Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Strike! Of Sorts.

France underwent a sort of general strike today. It disrupted a lot of train traffic but I am told that the Metro in Paris ran fairly smoothly. Elementary schools were hit and there were protests around the nation--but the impact was not overwhelming--you had to read the papers to know it was happening--but I am sure there are some irate visitors who counted on some train, taking somewhere to whom it is a major problem.

Perhaps 200,000 rallied and marched in Paris and up to 2 million nationwide went to some form of "manifestation."

The issue: raising the minimum retirement age to 62. That may seem a bit of an undershot to most Americans as we will soon get a recommendation from the bipartisan committee on the nation's fiscal future headed by Senator Simpson and Erskine Bowes to raise the age for eligibility for full Social Security and Medicare benefits to something above 65.

The health care system in France seemed to be working without interruption today. My friend, a gynecologist, took her bicycle to work instead of trying the busses or Metro. The hospitals I passed seemed to be open and operating and the web site for most medical and health care groups weren't saying much about the strike.

Health benefits are also being examined for austerity moves. Perhaps there will be more strikes in the coming fall.

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