Wednesday, April 05, 2006

France Demos : The sky is the limit?

The numbers are in and today's demonstrations were larger than last week's. Le Monde's Infographic gives a good sense of the scale. Bordeaux was once again the 3rd largest nationwide.

The other numbers: Villepin's popularity is now at 28% and according to a BVA poll, 45% of the French now want Villepin to resign.

The question is what happens now? A meeting will take place between the government and student and union leaders tomorrow. The anti-cpe movement has the upper hand after today but they are aware that continued one day actions are going to run out of steam. They could call for a National Strike until the government backs down or come to some sort of agreement with the government.

While some of the union leadership may want to cut a deal while they have the upper hand, it may not go down well on the street. People in general are talking politics again and feeling strongly about issues, a lot of people don't want to capitulate now and would feel betrayed if the unions make a bargain (although that's what the unions are there for). I doubt we are going to see a general strike over the CPE / CNE issue though.

Remember how I explained before that this goes back to the No to EU vote and how the government hasn't addressed people's concerns, but rather embarked on a neo-liberal campaign to fix the unemployment rate before the next election. Well I don't see that people will buy a reduction in the unemployment rate as a campaign platform now. Or Villepin for President.

Dominiques' political career may well be over quite soon, after only ten months as Prime Minister and that leaves Sarko with a clear run for the UMP nomination for the Presidential race. Unless of course Chirac realises how politically lethal the job of PM is in France...

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