Friday 9 December 2016

Rain may often stop play, but it keeps us from losing our cool

Eilis O'Hanlon suspects the belligerence that afflicts the French is solar-powered

Published 25/07/2010 | 05:00

Another summer, another strike by French air traffic controllers. You could probably set your watch by them at this stage. As soon as large numbers of foreigners have the audacity to take to the skies in search of a couple of weeks' rest and relaxation in the sun, the French down tools and do their damnedest to make the visitors' time as frustrating as possible.

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Last week it was hundreds of passengers on Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights to Paris, Carcassonne and Biarritz who bore the brunt as Gallic workers got in a huff over plans to unify West European air space under a single authority. Next time? Well, it could be anyone and anywhere. The French are many things, but considerate ain't one of them.

Admittedly, the latest strikes are a big improvement on the situation last summer when French industrial workers responded to the threat of redundancy by holding their bosses hostage and threatening to kill them unless their demands were met. (Eat your heart out, Siptu). But maybe even that wasn't really their fault. Maybe this incessant belligerence which afflicts them as a race is just an unfortunate by-product of the weather.

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