scheduled for today.

In France, strikes and demonstrations are seen as a civilized and effective way to enact one’s citizenship. Students are expected to join marches from an early age, receiving by the same token a “political education”. France’s youth have always scared governments because of their radical potential. Student demonstrations of late have been invariably popular because people know that the young have been badly hit by unemployment over the past 30 years.

french protest pension reform
The Pinot Noir Party get heard

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Posted by on October 19, 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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3 Responses to France about to strike out

  1. thejeanmachine

    October 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I lived in France for years and I can tell you that things are seriuosly a mess there.

  2. Holte Ender

    October 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Parles vous Francais thejeanmachine.

  3. Demeur

    October 20, 2010 at 2:35 am

    I’ll give them this the French don’t put up with the crap their government does to them like we do here. Retire at 70 here? Yeah that will go over big with the construction trades.