Pension Protests continue..
but all appears quiet in our little corner of Hérault .
POLITICSFRENCH CUSTOMS AND LOCAL EVENTS
I have not set out to be political in my blog , but the current strike action and mass protests in France can not be ignored. The government has imposed measures which will include raising the pension age from 62 to 64 and roughly two thirds of the French people are not in favour. Yesterday the main unions claimed that 3.5 million people were on the streets to protest, while official figures quote the not insignificant figure of 1 million. With today's newspapers display images of a burning city hall in Bordeaux, and mountains of uncollected rubbish amassing in the streets of Paris, things look pretty serious.
Today we have come to our sleepy little town of Lodève , where life appears to continue as normal. Outside our beautiful Cathedral a large crowd of soberly dressed people have gathered for a funeral, while the car park by the préfecture is nearly full. It would appear that many people are at work. Three friends are taking photographs beside the town's impressive war monument which was created by local sculptor Paul Dardé. Perhaps they are part of the small stream of visitors to our local museum, which houses more of his work. The streets are so quiet, it is hard to believe that France is in tumult.
But appearances can be deceptive. Even in our sleepy town,of 7,300 inhabitants, 200 people gathered yesterday, banging their 'casseroles' to protest against the raising of the pension age.
Where will it end...
...we ask ourselves? Haven't we seen this all before so many times? Hardly a week goes by without our regular radio station announcing another day of strikes. We can now recite their mantra of apology off pat as they offer 'toutes nos excuses.' Of course we see both sides of the argument as President Macron refuses to back down. People will inevitably tire of taking action. Even the most militant protestors must suffer from their own actions. But whatever happens, it is sad to see such a fine country in turmoil. And who knows what malign player(s) may be sitting in the wings as France threatens to tear itself apart.