Thursday, 29 January 2009

the iron is not hot

Amidst the worst economic downturn in over 60 years many avenues of French life are going on strike tomorrow. They are striking against Sarkozy's handling of the economic crisis and freezing of pay increases. I am trying to understand how bringing the economy to a complete halt for the day will assist.

Both public and private sector are in on the strike, including, hospitals, schools, administrators/ public sector, banks, car-workers (who clearly are having a robust business environment), law courts, airports and even the theatre are walking out in protest. It is widely believed that unless drastic action is taken to cut expenditure in the public sector the purse from which it fattens itself will bankrupt the country.

Black Thursday (jeudi noir) as it has been dubbed will enjoy strike action and marches throughout the country. The locals I have spoken to are dumbfounded. They have little sympathy with the striking forces who they say should grow up. "This is the tenth strike in the last year, do these people not want to work? Do they not understand what is going on in the world?" said one lady. There are fears that given the perceived irrationality of national mobilisation businesses will move operations to other less militant countries.

Le Figaro ran a story stating that the body responsible for publishing enemployment figures will not publish the monthly report planned for release tomorrow. This is in protest at the loss of a few jobs as part of a cost cutting measure brought on by le crise. I secretly hope that the men digging up the road outside take a well earned rest tomorrow too. They only have a two-hour lunch break, aside from mandatory bi-hourly coffee/cigarette breaks, so have more cause for complaint than most.

Basque of the day:- immature :: heldugabe