Current events in France – Actualité en France


What is your take on how the government has been handling the tricky
situation of the CPE so far? Recently I read that the popularity of
Villepin and Chirac and Sarzosky have declined a lot, and that they are
becoming discredited. What would you personally want to see the
government do to solve this problem in the most efficient way?

was wondering what the students at Ecole Polytechnique thought about
the CPE. Since it does not affect you guys as much, you probably have a
more objective view (and also because there are a decent number of
international students). Can you think of better solutions to France's

appears to me that the student protesters want a total repeal of the
bill for the CPE, while the govenment has intentions to compromise and
modify the proposal. In your opinion, do you see the protests stopping
with a reasonable compromise, or will the young people be dissatisfied
until the law is totally eliminated?


have read that Villepin is planning to present Chirac with a proposal
about the CPE tomorrow (Monday). What do you expect the proposal will

(If you read this after Sunday night):

What is the immediate French reaction to the proposal? Is it sufficient?


I am amazed that the CPE problem has gone on this long for about
three months. How do you feel about it especially going to elite
institution and not having worry about such problems? In my opinion, I
think CPE is actually a good idea. It seems like that during those two
years that an able worker can really show themselves to be worth the
effort and money especially in France it seems that jobs are a long
term committment.

Jin Kim

Hello everyone,

The more I research the topic of the CPE, the more of a positive
side I see to it. It seems to be a good way to provide more
opportunities in France in an attempt to eventually greatly decrease
unemployment. The only thing that seems completely unfair to me is the
lack of restrictions involved with it. I feel that there should be
limitations to the reasons for which people are allowed to be fired
from their jobs. Does anyone know the reason or tactic for this lack of

many questions on the policy have been asked, I'm going to pose a
question on the demonstration itself as a way to express the
population's opinions to the government. I was wondering if there was
an alternative way to dialogue with the government (not just for the
current case of CPE but also in general cases). In France, is there any
official forum or some form of organization where the French people can
engage in dialogues with representatives from the government? When the
general public has an opinion on a government policy, whether it's
positive or negative, in what form do people express it?

I was wondering how the protests have affected daily life. I know some
universities have been paralized and exams have been posponed. I've
also read that students have blocked streets and train stations, and
the way it's shown it seems as though the protesters are paralizing the
city. I was wondering to what degree this is true and also who it is
affecting the most?

i would also be really interested to know to what extent the
demonstrations are affecting daily. I also saw many people being taken
away by the police. I was wondering if these people were being arrested
and if they were, what happens to them? Are they fined or put in jail
or just released after the demonstration? I also saw that negotiaions
between the students and the government had stopped and I was wondering
what conclusions, if any, these negotiations had come to. I was also
wondering if there would be more of this type of dialogue between
student represetatioves and the government in the future.

seemed to me that the young people are more concerned about being fired
"for no reason," than being fired for just causes. Do you think the CPE
would actually enable employers to fire people without cause? And
considering that this is their fear, do you think their actions are
justified or have they gone too far?

I was also wondering if you have any thoughts on what types of
jobs would be most affected by the CPE. It seems that it would affect
positions like waitering and others requiring little education more
than, for instance, a job in the science/technology sector that a
person might obtain coming out of Polytechnique (even though each is a
"premiere embauche"), but perhaps there's more to it than that. There
is not always a perfect correlation among job demand, job security, and
level of education.

Also, what do you think about the "trial period"? Good compromise? Bad idea? Too long? Too short?

to all of you. My question you could say is rooted in my ignorance thus
far of French culture and history. This is the first time that I've
heard of such big demonstrations in France. Is it usually common for a
large number of people to protest in the streets like that when a law
is passed that is majoritarily unpopular? Have you guys had such big
manifestations in the past (maybe last 5 or 10 years)?


Adrian, ne t'inquiete pas, c'est normal qu'il y ait des manifestations.
Elles sont choses courantes en France, meme si celles des dernieres
semaines etaient tres importantes. De toute facon, elles sont finies
puisque le gouvernement a retire le texte!


Bonjour tout le monde.
Quelques petites explications sur le fonctionnement des institutions française :

Josephine : tous les mercredi est organisée une séance de
"questions au gouvernement" ; les députés de toutes les
circonscriptions de France peuvent interroger les ministres sur les
sujets qui préoccupent leurs électeurs. C'est le principal lieu de
dialogue et de débat avec le gouvernement en dehors des périodes de

Teodora : lorsau'ils arretent un fauteur de trouble, les
policiers peuvent l'emprisonner en "garde à vue" pour 24h au maximum
(un peu plus pour les affaires de terrorismes) ; ensuite il comparait
directement devant le juge s'il est considéré comme dangereux, ou il
est relaché pour ^etre jugé plus tard.

all, I guess everyone has heard the news by now, the French government
has decided to retract the CPE. Now what? I'd like to know what the
French students think. -Jennifer

I have a definite opinion of CPE , but its been formed from the outside
looking in, and I would love to hear the response of a local. From what
I’ve gathered, France is a tiger in the global economy, in 2005 France
was the third largest source of cross-border takeovers. Also in many
areas French based international corporations are showing record
profits. Also, it seems that there is no shortage in demand for those
who are highly educated in technical fields… I read somewhere that
employment after graduation for the grandes écoles is somewhere upwards
of 96%! So for a part France, globalization and the free market economy
are paying handsome dividends. Are these people raising a cheer in
support of labor reform and we just don’t hear about it in the US? On
the other hand, it seems that for the uneducated, or less technically
educated, full time employment is not an option anyway. According to
the economist , 23% of people aged from 15-26 are unemployed, and of
those who find employment, 64% are on short-term employment contracts.
Thus it seems to me, that CPE doesn’t really change anything. Anyway,
that’s my 2 cents… let me know what you think. Brock