02 November 2005

Riots in Paris

As far as I can tell nobody else has traced the current riots in Paris back to what I think is one of their main causes: French protectionism and the Common Agricultural Policy. So here goes. By blocking imports of farm products (and textiles and clothing) France, consistently and with great success over the past few decades has:

  • Kept more people in farming than otherwise, leading to shortages of labour in manufacturing and services sectors; and

  • Blighted the prospects of economic development in poor countries, particularly in Africa.
The result has been reluctant immigration – the worst sort – into France, by people with no other chance of providing decently for themselves and their families. French protectionism has directly led to the violence on the streets of Paris. The tragedy is that the French have so manipulated the European Union that it is not just France that will suffer.


Dov said...

I agree with all that, but there are much deeper, more internal issues, that were created in the past. These rioters live in state-created ghettos, and to this day are still unable to get out. In the 60s, with the flood of "reluctant immigration", the state thought it could help out by dumping these immigrants into council estates, basically they provided really cheap rent, but the tenants lived (and still do) one on top of the other, in a completely closed environment outside the city(the "banlieue"). Now there are no job opportunities there, but how can that be surprising when there is over 10% of unemployment in the whole country? The key words are labour laws, these are way too rigid, employers just don't want to employ, let alone foreign-looking applicants(who are now known to torch cars, which really doesn't help their unemployment situation)...

As for the CAP, it should be scrapped, and we all know that France is the only EU country that fully supports it. This kind of stubborn behaviour is unacceptable in the face of African poverty, and in my opinion the EU should boot France, let it rot alone in its pathetic protectionist "social model".

BTW feel free to email me at lone.canaanite@gmail.com

Ronnie Horesh said...

Thanks for your comment Dov. I agree: once the reluctant immigrants had arrived, their problems were worsened by the protectionist 'social model', of which the CAP is one element. I also agree that the EU should boot out France: see my earlier comment.

Sean said...

Indeed - in France, the social mobility of immigrants is pretty much summed up by the following interview: "My grandfather was unable to find employment as a taxi driver, I am unable to find work as a teacher, and my son has been unable to find work as a doctor - we're making great progress."

Anonymous said...

I'm an English teacher fully qualified living in France 7 years. I completely agree with all said above about protectionism and CAP. Persona;lly I stumble along on a tiny salary non renewable contract because they arrogantly don't accept my UK qualis plus TEFL and twenty years experience!!The French are terrified of free entreprise. Could I just add another extra slant on protectionism?
The CPE riots were valid but convenient for the French government. Why? Because the real issue is the incredible tax burdens and cotisiztions(Pay check take-offs)and the dependence the centralising of power in health take-offs, MGEN insurance, ASSEDIC debts and lugubrious ANPE costs, the government
have convinced the French people dependence on the state and removal of their power is normal.
The CPE shows the government cynically devalueing labour and supression of the chance for people to create wealth even more.

It's incredible . VERY BEST with this site! Mark Lawrence

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

Me again, I forgot to menton a slightly off-beat idea I had on those CPE riots too-although I don't believe in jobs for life at all, I think it is wrong to say the students just want a meal ticket for life.
The opponent don't so much as object to the letter of the CPE (they know that the CPE is not intrinsically flawed) -it's that they know the mentality of French biosses-very different to the basically reasonable Anglo-Saxon mentality-the French mentality is one that sees a dire hierarchy and a ruthless fuck the underling mentality. Just look at any documentary of how a French kitchen in a top restaurant is run. The students know that that 1789 got rid of one king but gained a reign of Terror and 10,000 little dictators,

So it's a `Spirirt' thing as well. Apart from that, the French idea of a contract in our Anglo Saxon sense is non-existent. That is empirical!

VERY BEST AGAIN Mark lawrence

Ronnie Horesh said...

Thanks Sean and Mark for your comments and good wishes.