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pete
10/04/2006, 1:11 PM
and i would prefer their hospitals, public transport, roads and job security. we could do this all day.

What is job security?

Roverstillidie
10/04/2006, 5:14 PM
What is job security?

when you can only be sacked if you deserve it (disciplinary reasons etc) or in extreme economic conditions, not because of poor management planning and/or a slight economic dip. ie, dont allow firms to play chess with peoples lives.

looks like the protestors won, a great victory for people power against the globalised corporate juggernaut.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4895164.stm

pete
10/04/2006, 5:40 PM
when you can only be sacked if you deserve it (disciplinary reasons etc) or in extreme economic conditions, not because of poor management planning and/or a slight economic dip. ie, dont allow firms to play chess with peoples lives.


So you would force a company to keep all their staff employed even if no work for them & risk the jobs of everyone in the company?

You can't just say you should keep your job as mistake made by management or others. Need to join the real world. Communism is dead.

laurent
10/04/2006, 6:10 PM
What is job security?

15% unemployment .(23 % for under 25) :mad:

a great victory for people power .

the "people" work for 1000 € / month, when they work ? :(

where do you live Roverstillidie ?
i'm ready to exchange my "hospitals, public transport, roads and job security"

sorry for my bad english, but if i could speak better, i'd be working in Ireland
:D

Roverstillidie
10/04/2006, 6:34 PM
the point i am making pete is there is no 'one size fits all' economic model, and different countries for various reasons have different priorities as their populations will accept differeing levels of flexibility/expolitation.

trying to ensure that companies dont take the attitude 'sure we can sack him if we dont like him' and plan staffing levels correctly does not make you a communist. stability in the labour market is a profoundly important part of any economy, and the french have overwhelmingly voted with their feet on this one. would it be good for an economy if 10% of the labour force werent sure would they be in employment next month?

is change necessary in france? yes. was this law the way to go about it? evidently not. would it drive down wages and make staff more compliant? of course, that was the point. why of why would anyone accept that level of assault on their wages, conditions and pensions without putting up a fight? some vague neo-liberal economic promise of more jobs for less wages?

laurent, you say people work for €1,000 per month. How much less would it be if this law was passed? €800 per month? how is that good for the french youth?

dahamsta
10/04/2006, 7:08 PM
Roverstilidie, pete, and anyone else that's at it: Can we drop the left- and right-wing rhetoric and stick to facts and discussion please? Otherwise I'm going to have to close this.

Roverstillidie
10/04/2006, 7:32 PM
Roverstilidie, pete, and anyone else that's at it: Can we drop the left- and right-wing rhetoric and stick to facts and discussion please? Otherwise I'm going to have to close this.

why? we are discussing the underlying reason behind the protests is a non-abusive manner? it is a left/right debatate....

dcfcsteve
10/04/2006, 9:10 PM
and i would prefer their hospitals, public transport, roads and job security. we could do this all day.

But the 2 are NOT mutually exclusive !!

It is possible to combine low unemployment with excellent infrastructure, health care, job security etc. Look at Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Switzerland.

Ireland has gone from a poor second world nation to a leading first world one in a decade. Of course our infrastructure etc will lag behind - motorways and rail networks take decades to build-up, not a couple of years.

But the fundamebntal point is that France's economy is fecked-up primarily because of the out-dated employment structures of the country. That is completely independent and not inter-related to their health service or transport infrastructure. It IS possible to have low employment, job security AND good health care etc. Stop trying to connect the two as being mutually inter-dependent

dahamsta
10/04/2006, 9:16 PM
why? we are discussing the underlying reason behind the protests is a non-abusive manner?Tell you what, you prove to me that comments about globalised corporate juggernauts and the death of communism contribute something - anything - to the debate, and I'll allow it.

