France refusing to face reality

September 9th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A colossal turnout for nationwide protests against pension reform yesterday threatened President with a long winter of discontent if he pushes ahead with plans to increase the French retirement age from 60 to 62.

Trade unions comfortably exceeded their target of mobilising two million people on the streets as a nationwide strike disrupted transport, schools, government offices and parts of the media.

In Paris, the demonstration was so large – an estimated 270,000 people, or twice the numbers of the last protest in June – that the march had to be split into two halves.

More than 100 marches across the country attracted 2.5 million people, according to union estimates.

They are complaining about 62, when Australia and other countries are moving to 67 or 68.

It is inevitable that in NZ, the age will increase from 65 also.

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36 Responses to “France refusing to face reality”

  1. scrubone (3,092 comments) says:

    Love the headline. See also: “Sky is blue”. :)

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  2. James Stephenson (2,145 comments) says:

    There’s nowt the frogs like more than a good protest, the more nonsensical the better…

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  3. Bevan (3,923 comments) says:

    Typical. The french will moan like mad about this, then moan even louder when the country is broke and the pensions can’t be paid. And not once will they look back and think they could possibly be to blame.

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  4. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    I think you will be proven correct David as the sums haven’t added up for years as everyone knows.

    That’s why I can’t understand Key & National not moving quickly to set a date in the future for the end of super and getting everyone onto either private super or Kiwisaver pronto.

    This cancellation date coupled with a descending % cover per age band is the only sensible way to go so that in 40yrs those who are 20 or under now are funding their own super.

    Of course Key must make sure future politicians can’t monkey around with Super or Kiwisaver so that it’s integrity is safe from them.
    Then at least we are leaving a legacy for the next generation of a country that has stable funds for enivestment in infrastructure.

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  5. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Of course everyone knows that the French must do as they’re told by kiwiblog. Can’t have THEM deciding how to run their own country.

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  6. PaulL (5,954 comments) says:

    Clear example of what happens when you form a constituency who believe strongly in “spending other people’s money.” Once you start down that slippery slope, people get these kinds of entitlement mentality.

    NZ needs to properly move to individual savings accounts as soon as possible. Then instead of having 90% of retired people getting income from “the govt” (ultimately sort of conceptually paid for by their taxes over their working life, although in a strict economic sense it’s actually just a benefit), we’d have 70%+ of people spending their own money, and 25-30% getting a pure benefit gratis the govt. That would make it much easier to effect change.

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  7. RRM (9,788 comments) says:

    I’ve never expected to receive the kind of state-funded retirement the previous two generations have enjoyed, I can’t for the life of me get my head around where all the money comes from.

    I don’t expect that 45 years of paying income tax will somehow magically allow the state to keep me in the manner I’ve become accustomed to for another 30-odd years once I decide I’ve “worked long enough”.

    When I can’t work anymore, I imagine I’ll have to sell the house, and move into some cheerfully squalid little caravan by the beach up north. Where I will live cheaply listening to music, tinkering on the car and showing the grandkids how to fish, make stuff with their hands, and generally live without whatever hi-tech background noise they’ll be taking for granted in the 2060s….

    In short: Go away, frog unions. The world does not owe you a living.

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  8. James Stephenson (2,145 comments) says:

    MNIJ – I’m not intending to tell them what to do, I’m just laughing at their idiocy.

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  9. PaulL (5,954 comments) says:

    MNIJ: sarcasm is the lowest form of wit?

    Are you saying that people on Kiwiblog shouldn’t have opinions about what happens elsewhere in the world, and what that might have to tell us here in NZ? I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that we invade them and then change their policies.

    What’s kind of amusing is MNIJ coming on kiwiblog to tell kiwiblog people what they should do, and in particular that they shouldn’t spend time telling the French what to do. A bit ironic, no?

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  10. wreck1080 (3,865 comments) says:

    ha, frogs can’t pay, but want all.

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  11. Tinakori (67 comments) says:

    You only need to walk by the hundreds of tooled up police lining the streets on the walk to the Stadt de France to realise that the government will not risk another revolution. Where crowds gather the government shrinks. Sarkosy will back down.

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  12. scrubone (3,092 comments) says:

    Of course everyone knows that the French must do as they’re told by kiwiblog. Can’t have THEM deciding how to run their own country.

    Well, yea. They’re French after all!

    Actually I think the treaty specifically calls for the french government to take into account the top 5 blogs on the Tumeke list.

    In exchange, we gave them the real John Key to sort out their money problems by gambling on the international re-insurance market. What, you really thought John Key wasn’t a hologram?

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  13. Jcw (95 comments) says:

    @ MyNameIsJack

    “Deciding”

    The French do not have a “decision” to be made, to say that they do would be to create an illusion of any other option.

    Reality. Bugger.

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  14. PaulL (5,954 comments) says:

    JCW: sure there’s a decision. Change policies now, remain solvent. Don’t change policies, become insolvent, debt crisis, bailed out by the Germans.

    Looked at through that lens……rational choice is to wait for the German bailout.

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  15. Grizz (593 comments) says:

    Entitlitis at its worst.

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  16. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    It is inevitable that in NZ, the age will increase from 65 also.

    Not while we have a National government, ironically.

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  17. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    ……rational choice is to wait for the German bailout.

    The Germans are already grumpy about bailing out the Greeks who have much better retirement benefits than they do.

