I am watching the political situation in France with great interest. It seems many of the countries in Europe are facing similar issues, as costs and budgets balloon. Forget our own economy for the moment, let's just stick to France~
Today, Saturday, there were protests across France. It's in their blood; now as centuries ago, the French people take to the streets when they have a strong opinion.
The biggest issue is the proposal to raise the retirement age, from 60 to 62 and from 65 to 67 for full government pension. Poor Sarko, it's tough being le President...here, the protest in Lille~
There were estimates of 2.5 - 3 million people protesting across France today, the fifth such day of protests.
Getting around Paris on foot or bike is not much of an issue when there is a transportation strike, and transport is generally the first area of the economy to manifest. The inconvenience comes when you are traveling internationally. The refineries have cut off the supply of jet fuel to Charles de Gaulle (Roissy), and there are now 3 days of jet fuel left.
The French find a way to adapt. For the planes, they are advising flights from abroad to "bring enough fuel with you for your return flight." Bienvenue en France. I was in Paris in '95 when we had three weeks of strikes; it was comical yet phenomenal.
The government caved in then, as they will likely do now. But I would not underestimate Sarko. We'll see what this week brings.
Photos from lefigaro.fr and lemonde.fr and my French scrapbook.