France to reform ‘overly complex’ labour laws next year, PM says | EurActiv

This is an important story from EuActiv, reporting French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, annoucing that the French government will propose legislation to simplify over-complex labour laws and promote more collective bargaining accords at a sectoral level.

Source: France to reform ‘overly complex’ labour laws next year, PM says | EurActiv

I know France very well and understand the French people  – I also seriously respect their desire to protect the French way of life. I have discussed the French labor system with French friends and am convinced that these proposed reforms will lead to massive strikes in France.

France’s working population is polarized – it’s a bit like Spain before her reforms. On the one hand is the group protected by traditional employment contracts, with rich benefits, early retirement and a 35 hour week – in particular, there is the public sector, where there is no competition like in the UK where the public sector has been mauled by austerity. On the other hand, are the young and those out of work who struggle to get a job – they’re often exposed to what an unemployed French friend described as a ‘scam’, whereby the likes of fast-food outlets take advantage of casual employment contracts.

I really admire France’s desire to respect the French way of life, like not working Sunday and keeping it free for church, the family or sports. On the other hand, the French employment system protects the privileged and is unfair to the young and the disadvantaged.

My personal conclusion is that France’s unions will block the reforms, putting France into confrontation with the rest of Europe, especially Germany.




Opinion – Refugee Smuggling a Big Business in the Balkans – SPIEGEL ONLINE – John Gelmini

Der Spiegel

Der Spiegel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once again, Spiegel Online, in this article, brought to us by Dr Alf, has provided us with a well-written and thoughtful article. This time, it’s about Balkans-based people smugglers.

In answer to Dr Alf’s open question, Germany’s approach which is to take in huge numbers of refugees versus Hungary’s approach which is to try and bar their progress, is bound to encourage the Balkan route or any route which brings migrants closer to Germany.

The German approach, plus the whimpering of the media and well-heeled people infused with “do-goodery” will cause the present trickle of people to become a flood and will enrich the people smugglers, who will use London to launder their money before transmuting it into “buy-to-leave” properties, gold and gems.

The people smugglers are a lot more fleet-of-foot and better resourced than the police forces ranged against them, so I have little faith in the ability of Europe’s police to have any effect on their activities.

Refugees who come to Britain or end up here have the added benefit of 19 million spare NI numbers and access to bogus documentation to enable them to work, gain access to housing and bring over more family members. When that happens on a large-scale, I have no doubt that the teutonically efficient reporters of Spiegel On line will be there on the spot giving us their take on a new emerging story.

John Gelmini