In news you may not have heard, the French have been protesting a bill to raise the retirement age in France from 60 to 62. And by protesting, I don’t mean just showing up for one day. Sarkozy has struck back:
Clashes have broken out outside a major oil refinery in France after riot police moved in to clear strikers who blockaded the terminal for 10 days.
Two people were hurt outside the Grandpuits refinery east of Paris, one of 12 facilities affected by strikes.
President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered the authorities to lift the blockade earlier this week after thousands of petrol stations across France ran dry.
The Senate will vote later on the pension reform that sparked the action.
Ministers said the bill would clear its last major hurdle in a matter of hours, after the Senate was asked to halt debate on hundreds of opposition amendments and hold a single vote on all of them.
Changes to the retirement and pension age could become law next week, once they pass the committee stage and a final vote is held in both houses of parliament.
Notice something here: the protesters are doing economically damaging things. They aren’t just showing up in the mall, waving some flags, making some speeches and wandering off.
Notice also, that Sarkozy is still going to pass his bill.
The key point will be whether the opposition keeps up the pressure. AFTER the bill passes, they must continue rolling strikes and occupations until the elite gives in.
RULE #1 Of Post-Modern Elite Thinking: Elites think in terms of costs. If the cost of something is less than the benefit of doing it, assuming the return is also high enough they will almost certainly do it.
The strikes and shutdowns are a COST. The benefit of raising the pension age is that it pays for bailouts, bonuses and high salaries for the elites (since it helps pay to continue the financial casino.) Unless the cost is clearly going to be higher than the gain, they will do it. The strikes and other actions must continue until the elites who run Sarkozy realize the cost is higher than the benefit to them. Or, of course, they can be made to fear something more existential. It may be time for a new French Republic, for example, which takes power out of their hands entirely and bankrupts them by forcing them to pay back all their ill-gotten gains.
At this point in time, France is the only nation in the first world where there is meaningful resistance to the rush of Austerity (aka. Hooverism) and the attempt by elites to permanently break the power and wealth of the middle and working class.
Pray for France. Because if they fall, no one is even trying, and if they fall the elites will know they can take anything away from any first world’s nation’s population.