Yellow Vests, Disgruntled Students, and a Shooting in Strasbourg

When Macron was elected,  many left-leaning people said there would be trouble on the streets. And now, just before Christmas, there have been demonstrations, some of them violent, by the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) and high school students.
Macron is  perceived by many as being arrogant and out of touch with “average” people.
What do I think? There are indeed economic inequalities in France. There’s also a tradition of taking to the streets. But there are also violent elements in the population who take advantage of demonstrations to cause havoc. Unfortunately, I believe a lot of them are encouraged by the Far Right (LePen) and the Far Left (Melanchon), who want the present government to fall. I’m personally definitely against violence, esp. in cases like this. It’s not the way to have one’s grievances met.
Macron is in a very difficult position to say the least. He’s called in for consultation all sorts of groups, but the Gilets Jaunes don’t really have any leaders or spokespeople. He’s also made some economic concessions, but some question where the money is going to come from. Others says it’s too little, too late.
As for high school students, they are upset about changes in their scholastic programs and in the baccalaureate. I read about these changes and sympathize with their concerns. Among other things, it may mean that their local high school won’t offer the courses they need to get their “bac”and they might have to travel to another high school miles away to take the courses they need.
One of my sons teaches in a French middle school. The government is suppressing 2600 teaching positions in the secondary system even though there’s a great increase in students entering middle school and high school. The government wants to put more money into elementary education. All very good, but not at the expense of secondary schools.
 And a few days ago, there was a terrorist attack at the Christmas Market in Strasbourg–another reminder that France is a target for many radicalized groups and individuals.
It’s just so sad. The holiday season is upon us, and over the last year or so we were starting to live ordinary lives again. The violence of some of the demonstrations and  shootings like the one in Strasbourg are not only bad for French tourism and the economy. They also affect our morale and our  sense of fellow-feeling.
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Published in: on December 14, 2018 at 6:31 am  Leave a Comment  

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