Archive for the 'politics' Category

Another French strike

Monday, September 6th, 2010

The French need some kind of pension reform. The current French state budget is seriously in the red at roughly 7.5% of GDP last year, well outside European norms. France have a policy of statutory retirement from the age of 60, for men and women. This is already more advantageous than the UK where it […]

Credit Crunching

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Seen on Slashdot, talking about the credit crunch: “People are not buying bullshit anymore. Not because they don’t believe the bullshit; they never did. They are not buying it because they can not sell it on to someone else.”

French Election Day: Summing Up

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Here’s a quote that aptly sums up the election campaign, mostly from an online standpoint. It probably reverberates enough to be applicable to most other election campaigns of recent years. From OuiNon.net (yes or no, clever…). Que les organisations de militants arrêtent de pourrir les commentaires de blogs, forums, sondages et quotidiens en ligne ; […]

Choosing a President

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

The political excitement is mounting; for weeks now, the focus has been on the presidential race. A couple of Sundays ago, the first round saw a massive 84% turnout and the two main parties’ candidates came first and second. On the right, for the UMP, Nicolas Sarkozy. On the left, for the PS, Ségolène Royal. […]

Happy May Day

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Today is “International Workers Day” a.k.a. Labor day in the U.S., May Day in England, and here in France we celebrate the same thing, la fête du travail. Along with a number of pagan festivals which have always celebrated May, it’s specifically a commemoration of the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago, Ill. when the […]

Contrat Premiere Embauche (French Labour Law)

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

Employment law in France is, to an outside observer used to the Anglo-saxon system, all about employee rights. Trade Unions are strong and their socialist leanings mean that acquired employee rights cannot be taken lightly. The desire of the current right-wing government is to make employment law more flexible for employers, allowing them to have […]

More train strikes

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

As most of you know, the French love to go on strike. Especially the public sector, with the lead generally being held by train workers. Yesterday, the SNCF (French national train company) were on strike, causing packed trains and leaving many people stranded waiting for a train to get home. Even with only 30% (highest […]

Urban Violence in France

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

Residential areas around France are burning. Cars are being torched. Local commerce is being reduced to broken glass, ash and smoke-damaged furniture and fittings. For the last couple of weeks, there have been a number of events around Paris which have caused widespread alarm. The initial event which seems to have sparked off the violence […]