Roverstillidie
10/04/2006, 10:09 PM
Tell you what, you prove to me that comments about globalised corporate juggernauts and the death of communism contribute something - anything - to the debate, and I'll allow it.

the death of communism is nothing to do with me, but a law lobbied for by the french business confederation and supported by MNC's in France is part of a globalised corporate juggernaut as far as im concerned

dahamsta
11/04/2006, 12:11 AM
Current Affairs forums die because people use rhetoric and emotive language to make their point, rather than... making their point. This forum will not go the same way, so again: prove to me that comments like the above contribute something - anything - to the debate, and I'll allow it. Keep arguing the point without following through on my request, and I won't allow any more. Clear?

hamish
11/04/2006, 1:19 AM
This might end it - think I heard that Chirac has dropped the plan.:)

Macy
11/04/2006, 7:29 AM
Plan has been dropped. Well done to all the French Workers who stood up for their terms and conditions of employment, and won. I repeat again, more's the pity that we wouldn't do the same here.

dcfcsteve
11/04/2006, 9:45 AM
..I look forward to us all having the same debate in 10 years time as the plucky French 'workers' (though they are an increasingly endangered species') celebrate another pyrrhic vistory that will keep their country in the economic sh!t for yet another decade.

Some day the French will wake up and realise that the only people who are being really hurt by the lack of structural reform in their economy is themselves....

Dodge
11/04/2006, 9:55 AM
one day perhaps, but for now, they're happy so leave them be.

dcfcsteve
11/04/2006, 10:04 AM
Yeah damn those French refusing to give in their American betters. And given that you worked for Disney I'm not surprsied at the party line you tow out on how the world was sick of hand drawn animation. The correct thing to say there was, the world was sick of Disney scripted hand drawn animation. I think the Studio Gibli team, in Japan have proven that well scripted stories, coupled with top notch hand drawn animation still have a huge market in the world today. But far be it for myself and the French animators to fly in the face of mass culture.
Oh - I get it ! Beacuse I once worked for Disney I must be incapable of either free thought or indeed criticism of the company themslves....! If only you knew jebus, if only you knew.... :rolleyes:

The world is not, as you put it, sick of Disney hand-drawn animation. There are still the odd successes in hand-drawn animation - but the main film studios in the world have ALL progressed onto CGG rather than traditional animation. Hence the success of non Disney films like Shrek, and the numerous Pixar films, which have only recently become the property of Disney. So it is not just a simple snubbing of anything with the Disney stamp on it. Ironically, Disney only ever tried to make one computer generated film on their own, and stuck at the hand-drawn game (e.g. Treasure Planet) much longer than any other major studio - but that wouldn't tally with your anti-Disney rant. So its ridiculous to assume that this is some sort of popular apathy at the product of Disney.

As for your Studio Gibli example - so the French animators should all move to Japan if they want to continue in their specific line of work ?? That's the only conclusion I can draw from your response. At least Disney offered to retrain them within the same studios ! Also - I'd confidently predict that the vast majority of people in the Western world or India haven't heard of Studio Gibli, and couldn't name you one of their productions. That doesn't denigrate their product by any means - but just shows what fringe players they are in world cinematic productions.


