Skip to comments.French divided by strikes
Posted on 03/19/2009 2:23:53 PM PDT by Cincinna
The nationwide strikes in France over the government's handling of the financial crisis are provoking strong, and diverse, reactions among French observers.
The action is attracting sympathy from many in the left-wing press, but is being met with weariness and unease on the right.
France's eight largest union federations called the strikes, dissatisfied with the 2.65bn euros of additional public spending pledged by the government following the last day of industrial action on 29 January.
The unions are calling for the government to do more to prevent private sector lay-offs and to halt to its own plans to reduce the public sector workforce.
"To the demos!" says the editorial in Thursday's left-wing daily Liberation.
The paper says the protesters are acting out of "indignation at the absurdity of an economic stimulus plan that does not stimulate very much and whose essentials don't benefit workers but businesses".
A strike against a crisis makes about as much sense as a demonstration to ban winter
Francois Lenglet, La Tribune
Not everyone is cheering on the unions, however.
Yves Threard in the right-leaning Le Figaro slams the protesters, who "preferred hitting the streets rather than finding solutions through negotiations". "snip"
FRENCH UNIONS vs GOVERNMENT
Increase minimum wage
Reverse 50% cap on income tax
Suspend public sector job cuts
Measures to protect employment
Government stimulus plan
11bn euros to help businesses improve cashflows
11bn euros of direct state investment
4bn euros of investment by state-owned firms in modernisation
2.65bn euros of tax breaks, and increases in family welfare and short-term unemployment benefits
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
Why would anyone want to start or keep a business in France or hire anyone there?
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Labor Unions in France are controlled by the Communist Party and the Far Left. Their membership and power has been dwindling for years.
This is an attempt to place the blame for the worldwide economic crisis that is affecting France on Sarko .
In France, strikes are also a cultural thing; a sort of rite of passage for young people, giving them an organized way to let off steam.
I will report back later to see whether the strikes in any way degenerated into rioting.
The numbers given are usually greatly exaggerated.
Although it was difficult under previous governments before Sarko to start and run a small business, this has changed.
The French are a very industrious, independent, hardworking and entrepreneurial people. Almost every restaurant, cafe, food store and boutique is family owned and run.
The French are just about due for their government to collapse and reform. The 47th Republic or whatever they’re up to.
The next Republic will be the Sixth. After that comes the 1st Caliphate.
Can the French President, or any other leader, simply fire the strikers, as Reagan did with PATCO air traffic controllers is 1981? Or does France not have the (entirely sensible) law, as the US has, which forbids strikes, sickouts, etc. by those employed in PUBLIC SAFETY jobs?