French revolt against Hollande

Renaud Lambert of Le Monde Diplomatique says the growing resistance to Hollande’s labor policies is similar to anti-austerity movements in Spain and Greece

On the other hand Hollande persists on the Labour Reform

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France is heading into a ‘summer of discontent’

Fuel supplies running low, nuclear power stations shut down, disgruntled commuters. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, argues Martin Dixon from the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This was meant to be France’s summer. A time to remind the world of just what a brilliant place it is to hold big events. With bids announced for Expo 2024 and the Olympics, a successful UEFA 2016 football championships was going to be a show case for everything great about French administration and organization.

A successful tournament, the world’s eyes on full stadiums and millions of happy supporters, this was to be the backdrop to a return to better times. As TGVs whisked supporters the length and breadth of the land, we were to enjoy just how right a bit of central planning can be, and reflect that maybe us Anglo-Saxons are the ones who have it all wrong.

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 French Strikes Joined by EDF as Valls Defends Labor Reform

Some Electricite de France workers joined strikes at oil refineries, cutting power output, as the government vowed not to back down revising a labor law and businesses warned of economic damage if the protests continued.

“What are the alternatives – a withdrawal of the text? That’s impossible,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday on RMC radio. “Modifications” and “improvements” could be considered, though the key article that shifts negotiations from the sector to the company level can’t be changed, he added. Later, he said during debate in the Senate that it’s “unacceptable” for protesters to “block a country and harm the economic interests of France.”

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The protests have led to gasoline shortages across the country and confrontation between police and militants in the CGT union at refineries and fuel depots as the government pushes aside strikers to ensure the distribution of fuel supplies.

“The CGT does not makes the law in this country,” Valls said. “There will be no retreat on the law, no putting into question of article 2, which is the core of the law.”

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Hollande defiant as unions vow to step up industrial unrest

Paris (AFP) – French President Francois Hollande vowed Friday to “stand firm” over a controversial labour law as unions called on workers to step up a wave of industrial action gripping the country.

France is battling fuel shortages, transport disruption and violent demonstrations, just as it gears up to host the Euro 2016 football championships in two weeks’ time.

“I will stand firm because I think it is a good reform,” Hollande told reporters at a G7 summit in Japan.

He said the government’s top priority was to ensure the “normal functioning of the economy” in the face of the most severe industrial action for two decades, including blockades of oil refineries and fuel depots that have left petrol pumps running dry.

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