Half a million protesters took to the streets across France on Saturday to demand the scrapping of a new law they fear will erode job security, and trade union and student leaders gave the government 48 hours to comply.Or else they will…sit on their couches and watch daytime TV?
The marches were lighthearted romps.
The marches were mostly festive and peaceful, but dozens of youths pelted police with missiles, set a car ablaze and smashed a shop window at the end of the main protest in Paris. Police cleared them from Nation square with many rounds of tear gas.Nothing says festive like many rounds of tear gas. At my daughter’s 9-year-old birthday party, we had a terrible time choosing between a piñata and many rounds of tear gas.
Scattered violence was also reported in Marseille, Rennes and Lille, where police also charged and teargassed crowds.How festive!
The student protests played right into the strengths of the French government who immediately asked for terms of surrender.
GOVERNMENT OFFERS DIALOGUEAfter moistening his pantaloons, he then …
In the government's first reaction, spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said: "Beyond the passions of the moment, don't we all have an interest in a dialogue?"
ducked a television interviewer's question whether the government would withdraw the law.Having missed all of her economics classes because she slept in too late after long nights hitting the bong, 20-year-old Coralie Huvet said,
"I risk working for two years for nothing, just to be fired at any moment,"Showing that she had at least managed to pass 3rd grade,
She had "No to the CPE" written on her forehead, a reference to the "First Job Contract" (CPE) the protesters oppose.
Now we get to the brains of the group.
Opposition Socialist and Communist politicians also joined the protestNow there’s a group I want leading me. Proven winners, every one of them.
John Kerry’s alter ego, Dominique de Villepin (who is a man)
has pledged not to give in to street pressure. At the same time, he hinted on Friday evening that he could make some adjustments to the law.How very nuanced!
Unemployment is the top political issue in France, where the national average is 9.6 percent and youth joblessness is double that. The rate rises to 40-50 percent in some of the poor suburbs hit by several weeks of youth rioting last autumn.Huzzah! The best way to combat unemployment is to destroy durable goods. Replacing those burned out cars will increase demand and create new jobs. I suggest they create jobs all over France. Start at one end and stop at the other, creating jobs all the way. Go team!
In a dog-bites-man epilogue, the story notes…
Chirac is himself badly weakened.No. Really?
Next week in France: How to improve your economic situation by taxing everything that enters your country with rates only possible through the use of scientific calculators.