Paris and the politics of distraction and opportunism

Key legislation to reform France’s pension and retirement policy has already passed through the necessary political institutions – and there seem to be very little sign of the Sarkozy administration backing down from reforms that raise the minimal retirement age from 60 to 62, and that also make 67 the age at which French citizens are entitled to receive a full state pension, This used to be 67.
Nonetheless, we’re still expecting protest action around Paris and elsewhere tomorrow. Today, truck drivers added their weight to the strike- which may mean that in a few days we will start to see certain things disappear from our shelves. Like myself, several Parisians are probably going to stock their pantries out of panic of walking into bare shelved supermarkets. And of course, it is all over the news that fuel supplies are under threat following the additional weight of fuel industry employees on strike and so forth.
It is interesting then, that as tension mounts around pension reform – interior minister,Brice Hortefeux, issued a warning of a potential al-Qaeada security threat targeted toward Europe and more particularly, France. And a valid question may be whose opportunism is at play here: it could indeed be a valid security threat, with an external force trying to take advantage of a vulnerable country, increasingly crippled y strike action. Or, more cynically, a cold and calculating distraction by French ‘ppwers that be’ as their resolve to cancel out any reconsideration of pension reform seems to be stronger than ever.
It’s hard to tell who is exercising brazen opportunism here, but it should make for an interesting political spectacle…

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