I am lucky that I am not one of millions of ordinary French people trying to get to and from work today. For me the commute is easy. Out of bed and down the stairs to my office. But all over the country people are stranded, delayed, inconvenienced and for what? So that SNCF workers can retire aged 50.
Sarko was voted in by the French. His mandate was reform, and heaven knows the country needs it. Who do these civil servants think they are helping by bringing France to a standstill? Themselves of course. This is not what the majority wants, otherwise we’d have Sego not Sarko. These are selfish people fighting for their own turf to the detriment of the majority.
The message is clear. France cannot afford to go on like it has been. France is going broke. People need to work longer hours for more years if she is to stand a chance of being economically viable. Although we don’t pay a huge amount of tax our social charges are totally horrendous. We have had to take out loans to pay them off.
“But if you’re ill you can claim money,” our accountant told us. I would rather take that risk and not have the charges. But this is where the French mentality differs from mine.
The school is on strike today. The teachers are taking part in what they call a “national movement”. National movement for what? National movement to work as little as possible. Luckily my in-laws are not on strike and the children have gone there for the day. I’m lucky they are English, striking just isn’t in their vocabulary. A bit like claiming.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007