France’s General Strike Holds Past Le Weekend

France is never far from the news these days for alt_news sites like this one. As we watch the European Union unravel as a result of policies imposed on member states aimed at turn 28 (soon to be 27) member states into a single, federal bureaucratic dictatorship run by a committee of faceless civil servants in Brussels, there is a mobid fascination in seeing hoe the three most rabidly federalist and politically correct members, Germany, France and Sweden fall apart as a result of governments’ embracing EU globalist politicies ahead of addressing the needs of their own nations.

Paris was once again at a near standstill on Monday as the general strike called by unionists and activist groups to protest against the reforms to the pension system planned by the government of President Macron, which unions and economists say would leave pensioned in poverty, closed communter line trains, buses and subways for a fifth day.

Macron, a deeply unpopular president from the beginning of his term of office, faces  one of the toughest weeks yet of his presidency, that has already seen France rocked by terrorist attacks and life disrupted by the “Yellow Vests” protests against high taxes and EU immigration policies. Now his government’s planned redesign of the complex French pension system is in danger as prolonged civil unrest could force withdrawal of the policy.

Macron and his advisers failed to foresee the problems likely to result from  combining 42 different retirement plans into one capable of delivering a more equitable, financially sustainable system. Unions claiim the move s an attack on the French way of life even though the government does not plan to change the current retirement age of 62 at this time.

With people living longer it is inevitable the retirement age must rose at some point.

The SNCF national rail network warned travelers to stay home or use “alternative means of locomotion” to get around Monday instead of thronging platforms in hopes of getting the few available trains running. Mysteriously, they cited safety concerns as justification for their advice rather than admitting few trains would be running.

Because of the lack of trains and other forms of public transport, he national road authority reported more than 600 kilometers (360 miles) of traffic jams at morning rush hour around the Paris region – up from 150 kilometers (90 miles) on an average day.

Traffic problems were worse on Monday than when the strike started last week, because many French employees managed to work from home for a couple of days or take time off. But businesses cannot continue to run on that basis for long if the strike continues.

Gabriella Micuci, an office worker from the Paris suburb of Le Bourget, walked several kilometers in cold rain before reaching a station on one of the two Metro (subway) lines that are automated and don’t need drivers. Other commuters used bikes or electric scooters.

“I left home earlier than usual, I thought I was going to be able to catch an early train but not at all,” Micuci told The Associated Press. “It´s a real catastrophe, people are becoming even more violent, they are pushing you.”

Encouraged by the biggest nationwide protests in decades, unions plan renewed protests on Tuesday and hope to keep up the pressure on Macron’s government to withdraw the retirement reforms.

Macron summoned Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and other top officials to a summit meeting on Sunday night to create a strategy for dealing with the crisis.

The prime minister will reveal the government’s plan on Wednesday, but this is only expected to urge people to defer retirement.

The reform is central to Macron’s vision of transforming the French economy though considering his open doors immigartion policy which has seen unskilled, illiterate migrants flood into the country, what he plans to transform it into is unclear, a fairy princess maybe?. Government ministers insist the current system is unfair and financially unsustainable, while unions say the reform undercuts worker rights and will force people to work longer for less. Macron’s main political opponent, Eurosceptic Marine Le Pen, and her Rassemblement National party point out that the immigration policy is unfair and financially unsustainable.

Seeking to head off public anger, Macron asked veteran politician Jean-Paul Delevoye to hold months of meetings with workers, employers and others to come up with recommendations for France’s new retirement plan. Delevoye is presenting his conclusions to unions on Monday. A similar exercise of colsultations at grass roots level with Yellow Vest protestors only served to deepen the division between the ruling elite and the people.

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