Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bienvenue en France ! La Grève Générale !

Ah Paris
The City of LightThere is always the Paris of our dreams.
Strolling along the Champs-Elysées before stopping at a sidewalk cafe for an apéritif...
Visiting the Musée d'Orsay then perusing the used book vendors along the quai next to the Seine...
Shopping at the boutiques on the Rue Saint-Honoré and the Rue du Bac...
Checking out the antiques at the Marché aux Puces early on a Sunday morning...
Dining late at a neighborhood brasserie in the 16th Arrondissement...
And then there is the Paris of our reality.
La Grève

From AGI News
FRANCE: GENERAL STRIKE, CHAOS IN CENTRE OF PARIS
AGI) - Paris, Jan. 29 - Today's general strike in Paris has turned into chaos and clashes in the French capital. The strike against the economic politics of Nicolas Sarkozy and his management of the financial crisis saw the participation of tens of thousands of people, mostly just parading peacefully. After a few hours however some groups of youngsters became violent. Many of them were wearing ski-masks, they started shouting slogans against Sarkozy asking for his resignation. Then they began throwing stones, they started fires and clashed with the police. The police in turn used truncheon against the rioters but were unable to disperse them according to eye witnesses. The protesters tried to enter Boulevard de Capucines shouting ''We go to the Elysée!". Had they really done so they would have passed the shopping and tourism districts to reach the President's office. The police stopped them however.
From the Wall Street Journal
French unions are worried that the faltering economy will lead to massive job cuts. So naturally they organized a general strike yesterday that could cost the economy a few hundred million euros in lost working hours. Nobody has ever accused the union bosses of clear thinking. "Black Thursday" is the first sign of political trouble in a major European economy as a result of the economic crisis. More than one million people protested against President Nicolas Sarkozy's economic management. As always, France's public-sector employees were particularly eager to strike -- 23% of them didn't show up for work.

And from a blog (h/t joe)
Yet again the French are on strike. This time, among the usual collection of everybody striking over their own petty demands that they expect the rest of society to attend to for them, is the over-arching theme of this economy wrecking event – they are striking against the global economy.
The best I can gather from interviewed agonists and such is that in large part people are mad at the French government’s intervention to prop up the banks and major industries, something the blithering idiots are usually all for. Normally, a trend away from
socialistic dirigisme would be a good thing for the overall potential of a healthy economy, but these protestors, including the bolshy CGT, Reds, etal., are protesting that the largesse of the state is being directed at the economy at all and not limited to relieving them of the cost of social free-riding.

Even the employees of the Euronext stock exchange are marching. Just what is it that they think the ‘social compact’ is supposed to do for their racket that the rest of the people in their same union won’t protest?
and you wonder
does anyone really want another French Revolution?
well, apparently so...
Never letting a crisis go to waste, the left are ready to exploit your misery for the sake of their power-grab, and opportunity to wreck the economy for good with methods borrowed from the largely agrarian 1930s. As per the Boy wonder Olivier Besancenot:
Olivier Besancenot, the young leader of France’s extreme left is hoping Thursday’s strike will be the first step towards another French revolution as the recession bites and protests multiply across Europe’s second largest economy.“We want the established powers to be blown apart,”

From the International Herald Tribune

PARIS January 29, 2009 (IHT) - Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike Thursday across France, snarling transportation and closing post offices and schools in a sign of discontent with President Nicolas Sarkozy's response to the economic crisis.
... Mass transit in the capital was in chaos, with service on suburban commuter lines reduced or nonexistent, and most subways and buses running well below normal frequencies. The Education Ministry estimated that 37 percent of teachers walked out. In Marseille, the country's second largest city, television showed buses crammed with commuters as subway service was completely interrupted.
Across France, airports were operating at reduced capacity and flights were delayed. The rail line that serves the two Paris airports was completely shut down, stranding arriving travelers in long taxi lines.
As many as 200 demonstrations were planned across the country, including a massive march across Paris in the afternoon.



La Grève...it's a national sport for the French!
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2 comments:

Karen said...

The French public sector workers will do ANYTHING to cut back their work hours...A strike is just another excuse to knock off early to whine and then head to a cafe to smoke and "wine...."

Belle de Ville said...

Karen...you know how hard it is when you have to work a 35 hour work week and you get 8 weeks a year of vacation......

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