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.
The Hmong are a fiercely independent people who see Vietnamese profiteers moving in on their land as a threat. But the biggest threat to their way of life is probably tourism.
Nouakchott, Mauritania: The reddish sand from the Sahara still blows across the streets of this sprawling capital of perhaps 800 thousand people where the palaces of wealthy White Moors grow like mushrooms next to the countless Blacks and Touregs sleeping in the streets or in makeshift dwellings without water and electricity.
But the authorities, and their western backers, would have us believe that when five private press groups get a license to broadcast radio and TV for the first time this October, it will represent a major change. This opening of the airwaves is Sahara sand in our eyes to hide the real racial nature of a regime which has become an important actor in “the war on terrorism”.