By SS, KH & OH
Seeds: French President François Hollande’s approval rating has been plummeting since he proposed a plan to change France’s labor rules (the bill is designed to help alleviate the unemployment rate in France, but opponents state that it tampers with the 35-hour work week, and allows for more layoffs and unpaid overtime). His previous all-time-low in approval was 17%, now it’s 14%. The country’s main labor unions oppose his plan, and given that he’s a socialist (a group who tends to favor labor unions), this is particularly bad for his standing. The Far-Right National Party has gained some popularity in France because of this, as they are appealing to the the populist, nationalistic roots in the unrest. Almost a month ago, protests took place in Paris and strikes shut down transportation all over the country. A little over two weeks ago, there were nationwide protests and marches (sometimes violent) against the bill, bringing out riot policemen and causing many arrests.
Core: Almost half of France’s trains have stopped running due to railway strikes as the transportation unions protest the labor plan as well. This is the railway’s eighth strike in three months. Furthermore, there are fuel shortages throughout France, already making it more difficult for people to attend work.
Leaves: The Paris Metro has decided to go on strike on Thursday, and the Air France pilots voted to strike later in June. The railroad strikes in particular are leaving many concerned about how the country is going to handle the millions of fans coming into the country in early June for the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.
Food For Thought: Do you think that the strikes and other protests will amount to any change? Have you seen the rise of the far-right in other countries?