Saturday, October 16, 2010

France makes the U.S. look Dickensian. Citizen workers shut down country protecting safety nets.

In this country there’s a movement to pull every safety net out from under Americans, a life saver for hundreds of millions of seniors and the poor, and a century and a half of innovation and progress. Yet overseas, in France, their citizens en masse have nearly shut down the country, protesting the government efforts to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. What a difference a country makes.

From their agenda seen here, it’s hard to imagine such a stark difference in human nature. Keep in mind, all of this unrest stems from the Republican created free market crash of our economy, which then took down the world. Amazing story:

(AP) - Scattered fuel shortages rattled drivers and France's main airport warned that some flights must arrive with enough fuel to get back home as hundreds of thousands marched Saturday for the fifth time in a month to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to raise the retirement age to 62.

Frequent strikes in the last few weeks have hobbled French trains and airports, closed schools and docks, and left garbage piling up in the southern port of Marseille. Police estimated some 825,000 people marched in cities across France, lower than during an Oct. 12 march. In Paris, huge balloons rose above a vocal crowd that police counted at 50,000 as marchers made their way from the Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation on the city's eastern edge. Unions claimed 310,000 protesters marched.

More than 300 high schools went on strike this week and scuffles with police left one student seriously injured. Countries across Europe are cutting spending and raising taxes to bring down deficits and debts that hit record levels after the 2008 financial crisis resulted in the worst recession in 70 years. Labor leaders, students and civil servants are fighting back.

Try and imagine a tea party member defending the idea of freedom and liberty by protesting worker abuse by big business:

"(These protests are) an attempt to say stop abusing the workers and citizens," Christian Coste, head of the CGT Union at Total's La Mede refinery. "We are not here to bring France to its knees and create a shortage, we are here to make ourselves heard."

Sarkozy's pension reforms - especially raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 - are seen by unions as an attack on their near-sacred social protections. Even at 62, France would have one of the lowest retirement ages in Europe.

In cities excluding Paris, some 340,000 protesters were out by midday, according to the Interior Ministry. Unions insisted the figures were higher.

Born on the wrong continent?

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