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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

18 March 2006

The French barricades

John Thornhill, editor of the European edition of the Financial Times, has an excellent piece in today’s paper on the recent student riots in France; it’s a great article that should be read in whole, but it will suffice to quote two parts from it:

“Whereas the revolutionaries of ’68 wanted to change the world, those of today want to keep it much the same. Whereas the ’68 generation wanted to challenge their parents’ complacency, those of today want to enjoy the same privileges: secure jobs, short working weeks, early retirement and an enviably high standard of living

Instead, he [Dominique de Villepin] should argue that the students are on the wrong side of the barricades. Rather than condemning his half-hearted reform, they should support him in being far more radical – and egalitarian – and extending flexible labour contracts to everyone in the workforce. That really would shake the students’ parents out of their complacency – and be far more in the spirit of ’68.”

References:
John Thornhill, “French students on wrong side of barricades,” Financial Times, 18 Mar 06

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