Oh and which Ireland do you live in? Because I'd like to know where I can find this fantastic economic situation you're talking about. As far as I can see very few of us have a lot of cash in hand, so to speak, apart from the D4 crowd, but maybe thats the Ireland you live in. The Celtic Tiger hasn't left Irish Citizens better off, just left them in a LOT of debt. Speaking of which, when I was living and working in France as far as I could tell from the talks I had with my French friends, both employed and unemployed, they're didn't seem to be the same level of bank lending, or credit card debt, in the country. They certainly don't have the 'borrowing culture' that we have become acustomed to in this country, but I suppose we have to project that superior economy air somehow, eh Steve?
Firstly - as it lists in every post I make, I live in London ! I keep closely in touch with the country to still have a valid opinion on it though, before you attempt to knock anything I say as a result purely of my current location. Secondly, there is undoubtedly more money in Ireland than at ANY other time in the country's history. Only an idiot would try to deny this. True - a large chunk of consumer activity may well be debt-funded. This is nothing new to some people though - I remember my aunty in Roscommon being unable to get her head around the fact that the people from Foxrock who owned the holiday home opposite hadn't paid for their carpets yet ! This was the early 1980's. But are you genuinely trying to suggest that the only diffrence between the Ireland of the 1980's and the Ireland of now is our level of personal debt ?? Are you seriously trying to suggest that there AREN'T huge amounts of employment opportunities now that simply didn't exist 10,15, 20 years ago ? That we don't have continuous population growth for the first time since the famine ? That we don't have Irish people returning to the country due to the opportunities and wealth being created here - rather than leaving as we all did for over a century ? So "The Celtic Tiger hasn't left Irish citizens better off" ?? Feck me jebus - which ireland do YOU live in.......?? :confused:


one day perhaps, but for now, they're happy so leave them be.
You think the French are happy ???

They are the most psychologically troubled nation in Europe ! They continually fret about their importance within the world, and the fact that their language and culture is in freefall from a position of world influence to one of increasing irrelevance. Their economy is fecked, their complete local of social cohesion was exposed in the riots they faced a few months ago, their football teams gone to sh!t again and they've even managed to feck-up a vintage wine yield this year !

They don't sit around weeping and gnashing their teeth all day long, but the underlying public mood that I've experienced amongst French people is one of an under-lying swense of restlessness and simmering discontent. Happy people don't riot.

Macy
11/04/2006, 11:09 AM
Some day the French will wake up and realise that the only people who are being really hurt by the lack of structural reform in their economy is themselves....
The only ones being hurt are employers profits. The french workers still have their terms and conditions intact, and still have many more benefits that supposedly more developed economies can only dream of.

I know the UK, USA, Irish and now the French Government see the ideal as p*ss on everyone and everything to get big profits for business, which is what makes the stand by the French people all the more impressive. They obviously have higher values than the bottom line.

Dodge
11/04/2006, 11:19 AM
They are the most psychologically troubled nation in Europe ! They continually fret about their importance within the world, and the fact that their language and culture is in freefall from a position of world influence to one of increasing irrelevance. Jesus, talk about mass generalisations


You think the French are happy ???...
Happy people don't riot.
No but protestors who get what they want get some happiness surely?

pete
11/04/2006, 11:24 AM
Employees in Ireland have a standard 6 month probationary period with 1 months notice should employer want to terminate the employment.

In France the government initially wanted a 2 year probationary period for staff under 26 years of age but changed this to 12 months but with 1 months notice.

Open question to all:
- Is the irish system fair?
- Would you like the irish system changed to 1 year probationary period?

I accept that protest happens to force change but I really do not understand why the french youth protesting. I fail to see what difference this would make to them. :confused:

btw i think the level of debate is fine here even if it is going around in circles...

Dodge
11/04/2006, 11:43 AM
But you don't have to get it Pete. It doesn't really affect you

Why should all countries have the same systems? It may work in Ireland, there's may work in France and who decides what the indicators of success are in the first place?

dcfcsteve
11/04/2006, 11:47 AM
The only ones being hurt are employers profits. The french workers still have their terms and conditions intact, and still have many more benefits that supposedly more developed economies can only dream of.

I know the UK, USA, Irish and now the French Government see the ideal as p*ss on everyone and everything to get big profits for business, which is what makes the stand by the French people all the more impressive. They obviously have higher values than the bottom line.

See through your own rhetoric Macy. Employers profits will not be hurt here - if they are, they'll just relocate.

The people who are REALLY hurting here are the 10%+ for whom there is no work. Job rules are all very well - but only if you actually HAVE a job in the first place ! If those very job rules make it less likely that new jobs will be created in your economy, YOU'RE the one who's hurting. Not the proverbial "big business" who will just up-sticks to China.

