April 13, 2006

They're at it again

Yep its the french again, they've certainly gotten a lot harder to understand over the past few weeks. Anyone remotely interested in the news would have come across the near daily riots by french students over a new law – CPE , which essentially makes it easier to hire and fire workers especially since there is no need to give a reason when firing them.

Now its not so much the rioting thats new, but its the people that are doing so. I agree I am not french neither an expert on their economy, but if 45% of the people aged 18–26 do not have a job, I certainly would not be trying to burn cars if a new law made it easier for me to get a job. Yes I understand that there can be significant stress not knowing when you might be fired, but is that really any worse than being unemployed? The students protesting kept saying that as it is there are no jobs in France for them, neither is the future looking too bright but they dont want this law as it will make it easier for them to be fired. But what about the other side of the equation where it is also easier for them to be hired?

In my opinion france is going down the drain right now, their growth has been spearheaded by the free-market economy, trade liberalization and some good entrepreneurship, but with this continually socialist approach to everything they have forgotten why they are one of the top economies in Europe in the first place. The U.K. has a far stronger economy and is projected to achieve at least 3% growth in 2007, and it has also embraced liberalization much more enthusiastically. The U.K has an unemployment rate of 5.1% whereas France is in double figures…...surely despite their hatred for the British, common sense should prevail when it comes to following the right policy for the future of the country? Instead they have a list of 10 national companies that cannot be privatised and are increasingly wary of any other mergers or take-overs…..even though other countries across the world are quite open to French companies taking over local companies. Some times the right decision requires courage, France has failed yet again and with increasingly socialist attitudes and a desire to isolate themselves from the rest of the world (only 35% of the french believe free trade is good as opposed to 66% of the British), they certainly are not going to fare any better in the foreseeable future.

University students should know a hell of a lot better. Either way why should I be guaranteed a job just because I have a university degree? If I have a degree in a non technical subject why does that entitle me to any job, despite the technical expertise required? The students may have succeeded in blocking the law, but have certainly shown themselves to be disappointing in doing so.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. While I agree with the general sense of your argument – that France needs change and it's going to take some tough decisions before things get any better – I have to point out that your first paragraph is really quite far from the truth.

    I've been living in central Paris for 7 months now and I've found it rather amusing how the recent protests in Paris have been relayed across the world. I think you've got the recent strikes and protests mixed up with the problems in the Parisian suburbs last November. There have certainly been no "daily riots" and there have been very few cars burnt – maybe 20 at the most, but certainly nothing near the thousands that were targetted during the actual riots last November.

    Also, I would like to point out that unemployment amongst the under 26s is actually around 20%. It's closer to 40% for the same age group but just in the poor, immigrant areas that surround Paris. However it's clear that neither of these figures is acceptable, and so yes change is needed.

    14 Apr 2006, 01:13

  2. Well I agree the rioting was not every day, but I disagree with the theory that there was no violence involved (and no I am not mixing it up with the racial riots some time back) The violence was sporadic and carried out by a small minority, nonetheless it was there.

    Anyway what I don't understand is that you seem to accept that change is needed, why not other students?

    14 Apr 2006, 02:16

  3. Fight for jobs for life, yay

    14 Apr 2006, 13:59

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