Friday 17 November 2017

Time to abandon Gallic shrug and shout 'stop'

Henry Samuel in Paris

The barricades are up, acrid tear gas is filling the streets, angry hordes of striking workers and students are preparing to do battle against a common enemy.

Eh oui, the French are at it again. In the past, I have found the Gallic shrug the best response to the country's trigger-happy strike culture -- it's just something you have to learn to live with. This time, though, I'm finding it difficult to shrug off -- and I am not alone.

A French friend, until recently an aide at the Elysee Palace, vented his spleen this week. "I never thought I would hear myself say this," he told me dejectedly. "But I am seriously considering leaving the country. I can't take it any more."

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