This has a massively disproportionate impact upon France's immigrant population. Strange, therefore, that they should find themselves so willing to riot nationally only a few months ago. Quelle surprise...

The other groups of people hurting are people approaching the end of their working life - who know that if they lose their current job no-one else will employ them so they're finished economically and financially - and students who find that after years of study to get a degree, they still can't get a feckin' job as they don't exist.

And as Pete has ably outlined - what was so unreasonable about what Villepin was proposing ? Hardly a return to indentured slavery.

So any idea that the fat cats of business are being kept a bit slimmer here is just naive wishful thinking. Those who can move to take advantage of economic conditions - like businesses - will. Those who get left behind - like the poorest sections of society - are the ones who get hurt.

Macy
12/04/2006, 10:49 AM
So any idea that the fat cats of business are being kept a bit slimmer here is just naive wishful thinking. Those who can move to take advantage of economic conditions - like businesses - will. Those who get left behind - like the poorest sections of society - are the ones who get hurt.
They'll do that anyway. Do you think any change in probation periods will stop companies moving? Liberal labour laws have been fook all good for workers in many industries in the UK and Ireland. Infact they've made it easier for them to up and leave, grant aid still in wallet.

This is typical of the line taken by the former left, and those still trying to hide under it's banners. Helping big business maximise their profits at workers expense is actually really helping the poorest members of society, and if I say it often enough people will actually believe it. Give them tax breaks, failing services won't matter, as the workers will be okay once they're earning minimum wage.

All liberal labour laws have done is make exploitation of workers easier, meant a huge decline in full time jobs, and even garanteed hours part time jobs. Look around the UK and see how many job annoucements are actually for full time jobs that would enable a family to be raised on the wage. When a new asda opens, and some Blairite cuts the ribbon saying how x number of jobs will be created, half the number at the very least. That is the type of situation the French are trying to fight, and something that will hit home here too, if/when the economic boom ends.

klein4
12/04/2006, 11:59 AM
I think it is down to the fact that the french people have a history of standing up for themselves. they dont just lie down and die just cause their government tells them to. This country is the opposite. we will always do whatever we are told.politicians know if they brass neck out a crisis it will always blow over. when was the last time a politician in this country resigned over anything? I for one admire the stance taken by the french students and admire the fact that they were listened to eventually by the politicians. the only similar situation I can remember here is when the government tried to increase alowance for working couples. says it all really about the "I'm alright jack" culture in this country. altho here we dont protest in the streets...we just ring joe duffy....

hamish
15/04/2006, 10:30 AM
Don't shoot me - I'm just the messenger here but here are a few letters to The Guardian on Tuesday regarding this matter.
A few interesting takes on this argument.

Despite what many people may think (The French go marching into the past, April 10), the French have managed to create a net new 1.8m jobs since 1997. Over the same period Britain created 2.1m jobs (according to OECD figures). Not so different, despite the alleged rigidities across the channel. There is little statistical evidence that French unemployment has depressed wage growth. Your graph gives nominal wage growth, but since France has had lower inflation than the UK over this period, real wage growth is approximately the same in both countries. More telling would have been to compare the figures on GDP growth with the jobless rate. It seems that GDP growth in excess of 2% a year is needed before unemployment starts to come down. But a story about growth and unemployment doesn't really tie in with a flexibility story does it?
Part of the reason why the youth unemployment rate is high in France is that there are so many in higher education - more so than in the UK. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed, divided by the number of unemployed plus those in employment. Those in higher education do not figure in the count. But more people at university makes the numbers in employment lower and so raises the unemployment rate.
Also there is hardly any professional economist who thinks employment protection policies have an effect on the overall unemployment rate. Such protection makes firms reluctant to hire and makes it difficult to fire. The net result for employment is that the two offset each other. While it may affect the mix of employment - protecting older workers against younger workers - the aggregate effect on unemployment - according to countless studies - is close to zero. The solutions for the French economy are not nearly so simple as adopting some mythical notion of flexibility.
Dr Jonathan Wadsworth
Centre for economic performance, LSE
Notice he doesn't give figures for all these students in Higher Education to make comparisons???

