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French strikes: the reactions

How did you do? For me, Paris metro 7 line was doable, but the 3 in Paris this morning was rough. I got off at an unpopular stop (Malesherbes) for my meeting, so I was a bit unpopular as I was against the opposite doors. Ah well, c’est la vie.

(Thibault Camus/Associated Press) Commuters at the Saint Lazare train station in Paris on Tuesday morning.

Le Figaro features some interesting pieces:
-how unions and police estimate demonstrators (2.5 v 1.12 million).
-unions warning there will be more strikes (surprise, surprise. What clowns).
what was motivating strikers

Foreign press:
The Economist
BBC with video
New York Times


…The pension problem in France is real. If unchanged, the number of pensioners will rise 47 percent between now and 2050. The French state pension system today is running a deficit of $14 billion; by 2050, it will be $131 billion, about 2.6 percent of projected economic output.

The change from 60 to 62 for a minimum pension will not solve all of the problems, and already represents a political compromise by Mr. Sarkozy.

But he must also find other savings in the budget, which this year has a deficit of 8 percent of gross domestic product. He has promised European allies — and the investors in the bond markets — to reduce that to 6 percent next year and to 3 percent by 2013, which leaves many economists skeptical that he can do it without raising taxes. Another Sarkozy reform, to eliminate a level of regional government in the bureaucrat-heavy French state, has been shelved for now in the face of opposition from the Socialists, who dominate local government….

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