As the French intifada seemingly cools (just for the moment?) normalcy — French style — has returned. Torching cars——a common every day form of vandalism there——has dropped to a mere 98 per evening. And in the land of liberty, equality and fraternity, several major labor strikes involving workers of varied backgrounds, another common happening in France, are continuing to unfold.
The strike at the goovernment's SNCF rail network was one of the biggest protests in a week of demonstrations expected this week by groups as diverse as researchers, teachers, interns and Paris transit workers.
The issues? Protests about privatization and job loss.
Meanwhile, French unemployment is at least 10%. But don't worry too much about the unemployed or the strikers: generous benefits guarantee they have plenty of time and money to burn cars. And enjoy their lengthy vacations.
Ethel C. Fenig 11 21 05