by S.G. Kazolias: President Emmanuel Macron campaigned to put an end to what he called “Social Dumping” —- the practice of temporarily hiring workers from poorer EU countries at the minimum wage and paying their much lower social security in their home country. On March 1, EU delegates in Brussels agreed to revise the 1996 accord allowing this. But getting all EU countries to agree may be harder.
When the then 12 EU members approved the 1996 ‘Posted Workers’ directive, labor costs between the different countries was one to three. As the EU enlarged to 28 with the former Soviet Block countries, that differential became one to ten and employers took advantage of it. Skilled labor was brought in from countries like Bulgaria, Romania and Poland at a fraction of the cost.
By S.G Kazolias. President Emmanuel Macron’s reform strategy remains the same: call in the unions, associations and organizations of those concerned by labor reforms for “consultations.” The government says what it wants, the others tell the government what they won’t accept and the government goes ahead with its original plan through a process that by-passes parliamentary debate.
Paris, Feb. 21: One-and-a-half million fewer tourists visited the Paris region last year and the November 2015 terrorist attacks are being blamed. Hotel reservations in the French capital were down nearly nine percent, according to a report released Tuesday by The Regional Tourism Committee.
Gas stations ran dry last week when unions blocked the refineries. Other employees threatened to shut down nuclear reactors. Public transport is expected to grind to a halt this week. Police, teachers, prison guards and more are joining the movement. All of this to protest a mild labor reform law aimed at reducing unemployment.
President Hollande insists he will not back down even though violence in the streets, despite a state-of-emergency, has the government fearing tourists will stay away this summer.
It is truly a case of ‘The Cid‘ in which there is no honorable way out for all sides meaning the worst is possible.
Paris: France is bankrupt. In terms of the Maastricht criteria, French public debt is 97% of GDP, or roughly two trillion euros. But add to this, the off-balance-sheet debt (estimated at over three trillion euros) such as pensions (19 billion euros a year deficit), unemployment insurance (over five billion/year deficit), health care system (15 billion/year deficit) and other social guaranties supposed to finance themselves and the real debt of France is an astronomical 242% of GDP. Yet, labor in France refuses to hear of reform. Students, who have never worked a day in their lives, are marching with public service employees and fighting police in the streets.
France’s Minister for Family and Women’s Affairs this week lambasted fashion houses for proposing Islamic clothing for women. Laurence Rossignol said it is “irresponsible” for major brands like Marks & Spencer’s to promote the “confining of women’s bodies.” At question is everything from the ‘burkini’ bathing suit to high-end head scarves.