Saturday, 6 November 2010
Rétraites: it goes on
More protests are occurring outside my flat today over Sarkozy's plans. Sadly, my camera is broken so I can't take any up-to-date photos, so the one above comes from an earlier protest on 17th October near Boulevard St. Marcel. It's actually a drab, rainy day here in Paris; which I think has affected the turnout. The CGT have got their floats out as usual, but there are definitely fewer people trudging along in umbreallas and raincoats out there on the streets. Despite the defiant broadcasts on the megaphones, there's less of an atmosphere than before, with people just getting on with the march rather than taking their time to enjoy the atmosphere: again, this is probably due to the rain.
Some of my fellow teachers are taking part in the demonstrations, which have been going on for a few hours now.
This eighth day of protest comes after the reform has already been passed by the National Assembly and the Senate. According to Le Monde, Bernard Thibault, the leader of the main trade union in France, the CGT is ready to carry on fighting the reform until July 2011, when the reform comes into effect. The Socialists have also said they won't let the matter drop if they are elected in 2012.
Whether these demonstrations will overturn the reform is anyone's guess. The law still has to go through the Constitutional Court where it will no doubt be challenged by the PS before Sarkozy can sign it off. You get the sense that the anti-reform movement is weakening, with turnout down and one trade union seemingly distancing themselves from the retirement question. Sarkozy is staking his entire bid for re-election on this plan. He can't back down now. And however much it may pain my colleagues, I don't think he will.