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« La France: Tout ensemble grève generale | Main | Salon de la Photo 2010 »

25 October 2010

Comments

Paul Leclercq

Ha ha! Yes Tara, another case then of "plus ça change" etc.

A deeply conservative country indeed.

Tara Bradford

Paul, I certainly agree with you about the army of civil servants, who create unnecessary bureaucracy, in order to sustain jobs. But in general I don't think the French have a soft working life - if so, why would there be a rash of suicides in France Telecom, Euro Disney and other large companies? But the French hate change, whether good or bad. In general, they have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards change. The strikes, I think, are equivalent to them kicking and screaming. :) Interesting times; we'll see how everyone adjusts to new realities.

Paul Leclercq

Tara,

You wrote: "...I think harsh is the word, as they begin adjusting to a completely different way of life that will require them to work more years and wait longer to receive their pension. As for the 35-hour work week, studies have indicated the French do more work in 35 hours than most countries do in 40 or more."

Yes they have adjusted to a soft, and in the face of an ageing population and today's economic realities, an unrealistic way of life.

It is true that the French have traditionally been more productive on average, than the populations of many other countries; in England I believe that on average, 48 hours are worked each week. The French could be vastly more productive and France perhaps less in debt were there not so many stupid and unnecessary strikes. And France should rid itself of a large proportion its absurd army of fonctionnaires whom I did not include as "productive"! Any attempt on that "holy ground" would of course lead to another massive strike.

In sum my point is that the French cheerfully elect a government and then refuse to allow it to govern.

Tara Bradford

Paul, I don't think the French consider the pension reform modest and yes, I think harsh is the word, as they begin adjusting to a completely different way of life that will require them to work more years and wait longer to receive their pension. As for the 35-hour work week, studies have indicated the French do more work in 35 hours than most countries do in 40 or more. From what I've observed in ten years here, I think there's some truth to that.

I understand why the French have been protesting and admire that they speak out when presented with something they don't like. If more people spoke up about government actions in other countries, i.e. the UK and the US, perhaps we'd all be better off. As for the school being destroyed, those were hooligans taking advantage of an opportunity to create trouble, not actual strikers.

Paul Leclercq

"... the harsh reality of pension reform"?

Tara, the government is proposing a very modest increase of two years; I do not consider that "harsh" is the word - especially given the 35-hour week and all the public holidays etc.

France must wake up to other harsh realities I believe - the reality of the country being in colossal debt and the fact that despite what the CGT has to say, the absence of the great pile of money which will keep the ageing population provided with pensions.

Finally I consider the protests outrageous, disproportionate and irresponsible. For example, it is disgraceful that those who actually wish to work are prevented from doing so by the blockading of the oil depôts and refineries and the port at Marseilles. And I was disgusted at the spectacle of a school being totally destroyed.

Stephanie

winds of change happening...I fear...here as well.

x..x

Gillian

OH how much longer do you have to put up with these strikes?
On a bright note
love the grassy knoll up there. so pretty! xo

margie

following the strikes on BBC. this photograph is so accurate.

gracey ighut

winds ♥

great photo Tara! :)

Marilyn

Your photograph is perfect to depict the winds of change.

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