Strikes will continue until public mood truly changes

We reach the first anniversary of Emmanuel Macron’s election with him apparently trying to undo the economic damage done to France by the Fourth and Fifth republics: which means, above all, breaking the power of the trade unions

A land that has reviled “Anglo-Saxon economics” seems, stealthily, to be embracing them as the means to tackle France’s debt problem.

Fifty billion euros of that debt is owed by the SNCF, the state-controlled railway: but President Macron has said that in return for accepting certain reforms – including the loss of extravagant perks such as free travel for life for railway workers and their families – the government will write off the debt. That is bad economics – the existing debt will become a burden on the French taxpayer, and the SNCF will doubtless accrue a new one – but at least it is a start. It is, though, only a start.

Those prepared militantly to support outdated working practices are a small minority.

Commentators assert that the numbers protesting have fallen since the SNCF began ...

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