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European Constitution, European Workers
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: Europe Reply with quote

Seed wrote:
Speaking of Europe. It seem that France will show their love for internationalism and Europe by rejecting the EU constitution. An irony is that France is the founding member.


The polls now show 54% against, 46% in favor. Not a really wide margin, and not taking into account absentee voters like myself. Chirac and his party, and some people in the Socialist party, are working hard to reverse the trend. I guess I will have to go and vote in late May just to do my bit to try and ensure the Constitution passes. I didn't bother to vote on the first round of presidential elections last time and it came down to a run off between Chirac and Le Pen Crying or Very sad Of course I had to scramble to vote on the second round...

BTW, France is not THE founding member, it's A founding member, along with 5 other countries - the original six (Germany, France, Italy and the three Benelux countries, i.e. Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) members of the Common Market.
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Seed



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Di,

I fear that you will be sorely disappointed and heart broken. Beating eight points is statistically impossible. Do not get me wrong. I love the EU and I would rather that France vote for the constitution. I alway thought the EU as a shining example to liberal democracy and free market economy.

But it would be wishful thinking. Your countrymen are very reactionary and lazy. They are spoiled by years of entitlement. They expect the government to give them everything but give nothing in return. The EU constitution would mean that French have to get used to a totally alien concept, "work ethic."

Does this remind you of the US under Wilson and the League of Nations. Except that the European Union will prosper with or without France.
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Last edited by Seed on Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:50 pm    Post subject: Well... Reply with quote

Seed wrote:
Di,

I fear that you will be sorely disappointed and heart broken. Beating eight points is statistically impossible. Do not get me wrong. I love the EU and I would rather that France vote for the constitution. I alway thought the EU as a shining example to liberal democracy and free market economy.

But it would be wishful thinking. Your countrymen are very reactionary and lazy. They are spoiled by years of entitlement. They expect the government to give them everything but give nothing in return. The EU constitution would mean that French have to get used to a totally alien concept, "work ethic."


We'll have to see, Seed, won't we? Polls are notoriously unreliable. People, at least are interested, and books on the EU Constitution are best-sellers right now. Small farmers and enterprises opposed the Maastricht Treaty and European integration before, but they ended up being adopted. I won't lose hope until the results are in in early June.

And the French work harder than you give them credit for - at least those whom I know. It's true, the working class is spoiled with our Social Security system and I roll my eyes every time they go on strike on a whim. But hopefully there are enough intelligent, progressive people (not counting the separatists from Brittany and Corsica) who see that integration is the way of the future. Some Europeans rules are hard to live by, specially by small farmers (the laws about cheese being the smallest and least significant example). I just hope they see the light before voting day.
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Pols_R_Us



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Europe Reply with quote

Seed wrote:
I alway thought the EU as a shining example to liberal democracy and free market economy.
[...]
Except that the European Union will prosper with or without France.


Of course it will, but still, France is an important partner in the EU. A lot of French people's reluctance has to do with the Bolkenstein Directive, which amounts to labor dumping - Polish workers in France would be paid current Polish wages and undercut French workers. Bolkenstein said that would help, arguing that he has trouble finding French plumbers to take care of his water supply problems in the house he owns in France. The locals immediately sent him a list of French plumbers available in the neighborhood.

Free market economy or not, you can't blame the French workers unions to be extremely suspicious of this Directive. I'm surprised workers in other countries haven't followed suit.
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Seed



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Europe Reply with quote

Pols_R_Us wrote:


Of course it will, but still, France is an important partner in the EU. A lot of French people's reluctance has to do with the Bolkenstein Directive, which amounts to labor dumping - Polish workers in France would be paid current Polish wages and undercut French workers. Bolkenstein said that would help, arguing that he has trouble finding French plumbers to take care of his water supply problems in the house he owns in France. The locals immediately sent him a list of French plumbers available in the neighborhood.

Free market economy or not, you can't blame the French workers unions to be extremely suspicious of this Directive. I'm surprised workers in other countries haven't followed suit.


I can and do blame them. This issue of plumber is just a pathetic excuse for French workers who do not want to compete fairly with other people. Here is the issue at heart. 25 percent of the workforce is employed by the public sector. Another 10 percent are parasites on welfare. Of the remaining 65 percent that work, they work only 35 hours a week and take 5 weeks vacation. And I even doubt that they work the full 35 hours. With 2 hours long lunch and numerous coffee and cigarrette breaks, they probably work less than 25 hours a week. How are they suppose to compete with hard working Eastern European like the Polish.