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  18. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    MNIJ really should go and play elsewhere. Not funny, helpful, or to any particular point.

    More like My Name is CockNose!

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  19. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    To be fair it isn’t France that refuses to accept reality, it’s the unions. Pathetic socialists that can’t understand that economies fail when everybody spends other peoples money without a thought for self responsibility.

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  20. Bevan (3,923 comments) says:

    Of course everyone knows that the French must do as they’re told by kiwiblog. Can’t have THEM deciding how to run their own country.

    Well if they took your advice, they are bound to be stuffed.

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  21. kowtow (8,220 comments) says:

    Kill your king, take to the streets and murder all the Frenchies in a city centre castle prison and then glorify those actions for 200 years………
    what else can you expect when the rabble don’t agree with the govt…….take to the steets……
    Glorify the Commune……..

    Vive la Republique…….lessons for NZ perhaps?

    Bloody Frogs.

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  22. backster (2,144 comments) says:

    Sarkozy should do what Michael Laws does so successfully for Wanganui… Offer them a referendum leaving the pension where it is will cost so much of a tax increase. Increase the age and the tax rate stays where it is.

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  23. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    I’m guessing the French mortality stats between 60 and 62 are already higher than ours at 65. Those frogs seem to have a high fat, high alcohol, high tobacco lifestyle. No so their immigrant populations who would possibly be the bigger winners from moving the age out two years.

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  24. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Another thing, upthread there a bit of scoffing at the French tendency to protest. While the subject of their protests may sometimes seem warped to us.. at least they get out there and tell the government what they bloody think. Kiwi’s would do well to be a bit more inclined to vent when there’s need. Rather than sit and watch stuff happen that we disagree with.

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  25. Raider580 (13 comments) says:

    Its easy for Gov to raise the age limit but what happens to all the people who are not fit enough to work longer. ie: hard manual labour.
    No one wants to employ older workers.
    What will retraining cost,and what to be retrained as. Lets hear of real plan.
    I for one have no intention of retireing at 65 and my Dad still works at 83 but he wasnt climbing up ladder or working in the elements all day.

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  26. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    An increase of 3 months a year for 8 years would be a gentle way to bring the age up to 67 but trying to get the political consensus to do that seems close to impossible. My father recently turned 65 – I pointed out that he was living proof why 65 was too young – he had the good grace to agree and noted he had no intention of retiring any time soon.

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  27. Bob R (1,362 comments) says:

    *** colossal turnout for nationwide protests against pension reform yesterday threatened President Nicolas Sarkozy with a long winter of discontent if he pushes ahead with plans to increase the French retirement age from 60 to 62. ***

    Talk about re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic. If they started deporting some of the car burning welfare dependents they might be able to keep it at 60 a bit longer.

    http://www.meforum.org/337/islam-in-france-the-french-way-of-life-is-in

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  28. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    I really dislike the French. All the arrogance of a great power without actually doing anything. The only time they seem to get motivated is when the government suggests that just maybe they should dial back the outrageous burdens on the taxpayer. Nothing like suggesting a Frog do an honest days work to get tyres burning in Paris.

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  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    I’m confused… having dealt, albeit briefly, with the French public sector I was under the impression they stopped working immediately upon hiring.

    If it all implodes they’ll go running to the EU. And while ordinary Germans (and anyone else whose economy has a few pennies left in credit) won’t like it, the burghers of Strasbourg/Brussels will ensure a bailout occurs so as to keep the whole mess lashed together, and thus keep their cushy jobs.

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  30. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Q the crazy high suicide rate of current and just ex France Telecom Employees.

    Having been Privatised , the culture had to change. Frankly like so many parts of Greece and other club Med cultures.

    The prospect of them having to adopt a performance culture, quite common in Anglo Saxon economies was frankly too much to bear.

    The culture was that of an embellished sinecure.

    Heavily reported in the ‘Economist’.

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  31. lastmanstanding (1,279 comments) says:

    Give the Froggies a break Everyone has kicked their arses in history. Mind you they work the shortest week in Europe 35 hours and some industries and government have retirement at 55 yo.

    And they take long lunch breaks. For all that I find them friendly towards Kiwis especially those who follow rugby

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  32. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    As a famous frog once said, “let them eat cake”, such a shame she’s not still around.

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  33. Camryn (538 comments) says:

    Set it at life expectancy (as estimated at year of birth) – 20% of life. That way we don’t need to keep having this debate at average lifespans increase, and we all have a firm unshifting target our whole working life.

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  34. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    Camryn

    Far too sensible, no potential to tilt the playing field come election time with that sort of pragmatic approach.

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  35. Pharmachick (233 comments) says:

    I was there in June in downtown Paris when they had the first march. In fact, my husband and I had to wait 30 mins to cross a road.

    What the HELL is going on in the media viz **real** reporting????

    The statement

    ” In Paris, the demonstration was so large – an estimated 270,000 people, or twice the numbers of the last protest in June…”

    is RIDICULOUSLY false and overstated!! In June, when we were there for the 1st anti-changing retirement age march, it would’ve been 5,000 people *max*. More like 2-3,000. Numbers like 135,000 (which is 1/2 the current [reported] numbers) are just nonsensical. Which makes me think that the currently reported numbers are, likewise, nonsensical.

    The numbers reported are thoroughly over-inflated and I will not believe them unless someone can show me reputable footage or pictures.

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