France on Edge

I think not
French unions and students mass for protests
Government pressured to nix law that some fear will make jobs vulnerable

PARIS - Protesters and police geared up for mass demonstrations across France on Saturday as pressure mounted on the conservative government to cancel a new law that students and unions fear will undermine job security.

Trade unions and left-wing parties will join students in the demonstrations, bringing numbers, organizational talent and leading opposition figures to a movement that has created a serious crisis for Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

After a Paris student protest ended in violence on Thursday, police urged shopkeepers along the march route there to shut down and tagged parked cars with warnings. They also collected any debris that protesters could throw at riot police.

The demonstrations, which organizers hope will bring out more than a million people nationwide, were to begin mostly in the early afternoon. Several thousand rallied at an early march in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

“I think lots of people will be out there today,” said teachers’ union leader Gerard Aschieri. “This is a stage in a movement that is growing and that no politician can ignore.”

The First Job Contract (CPE), which Villepin rammed through parliament without debate, aims to fight youth unemployment by easing job protection for workers under 26, a step meant to spur hiring among bosses wary of taking on new staff.

Critics reject this as a “Kleenex contract” because young workers could be fired without explanation -- “thrown away like a paper tissue,” they say -- during their first two years. They demand full job protection after a short trial period.

French trade unions usually defend only their members, who are protected by strong labor laws, but have hooked up with the students now out of fear that the new contract could be the first step toward undermining their more privileged status.

The powerful pro-Communist CGT union upped the ante going into the day of protest, which union leaders plan to cap with a meeting after the march to discuss future strategy.

“If they don’t listen to us we are going to have to think about moving to a general strike across the whole country,” said CGT head Bernard Thibault.

No room to maneuver
Unemployment is the top political issue in France, where the national average is 9.6 percent and youth joblessness is double that. The rate rises to 50 percent in some of the poor suburbs hit by several weeks of youth rioting last autumn.

Widely criticized for sparking the protests with his surprise CPE contract, Villepin has vowed to stay the course, aware that giving in could ruin his hopes to run for president next year, as earlier prime ministers learned to their chagrin.

In a bid to defuse the crisis, President Jacques Chirac said on Friday the government was “ready for dialogue” on the law that critics say must be withdrawn before any talks can start.

But it was hard to see how the government has much room for maneuver without making major concessions. An opinion poll published on Friday showed 68 percent of French people oppose the law, a rise of 13 percentage points in a week.

The crisis has left Villepin exposed politically. His main rival, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, has stood back discreetly as the prime minister’s troubles mount.

His only consolation is that the opposition Socialists are so split that they hardly seem able to profit from the crisis.

University chancellors met Villepin on Friday evening and urged him to suspend the law and launch negotiations.

“We told him that things are getting worse and that next week could prove very risky,” said Yannick Vallee, vice president of the association of university presidents.
too bad
France does seem to be on the decline
that new employment law seems uncharacteristic of their culture---

Do you think that if France were more aggresive miltarily that all this strife might be vented and redirected externally----
France being aggressive militarily?

Yeah, right.
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf

France being aggressive militarily?

Yeah, right.

in past when they were aggressive -- very aggressive
they were not liked -- by the likes of you either

it seems that the french just cant do anything to your satisfaction


the uk- can do no wrong
france- can do no right
Cortez, I salute you! You always stand up for the little guy, that's not a bad thing.
Quote: Originally Posted by Sassylassie

Cortez, I salute you! You always stand up for the little guy, that's not a bad thing.

Yes, dear, but what if the little guy is dead wrong? It could happen.

Well, um I volley back to you. Great aviator.

they were not liked -- by the likes of you either

They still aren't.
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf


they were not liked -- by the likes of you either

They still aren't.

i know
im just not convinced your dislike is reasonable youd think it was france that bombed the UK during ww2 and not germany
French military history in a nutshell.

Gallic Wars: Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian.

Hundred Years War: Mostly lost, saved at last by a female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare - "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchmen."

Italian Wars: Lost. France becomes the first and only country ever to lose two wars when fighting Italians.

Wars of Religion: France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots.

Thirty Years' War: France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

War of Devolution: Tied; Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

The Dutch War: Tied.

War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War: Lost, but claimed as a tie. Deluded Frogophiles the world over label the period as the height of French Military Power.

War of the Spanish Succession: Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved ever since.

American Revolution: In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare: "France only wins when America does most of the fighting".

French Revolution: Won, primarily due to the fact that the opponent was also French.

The Napoleonic Wars: Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

The Franco-Prussian War: Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

WWI: Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it's like not only to sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

WWII: Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

War in Indochina: Lost. French forces plead sickness, take to bed with Dien Bien Flu.

Algerian Rebellion: Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a Western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare -"We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Eskimos.

War on Terrorism: France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe.
In aviation there is a saying: France has two terror alert levels 1. Collaboration 2. Complete surrender.

1066- FRANCE BEATS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

obviously if a loser country llike france beats you ---what does that make YOU.........

OK- youve cleared it all up for me
what still no counter argument


i must have REALLY hit a nerve eh........
Johnny Utah

"Déjà Vu"
I've said it many times over the years, but I'll say it again: whoever conquers France next time has to keep it!

And judging from the increasingly violent and destructive Islamist riots of late, it appears the next master of the Great Surrender Monkeys will undoubtedly be a terrorist Mullah.

Now ain't that peculiar? Imagine that...Muslims being aggressive toward the very nation that has gone out of its way to lick the boots of every Islamofascist terrorist outfit on Earth! And lo! The latest word from the canonical "Arab Street" is that the violence in France is "because of the Iraq war"!

That's right, people! The French Islamists are excusing the riots as some kind of "political statement" on a war that France ostensibly (and belligerently) opposed from the very start!

I guess this doesn't bode well for the Leftist claptrap that everything would be fine if we just did what the Islamofascists wanted! Gee, the anti-American appeasenik Leftists are wrong again?? What a shock! ...NOT!

Time to lay down the law, people! And it sure as hell is high time that the appeaseniks of the world woke up and took a long hard look at reality: the reality in which Islamofascists do not see compromise or appeasement as a sign of strength; that caving in to their terrorist demands will not win their respect; and those who acquiesce the fastest will be slaughtered the quickest.

Quite honestly, it should come as no surprise that Islamofascists are like every other punk-ass criminal: they prefer weak targets.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is not playing for the civilized world's side.
Quote: Originally Posted by Sassylassie

In aviation there is a saying: France has two terror alert levels 1. Collaboration 2. Complete surrender.

you guys are WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Normal's boring, cortez.
cant argue with you there
and remember the french have given the world many wonderfull things
and food is only one of them

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