It is time French grow up and learn some work ethic. Polish workers would be good teachers on that subject. Do I want a French plumber who I cannot depend on to finish my house on time? Who demand all sort of things. I would much rather have a good Polish plumber who has work ethic.
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Pols_R_Us



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Europe Reply with quote

Seed wrote:
Do I want a French plumber who I cannot depend on to finish my house on time? Who demand all sort of things. I would much rather have a good Polish plumber who has work ethic.

How do you know a Polish plumber would have work ethics once he's in France and French laws on social protection apply to him? He'd just do like the French do. Get work from the French (this is just outsourcing in the same country), get paid a lower wage, but still have all the advantages of French social security.

Also, your view of French workers is a bit simplistic - I'd even say caricatural. If it were that bad, nothing would ever get done in France - instead of which France is part of the G-8, i.e. one of the most industrialized nations in the world. It didn't get there with a population doing nothing.
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Wildflower



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: My two cents (euro cents!) Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I'm extremely pleased with the work the electrician and the plumber I employed in France. They did an excellent job, and their bills were a lot lower than those I used in the States. They were more reliable too. In CT we have a heck of a time getting that kind of work done, we have to chase the electrician and the plumber all the time. Then they show up, do half the work, and disappear again for weeks. US work people would benefit from something like the Bolkenstein directive here super grin I'd like being able to "import" French plumbers and electricians over here, heheheh.

Here, it's the unions that are the problem to get the work force competitive. That's why there's such a problem with outsourcing. About that, last time I tried to call an airline to make a reservation, I found out that airline had outsourced that service to India - and the sales representative hadn't the foggiest idea of geography. She didn't know that NY and Nice were on different countries, even different continents Rolling Eyes

BTW, this discussion has gotten way away from Bolton and the UN. Maybe an admin or mod should split the thread.
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Le Saigonnais



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahahaha....chi MC...American contractors are very reliable people. They make a hole in your wall, disappear for a few months and come back for more money if you want that hole patched up.

Stop criticizing other countries. France has an unemployment problem that everyone loves to have. Many French people are facing a choice of going to work or staying at home for the same amount of income every month. That's the main reason behind the reported 10% unemployment rate. That's wealth, unlike in the US where it's a do-or-die situation, or at best a hand-to-mouth thing for the working poors and even for some middle class folks.

France doesn't blame the foreign people (like Mexicans & illegal aliens) on its unemployment problem. Neither does she charge poor people for cashing their own paychecks, for 21% annual interest rate for a simple credit card and other fees when they want a certain service such as car & equipment rental. France is, above all, fiscally conservative and on a financial diet even when it is doing well.

Look at this country objectively...It is a superpower that goes broke. Its coffer is empty and it has to borrow from a private corporation (which remains mysterious as to who own it) for it to remain functional. It uses China and Japan to float $2 billion credit to its banks everyday. It attracts less foreign investment than Vietnam, a Third World country. Its talented scientists are moving to places like Britain and Korea to do research on stem cells. It ranks 13th on high tech investment. Its citizens spend, spend and spend like there is no tomorrow while the country has a large unemployment problem.
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:01 pm    Post subject: Hey, that's what I said! Reply with quote

Le Saigonnais wrote:
Hahahaha....chi MC...American contractors are very reliable people. They make a hole in your wall, disappear for a few months and come back for more money if you want that hole patched up.

Stop criticizing other countries.


I did say that in the States I had to chase contractors, phone them constantly, leave message upon message on their answering machines. Right now we have a hole where the ceiling light in our dining room is, because we changed the chandelier - guy came and took down the old one, never came back to put the new one up. On the other hand, I'm quite satisfied with the service I got in France, except I did have to chase the plumber a bit before he put a sink in the toilet (you know in France the toilet is separate from the bathroom, and I hate having to go to another room to wash my hands, so I had a sink installed in what the call the WC's).

Mimosa and her husband (in California) had a leaky faucet that cost a fortune to fix, and even paying a fortune, they had to wait for months.

I'm not the one criticizing other countries, dear.
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Wildflower



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Poll Numbers Reply with quote

BTW, the "Yes" people have gained one percentage point in the latest polls. There are still about 5 weeks until the vote. We'll have to see what happens from now to then.

I just wrote the French Consulate to ask if I could vote by mail - the vote is scheduled right in the middle of the long weekend! I'm not sure I want the "yes" to win so much that I would sacrifice a long holiday weekend to go vote! Embarassed (hihihi...)
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