Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Frogs and Limies Clamor for More Fly Tostadas

Don't ask me what the headline means, all I know is that the Brits and Frenchies are rioting because their respective governments want to raise the retirement age. What, I have to not work longer?

Strikes in France, London foreshadow more protests (in the United States)
Strikes wallop commuters and tourists in France and London; more protests to come in Europe

PARIS (Associated Proletariat) -- French strikers disrupted trains and planes, hospitals and mail delivery Tuesday amid massive street protests over plans to raise the retirement age. Across the English Channel, London subway workers unhappy with staff cuts walked off the job.

The protests look like the prelude to a season of strikes in Europe, from Spain to the Czech Republic, as heavily indebted governments cut costs and chip away at some cherished but costly benefits that underpin the European good life -- a scaling-back process that has gained urgency with Greece's euro110 billion ($140 billion) bailout.

In France, where people poured into the streets in 220 cities, setting off flares and beating drums, a banner in the southern port city of Marseille called for Europe-wide solidarity: "Let's Refuse Austerity Plans!" The Interior Ministry said more than 1.1 million people demonstrated throughout France, while the CFDT union put the number at 2.5 million.

Some commuters were annoyed by the disruptions -- even in strike-inured France.

"I'm just getting tired of this because this is not the first time," [cue laugh track] said Henda Fersi, a passenger at the Part-Dieu train station in Lyon in southeast France. "I understand the strikers' point of view but, still, they put us in a difficult situation and we're penalized." [Continued?]

Oh to be young and French and sympathetic to the Internationale, but in a bind to get to the croissant bistro on time!

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