Photo by Adam Tinworth

Sarkozy’s turn to chauvinism and racism

13th April 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Jane West

Sarkozy’s introduction of the legal ban on wearing the full face veil in France is an indication of the degree to which right-wing governments across Europe are prepared to try to deflect anger at attacks on working class living standards onto innocent scapegoats – in this case approximately 2000 Muslim women in France, less than 0.2% of the population, who wear a Burqa or Niqab.

Movements against pension bill in France gets bigger and tougher

18th October 2010 Socialist Action 0

by Marie Dupont

Photo Lilicomanche

Already six nationwide demonstrations since 7 September have taken place against the proposal to increase the pension age in France. This social movement is not declining. The government is now described as ‘autistic’ – refusing any dialogue and re-iterating on and on that it will not move one inch in favour of the mass movement demands.

A new phase in the struggle against attacks on pensions in France

11th October 2010 Socialist Action 0

by Marie Dupont

In France in September there were two days of strikes, each with around three million people, demonstrating against the French government’s new pension Bill. Fifteen days later, on 2nd October, another demonstration took place with new social layers joining in. As the demonstrations were on a Saturday this allowed people who can’t go on strike to express their rejection of the pension scheme. Again, there were about three million demonstrators all over France. The strength of the protest has therefore remained intact, and a new phase has opened up with the proposal of unlimited strikes for the next national day of action which is to take place on Tuesday 12th October.

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The social movement against the pension changes in France

4th October 2010 Socialist Action 0

by Marie Dupont

Protest 11

Photo marcovdz

Six months ago it would have been impossible to imagine such a huge mobilisation in France against the raising of the legal retirement age from 60 to 62. When the National Committee for the Demands of Retired Workers decided to launch a campaign against the new law it had to confront a big media offensive launched by the government explaining that because the population is living older, it is no longer possible to pay for their pensions.

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The second round of the regional elections in France

16th April 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Marie Dupont

The second round of the French regional elections confirmed the defeat of the right wing parties. Indeed it was a historic scale of defeat. With 35 per cent the right received its lowest share of the vote since 1958. The left received its highest share, 54 per cent, in the same fifty two year period with the sole exception of the presidential elections in 1988. The left won 21 regions and the right only one – Alsace.

But the analysis of the results is more complex than that of a simple shift of votes from right to left.

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Regional elections in France: Results of 1st round

18th March 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Marie Dupont

Last Sunday, 14 March, the first round of the regional elections in France saw a big shift in favour of the left – although there was a 52 per cent abstention rate. The Socialist Party won 30 per cent while the ruling UMP of President Sarkozy received 27 per cent. However in the second voting round the UMP will have no allies, while the Greens, who won 12.5 per cent and the Front de Gauche (Left Front), which won 7 per cent will call for a vote for the Socialist Party. The election overall therefore saw a big rejection of Sarkozy.