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French Riot An Unemployment Explosion - Articles Surfing

Recent French riot in the streets of Paris suburbs and other parts have awakened the world, that even unemployment can be a reason for unrest among the population. Before, burning cars and stores the French government never realized there could be the problem of unemployment crisis too with such a developed country. Thanks to media for its efforts to spread information. French is always ahead for the revolutions and this riot is the revolution that made Government to rethink of its policies. It is beginning!!!!

There is ethnic division in the country but has less effect on the country's culture. People in this country are more modern and understanding so ethnic or racial crisis is negligible. People believe their weekends in seacoast rather than going to church. Most churches are empty even on Sundays but recently some Muslim communities have begun their presence effective. Nearly 10% of population is Muslim from Africa or other parts, and 10% are Chinese, east European, Sri-Lankan, and other Asians. All together form 20% of total population of the country. 90% of them have sheltered in urban cities and 70% of them live in poverty.

Therefore, we should not blame racism alone for the riot rather the blame should go to inequality due to wide gap between poor and rich. Major crisis among these communities is the lack of suitable opportunities to upgrade their standard of life. They have to content with limited choices. Governments have never tried to uplift their standard of life. They find employment problems due to ineligibility for better opportunities. They are not still improved enough to fit into French economic growth and the government too has not initiated to promote them.

Working class including the white population is unhappy, as there is wide gap between the demand and supply of employment opportunities. Because of high supply of employment with less demand, most of them work in minimum salary. Trade unions can only fight for the minimum salary but the issue is different. The main issue is lack of demand for employment to determine worth of job. Automation has reduced the scope of employment opportunities. I visited one liquor industry in Normandy and found 2 people running the show, also the self service in many sectors have contributed to reduce employment opportunities. Therefore, the government has to reevaluate the situation and open more areas and scopes of employment opportunities.

Five% of total working population is in agriculture and 25% in industries, indicates the education system is in relation to urban service sectors that consume nearly 70% of the working population. Major percentage of rural agricultural and industrial employment is taken-care by automatic units. Excessive usage of automation is curse as long as people sit without employment.

The country is in socialist pattern, yet governments' protection is for big groups. Therefore, super giants like Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan etc monopolize the market to squeeze farmers and small manufacturers to make high margin. Competition minimizes the work force. Big groups get bigger and bigger on the other hand working class goes poorer and poorer. Living expenses are too high and to maintain they need enough salary to meet minimum requirements. Small entrepreneurs' claim 35 hours working law is a black spot to the economy. My plea to this is the claim is baseless, when major population is involved in service sectors and even the industries run by least work force. Governments need to consider distribution of equal opportunities and resources to match needs of the population. Excessive of automation is unsuitable to any country as long as the population does not have employment.

Excessive burden on entrepreneurs towards the contribution to social security, medical insurance minimum salaries etc cause them to retain less and less employees and seek more and more work from them. A good employer indirectly pays nearly twice to the employee. With the same amount entrepreneur could keep two people. By reducing the percentage and increasing retirement age, would ease the entrepreneur. Generally, when the employee reaches the age 50 considered of no use, at least this is the practice in many industrial set ups. Early retirement is no solution for improving employment opportunities rather this only increase number of unemployed in the country. Retired person ends up becoming burden to the government.

Very soon, French Government is going to face this situation until retirement age increased to minimum 68-70. Nearly 10 million of the total population is over 65 year old and are retired unemployed, this number to grow further as between age group of 20-64 are nearly 35 million that means more than half of the population. Indirectly, 35 million between age group of 20-64 have burden of rest of the population. They have to pay more taxes to maintain standard of rest. If the retirement age increased, they too would contribute their share for economy. Social security measures to unemployed are good as long as completion of minimum working hours fixed to 27,000 or 15 years whichever is before.

Mechanization in many areas is unwanted; they only help to minimize employment opportunities. Service sectors and small-scale sources could be the best choice to promote employment opportunities among less or non-technical educated class. Minimum required contributions towards employees account discourage the employers. Increased number of minimum serving years automatically reduces the burden on the employers. Many manufacturing industries shifted recently from France to other countries. High cost of production in relation to high taxes and employment cost forced them to move their set up. They can be brought back on incentive based.

Illegal immigration is among the serious issues in this country. They like country's democratic pattern, human rights, and standard of life that may be least in their own county. For them France is heaven so taking risk to enter the country is worthy. However, for Government it becomes hell of problems to handle. They have to deal necessarily to curtail such problems by introducing necessary legislations.

France, Germany and other developed European countries are facing hidden economic crisis, has to deal differently to overcome. They have to minimize excessive government expenses, curtail corruption, and minimize dependence on manufacture, storage, and sales of weapons etc. The saved expenses used as subsidy for generation of employment. Despite of all the pressure from EU or WTO agencies, it has to introduce the subsidy in certain sectors to invite employment-based economy. Subsidies, besides bringing more employment to the country would also bring competitiveness in the world market. Only subsidies can invite entrepreneurs to bring their set up back to the country. More the people of the country employed more the generation of direct and indirect taxes to Government.

Submitted by:

Sadashivan Nair




Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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