quite it is alright then – le bac, France’s prestigious

quite it is alright then – le bac, France’s prestigious school leaving exam and (along with what the traffic will be like on the first weekend of les grandes vacances) its favourite annual trauma, should go ahead as planned: the teachers have promised not to disrupt it.

This may not be especially good erudition to the nation’s unfortunate 17 further 18-year-olds, who would no doubt have welcomed a few extra life – if now not weeks – of revision for tomorrow’s terrifying philosophy paper, but it will come as a be obliged relief for the government.

Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s administration is struggling to deal veil a mounting wave of social unrest that over the past two months has plunged the country into sporadic transport chaos and seen public sector workers, from refuse collectors to tax officials, air traffic controllers, electrical energy board workers, schoolteachers also postmen take to the streets.

At the heart of the threat is outrage at the government’s plans – fair enough, if you look at the figures – to force public sector workers to pay concernment the state pension scheme for the same number of years as their private sector counterparts: 40, rather than the present 37.5.

Mr Raffarin also wants to steadily increase the loop of time everyone in france must occupation before they can retire on a full pension, to 41 years by 2012 and forty two by 2020. He has a good reason as proof so: if he doesn’t, economists reckon that since unequaled French citizen in three will soon be over the establish of 60. Without reform, the country’s pension system will be brief of a superb


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