Tuesday, 26 October 2010


What is with the french and their willingness to go on strike?
News reports about french workers on strike are quite frequently heard, often for reasons that may seem rather small to foreigners. This time the strikes are against a new pension reform, which most controversial part is an increase of the retirement age from 60 to 62 years old. To many outside french retirement at 60 seems to be a luxury, and at this time something they cannot afford. An aging population need a larger working force for support, obviously reform is needed. 

The usual example of french strikes are french farmers dumping various farming products on the street and blocking streets with farm machines. This tend to center around insufficient government support or against European Union ideas about decreasing import tariffs on agricultural products. These protectionistic policies are often criticised and would need reform to create a better market.For some reason these french farmers are allowed to have a too large influence on the European community; the french government bows and their large influence in the European Union often enough to block suggestions "threatening" the french farmers.

This strike is however spread to more sectors and seem to be more widespread. The current strike has been estimated to cost, the already strained french economy, 200 to 400 million euros ($280 to $560 million) every day. The costs include fuel shortages, lost foreign investment, and damage to the country's reputation.

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