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Is Sarkozy ready to 'do' a Thatcher?

I think we all know that French trade unions regularly get away with murder, and the public 'sector has it pretty sweet on the other side of the Ditch. A particular 'highlight' is the special retirement regime for TGV train drivers, inter alia, which allows them to retire at 50 with a spectacular package of benefits.

Anyway, Sarko is intent on doing something about this, as he committed himself to do, and SNCF, RATP etc employees are striking tomorrow. So far, so very far from out of the ordinary. What is interesting is the reaction of the French public, judging from this poll in Le Figaro:

'Do you think that the government's reforms are going in the right direction?' 57% yes, 32% no. Even among leftists, the split is a comparatively balanced 41%/49%.

'Do you think the strikes are justified?' 43% yes, 55% no. 76% of right wing sympathisers think not, 67% of Leftists do.

And perhaps the most telling:

'Do you think the strikers are motivated by defence of broad social interests, or those of special interests?' Even the Left can only muster 42% in agreement with the former, and - bizarrely - 19% on the Right, while the latter reason attracts 47% of the Left, and 69% of the Right.

Come on Sarko, tough it out. Your country needs you too.

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Anonymous peter whale said... 4:20 pm

I live in France, I have children in school here. Normaly any greve (strike) is supported by the teachers union, surprisingly tomorrows greve is not, much to the dissapointment of my children. I think change is in the air.  

Anonymous verity said... 5:37 pm

I am upset that Cécile is leaving him. It seems she may have another man in the wings. The French say, "You lose them as you got them."

Peter Whale, why not just write strike, instead of greve (strike)? And doesn't grève have an acute accent over the first e?  

Blogger Arthurian Legend said... 8:12 pm

That'll be a grave accent, Verity...  

Anonymous verity said... 10:48 pm

You're right. I really did know that it wasn't an aigu and was going to write grave, then thought I must be getting the word mixed up with greve, so I must mean acute.

You are correct.

I still don't understand the point of writing "a greve (strike)" when he was writing the whole post in English for an Anglophone audience. I write this post in la tarde (evening). I would have written it mas tarde (later) but decided to write it now (ahorra).  

Blogger flashgordonnz said... 12:11 am

The union is only motivated to strike because that don't like rugby (it's the final weekend of the tournament (is that, like, a french word?). What excellent timing you leftie fucktards, piss-off all those foriegns who are in town and already think the French are, er, unusual.  

Anonymous Bridget Jones said... 9:07 am

I'd have thought you'd be pleased about the Sarko split, Verity. A right-wing bloke back on the market...  

Anonymous verity said... 12:21 pm

Bridget Jones - Not where I am.  

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