Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Chirac Prepares To Jump"

Eurosoc says:

"Chirac has a history of crumbling in the face of street protests, but nearing the end of his presidential term and with few prospects of re-election next May, he might decide that he has little to lose in a brawl with the unions.

What sort of "social clash" would we expect, then? The unions certainly have the people on the street, and their iron grip on public services such as transport and utilities could make life very difficult indeed for the government. However, union leaders too must think strategically, and balance their obvious glee in making France ungovernable with the risk that the public could quickly tire of striking antics, particularly if general strikes become weekly events.

The unions have the media on their side. Footage of attractive protesting students sets the French soul aglow, something broadcasters and newspapers have been quick to exploit. However, while the disturbing sight of France's media marching in step is useful for short-term campaigns, a protest lasting longer might force dissenting voices into the open."


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