French students’ victory against Sarkozy government

This 4 September 2010 video says about itself:

Thousands of people marched in France to protest against the security measures of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the expulsions of a minority group from eastern Europe, known as the Roma.

By Kumaran Ira:

Amid fears Greek demonstrations could spread

Government postpones French high school reform

19 December 2008

On December 15, French Education Minister Xavier Darcos announced the temporary withdrawal of a highly contested high school reform, in the face of student protests and after consultation with President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The decision to temporarily postpone implementation of the law, which would cut teaching staff and rearrange high school curricula, is an embarrassing about-face for the government. A week ago, Darcos promised he would maintain the reform movement, explaining that student protests “are almost a habit… I am not the minister of National Hesitation, I have a duty to future generations. We must reform a country that badly needs it.”

Since then, however, there was the eruption of massive and violent anti-government protests in Greece, after police shot dead a 15-year-old boy, Alexis Grigoropoulos. Sympathy protests spread to many European countries, including France. With youth in France facing dismal economic and job prospects, the French press widely commented that the anti-reform protests could be infected by what they called the “Greek syndrome.”

Darcos explained on Europe 1: “What worries me is not so much that high school students can contest reforms, which is something we are used to… There is social agitation, a deep-seated fear that goes far beyond the question of whether next year we will have curricular modules in 11th grade, all of that goes much further. I do not want the high school reform to be held hostage by these social tensions and concerns, which are obviously tied to causes beyond the high schools. Today the climate does not allow for a serene discussion, so it is not very serious if we put the reform off by one year.”

Students oppose the reform because they worry about cuts to education budgets and hours of instruction, attempts to make public schools compete with private schools, and the likelihood the reform will undermine their diploma’s credibility with employers. They are also angry about job cuts in education: the government has decided to eliminate some 13,500 teaching jobs next year, after eliminating 11,200 this year.

Update 20 January 2009: here.

France: Sarkozy moves to control public television: here.

1 thought on “French students’ victory against Sarkozy government

  1. Pingback: Economic recession update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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