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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

Excerpt:

…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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