Friday, March 24, 2006

France Demos : No Future

I was trying to figure out why the French government has embarked on such a campaign of self-induced stupidity and the only thing I can come up with is that they want to win next year's election. I have this picture in my mind of a pollster telling the ruling party, in the aftermath of the No to EU vote, the thing that most French people are concerned about is jobs. So the UMP decided that in order to win 2007 they had to drop the unemployment rate (which at that point in time was heading north of 11%) as fast as they could. Jacques dumped Ruffian as PM and installed Dominique, who embarked on a series of measures of cutting the unemployment numbers by any means necessary.

Dominique set about reworking the labour legislation by introducing the CNE and a new scheme whereby work seekers could be removed from the register of the unemployed if they infringed certain conditions. At the time it was presented as a carrot-and stick approach to encourage people to take jobs and accept the conditions of the CNE (the same 2 year trial period). Except it has been more stick than carrot. The CNE is just as evil as the CPE but harder to organize against. The objective though was to cut the unemployment numbers. The CPE is just a step further along in this strategy, one which is intended to bring "structural adjustment" to the French economy in true IMF style.

The January unemployment numbers are down to 9.6%, which in a word, is bullshit. Although the decrease is credited to the CNE, the numbers have been cooked by a political agenda rather than any real job growth in the French economy. They don't like to mention how many people have been removed from the list even though they are still unemployed. The bottom line is that the French economy is not producing any new real jobs - and the government is well aware of this - although some slack can be taken in by creating temp jobs through the CNE and CPE which keep people off the unemployment list for 23 months and 29 days. And if you don't like these job offers you are taken off the list after 3 refusals. Not that the ANPE is much help in finding a job anyway, which is why the unofficial rates of unemployment are still much higher than advertised.

The point is that the contracts aren't about creating jobs, they are about hiding the real unemployment figures until the end of the next election. Its the only reason that makes any sense of what the government strategy has been for last 10 months. In that period they haven't made any headway in creating any real jobs. I don't know the exact figures but I'm willing to bet that there has been a net job loss. Nor have they made it any easier to employ yourself. At the end of the day the French government has brought the current siuation on themselves purely for sake of trying to win the next election by obfusicating the unemployment numbers. Quel con.

OK Now.

Image courtesy of

1 comment:

qrswave said...

it's simply not possible for everyone to be gainfully employed in our mass production, assembly-line, global economy.

So to mitigate that harsh reality they play musical jobs.

This global industrial economic system is unsustainable. I give it 10 years, max.