Unemployment is higher in France than in the UK because in France we have not parked 2.7 million people on long-term sickness benefits, but have only 1 million people on RMI (the minimum income scheme created for the long-term unemployed). Bring the difference, ie 1.7 million people, back into the unemployed category and the UK miracle of low unemployment is looking suddenly like an optical illusion.
Pierre Aury
London

Whatever its symbolic role as an indication of economic philosophy, employment law plays only a minor role in determining investment. Far more important is the quality of national infrastructure, access to markets, rates of productivity and government assistance - all factors which give France an advantage over Britain. In fact, despite its hire-and-fire economy, Britain has seen lower levels of foreign direct investment and overall investment, and far lower levels of productivity growth than France in recent years.
The reason for the UK's slight edge in overall growth has little to do with flexible labour markets and much more with interventionist government policy, the large devaluation of the pound under John Major, the vast increase in public spending carried out by Gordon Brown since 2000, and easy monetary policies, which have made British consumers almost as debt ridden as Americans - all at a time when French monetary and fiscal policy was constrained by the rules of the single currency. In fact, French employment law has actually been made much more flexible in recent years without any noticeable effect.
Bernard Moss
London

Why is it disturbing that only a third of the French population thinks the free-market system is the best way for the world in the future? Maybe they realise the market promises only a future of relentless pressure to drive down wages, pensions and benefits in the face of increasing global competition?
Declan O'Neill
Oldham, Lancs

As usual the French government has shown itself to be a Meduse molle** in appeasing mob rule on the youth job law and allowing democracy to be subverted.
Stan Labovitch
Windsor, Berkshire

**What's that when it's at home???

Marked Man
15/04/2006, 3:19 PM
Interesting stuff. I must admit, during all of the above debate, I was wondering about how the French and UK govts actually counted their unemployed. The reason being that I remember that during the '80's it seemed like the Thatcher government found a new way to stop counting various groups of unemployed every other month. The points raised above show the difficulty of comparing two countries unemployment rates, and of assuming that changes in labor laws must be responsible for lower unemployment, since the latter (allegedly) followed the former.

Roverstillidie
19/04/2006, 5:48 PM
Peugot announced yesterday they were closing their Coventry plant and moving production next year to France. The reasons? Cheaper labour and transport costs.

Kinda disproves a few wanna be Friedmans on this thread....

pete
19/04/2006, 6:12 PM
Peugot announced yesterday they were closing their Coventry plant and moving production next year to France. The reasons? Cheaper labour and transport costs.

Would this have been done when 35 hour working week law exisited in France?

I don't see the full facts been described anywhere but wouldn't be surprised if production being moved to existing & newer factory in France which is more advanced.

Roverstillidie
19/04/2006, 6:42 PM
Would this have been done when 35 hour working week law exisited in France?

I don't see the full facts been described anywhere but wouldn't be surprised if production being moved to existing & newer factory in France which is more advanced.

nope, they are expanding production at an existing plant in Poissy.

"Peugeot blamed the high cost of making cars at the British plant. The company said each car built in England costs €415 ($585) more to produce than at its factory in Poissy, France." "Mr. Grote blamed a series of factors for the demise of the British auto industry. "I think it's foreign competitors and the fact that the English work force is expensive," he said"
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060419.IBAUTOS19/TPStory/Business

ie. more expensive than those lazy and inefficient french you were giving out about.

the english staff being laid off are threatening a picket on peugeot dealerships, no doubt pete and his pals will be giving out about the lazy english next.

pete
20/04/2006, 1:00 PM
nope, they are expanding production at an existing plant in Poissy.


