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That's short for "manifestations", something which of late seems to be a bit of a French passtime.
Why, exactly? The possible age of retirement was voted through and has risen from 60 to... duh-duh... 62! Likewise, it looks like the age for a full pension has risen equally from 65 to... dum-dum-dum... 67!
In the grand scale of things, this isn't a big change. Okay, it is two years, but I point out that in the UK women are being equalised to retire at 65, the same as men, which is five years later than previous. Assuming, of course, that things don't change yet again.
Which is why I wonder greatly why the hell the students are getting into the action, marching in the streets of major towns. Why? They're teenagers - they have their entire working lives ahead of them. Are they so stupid as to not imagine their pension rights and such will be fiddled with several times in their working life? I am in my mid-30s but I cannot say what sort of pension I will get. I think it is a bit naïve to expect that the way things are today will be the way things will be in thirty-odd years. As the new millennium rolled around, did we expect to see the largest towers in America destroyed in a terrorist attack? Did we expect to see national banks on the brink of collapse, nay, a bailout of the global economy? The destruction of a country or two and a growing wave of resentment from a different religious group which - let's face it - isn't entirely unjustified. Did we enter the shiny new millennium realising what an almighty cock-up the first decade would turn out to be?
God forbid this current decade will be anything like the last. If it is, it is only reasonable to think that things won't be able to continue as they are. To expect them to be so is just wishful thinking.
So why the mass protests? Why the blockading of fuel in an attempt to cripple the country?
So given all of these factors, and that the actual change is fairly small (and less than some European countries), would it not be reasonable to suggest that these manifestations are using this as an excuse, but really there is a much deeper sense of discontent with Sarkozy's leadership?
This leds on to the obvious questions - the government is unlikely to back down for the decision to raise pension age will be a difficult one to have taken, but on the other hand if the real source of discontent is something else, how long will this go on for?
I think that we are starting to see a fray, for we're now on... what? The fifth or sixth strike coming up? Workers are now demanding that the upcoming strike action is not "sans solde". In other words, they want to be paid while on strike, which is - frankly - a ridiculous request. But to strike near-weekly, that could be a non-negligible impact on their wages. Then there's the fuel shortages. The pumps, that have petrol, are closed during the night (gee, useful for night workers such as myself!). People are being rationed and "jerrycan's" (sic, local Intermarché) are not permitted. So no mowing the lawn this weekend. It is an inconvenience, but given as how ten of the twelve fuel depots in France are closed due to the action, there will come a time when it is no longer a mere annoyance but a critical problem. Then the tide of change is likely to change. For it will mean everybody who can't get to work suffers, supermarkets will start to run out of stuff due to non-delivery...
...so how far will it go?
The biggest problem, as I see it, is the "CGT" union is pretty militant. And Sarko, guy in charge, has an ego the size of a minor planet. It is quickly becoming less of an issue of pension rights but a basic battle of wills. Will the people and the unions break Sarko, or will Sarko break the French? And how long will it take, to what damage the country?
No, not the screeching women, the browser. For no reason I can determine, my installation of Opera 10.50 suddenly stopped working. When I try to load it, the harddisc light blinks a few times and... Opera quits before it has even started.
The update to 10.51 failed in this way, but as I reported on the 27th of March, I used the Classic Installer to work around the problem.
However... It's now broken.
I have just spent a few hours trying every major version in the 10.x selection, eradicating anything left behind as well. None of them work.
I am now running Opera 9.64. This is because I want to have a test-browser that isn't the standards-incompatible MSIE. That said, the advances in Opera version 10 will be missed and, frankly, I don't care. If the crappy software can't even be bothered to throw up an error message (refer to the previous link for a comically nonsensical error when the installer did bother to say something)...
You will sort-of see this effect, but nothing like as nicely, if you're using IE.
Doesn't work at all with Opera 9.64. Sorry, but...
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|Rob, 17th October 2010, 09:02|
At least one of the Opera 10.x series was Baaaaaad... it might very well have been 10.51 ! They are now up to 10.63, which is much more stable for me; have you tried this?
(Felicity? Marte? Find out!)
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