Yellow Vests march as nation preps for huge general strike
As France begins its Christmas season, it is also steeling itself for what may be the most important general strike since 1995.
What provoked it is President Emmanuel Macron’s demand to ram through an unprecedented one-size-fits-all pension system, as well as a hike to the retirement age by two years which is buried in the small print.
The strike begins December 5th, and it is supported by 70% of France. That would normally be enough for a government to pull back such an unwanted change, but Macron has shown week after week that he is willing to brutally repress dissenters.
Act 3, Year 2 of the Yellow Vests was held nationwide, and many Yellow Vests joined a march against rising poverty, high joblessness and Macron’s next right-wing reform to the unemployment system.
In 1995 public transport workers played the deciding factor, and they have again committed to an unlimited strike which will paralyze the nation. Many workers have already had their pockets emptied by previous strikes against austerity cuts, but truckers, airlines, postal workers, civil servants and others have promised to strike. The question is, “for how long”.
Many wonder if the pan-European project can survive another lost decade of economic growth and soaring inequality. The upcoming strike will be a historic turning point not just for France, but for all of Europe during the Age of Austerity.