That is what i suggested it was likely they were doing i.e. cheaper to run 1 large plant that 2 separate ones. Poissy could be newer factory thats been updated with modern production equipment.

Roverstillidie
20/04/2006, 5:09 PM
That is what i suggested it was likely they were doing i.e. cheaper to run 1 large plant that 2 separate ones. Poissy could be newer factory thats been updated with modern production equipment.

what bit of 'cheaper labour and transport costs' are you struggling with?:D

despite your invective, the first major piece of industrial news to effect france since the strikes has gone their way. france is considered a better place to manufacture than flexible england.

sorry to rain on your perfect economic theory.

dcfcsteve
22/04/2006, 12:22 AM
what bit of 'cheaper labour and transport costs' are you struggling with?:D

despite your invective, the first major piece of industrial news to effect france since the strikes has gone their way. france is considered a better place to manufacture than flexible england.

sorry to rain on your perfect economic theory.

Sorry RTID - but you're way off the mark. Peugeot have been castigated in the English media for spinning a lie on this whole issue.

Independent figures show that, despite having a lower level of automation and an older factory, the Peugeot facory being closed in Coventry actually costs LESS per vehicle than Poissy does. This despite the fact that Peugeot insisted on shipping in the various parts to Coventry from France, when they could've got them just as easily/cheaply in Britain.

It's not economics that are at play here, but politics. The bottom line is that Peugeot wanted to close a factory somewhere, as since they've opened up factories in Eastern Europe they've had spare capacity. They were never going to opt to close down a French factory over an English one. Ignoring the astronomical costs in making people redundant in France, as a French company they will maintain a production presence in France until the day Peugeot ceases to exist.

So it's not about transport costs (even though Peugeot have kept them artifically high for their English operations by favouring French suppliers) or cheaper Labour in England v France. It's about much, much cheaper labour in Eastern Europe, ta consequent need to shed jobs in Western Europe, and a political decision to do that only in operations outside of France.

Sorry to rain on your perfect marxist theory...

Roverstillidie
22/04/2006, 3:01 AM
. Peugeot have been castigated in the English media for spinning a lie on this whole issue.



from a derry fan?

well if the english media are against it...

dcfcsteve
24/04/2006, 12:47 AM
from a derry fan?

well if the english media are against it...

Not sure what you're trying to suggest here RTID.

Regardless of what the media source was, an independent automobile manufacturing trade body/consultancy has confirmed the relative costs of vehicle production in Poissy v Coventry. I don't give a feck if that information hadda been recounted in El Pais or the Sligo Champion - the report would still have said the same thing.

Or are you suggesting that the broadsheet English media (I'm not talking about the Sun...) can't possibly be factually correct on this matter, regardless of what they say ?

Macy
24/04/2006, 7:28 AM
Or are you suggesting that the broadsheet English media (I'm not talking about the Sun...) can't possibly be factually correct on this matter, regardless of what they say ?
Are you suggesting that they couldn't possibly be bias either? I mean, they've been shown to be wrong about the French economic figures....

Roverstillidie
24/04/2006, 5:54 PM
Not sure what you're trying to suggest here RTID.

Regardless of what the media source was, an independent automobile manufacturing trade body/consultancy has confirmed the relative costs of vehicle production in Poissy v Coventry. I don't give a feck if that information hadda been recounted in El Pais or the Sligo Champion - the report would still have said the same thing.

Or are you suggesting that the broadsheet English media (I'm not talking about the Sun...) can't possibly be factually correct on this matter, regardless of what they say ?

im sorry, i didnt think i was being in any way subtle.

i believe a partizan english (or wherever) media are going to spin this in an anti french way. im surprised to see a derry fan championing the english media over whats actually happening in the real world.

the reality here is despite all the internet economists in the world, money talks, and a major mnc decided to do business in france over england withinn weeks of the row, despite all the free market nonsense that people on this forum spouted. peugeout did not make a political decision, they made a business one.

the cost of doing business, especially manufacturing, asppears to be cheaper in france. so why all the 'french are in a mess' posts. just because they dont massage their unemployment figures like the brits do (and to a lesser extent the irish) do.

and im not a marxist, i have a masters in economics as it happens, but no thereshold for preachyeconomic bull!!

dcfcsteve
25/04/2006, 11:59 AM
im sorry, i didnt think i was being in any way subtle.

i believe a partizan english (or wherever) media are going to spin this in an anti french way. im surprised to see a derry fan championing the english media over whats actually happening in the real world.

