Tuesday, July 6, 2010

France, Millions Join Protests

On Thursday 24 June, about two million workers took to the streets in about 200 cities and towns of France in a national day of action called by the main trade union organisations (CGT, CFDT, CFTC, UNSA, FSU and Solidaires) against the pension reforms. This is the centre-piece of the wave of attacks concocted by the Sarkozy-Fillon government, aimed at slashing up to €100 billion from public spending by 2013. Many capitalist voices, in France and internationally, are already pushing for ‘supplementary efforts’, arguing that such a move remains insufficient.

The ‘demographic’ and ‘deficit’ arguments are used as excuses to impose new burdens on working people and attacks on living standards. At the same time, the CAC 40 (the 40 biggest French private companies quoted on the stock-exchange) made €49 billion in profits last year, and bosses’ contributions (social taxes) are being reduced by €30 billion each year (the equivalent of the deficit of the whole social security system). This shows what all the propaganda about the “unaffordable level of the pensions” is really about.


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