I fully expect that some of the English media would try to put an 'anti-French' spin on this story - the tabloids. but I have more faith in broadsheets like the Independent, Guardian, FT or even the Times on an issue like this. That faith has been developed over decades of reading them alongside other media on issues like this (I would be more sceptical of their approach on other issues). I'm sorry if this doesn't fit the expected stereo-type of a Derry man being anti the Englihs media. You may not agree with my view on some of the english papers, and that's your decision. But I'd question why you consume any media if you are so indiscriminately cynical about it all.

Regardless of any expected spin from the papers, are you challenging the independent industry figures that show that Poissy actually has a higher per-vehcile production cost than Coventry ?


the reality here is despite all the internet economists in the world, money talks, and a major mnc decided to do business in france over england withinn weeks of the row, despite all the free market nonsense that people on this forum spouted. peugeout did not make a political decision, they made a business one.

No RTID - the reality here is that an historically French company that is firmly entrenched in their nation's psyche was faced with scaling back production in England or France, and took the very obvious political decision to not sh!t on their own door-step. I cannot understabnd how you fail to see that this is what has happened, particularly as independent automobile production statistics support that this is really what has happened.


the cost of doing business, especially manufacturing, asppears to be cheaper in france. so why all the 'french are in a mess' posts. just because they dont massage their unemployment figures like the brits do (and to a lesser extent the irish) do.

Nonesense. The only element of employment that is arguably cheaper in France is wages. That is not true of every sector or industry though. Furthermore, suppressed wages are evidence of labour availability/abundance as wages only go up to any real extent when you have to pay more to attract orkers. So lower wages in France is as much a reflection of the extra capacity/unemployment within their economy.

However - wages only represent a proprtion of the costs involved in employing someone. There are also recruitemnt costs, contributions to the state for every employee on your books, and the costs of reducing staff numbers. On the last 2 of those 3 figures, France is significantly more expensive than the UK. Furthermore - in many sectors (particularly skilled one) recruitment costs are also higher in France, due to a shortage of many key skills within their workforce (the reason why is quoted below).

As for massaging employment stats - all governments do this to some extent (admittedly some more than others). But it is asbsolutely absurd to pretend that France does not have any economic problems at the moment, let alone that the only difference between the UK and France is massaged figures. To quote a French politician himself (Francois Bayrou)


"If France were a company, it would already have been declared bankrupt. If it were a family, the bailiffs would be banging at the door".

To quote a recent article about Segolene Royal (politician many expect to be France's first female leader) in the Sunday Times magazine :


"France might have some of the world's most dynamic companies, but it is in dreadful shape. The economy grew by a mere 1.4% in 2005, and wealth per person has been overtaken by Britain and Ireland's. While many of the brightest emigrate in search of better job opportunities - London is one of the favourite destinations - the state is piling up debt to support the rising health and retirement costs of an ageing population and mass unemployment : almost a quarter of potential workers under 26 are on the dole, compared with 13% in Britain. And as public debt increases, France's shrinking population currentlyu works shorter hours than those in most advanced countries. Something has to give.

(That article was written before the Peugeot closure was announced, btw.)

THIS is the reality of what is happening in France ! I am baffled as to why some on this thread are determined to bury their head in the sand on this, but the writing is on the wall people !!

As for the asserttion that being an economist somehow prevents you from being a Marxist - there are plenty of Marxist Economists in the world ! :)